Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
Very nice dac, l own a black one also, which was purchased from Crutchfield.
Whether it's a CD player, computer, digital music streamer, or set-top box, here's a fantastic way to improve the sound quality coming from any of these digital sources. Simply plug the DacMagic 100 digital-to-analog converter in between your source's digital audio output and your receiver, amp, or powered speakers. You'll instantly hear greater detail and clarity, plus a real sense of scale and drama. This versatile little DAC will bypass the one inside your PC or audio component, and magically transform those cold hard zeroes and ones into warm, organic sound.
The DacMagic 100 comes packed with high-tech engineering designed to extract better sound from all your digital sources. Its latest-generation Wolfson DAC provides superb resolution that really brings out the fine details in your tunes, for a truly breathtaking listening experience.
Standard USB outputs from most computers pose a serious limitation to sound quality. That's because while you're trying to listen to music, your PC is busy performing virus scans, data backup, and other background tasks that may take priority over your tunes, causing it to alter the data rate to suit its own needs. Unfortunately, this situation results in timing errors within the digital data stream — known as "jitter" — that adversely affects sound quality. Jitter can make your music sound harsh and edgy, and smear subtle details.
The DacMagic 100 solves this problem by reaching out to your computer through the USB interface, and instructing it to relinquish control of the data stream timing. In its place, this advanced DAC inserts its own separate, or asynchronous, clock to precisely control the timing of the data rate, reducing jitter to the vanishing point. You'll hear a stunning improvement in low-level ambient detail along with a wider, deeper soundstage.
Along with all the sonic benefits the DacMagic 100 provides for your compressed and CD-quality music files, it also has another trick up its sleeve — it decodes high-resolution data streams with up to 24-bit/192kHz resolution through its USB connection, so you can enjoy better-than-CD audio quality. (Free USB driver download required for Windows® PCs.) If you download high-res music files from HDtracks and other audiophile sources, this DAC will ensure that you hear them in all their glory.
The DacMagic 100 offers multiple digital inputs for your sound sources.
DacMagic 100 lets you connect multiple digital source components to your home audio or desktop system:
A pair of gold-plated RCA outputs lets you connect the DacMagic 100 to your home audio system's receiver or integrated amp. Or feed a set of powered speakers for a high-end, compact desktop stereo.
The Cambridge Audio DAC Magic 100 has revived my 15 year old Sony CD player. The improvement is incredible. I, also, plan to run a TV set through this DAC in the near future. Can't wait.
Lloyd, Frankfort, KY
Average Customer Review(s):
Very nice dac, l own a black one also, which was purchased from Crutchfield.
Works as expected. Great way to upgrade an older CD player with today's technology.
I'm impressed with the Cambridge Audion DacMagic 100. If you have music in high resolution audio, connecting via USB 1.0 you can get 24/96 Khz sound, and with USB 2.0 you can get 24/192 Khz. Noticeably better sound than you get through the 1/8" jack, which comes through your computer's inferior DAC. The difference between the 24/96 and 24/192 is subtle, but I definitely heard more clarity and definition, less muffling, at the 24/192 Khz setting on the test song use to compare them with.
The Cambridge Audio DAC Magic 100 has revived my 15 year old Sony CD player. The improvement is incredible. I, also, plan to run a TV set through this DAC in the near future. Can't wait.
Pros: A variety of digital inputs. Great analog audio coming out.
Cons: No complaints.
Works great, sounds great. Excellent value. Highly recommended.
Sound quality is great. I would give 5 stars if this unit would work with Dolby Digital.
I've been using the DACs in my A/V receiver and Blu-Ray player. The audio and video from my Roku and Blu-Ray seemed fine. Thought an external DAC was worth a shot. The DacMagic 100 got rid of the bass muddiness and separated the instruments. Streaming audio now has a full soundstage.
Pros: Ease of setup Multiple digital inputs
Cons: No remote
Wasn't expecting a night and day difference and didn't get it. What I did get was a cleaner sound and an apparent volume boost from what was output straight from the laptop. By "cleaner" I mean a bit more definition/separation to the sounds being played back.
Pros: cleaned up sound, apparent volume boost
I received this quickly from Crutchfield. I read the little bit of instructions that came with it. I turned off my Dell OptiPlex small form factor 780, which is running WIndows 7, 32/64-bit. I plugged the Dacmagic100 into one of the Dell's USB outlets, turned on the Dacmagic100, and then turned the Dell back on. The Dacmagic100 went to work right away. I didn't have to do a thing. My Dell must have a pretty system for music, because my music already sounded good, but it sounds a bit cleaner and smoother to me with the Dacmagic100. I am getting older, but my ears can still appreciate the difference. I am happy. 5 stars.
