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is airport express compatible with cambridge audio dacmagic?

960 Views 6 Replies Latest reply: May 26, 2013 1:17 PM by Duane Huff RSS
johnfromkilmarnock Calculating status...
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Oct 24, 2012 7:31 AM

Thinking of getting a DacMagic. Does it work with Airport Express?

  • Bob Timmons Level 9 Level 9 (75,395 points)

    Works fine, but only those with golden ears and very expensive amplifiers and speakers might hear the improvement in quality that they seek.

     

    As with any high end audio gear, you will not know until you try.

     

    Might be a good idea to understand Cambridge's return policy before you buy.

  • CRMDVM Level 4 Level 4 (1,360 points)

    Yes it will and so will Apple TV but if you are an audiophile, you might want to check with your local DacMagic dealer and make sure that the Express will give you the sound quality that you are looking for.

  • CRMDVM Level 4 Level 4 (1,360 points)

    Sorry Bob - I did it again - but let me ask you - do you find a difference between using a regular cable and an optical cable on an Express?

  • Bob Timmons Level 9 Level 9 (75,395 points)

    I never could hear anything that I would consider significant, but I have really downsized and downgraded my audio components over the past few years to save space. So, I haven't listened carefully in some time.  There was a time when I had several D/A converters on hand including the Cambridge piece.

     

    Also, the Express could hardly be called high end based on its 44 kHz clock, so that may have something to do with its capabilities as well.

  • Duane Huff Calculating status...

    I appreciate that you may have already moved on from this topic.  Nonetheless, I wanted to share my experience.  I too have an airport express connected to a DAC Magic Plus via a digital cable.  The DAC Magic is connected to the amp via decent, but definitely not audiophile, quality RCA cables.  This set up worked fine, but I have to admit initially that I couldn't really hear any difference between this and just running a straight analog cable from the AE into the amp via a Y-cable.  But, that was all before I got a new amp.  I replaced my 11 year old Rotel 1050 (which had to go the shop recently) with a NAD 375.  Now, when I stream from iTunes there is a new clarity and cleaness;  more air under the instruments as they say.  Streaming services like Pandora (free version) and Slacker (free version) are good, but not as clean as iTunes.

     

    So, I was limited by the age and quality of my amp.  A difference that I could hear not only in streamed music, but CDs and vinyl as well.   Some would argue that I am still limited because everything involved is at a 44.1K kHz sampling rate.  The DAC magic can handle considerably higher sampling rates.

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