Cambridge Audio DacMagic Plus DAC/Headphone Amp (Playback 55)

Equipment+
Categories:
Digital-to-analog converters,
Headphone amps and amp/DACs
|
Products:
Cambridge Audio DacMagic Plus
Cambridge Audio DacMagic Plus DAC/Headphone Amp (Playback 55)


•Incoming sampling rate indicator 44.1/48/88.2/96/192kHz helps verify source quality.
•Choice of three filter settings for fine-tuning sound to suit your listening preferences.
•Phase-inversion switch to compensate for out-of-phase recordings or phase-inverting amplifiers.
•Built-in headphone amplifier and full-size (1/4") front-panel headphone jack.
•Bluetooth ready for wireless playback from any compatible Bluetooth device (via an optional Cambridge Audio adapter).
•Supports the high-quality Bluetooth AptX CODEC for streaming audiophile quality music from a compatible Bluetooth device.
•Two digital inputs, each with both optical (Toslink) and RCA coaxial (S/PDIF) jacks.
•One USB (Type B) input for connection to a computer.
•Optical and coaxial digital outputs (pass-through).
•RCA and balanced XLR audio outputs (both active simultaneously).
•External power supply included.
•Non-slip silicone stand and 4 self-adhesive rubber feet included.

Set-Up & Ergonomics

After several weeks of playing streaming radio from a Logitech Squeezebox Touch for break-in, I connected the DacMagic Plus to my main desktop system. Input sources included a direct Toslink feed from my MacPro desktop computer, direct USB from the MacPro, Coaxial S/PDIF from an Empirical Audio Off-Ramp 4, S/PDIF from a King Rex UD-384/32, and S/PDIF from a Matrix 96/24 USB converter. Output devices included AudioEngine 5+ powered speakers, ADAM Artist A5 powered speakers, and Focal XS Book powered speakers, plus the new April Music Eximus SI monoblock power amplifiers driving ATC SCM-7 speakers, Aerial Acoustics 5B speakers, Role Audio Canoe speakers, and a Velodyne DD 10+ subwoofer. The right and left speakers got their signals from the balanced outputs while the subwoofer received its signal from the unbalanced outputs. For the headphone output testing I used AKG K701, HiFiMan HE-300, and Grado RS-1 headphones.

During set-up the DacMagic Plus had no significant issues. Straight out of the box the DacMagic Plus is configured to support up to 96/24 via USB 1.1. But for 192/24 capabilities you must change to USB 2.0 via a special combination of button pushes. The methodology for this conversion is buried on page 22 of the PDF version of the user’s guide, though in my view this information really needs to be on a separate “read me first” page. I suspect that Cambridge Audio customer support is going to spend quite a bit of time explaining to new owners why their DacMagic Plus isn’t supporting 192/24 straight out of the box.

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