Already your eyes have glazed over, and you don’t even own the thing. Devised by software specialist Anagram Technologies of Switzerland and licensed — exclusively, to date — to Cambridge, this uses high-power digital signal processing technology to perform the digital filtering function. A major reason for the resurgence of DACs in general, is the proliferation of digital audio sources, especially computers. Cambridge Audio Edge A integrated amplifier. Front-panel LEDs indicate the filter type selected. To the extent that each can be succinctly summarised, the linear phase is clean and tidy with a particularly well-controlled bass, but can sometimes seem a little clinical by comparison with minimum phase, which seems slightly warmer but perhaps a shade less precise. I’d beware of power strips and conditioners, however, which, in my experience, are as likely to screw up as enhance the sound.

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Other than that, I’ve so far avoided the subject of how the DacMagic sounded. There are plenty more connectors on the back panel, because Cambridge has ccambridge provided a digital output both flavourswhile analogue audio signals appear in both unbalanced and balanced form — a welcome surprise at this price. All that said, we would probably live happily with any of them, but while the keen tweaker may want to experiment and perhaps adopt preferences based on musical style, we ended up listening mostly to linear.

At the time, there dacmavic almost no high-end CD players.

The Cambridge Cambgidge DacMagic is practical and good-looking too and we would rate it all-round as one of the best audio bargains we’ve come across in a while.


Recording of November Frankly, we couldn’t — certainly not consistently. It gives no phase shift at all within the audio band and rolls off very sharply around half the sampling frequency.

The ‘steep’ option, meanwhile, is another linear phase filter, but with faster roll-off above 20kHz so that, effectively, no aliasing occurs. The DacMagic also cambrudge a phase-inversion button. Enjoy what you have.

Minimum Phase does almost the same thing and sounds, to me, virtually identical. I visited the design headquarters of Cambridge Audio in London several years ago and met their technical director, Matthew Bramble, who used to work for another well-known British hi-fi manufacturer; now Dacmxgic is a thorn in their side. The soundstage was admirably wide, and soloists and their instruments were precisely positioned.

Two per channel operate in dual-differential mode for maximum noise reduction. Either way, both offer a full-bodied and detailed presentation, while electronic effects spread to the edges of the soundstage in style.

There was even a DAC called the Dacula. Not only does it sound great, it locks to incoming signals almost instantly and takes up very little space. Features are good for the price. There’s also a pair of Cambrirge outs, for unbalanced types like me. So, while other manufacturers force you to choose whether you want standard digital coaxial or optical or USB connections, Cambridge offers all of them.

What Hi-Fi?

It weighs just 2. One reason it takes up so little space is that it comes with a humongous wall-wart power supply so big it could conceivably fall out of a loose socket. The differences between these filters are in some ways subtle, but may be significant in determining the DAC’s sound.


Devised by software specialist Anagram Technologies of Switzerland and licensed — exclusively, to date — to Cambridge, this uses high-power digital signal processing technology to perform the digital filtering function. The last socket is for the external power supply, important in enabling the DacMagic to inhabit such a small case.

The unit is compatible with sample rates up to 96kHz at or bit resolution. We’re not just talking about the inputs, either: The actual frequency response is, to all intents and purposes, identical to that of the linear phase filter. There are digital and balanced outputs, too, alongside the stereo RCA.

We were hardly surprised to find it ticked all the boxes on basic tonality and detail: Actually, selecting the filters is simple: So pick your poison: Minimum phase filters do without the pre-ringing, but do have some phase shift in the audio band.

Cambridge Audio DacMagic review | What Hi-Fi?

Six Suites for Viola Solo. Tonality is exceptionally neutral, with clean extension at both extremes and very well-balanced midrange.

Bonus Recording of November