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"Best Performance I've Ever Measured"
Improving on a legend is never easy, but Cambridge Audio has gone back to the drawing board to create the DacMagic Plus. This upgrade of the wildly successful original DacMagic adds advanced Wolfson DACs, an asynchronous USB input, and the new preamp mode, which allows you to connect the Plus directly to a power amp or powered speakers without the need for a separate preamp.
You can also enjoy the full sonic potential of the Plus without hooking it up to an amplifier, receiver, or powered speakers. Just plug in a pair of 'phones and enjoy the extremely high-quality headphone stage.
"It has the best performance I've ever measured over USB of any DAC at any price," notes gadget guru Ken Rockwell at KenRockwell.com. "It's completely immune to even the slightest jitter that other excellent DACs can't remove from USB, as well as often the best performances I've measured for distortion."
It Turns Humdrum Audio Spectacular
Computers, TVs, and Blu-ray players can all deliver audio to your hi-fi system, but because they're primarily designed to perform other functions, their audio outputs lack quality. But by simply connecting them to DacMagic Plus, you can bypass your devices' built-in digital-to-analog converters and transform their humdrum performance into something altogether more spectacular!
England's What Hi-Fi? Sound and Vision magazine praises the DacMagic Plus. "Versatile, impressive feature count, aptX Bluetooth, sound is detailed, subtle and fast."
In Australia's SmartHouse.com for November 20, 2011, Matthew Lentini says, "Cambridge Audio DacMagic Plus is magic for digital sound... a slew of upgrades make the DacMagic a definite Plus on the old model."
Dramatically Improves Sound Quality
The DacMagic Plus dramatically improves sound quality, putting digital music and gaming audio in a totally new light. Cambridge Audio has a passion for faithfully reproducing music as those in the recording studio intended, and with the DacMagic Plus, Cambridge once again sets a new benchmark for audiophile excellence at a more than affordable price.
DacMagic Plus works by taking a digital audio signal from your PC, digital iPod dock, or TV. It analyzes and upgrades that signal using Cambridge Audio's clever ATF2™ algorithm. You'll hear a significant improvement in the sound quality.
DacMagic Plus is totally flexible and supports digital music of all formats. It even supports 24-bit data over USB, allowing you to enjoy better-than-CD quality from uncompressed music stored on your PC.
By linking Cambridge Audio's optional plug-and-play BT100 wireless audio receiver to the DacMagic Plus, you can also stream music wirelessly from your iPhone, Android smartphone, iPad, tablet, laptop or any device that supports Bluetooth.* And if your smartphone, tablet, or Apple Mac supports the high-end audio aptX CODEC, you can stream audiophile quality music from your device to DacMagic Plus.
The range of music available from today's mobile devices is almost endless. DacMagic Plus can help. In addition to controlling and playing stored music, DacMagic Plus can share online music services like Spotify and Last FM with your hi-fi in stunning quality.
Twin Cutting-Edge Wolfson DACs
DacMagic Plus has cutting-edge Twin Wolfson WM8740 24-bit DACs used in dual differential configuration. Anagram Technologies ATF2™ technology provides 24-bit, 384 kHz audio upsampling and jitter reduction for true high-resolution audio performance.
The generous selection of inputs begins with two 24-bit digital inputs (with selectable optical or coaxial for each). On the USB side, DacMagic Plus offers 24-bit, 96 kHz driverless USB Audio 1.0 and 24-bit, 192 kHz USB Audio 2.0 with ASIO or kernel streaming modes. Asynchronous USB transfer delivers very low jitter. On the output side, you get coaxial and optical digital outs, balanced XLR analog audio out, and unbalanced RCA out. You can also plug in a pair of 'phones and enjoy the audiophile quality headphone stage.
The Dual Differential Virtual Earth balanced filter topology via low order two-pole linear-phased Bessel filter takes advantage of the high sampling rate achieved for sonic excellence.
Selectable Digital Filters
The DacMagic Plus provides a choice of filters that let you fine-tune the results. Linear phase, minimum phase and steep filter can all be selected to suit your listening preferences. Phase select to invert or reinvert input allows you to correct for possible recording problems. The optional Digital Preamp mode allows you to connect DacMagic Plus directly to a power amp or powered speakers.
*Optional BT100 audio receiver required for BlueTooth functionality.
