I need a DAC

ISAC69

New member
Mar 13, 2012
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Hi

Afetr upgrading almost all my components I need to complete ny system a DAC :

(amp. ROKASANKANDY K2 / speakers MISSION MX5 / CHORD CARNIVAL SILVERSCERRN cabels + DYNAVOX HI END terminations )

I narrow my choices to :

CAMBRIDGE AUDIO MACMAGIC ( not the PLUS new version)

MUSICAL FIDELITY V DAC 2

NUFORCE ICON HDP

What do you think is the best ?

:help:
 

Blackdawn

Well-known member
May 7, 2010
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I'd be interested in your thoughts if you audition the Dac magic 100. This unit has a more modern DAC inside than the plus version or the original but not the upsampling.
 

shafesk

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Sep 18, 2010
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Well I would advise you that since you already have a good setup with a revealing amp, I think you should look at the next price point up i.e the new dac magic or something around the 3-400 mark. Here are my thoughts on the dac magic:

Smooth, on some occasions a bit bright. If you are planning on using the usb connection only you'd be better off with a music streamer 2+ as I found the usb connection lacking compared to optical and coaxial. Detail levels are good, I would rate the soundstage as average though. Was a great dac for the money before, now there's so much to choose from though. Have you considered the Arcam rdac?

My thoughts on musical fidelity products is that they are neutral edging on bright (although some might disagree and I've only owned a few of them) Having said that the v-dac 2 looks considerably improved.

Good luck,

Shafin
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
I think you should try out a Rega DAC if you can loan one to try in your system.
 

ISAC69

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Mar 13, 2012
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CA DAC reviews were better than the PLUS version especially in the bass section and it cost less .
 

ISAC69

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Mar 13, 2012
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Is there any point to buy a DAC once most of my digital media is compressed ( MPS fromat mostly ) ?

some told me that I will have good result from a DAC only for uncopressed music files -Is it correct ?
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Most of mine is compressed too at the moment and I had a definite benefit from using a DAC. A lot of my music is 128kbps but it still sounds decent. The biggest difference in quality is a step up from 128kbps to 256kbps and then there is a very worthwhile improvement again (in a decent system) of listening to uncompressed versions if you can.

What compression are they? 128kbps, 256kbps, 320kbps?

I would always recommend bitrates of at least 256kbs and with that you will get good quality sound in the right setup. If ripping CDs I would always rip them in uncompressed format (Apple lossless/ALAC, FLAC) if you can afford extra storage space which is relatively cheap. You can always compress the files for transferring to your phone or iPod etc. then but play the uncompressed files on your main system.
 

ISAC69

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Mar 13, 2012
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SteveD said:
Most of mine is compressed too at the moment and I had a definite benefit from using a DAC. A lot of my music is 128kbps but it still sounds decent. The biggest difference in quality is a step up from 128kbps to 256kbps and then there is a very worthwhile improvement again (in a decent system) of listening to uncompressed versions if you can.

What compression are they? 128kbps, 256kbps, 320kbps?

I would always recommend bitrates of at least 256kbs and with that you will get good quality sound in the right setup. If ripping CDs I would always rip them in uncompressed format (Apple lossless/ALAC, FLAC) if you can afford extra storage space which is relatively cheap. You can always compress the files for transferring to your phone or iPod etc. then but play the uncompressed files on your main system.
Hi !

Most of my files are MP3 192-320 kpbs , Ading a DAC will make a significant improvement ?
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
In my view, absolutely, with your system. However, arrange a listening session with your audio dealer and take your laptop in or much better still see if you can loan some DACs from them over a period of time (say a week for each) and plug one into your setup at home. You can decide yourself then. Happy hunting.
 

ISAC69

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Mar 13, 2012
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Thanks Steve !

I will take from my dealer for the whole weekened the musical fidelity vdac 2 and I will check it .
 

ifor

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Dec 3, 2002
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Having had the Rega DAC and Arcam rDAC on loan for a couple of days, from Sevenoaks in Swindon, I was amazed by how much better than the Rega the cheaper Arcam sounded in my setup, connected by toslink. I think it essential that you listen with your kit.
 

