"The Image It Portrayed Was Wide and Deep"
Hot on the heels of the DacMagic Plus, Cambridge Audio has just added another member to the DacMagic family. The DacMagic 100 is a superb value digital-to-analog converter designed to enhance music played from a whole range of digital audio devices.
"Far from being embarrassed by the considerably larger and costlier DACs in this month's group test, the DacMagic 100 delivered a fine performance in the listening tests," notes England's Hi-fi News for June 2012. "Sounding commendably neutral and self-effacing, via one of its coaxial S/PDIF inputs it delivered an expansive soundstage… the image it portrayed was wide and deep."
Since the original DacMagic launched in 2008, the popularity of computer-based music collections and online streaming services have exploded. DacMagic 100 offers the perfect enhancement by taking music data from PCs or Macs and transforming it into hi-fi quality audio. The end result is a dramatically vibrant, detailed sound and one that’s remarkably free from jitter – a problem which normally degrades music stored on hard drives or sent across networks. And to make the very most of computer-based music, DacMagic 100 is equipped with Cambridge Audio’s latest USB audio input which allows studio master, uncompressed 24-bit, 192 kHz files to be played back from any Windows or Apple computer.
An Additional Three Digital Connections
With an additional three digital connections (1 x optical Toslink connection and 2 x S/PDIF coaxial connections), the DacMagic 100 is also ideal for improving the audio performance from a wide range of products including TVs, media players and Blu-ray players. It also makes the perfect partner for digital iPad and iPhone docks such as Cambridge Audio’s iD100, which shares the same form factor.
DacMagic 100 in Greater Detail...
The DacMagic 100 features Wolfson’s very latest WM8742 24-bit DAC, which delivers genuine hi-fi quality performance from the most popular digital audio devices.
Today’s music lover typically owns multiple digital audio devices which could benefit from significant enhancement and the DacMagic 100 offers a variety of connections for maximum flexibility. These include S/ PDIF, optical (ideal for digital iPod docks, network music devices, TVs, Blu-ray players etc.) and USB (for computers).
Up to 24-bit content is now supported via both the USB Audio and digital inputs as either Audio profile 1.0 or 2.0 in asynchronous mode with full support for up to 24-bit/192 kHz content. With Windows PCs, DacMagic 100 can operate driverlessly at up to 24-bit/96 kHz resolution. A custom-designed Cambridge Audio Windows driver (available free from Cambridge Audio support site) allows up to 24-bit/192 kHz file transfer over USB and supports both kernel streaming and ASIO. (Apple PCs already support up to 24-bit/192kHz USB transfer natively).
Asynchronous transfer means the audio data is not forced into fixed size packets to fit within a standard USB clock scheme, i.e. the data is now asynchronous to the USB stream. Instead DacMagic 100 controls the flow rate and sets this for the actual audio sample rate being played. This dramatically reduces interface jitter across the USB transfer.
"Far from being embarrassed by the considerably larger and costlier DACs in this month's group test, the DacMagic 100 delivered a fine performance in the listening tests. Sounding commendably neutral and self-effacing, via one of its coaxial S/PDIF inputs it delivered an expansive soundstage… the image it portrayed was wide and deep."
- Hi-fi News, June 2012
|Write Your Own Review|
This little DacMagic 100 gets my 5-star rating because it exceeds my expectations. It improves the CD sound played by my NAD T557 BluRay player, which already sounds pretty good. But the real thrill is the sound I'm now getting from my Apple TV and my old Marantz 5-disc CD changer. The improvement in sound is akin to cleaning very dirty eye glasses. Comes in a nifty little package, too.
|- Required Field, DC|
|Great Buy in Combination|
Lovely little box purchased to work with a Bryston BDP-PI music streamer. Great buy and a highly recommended entry level DAC. I can't beleive the sound for this little money. Do it justice with good quality cables though - I opted for Pangea Premier coax.
|- Clinton G, AR|
|Increased Beyond My Expectations|
I bought this only to improve the output quality from iTunes on my Mac. To my gratified surprise, it has increased the quality of all my audio beyond my expectations. Now from my CD player I can clearly hear individual instruments and singers that were in the background and just part of the general noise before. The most effective $199 that I could have spent to improve my system.
|- Ian F, MI|
|Best Sound for the Price|
It's a great DAC for sure. One of the great things is it has a few inputs as apposed to many DAC which have only one input, plus the sound quality is excellent for it's low price, it seems to have about the best sound quality i've heard at this price point.
|- Stringer T, ND|
Fantastic device - allows all digital outputs to be routed through one input on the amp - Incredible increase in sound quality from PC files - compact & efficient! Must have component.
|- Steinberg R, GA|
Great sound from a small package. Highly recommended.
|- Ken S, ME|
|Worth Every Penny|
Great product. Good Price. Easy Great improvement in the sound of my CDs, my Sonos, and Pandora. Worth every penny.
|- Thompson R, MN|
Great little DAC for the price. Plays into audioengine speakers in my den. The sound is pretty amazing for the price. Very happy with this.
|- Alfredo G, SC|
|Sound is Magic|
I was looking for an entry level dac due to budget constraints and was immediately attracted to the look of the Cambridge audio Dacmagic 100. Upon setting it up there was an immediate sound improvement on my mp3s. I have it hooked up through optical toslink to my MacBook Pro and through coaxial from my nad CD player.
|- Ricky D, HI|
|My Ears Love It|
I am using the ASIO drivers available on the Cambridge Audio website, with Foobar2000 and the foo_out_asio component. The USB connection is asynchronous. I listen to music using both B&W towers and also Beyerdynamic Tesla T1 headphones depending on my mood. Everything I throw at this DAC sounds exact, which is precisely what I want from a DAC. It adds nothing and takes nothing away. My ears love it. Highly recommend this, it is worth every penny.
|- Robin A, MT|
|The Small Giant.|
Incredible sound in at really small pack, Big Surprice!
|- Oswaldo D, NJ|
|Just the right DAC!|
I purchased this DAC for use with my SqueezeBox Touch, S/PDIF upgraded game consoles of the 90s, and my TVs Optical Out. All sound sublime with this DAC, especially 24-bit 96kHz material! I havent tried the USB input yet, so I cant speak to its performance. ABing the SqueezeBox Touchs coaxial and toslink outputs appears to reveal that coaxial inputs on this unit sound better. Id describe the difference between copper and optical to be more detailed with better sound staging - however slight the difference. Im using BJC interconnects for all connections to and from the unit and am not using USB at this time. ___Compared to the MF VDAC-II, the sound is more laid back - as in not in your face/very forward! Not the etched harsh super detailed sound of the MF. The detail of the MF V-DACII reminds me of detail and edge enhancements found on HDTVs set to Vivid mode... :S On top of that, there seemed to be audible artifacts of the up sampling on the MF, not to mention the tonal shift of this device - seems to bump up the treble. ___The fit and finish, packaging/box of the DacMagic 100 is top notch for the price. Im extremely pleased with this DAC as it exceeded my expectations!
|- R G, WA|