DAC Magic & Digital Music Appreciation Thread

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VoodooDoctor

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Sep 23, 2007
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Apple Lossless -> Buffalo Terastation -> iMac -> Wireworld Ultraviolet USB cable -> Leema Acoustics Pyxis Pre-amp -> Chord Anthem 2 RCA cable -> Leema Acoustics Hydra -> Monitor Audio Pureflow (Biwire) -> Monitor Audio Platinum PL100 standmounters.
 
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Anonymous

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From my music files stores as error-free FLAC, I have a Squeezebox 3 (and a PS3 for CD/DVD/BD/Gaming/Freeview) running via optical into my DACMagic, then via XLR to a CA 840A - then to (for now) a pair of Mordaunt Short 902i.

Sounds great but I know the speakers are the weak link here. I'd ideally like a pair of MA RX6s on the end!

Also, I'd like to point out that due to the limits of USB audio interface, this input is measurably worse than optical or coax, jitter-wise. You should try not to use it.
 

PJPro

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Jan 21, 2008
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JohnDuncan:Yes, let's make it less brand-centric

OK.

I use EAC with flac.exe to produce bit perfect rips of my CDs on a Compaq Presario PC running Vista SP2. Playback/management of these files is via Foobar2000. I use the WASAPI interface to allow bit perfect playback through the optical out on my Sound Blaster Xtreme Gamer sound card. I use a True Colours Industries Coral optical cable to connect to my DIY Modded Beresford 7510 DAC. I use a Lindy Audio Premium Gold interconnect to hook up my DIY headphone amps (Tangent CMoy Variant, Graham Slee Novo, Starving Student Millet Hybrid). A pair of Grado SR80s complete the rig upstairs (although I have just won some Grado RS1s).

I also stream music from my PC using the Foobar2000 UPnP media server via DLNA to my PS3 over my gigabit wired network. This comprises of two Netgear switches (G5605 and G5608) connected with Cat6 ethernet cable. A Netgear DG834G router handles access to the internet (Spotify, Album Art Exchange, etc). The PS3 is attached to an Onkyo 606 using a Chord HDMI (free subscription gift from the mag). The Onkyo drives a 5.1 Arcam Muso / Logo speaker package. I use cheap but thick speaker cables from Maplins. Visuals are handled by a Pioneer 4820. I have two Tacima 6 way power cables for the AV equipment.

Remembering that CDs are digital music, for me the advantage of computer based music is the sheer convenience of it all. Random playback, in particular, has reinvigorated my interest in music and enabled me to listen to a much broader range of tracks in my collection. I'm also a bit of a nerd so like the geekiness of it all.

This all started with guidance from a certain amphibian friend many moons ago.
 

idc

Well-known member
Jan 2, 2008
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Various sources, primarily Spotify Premium. Music missing from Spotify is imported from CD as WAV lossless on WMP. I can still use itunes, but it is now really only for the ipod and portable music. An unbranded USB cable connects a Dell Inspiron 1300 to a Firestone Fubar USB DAC with the Firestone Supplier PSU. SHB interconnects go to a Musical Fidelity V8P headphone amp and then on to primarily AKG K702 headphones.

The V8P amp also has an internal DAC, which uses the same Burr Brown as the V-DAC. I prefer the greater dynamic and enhanced soundstage of the Firestone DAC.
 

davydmx

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Apr 8, 2009
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bezza79:
PC with Apple Lossless via USB to DAC Magic, then Merlin Mozart to Rotel RA-1520 feeding some B&W 683's. Also have a PS3 connected via a Chord Optichord to the DAC Magic, I really can't tell the difference between the two I love the sound equally as much from either. The convenience of using the Remote App on the iPhone makes the computer the favourite.

I've tried Orb and Windows Media sharing to stream music to the PS3 but much prefer using the iPhone remote.

I've ordered a S/PDIF lead as my computer motherboard supports it so will soon be trying a Coaxial from the PC to the DAC, S/PDIF lead £4 and 5m coaxial £10. I just can't stop throwing money around.....!!!

Hi bezza79,

you're using iTunes on a pc, via USB cable, into Dacmagic, right? How then are you using iPhone Remote App?? I was under impression that Remote App only worked in conjunction with Airport Express!?

And i'd recommend for your set-up, Wireworld Ultraviolet USB cable. I've had/having amazing results with this cable(sorry, anti-cable people...)

Finally, if you haven't already, you really should try Foobar 2000 with the WASAPI plugin(thank you, PJPro). Via USB cable on a pc, it wipes the floor with iTunes, sq wise!
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Various sources (Sony BDP; DAB radio; MacBook Pro via TOSlink); mostly iTunes via Apple TV, with anything from cheap MP3s to high quality files from Linn Records. Most of my old CDs are ripped to AIFF or Apple Lossless.

Digital signals routed through an Inday switch box to a set of AVI ADM9.1 and sub (using AVI's built-in DAC).

For my second system, I currently use analog output from Apple AirPort Express and other digital sources. I'm considering a cheap DAC for this set-up, but can't decide on which one.
 

