Cambridge Audio DacMagic 100
Stereo DAC with asynchronous USB input (Black)
Our take on the Cambridge Audio DacMagic 100 by Crutchfield's Dave Bar
Add a little magic to your music
Whether it's a CD player, computer, digital music streamer, or set-top box, here's a fantastic way to improve the sound quality coming from any of these digital sources. Simply plug the DacMagic 100 digital-to-analog converter in between your source's digital audio output and your receiver, amp, or powered speakers. You'll instantly hear greater detail and clarity, plus a real sense of scale and drama. This versatile little DAC will bypass the one inside your PC or audio component, and magically transform those cold hard zeroes and ones into warm, organic sound.
There's magic on the inside
The DacMagic 100 comes packed with high-tech engineering designed to extract better sound from all your digital sources. Its latest-generation Wolfson DAC provides superb resolution that really brings out the fine details in your tunes, for a truly breathtaking listening experience.
Asynchronous USB means better sound from your computer
Standard USB outputs from most computers pose a serious limitation to sound quality. That's because while you're trying to listen to music, your PC is busy performing virus scans, data backup, and other background tasks that may take priority over your tunes, causing it to alter the data rate to suit its own needs. Unfortunately, this situation results in timing errors within the digital data stream — known as "jitter" — that adversely affects sound quality. Jitter can make your music sound harsh and edgy, and smear subtle details.
The DacMagic 100 solves this problem by reaching out to your computer through the USB interface, and instructing it to relinquish control of the data stream timing. In its place, this advanced DAC inserts its own separate, or asynchronous, clock to precisely control the timing of the data rate, reducing jitter to the vanishing point. You'll hear a stunning improvement in low-level ambient detail along with a wider, deeper soundstage.
Enjoy full-resolution USB audio
Along with all the sonic benefits the DacMagic 100 provides for your compressed and CD-quality music files, it also has another trick up its sleeve — it decodes high-resolution data streams with up to 24-bit/192kHz resolution through its USB connection, so you can enjoy better-than-CD audio quality. (Free USB driver download required for Windows® PCs.) If you download high-res music files from HDtracks and other audiophile sources, this DAC will ensure that you hear them in all their glory.
The DacMagic 100 offers multiple digital inputs for your sound sources.
Plenty of connections for your gear
DacMagic 100 lets you connect multiple digital source components to your home audio or desktop system:
- two coaxial digital inputs: ideal for connecting a CD or DVD player, Logitech Squeezebox™ Touch, Sonos® Connect, or any other digital audio component with coax out, and taking advantage of the DacMagic 100's high-performance processor for better sound.
- one optical digital input: ready to take on a set-top box, most HDTVs, a game console, or other digital audio sources with optical digital output, and feed a high-quality audio signal into your stereo system.
- Type B USB jack feeds digital audio from your computer into the DacMagic 100's onboard digital-to-analog converter, bypassing your computer's sound card to yield much clearer sound with stored music files and Internet radio.
A pair of gold-plated RCA outputs lets you connect the DacMagic 100 to your home audio system's receiver or integrated amp. Or feed a set of powered speakers for a high-end, compact desktop stereo.
- latest-generation Wolfson Microelectronics 8742 24-bit digital-to-analog converter
- asynchronous USB technology for reduced timing jitter and better sound with computer audio sources
- incoming sampling rate indicator helps verify source quality
- full-metal case design with thick brushed aluminum front panel
- ground lift switch to eliminate potential ground hum
- three digital audio inputs: one optical (Toslink) and 2 RCA coaxial (S/PDIF)
- USB (Type B) input for connection to a computer
- supported sample rates:
- USB: 44.1kHz, 48kHz, and 96kHz (24-bit/192kHz supported with downloaded USB driver and WASAPI, ASIO, or kernel streaming modes)
- optical: 32kHz, 44.1kHz, 48kHz, 88.2kHz, 96kHz, and 192kHz
- coaxial: 32kHz, 44.1kHz, 48kHz, 88.2kHz, 96kHz, and 192kHz
- built-in driver for USB 1.0 connection (up to 24-bit/96kHz)
- dedicated Cambridge Audio USB 2.0 driver required for 24-bit/192kHz playback on a Windows® PC (free USB driver download available from Cambridge Audio website)
- Mac OSX 10.5 or later supports 24-bit/192kHz USB output natively, so no dedicated driver is required
- frequency response: 20Hz to 20kHz (±0.1 dB)
- THD: less than 0.0025%
- signal-to-noise ratio: 113 dB
- external power supply included
- 4-1/4"W x 1-13/16"H x 6-1/16"D
- weight: 1.1 lbs. (without power supply)
- warranty: 2 years
- Our 60-day money-back guarantee
- If connecting to a TV, please make sure you can select "PCM" output in its audio menu. This DAC is not compatible with Dolby® Digital signals.
