Cambridge Audio DacMagic 200M

muljao

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Jul 18, 2016
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Another question the review leaves unanswered.
We can pretty much assume it can be a preamp, but the review could (should) have confirmed it.
I'm not so sure about assuming it is. I've read a little about this because I was in the market for a preamp a little while ago. I can't find it being confirmed a preamp anywhere, even though the volume dial is mentioned. You'd imagine CA would even market it mentioning all it's functionality
 

Gray

Well-known member
I'm not so sure about assuming it is. I've read a little about this because I was in the market for a preamp a little while ago. I can't find it being confirmed a preamp anywhere, even though the volume dial is mentioned. You'd imagine CA would even market it mentioning all it's functionality
The CA specs do say that it has a 4.4V RMS output fixed or variable, user selected. So yes, as you'd expect, it can be used as a preamp.
 
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Patrick dv

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Mar 25, 2021
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Maybe Cambridge can consider a ‘+ version’ with Tidal and Spotify connect. Personally I think they can take a very large part of the streamer market with that (best output and no 3rd party apps)
 

Gray

Well-known member
Maybe Cambridge can consider a ‘+ version’ with Tidal and Spotify connect. Personally I think they can take a very large part of the streamer market with that (best output and no 3rd party apps)
This is only a DAC though Patrick.
No doubt they'd point you to their CXN or 851N streamers - which must? be able to stream Tidal and Spotify Connect?? (I wouldn't know, because I'm not interested myself).
 

manicm

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This is only a DAC though Patrick.
No doubt they'd point you to their CXN or 851N streamers - which must? be able to stream Tidal and Spotify Connect?? (I wouldn't know, because I'm not interested myself).
They’re bound to update these with MQA compatibility as with the 200M. In fact it’s very unusual to include full MQA decoding in a standalone non-streaming DAC. Which leads me to believe the 200M is more suited to PC/laptop duty than anything else.
 

Gray

Well-known member
They’re bound to update these with MQA compatibility as with the 200M. In fact it’s very unusual to include full MQA decoding in a standalone non-streaming DAC. Which leads me to believe the 200M is more suited to PC/laptop duty than anything else.
MQA seemed like a good idea when I first read about the principle.
Doubt it's something I'll ever want / need / have though - especially if it means paying monthly subs to any streaming outfit.
 

chrispdx

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Mar 29, 2021
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They’re bound to update these with MQA compatibility as with the 200M. In fact it’s very unusual to include full MQA decoding in a standalone non-streaming DAC. Which leads me to believe the 200M is more suited to PC/laptop duty than anything else.
Got to disagree with you on that ... it's not so uncommon among higher-end product lines, just like DAC-less streamers. And the balanced circuitry here does not to me signal that this is primarily suited for PC/laptop duty.
 

manicm

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MQA seemed like a good idea when I first read about the principle.
Doubt it's something I'll ever want / need / have though - especially if it means paying monthly subs to any streaming outfit.
Spotify is not free, Tidal don‘t charge extra for MQA over and above streaming at CD+. quality.
 
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chrispdx

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Those DAC-less streamers will be pretty expensive.
Yep ... and they also tend to have balanced circuits and XLR ouputs ... all of which, to me, makes this relatively reasonably priced, balanced, full MQA-unfolding, streamer-less DAC fairly compelling.
 

Gray

Well-known member
Spotify is not free, Tidal don‘t charge extra for MQA over and above streaming at CD+. quality.
I'd never have used it if it wasn't (y) 'Spotify Free' is what I use. (And so infrequently that they've repeatedly e-mailed to tell me why I should be using it more).

The point was that you can't get MQA without paying a sub - which is great if that's what you wanna do. I didn't say you had to pay extra over and above the sub you're already paying.
 

Andrew G

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May 22, 2021
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The CA specs do say that it has a 4.4V RMS output fixed or variable, user selected. So yes, as you'd expect, it can be used as a preamp.
Yes, well spotted, thank you. Also, as the review probably could have mentioned, the device the 200m replaces, the DacMagic Plus, can do the same. That's how I use my Plus (RCA out to my electrostatic headphone amp).
 
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Coolcity

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The review states why the headphone output has the potential to sound better.....but doesn't say whether it actually did.
Wouldn't it be just as easy to ask the manufacturer? In general, reviews are not the be-all and end-all, there will always be questions people will have about any product.
 

Andrew G

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May 22, 2021
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Wouldn't it be just as easy to ask the manufacturer? In general, reviews are not the be-all and end-all, there will always be questions people will have about any product.
The whole point of reviews is to get at this sort of thing! They're supposed to test the product and tell readers about it. And they're supposed to evaluate manufacturers' claims, not just take them as gospel.
 
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Coolcity

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Yes but you can't cover every aspect of every product, we mistakenly tried to do that on our own retail site at one point and ended up with 8-page reviews. This is clearly just a short review to give potential buyers a reasonable idea of what they're buying, not a "bible" on the product. It's not unreasoble to assume that manufacturers are telling the truth about their product but as I said, it would have been just as simple for anybody to ask the manufacturer if they were that interested.
 

Andrew G

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May 22, 2021
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Yes but you can't cover every aspect of every product, we mistakenly tried to do that on our own retail site at one point and ended up with 8-page reviews. This is clearly just a short review to give potential buyers a reasonable idea of what they're buying, not a "bible" on the product. It's not unreasoble to assume that manufacturers are telling the truth about their product but as I said, it would have been just as simple for anybody to ask the manufacturer if they were that interested.
So What Hi-fi? should leave out audio performance in a review of an audio device? Seriously?
And your retail site is not "the world's leading independent guide to hi-fi and home entertainment products."
 
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Coolcity

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You're turning a simple point into an entire, relatively pointless, debate. This is a relatively short but decent review that gives anyone reading it the opportunity to reach the conclusion that it performs very well. As I said, you can't have a concise review that covers every potential eventuality, I'm not sure why you have a problem understanding that. If you're not happy with the review there are plenty more on this particular item. What our retail site is, is completely irrelevant, the point I made applied to just about every product.

The original question asked, which wasn't even your question, was about whether or not the headphone output has the potential to sound better, not about overall audio performance. All I did was make a simple point that it would be just as simple to check with the actual manufacturer, you're blowing it out of all proportion. I'm out.
 

Andrew G

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May 22, 2021
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You're turning a simple point into an entire, relatively pointless, debate. This is a relatively short but decent review that gives anyone reading it the opportunity to reach the conclusion that it performs very well. As I said, you can't have a concise review that covers every potential eventuality, I'm not sure why you have a problem understanding that. If you're not happy with the review there are plenty more on this particular item. What our retail site is, is completely irrelevant, the point I made applied to just about every product.

The original question asked, which wasn't even your question, was about whether or not the headphone output has the potential to sound better, not about overall audio performance. All I did was make a simple point that it would be just as simple to check with the actual manufacturer, you're blowing it out of all proportion. I'm out.
The review of an audio product left out a detail about its performance (the performance of the headphone jack). That's fair game for criticism. If anyone is making this more complicated than it needs to be, it's you.
 
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Tinman1952

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The review of an audio product left out a detail about its performance (the performance of the headphone jack). That's fair game for criticism. If anyone is making this more complicated than it needs to be, it's you.
John Darko stated that the headphone output of the iFi Zen DAC v1 was far superior……perhaps that’s why What HiFi left it out? 🤔
Didnt want to upset their buddies at Cambridge Audio…….
 

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