DAC to Cambridge Audio Azur 550A?

admin_exported

New member
Aug 10, 2019
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I've just recently bought a new CA azur 550A.

Now i dont know a great deal about Hi-Fi systems, so before i throw the 550A back at Richer Sounds i thought i'd ask you intelligent people first! I understand i have an integrated analogue amplifier, which is connected to my Monitor Audios, but its all very well plugging in aux cables everywhere but i wanted something a bit more...Digital? Is it possible to connect a DAC to this amplifier and have my Macbook run through the DAC via an optical output, as well as the many other gadgets i have laying around.

Do i need a different amp? What can i do?

Any help will be much appreciated, cheers!
 

nopiano

Well-known member
Any DAC will have analogue outputs intended to go into an amp just like yours. But, AFAIK, you wouldn't normally send an analogue signal from a DAC via optical. The optical is usually the digital one - often from a CD player.

I believe you would typically stream from your Mac via USB, and you can get dedicated DACs for such a purpose, like this:-

http://www.whathifi.com/Review/HRT-Music-Streamer-II/

There is a group test of DACs in the current (November) magazine.

If you wanted digital inputs you should have chosen an AV amp, but the sound quality would be inferior, £ for £. There is a Cambridge media player too, but that's another story. By all means be a bit more specific about your needs and someone else will be along soon.

Welcome to the forum!
 

tino

Well-known member
Sep 29, 2011
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Benners101 said:
... Is it possible to connect a DAC to this amplifier and have my Macbook run through the DAC via an optical output, as well as the many other gadgets i have laying around.

What other gadgets do you have? If these other gadgets are things like iPods / iPhones / tablet PC etc., then you could consider a Bluetooth solution. You can digitally stream audio wirelessly from your devices and Macbook via a Bluetooth receiver like the QED uPlay (approx. £60). However, you might be a tad disappointed with the audio quality for serious listening, but the convenience is great. The QED uPlay and other products like the Chordette Gem have a higher quality (albeit lossy) coding method called apt-x which is better than standard Bluetooth audio. You can invest in cheap dongles for around £30-£40 to plug into your devices if you need this higher quality Bluetooth solution. Otherwise just the the in-built Bluethooth that these device could have.

PS I have such an apt-x setup and can stream from my Android tablet, my PC, phone etc., or the phones of visiting friends. I think it's quite a good solution but not as good as a tethered (wired) DAC solution. But then I donlt have to plug / unplug any cables :)
 

matthewpiano

Well-known member
Nov 23, 2007
494
332
19,270
Macbook to DAC (via optical or USB) and then analogue rca/phono interconnects from the DAC to your amp. Sorted. CA DacMagic would be fine. No need to change your amp - you've got a good one there.
 

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