What's in the Box:
- External digital-to-analog converter
- AC power adapter (with attached 4' DC cord)
- 3 AC power plugs (US/EU/UK)
- 28" USB (type-B) to USB (type-A) cable
- Cloth pouch
- Quick Start Guide
- Important Safety Instructions
Works great, sounds great. Excellent value. Highly recommended.
PacNW, Bethesda, MD
Cambridge Audio DacMagic 100 Reviews
Average Customer Review(s):
Thanks for submitting your review
Overview: The Cambridge Audio Azur DacMagic 100 is a high-quality, external digital-to-analog converter featuring a USB (type-B) digital audio input, a Optical (toslink) digital audio input, and two Coaxial (RCA) digital inputs. The Cambridge Audio DacMagic 100 takes the digital audio output from your computer, game console, digital iPod dock, or Blu-ray DVD player and converts it into a high-resolution analog signal for your home's integrated amplifier or A/V receiver.
Full Metal Casework: The DacMagic 100 features full metal casework design with a brushed aluminum front-panel to prevent any audio distortion caused by vibration.
Wolfson WM8742 24-bit DAC: The DacMagic 100 employs the latest generation Wolfson WM8742 24-bit DAC (digital-to-analog converter) for exceptional sound quality.
Digital Input Sampling Frequencies: The Cambridge Audio DacMagic 100 supports the following digital input sampling frequencies through its USB (type-B) and Coaxial (RCA) digital inputs - 32, 44.1, 48, 88.2, 96, and 192 kHz. The Optical (toslink) digital input only supports 32, 44.1, 48, 88.2, and 96 kHz.
Asynchronous USB Transfer: The DacMagic 100 provides Asynchronous USB transfer for very low jitter USB Audio input, allowing streaming of up to 24-bit/192kHz audio from a computer.
Standby/On: The Cambridge Audio Azur DacMagic 100's front-panel Standby/On button turns the unit On or Off. When in Standby (Off) mode, the unit draws less than 1-watt.
Source Button: The Cambridge Audio DacMagic 100 features a front-panel Source button. You can press this button to cycle through the DAC's four inputs - USB (type-B), Toslink (optical), S/P-DIF 1 (coaxial), and S/P-DIF (coaxial). The corresponding LED will light up to show which source you have selected.
Incoming Sample Rate LEDs: In the presence of an incoming digital stream, the relevant LED will light up to indicate the incoming digital sampling frequency (44.1, 48, 88.2, 96, 192 kHz). For 32kHz material, the DacMagic 100 will still operate, but no LED will be lit.
Ground/Lift Switch: The DacMagic 100 features a rear-panel Ground/Lift switch. When Grounded, the DacMagic 100 is connected to the earth connection of the PC directly. When Lifted the ground connection is made via a network designed to break any hum loops that may be caused by the source equipment. The Grounded setting is recommended, unless audible hum is experienced.
USB Port: A rear-panel 24-bit/192kHz USB (type-B) port enables the DacMagic 100 to be connected to your Windows PC or Mac computer. The DacMagic 100 will act as a very high-quality DAC/sound-card with very low jitter for your computer, offering genuine Hi-Fi-quality playback from your stored music and Internet radio. The DacMagic 100 is both USB 2.0 (Hi-Speed) and USB 1.1 (Full-speed) USB port compatible. It will also work with the new USB 3.0 ports where the PC will simply treat the DacMagic 100 as if it were a USB 2.0 or 1.1 device. The DacMagic 100 also supports two USB Audio protocols (not the same as the port types themselves) USB Audio 1.0 (which works over USB 1.1 ports and supports up to 24-bit/96kHz) or USB Audio 2.0 (which requires a USB 2.0 port and can support up to 24-bit/192kHz).
- PC Compatible: With the DacMagic 100 switched to USB Audio 1.0 (this is the default setting), the DacMagic 100 will work with the native Windows XP, Vista or 7 Audio 1.0 driver (no need to load any new driver) and accept audio up to 24-bit/96kHz. With the DacMagic 100 switched to USB Audio 2.0, the DacMagic 100 needs the Cambridge Audio USB Audio 2.0 Driver to be loaded and can then accept up to 24-bit/192kHz (and support ASIO and WASAPI Exclusive if required).
