Find the weak link in my system-Mezzo 6, Cayin a-55t and Dacmagic.

shafesk

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Sep 18, 2010
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Good morning,

Well as the title says, help me find the weakest link in my system. I have about a 1000 pounds to spare, was thinking whether I should upgrade from my DacMagic to something a bit more special. The system that I'm reffering to is the Mezzo 6's connecte to a Cayin a 55-t via a dacmagic....the technics and the marantz go rather well and I don't need another tt. My primary listening is done via my macbook connected to the dacmagic. I'm quite pleased with the tonality of my system to be honest and would like to keep it in the same direction.
 

CnoEvil

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Aug 21, 2009
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Good morning and Happy Easter.

IMO Improvements could be made at either end, which ultimately should probably be your long term goal. For now, if you are happy with the Mezzo 6s, I would change the Dac.

If you like the clarity of the Dacmagic but want something more musical, you should look to the Audiolab M-Dac or possibly the MF M1-Dac/M1-Clic (a little outside budget).

Later on, I think you should look to speakers like Audio Note AZ-2, Kef R series and PMC Twenty series....but that's for another day.

Cno
 

plastic penguin

Well-known member
shafesk said:
Good morning,

Well as the title says, help me find the weakest link in my system. I have about a 1000 pounds to spare, was thinking whether I should upgrade from my DacMagic to something a bit more special. The system that I'm reffering to is the Mezzo 6's connecte to a Cayin a 55-t via a dacmagic....the technics and the marantz go rather well and I don't need another tt. My primary listening is done via my macbook connected to the dacmagic. I'm quite pleased with the tonality of my system to be honest and would like to keep it in the same direction.
Backup Cno's comments: When I had the DacMagic for a short period it made my system sound too sterile for my liking. My you, I have this built-in allergy towards budget Cambridge stuff....
 

shafesk

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Sep 18, 2010
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Thanks CnoEvil and plasticpenguin and Happy Easter to you both. I'm quite happy with my Mezzos and I finally have an amp that can match their quality. Also I don't think the amps having any trouble driving the Mezzos so I think I should change the dac as well. I think if I'm able to spend the whole grand on the dac I should just do it so I can satisfy my upgraditis, so would be glad if you can make some recommendations at that price point as much as I am tempted by the Audiolab and the M1.

To be honest plasticpenguin, I've always admired CA gear, especially at their price point there are not many alternatives. Granted, their sounds are considered as bright by some people but I think that its just a matter of system matching. They also have superb build quality, but everyone has different ears, I for instance am not a fan of marantz amplifiers.
 

Rethep

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May 2, 2011
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I think the Cambridge DAC (sterile ?) and the Cayin (sweet) compensate each other. And as you are quite satisfied with your system, what kind of better sound do you want ? What are you really missing ?
 

shafesk

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Sep 18, 2010
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Rethep said:
I think the Cambridge DAC (sterile ?) and the Cayin (sweet) compensate each other. And as you are quite satisfied with your system, what kind of better sound do you want ? What are you really missing ?
I think I have a good sound balance. I would like something which sounds a bit analogue. Having heard musical fidelity stuff, I think a dac from them should be the ticket. Right now my system sounds soft with some songs, I'm just looking for some bite to it. A little extra detail wouldn't go a miss either. Have budgeted 500 pounds for the dac and 1000 pounds for the speakers. Have emailed audionote regarding the speakers but still not set on a dac.
 

Rethep

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May 2, 2011
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I think the Cayin is resposible for a significant part of the "softness". I really needed some time to like it's total sound.

As i can see from another post on the forum, you have your new amp for 3 months only. Maybe you should give it a little more time instead of hastily buying new "stuff". I had some doubts too in the beginning (1,5 year ago bought my Cayin), but started to like my sytem more and more. Yes the sound is a little bit soft, but everything is there in beautiful "colours", and no listening-fatigue.

I have a post on the forum about my "starting" doubts ("Advice on new set"). Could be an interesting read for you.

Good luck and enjoy what you have!
 

shafesk

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Sep 18, 2010
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Rethep said:
I think the Cayin is resposible for a significant part of the "softness". I really needed some time to like it's total sound.

