Cambridge Audio DacMagic
Stereo digital-to-analog converter (Black)
Item #: 779DACMB
This item is no longer available.
Original Price: $429.99
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Item #: 779DACMB
This item is no longer available.
Original Price: $429.99
Breathe new life into the sound of any CD/DVD player, computer, game console, or music server. Just connect Cambridge Audio's DacMagic between your digital music sources and your receiver or amp, and this versatile little outboard DAC (digital-to-analog converter) will take the place of the DAC inside your player magically transforming those cold hard 0's and 1's into warm, organic sound. You'll immediately experience greater dynamic impact and transparency, with instruments and vocals each occupying their own distinct space. And you'll be immersed in a wide, deep soundstage that totally inhabits the room around you.
DacMagic lets you connect multiple digital source components to your home audio system:
A pair of gold-plated RCA outputs lets you connect the DacMagic to your home audio system's amp or receiver. Or feed a set of amplified speakers for a high-end, compact desktop stereo. Cambridge Audio also included a pair of balanced XLR outputs for an even higher-quality hookup with compatible audio components. Optical and coaxial digital outputs let you bypass the DacMagic when you're playing surround sound from a Blu-ray or DVD player, so you don't have to change cable connections when you switch from music to movies.
The DacMagic comes packed with advanced circuitry to extract the best possible sound from all your digital sources. Twin Wolfson DACs are used in a dual differential configuration to cancel out noise and distortion while providing excellent stereo imaging. Then there's the Adapted Time Filter (ATF). This sophisticated technology upsamples all incoming digital audio to a 192kHz/24-bit signal in order to resolve extremely fine detail, even from compressed music sources. At the same time, ATF incorporates a 32 bit digital signal processor that re-clocks the digital data to eliminate jitter the enemy of digital audio that causes harshness and loss of detail. The end result is dramatically improved sound from every digital source in your system.
Cambridge Audio also included some neat features guaranteed to appeal to audiophiles. A choice of three digital filters lets you tweak and fine tune the sound to match your system and room. The DacMagic lets you experiment with different filter settings for each source, always remembering the last setting assigned to each one. A phase inversion switch lets you correct for out-of-phase recordings or amplifiers that invert phase. Cambridge even included an incoming sample rate indicator which shows the original source quality.
Want to get better sound from your iPod®, iPhone®, or iPad®? Pair the DacMagic with Cambridge Audio's excellent ID100 digital dock (sold separately). This dock relays unprocessed digital audio signals from your Apple device to the DacMagic, which does a much better job than your device's internal DAC and audio circuitry. You'll experience a huge boost in sound quality with your portable music collection. This combo works great as a desktop system when you pair it with your favorite set of powered speakers, or you can hook it up to your A/V receiver.
DAC is short for digital-to-analog converter, a device that translates digital music files or streams into analog signals that go to your headphones or your amp and speakers. You'll hear a huge difference between the sound you get from a separate hi-fi DAC and the sound of the low-quality DAC (and noisy audio circuitry) built into your computer, video game console, network music player, or other gadget.
I've only had it for about a week, but I'm already kicking myself for waiting as long as I did for incorporating a DAC to my home audio system, especially since I've been almost exclusively using my Mac/itunes as my go to source of music at home for about 5 years. What a disservice I've been doing to myself and my stereo system all this time. Drastic improvements to clarity, detail, and imaging. Even my wife, who is usually indifferent to my geeky audiophile wannabe aspirations instantly noticed a difference and said "wow, its sounds so much cleaner". It does, indeed. Obviously there are many newer (and much more expensive) DAC options out there right now for the consumer, but at this price point I'm quite happy with the Cambridge Audio product. I'm hearing nuances in fav songs I've not heard before, and that makes the listening experience all the more enjoyable/realistic.
Like putting an old beat up car under those bright showroom lights, its also worth noting that the Dacmagic will painfully showcase/reveal the flaws and undesirable attributes of those poor quality digital audio files, making some of my lower bit rate tracks un-listenable. The Dacmagic will even show you how poor of a quality the incoming signal is, like its saying to you "you feed me garbage, and that's what you'll hear, garbage". For those of you seeking to transition to higher quality sound at home, this is a great place to start. Its a must.
I bought the DacMagic as a source for my desktop PC stereo, but it's so good I'm going to hook it up with an iPod dock and my CD player and put it in my listening room. WOW! The dynamics and sound stage I am getting with my PC and iTunes is like night and day. Worth every nickel--if you don't have a DAC, you're missing out! Thanks, also, to the product advisor who helped me.
I bought this DAC so that I could put my entire CD collection on the computer in a lossless format (and eliminate my CD player) with no subsequent loss in playback quality. What resulted was far better sound than I ever imagined! Much to my amazement and joy, the soundstage I experienced back in the days of vinyl was back. The music came alive with vastly improved imaging--even from my less-than-optimally placed speakers. I never realized how muddy the sound was from my pre-DAC system. Now everything is crystal clear and the bass has new depth and control. Each instrument is precisely placed on the stage. Now I can appreciate the really fine recordings and also (sadly) discover that some of my favorites are mixed badly. I subscribe to the view that money is best directed towards really good speakers for the most improvement in sound quality. This amazing little box is an exception to my theory. Buy it!
As a professional piano tuner for 40 years, distortion-free, authentic-sounding instruments have always been my top priority when buying stereo gear. This little DAC cleans up everything I put through it. CDs, DVDs, mp3 files from the computer and even Netflix streaming movies all have new-found clarity, sharper stereo imaging, tighter bass better instrument placement and stability. Instruments sound round and spacious not flat and tinney. Articulation of speech, music and sound effects, even when subtle, are revealed like never before. Wouldn't sell this unit back for twice the price.
|Frequency Response||20-20,000 Hz|
|USB DAC Number of Bits||24|
|USB DAC Maximum Sampling Frequency||48 kHz|
|Inputs and Outputs|
|Total Number of Inputs||---|
|Coaxial Digital Input||2|
|Optical Digital Inputs||2|
|3.5mm Digital Inputs||None|
|Stereo RCA Outputs||1|
|Coaxial Digital Outputs||1|
|Optical Digital Outputs||1|
|Other Outputs||Balanced XLR|
|Parts Warranty||2 Years|
|Labor Warranty||2 Years|
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.
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.
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 24-bit/192kHz)
Analog Filter: 2-Pole Dual Differential Bessel Double Virtual Earth Balanced
Frequency Response: 20 Hz to 20,000 Hz (+/- 0.1 dB)
Total Harmonic Distortion:
Signal-to-Noise Ratio: -112 dBr
Total Correlated Jitter: < 130 pS
Output Impedance: < 50 ohms
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
Vertical Orientation: (with stand)
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