- Mac Compatible: No extra drivers are required to connect your Mac computer. With the DacMagic 100 switched to USB Audio 1.1, the DacMagic 100 will work with the native Mac OS-X 10.5 (Leopard) or above Audio 1.0 driver and accept audio up to 24/96kHz. With the DacMagic 100 switched to USB Audio 2.0 the DacMagic 100 works with the native Mac OS-X 10.5 (Leopard) or above Audio 2.0 driver and can accept audio up to 24/192kHz.
Digital Inputs: The DacMagic 100 is fitted with three rear-panel 24-bit digital inputs; one Optical (toslink), and two Coaxial (RCA). The optical and coaxial digital inputs allow a wide range of digital source (CD, DVD, Game Console, etc.) to be connected to the DacMagic 100.
Note: This unit only accepts two-channel LPCM digital audio (Stereo PCM or Dolby Digital 2.0). You cannot connect a Dolby Digital 5.1 or a DTS signal, as they will not be recognized. If you wish to connect a DVD or similar device, please ensure that the sound output of your player is set to two-channel PCM.
Unbalanced RCA Outputs: The DacMagic 100 features an unbalanced stereo analog RCA audio output for connecting your stereo receiver or amplifier.
Power Requirements: The Cambridge Audio DacMagic 100 operates off of standard household AC current, using the supplied AC power adapter. The external power adapter is separate from the digital-analog-converter to further improve sound quality. The supplied AC power adapter includes AC power plug inserts for North America, Europe, and the United Kingdom.
- Input: 100-240V~50/60Hz, 0.55A
- Output: 12V - 2A
Our Product Research Team
At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team. They verify what’s in the box, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.
Why did you buy this?
Analog sound equals better sound. [ Rafael Nov 13, 2018 ]
Your counselor Cody did a stand up job explaining my options/solving my problems. Thanks Cody! [ Jeff Oct 12, 2018 ]
Reviews and History with the product [ Gerald Oct 11, 2018 ]
I didn't know I needed a DAC unit at all! My old Dell laptop PC with a lot of MP3 music files to drive my 1990-era Kenwood stereo system. Until I read Crutchfield's info: "How to choose the best digital-to-analog converter for your home and portable audio systems". I had researched this DAC unit for several days. I chose this unit based on their spec's, Crutchfield/Amazon customer input, ratings, a good price point, and Hogan's consultation in concert for my new Onkyo DXC390 6-CD player. [ James Mar 08, 2018 ]
The reviews [ jesus Nov 14, 2017 ]
I chose this product based on good reviews and good price. [ david Sep 11, 2017 ]
Amazing sound quality and well built DAC!! [ CLARENCE E Sep 11, 2017 ]
I have other Cambridge electronics and am very happy with them. Also did research and followed reviews. A family member purchased a Dacmagic plus that I was able to audition and finally, I've been very happy with Crutchfield customer service with other purchases. They have never let me down! [ Peter May 08, 2017 ]
After extensive research, this DAC was what I needed (not too expensive and lot's of great reviews). I bought this from Crutchfield because I they offered great technical assistance (configuration) on the phone before I purchased. [ RON Feb 25, 2017 ]
online research [ George Feb 24, 2017 ]
Recommendation from an audio professional [ John Nov 09, 2016 ]
To get high fidelity from songs on computer [ Richard Sep 23, 2016 ]
I asked for a recommendation by this company and this is the result. [ JOHN R Aug 05, 2016 ]
Reviews, features, expected sound quality increase. And it does a wonderful job on compressed audio [ Formations Design Group, Jul 20, 2016 ]
Good quality for what I wanted to achieve [ Wayne Jun 15, 2016 ]
Had to replace a Stereo Link 1200 which became unusable with Windows 10. [ Alexander May 15, 2016 ]
advice of Crutchfield adviser [ JOHN Jan 20, 2016 ]
Heard good things about the brand name [ Jeffrey Feb 28, 2018 ]
I wanted to connect my IPad to my 20 yr old amplifier's RCA inputs to play music from You Tube, FM etc. [ Bill Feb 21, 2018 ]
Bought this to use with new UHD TV which doesn't have analog outputs. Also will be used to bypass the internal DAC of my older CD player. [ Kevin Dec 17, 2017 ]
Better audio from my iMac feeding my M-Audio studio monitor speakers and not having to rely on USB for power. I'll move my Audioengine Dac to my MacBook Pro. [ Gregory Dec 16, 2017 ]
heard good things [ I Oct 28, 2017 ]
My entire music library is digital but I have audiophile equipment and am passionate about great sound. You must have a DAC to get the sound quality out of your system. For a reasonable price this is a great option, simple to use and has the inputs and outputs most will use. FYI, don't make the mistake of buying a DAC and use standard cabling. I bought a USB cable designed for carrying digital sound. [ Thad Jan 18, 2017 ]
