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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Looking for a DAC with two switchable optical inputs to upgrade my sound. The sources are an Airport Express and a Sony SCD-CE595. Currently I am using the analog output from the Sony and am quite happy with the sound. The airport express is plugged in (optical) to my Marantz SR7001 receiver, and that sound is only average.


With the Airport Express. occasionally I lose the first half-second or so of the beginning of a song. I believe it is related to the "local clock" issue, outlined in this article in Stereophile .


I am leaning toward the Cambridge DacMagic, but are there other options I should be considering? Would the DacMagic handle the "local clock" issue well?


Cheers,

Mark
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by markhyams /forum/post/18216613


Looking for a DAC with two switchable optical inputs to upgrade my sound. The sources are an Airport Express and a Sony SCD-CE595. Currently I am using the analog output from the Sony and am quite happy with the sound. The airport express is plugged in (optical) to my Marantz SR7001 receiver, and that sound is only average.


With the Airport Express. occasionally I lose the first half-second or so of the beginning of a song. I believe it is related to the "local clock" issue, outlined in this article in Stereophile .


I am leaning toward the Cambridge DacMagic, but are there other options I should be considering? Would the DacMagic handle the "local clock" issue well?


There are a number of good DAC units that have *switchable* inputs using different connector types. Maybe there are some out there with 2 Toslink inputs, but I've never seen one.


Re the issue of the quality of Toslink (which is perhaps the most problematic of the digital sound connectors)... i.e., vs. other digital sound connectors, see this expert post: http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showp...&postcount=566


And if you're thinking of buying a used DacMagic, Audiogon bluebook shows that it first came out in '95 (and DacMagic2 in '98)), so I wouldn't do that myself.


I do know that a used, higher end, Bel Canto DAC3 ('07) works well with RCA, XLR, BNC, USB, as well as Toslink connector inputs (one of each), so I can think of no good reason to get a DAC with more than one Toslink input.



Cheers
 

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Don't know how far your budget extends, but there are two top flight dacs with dual switchable optical inputs i can think of. One is the Bryston BDA-1 ($2000), recently reviewed by stereophile and well liked all over the place. The other actually isn't out yet, but Wyred4Sound is soon to be coming out with their dac which also has dual optical. The base model is supposed to start at $1200 and will be built around the new sabre reference dac chip which is supposed to be quite good. Not sure about your local clock issue, but these should both be outstanding.
 

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Considered an external optical switch?


Two grand for a DAC? Gasp. I wonder what even Bryston can do to make it 4 times as good as, say the Cambridge, MF, or PS? There is only so much you can do to a circuit and execution.
 

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I have a Marantz SR-9600 with the DacMagic and it sounds quite nice. However, I have my audio library on my MacMini, which is directly connected to the DAC. I'm not fond of the Airport Express streaming for this purpose, so I can't comment on how that aspect works. Best of luck. DJ
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by debussyj /forum/post/18220495


I'm not fond of the Airport Express streaming for this purpose, so I can't comment on how that aspect works. Best of luck. DJ

What about the AE do you not like? I know about the jitter, but most DACs should handle that, right?

Mark
 

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I use an Airport Express with the Cambridge DACMagic. The only problem I ever have is when my MacBook backs up wirelessly to my Time Capsule hard drive. The resulting net congestion interrupts streaming. The easy solution is to temporarily disable wireless backups during playback.


I'm not sure about the post above regarding 1995 vintage DACMagics. The one I have came out in 2008 and the only ones I've seen for sale on Audiogon are all of this vintage.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by RMcR /forum/post/18238374


I'm not sure about the post above regarding 1995 vintage DACMagics. The one I have came out in 2008 and the only ones I've seen for sale on Audiogon are all of this vintage.

Cambridge first released a DAC called the DacMagic in the mid-'90s. They kept the name for the latest incarnation.
 
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