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

Page 2 - Seeking answers? Join the What HiFi community: the world's leading independent guide to buying and owning hi-fi and home entertainment products.
T

the record spot

Guest
plastic penguin:RS - I know you've only had the DM a day or so, but how does it compare to a CDP?

Just playing The Yes Album which I know really well (Mobile Fidelity version, but not massively different or better than the original CD). I have the volume down a bit as the kids are around, but have connected the Marantz hooked up via optical to the DM, thereafter using RCA cables to the amp. Initial impressions are "not massively different", but I'll have a better chance to compare later when I have the house to myself for an hour or two.

I'm not expecting major changes to be fair - the SA7001KI's got a great sound, though for £650 so it should. I will have a bit of a listen on Freeview and compare the TV sound with and without the DM again.
 

manicm

Well-known member
May 1, 2008
1,362
391
19,570
the record spot:plastic penguin:RS - I know you've only had the DM a day or so, but how does it compare to a CDP?

Just playing The Yes Album which I know really well (Mobile Fidelity version, but not massively different or better than the original CD). I have the volume down a bit as the kids are around, but have connected the Marantz hooked up via optical to the DM, thereafter using RCA cables to the amp. Initial impressions are "not massively different", but I'll have a better chance to compare later when I have the house to myself for an hour or two.
I'm not expecting major changes to be fair - the SA7001KI's got a great sound, though for £650 so it should. I will have a bit of a listen on Freeview and compare the TV sound with and without the DM again.

How do you find the DM through the laptop?
 

chebby

Well-known member
Jun 2, 2008
1,245
11
19,195
Grottyash: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.

Same here too. (At least with my local Audio-T).
 
T

the record spot

Guest
manicm:

How do you find the DM through the laptop?

Fine - although the downside is it means lugging the thing across everytime I want to use it as the laptop sits, not surprisingly on my knee and the usual position for the DM would be behind the TV!

I use iTunes in the main and the sound was pretty consistently good. Whether, for those of you already holding an Airport Express, the additional spend is justified, then that'll be down to your individual requirements. If you need additional inputs for instance, then the DM's a good option. If not, i.e., you only need a single or second source and use an Apple product you can connect via ethernet or USB, then the AE isn't as shabby as the price might lead you to believe.
 

mitch65

Well-known member
Dec 16, 2003
52
0
18,540
Helmut80: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?

Having tried the MF-M1, the Dacmagic and now the Rega dac I know that -

a. they all sound different

b. you are not paying just for looks but for the extra performance they deliver

c. the Rega is, by far, a better dac than the DacMagic. If someone has heard these two side by side and cannot here a difference then they have a serious problem with their hearing.

d. the Rega is better, but not by far, than the MF-M1
 
T

the record spot

Guest
How does the Rega differ from the DM? How, in terms of the sound you hear, did the two differ from the other?
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
I got both at the moment - (without doing A/B testing) Rega seems to dig up a bit more detail.

Rega is still burning in though, let's see if the sound changes any.
 
T

the record spot

Guest
Is that "bit" a significant "bit" or are we talking the kind of difference I'm finding 30 hours in with the DM not quite as good as the Marantz CDP? In other words, it's very good, but not quite as good as the presentation of the music that the SA7001-KI. Still early days though.
 

Gerrardasnails

Well-known member
Sep 6, 2007
295
1
18,890
the record spot:Is that "bit" a significant "bit" or are we talking the kind of difference I'm finding 30 hours in with the DM not quite as good as the Marantz CDP? In other words, it's very good, but not quite as good as the presentation of the music that the SA7001-KI. Still early days though.

RS, how do you have the Dacmagic set up? Lossless files or through the Marantz?
 

unfocused

New member
Jun 21, 2009
24
0
0
The Rega is just over double the price of the DAC Magic - I would hope there would be an improvement!
 
T

the record spot

Guest
Gerrardasnails:

RS, how do you have the Dacmagic set up? Lossless files or through the Marantz?

Currently, it's all via the TV - the Sony BR player goes into the TV via HDMI, then Optical to the DM and using standard phono plugs to the Sansui. I tried the DM with the Marantz earlier, using the Optical and switching between it and the RCA so I could compare directly. Not much in it, but the CDP's DAC was the more lifelike of the two, but really, it was pretty close. I'll use the laptop from time to time, but I do most of my listening with the Marantz to be fair. I'll compare them again in a day or two though, but it's mainly for the TV/BR player in the first instance.
 

Gerrardasnails

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

RS, how do you have the Dacmagic set up? Lossless files or through the Marantz?

Currently, it's all via the TV - the Sony BR player goes into the TV via HDMI, then Optical to the DM and using standard phono plugs to the Sansui. I tried the DM with the Marantz earlier, using the Optical and switching between it and the RCA so I could compare directly. Not much in it, but the CDP's DAC was the more lifelike of the two, but really, it was pretty close. I'll use the laptop from time to time, but I do most of my listening with the Marantz to be fair. I'll compare them again in a day or two though, but it's mainly for the TV/BR player in the first instance.

Ok, these results don't surprise me but I'd expect laptop to DM will better your very good cdp.
 

Gerrardasnails

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

RS, how do you have the Dacmagic set up? Lossless files or through the Marantz?

Currently, it's all via the TV - the Sony BR player goes into the TV via HDMI, then Optical to the DM and using standard phono plugs to the Sansui. I tried the DM with the Marantz earlier, using the Optical and switching between it and the RCA so I could compare directly. Not much in it, but the CDP's DAC was the more lifelike of the two, but really, it was pretty close. I'll use the laptop from time to time, but I do most of my listening with the Marantz to be fair. I'll compare them again in a day or two though, but it's mainly for the TV/BR player in the first instance.

Ok, these results don't surprise me but I'd expect laptop to DM will better your very good cdp.
 