Product and price are exactly what I need. Cambridge Audio reputation is sterling. [ Steven F Nov 15, 2016 ]
Low price compared to other DACs, and positive reviews. [ Steven Apr 12, 2016 ]
14 questions already asked
4 answers I have purchased the DacMagic 100, and now see that it requires you to manually power-on the unit with on/off switch each time you use it. I have all of my audio electronics in a closet controlled via IR remote transmitter, so having to go to closet each time to turn on DacMagic is a hassle. Is there a way to avoid this? [ Forrest H Nov 10, 2018 ]
Hi. It seems that the unit shuts off after a predetermined time. I have to turn it back on manually each time. It will not just stay on 24/7 I know of no way to switch it on or off any other way. Hope this helps. [ Mark Nov 10, 2018 ]
I have the dac magic plus - I'll try a test to see if mine shuts off automatically, maybe contact Cambridge audio. [ JOHN F Nov 10, 2018 ]
Run a separate cord and leave it in constantly [ JOHN F Nov 10, 2018 ]
I have a similar situation and have decided to leave mine powered up since i use my system continually throughout the day. [ Louis M. Nov 10, 2018 ]
Yes, it would likely be good. The DacMagic gets great reviews, pretty uniformly. I was looking at that DAC & almost bought it, but opted for the Oppo Sonica (with its Sabre DAC chips), so I could stream music, as well. The sound from the CXC transport through the DAC in the Oppo Sonica is fantastic. The Cambridge CXC a great little afffordable transport. Unbeatable, for the cost. The only fault I can find so far is it is limited pretty much to redbook CDs only. I would also advise looking at Schiit DACs. [ Heath R. Jun 03, 2018 ]
I do have the CXC transport and I have it paired with the CXN Streamer and network player. I think the DAC you are considering will work fine. You can also use it to play music from your computer. Good luck! [ Eliezer Jun 03, 2018 ]
Yep. [ Alexander Jul 05, 2017 ]
Yes it will! [ RICHARD Jul 04, 2017 ]
Can't help, regrettably. I'm using USB, and very happy with the result. [ Lawrence Apr 08, 2017 ]
The optical (S/PDIF) connector on the back of the DAC is very different from ethernet and is used for digital audio connections only. It is not compatible with the ethernet connections on your router/network. However, you can pass an audio signal over ethernet using an adapter such as an RCA to Ethernet or a USB to Ethernet. The latter being more expensive. I successfully transmitted analog audio from an iMac to my receiver in another room using an RCA/Ethernet adapter. Two tips... spend a little extra money for a good adapter and audio cables, AND make sure you set your audio output on the iMac to the highest output (24/192) using the Audio MIDI Setup. [ Kyle Feb 21, 2017 ]
Dunno. I have it hooked up to a Microsoft Surface playing FLAC files with MusicBee and a US connection. Works great. I'm sure that it would work with mp3 or other formats as well, but I've never tried hooking it into the network. I don't see a CAT5 connector, but there may be another way to hook in to a network. [ Lawrence Feb 20, 2017 ]
2 answers I'm building a small computer for my garage-workshop for streaming music and Sirius Radio. This build will connect to a digital-to-analog converter which will connect to my new Onkyo TX-NR646 receiver. I want to use an optical Toslink cable from the computer to the DAC. I'm considering either the Cambridge Audio DacMagic 100 ($300) or the DacMagic Plus ($500). Considering my setup, will the DacMagic Plus produce any better sound than the DacMagic 100? Is the extra$200 justified? [ Jim Aug 08, 2016 ]
Jim : Very satisfied with the DAC 100. I have mine hooked up to a $50,000 system which features Mac Intosh electronics and B & W 802 speakers. I don't use Toslink I am up and running with just RCA connections but I am Sure the Toslink would be fine . My preamp is an older model Mac which does not have optical connections. I do mainly classical music and have a over 6000 downloads mostly 16 and 24 K with a few MP3's. I distribute my signals via 2 - I Macs to 2 different systems in my home. I use a Linksys 1900 AC as my wireless. I think I would save the $200 and go with just the DAC 100. I am very happy with what I have. [ EDMUND J Aug 11, 2016 ]
You will be happier with the DAC magic plus!! [ RICHARD Aug 08, 2016 ]
1 answer Looking to connect Apple TV to the DAC. However, my music is ripped or downloaded at 256. Will there be a difference in fidelity? I'm currently running Apple TV into my Pioneer Elite a/v receiver via hdmi. Also, will I still be able to leave my Apple TV connected to my receiver to get surround sound for movies. Just want the DAC for music. Thanks. [ Brian Jan 21, 2016 ]