* Steep filter disabled
"It has the best performance I've ever measured over USB of any DAC at any price. It's completely immune to even the slightest jitter that other excellent DACs can't remove from USB, as well as often the best performances I've measured for distortion. I installed no software, and magically it fed itself with 96 ksps audio via USB from iTunes on my Mac."
"I can't think of any DAC at any price that is better for use in a fixed installation where you don't need a volume control or remote control."
- Ken RockwellKenRockwell.com, March 2012
"Versatile, impressive feature count, aptX Bluetooth, sound is detailed, subtle and fast."
- What Hi-Fi? Sound and Vision
"Cambridge Audio DacMagic Plus is magic for digital sound... a slew of upgrades make the DacMagic a definite Plus on the old model."
- Matthew Lentini, SmartHouse.com, November 20, 2011
DacMagic Plus Digital to Analogue converter
|Write Your Own Review|
|Can't Say Enough Good Things About This|
This was a great find for me and its an awesome piece of gear. I'd tried two other smallish DACs by AudioQuest and iFi but neither sounded as good as the DacMagic Plus. I'm using mine to feed a pair of Dynaudio BM6 and a 10" 300 watt MatinLogan Audio subwoofer. I really wanted balanced XLR outputs on the DAC instead of trying to adapt in line. Its power output is high enough that I find the volume control very useful. The sub is fed by the RCA line outputs - fortunately this unit feeds both sets of outputs simultaneously. With no sound playing, you can turn the DAC up all the way and hear no noise at all. The volume knob is great and all other construction is top notch. The phase filters are a nice bonus too, allowing you to fine tune it to your preference. Mine is fed by a MacBook air via USB and a Toshiba laptop via a usb-to-S/PDIF converter. Both sources perform excellent. This is my first Cambridge Audio product, but I doubt it will be my last. Can't say enough good things about it.
|- Xavier C, CA|
|Hard to Beat|
Great DAC and nice headphone amp, all in one clean neat compact package. It will be hard to beat this value proposition, in my opinion. I am running the digital output from my iMac to DAC to a Sonos Connect Amp, to PSB Imagine tower speakers. The sound is spacious, crisp, clear and very dynamic. Best bass I've heard from digital music filles. Very happy with my purchase, and the great Advisor service!
|- Burgess M, FL|
|Five Stars - Plus|
Right out of the box this component has the quality feel and substance that gives one the feeling of joining that group of individuals who appreciate fine audio gear. Connecting to my computer was so simple and was working in no time at all. At this stage I am using Focal Elear headphones mainly and the difference is amazing. I am now shopping music sites to build a library of hi-res tracks. I recently discovered these and I'm blown away by their sound quality.
|- Kevin M, WA|
Overall I am highly satisfied with the quality of this product. It is sonically superior to both the advanced soundcard in my PC and the external DAC inside my Marantz amplifier which is powering a pair of Martin Logan Electrostatic speakers. I have done several AB testing and I hear major improvements in bass impacts and treble clarity. Audio reviewer Ken Rockwell does a far more scientific comparison and says this DAC is better than his far more expensive studio reference DAC. My Audio Advisor told me I'm getting a "BMW" for the price of a Chevy Nova and I agree with him.
|- Rolan G, NH|
|More You-Are-There Realism|
Last year, I graduated from my PC soundcard to the DAC built into the Oppo BDP-95. That was a major-league improvement. This year, I made another move in buying this outboard DAC. Well, it was another major improvement in sound. Not that the Oppo sounded bad. No, it sounded really great for a built-in DAC. But I think the Cambridge has better you-are-there realism for me. Recommend you give this one a try. You won't be sending it back!
|- Richard Rolls, SC|
Very well made, professional grade connections. The sound is impeccable. A good flat response no coloring. increase the clarity of the music over the straight jack into the laptop or desktop computer. Used on both windows and MAC. The sound quality was equally impressive on both. Listening through Beyerdynamic headphones.
|- WRM, NE|
I am a mastering engineer. This D/A sounds perfect. Up to 192K sample rate. I don't think you can do better for the money.
|- Cody, TN|
I came across the DacMagic Plus on accident while looking at Musical Fidelity M1DAC. I felt the DacMagic Plus offered more features for less cash. It seemed like a better alternative than the regular DacMagic although both shared the same Wolfson DACs with balance and unbalance out. The Plus offers a few other options that you may or may not need/want. I got the device up and running in less than 30 minutes. About 2 hour after I got it from the UPS guy - as I gave the unit time to warm up to room temp. Overall, this outboard DAC showed significantly wider soundstage, bass response, and imaging than the DAC in my Blu-ray player - it's the real deal. It's also warmer and smoother and *gasp* it almost like my vinyls and closer to SACDs. I have a feeling my turntable will collect more dust except for the occasional listening session with recordings I don't have in digital format. I give it my highest recommendation.
