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How good is the DAC in the Cambridge Audio CXN V2?

n4d5

Well-known member
Sep 7, 2008
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Hi,

How good is the DAC in the Cambridge Audio CXN V2 Streamer? compared to DAC at that price point?

I'm thinking of running my DAB radio and CD player through a DAC as they have optical and coaxial outputs.

Thanks

N
 

Gray

Well-known member
Nov 27, 2015
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How good is the DAC in the Cambridge Audio CXN V2 Streamer?
It's got a DAC per channel and uses upsampling - which CA say improves the sound.
However, there's one CXN owner on this forum who suspects the upsampling has a negative effect (and said he wished he could turn it off).

The real value of a CXN to you would surely be as much about its streaming abilities?, since you could buy a decent standalone DAC for considerably less money (not least their own new Dacmagic 200....which, at £449 is more than enough to pay for a DAC).
 

rainsoothe

Well-known member
Apr 30, 2012
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Indeed. The CXN is great, imo, but don't get it JUST for the DAC capabilities. Of course, most radio stations also do internet streaming nowadays, so you could just use the internet radio on the CXN. But still a waste if you're not gonna use streaming (either online or from locally stored files). Just imo.
 
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insider9

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Sep 20, 2016
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To add counter balance to this thread. I'm yet to hear a Wolfson DAC that I like. All personal taste of course and I've not heard the unit in question but other Wolfson "powered" devices.

So question is not really how good is it, but will OP like it. Which is impossible to tell.
 

millennia_one

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Sep 1, 2014
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To add counter balance to this thread. I'm yet to hear a Wolfson DAC that I like. All personal taste of course and I've not heard the unit in question but other Wolfson "powered" devices.

So question is not really how good is it, but will OP like it. Which is impossible to tell.
The question i have is how you've heard just the chip? aren't you listening to the output stage of any given device? so how can you possibly know that it's just down to the chip? The waveform passes through a lot of things in a DAC unit before its spat out the RCA's. It doesn't go from just the chip to the RCA's.

In all honesty, it really matters not a jot what chip is in there it's about how it implemented. That same Chip is in a great number of products and many would sound absolute poo to us. There are more important things in a DAC than just the Dac chip.

Naim DAC v1, for instance, has what's on paper, not a very good chip but it's one of the best DAC's I've heard.
There just a lot more to it.
 

insider9

Well-known member
Sep 20, 2016
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The question i have is how you've heard just the chip? aren't you listening to the output stage of any given device? so how can you possibly know that it's just down to the chip? The waveform passes through a lot of things in a DAC unit before its spat out the RCA's. It doesn't go from just the chip to the RCA's.

In all honesty, it really matters not a jot what chip is in there it's about how it implemented. That same Chip is in a great number of products and many would sound absolute poo to us. There are more important things in a DAC than just the Dac chip.

Naim DAC v1, for instance, has what's on paper, not a very good chip but it's one of the best DAC's I've heard.
There just a lot more to it.
I haven't listened to just the chip. And I appreciate that implementation matters a lot. I have my experiences and I know what I like and what I don't and what sounds natural to me and what doesn't. I beg to differ that DAC chips don't matter but not really looking to change your opinion on the subject.

Also, if most people opinion is that Naim DAC v1 doesn't have a good chip then I don't know how people come to these conclusions. I use my ears to determine what sounds good. PCM based DACs (that included Naim) as a general rule sound better than most.
 

millennia_one

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Sep 1, 2014
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All well good and thats fine, i'm just trying to understand how you can tell a chip from another, I certainly can't in a blind test.

Its like trying to say that a picture was taken with a nikon full frame camera @2.8 with nikkor 50mm on April 25th 2018. It's borderline impossible.

Dac chips don't really matter and they do. They matter in how well they can do the job and they all do the job really well these days. Do they carry a sound signature of the own outside of the main unit? I hope not if they do then they're adding to the signal and they certainly shouldn't be doing that. House sound/differences will be coming from their implementation ie the circuitry around them. If you're talking ladder DAC's then yeah i get where you're coming from, they do have a flavour of their own. Tubes of the DAC world.

I was paraphrasing Naim's own words in an interview with their lead designer in 2013 when it was first released. Google Dac v1 review/interviews and you'll find it.

Ill leave it there. As its outside the remit of this discussion.
 
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Markmaguire

Well-known member
Mar 8, 2012
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I have a CXN V2 running into an Audiolab 6000A amp. I prefer the DAC in the CXN to that in the Audiolab, so use the CXN in preamp mode and 6000A in power amp mode. To be honest there was not too much difference, but with my setup it just sounded a little clearer.
 

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