John Duncan

Well-known member
Jan 8, 2008
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davydmx:I was under impression that Remote App only worked in conjunction with Airport Express!?

No, Remote controls the actual iTunes running on your PC or Mac - if you happen to be streaming to an airport express or Apple TV, or direct to a DAC, then those play what the computer is streaming to them, which is in turn being remote controlled by the Remote App.

I don't think I worded that very well - does that make sense?
 

PJPro

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Jan 21, 2008
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It would appear that one can control foobar2000 with an iPhone by using foo_httpcontrol. I haven't got an iPhone myself so can't comment on how easy/hard it is to set this up.
 

bezza79

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Feb 15, 2009
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Hi davydmx,

Yes I am using iTunes on the PC then USB to the DAC Magic. As John says the iPhone remote controls iTunes via the wifi connection to my home network. So when the PC is on and iTunes is running the iPhone remembers the wifi network and tap the remote app and you then control the iTunes library, it was really easy to set up and if you have more than one iTunes library it can control and remember several.

I posted on here regarding the Wireworld USB as I was really tempted and the comments convinced me to go for a good quality USB cable and pocket the difference in price, which I did! As much as I would like to try the Wireworld I need 5m which is pretty pricey so I've just today received a SPDIF out lead which once I've connected it to the motherboard will let me connect a coaxial lead from the PC to the DAC. I'm hoping this will improve the sound quality from the PC, especially as Cambridge Audio and many posts say that the best digital connection is the coaxial cable!!

I've downloaded Foobar and I'll give it a go, might have to do some research on the iPhone control function looks interesting!!
 

PJPro

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Jan 21, 2008
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bezza79:
I've downloaded Foobar and I'll give it a go, might have to do some research on the iPhone control function looks interesting!!

I feel a primer coming on.....
 

davydmx

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Apr 8, 2009
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Ok, i've got Remote App working now. Cool! Thanks guys!

PJPro, i did have a look at the link you provided, regarding iPhone control of Foobar; looks too complex for me! I, for one, am waiting for you to put together one of your excellent primers, on this particular subject!!
 
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Anonymous

Guest
bezza79:I am using iTunes on the PC then USB to the DAC Magic.

I would strongly recommend using a TOSlink connection between PC and DAC.

It effectively isolates the PC from your hi-fi, and thus eliminate potential ground/noise problems.

Also, unless you use a Benchmark or some other expensive DACs, USB is limited to 'CD quality' -- meaning any high quality files will be down-sampled.
 

PJPro

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Jan 21, 2008
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davydmx:
Ok, i've got Remote App working now. Cool! Thanks guys!

PJPro, i did have a look at the link you provided, regarding iPhone control of Foobar; looks too complex for me! I, for one, am waiting for you to put together one of your excellent primers, on this particular subject!!

I'd love to. We just need a quick whip round to buy me an iPhone.....
 

basshound

Well-known member
Sep 23, 2007
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Dell laptop with 500gig HD and windows 7 ordered yesterday,Beresford TC-7520 sent to Audioupgrades today for level 3 upgrade,maybe overkill but what the hell,laptop and DAC are a combined birthday and Christmas present so thought I`d get best value while the missus is ameniable! Airport Express and cabling in place,just several hours of re-ripping my cd`s into lossless to look forward to now.Be interesting to hear how the modded dac compares to the Kandy cdp.
 

lonely boy

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Apr 19, 2008
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I'm relatively new to stand-alone DACs, my first was purchased in July.

I have two digital set-ups in current use: the computer system consists of a very old Power Mac G4 playing music from iTunes (mostly AIFF files) and Spotify premium through USB to a Gigalab Moon mkII DAC and then amped by a Sugden Headmaster, I mostly use either Sennheiser HD600 or Grado HF2 headphones with this setup.

The Gigalab Moon is a non-oversampling DAC and provides a tonally rich, smooth and dynamic sound, it makes my old Marantz CD-63 KI sound anemic and harsh in comparison.

The second, or main system is sourced by my CD-63 as transport, outputting digital via coaxial (VdH - The Name) into my second DAC - a MHDT Labs Havana, another NOS model, that feeds a Stax SRM-006tII "Energizer" which in turn drives a pair of Stax SR-404 Limited Edition Electrostatic headphones.

I'm pretty happy with both systems at the moment, but the Havana is a little too bright for me - so some tube rolling will be needed.

e
 

idc

Well-known member
Jan 2, 2008
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lonely boy:I'm relatively new to stand-alone DACs, my first was purchased in July. I have two digital set-ups in current use: the computer system consists of a very old Power Mac G4 playing music from iTunes (mostly AIFF files) and Spotify premium through USB to a Gigalab Moon mkII DAC and then amped by a Sugden Headmaster, I use mostly use Sennheiser HD600 or Grado HF2 headphones with this setup. The Gigalab Moon is a non-oversampling DAC and provides a tonally rich and dynamic sound, it makes my old Marantz CD-63 KI sound anemic in comparison. The second, or main system is sourced by my CD-63 as transport, outputting digital via coaxial (VdH - The Name) into my second DAC - a MHDT Labs Havana, another NOS model, that feeds a Stax SRM-006tII "Energizer" which in turn drives a pair of Stax SR-404 Limited Edition Electrostatic headphones. I'm pretty happy with both systems at the moment, but the Havana is a little too bright for me - so some tube rolling will be needed. e

