DacMagic connections query


New member
Aug 10, 2019
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I currently run my iPod through a Pure Digital i20 to my Azur 340se via 2phono analogue output and it sounds good. I would like to upgrade this however by putting a DacMagic between the i20 and the Azur amp. My question is: How would I connect the components for the best sound? Should I go for optical between i20 and DAC and then analogue 2phono between DAC and amp?

My digital files are encoded in Apple lossless and I also stream Spotify.

Thanks for your help,


John Duncan

Well-known member
Hi trobot23

Several schools of thought here...

1) Optical is better than coaxial because it is less prone to electrical interference

2) Coaxial is better than optical because it requires no conversion of the digital signal to create the optical feed

3) They both sound the same

4) In the context of your system you probably won't hear much difference between the DacMagic and the dock

My intial reaction was (4), but if you can try one at home beforehand and think it worthwhile (or can get one cheap because it's being replaced by the Plus) then it's a versatile little box and may give you an upgrade to some other sources as well (like TV). All of this notwithstanding, I tend to prefer coaxial where available because I find it a more secure connection, though other than that don't really hear any difference.


  • Thanks for this.
  • Would it be worth investing in an amp that can cope with balanced XLR ins (can't see it on a CA amp below the Azur 840a)?
  • What would be the ideal way to get the signal from the DAC to the amp? I'm thinking not unbalanced 2 phono which seems to be all my amp can do!
  • Owen

John Duncan

Well-known member
Most domestic amps are unbalanced so yes, normal phono-to-phone cables are what you require. Generalising, balanced is a better connection but they tend to be found only on higher end amps (the 840a is the only one I can think of below the £1k mark) and studio equipment/active speakers.


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