Overview: The Cambridge Audio Azur DacMagic is a high-quality
up-sampling digital-to-analog converter. The DacMagic features a range of
components to enhance your music listening experience - these include a 32-bit
Texas Instruments Digital Signal Processor (DSP), dual Differential Virtual
Earth balanced filter topology, and twin Wolfson WM8740 high quality DACs in
dual differential mode for excellent stereo imaging. Other features include a
choice of digital filters (linear phase/minimum phase/steep filter) and an
incoming sampling rate indicator which shows the original source quality. The
Cambridge Audio DacMagic can effectively upgrade the audio from your computer,
your network music devices, game consoles, or standard CD/DVD player to truly
high-end, audiophile-quality sound.
Dual Wolfson DACs: The Cambridge Audio DacMagic employs two very
high-quality Wolfson WM8740 24-bit DAC ICs in dual-differential mode for
excellent stereo imaging. Since each channel has its own DAC to process
information, completely separate and symmetrical analog filter circuitry can be
implemented. This implementation allows both the left- and right-channel
circuitry to operate identically, ensuring the DacMagic delivers fantastic
sound-staging and stereo-imaging properties.
Dual Differential Virtual Earth Balanced Filter Topology: The DacMagic
uses Cambridge Audio's proprietary Dual Differential Virtual Earth Balanced
filter topology, configured as a low-order two-pole liner-phase Bessel filter, in
order to take advantage of the achieved high-sampling rate. As a result your
music will have extreme linearity with greater dynamic range.
ATF (Adaptive Time Filtering): The Cambridge Audio DacMagic utilizes
an asynchronous up-sampling process called "Adaptive Time Filtering" that
intelligently interpolates (converts) incoming audio data from 16-24 bits (at
any standard sampling frequency between 32-96kHz) to 24-bit (192kHz) for
dramatically improved musical reproduction. ATF will enhance the audio clarity,
richness, and dynamic range of your compressed music.
32-bit DSP (Digital Signal Processor): A 32-bit
Texas Instruments Digital Signal Processor (DSP) eradicates jitter, a problem
which blurs the timing information of reproduced audio signals resulting in
degraded audio quality. The DacMagic intrinsically re-clocks all the audio
data - removing jitter, noise, and distortion in the process, so your music
sounds full and realistic. This is especially effective when listening to music
stored on your computer or media player.
Phase Filter Select: The DacMagic's 32-bit DSP employs Cambridge
Audio's own proprietary digital filter algorithms with three different filter
options available - Linear Phase, Minimum Phase, and Steep. Controlled from one
switch on the front-panel, they are extremely clever audiophile topologies
specifically developed for audio playback and all offer excellent sound quality,
but differ slightly to appeal to a wide range of listening tastes.
- Linear Phase Filter: The Linear Phase Filter is the same as used
in Cambridge Audio's flagship Azur 840C upsampling CD player. It uniquely
features 'constant group delay' which delays all audio signals at all
frequencies by the same amount - meaning all audio is fully time-coherent at
- Minimum Phase Filter: The Minimum Phase Filter does not feature
constant group delay, but rather has been optimized without feed-forward so
that the impulse response exhibits no pre-ringing in the time domain. Many
audiophiles have argued that the pre-ringing, as seen in nearly all digital
filter designs, may affect the transient attack of percussive instruments.
Minimum phase implementation eliminates this and is a technology only seen
previously in some extremely high-end CD playback systems
- Steep Filter: The steep filter removes undistinguishable
artifacts via re-calibration for a very slight roll-off at 20kHz, but an
ultra-steep drop to the stop-band just after 20kHz.
Note: These three filters are all of the highest quality, but
offer subtle differences for the user to enjoy. The type of filter chosen is
remembered for each input individually, so that it is possible to use one
for PC playback (via USB) and another for CD playback (via SPDIF).
Aluminum Front-Panel: The DacMagic employs a substantial aluminum
front-panel, plus an ultra-rigid, acoustically dampened chassis to prevent audio
distortion caused by vibration.