I have an Onkyo av receiver that is almost 14 years old. I have Aon 3 speakers that needed a better digital signal to divide the instruments so they could be heard clearly and apart from one another.After reading alot about dacs i decided on this product and it did the trick.
Pros: Does what they claim..
The sound is full with a clear definition of the bass and treble. I am very happy with the DacMagic. Pros: Small footprint and easy to connect and use. Cons: Non so far.
The DAC improves the transparency and soundstage of the music even with MP3 files. Punchier bass.
Pros: Improved soundstage and transparency.
I purchased the Cambridge Audio DacMagic 100, a relatively inexpensive, but decent quality Digital to Analog Converter (DAC), for the purpose of sending the audio signal from my newer SUHD 4K TV to my stereo amplifier so the sound would pass through my stereo speakers. The TV, a Samsung model, had only HDMI output to its standard control box, which has hdmi and tos link/optical cable outputs. Using an AudioQuest TOS LINK/OPTICAL OUTPUT cable, also sourced from Crutchfield, I was able to go from the TV control box to the new DAC (has TOS/LINK input) and then using standard RCA type cable, output to my Stereo amplifier. This works well, allowing me to get improved sound using my hifi system. The DAC Magic 100 is very basic, so if you need a connection for headphones, you should look for more expensive, feature-rich models. While TV broadcast sound is only at 44K, the DAC MAGIC 100 does have the capability to go higher, should you buy a surround system for you TV and decide to use the DAC MAGIC to convert digital signals from another source. It's a good compromise that fit my specific need quite well. It's small, attractive, has an ON/Standby button and blue light, and does the job for me. Recommended at the price. As is typical of Crutchfield. the DAC and the Optical cable were packed together in a second box, which helps to ensure that your gear arrives safely.
Pros: Small size, effective for my purpose, relatively inexpensive. Allowed me to send optical output signal from TV to DAC and then RCA signal from DAC to stereo amp.
Cons: No headphone connection, limited inputs and outputs.
Plug and play--worked first time using aftermarket USB cable (the included USB cable is not very long). The front panel incoming sample rate light does not switch sample rates depending upon the format being played, but stays lit at the maximum (default) rate. Plays native 96K files (highest I own) as well as 16/44 CD. No problems with FLAC encoded files, lower sampled mp3, or regular Internet audio feeds. My hookup configuration is PC --> USB cable --> DACMagic 100 --> Pro-Ject HeadboxS --> Presonus ERIS 4.5 powered speakers. I did not try S/PDIFor Toslink inputs. Build quality seems high for this price point. Over all, I believe this to be good value. UPDATED: 7/16/18: I wrote that the DacMagic was "plug and play". That is only partially correct. For a Windows PC, it will only resolve 96K signals using the standard Win driver. In order to use the device at 192K, and take advantage of unmodified bitstream playback, do the following steps: 1) Download the 4.40 driver from CA Website. 2) Place the DAC in USB Class 2 mode. If the device is not in USB Class 2 mode during the install, the DAC may not recognize the driver. The default is USB Class 1 mode, so make sure and switch modes before driver installation. 3) Install the driver 4) At this point, configure Windows to bypass its internal digital playback software, sending your digits directly to the DAC. This is done (Win 10) by going to the Control Panel and changing your Default Format to 24 bit 192000Hz Studio Quality. Go to the Sound section of Settings, making sure the 'output device' shows USB Audio. Then, click on Device Properties, and go to the Advanced tab. Change the setting to 24 bit 192K. Also, click on the two "exclusive mode" boxes at the bottom. 5) Finally, you must use a media player that supports WASAPI (Windows Audio Session API). Go into your music player settings and configure it to WASAPI, and make sure USB is the output device. Doing this bypasses Windows' system kernel mixer and resampling stages. Then your DAC will accept a pure, unmodified bitstream. It will also show the actual sample rate of whatever signal it is receiving on its front panel (and also in the system tray app). The downside is that moving to another PC audio stream (such as a browser) requires you to shut down your music player, since WASAPI has given exclusive rights to the previous stream. Accordingly, after an Internet session, you may have to shut down your browser and reopen your music player in order to listen to your music files. This is all explained in Web support docs, but the docs are not clear. The problem is not with the DAC, but with the way Windows works. I understand that with a MAC you don't have to go through all this for native 192 signals. My impression is that with the new driver and the direct bitstream into the DAC, the sound is clearer and cleaner than whatever Windows natively sends to the DAC.
Pros: Simple to set up. Very clear sound.
Cons: Front panel incoming sample rate light was a little confusing until I realized how the DAC is programmed to work.
So impressed when first turn on after connect it to the system, every note of sounds so clean and clear, it makes the music more enjoyable and I am loved it.
