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Old 17th December 2010, 07:40 PM   #11
ttan98 is offline ttan98  Australia
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Try this site it contains lots of valuable information.

Dedicated Source Components - Head-Fi.org

If you are price conscious look at some Chinese DACs they are very cost effective, some of them are better than Cambridge DAC Magic and cheaper too e.g. Matrix Cube.
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Old 25th December 2010, 09:25 AM   #12
Henrykb is offline Henrykb  Netherlands
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Well, give the Magic a chance.. it will not be disappointing. I compared it with an Fidelity M1. For me the Magic sounds a lot better. Also with a Bel Canto, and the Bel was a little bit more fluid. But considering price/performance, the DacMagic is a outstanding piece of equipment. Give also the ps audio DL3 a look. At the moment a nice offer for this from PS. Look at the site for more info.
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Old 25th December 2010, 12:32 PM   #13
qusp is offline qusp  Australia
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you might want to look into the ackolabs AKD-22S, or AKD-26 hiface OEM based hirez async USB dacs

both appear to be exceptional value for money, I havent used these as they are new products from acko, but I have the ackodac and love it. the AKD-22S is a hiface module with integrated ESS dac ES9022 and i2s connection to the dac module. digital volume control and onboard low noise regs. the AKD-26 is based on the higher grade ES9016 chip, which is the little brother to the highly acclaimed 9018 and 9012. the 9022 has voltage out for direct connection via line driver, the 9016 based module has low noise IV and buffer stage.

will be as simple as supplying a transformer and unregulated power supply for either as everything else is onboard.
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Old 7th January 2011, 04:56 AM   #14
lostthumb is offline lostthumb  United States
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Sorry I am a little late to the thread.

I purchased an Arcam RDAC. It's a nice unit. I do not have anything else to compare it to but I do have a Musical Fidelity VDAC coming in.
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Old 7th March 2011, 01:12 PM   #15
currentflow is offline currentflow  United Kingdom
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I've finally made a decision and bought an Arcam rDAC after considering many alternatives. This product is plug & play with Ubuntu Linux and has resulted in a decent media server, running xbmc on a net-top PC.

The sound quality is quite comparable to that of the Marantz CD6003 CD player (according to my ears) using a FLAC file format for comparison, so I am quite happy for the moment!

Thank you everyone for all your suggestions and advice.

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Old 10th March 2011, 02:42 PM   #16
dublin78 is offline dublin78  United Kingdom
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A 300 DAC that is comparable to a 230 CDP? Blimey.

Risking raining on your parade, and spoiling your fun... A 300 diy dac in a well implemented PC based system should be comparable to a 3000+ cd player.

The Buffalo II from Twisted Pear can be built for this price, including a power supply, output stage, USB reciever. If you also added a MUX reciever then you could switch inputs and use it for your cd player as well. The ES9018 chip is thought to be the best by far (if well implimented).

Check out the "Diskless Circle" over on AudioCircle.com . They are nuts for PC based servers. They are even modding computers to make them quieter. They are pretty cofident that a modded dac and a modded Mac Mini ($2000 total) will better any cd player at any price. This is probably true as the info is buffered bit-perfect, rather than played "live".

Check out Vortexbox too.
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Old 10th March 2011, 04:22 PM   #17
audionut is offline audionut
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USB DAC recommendation
Why hasn't Doede's DDDAC 1543 Mk II been mentioned...this is a great sounding USB DAC
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Old 22nd June 2011, 09:11 AM   #18
xslavic is offline xslavic  Moldova
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HLLY sucks ,not,good ,you can try leer DAC wit pcm1794 or cs4398 bu not hlly ,and use discrete preamplifier if you like classics and opera
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Old 28th June 2011, 08:28 AM   #19
Bluefin is offline Bluefin  United States
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I too just bought an Arcam rDAC based on my dealer/friend's recommendation. My first DAC, so no comparisons.

After 72 hr., the (free) Tara Lab 200 cable sounded only slightly better than the TOSLINK; will re-test later. 'Puter probs at the moment, so my music server is not up. USB results then.

After 1 week, the lower bass of my Conway IIa's has increased volume & provides a solid backdrop (esp. with organ & drums). Notably, there was exceptional detail in mid/upper bass that I'd never noticed before in the material.

The high-end seemed tighter & not as "bright". The mid-range seemed more restrained. This also applied to female voices of which I prefer more fullness. Am concerned with "soundstage". It's not quite right, so I'll have to move speakers around.

Hopefully, as the unit continues to break in, improvements will extend up the frequency range & also to soundstage.

A better coax would prob help, but why bother. The USB is gonna do the heavy lifting.

I'm already starting research on a new power unit & mods.

Humbled to be in such fine company..............Ed, a newbie
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Old 4th July 2011, 11:38 PM   #20
GeneZ is offline GeneZ  United States
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Originally Posted by Henrykb View Post
Well, give the Magic a chance.. it will not be disappointing. I compared it with an Fidelity M1. For me the Magic sounds a lot better.
That's edifying to know. After trying several alternatives, been enjoying my DacMagic. I find myself only trying to find better speakers.

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