Cambridge Audio DacMagic 200M USB/Wireless DAC It's Magic!

It's Magic!

Launched in 1994, the very first DACMagic-1 was an early product from the Richer Sounds stable, this burgeoning dealer network having just acquired the Cambridge brandname and commissioned John Westlake, then of Pink Triangle fame, to take on what I described at the time as the 'digital donkeywork'. My review and lab report for the Cambridge Audio DACMagic-1 [Hi-Fi Choice Nov '94] is inset here... it seems like only yesterday!


While the DACMagic-1's industrial design was straight out of the Arcam Black Box cookbook, the choice of D/A converters was quite different, John opting for a pair of Philips' TDA1305 'Continuous Calibration' DACs. These were a bitstream/multi-bit hybrid DAC that, when used in differential mode, squeezed Philips' 0.006% distortion spec. down to 0.001% at peak output. The DACMagic-1 also boasted a low-level linearity good to ±0.5dB over a full 100dB dynamic range – not too far shy of that achieved by the DacMagic 200M some 27 years later. Naturally, the DACMagic-1 offered coaxial (BNC) and optical digital inputs only – USB was a decade later – but both RCA and balanced XLR outputs were fitted. Although it was pitched at just £150, the DACMagic-1 benefited from use with a very high quality, 'high-end' CD transport, its sound 'carried along on a tide of full, deep and solid bass that buzzed with clean and resonant detail'. PM

Cambridge Audio Ltd
Supplied by: Audio Partnership PLC, London
0203 514 1521