T

the record spot

Guest
Oddly enough, I'm not sure it does! I tried that out as well - busy day yesterday - and it's good, but not better. The only thing that changed was the source transport, everything else stayed the same. The original CD files were varied on the laptop; some went to WAV, others 192kbps, but all else was the same. Good, but not spectacularly different. I'll compare again when I have a chance.
 

unfocused

New member
Jun 21, 2009
24
0
0
I have read that it takes a week or so for the DAC magic to burn in (I know that not all people believe that electronic equipment need burn in time) but having looked at a few reviews and online comments quite a few people have mentioned this.
 
T

the record spot

Guest
unfocused:I have read that it takes a week or so for the DAC magic to burn in (I know that not all people believe that electronic equipment need burn in time) but having looked at a few reviews and online comments quite a few people have mentioned this.

That's definitely happening. I'm probably more one of those who think that "give it an hour" kind of thing, but when the Sansui came back last summer from amp hospital with new capacitors, the sound had hardened on first listen. Had to leave it for a couple of days and the bottom end finally reappeared.

I want this DAC to have a fair crack of the whip, so will let it run for a few days. The sound is definitely not as weighty as I'm used to and that's what gives an added dynamic heft and realism - it suits my ears anyway. Here's hoping.
 

Mr Morph

New member
Aug 16, 2010
1
0
0
Hi RS, been following this thread with interest.

In my opinion most hi-fi needs a minimum of 100 hours burn in time, would be very unfair to compare the two without giving it a chance. After that time, maybe you could answer the following question for me? I would like to know how the two compare as far as the deepness of the soundstage goes (far field). As this would be interesting given the revealing nature of your 'dual mono' amp.

Cheers, Morph.
 
T

the record spot

Guest
Well, it varies from piece to piece I think, but while I can give it "so" long, it'll be governed by the 14 day limit I have from Richer Sounds. Thereafter, if there's no substantive improvement on where I am now, it'll go back. Happy to give it a good whirl though as I said before, but listening again last night showed the Marantz to be clearly, albeit slight, but nevertheless ahead on soundstage and depth. This is with the DM on around 50 hours "on" time.
 

Sabby

New member
Jul 22, 2009
36
0
0
the record spot:Well, it varies from piece to piece I think, but while I can give it "so" long, it'll be governed by the 14 day limit I have from Richer Sounds. Thereafter, if there's no substantive improvement on where I am now, it'll go back. Happy to give it a good whirl though as I said before, but listening again last night showed the Marantz to be clearly, albeit slight, but nevertheless ahead on soundstage and depth. This is with the DM on around 50 hours "on" time.

You seem to be contradicting yourself. On the one hand you say there is a clear difference and on the other hand you say there is only a slight difference. Which is it?
 

Gerrardasnails

Well-known member
Sep 6, 2007
295
1
18,890
Sabby:
the record spot:Well, it varies from piece to piece I think, but while I can give it "so" long, it'll be governed by the 14 day limit I have from Richer Sounds. Thereafter, if there's no substantive improvement on where I am now, it'll go back. Happy to give it a good whirl though as I said before, but listening again last night showed the Marantz to be clearly, albeit slight, but nevertheless ahead on soundstage and depth. This is with the DM on around 50 hours "on" time.

You seem to be contradicting yourself. On the one hand you say there is a clear difference and on the other hand you say there is only a slight difference. Which is it?

Clearly a slight difference. Just like, clearly just offside.
 

Gerrardasnails

Well-known member
Sep 6, 2007
295
1
18,890
the record spot:Well, it varies from piece to piece I think, but while I can give it "so" long, it'll be governed by the 14 day limit I have from Richer Sounds. Thereafter, if there's no substantive improvement on where I am now, it'll go back. Happy to give it a good whirl though as I said before, but listening again last night showed the Marantz to be clearly, albeit slight, but nevertheless ahead on soundstage and depth. This is with the DM on around 50 hours "on" time.

I can't see it changing anymore personally. I am surprised though that lossless files fed from your computer to the DacMagic loses out to your cd player.
 
T

the record spot

Guest
Ah, well, that was after a few hours and not exactly serious listening. I've been listening again tonight, but not directly comparing, if you get my drift. If I get the chance, I'll put some thoughts up before the end of the week. Off to Wales on Friday though, so not much time, family stuff and all, to squeeze it all in.
 

Gerrardasnails

Well-known member
Sep 6, 2007
295
1
18,890
the record spot:Ah, well, that was after a few hours and not exactly serious listening. I've been listening again tonight, but not directly comparing, if you get my drift. If I get the chance, I'll put some thoughts up before the end of the week. Off to Wales on Friday though, so not much time, family stuff and all, to squeeze it all in.

Enjoy your weekend, I'll look forward to hearing your final thoughts - although I'm looking at upgrading my DM, I do think it's a giant killer for it's price.
 

Mr Morph

New member
Aug 16, 2010
1
0
0
the record spot:Well, it varies from piece to piece I think, but while I can give it "so" long, it'll be governed by the 14 day limit I have from Richer Sounds. Thereafter, if there's no substantive improvement on where I am now, it'll go back. Happy to give it a good whirl though as I said before, but listening again last night showed the Marantz to be clearly, albeit slight, but nevertheless ahead on soundstage and depth. This is with the DM on around 50 hours "on" time.

Cheers RS, in your final summation it would be interesting to see if there's any significant improvement in the depth over the remaining time you have it.
 
T

the record spot

Guest
I did try out the DM & the S370 together, but not a good combination in my setup. Made for a very harsh, lightweight and brash sound that didn't improve on the 370 on its own. In fact, it probably made it the worse for wear, which surprised me.
 

ASK THE COMMUNITY

TRENDING THREADS