I was looking for a solution to connect a TV with an optical (only!) audio output, to my NAD preamp. This was the perfect module. That's all I use it for. The sound is much better than I expected. Solid, and a great value. Definitely, don't skimp for anything less!!
Pros: Sound, cost and ease of use. Small and solid.
Works as advertised. Instructions/manual pretty skimpy and vague. Cable that came with it was useless for iPod Touch, had to order a cable separately and wait for it to come in before was able to hook it up.
Pros: not as expensive as some
Cons: documentation was on the skimpy side
The DacMagic 100 greatly improved the quality of sound when streaming. I have it hooked up to a Cambridge receiver and a MacBook. Music is cleaner, crisper, and more detailed. If you stream music a Dac is a must and at this price you can't do better.
Bought a CA DACMagic XS several years ago. Took it out of the home, now use it at work. With the price break on the DACMagic 100 it is great deal.
I have one internal DAC inside my Tascam CD recorder and one internal DAC inside my Tascam SD/CFC recorder. The DAC in my Tascam SD/CFC recorder is OK. The DAC in my Tascam CD recorder is good. The external Cambridge Audio DacMagic 100 is very good. I connected my two Tascam units to my new Cambridge Audio DacMagic 100 and now listen to my music only through my DacMagic 100. My research told me that the price/performance of my new Cambridge Audio DacMagic 100 is perfect for me.
Slightly bright but overall it's a good dac.
Pros: Small footprint Good inputs Overall good sound
Cons: Slightly bright.
I decided to use an old laptop as a dedicated 2 channel audio player. I burned all of my CDs in lossless format, but still was not satisfied with the sound. After some research, added the Dacmagic 100 to the system. The device was for the most part plug and play. Right out of the box it really improved the sound. Overall much cleaner. However, after some monkeying around with the laptop set-up (due to Microsoft/Win 10 and the fact that the laptop is a little old) I achieved a significantly better sound: much improved mid-range and upper end clarity. Note that I am not a computer geek, just a regular user. I would imagine if you are going this route with a newer laptop or PC it would be pretty easy. A DAC from the manufacturer of my amps I doubt would have provided a much better experience. My system includes: 1550 pre-amp, two 1070 power amps, B&W 705, B&W ASW 400, Denon CD player, various turntables. This is a good system to begin with and the Dacmagic was an improvement.
Pros: Performance Price Ease of use
For the money, this DacMagic 100 is fantastic. Superb separation of instruments and vocals. Perfect for my office rig.
Cons: Power Supply
Very easy to set up. It made a big difference when playing music from my cheap laptop through my Onkyo receiver. The native USB 2.0 worked automatically with no need to download and configure a driver.
Pros: Easy Set up
It's on it's way back! I called to be educated on DACs! Spoke to your rep, told him I wanted to use it with my IPhone, to listen to Pandora. He said it would work great, with that application. It WON'T work that way!!! He should of known that.
I wanted a dac so I can listen to Pandora radio and listen to I heart radio and also listen to music files without the need to purchase a new preamp. This little dac fits the bill because I didn't need a headphone amp because I have a separate headphone and. Owned it for two weeks now, was giving it time to break in with a new usb cable and I must say it has been a big improvement.
Pros: Easy setup.
The Cambridge Audio DacMagic 100 is just what I was looking for. I'm now able to send a strong signal down a 100" line to my main house speaker system. This helps in hearing how my recording really sounds, going through a pair of Rectilinear III High Boy speakers. I have a set of AWA speakers wired in parallel. I wasn't able to get a good replay on either headphones or with a sound bar. No problem now.
Pros: Sets up pretty easily, after carefully reading directions.
Cons: After installing, there was a bit of work to do, working with the Windows Sound dialog, as there are a lot of choices to make, to get the signal routed correctly.
Nice addition to my audio equipment. Can't beat the good sounds and clarity.
Simple DAC, pleasant sound, fixed output, no headphone port, good tonal balance. I purchased this and the Audioengine D1. The DacMagic has a more balanced sound (the D1 is bass heavy) and inspires more involvement with the music. Well worth the extra money.
Pros: Well balanced sound. Simple. Relatively inexpensive.
In my humble opinion, the Cambridge Audio DacMagic 100 is one of the best high-value DAC's on the market today. It's solidly built and it sounds great. A front-panel USB input and a basic remote control would have been nice, but maybe that's too much to ask in this price range, without giving up some of the other goodies. After all, it does give you coaxial (2), asynchronous USB, and optical digital inputs. The auto-off function is nice, but it would have been nice if it would come on automatically, too, since as I said, there's no remote. So, while it may not give you everything you want, it just may give you everything you need. It looks nice, too!
