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DacMagic Plus replacement or get it fixed?

geneX

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#1
Hello people,

I have been a member of another audio related forum for a pretty long time, just don't like the vibe (or the lack of it) on there and I would like to ask for your opinions.

Since a few weeks my DacMagic Plus starts making static sound, it's pretty loud and I have to turn my volume up pretty badly to get "rid" of it.
I can't really decide if I should get it fixed, or buy another DAC (upgrade).

I've got it paired with Beyerdynamic DT1770's and the sound has always been really pleasing.
Is it worth to upgrade to the Marantz HD-DAC1 or another DAC/AMP in the price range of the Marantz?

I would really like your opinions about what would be the best option.
 

3125b

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#2
The Mantraz would be a downgrade: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...tz-hd-amp1-dac-and-integrated-amplifier.6341/
The DacMagic Plus is not a bad unit, it measures ok and if it works for you in your application, it might very well be worth fixing - though I can't tell you whats the problem or how much its gonna cost, maybe someone else can.
If it turns out to be too expensive, you could certainly replace it with something better, 750$ (the price of the Mantraz in the US?) is a lot of money and can get you very good performance.
There are more than a few options on the table. Do you need balanced outputs? Do you want a single unit or DAC and amp separate? Do you want remote control? What sort of inputs do you need?
 
OP
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geneX

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Thread Starter #3
Thank you for your response, the marantz is currently priced down to €600 euro's (I live in Netherland).

My DacMagic is hooked up to my PC by optical atm, but also had it connected by USB for a long time.
If I decide to buy another unit it doesn't have to be a single unit, I don't have any issues with space.
 

Willem

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#4
What inputs are you using, or want to be able to use at some time in the future? The currently best DAC/headphone amplifier combination is probably the RME ADI-2 DAC for about 1000 euro here in the Netherlands. It not only measures as well as can be, but it also has multiple very convenient features like tone and balance controls, dynamic loudness, filters, etc, and a separate low noise headphone output for inear phones. RME are a pro audio company with excellent support and a stellar reputation. You really cannot do any better. Alternatively there are now quite a few cheaper units from the likes of Topping, JDS Labs and others that also work very well, but without the extra facilities.
 

renaudrenaud

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#5
What inputs are you using, or want to be able to use at some time in the future? The currently best DAC/headphone amplifier combination is probably the RME ADI-2 DAC for about 1000 euro here in the Netherlands. It not only measures as well as can be, but it also has multiple very convenient features like tone and balance controls, dynamic loudness, filters, etc, and a separate low noise headphone output for inear phones. RME are a pro audio company with excellent support and a stellar reputation. You really cannot do any better. Alternatively there are now quite a few cheaper units from the likes of Topping, JDS Labs and others that also work very well, but without the extra facilities.
Agree, and I would like to add the Sabaj D5 on the list.

Currently I have the SABAJ D5 and the SMSL M500, they all are under 500€ and offer a lot!
 

Martin

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#6
I'll add the Topping DX7 Pro to the list. It's 600USD but I do not know it's price or availability in the Netherlands. Mine was paired with DT1990's until I sold them.

Martin
 

3125b

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#8
Based on pedigree I'm sure the RME ADI-2 DAC FS could be an option if you want something that will last a very long time and does everything though costs a little (or a lot, its 959€ in Germany after all) more up front.
The other options (Topping DX7 Pro, Sabaj D5, SMSL M500) are certainly not bad either and can be significantly cheaper, you can find reviews for all of them here:
DX7 Pro: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...-dx7-pro-dac-and-headphone-amp-reviewed.9446/
D5: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...ew-and-measurements-of-sabaj-d5-dac-amp.8337/
M500: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/smsl-m500-dac-and-hp-amp-review.9606/
ADI-2 FS: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...version-2-dac-and-headphone-amp-review.13379/

If you want separate units, there's a load of options.
A fairly cheap unbalanced DAC with good performance and features would be the Topping E30: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/topping-e30-dac-review.12119/, but there are a bunch of other options with different feature sets and slightly different performance (Atom DAC, Donald DAC, SMSL Sanskrit MKII etc.)
Balanced options at around 250€ are the Soncoz LA-QDX1 (https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/soncoz-la-qxd1-balanced-dac-review.13459/ ) and the Schiit Modius (https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/schiit-modius-balanced-dac-review.13769/ ), both a bit light on features.
Then of course, it's always easy to spend more money. You can get even more performance, but there shouldn't really be an audible differences after that point.
Headphone amp options are also not in short supply.
Starts at 99$ (more if you import them of course) with the JDS Labs Atom (https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...ents-of-new-jds-labs-atom-headphone-amp.5262/ ) and Schiit Magni Heresy (https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...gni-3-and-heresy-headphone-amp-reviews.10311/ ), the Topping L30 wich should be available soon (and in Europe too) also looks very good: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...asurement-of-topping-l30-headphone-amp.14252/
Then there are Geshelli Archel2 Pro (unbalanced, https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...hel2-headphone-amp-review-another-champ.9438/ ) and 2.5 Pro (balanced), the THX 789 (from drop.com, https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...easurements-of-massdrop-thx-aaa-789-amp.5001/) and THX 887 (Monoprice, https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...thx-887-balance-headphone-amp-new-champ.8942/), at 500€ there is the Topping A90 and so on.

Frankly, there are just loads of options. They are all audibly transparent and deliver enough power for your 1770 Pro. It's mainly about what you like or want or might need in the future.
It's how they say:
There is no best option, there is just whats best for you.
 

anmpr1

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#9
Since a few weeks my DacMagic Plus starts making static sound, it's pretty loud and I have to turn my volume up pretty badly to get "rid" of it. I can't really decide if I should get it fixed, or buy another DAC (upgrade).
How much will it cost you to have it repaired? Who is going to do the repair, and is there a warranty on the repair work? Given the cost of a new one I would be surprised if a repair would be worth the hassle. But you must ask yourself those questions to make a decision.

FWIW I have a DacMagic in the closet somewhere. The little LED lights on the thing went dead. How pitiful is that? It was only a year or so old. My guess is that it's another example of 'let's source the cheapest thing that will get us through the warranty period and to hell with it'.
 
OP
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geneX

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Thread Starter #10
Thank you all for the replies, this helped me a lot and I got some great choices to choose from. You guys certainly delivered on what I wanted to hear, glad you prevented me from buying the Marantz and getting disapointed with it :). For now I'm going to get my DacMagic checked out so I know how much repairing is going to cost me.

Will keep you guys updated, thanks a lot for the help!
 

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