• WANTED: Happy members who like to discuss audio and other topics related to our interest. Desire to learn and share knowledge of science required as is 20 years of participation in forums (not all true). Come here to have fun, be ready to be teased and not take online life too seriously. We now measure and review equipment for free! Click here for details.

new DAC for my CXA81

voodooless

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Jun 16, 2020
Messages
1,944
Likes
2,836
Location
Netherlands
I was talking about the cxa80 amp , the cxa81 is a diff end kettle of fish

Ah missed that, sorry :facepalm:. The WM8740 in that thing is also quite well established. If the OP had the CXA80, I would probably draw the same conclusion.
 

ClosDeLaRoche

Active Member
Joined
Jun 21, 2019
Messages
107
Likes
87
Sorry to bring up this old thread, but has the OP tried reversing the polarity of their speakers? The DAC in the CXA61/81 produces a signal with inverted polarity unfortunately. Swapping the +/- connections on the speakers and switching the phase on the sub if they've got one may improve the sound.

Crappy thing is the amp has normal polarity for the analog inputs....
 

Mansinthe86

Active Member
Joined
Jul 19, 2021
Messages
160
Likes
63
Sorry to bring up this old thread, but has the OP tried reversing the polarity of their speakers? The DAC in the CXA61/81 produces a signal with inverted polarity unfortunately. Swapping the +/- connections on the speakers and switching the phase on the sub if they've got one may improve the sound.

Crappy thing is the amp has normal polarity for the analog inputs....


That is interesting. Do you know how things are while using the Cxn V2 with XLR cables to the Cxa81?
 
OP
officialsm

officialsm

Member
Joined
Apr 6, 2021
Messages
71
Likes
10
That is interesting. Do you know how things are while using the Cxn V2 with XLR cables to the Cxa81?

I dont know if Wolfson chip is better then Sabre. Sure is better the dual Wolfson dac configuration (cxn2) than mono Sabre (cxa81)
 

Mansinthe86

Active Member
Joined
Jul 19, 2021
Messages
160
Likes
63
I dont know if Wolfson chip is better then Sabre. Sure is better the dual Wolfson dac configuration (cxn2) than mono Sabre (cxa81)

I was more interested in the inverted polarity that he mentioned by using the Cxa81 DAC .
I wonder if this is the case with the Cxn V2 as well
 

ClosDeLaRoche

Active Member
Joined
Jun 21, 2019
Messages
107
Likes
87
I was more interested in the inverted polarity that he mentioned by using the Cxa81 DAC .
I wonder if this is the case with the Cxn V2 as well
Do you have the Cxn V2?

If you can use this YouTube video to determine if this is the case

play that and touch your speaker cone as it plays. the cone should push out on "+" and pull in on "-"

Btw Cambridge has informed me that they will put out a firmware fix for this soon. I'd email them in a couple months to ask if it's ready.
 

Mansinthe86

Active Member
Joined
Jul 19, 2021
Messages
160
Likes
63
Do you have the Cxn V2?

Not yet. I've ordered the Cxn last week.
B
Do you have the Cxn V2?

If you can use this YouTube video to determine if this is the case

play that and touch your speaker cone as it plays. the cone should push out on "+" and pull in on "-"

Btw Cambridge has informed me that they will put out a firmware fix for this soon. I'd email them in a couple months to ask if it's ready.

I've just tried this with my Cxa81 , optical connection . And the cone pushes out when the + is on screen. I connected the speaker wires the correct way as well.
 

sprellemannen

Member
Forum Donor
Joined
Jul 21, 2018
Messages
50
Likes
125
Location
;
The real question is: i will hear real sound improvement doing that?
I don't think so. The claimed audible differences among DACs are extremely exaggerated (in my point of view). In a well designed blind test, I think people will only manage to hear a difference between DACs in extremely rare cases.
 
Last edited:

ClosDeLaRoche

Active Member
Joined
Jun 21, 2019
Messages
107
Likes
87
Not yet. I've ordered the Cxn last week.
B


I've just tried this with my Cxa81 , optical connection . And the cone pushes out when the + is on screen. I connected the speaker wires the correct way as well.
Huh, weird! sounds like yours works fine then. My CXA61 plays with reversed polarity.
 

alitomr1979

Member
Joined
Aug 15, 2021
Messages
19
Likes
11
I am
Also a very happy owner of a CXA81. In Subjective listening tests I’ve heard better overall sound from Marantz HD DAC1 and SMSL M500.
Back when I only had the Crown XLS1502 with the LS50 I preferred the HDDAC1, but now there is a definitive difference in most MQA versions in Tidal, and my standard have become the M500.

I use room with a Pi 4, and I have all my DACs connected to it and then to the CXA81. The difference between all of them is there. The internal dac only beats my Modi 2 uber, which in comparison to the rest sounds a little congested. I do have the SMSL Sanskrit and I won’t comment much because I wasn’t too much into the sound when Inplugged it in. Only thing I will say is that it sounded really musical but overall definition/clarity was on par with the Modi 2.

Apparently most speakers are not as resolving or as sensitive of upstream devices as the LS50, because those things do change with each device you change in the chain… My cousin and uncle have them and we have tried them with Marantz AV8805 and a couple emotiva Amps, including the phenomenal 2nd gen XPA, and they were superb. We used the Marantz HD DAC with a smallish 5 channel emotiva and it sounded super sweet, and different.

I would recommend that you try a different DAC. If you don’t hear a difference be over with the search for a while and enjoy your equipment.
Having spent 2k for a pair of R3 yesterday and feeling like “meh they’re ok” makes you reasonable again, I suppose.

Good luck and have fun.
 
Top Bottom