Cambridge DACMagic 200M - the latest purchase

record_spot

Well-known member
May 30, 2015
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18,670
I picked up a DACMagic 200M recently for a very good price and have been trying it out.

Many years ago, I used to own the DACMagic of the 2009 or so vintage. Much as I liked the aim of the thing, it just sounded a tad too clinical and dry, which robbed the listener of the enjoyment and depth of the music they listened to. Like having the cake ingredients, but none of the taste.

Happily, the 200M has turned in a pretty impressive hand thus far. It arrived last week and so far it's just been doing Spotify duties via APTx Bluetooth, or for BBC Radio 4. There's a very impressive depth and none of the shrill harshness of the earlier DM, which was something of a relief.

Plans, broadly speaking, are to get - in the medium term - to use it as the hub for my listening. I've got Julie Feeney's "Pages" album on just now and it sounds terrific, so my thoughts atm are to have a coax cable connect the Kenwood 990SG up to the DM200M, get rid of the Linn Kolektor and either get a passive pre, or a switching box (no need for an extra mains powered preamp when what I really need is a selector). The preamp on the AVIs is more than up to my needs and as long as the passive pre/switching box has the number of inputs I need, I'm good to go.

The 200M is a neat and seamless little box, well built, with a solid range of options and functionality. It does something that I really like of the gear I have - just disappears and blends in. I don't want a prima donna DAC, but I do want one that's got what I need and fits in well. For £349 (if you can get one from Cambridge directly), this is a bit of a star. And yes, I know, the Chord is meant to be brilliant for £399, but it doesn't have what I need. No point even going down that road.
 
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record_spot

Well-known member
May 30, 2015
181
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18,670
I was a fan of the older DAC magics they had a full sound I found lacking in the latter models .
As least your not disappointed by the DAC
Happy to report the 200M has a very full bodied sound to it. There are filtering options available that make a difference to the presentation this time (unlike earlier incarantions on the 752BD universal player, et al.).

I wouldn't categorise this DAC as lacking warmth - if that's what you're after from your gear.

So yes, I'm delighted with it (but have a 30 day return option on it, should I need it).
 

aversaurus

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Jan 11, 2016
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I think the early dac,s made such a difference it colours my memory.
I mite give the current DAC magic model a go one day I like they have brought back the filter options
 

robdmarsh

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Jun 28, 2015
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I wonder how this compares to the ifi Zen One signature. I've never tried a CA DAC but had read rather mixed things about them. The Zen One is so much better than the Topping d50s I tried it really is no contest. Just loving the One sig!
 

record_spot

Well-known member
May 30, 2015
181
86
18,670
I wonder how this compares to the ifi Zen One signature. I've never tried a CA DAC but had read rather mixed things about them. The Zen One is so much better than the Topping d50s I tried it really is no contest. Just loving the One sig!
No idea, maybe you should go ahead, buy a 200M and compare? I like the balanced connectivity the 200M offers should I need it (quite possible). Bottom line, I like what Cambridge do and have been doing for a good decade or twelve years. They revamped their lineup and it bore fruit.

Glad you love the One Sig, but feel free to set up a thread for that DAC.
 

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