As i can see from another post on the forum, you have your new amp for 3 months only. Maybe you should give it a little more time instead of hastily buying new "stuff". I had some doubts too in the beginning (1,5 year ago bought my Cayin), but started to like my sytem more and more. Yes the sound is a little bit soft, but everything is there in beautiful "colours", and no listening-fatigue.

I have a post on the forum about my "starting" doubts ("Advice on new set"). Could be an interesting read for you.

Good luck and enjoy what you have!
Thank you for your comments, its certainly nice to hear from someone who owns a Cayin as its a particularly different amp (relatively high powered tube amp) so I don't think everyone gets what I'm trying to say. Well its not that I don't like the Cayin's sound signature, quite the opposite infact. My Cayin and my Technics sound great together even through my existing speakers. The amp also seems to have gotten more powerful lately perhaps the tubes have broken in. I think my main problem is the source A.K.A my DacMagic. Therefore I'm trying to achieve the sonic talents of my Cayin and Technics setup. It has warmth and bite at the same time. Listening to "Money" by Pink Floyd, just the coins give me goosebumps. I like the fact that the tt and amp combo has bite when required and warmth when it is not.
 

matthewpiano

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Nov 23, 2007
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I don't know your amp but the DacMagic certainly looks like the weak link having had a look at the Cayin information on the internet. I wonder whether something like the Musical Fidelity M1 DAC or the Audiolab M-DAC might be worth auditioning in your system to see if they improve matters.

In terms of the speakers, the Mezzo 6s are excellent although I feel the whole Mezzo range needs careful matching to avoid it sounding slightly clinical.
 

shafesk

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Sep 18, 2010
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matthewpiano said:
I don't know your amp but the DacMagic certainly looks like the weak link having had a look at the Cayin information on the internet. I wonder whether something like the Musical Fidelity M1 DAC or the Audiolab M-DAC might be worth auditioning in your system to see if they improve matters.

In terms of the speakers, the Mezzo 6s are excellent although I feel the whole Mezzo range needs careful matching to avoid it sounding slightly clinical.
Thanks for the recommendation Matthew, it looks like the M1 or the M Dac are something I need to check out since you and most other forum members have been recommending it. I'll give my Mezzos some time and see how they react to the new dac before replacing them....although Audionote speakers seem to be more suited to my amp, but who knows that may well be a downgrade in my setup. The Mezzos are great speakers for the money, maybe I should give them some time with partnering equipment near their price point.
 

Rethep

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May 2, 2011
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I dare to doubt that the DacMagic is a real problem. From many sources i read that it has bite and kind of 'digitally" direct in sound. This is compensated by the Cayin's soft character. I think a more "sophisticated" DAC could easily be to soft for the sound. On much of my music, i have (almost) nothing to wish more for. And some music sounds just badly. Of course you can try another DAC (Rega or Arcam), which sound "softer", as they say.

Furthermore, maybe are your speakers not especially an ideal match, but i do not now them. For mine it is the same. But the Cayin brings the qualities up in them, better then any ss-amp did. The Audio Notes could be better match but have their own character as i have heard (never really heard them), and they are expensive!

You could also think of your acoustics, or the position of your speakers. That could change a lot (for the better) too.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
I am guessing that you are just want to adventure in effect world of SQ presentation? i suggest you would upgrade mains cable power, or the conditioner, for the cable i would recommend, old US brand 2nd hand market if you tend to agree in sacrificing sound stage n more imaging 3d, for conditioner, i cannot say only tried chang a moment before it short circuited, n tacima.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
if you often bored, by atmosphere, maybe you should push to increase the system's dynamic, maybe good amp's internal organ in particular, or speaker's, i don't have most bang for the buck advice
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Have you heard a good sub, your 500 budget would be recommended to a rel t1, if you got the time demo them, no need for pre amp out, go tweak a rca to a socket split for worse case scenario. it only hum, more in our system class. play music, its gone,

i have had a 10000 USD system, but must sell
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Save money on cables, mains and conditioning. Just save your money and stick it in the bank. Enjoy the music instead. :)
 