Horizontal or Vertical Placement: The DacMagic can be placed in two
different positions (horizontal or vertical). It can be placed horizontally by
fitting the four small self-adhesive rubber feet to the bottom of the unit, or
vertically by using the large rubber base.
Power Requirements: The Cambridge Audio DacMagic operates
off of standard household AC current (120V / 60Hz),
using the supplied AC power adapter (12V / 1500mA). The external power adapter
is separate from the digital-analog-converter to further improve sound quality.
USB Port: A rear-panel USB (type-B) port enables the DacMagic to be
connected to your Windows PC or Mac computer. The DacMagic will act as a very
high-quality DAC/sound-card for your computer, offering genuine Hi-Fi-quality
playback from your stored music and internet radio.
Digital Inputs: The DacMagic is fitted with two rear-panel digital
inputs. Each digital input consists of an optical and coaxial digital
connection. The optical and coaxial digital input allow a wide range of digital
source (CD, DVD, Game Console, etc.) to be connected to the DacMagic.
Note: Only one of the two types (optical/coaxial) of each digital
input should be connected at any one time. If both the optical and coaxial
inputs have connections made to them, neither will work. This unit only
decodes two-channel LPCM digital audio (Dolby Digital 2.0). If you connect a
DVD or similar device, please ensure that the audio output of the player is
set to two-channel PCM.
Digital Output: A rear-panel digital output (optical/coaxial) allows
pass-through of the selected digital source for recording purposes (no
up-sampling performed). These outputs loop or pass-through unprocessed digital
audio from the selected digital input.
Note: Both the optical and coaxial digital outputs are
always active and can be used to connect and run equipment at the same time.
A 5.1 Dolby Digital or DTS signal can be passed through the unit's digital
outputs. The 5.1ch signal is not decoded or processed (only pass-through).
Balanced & Unbalanced Outputs: The Cambridge Audio DacMagic features
both balanced (XLR) and unbalanced (RCA) audio outputs to connect to a wide
variety of home stereo receivers and amplifiers.
- Unbalanced: The DacMagic features an unbalanced stereo analog RCA
audio output for connecting your stereo receiver or amplifier.
- Balanced: The DacMagic features true balanced XLR analog audio
outputs to connect high-end home receivers and amplifiers. XLR is a
higher-quality output that can reject noise and interference with equipment
with balanced inputs.
Note: It is possible to use the unbalanced stereo RCA output and
the balanced XLR outputs at the same time for connecting two different
amplifiers or multi-room operation. The analog audio outputs are muted, if
the DacMagic receives a 5.1 Dolby Digital or DTS signal.
D/A Converters: Dual Wolfson WM8740 24-bit DACs
Digital Filter: Texas Instruments TMS 320VC5501 DSP (up-sampling to
Analog Filter: 2-Pole Dual Differential Bessel Double Virtual Earth
Frequency Response: 20 Hz to 20,000 Hz (+/- 0.1 dB)
Total Harmonic Distortion:
- @ 1 kHz (0 dbBFs): < 0.001%
- @ 1 kHz (-10 dBFs): < 0.001%
- @ 20 kHz (0 dBFs): < 0.002%
Signal-to-Noise Ratio: -112 dBr
Total Correlated Jitter: < 130 pS
- @ 1 kHz: < -100 dB
- @ 20 kHz: < -90 dB
Output Impedance: < 50 ohms
- Unbalanced: 2.1V rms
- Balanced: 4.2V rms (2.1V per phase)
Digital Input Bit-Rates: 16 to 24 bit (16-bit only for USB)
Digital Input Sampling Frequencies: 32, 44.1, 48, 88.2, and 96 kHz
(44.1, 48 kHz for USB)
Audio Output Up-Sampling: Fixed 24-bit/192kHz
Power Consumption: 18 watt
- Width = 8.5"
- Height = 2.0625" (2.1875" with feet)
- Depth = 8.8125
Vertical Orientation: (with stand)
- Width = 3.0625"
- Height = 8.625"
- Depth = 9.3125"