Azur 851A & DAC (Audiolab M-DAC or DacMagic Plus) or Azur 851A & Audio Stream Magic 6?


New member
Aug 10, 2019

Basically I listed down ALL my requirements and I tried to compile a list with the components I need to achieve my goal. Right now I have it narrowed down to 3 different options. There are loooots of good reasons why I have selected these components.

Please follow the links below to see (one image is 1000 words)

Option 1 (highest overall price):

Option 2 (mid overall price):

Option 3 (lowest overall price):

I need some feedback/consultation/counter suggestions on the following:

1. If I go with the pure DAC option does it make sense to invest the extra amount of money for the Audiolab M-DAC? or DacMagic Plus will do the job?

2. I really like the idea behind the CA Stream Magic 6 (which really eliminates the need to also buy/setup a SONOS Connect) but I am reading really bad comments/negative feedback from the users out there...any personal experience?

3. I have not yet auditioned (planning to, if it's possible) the CA Azur 851A and the KEF Q300? Any personal experience with Cambridge Audio integrated amplifiers & KEF speakers? (In the future I am planning to upgrade to the R-300s)

4. Azur 851A was NOT my first choice for music amplifier BUT one of my requirements is to have a fairly powerfull amplifier with at least ONE XLR balanced input? Any other suggestions? Of course it should match with the KEFs.
Thanks in advance for your valuable inputJ
You'll really need to dem to find the right combination both sonically and in terms ergonomics.

I heard the Cambridge 840 amp with the original DacMagic + MA RS6 speakers and on a short listen (approx 1/12 hours) it was very impressive; the clarity and detail, along with the 120 watts of power sounded awsome.

However, last year I purchased the Dacmagic s/hand and what I found wasn't that impressive over longer sessions. If clarity and detail is must then nothing will better it for the money. For my ears it was too sanitized.

As regards the Stream 6 I've no experience with, but the sticking point for you is the XLR inputs - can't think too many with that facility.

Do you have a firm budget in mind? What sort of presentation are you looking to achieve? Natural, bright, detailed, earthy?


Thanks for the prompt reply Plastic Penguin!!

- Regarding the presentation I would like to achieve and since I am the kind of person who considers music as ONE as a whole (so I listen to maaaany different kinds of music):

as much as possible detailed sound with clear/not tiring bass (the richer the better). Bright (not extremely bright though) sound to some extend is also to my liking.

- Regarding the Integrated Amplifier inputs: Yes, one of my main requirements (fortunately or unfortunately) is to have at least one XLR balanced input. When 851A was presented I immediately put it in my list (and to be honest my budget was increased a lot due to this). So yes, I would like another suggestion (is there one?!?!?) within the same price range to match with the KEFs
Okay... first you'll need to discover if the 851 amp is the one for you. I'm not saying out of spite, but there's no point buying an amp if the sound doesn't measure up.

Secondly, if XLR connections aren't available from other popular brands, then look at alternative ways of connecting your source(s).

In terms of pure SQ, I'd be looking at Creek Evo2, Roksan Kandy K2 and even the later editions of Arcam.

For the price little beats Leema Pulse, IMO, and they can be picked up for relative peanuts.

So really what I'm saying, it's a process of elimination, and that can only be done by dems.


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