My setup is slightly different in that I have the AppleTV hdmi output going into the TV and TV hdmi output into the receiver. But, yes, I can choose whichever output I want on the receiver - the TV or the Digital from DAC - and they both work. I also have stereo and not surround, but I would think your current setup would continue to work. The DAC would just be a separate output choice on your receiver. I found that when going through the DAC there was a a definite improvement in overall sound quality from my mp3s, which are a mix of 256 and 320 downloads/rips. It wasn't overly dramatic and didn't knock my socks off or anything. But they definitely sound noticeably better, especially at increased volume. [ Bruce Jan 22, 2016 ]
1 answer Question about inputs: In one of the reviews, someone said that they ran their cable box thru the DacMagic 100. Can this decode Dolby Digital signals? Or is the DAC improving the audio quality and amp is doing the decoding? I'm confused if they are actually losing rather than gaining? I'm looking to hook up a Sony SACD player and USB (from Macbook Air) for Tidal Hifi streaming. (but I'll do the cable box thing too if it makes sense!) [ Sib Jun 19, 2015 ]
The DACMagic 100 is a very nice little unit. I an't answer your main question, but as to the SACD player, I'm pretty sure you won't be able to get a digital out from a SACD, just the CD 44.1KHz output from the CD layer. Too bad, I have another, pricy DAC that would play the native DSD stream from an SACD if the manufacturers would permit it. [ Guest Jun 20, 2015 ]
The theory is that the Cambridge DAC is a better one than the one inside your IPod. When you hook the Cambridge to your IPod it bypasses the internal IPod DAC and provides better sound to your amp. I don't use an IPod but I use an ipad that I hook to a Cabridge DAC via a Bluetooth connector. Works great and I like the sound. Just remember, "better sound" is a subjective thing. Try it and return it to Crutchfield if you don't like it. [ STEWART Jun 03, 2014 ]
I do not believe the iPod shuffle has a digital o/p on the headphone jack. So, no, it would not work. The Apple airport express has an optical o/p (digital) as well as an analog o/p thru the 'headphone' minijack. It improves sound quality a lot to use an external DAC because the DAC in the Airport Express is not that good! [ Jeffrey Jun 03, 2014 ]
The USB input is the smaller square one, not the typical flatt-ish rectangular end. So, perhaps if you were clever and had an adaptor of some sort, but not directly methinks. [ PHILLIP Jun 03, 2014 ]
4 answers I'm experiencing significant signal loss and degradation (low volume, compromised fidelity) feeding an inexpensive DAC with a down mixed PCM signal to my integrated stereo amp. Some sources are better than others, but it all sounds as if a blanket has been draped over my tower speakers. I have to crank the volume just to make TV broadcasts and movies audible (over-the-air, streamed or on disc) and turn it back down for internet radio or CDs . Has anyone had this issue with the DacMagic 100? Does the volume level and fidelity significantly change among the sources selected? My only other solution would be adding an AVR with pre outs to my integrated stereo amp -- something I want to avoid, if at all possible. [ Brion Apr 16, 2014 ]
I have been using the DAC Magic 100 to run my high-quality audio FLAC files from my IPAD through my NAD 355BEE amp and have had excellent results, no loss of great, clear sound. [ ROBERT S Apr 17, 2014 ]
The DAVID Magic 100 solved all similar issues I was having. I can now burn CD's and create files from Internet music sites. Money well spent. [ JOHN C Apr 17, 2014 ]
I use mine in my main system, not with a computer. I have noticed no problems with my CD player or my Blu-Ray player - CD through coaxial and Blu-Ray through optical. [ CHARLES Apr 17, 2014 ]
I have the DacMagic 100 and feed it PCM from TV to integrated amp. I use the TV optical out to the DacMagic. The volume level is lower from the TV than from CD, tuner, etc, but only slightly so. Sounds nice and smooth. Hope that helps. Cheers. [ MARK Apr 17, 2014 ]
2 answers I would like to use the DacMagic 100 to play my digital files from iTunes through an Airport Express(Airtunes, Toslink mini to Toslink in Dac) to an amplifier and speakers. I also have a turntable that I would like to connect and play through here. I assume the RCA jacks can be converted to S/Pdif into the DacMagic. In the end, this will allow me to switch between LPs and iTunes with out unplugging and replugging RCA and Monster cables. Does this sound feasible? [ Mark Mar 16, 2014 ]