Pros: Solid, quality construction with high quality parts Great sound
Cons: no front-panel USB no auto-on or RC
I bought this dac to improve the sound of some older disk player, a smart TV and a laptop. I noticed a real improvement in clarity, bringing more information such as, hearing more from the recording, maybe a cymbal, crowd noise if live. Well worth the price, especially with Crutchfield's return policy and free shipping. Very happy! Get one!
The Cambridge Magic DAC 100 is a good DAC. It was simple to setup and use. However, I decided I wanted to add High Resolution Audio (DSD), so I returned the Magic DAC 100 for another product. I'm glad I made that decision and Crutchfield generous return policy allowed me to do that.
Still evaluating if it is better than DAC in my Yamaha receiver.
Lovely little DAC. No issues with the sound. Two of the LEDs on the face (S/P Diff 1 and 2), however, have burned out. Annoying.
Pros: Terrific sound.
Cons: The LEDs are apparently susceptible to burning out.
This is an excellent DAC, and a great value at the price. I use it with a Cambridge Audio CXC CD transport, it has absolutely breathed new life into my CD collection. I also use it with a Sonus Connect, which also has analog outputs, compared the analog output with the digital output with the DacMagic, the difference was like night and day! Highly recommend the DacMagic 100 for any level system, including high-end
Pros: Great, works well, sounds great
Easy to install between a PC running Windows 10 and an analogue stereo receiver. No additional driver downloads needed. Greatly improved the quality of sound from digital music files - no kidding!
Pros: Super easy to install. Great improvement in sound quality of digital music files.
Great device. Usually using headphone out jacks to play audio through a high system is a poor choice as they are not designed for that. This device allows direct access thru USB to the high fidelity of your sound card making a BIG difference! I use it in my recording studio.
Pros: Easy hook up and easy to use
I was a little skeptical about purchasing a DAC, but this is one of the cheaper ones for my amplifier so I decided to pull the trigger. Although I did not have the highest hopes, I noticed that the DAC does make a positive, noticeable difference. It switched from "Aux" to the DAC for an A/B test and the DAC seems to be more smooth and clear. I have a Yamaha A-S2000 amplifier and Klipsch RP-280F Speakers. Even an (inexpensive?) DAC on this high end equipment really makes the music more enjoyable for me. I do not regret my purchase, and I believe that over time this will be worth the money.
Pros: Great sound quality Multiple Inputs for different sources
Cons: Gets a little warm, but shouldn't be a problem
Perfect...All I hoped & wanted it to be...
Pros: Front LEDs to show Output Sample Rate a real plus...
Cons: Proper Driver hard to install but once in no probs...
I love this thing! I am using the JRiver media center to play music files on my computer and I couldn't be happier with the sound. Most of my music is ripped from CDs which sounds better than any CD player I have ever heard. The first time I heard high-res music I almost cried! I purchased Tori Amos' latest release, Unrepentent Geraldines from HD Tracks and the sound of the music, her voice it defies belief! My system: Laptop with JRiver media center connected via USB to Cambridge Audio DacMagic 100 to a Marantz SR7500 to a pair of Klipsch RB51II's and a big Klipsch sub. Sure you could spend more on a system but this fits my budget and I couldn't be happier.
Pros: Awesome sound, not ridiculously expensive, versatile connectivity
This is my first DAC and compliments some vintage Mitsubishi pre/power amps and a set of KEF R500s. Listening to 24-bit FLACs is quite a treat with this setup. While I realize there are better/higher priced DACs, I was blown away by the sound the little Cambridge puts out. Works great as a switching device between my Apple TV for AirPlay and my MacBook via USB.
Cambridge has a good reputation in the audio industry and the DacMagic is a worthy member of that line. I needed a way to monitor audio sample rates (and the audio) coming from a HiFiBerry Digi+ sound card mounted to a Raspberry Pi, and the DacMagic worked perfectly for the task. The sample rate LEDs are a fine confidence indicator showing the decoded sample rates and the DacMagic switched seamlessly between different sampling rates without glitch.
Pros: LED sample rate indicators show the decoded sample rate. Seamless transition between sample rates. Quick and easy to use: Plug in and turn on. Solid and attractive construction.
Cons: The price is steep enough to give a buyer pause before committing to the purchase
Pros: Easy setup
Cons: I had to dig to get instructions to set the mode but once set the latest drive work perfect.
mated the DAC with the Cambridge cd transport and the sound is tremendous
Pros: super easy and sounds fabulous
The Dac...Outstanding little package! An absolute must to simply upgrade any audio system that might need a little pick-me-up. The quality speaks for itself...a very fairly priced price of equipment!!
Pros: Hook is simply a breeze, No technical hurdles to deal with!
Cons: Measure twice purchase once the length of cords that you might require!!