|- Adam E, MA|
|This was intended to be my entry-level DAC, but...|
Ive found that I keep coming back to it because of its overall sound using USB Audio sources; it is neutral without being flat and it renders 24-bit audio like a champ. Outstanding presence for vocals, guitar, piano. In my opinion, if you want to integrate several digital sources and use the Dac Magic as a pre-amp, there is nothing that comes close for the price. Also, in the unlikely event that you need support, the company is very responsive and great to deal with. I needed a firmware upgrade as Ive had my unit for several years. Yes, you can spend more. But plan to spend a LOT more if you want to beat this unit in terms performance and enjoyment. This DAC will be perfectly at home in any stereo audio system costing less than $6-8K and make sure that includes a good power conditioner.
|- Wil W, VA|
|Could be a lot better.|
This DAC is a bargain but just because of the advancements in digital audio and as a result the price drop of DACS in the last 10-20 years. Good dynamics and can make an older $500 cd player sound like a $1000 cd player. However, with the markup on audiophile equipment as a rule that does not say much. Bass response is excellent however that awful graininess that is present in most digital players reproduction of sound is still present indicating a poor handling of jitter. This can make for a rather unpleasant experience when listening to music with an abundance of high frequencies such as classical. The soundstage is rather poor as it is somewhat flat and when listening to a truly good DAC like the Lavry DA11 which I upgraded to the faults of this DAC really show up. I thought that buying this DAC would bring me closer to the transparency, smoothness and deep soundstage of analog but it did not. Jitter is a known fault of digital audio reproduction and this unit fails at removing/mitigating it. If I were t to do it over again I would wait and save my money for a better higher priced DAC like the Lavry and not get this as my main source. A side note. The power switch went on the unit after about 2 months of use and this leads me to think that it is produced of inferior quality parts. If you want a good mid-fi upgrade and listen to a lot of pop or computer downloaded music then this may be for you. But, if you want high end sound save your money, do your research and opt for something better you can keep for a good long time.
|Exactly What I needed... and More!|
I dont write many of these reviews. But, the DacMagic Plus is so outstanding that it deserves all the praise it gets. I wanted a good DAC to consolidate several digital inputs into one convenient location. What I got in the DacMagic Plus does exactly I needed it to do and is worth the price for that alone. However, the sound quality produced by high bit rate USB sources makes the unit worth twice the price. Maybe much more! Downloading 24 bit/96kHz and 24/192 files produces sounds more like the master tape than any form of copy. Transparent, balanced, dynamic, grainless sounds with the blackest background you could hope for from a DAC at this price. My advice? Buy one now! Then, READ THE MANUAL! If you dont, your unit will be stuck at USB version 1.1 and will not have the bandwidth to handle 192kHz sources. If I have any complaints, this is it. Why would a DAC made today default to USB version 1.1 when everyone is on USB version 2.0 and ready to upgrade to USB 3.0? Anyway, read the manual, change the unit to default to USB 2.0 and go to the Cambridge Audio web site and download a driver that will allow the unit to handle 192kHz sources. Grab your best headphones and headphone amp and get ready to find out how good your equipment really is! Oh, and go to an HD Audio download source like HDTRACKS.com and download the 24/192 version of Patricia Barbers Smash album. You will thank me later! Happy listening and dont let HIFI die!!!
|- Van F, GA|
|Hard to beat for the money....|
I have tried about 5 different DACs between $350 and $1,100 range and I liked this one the best so far. A good blend between a sound that is not too digital and not too analog sounding. I liked this better than the $850 TEAC DSD DAC. I am using this unit via USB playing 24/96k and 24/192k FLAC and WAV files. Fed to a PrimaLuna 35wpc tube amp and System Audio Aura 60 speakers.
|- Jason C, AZ|
I have been blown away by this unit. It has revolutionized my system - which consists of a Krell S-300i integrated and PSB GT1 speakers. Sonically, I would describe it as being refined, highly detailed, and lush, without being too colorful. It has smoothed out all of my 16 bit 44.1 khz quite nicely and being able to play native 24 bit 192khz audio from my computer is pretty cool also.
|- Craig L, NM|