DAC /pre Advise NEEDED urgently


I have a chance to pick up a dacmagic plus ($450). My current dac is a behringer ultramatch pro src2496..

My setup so far magnepan mmg, two nad 216 power amps, rel quake. No preamp :(

I could either buy a yaqin ms-12b ($250) tube pre amp or buy the dacmagic plus and use the dac and pre from there and sell the behringer dac

any thoughts?
The DACmagic "Plus", according to reviews, sounds great and works, although no remote is available. I have the old DACmagic ("That Old DACmagic has me in its spell"...) and it sounds amazing although the inexpensive cost loses it some points. I use the Pangea P100 power supply with mine, but I'm not sure they have the cable to use the "plus" with those yet.
My vote would be for the DacMagic Plus, as well...possibly a better sounding volume control solution than the ($250) tube pre.
A benchmark DAC would be good it has a volume control and could be used as a preamp.
I am having same struggle. Throw out the pre-amp and go straight from dac to amp with some passive pre-amp or volume control (outboard) I'm not sure i would trust the volume control in a DAC
I can control the volume from the pc which I'll use as source... Will that be any good? Any cheap passive pre out there?
In a previous post, I explained why I returned my DACMagic+ and bought a Wadia 121. In my system, at least, it didn't sound very good. Do some searching, and buy from a shop with a good return policy.
"...and it sounds amazing although the inexpensive cost loses it some points...."

Wow! You disparage a good-sounding product because it *doesn't* cost more money? Did you really mean that or were you joking?

What part of "sounds amazing" would you say is disparaging? The previous version DACmagic could (and mine was) be bought for under 300 bucks, and combined with the ($100) upgraded power supply is a GREAT sounding DAC in my system. I've personally compared it directly to DACs costing a LOT more and it holds its own (even being indistinguishable from the ones I compared it to in my informal blind testing), but since it's so inexpensive many in the "snobophile" community (especially those who paid 4 times its cost for something else) ignore it. Its USB thing apparently sucks, but I don't use that feature so I don't mind. Incidentally, a dude at Audio Advisor told me the DACmagic was its best selling item ever. Not sure what that means, but people seem to like the thing. No joke. One more thing...when I was shopping around for a DAC, this was the only reasonably priced one with balanced in and out and switchable multiple source inputs.
I have a DacMagic Plus with which I was initially very disappointed. It's performance was much worse than my Benchmark DAC1 -- completely failing to come alive and with a very poor sound stage. It was harsh with a poor perceived frequency balance. I was using asynchronous USB from a battery powered notebook computer running Foobar 2000 with the Cambridge Audo driver. The DAC is connected via balanced outputs directly to my power amp. I thought something must be seriously wrong.

It took me quite awhile to figure out what was holding it back. As an experiment, I tried removing the ferrite filter attached to the power cable coming from the switching power supply. Wah-Lah! The sound came to life, smoothed out, much sweeter and better frequency balance, plus the sound stage opened up. My power line is 120V 60Hz. To somewhat compensate for the removal of the ferrite filter, I twisted the power lead to make it into a twisted pair to help reject some EMI/RFI. My conjecture is that the ferrite filter interferes with the correct operation of the switching power supply. I imagine the ferrite filter was added-on after product design to help pass EMI/RFI interference tests. When I wrote Cambridge Audio about the power supply problem, a representative responded: "We have not experienced any significant issues with the DacMagic PSU but the bulk of our testing is done on 220v circuits so it is possible that there are issues to be reviewed on 110v."

With the ferrite filter gone, I am hearing some music magic at times, but the system performance has been very inconsistent, with tremendous dependence on the quality of AC power in my house, and what's coming from the power company -- early morning usually providing best sound quality. Plus, for best sound I have to unplug the DVR, microwave, portable phone system, wireless computer network router, and desktop computer UPS. And, this is with the DacMagic Plus PSU being plugged into a PS Audio AC line filter, and having a separate noise filter plugged in parallel with the PSU, and all this is fed from it's own dedicated AC line with its own house circuit breaker. The power amp also has it's own separate dedicated line and circuit breaker. I may need to upgrade the power line coming to my house.

My DacMagic Plus PSU might be defective, but I'm suspicious that other owners have been experiencing similar problems. Some of the descriptions of performance for those who have rejected and returned a DacMagic Plus, or have found it deficient, sound similar to my experience. I think Cambridge Audio has some troubleshooting to do.

If you have a DacMagic Plus, I strongly suggest you try removing the ferrite filter. It's very easy to remove once you figure out how to unlock the clasp that holds it together. There are multiple loops of the cable inside the ferrite filter that must be unwound. Acquiring or building an alternative 12V DC PSU, maybe even a battery supplied PSU, might be a revelation for this unit.

I hope this helps,

OB Ron
Again, I have to wonder when the Pangea P100 will have a cable compatible with the "plus." Again.
The DacMagic Plus requires 12v DC. The Pangea P100 puts out AC, as is correct for the older DacMagic. A whole new PSU is needed, not just a different cable. I hear one is coming that will be compatible with the DacMagic Plus.