DacMagic v. Marantz SA7001-KI - there can be only one!

T

the record spot

Guest
On a whim, I popped into town today and visited Hi Fi Corner, who had the Arcam rDAC - had a bit of a chat with the guy in there and thought about the possibilities afforded by it and the wireless version. While doing so, I nipped into a cafe ("A Taste of Italy" - just down from The Playhouse, worth a trip - good coffee!) and checked out Richer Sounds site thanks to the free Wi-Fi. They had the DacMagic of course and the Arcam unit for £70 less. I nipped up to Chambers Street and into RS. The DM appealed with its additional inputs and more comprehensive connectivity. The chap (Toni - good bloke!) took all my questions with patience and confirmed I could try out at home for up to 14 days to see how it fitted in with the rest of the gear. So, £270-odd later (5 yr guarantee and a £20 optical cable as well y'see) and it's hooked up to my telly and the Sansui. Toni reckoned it needs around 36 hours to get into its stride, so I'll leave it on for the next few days and let it tick over. Big benefit is if I don't like it (and I'll try it out with the CDP, Blu-Ray player and so on), then I can have a refund on the lot; the DAC, the 5yr guarantee and even the cable. I thought I'd bung this up here, more people will see it and while this is more going to be about the DAC, it does no harm to throw out a shout for Richer Sounds as well. You really can't ask for more in a retailer and the guy voiced my conerns to a tee - with some of this gear, you need to be able to hear it in your own set up and they recognise that. That flexibility counts for a lot for me and plenty of others too. Cheers Toni, nice one Richer Sounds Edinburgh and I hope John Clayton eyeballs this page as this was a great shopping experience. EDIT: I'll let you know how I get on with the DM in due course!
 
T

the record spot

Guest
Should add, Hi Fi Corner were fine, they also offered a no-risk home demo of the rDAC and the guy was well informed and helpful. Might've gone for it, but £400 for wireless compatibility lost out over the DacMagic's better connectivity and input options (2x Optical, 1x USB and Coaxial each, while outputs include balanced XLR as well as standard RCA - if I ever get that HK990, we'll be cooking on gas!) in the end.
 
T

the record spot

Guest
And The Guildford and Cafe Royal pubs are on the way between the two. Well, they can be...
 

unfocused

New member
Jun 21, 2009
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I'll be very interested in how you get on. I just bought a Cambridge Audio 650BD (Though I went to Newcastle to get one as Edinburgh didn't have any and stock are going fast I've been told) and was thinking of adding a DAC magic for CD duties and using the 650 as a transport.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Funnily enough I'm considering moving from the DM to the rDAC for the better connectivity - USB that is... There's a number of issues with optical out from a streamer that impacts the user experience (not referencing audio quality per se) so I want to try USB, but don't want to limit the music resolution to 16 bit.
 

Gusboll

Well-known member
Aug 22, 2008
58
1
18,540
the record spot:

So, £270-odd later (5 yr guarantee and a £20 optical cable as well y'see) and it's hooked up to my telly and the Sansui.
Personally I would be disinclined to spend £50 on a 5 year guarantee for a machine that costs £200.
 

Gerrardasnails

Well-known member
Sep 6, 2007
295
1
18,890
Gusboll:the record spot:

So, £270-odd later (5 yr guarantee and a £20 optical cable as well y'see) and it's hooked up to my telly and the Sansui.
Personally I would be disinclined to spend £50 on a 5 year guarantee for a machine that costs £200.

The DacMagic is either £220 or £230 + £20 for the optical cable = £20 or £30 for 5 years is pretty good.
 
T

the record spot

Guest
Gusboll:the record spot:

So, £270-odd later (5 yr guarantee and a £20 optical cable as well y'see) and it's hooked up to my telly and the Sansui.
Personally I would be disinclined to spend £50 on a 5 year guarantee for a machine that costs £200.

So would I, however, as the DM cost me £230 - I wanted the black model specifically (the silver is £199) - and 10% of that is £23, then my cost over the 5 year term is practically a nominal sum. Roughly 1.5p a day for 5 years.

Your other point, incidentally, around the cover provided by the Sale of Goods Act is a fair one, except there are additional benefits within the Richer Sounds policy, not least of which, though less likely of need for me in this case under normal circumstances, is the option to have the covered item serviced as often as you wish during the term. Not something the Sale of Goods Act provides for. I'm happy with my choice.
 
T

the record spot

Guest
Well, as I said, the DM provides good connectivity as well as high performance - there aren't any other DACs under £500 offering anything like the same, at least, not in the domestic audio market. Pro-audio, yep, there's a few (Roland Cakewalk, Native Instruments Kontrol 1) but they'd get poo-poohed by the 'cognoscenti'.

The other thing about the DM is I can have it sit vertically or horizontally and the it's a nice size too. So, build, sound quality (by all accounts), connectivity, functionality...£230 / £199.

Now, I'd like to try out the Stello DA100 DAC, which comes highly rated, but I'm not massively convinced. I might try out the Arcam rDAC if the DM doesn't do it for me in a fortnight - I can return and swap or have a refund - and that might have a tad more bass. It's early days though, so we'll see. But yes - it's a great deal, especially when you consider what some other retailers charge when it comes to extended warranties. Richer Sounds is miles ahead on that one.
 

chebby

Well-known member
Jun 2, 2008
1,245
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the record spot:Now, I'd like to try out the Stello DA100 DAC, which comes highly rated, but I'm not massively convinced.