Wow. That is now the system(s) I would most like to hear on the forum. Lonely boy, can you post pictures in the 'Your Systems' part of the forum?
 

lonely boy

New member
Apr 19, 2008
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idc:
lonely boy:I'm relatively new to stand-alone DACs, my first was purchased in July. I have two digital set-ups in current use: the computer system consists of a very old Power Mac G4 playing music from iTunes (mostly AIFF files) and Spotify premium through USB to a Gigalab Moon mkII DAC and then amped by a Sugden Headmaster, I use mostly use Sennheiser HD600 or Grado HF2 headphones with this setup. The Gigalab Moon is a non-oversampling DAC and provides a tonally rich and dynamic sound, it makes my old Marantz CD-63 KI sound anemic in comparison. The second, or main system is sourced by my CD-63 as transport, outputting digital via coaxial (VdH - The Name) into my second DAC - a MHDT Labs Havana, another NOS model, that feeds a Stax SRM-006tII "Energizer" which in turn drives a pair of Stax SR-404 Limited Edition Electrostatic headphones. I'm pretty happy with both systems at the moment, but the Havana is a little too bright for me - so some tube rolling will be needed. e

Wow. That is now the system(s) I would most like to hear on the forum. Lonely boy, can you post pictures in the 'Your Systems' part of the forum?

Thanks idc - I'm planning on doing just that sometime soon - keep an eye out!

e
 

Dan Turner

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Jul 9, 2007
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Kit as per sig below. Mostly Apple Lossless files, sometimes via airport express sometimes directly into DAC. Beats Arcam CD37 quite substantially.....
 
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Anonymous

Guest
I have two directions of travel here.

a) Laptop and or external HD > Spotify etc Music streamed > External Dac ( Beresford Caiman which sounds better than Cambridge Dac Magic IMO ) > Nait xs/ Flatcap 2X > Spendor A6's . Sound incredible ! Gets close to the impact of my stand along side system which has Naim CD5X as the source in terms of pace and detail. But not quite and I believe the "quite "is significant in terms of soundstaging , presence, immediacy. You have to decide whether it's worth a considerable spend though

b) PC> Wireless Dock ( Denon A3 DW ) > Denon 2309 > Nait XS / Flatcap x2 ( pre outed) AV by pass> Spendor A6's

This second route gives me access to up to 7000 internet stations. Sound quality a little compromised because of the pre outing but is acceptable
 

chebby

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Jun 2, 2008
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Beresford TC-7520 DAC for BBC iPlayer and iTunes (no lossless any more since I converted/re-ripped everything to 256kbps AAC) and - occasionally - sound from DVD or a bit of BBC R7 from Freeview.

iTunes is very convenient for all my old radio plays and all the history/drama CDs I have collected (still collecting actually with latest series of BBC John Le Carre dramatisations)

BBC drama sounds best listening 'live' on FM radio then CD and then iPlayer (or iTunes) but I love the convenience of iTunes. Spent a week in Exmoor last week. No mobile reception (all networks), no internet, no radio reception on DAB or FM (in a very deep valley), no hifi etc. iTunes on my iPhone via a 3.5mm connection to some PC speakers I took along was a godsend.
 

Charlie Jefferson

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Sep 2, 2007
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Kit as in sig below: I love the DAC/Lossless streaming combo set up thingy.

My DAC also does a great job of dealing with the various BD/DVD/TV audio I listen to.

I was playing some of the losslessly ripped & streamed Beatles Mono remasters last night and because of this thread thought I'd try a bit of comparing with the CDs of the same tracks. Again, no contest, for me the DAC/Lossless wins out each & every time.

Does anybody have any suggestions for how I'd upgrade or refine this current set-up in terms of the DAC/Mac and leaving aside amp or speaker improvements. Just curious.
 

Craig M.

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Mar 20, 2008
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i've read a few posts on other forums in favour of the amarra software that piggybacks itunes.

might be worthy of further investigation? although, i think the makers would prefer you had a firewire dac.
 

Craig M.

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Mar 20, 2008
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i don't think it has to be, i think it's more a case of that's what they've tested it with and the dac sonic studio sell is a firewire one. it should still work with your chord. there is a fairly detailed user review on another forum, which i can't link to, but should be near the top if you google "sonic studio amarra review".
 
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Anonymous

Guest
PCspdif (Chord Optichord)> Dacmagic (Van den Hul The Name)> Yamaha A-S1000 (Chord Odyssey stereo 2)> B&W CM7

TVspdif & PS3 (CA Optical & Van den Hul Flat HDMI)> Dacmagic " " "

...If it aint going through the Dac....it aint going to be auditioned


...If only the Dacmagic had a remote, I wouldn't have to get up when I want to switch from pc audio to ps3/tv
 

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