Great DAC for someone looking to boost their rig. First dac i have bought and glad that i chose to splurge a bit, because it really brings out the life of the music almost like listening to a well recorded vinyl track.
Pros: Hooks Up Well To Macbook Sounds Great Simple Design Looks Good on Shelf
Cons: Need additional cord for Iphone.
Very easy to setup. I plugged it into a laptop running Linux Mint and it just works. The sound quality is magnitudes better than without it.
Pros: Easy setup, looks good, sound is fantastic
Purchased this DAC to bypass onboard DAC in a Mac Pro - output to Yamaha RX-V1065 and Def Tech ProCinema 1000 (supercube sub and 2000 series center channel). Hi-res audio has a broader "soundstage" experience - audio is warm, crisp, and clear. A great sounding entry level DAC for those looking to upgrade from standard computer hardware/software. The difference is very noticeable, however less with yesteryear's compressed (MP3/4) formats.. obviously. Tested this unit with 16/44.1, 24/96, and 24/192 (AIFF) and all sound great. Highly recommend HDTracks for audio downloads. And as always, Crutchfield is my source for audio.. service goes above and beyond most competing brands.
Pros: Small/compact design; easy setup; Macintosh friendly; great quality for the price
Cons: Switching to USB 2 mode for 24/192 is a bit tricky
Hooked it up via USB to my preamp to play HD files (24/96) from iTunes and was immediately disappointed. It took away the sparkle and depth from not only those files but all my digital music and was successful only in muddying the vocals. Called tech support and the tech thought the first unit was defective - he wasn't all that familiar with the product - and sent another yet the results were the same. Finally did a head to head comparison of the iTunes file with a 40 year old LP of the same song and the vinyl won hands down. Disappointing but not terminal; I'll keep looking for a better product. I contacted Cambridge tech support on my own and they weren't of much help either.
Pros: Easy to hook up
Cons: Muddy vocals and very bland overall sound
We use this little product on the TV, computer, blue ray and cd player. It is easy to set up and has greatly improved our listening experience. By hooking it up to the digital out put of the cable box movie soundtracks and voices are much fuller and detailed. Even my Cambridge audio CD player sounds better. This is a product that provides real enjoyment for the price. Plus when I upgrade my NAD amp it will work on any amp I choose, analog or digital. Worth the bucks even on entry level equipment!
Pros: Small size and easy to set up. Great sound and multiple inputs for the average user.
Although the Cambridge Audio DAC 100 has great functionality, I personally use mine exclusively to play my I Tunes collection from my laptop to the home receiver. I hooked up the DAC via optical cable from my external sound card then RCA to the receiver. Once I made a few adjustments within the I Tunes equalizer the sound was remarkably improved. It is well known that I Tunes does not have the highest quality downloads but the Cambridge Audio DAC 100 certainly makes up for this. This DAC was easy to hook up and was working in no time. I can not think of any concerns and would recommend this DAC to anyone wanting to greatly improve their sound at a reasonable price.
Pros: Easy hook up, great functionality and much improved sound.
My music just came alive! I can't believe I have been missing out all these years. Truly a worthwhile investment for the music lover.
Pros: Compact, Auto off, Quality finish
Cons: Does not "auto on"
I never knew what i was missing. I gave it only 4 stars because i don't have anything else to compare it to.
Pros: easy to set up. makes music sound better
great machine does everything you would want and more. make sure if your using a mac to go into system preferences and go to sound and choose the dacmagic as ur soundcard.
I loved the sound quality emanating from this DAC so much that I bought a second one for another system. I run it from lossless CD files imported to iTunes library on my iMac. I do prefer the sound I get from the mini-toslink output of the iMac, rather than the USB output, to the DacMagic. For the money, it really doesn't get better than this. I've done a lot of very critical listening and everything from voices to bass and triangles, sax, piano, etc. is very life- like. The sound is going to be limited only by the associated equipment, not this DAC. A true test is whether one still loves a piece of equipment after a year or more. I've had my first for about two years and I wouldn't trade this DAC for any near its price.
Pros: Sound quality Price Minimalist- All I need. I pay nothing for things I really don't need (such as a remote control.)
Cons: Not a thing
Four other Cambridge products have added a tremendous amount of clarity and presence in my music. Made my audio out from my MacBook Pro Retina sound kind of crappy. Using a USB connection from MacBook to DacMagic and then to my amp. Dac does all the work and music truly sounds beautiful. Notice it most on audio with lots of dynamic range - quiet moments to louder. There is literally no noise and the music that comes through is much crisper. Listen to 70s, 80s, bluegrass, classic, electronic and older vinyl rock - kind of all over the place. No regrets in fact kind of irritated as now I am wondering if another DACMagic between my Apple TV and cambridge AZUR 641r would be a good idea.