Hi Mark, What you want to try is a bit more complicated than what I used the DacMagic 100 for. I don't have experience with Airport Express, Toslink, or S/Pdif. I would recommend you chat or talk with someone at Crutchfield about your questions. They've been very helpful to me in the past. Worst case, you can buy the DacMagic 100 and if it doesn't work to your satisfaction, you can return it within 60 days for a refund minus $10 for return shipping. As an aside, I just returned my Dacmagic 100 simply because it was extremely difficult to hear any improvement in sound quality compared to what natively comes out of my iMac. I could hear a little more extended base through headphone using the DacMagic 100 but that was it. YMMV. Good luck in what ever you choose! [ Greg Mar 17, 2014 ]
I too have used the iMac iTunes to airport express to toslink to DacMagic 100 to amps. Unless Apple has done something to improve it, the airport express does not go beyond cd quality rates (44.1 kHz, 16 bit). But I for one find that with well recorded CD's that is adequate for some great sounding music. But unless I'm missing something, why would you want to do anything but analog from your turntable to amp (with phono stage preamp)? [ Guest Mar 17, 2014 ]
Yes, that is exactly what I did with my DacMagic 100. It sounds great and is a vast improvement over the audio output by the computer sound card. [ William Jan 06, 2014 ]
Morgan... To be clear, I have the DACMagic 100 feeding my Pre-Amp which then feeds my Amp(s). I am not sure what you mean by Standard Amp For my stairs stereo, I have the DACMagic Plus that feeds right into my Amp since my AMP does not have a Preamp built into it. I have my CD player hooked into it as well. FYI, I think Pandora sounds better than CDs. Apple makes this a snap.. Windows you need to get special drivers. I hope that helps [ Welsey Dec 29, 2013 ]
Morgan, I went from my CD player to the DacMagic, and from there to my amp. I used a digital "light" connection from my CD player to the DacMagic, and kept the RCA connection to my integrated amp. Everything else remained the same. The sound is much richer. [ BLAIN Dec 28, 2013 ]
I have it configured where I have it feeding into a preamp then into my amp. It works great on my apple MAC. You should look at the DACMagic with the built in preamp. $499 at Cruthfield. I have one of them as well. It works great. If you use it with a PC you will need drivers to get the faster stream rate. [ Welsey Dec 28, 2013 ]
There is no volume control or controls for equalizing it for your system. It would probably work but it is really made for use with a pre amp [ THOMAS Dec 27, 2013 ]
Absolutely. Gold-plated RCA outputs sends the signal to your amp. Just use really high quality cables(Monster or other) to ensure you're getting a great signal from DAC Magic to your amp. [ ROBERT S Dec 27, 2013 ]
Yes. That is the correct way to hook-up this component. Take the RCA outs on the DAC to any open input on your receiver (by "amp" , I assume you have a receiver?). DO NOT use a phono input if you have one. [ KENNETH Dec 27, 2013 ]
Yes!! That is the only way that I use it. I use my old laptop as a music server for my home theater system. I connect the USB cable from my laptop to the DAC and then use gold plated RCA cables (connected to the audio out on the DAC) to the AUX on my Onkyo receiver. I also connected an HDMI cable from my laptop to my flat screen tv to get GraceNote info about the CD or song that I'm playing to display on the screen. To take it a step further I added a wireless mouse to the laptop and can control everything without getting up!!! The DAC really improved the sound quality, the sound is less mechanical, it sounds like it's suppose to, not like it's computer generated. At least I think so. Happy listening! Greg [ GREGORY V Dec 27, 2013 ]
Morgan, the DAC plugs right into your integrated amp or preamp via standard RCA cables using the auxiliary inputs on the amp. It's a great little device. I have a Sony BluRay DVD player hooked into it using a coax audio cable. Also have a Bluetooth connection device attached using the optical Toslink connection. Nice sound! [ STEWART Dec 27, 2013 ]
Yes. This is how I have mine configured. PC / USB -> DAC Stereo Connectors -> Standard AMP -> Speakers. I don't even know if there is a headphone option with the DAC. [ PAUL R Dec 27, 2013 ]
That's how I am using it. My CD player is connected via digital cable to DacMagic. Then the analog outputs of the DacMagic are connected to one of the line inputs in my preamp which is connected to my amp. If you have an integrated amp, the DacMagic is connected to one of the line inputs. [ CHARLES Dec 27, 2013 ]