If you are contemplating DACs at that sort of price level, then what about the £500 Rega DAC?

There have some very positive responses to it on the forum lately.
 
T

the record spot

Guest
The Rega is £500, a tad on the bulkier side (onboard power supply) though I've not really gone into the specs. I mention the Stello as I could maybe get one for less than £500.

Ultimately, I don't really need one for music and while I'll try out the DM with the Marantz, it's not going to be night and day. Not really. This is more for TV and the radio via Freeview off the Sony thanks to its onboard receiver. The Stello's nice, meant to be brilliant at full price, but, even at nearly £300 off, it's a luxury item I can't justify, while the DM has the benefits it delivers and that I "need" but for far less.

I suppose, I'd need to spend a LOT more to improve on where I am just now, or I go down a different route (actives) and that just means more change that I can do without. I like my sound as it is; it's pretty high quality and I'm not sure I want to go down the "change for change's sake" route. Last year's demo of the Leema and HK990 confirmed that even £1000+ amps aren't delivering anything fundamentally new that the Sansui doesn't already bring. A £230 DAC falls into the same hat really.
 

Tonestar1

Moderator
Nov 4, 2008
234
85
18,870
They used to do an extended warranty for a tenner. If you didn't use it within three years you took it back into the store and they refunded your tenner. Now that was a bargin! I never claimed back my money out of sheer laziness. I'm sure may others didn't either but the warranty itself was still brilliant value.
 
T

the record spot

Guest
Yip; same still applies. At the end of the 5 years, I can have a full refund if I don't call on the insurance. Or they offer a 45 day cooling off period. In financial services, you get 14 days cooling off. However you slice it, it's a pretty good deal.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
the record spot:Well, as I said, the DM provides good connectivity as well as high performance - there aren't any other DACs under £500 offering anything like the same, at least, not in the domestic audio market. Pro-audio, yep, there's a few (Roland Cakewalk, Native Instruments Kontrol 1) but they'd get poo-poohed by the 'cognoscenti'..Actually, pretty much all the DACs under £500 offer the same high performance. Having compared a lot of them side by side at home, you'd be hard pressed to spot the difference.

Which brings me to one of the nice things about living in Finland. You can still borrow the equipment and return it days later with no money having changed hands. Richer Sounds might be generous in British terms, but they'd quickly go out of business here .
 
T

the record spot

Guest
They used to do something like that here, but some unscrupulous chancers just never brought the stuff back...! Actually, joking aside, some places will - I borrowed an amp from one dealer (no names, no pack drill) who hadn't taken my address but still let me walk out the door with an amp worth £900. I took it back a couple of days later, but it was quite impressive having that level of trust shown.
 

Helmut80

New member
Jan 8, 2011
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0
Grottyash:
the record spot:Well, as I said, the DM provides good connectivity as well as high performance - there aren't any other DACs under £500 offering anything like the same, at least, not in the domestic audio market. Pro-audio, yep, there's a few (Roland Cakewalk, Native Instruments Kontrol 1) but they'd get poo-poohed by the 'cognoscenti'..Actually, pretty much all the DACs under £500 offer the same high performance. Having compared a lot of them side by side at home, you'd be hard pressed to spot the difference.

Which brings me to one of the nice things about living in Finland. You can still borrow the equipment and return it days later with no money having changed hands. Richer Sounds might be generous in British terms, but they'd quickly go out of business here .

in other words, if you near the £500 mark, you are just paying for looks and built quality of the Rega and MF M1?
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Grottyash:
the record spot:Well, as I said, the DM provides good connectivity as well as high performance - there aren't any other DACs under £500 offering anything like the same, at least, not in the domestic audio market. Pro-audio, yep, there's a few (Roland Cakewalk, Native Instruments Kontrol 1) but they'd get poo-poohed by the 'cognoscenti'..Actually, pretty much all the DACs under £500 offer the same high performance. Having compared a lot of them side by side at home, you'd be hard pressed to spot the difference.

Which brings me to one of the nice things about living in Finland. You can still borrow the equipment and return it days later with no money having changed hands. Richer Sounds might be generous in British terms, but they'd quickly go out of business here .

what does the Dacmagic offer that the Beresford Caiman doesn't, and it's a fair bit cheaper?
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
brittondave:Grottyash:
the record spot:Well, as I said, the DM provides good connectivity as well as high performance - there aren't any other DACs under £500 offering anything like the same, at least, not in the domestic audio market. Pro-audio, yep, there's a few (Roland Cakewalk, Native Instruments Kontrol 1) but they'd get poo-poohed by the 'cognoscenti'..Actually, pretty much all the DACs under £500 offer the same high performance. Having compared a lot of them side by side at home, you'd be hard pressed to spot the difference.

Which brings me to one of the nice things about living in Finland. You can still borrow the equipment and return it days later with no money having changed hands. Richer Sounds might be generous in British terms, but they'd quickly go out of business here .

what does the Dacmagic offer that the Beresford Caiman doesn't, and it's a fair bit cheaper?

Ahhhhh its a different combination of inputs, The Beresford has 2 coaxial, 1 optical and 1 USB. oh it does have balanced and unbalanced outs just not Just in RCA form not XLR
 

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