Pros: All of it
Well, this unit sounds great, I have it feeding a Adcom Preamp going to a Carver M1.5t and connected by USB to a highly modified copy of Windows XP, my computer now sounds like a VERY high end Reel to Reel without any of the background noise, only complaint is the Windows plug and play drivers would not work with this unit "all audio wound play for a few seconds and then freeze" but this could had been due to the modified OS that I run anyhow I just installed the driver they provided on their website and all was well after bypassing the windows driver. Great product PS: go into your bios and disable on board sound
Pros: Great Sound, what more can you ask
Cons: They need to explain how to stop the auto install of windows drivers when you are using the provided driver, the windows driver install will have to be disable before you can install the provided driver
Overall a great product. The most important item is the improvement in sound to my compressed music files. So my huge iTunes library is now worth listening to on something other than my earbuds.I have a Pioneer Elite CD player that has a decent internal DAC, so the sound improvement is minimal for my CD collection, subtle, and highly dependent on the CD. Ware as the iTunes files every last one of them has improvement, no matter how bad the original recording. And then being able to have a Mac Mini hooked up via the USB for hi resolution downloads is a great added bonus. If it had a remote I would give it a five star rating.
Pros: Flexible setup, quality, makes my iTunes streaming though my iTV sound almost as good as my CD's, better in some ways. Gives the music a more open sound than the CD's and definitely adds some needed warmth to the highly compressed songs. Was blown away with the improvement in bass, tightness of things like the attack of a drumstick on the snare, and airiness of vocals. And that terrible digital sounding MP3 that made me not want to listen to music on my high end system is gone.
Cons: Would be nice to have a remote to turn on and off. As it is now I have it set to always be on. Also changing the inputs via remote would be a nice feature. With it in a cabinet with no lighting it is hard to see which input I'm selecting. So even manual switching of inputs is more of push the button until I hear the sound. :-)
Excellent product. Worked right out of the box giving great results on internet music source.
First piece of audio equipment I have sent back. Replaced a Yamaha CDS300 that played digital files from a thumb drive. Liked the playing of my music right from my laptop. My system has four speakers and a sub (Martin Logan Motion 12's, NHT Classic Two's, NHT Sub, NAD 356BEE Amp) in a large basement barroom. The sound was LOUD (playing this DAC at the same sound level as the Yamaha DAC) was overwhelmingly boomy and, thus, not real tight. Also, the Yamaha had better response in high frequency levels. May just be that this DAC is not system specific for me where it may be for most others. I can see how if you had a smaller room and wanted heavier bass response from bookshelfs and generally play music at softer levels..I can see how this DAC would be a good fit. Honestly, years ago I used an vintage AMP that had a LOUDNESS button and when I replaced it with the NAD (which does not have a loudness button) I kinda missed it! So this DAC sounds good at lower levels albeit void of high imaging or floating of music. I wished it would have worked but you know how LOUDER is ALWAYS better? Not in this DAC's case...or not in a big room with equipment that wants a lot of power. This DAC is a loudness button! You always turned off the loudness button when you turned the music up!
Pros: Great package/size. Liked the blue lights/levels of music playback. Cool looking. Sounds good at low volume levels and can probably make a lower end system sound a lot better by adding bass response.
Cons: Turning it up in a larger room created a lot of boom and limits the power one can provide to speakers that want the power. The real benchmark here in comparison was my pro-ject turntable with pro-ject S phono box. This DAC sounded inferior in all facets of music, highs, mids, lows. But to be fair, vinyl is hard to beat (I only use the entry level Pro-ject stuff). Still, the Yamaha sounded better on my equipment (burr brown) but maybe not at low sound levels.
software would not download onto laptop. had to return it.
Combined with a sweet pair of Totem speakers and an Outlaw RR2150 Receiver, the Cambridge Audio DacMagic 100 gives a totally new life to both my CD's and my audio files. Sounds amazing. Can't recommend it enough!
Pros: Multiple connectivity options (USB, tosslink optical, etc.) Well constructed. Plug it in, connect it up, sit back and enjoy.
Dac magic is everything i was looking for. i was able to plug in my mac to my old stereo with just a couple connections and instantly have access to all my ripped cd collection. i also think the sound quality is fantastic,it may even be better than when i listen to just cds thru the stereo
Like the NYTIMES review indicated better for classical than rock.
It wasnt until Crutchfield rep Shane clued me, a digital to analog audio solution was even available to provide input from different audio sources (dvd, cable box, etc.) to fix my problem of wanting an old school RCA input to my wireless Sennheiser headphones for 'quiet time' in the house, when no one else wants to hear the tv. This fit the bill most excellent, and notwithstanding the pricey solution, the unit is solid, sleek, and does the job perfectly.