Hi Morgan, you can output the signal to a receiver or a preamp to an amp. The DacMagic does not have its own preamp, so you cant go directly into an amp. If you do, you will not be able to adjust the volume. I used mine to take the optical output from my TV and send it to my integrated amp. (Integrated means it has its own preamp with volume control)... [ DAVID Dec 27, 2013 ]
Hi Morgan - Yes, you can definitely do that - in fact, that's how my system is configured. I can't look at the moment to see what all of the connection options are, but I'm using a standard audio cable. This is a nice unit, and you'll hear the difference. The only watch-out is that it shuts itself off after some amount of idle time, so you need to be able to access the front to turn it back on next time you want to use it. You can't bury it and forget it. [ AMY L Dec 27, 2013 ]
hi yes that is what i do [ DAVID Dec 27, 2013 ]
Yes--output from DAC via audio cables to CD input of stereo amp -- the stereo amp is then connected to speakers. Note the DAC in this case gets input from digital output from CD player. [ Paul Dec 27, 2013 ]
Definitely. I have an Apple TV gen 3 connected to the DacMagic through an optical cable. From there, I connect RCA cables to a Pioneer Elite 2-Channel amplifier that go to 2 different sets of in ceiling speakers. Works perfectly. [ Mitchell Dec 27, 2013 ]
Yes. The outputs are standard L and R RCA connectors. [ JOHN F Dec 27, 2013 ]
Yes, this will improve your overall sound. Make sure your RCA cables are of high quality from the Dac 100 outfput to your amp or receiver or integrated amp input [ Stephen Dec 15, 2017 ]
I can't give you a definitive answer, because I don't fully understand what you mean by "optical audio cable". What kind of cable is it; video + audio (e.g. HDMI)? If it's an HDMI cable you will need to separate the video component from the audio component via an adapter. Then you should be able to feed just the audio component into the Cambridge DAC and convert the sound from digital to analog, which can then go to a traditional stereo amplifier. To be safe you'd better seek advice from Crutchfield specialists before you make assumptions that might damage your Cambridge DAC. [ E S Dec 15, 2017 ]
9 answers I have an onkyo DVD player and I play my standard CDs on. I bought the DAC magic 100 to improve the quality of my music, but I could not tell any difference in the sound. The frequency (with the DAC) stays at 44.1. It doesn't go up to 192, there is no increase whatsoever. Any advice on what I can to fix this problem? What would be the problem that is causing this? Also, if I bought a CD player with a built in DAC, would that work? Would that increase the frequency and sound? Thank you in advance! [ E'lauren Feb 18, 2014 ]
Hi. I think I might have your answer or solution. Do you have an A/V receiver? I if you do, I would connect your audio jacks from your DAC magic 100 to your receiver. Then use your downloaded music on your lap top computer. By doing this, you must connect the usb connecter from your computer your the DAC. This get 192khz, you have to download software from the Cambridge Audio website. This is how I have mine hooked up. Hope this helps. [ BRIAN Feb 24, 2014 ]
E'lauren I run my music straight from my iMac back into the Cambridge DAC Magic. So it's USB out to the DAC then optical cable to my receiver and oxygen free copper cables back to the DAC Magic. You can use any sort of computer-based music library, iTunes certainly works. I have a eliminated CDs altogether and taken my changers out of my system loop so I just loaded everything from CDs into my iMac music library. You should See an up convert to 96. You won't see 192 unless you're buying a high-resolution music file like an HDTracks. You should see a significant increase in Fidelity using this kind of process. The key is you need to make sure that you bypass the DAC and you were receiver or CD changer. Try running from your laptop or desktop into the DAC and then out to receiver and see if that doesn't make a significant difference for you. [ JOHN L Feb 20, 2014 ]
It is possible the DACs in your Onkyo DVD player are already of high quality, so adding an external DAC will might not result in improved fidelity. Also the ability to actually hear any difference would depend on the quality of the rest of your system (amplifiers, speakers, etc). Often you need really hi end stuff (esp speakers) before you *think* you can hear a difference. As for the DAC staying at 44.1, that is not up to the DAC but rather the media you are playing. Audio CD's are only encoded at 44.1 and therefore the DVD player is only going to send a 44.1 signal to the DAC (and that is what the DAC will show). You might be able get higher sampling rate from a DVD-Audio disc if your DVD player is compatible, likely 48kHz or 96kHz. I use my DacMagic 100 to play downloaded HD music from a PC via USB. This music is usually sampled in 24bit and 96kHz or 192 kHz and almost always sounds better than CDs of the same performances Also the DacMagic 100 is much better than the audio out on the PC which usually have very low quality DACs. [ FRANKLIN Feb 20, 2014 ]
