Dacmagic - upgrade, buy a different dac or keep it?

admin_exported

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Aug 10, 2019
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Hi all, hopefully someone will be able to advise. I have recently caught a quite severe case of upgrade fever which has led me to purchasing a Roksan Caspian M2 Integrated AMP (delivery sometime next week), some EB2 speakers (yet to be delivered), a mac mini and a dacmagic.

When I started my upgrade quest I had only initially intended on buying the mac mini, dac and speakers. My original system was a Roksan Kandy K2, B&W 685 speakers and an Arcam CD73T. To be brutally honest it sounded OK at best. I think the main problem was room acoustics and my B&W 685 speakers. They just didn't produce enough detail and the overall sound was a bit bass heavy.

Anyway, after I purchased the mac mini, dac and speakers I managed to get a 1 month old caspian m2 integrated amp for £940 from eBay. Now I'm thinking that I'm not really going to see the best out of my set up with the dacmagic in place. Would you generally agree with this?

This got me thinking that I should really look at either getting a new dac or alternatively upgrade my existing one. There is a company called fidelity audio which do upgrades for various hi-fi products, including the dacmagic. The top upgrade they do costs £365 inc VAT, they also do a power supply for £180. So that comes to a total of £545.

I'm not really sure how it would improve things and whether or not it might be more cost effective to buy a new dac of some variety.

Advice would be greatly appreciated. Just to throw something else into the mix, do you think the eb2's are up to the task of reproducing everything the caspian m2 is capable of?

Thanks all
 

smuggs

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Feb 19, 2009
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i think you have rushed a little but fair play. i agree with what you said about th 685's i have listened to them 3 times now and have the same views. I would sit tight and enjoy for while and keep a note pad by you at all times and over the next 3 months write down the tracks that sound not right and write notes and look back and see if there is a pattern. changing the dac-magic has been said to quiten the forwardness and give a smoother midrange and sweeter treble which added more depth and better upper base. thats with the rega being the one people are changing to and whathifi give it 5stars. i would though consider upgrading the dac-magic for 300 pound and that will pass the rega for spec not sure for sound i have not heard a modded dac-magic.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Yes, you are probably right in that I have rushed things a bit. However, I do like the Roksan sound so hopefully the Caspian should fit the bill. Forgot to mention, the upgrades for the dacmagic are detailed here: http://www.fidelityaudio.co.uk/dacmagicazur.shtml

Also, if I were to look at buying a new dac instead of upgrading my max budget would be £700. Any other suggestions opinions welcomed.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Modifitcations shall bring the DAC Magic to a higher standard. If you already purchased DAC Magic, I think the MOD is worthwhile.
 

plastic penguin

Well-known member
Apr 28, 2008
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spooks1982 said:
Hi all, hopefully someone will be able to advise. I have recently caught a quite severe case of upgrade fever which has led me to purchasing a Roksan Caspian M2 Integrated AMP (delivery sometime next week), some EB2 speakers (yet to be delivered), a mac mini and a dacmagic.

When I started my upgrade quest I had only initially intended on buying the mac mini, dac and speakers. My original system was a Roksan Kandy K2, B&W 685 speakers and an Arcam CD73T. To be brutally honest it sounded OK at best. I think the main problem was room acoustics and my B&W 685 speakers. They just didn't produce enough detail and the overall sound was a bit bass heavy.

Anyway, after I purchased the mac mini, dac and speakers I managed to get a 1 month old caspian m2 integrated amp for £940 from eBay. Now I'm thinking that I'm not really going to see the best out of my set up with the dacmagic in place. Would you generally agree with this?

This got me thinking that I should really look at either getting a new dac or alternatively upgrade my existing one. There is a company called fidelity audio which do upgrades for various hi-fi products, including the dacmagic. The top upgrade they do costs £365 inc VAT, they also do a power supply for £180. So that comes to a total of £545.

I'm not really sure how it would improve things and whether or not it might be more cost effective to buy a new dac of some variety.

Advice would be greatly appreciated. Just to throw something else into the mix, do you think the eb2's are up to the task of reproducing everything the caspian m2 is capable of?

Thanks all
Personally I would ask this question once you've bedded in the M2 and EBs. TBH, at the moment, your questions and concerns are a little premature. Wait a few weeks after you receive the Caspian and EBs and if it still sounds "ok" then start looking at a new DAC.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Audio Maniac said:
Modifitcations shall bring the DAC Magic to a higher standard. If you already purchased DAC Magic, I think the MOD is worthwhile.
Not necessarily true. There is an assumption that mods improve, but often all they do is alter the sound, and sometimes at the cost of one of the strengths of the units involved.

The other problem is economic: you can spend hundreds on modifying an item only to find its second hand value is exactly the same as the original item, meaning you have thrown your money away.

Better off buying a different DAC, I think, though I note many people use an unmodified DACmagic in some stratospherically expensive systems, so it can't be bad.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Thanks for the replies and comments... I think i'll wait until the speakers/amp turn up then decide at a later date as suggested. I have already spent far to much money so a break in rinsing my bank account may be beneficial. :)

There doesn't seem to be an awful lot of choice when it comes to dac's. The main ones I've heard about are obviously the dacmagic, then then the rega dac and at the top end the naim dac. If you had £700 - £1000 to spend on a dac could you get a dac twice as good as the dacmagic. Wonder how that would compare to investing £500 in upgrades to the DM.

Cheers.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
See how it sounds first sounds like the best idea. The problem is, as always, its really hard to hear all the different kit especially when its a modified unit. I have upgraded my DAC magic and was very impressed with the results but this was just the stage one upgrade with the burson ops. From what I've read this offerers a good balance between cost and performance, only small differences can be heard when upgrading further.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Supposing the technician is skillful enough (good at tunning), the following modifications do bring results: replacement of OPAs (by top line OPAs) and resistors (metal film) and elimination of capacitors to short the signal path, including adoption of coupling caps with low ESR (for example by Wima, Solen, Jantzen's MKP type) of signal path and rework of power supply.

It someone believes those modifications don't work out, it means there's no reason to spend more on higher grade products, on other words, everything sounds the same.
 

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