Pros: I little expensive what what I needed, but am VERY happy with the quality, and the solution.
This DAC is a little power house! Of course you can spend a lot more money on a more expensive DAC, but if you want to open up the soundstage of your digital audio files, or you're interested in putting those AAC files through a quality amp and speakers, this little DAC does wonders. Great depth and richness of sound from the Wolfson DAC inside. TOSHLINK ensures excellent transfer. Well-made.
Pros: Excellent price point. Great sound for such a little unit.
Cons: Wish it had a real on-off switch instead of just a standby. When there are power-outages, I'd like to be able to really shut it down (without having to turn off the entire power-surge protector).
I was pleasantly surprised when I hooked this up that it made such a significant improvement in the sound quality of my music. I have ripped my cd collection to mp3 and am playing it on a Dell Latitude tablet using J River Media Center. The DAC made a surprising difference, even with the mp3s. I want to really express my thanks to the Crutchfield team. They called me after my order to make sure this was what I needed, and provided advice to rip to Flac instead of mp3, then let J River convert to mp3 for my mobile device. Flac is lossless, where mp3 is lossy. Also said to rip at higher bit rate if disk space is not an issue. Overall the DAC was a good decision, and the service and support from Crutchfield is, as always, fantastic. Recommend this to similarly configured users.
Pros: Better Sound Quality, easy to hook up
Cons: None really, unless it were free!
I purchased the DACMagic 100 as a transfer device to move my audio collection from my computer to my home audio system; its sound quality improvement potential was secondary, I thought, as my system -without boring you with a component list- is pretty good. However, I haven't gotten that far yet, and so this review deals with the unexpected improvement in sound quality I've discovered. There's always the danger with hi-end audio of hearing what you want to believe, and I've only been listening thought the DACMagic 100 for a few hours at this point, but so far I'm very impressed. The sound is open and pure, and never harsh, as sometimes happens with digital sound. I'm running my CD player, via the Toslink Optical cable. It's impressive High notes round off smoothly and never 'snap'. Bass response is smooth way down. However the most notable point is how the DAC opens up the sound stage and gives placement to the individual instruments. You'll find that sound quality becomes more 'volume independent - you won't need volume to bring out the detail in the sound. In short, this device's better converter helps digitally recorded music come closer to it's potential. You won't get higher highs or lower lows, per se, If you are just using this to get sound out of your computer and into your Pre-Amp there are probably cheaper solutions that 'will do'. However, if you actually close your eyes and listen to your music, this is worth the money.
Pros: Easy to hook up, and sounds great. Will give me high fidelity access to my hundreds of recordings that are stored on my computer, but actually improves the sound of my CD player.
Cons: It's a small box that won't stack with your audio components and it adds yet another 'wall wart' to your collection of things that run off DC but plug into AC. It apparently turns itself off after some period of activity, which is good I guess, but another button to push every time you want to use it. Doesn't include any cables or connectors, so purchase a TosLink Cable while you're at it.
I gave this product 5 starts because it did everything it was said to do. I heard a difference immediately when I plug'd it in. It was easy to install and it gave me multiple options to connect my digital music to it. I used the recent Beatles Re Master loaded in my itunes as ALAC - and the sound was almost as good as my OMR Vinyls. They were 100% better than playing direct without the DAC. I don't know how this DAC compares to the more expensive DAC's, but this seems to work 100% better than without and for the money - it's perfect.
Pros: Price, lightweight and easy to install.
Cons: Doesn't support an Ipod through the old iPOD stand, but I get why it's not PCM.
Wow! I never new music could sound so good. I've been listening to music for over 40 years and thought CD's and music downloads sounded pretty good. How wrong I was. I listen mostly through my computer using a Bose Companion 5 speaker system which sounds great. I hooked up the DacMagic 100 and boy was I surprised. The volume increased and the highs were phenomenal. I heard pianos, violins and other instruments in the background that I didn't know existed. Great addition to my music library.
Pros: Nice unit and well constructed
Cons: A little pricey but well worth it.
The Cambridge Audio DacMagic 100 gets my 5-star rating because it exceeds my expectations. It mildly improves the CD sound played by my NAD T557 BluRay player, which already sounds great. But the real thrill is the quality I now hear from my Apple TV 2nd gen and my old Yamaha 5-disc CD changer. The improvement in sound is akin to putting your sunglasses back on after removing smudges from both lenses. Nifty little package, too.
Pros: Dramatically improves audio quality from devices like Apple TV and older CD player with TosLink optical outputs.
Cons: Only one TosLink optical input, but I knew that when I purchased it.