I think it's set to process standard CD's at 44.1. So far I am very happy with mine. I notice a deffinete improvement in bass responce. It will not prossess SACD'S, so I process those through my Marantz universal player. What it is really good at is processing downloaded misic. I have I-Tunes, so I use my computer as a music player. The downloads sound as good as any origional CD. [ THOMAS R Feb 18, 2014 ]
cd rate is standard at 16/44.1, so no increase in quality their. the Cambridge DAC will convert the dig to ani better than without, but you can't hear the difference. try this and discuss with folks. I ripped all my cd's into "Apple Lossless" (many other formats to choose but Apple Lossless is very universal and is free and works great). when ripping, rip to the increased bit rate 24/196.....then when you play the tracks from your PC hard drive thru the DAC via a USB A-B cable, you will be up-sampling to the highest rate and you WILL hear a difference. the sound opens up and becomes warm, sort of like vinyl. easy to do but takes hours of time ripping the cd's.....well worth it. you also end up with a huge library that you can play tracks any way you want...flexible. good luck. [ michael Feb 18, 2014 ]
All standard CDs play at 44.1k so the Cambridge should show 44.1k when playing CDs. In order to get 192k resolution you will have to buy high rez downloads at online stores such as HDTracks. When playing back these high rez files from your PC the DAC will light up 192k. If you are using Windows you will need to download the driver for the Cambridge DAC at Cambridge Audio website. If you use windows 7, then download driver 1.43 Windows will not play files at 192k without the driver. If you use an Apple PC then no driver is needed but I do not think Apple will play 192k files, but I can be wrong about that. So you cannot get standard CDs to play any higher than 44.1k, you must purchase high rez files to get music at higher frequency than 44.1k. HDTracks will let you download high rez files in AIFF, ALAC. FLAC or WAV formats from 96k up to 192k. [ JERRY Feb 18, 2014 ]
Hey, Chances are this DAC is better than the one with your Onkyo. However, it may not be. If your are feeding it cd's, the rate is 44.1. Set your DAC to take the digital output from your Onkyo into the Dacmagic, and then set the analog outputs from the DAC to your speakers and/or amp. BTW, all CD's and DVD's have a DAC built in. If you use the digital output from your DVD player and input it into a home theater receiver (for example) the DAC in the receiver will be used to convert to analog. But sooner or later, the digital to will be converted to analog. Whether your optical drive does it, your DAC does it, or your HT receiver does it. [ JACK Feb 18, 2014 ]
Couple questions and some guidance. Standard CDs are all sampled at 44.1 - you will not see the rate go up to 192 etc. for a CD source. Can you share how you are connecting the DVD player to the DAC and then how you are connecting your DAC to amplifier. Also, what is the brand and model number of your amp? Finally, what problem are you trying to solve? Confused by "increasing the frequency and sound" is something not working or sounding poorly? Be patient right now for a little bit - the DAC Magic is an excellent DAC. [ CHRIS Feb 18, 2014 ]
CD's are all encoded at 44.1. To utilize a higher sample rate you have to use a higher resolution format such as audiophile music downloads or SACD. [ JOHN F Feb 18, 2014 ]
Looking for more? Check out the next model in this lineup.
Enjoy even greater versatility and performance
The Cambridge Audio DacMagic Plus offers these features:
a built-in volume control and headphone amp
balanced XLR audio outputs for connection to high-end audio gear
sophisticated Adapted Time Filter 2 technology that upsamples incoming digital audio to 24-bit/384kHz to resolve extremely fine detail
Frequently Compared With
Cambridge Audio DacMagic 100
Stereo DAC with asynchronous USB input
Plug-in USB DAC/headphone amplifier
AudioQuest DragonFly® Red v1.0
Plug-in USB DAC/headphone amplifier, compatible with Apple® and Android™ mobile devices
Cambridge Audio DacMagic Plus
Stereo DAC/headphone amp/preamp