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DacMagic ...patience grasshopper! (USB, burn-in)

admin_exported

New member
Aug 10, 2019
2,556
2
0
Hi all

I've read oodles about the DacMagic over the last couple of months, both here and over at head-fi.
(Must say many thanks for all the info I've gleaned here).

I was enticed by the glowing reviews, finally succumbed to my curiosity and bit the bullet about four weeks ago (RS in Preston).

My reasons for buying the DacMagic twofold: I wanted better sound quality than my Oppo DV-980H could offer and I wanted to use my laptop as a source. My listening is done exclusively at weekends through headphones (Ultrasone Edition 9's) and with my listening station being directly beneath our bedroom, she was being woken up by the tray mechanism every time I changed a CD - my wife's hearing is incredible when I'm doing something wrong :)

I have all my music ripped losslessly to FLAC via EAC and Foobar (with WASAPI component) was chosen as the player.

My laptop has no digital output so I was stuck with using the USB interface with the DacMagic.

I must say my INITIAL impressions of the sound were erm...luke warm. It sounded rather flat and uninvolving.
I could clearly hear the difference between the filters and I liked them but the bass sounded a little wooly and
overall the sound was missing that WOW factor I was hoping for.

I'd read some comments about the USB implementation in the DacMagic with many people saying that the performance through digital coaxial was superior. Hmm...that set me off on a frustrating journey to find a decent USB > SPDIF converter as I was sure that the reason I was disappointed with the sound was because I was using the USB interface.

After reading quite a few posts on head-fi ragarding the DacMagic and the need for an extended burn-in period, I hooked the DM up to my old Pioneer CDP and played the Isotek burn-in CD through it for around 100 hours in the next week. I don't want to spark up a debate on the merits of burn-in here. I've heard some components respond quite obviously to burn-in while others didn't seem to change at all.

Imagine my surprise upon listening the following weekend to the DacMagic!!! The sound stage had really expanded and had real depth now. The bass had tightened up and was wonderfully articulate. The dynamics were there also, exhibiting powerful attack that just seemed absent initially. I felt like the DM was now living up to the hype. I'll spare you the 'hearing things I'd never heard before' spiel...let's just say I was very impressed. The difference was perhaps more obvious for me because I only listen at weekends but it was there and it was huge.

I'll probably get flamed for this and could have chosen an easier first post but I feel SO strongly about this I just had to get it off my chest.

I can't stress this enough. Before you decide whether to keep the DacMAgic, BURN IT IN.

Mine has around 200 hours on it now and it sounds sublime through the USB interface.

For the record, my system:

Sony VAIO > USB > DacMagic > Nordost Red Dawn IC's > Rudistor NX-02 head amp > Ultrasone Edition 9's

Happy Listening.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Ed9:
Hi all

First post. And no I don't work for Cambridge Audio





Bad mistakuee to makueee. \If you want me to read it at least say that at the end...
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Octopo:Ed9:

Hi all

First post. And no I don't work for Cambridge Audio





Bad mistakuee to makueee. \If you want me to read it at least say that at the end...

You're right, I've edited it. And I'd sooner you didn't read it. Get an early night, really.
 

Alec

Well-known member
Oct 8, 2007
478
0
18,890
Ed9:Octopo:Ed9:

Hi all

First post. And no I don't work for Cambridge Audio





Bad mistakuee to makueee. \If you want me to read it at least say that at the end...

You're right, I've edited it. And I'd sooner you didn't read it. Get an early night, really.

LOL!
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
feel exactly the same about my beresford dac, the b-dac takes at least 100 hrs to start sounding really good , any physicist heads here like to explain whats going on with the electronics during burn in ?ÿ
 

chebby

Well-known member
Jun 2, 2008
1,233
5
19,195
I think any physicists here (along with electronics engineers etc) are likely to dismiss the idea of 'burn-in' for anything other than a process to weed out early failing components....

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burn-in

Although I should say that my physics 'credential' only runs to an A' Level passed almost 30 years ago.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Hi Chebby

Well, I dropped physics A level around 30 years ago ...way too hard ;)

I've heard convincing accounts from both sides of the fence regarding burn-in. At the end of the day, we're stuck with our own ears and must judge based on what we hear, not what we're told we should hear.

A couple of years ago when I was new to this hobby, I burned in a headphone amp for a couple of weeks almost non-stop. I'd read many reports about what I should hear during burn-in and to be honest I heard very little change, if any. Ultimately, I was not happy with the sound after a couple of weeks and sent it back.

However, I cannot discount the changes I heard after burning in the DacMagic Chebby. Truly a night and day difference.

Certainly the changes were too great to be attributed to me willing the DacMagic to sound better.
 

JoelSim

New member
Aug 24, 2007
767
1
0
Ed9:

Hi all

I've read oodles about the DacMagic over the last couple of months, both here and over at head-fi.
(Must say many thanks for all the info I've gleaned here).

I was enticed by the glowing reviews, finally succumbed to my curiosity and bit the bullet about four weeks ago (RS in Preston).

My reasons for buying the DacMagic twofold: I wanted better sound quality than my Oppo DV-980H could offer and I wanted to use my laptop as a source. My listening is done exclusively at weekends through headphones (Ultrasone Edition 9's) and with my listening station being directly beneath our bedroom, she was being woken up by the tray mechanism every time I changed a CD - my wife's hearing is incredible when I'm doing something wrong :)

I have all my music ripped losslessly to FLAC via EAC and Foobar (with WASAPI component) was chosen as the player.

My laptop has no digital output so I was stuck with using the USB interface with the DacMagic.

I must say my INITIAL impressions of the sound were erm...luke warm. It sounded rather flat and uninvolving.
I could clearly hear the difference between the filters and I liked them but the bass sounded a little wooly and
overall the sound was missing that WOW factor I was hoping for.

I'd read some comments about the USB implementation in the DacMagic with many people saying that the performance through digital coaxial was superior. Hmm...that set me off on a frustrating journey to find a decent USB > SPDIF converter as I was sure that the reason I was disappointed with the sound was because I was using the USB interface.

After reading quite a few posts on head-fi ragarding the DacMagic and the need for an extended burn-in period, I hooked the DM up to my old Pioneer CDP and played the Isotek burn-in CD through it for around 100 hours in the next week. I don't want to spark up a debate on the merits of burn-in here. I've heard some components respond quite obviously to burn-in while others didn't seem to change at all.

Imagine my surprise upon listening the following weekend to the DacMagic!!! The sound stage had really expanded and had real depth now. The bass had tightened up and was wonderfully articulate. The dynamics were there also, exhibiting powerful attack that just seemed absent initially. I felt like the DM was now living up to the hype. I'll spare you the 'hearing things I'd never heard before' spiel...let's just say I was very impressed. The difference was perhaps more obvious for me because I only listen at weekends but it was there and it was huge.

I'll probably get flamed for this and could have chosen an easier first post but I feel SO strongly about this I just had to get it off my chest.

I can't stress this enough. Before you decide whether to keep the DacMAgic, BURN IT IN.

Mine has around 200 hours on it now and it sounds sublime through the USB interface.

For the record, my system:

Sony VAIO > USB > DacMagic > Nordost Red Dawn IC's > Rudistor NX-02 head amp > Ultrasone Edition 9's

Happy Listening.

I'd have bought some whopping floorstanders...and some noise-cancelling headphones for the missus to wear in bed
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Great idea!

Just their silent presence would be enough for her not to be able to sleep.
It's taken me a year to move my stuff in from the office. Very slowly, piece by piece ;)
 

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