Overview: The Cambridge Audio Azur DacMagic 100 is a high-quality, external digital-to-analog converter featuring a USB (type-B) digital audio input, a Optical (toslink) digital audio input, and two Coaxial (RCA) digital inputs. The Cambridge Audio DacMagic 100 takes the digital audio output from your computer, game console, digital iPod dock, or Blu-ray DVD player and converts it into a high-resolution analog signal for your home's integrated amplifier or A/V receiver.
Full Metal Casework: The DacMagic 100 features full metal casework design with a brushed aluminum front-panel to prevent any audio distortion caused by vibration.
Wolfson WM8742 24-bit DAC: The DacMagic 100 employs the latest generation Wolfson WM8742 24-bit DAC (digital-to-analog converter) for exceptional sound quality.
Digital Input Sampling Frequencies: The Cambridge Audio DacMagic 100 supports the following digital input sampling frequencies through its USB (type-B) and Coaxial (RCA) digital inputs - 32, 44.1, 48, 88.2, 96, and 192 kHz. The Optical (toslink) digital input only supports 32, 44.1, 48, 88.2, and 96 kHz.
Asynchronous USB Transfer: The DacMagic 100 provides Asynchronous USB transfer for very low jitter USB Audio input, allowing streaming of up to 24-bit/192kHz audio from a computer.
Standby/On: The Cambridge Audio Azur DacMagic 100's front-panel Standby/On button turns the unit On or Off. When in Standby (Off) mode, the unit draws less than 1-watt.
Source Button: The Cambridge Audio DacMagic 100 features a front-panel Source button. You can press this button to cycle through the DAC's four inputs - USB (type-B), Toslink (optical), S/P-DIF 1 (coaxial), and S/P-DIF (coaxial). The corresponding LED will light up to show which source you have selected.
Incoming Sample Rate LEDs: In the presence of an incoming digital stream, the relevant LED will light up to indicate the incoming digital sampling frequency (44.1, 48, 88.2, 96, 192 kHz). For 32kHz material, the DacMagic 100 will still operate, but no LED will be lit.
Ground/Lift Switch: The DacMagic 100 features a rear-panel Ground/Lift switch. When Grounded, the DacMagic 100 is connected to the earth connection of the PC directly. When Lifted the ground connection is made via a network designed to break any hum loops that may be caused by the source equipment. The Grounded setting is recommended, unless audible hum is experienced.
USB Port: A rear-panel 24-bit/192kHz USB (type-B) port enables the DacMagic 100 to be connected to your Windows PC or Mac computer. The DacMagic 100 will act as a very high-quality DAC/sound-card with very low jitter for your computer, offering genuine Hi-Fi-quality playback from your stored music and Internet radio. The DacMagic 100 is both USB 2.0 (Hi-Speed) and USB 1.1 (Full-speed) USB port compatible. It will also work with the new USB 3.0 ports where the PC will simply treat the DacMagic 100 as if it were a USB 2.0 or 1.1 device. The DacMagic 100 also supports two USB Audio protocols (not the same as the port types themselves) USB Audio 1.0 (which works over USB 1.1 ports and supports up to 24-bit/96kHz) or USB Audio 2.0 (which requires a USB 2.0 port and can support up to 24-bit/192kHz).
Digital Inputs: The DacMagic 100 is fitted with three rear-panel 24-bit digital inputs; one Optical (toslink), and two Coaxial (RCA). The optical and coaxial digital inputs allow a wide range of digital source (CD, DVD, Game Console, etc.) to be connected to the DacMagic 100.
Note: This unit only accepts two-channel LPCM digital audio (Stereo PCM or Dolby Digital 2.0). You cannot connect a Dolby Digital 5.1 or a DTS signal, as they will not be recognized. If you wish to connect a DVD or similar device, please ensure that the sound output of your player is set to two-channel PCM.
Unbalanced RCA Outputs: The DacMagic 100 features an unbalanced stereo analog RCA audio output for connecting your stereo receiver or amplifier.
Auto Power Down (APD): The DacMagic 100 has an Auto Power Down (APD) mode that shuts the unit off after a period of time if the unit isn't receiving a digital signal. The APD is a requirement in order to comply with power regulations. The APD can be disabled by pressing and holding the Source button for 5 seconds.
Power Requirements: The Cambridge Audio DacMagic 100 operates off of standard household AC current, using the supplied AC power adapter. The external power adapter is separate from the digital-analog-converter to further improve sound quality. The supplied AC power adapter includes AC power plug inserts for North America, Europe, and the United Kingdom.
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a built-in volume control and headphone amp
balanced XLR audio outputs for connection to high-end audio gear
sophisticated Adapted Time Filter 2 technology that upsamples incoming digital audio to 24-bit/384kHz to resolve extremely fine detail