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Cambridge Audio Azur Dacmagic Plus

Upsampling Digital to Analogue Convertor (2011)

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Cambridge Audio Azur Dacmagic Plus

Specifications

Digital converter: WM8740, 24-bit/384Khz

Digital Inputs: Coaxial, Optical, USB

Sampling Frequency: 16, 24 bit, 32, 44.1, 48, 88.2, 96, 176.4, 192kHz

Frequency response: 20Hz to 20kHz

Signal to Noise Ratio: 112dB

Total harmonic distortion: 0.002%

Line output: 2.1V (unbalanced), 4.2V (balanced)

Dimensions: 52 x 215 x 191mm

Weight: 1.2kg

Year: 2011

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rating
Reviewed Mar 04th, 2017 by ebillthekid

I have only just bought a Dacmagic Plus a few days ago and not had enough time to fully audition it, however I have heard enough to make some immediate observations.

Test System:
Quad 405-II/44, Tannoy Eaton, Cambridge D500.

Firstly, it is quite apparent straight away that the sound is fairly open, well staged, clear and detailed.
This is especially so on vocals and particularly harmonies.
Whilst one cannot say that there is anything missing, I did feel that the bass volume is a little light though just about deep enough. At the other end of the scale however, I noticed a considerable brightness in the presence to HF range. This may not be a problem, depending upon what music software you are listening to and through which amp and speakers. But it is there and annoys me sometimes, whereas my rather old Cambridge D500 CD deck which has very good on-board DACs does not annoy me so. I could say the same of my also old Pioneer PD-S707, which is not so clear & detailed as the D500 but still not so sharply bright. Both decks give a seemingly warmer sound & richer bass. (Both also give coax/optical outputs).
So at up to £350 retail, with all it's fine detail, I have to question now whether this is really worth having if it's not so musically enjoyable as the old CD decks alone! I am aware that this model DAC has had some very enthusiastic reviews, including a What Hi Fi 5 star rating. I would say then that it must be, like most categories of hi fi, a very subjective thing as to who will like it or not.
I shall give it more time with different CDs and maybe a different amp set up.
Therefore I may update this review later.
Any comments welcome!

Some of my hi fi junk: Quad 405-II upgraded, Quad 44, Tannoy Eaton (HDP395A), Cambridge D500, Garrard 401, SME 3009-S2, Goldring G900IGC, Thorens TD160, AR Turntable Incl. (Linn Basik LVX), Garrard Lab 80, Technics SUV450, Creek CAS 4040 amp, CAS3040 tuner, Pioneer PD-S707 CD, Pioneer PDR509 burner, Teac V3000 cassette,Optonica amp, tuner, casstette, turntable et al.

 

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