CnoEvil

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Aug 21, 2009
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shafesk said:
. I'll give my Mezzos some time and see how they react to the new dac before replacing them....although Audionote speakers seem to be more suited to my amp, but who knows that may well be a downgrade in my setup.
IMO The Audio Note speakers sound more musical and would be an upgrade (which model are you considering, and have you managed to make contact?) .......but that's personal preference.
 

shafesk

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Sep 18, 2010
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CnoEvil said:
shafesk said:
. I'll give my Mezzos some time and see how they react to the new dac before replacing them....although Audionote speakers seem to be more suited to my amp, but who knows that may well be a downgrade in my setup.
IMO The Audio Note speakers sound more musical and would be an upgrade (which model are you considering, and have you managed to make contact?) .......but that's personal preference.
Hey Cno, I'm looking at the AZ-2, as I think this is the highest end floorstander they make? I really don't want to go to bookshelves again as I feel they don't have the bass oomph or even if they do they sound boomy and need careful tweaking. I'm still waiting to hear from them.
 

CnoEvil

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shafesk said:
Hey Cno, I'm looking at the AZ-2, as I think this is the highest end floorstander they make? I really don't want to go to bookshelves again as I feel they don't have the bass oomph or even if they do they sound boomy and need careful tweaking. I'm still waiting to hear from them.
Yes it's the best floorstander they make but...........you most definately shouldn't rule out the AN-K , AN-J and AN-E (if in budget).

They are designed to work in the corners and close to the wall, so the room, in effect, becomes part of the speaker (not in a boomy way)......they sound like a large floorstander, which belies their fairly modest stature (some are much bigger than a bookshelf).

I heard this system, which was one of the best sounds I've heard (Room 057 Audio Note): http://www.adventuresinhifiaudio.com/19/11/2010/northern-ireland-audio-show-part-three/

Have you emailed Martin directly?.....If you don't get an answer, let me know and I'll give him a ring on your behalf (if he still has the same number).
 
A

Anonymous

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Do you still use the original KT-88 tubes for your Cayin?
 

shafesk

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Sep 18, 2010
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CnoEvil said:
Sorry for the late reply my friend, busy busy week at work! A very well written article, was it you who wrote this? I emailed Martin over the weekend so I think he will reply me soon. Thank you for offering to call, I will let you know if I don't hear from him.
 

shafesk

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Sep 18, 2010
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So Martin got back to me and had this to say: With your amplifier and your size of room, I would suggest a pair of AN-E/LX. They are are largest cabinet model, and assuming you can position them in the corners of your room as they should be used, they should work extremely well.However, their retail price is a little higher than your budget. As we do not have a Distributor in Bangladesh, we could supply you directly and with an export customer discount, but this would still make a pair of these loudspeakers around £2500.00.while it is kind of him to give me the discount its still more than double than I was willing to spend in a year. Not to mention I have other priorities like getting an RP3, a better amp for my akgs and getting a hifiman he6. So my hypothetical upgrade seems more like a pipe dream now... :wall:
 

CnoEvil

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I'm glad that you managed to make contact. Martin is very straight and won't try and sell you something that isn't suitable (at least that's my experience).

It's very difficult to buy without hearing them first, especially at that price. All I can say is that when I heard a pair, I couldn't believe that such an amazing sound was coming from such inauspicious looking speakers.

Anyway, it's one to keep on the back burner.
 

Rethep

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May 2, 2011
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@CnoEvil: How about the ambiance/space these Audio Notes give you ? I heard they are not really good at this but in all other things, yes. Also i cannot imagine them not booming, placed in the corners of a room. Anyway the price is very generous.

@Shafesk: You could consider the cheaper AN-J.

My Epos (not known for matching with valves, suits me very well (for 21 years)! An Epic-2 or 5 could be your thing, or maybe the new Kef R-series.
 

shafesk

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Sep 18, 2010
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Ocean37 said:
Do you still use the original KT-88 tubes for your Cayin?
Yes I do, I don't think changing tubes is going to make an impact as big as changing speakers though....besides if I get really good ones they will cost me atleast half the money of the speakers
 

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