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Cambridge Audio DacMagic Plus Is Magic For Digital Sound

By Matthew Lentini | Wednesday | 30/11/2011

Cambridge Audio's latest has all the nuts and bolts to mobilise your digital track library.

The original Cambridge DacMagic offered a top value unit for the digital music lover pushing out high quality audio from their computer. Many new competitors have thrown in features to top it since 2008 though, so the company has come back with a refresh that ups the quality.

The $699 unit, due in this December, features a digital-to-analogue converter, pre-amp and dedicated headphone amp alongside a slew of upgrades that make the DacMagic a definite plus on the old model.

One of the key upgrades is higher sample rate support for high quality audio tracks. The 32 bit digital signal processor upsamples tracks at 24 bit/384kHz, up from the previous model's 24 bit/192kHz, so high quality downloads will run at their best.

The DacMagic Plus embraces digital media the same way the original did, so the USB input has been reworked to support 24 bit tracks suitable for Hi-Fi systems. USB audio input is supported at up to 96kHz without a driver, but with Cambridge Audio's free driver installed, tracks up with up to 192kHz sample rates are supported.

There's also the option of throwing in the BT100 wireless receiver, running at $120, that connects via Bluetooth and the sound-savvy apt-X codec to devices for high quality sound streaming.

An in-built pre-amp on this model lets users connect the unit to any existing external power amplifiers they have set up or active speakers with their own amp systems.

For the personal listener, a dedicated headphone amp is fitted into the build, with a prominent volume knob around the front of the unit.

Around the back, the unit is fitted with a dedicated port for the BT100 transmitter, the USB input for PC playback, two digital inputs (coaxial and optical), a coaxial and optical digital output, XLR output and phono output.

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