ISAC69

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Mar 13, 2012
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ifor said:
Having had the Rega DAC and Arcam rDAC on loan for a couple of days, from Sevenoaks in Swindon, I was amazed by how much better than the Rega the cheaper Arcam sounded in my setup, connected by toslink. I think it essential that you listen with your kit.
Do you think that Arcam rDAC is much better than the Musical Fidelity V dac 2 ?
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Good stuff, if you buy a DAC in the end and start to use your computer for audio more it is worth ripping your CDs in a lossless format such as Apple Lossless/ALAC or FLAC if you have enough storage capacity. As I said earlier though, it's not essential and lower resolution files can still sound pretty good. It is also worth downloading the free trial of JRiver Music Centre which I have now found to be better than iTunes and enables the sound to travel from the file to the DAC without interference from the computer's internal soundcard/processing.

Out of interest, how did you connect the Rega DAC between computer and amp?
 

ifor

Well-known member
Dec 3, 2002
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ISAC69 said:
ifor said:
Having had the Rega DAC and Arcam rDAC on loan for a couple of days, from Sevenoaks in Swindon, I was amazed by how much better than the Rega the cheaper Arcam sounded in my setup, connected by toslink. I think it essential that you listen with your kit.
Do you think that Arcam rDAC is much better than the Musical Fidelity V dac 2 ?
I can't answer that because I haven't listened to the MF V DAC 2. I also I'm not saying the Arcam rDac is better, though I suspect it is, than the Rega DAC; I'm just saying it's better, by a long way, in my setup.
 

kungula

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Nov 18, 2007
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USB is the best connection for the Arcam rDC. It sounds better than via the coax cable. Check it out !
 

ISAC69

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Mar 13, 2012
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Hi

My dearest dealer gave me the MUSICAL FIDELITY V DAC 2 and the CAMBRIDGE AUDIO DACMAGIC for the whole weekend

for Testing them in my home. for now I can say that MF defeats the CA .

the CA looks impressive has more functions and input options the MF is compact and very basic but its sound is worm and detailed- creats a solid 3D sound stage , the bass is punchy and the treblel is balanced :dance: . In contrast the CA has a weak bass the treble is to high , the sound is somehow dull and cold :wall:
 

ISAC69

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Mar 13, 2012
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Finally I bought the MUSICAL FIDELITY V DAC 2 , I was very dispointed with the CAMBRIDGE AUDIO DACMAGIC looks very impressive . many digital inputs + digitla outputs 3 different analog cycle options but the sound quality was relatively poor :

the bass is not deep , the treble too bright in contrast the VDAC2 looks very basic and modest only 2 digital inputs and USB ,

no on/off button but the sound stage is good the sound is worm and detailed , solid bass and treble .
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
I've had my MF M1 DAC land with me today after demoing quite a few and have to say I've been impressed with the MD DAC's full stop.

Listened to the VDAC MkII about a month or so back against an Arcam rDAC to go with my iMAC in the office but felt that although both were superb; both a waste of £££ in an office system so stumped up for some Audioengine A2's

Recently demo'd them both again as well as a Rega DAC, Cambridge Audio Dac Magic, Emotiva XDA1 DAC and the M1 DAC and the M1 DAC won hands down.

Rega - Nice but too neutral I felt

Cambridge - Too bright/dry and bass lacked

Emotiva - Great sounding but was a little off at times (a bit too forward)
 

Leehallam

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Aug 28, 2011
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I could not decide when I was listening to DACs I went from 5 to 2. The 2 I was left with was the rega and the audiolab Mdac. Both very different but both great. So I bought them both I have the Mdac paired with my Caspian M2 and I have the Rega paired with my Kandy K2.

I am very happy with both. I also liked the arcam Rdac with the Kandy it was a close third?

Lee
 

Leehallam

New member
Aug 28, 2011
37
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I could not decide when I was listening to DACs I went from 5 to 2. The 2 I was left with was the rega and the audiolab Mdac. Both very different but both great. So I bought them both I have the Mdac paired with my Caspian M2 and I have the Rega paired with my Kandy K2.

I am very happy with both. I also liked the arcam Rdac with the Kandy it was a close third?

Lee
 

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