More thoughts on my DAC Shoot-out. Zing…Zip…Pow….Kapow!
1. Cambridge Audio DacMagic 200M
It would be easy to think my video is a criticism of the DacMagic 200M, for it isn’t. Comparisons undeniably lead to perceptions about value but it’s how individuals draw those themselves that matter, crucially in the process of short-listing using HiFi reviews. Us reviewers – we are not to be so big headed to think everything we say goes. Also let’s remember too that in the US the Cambridge is a fraction of the Mojo 2’s price and as an AV hub it has more connections too.
Also the Cambridge – ubiquitous with thoughts about punting and boating lakes, for Cambridge Audio’s abbreviated name-sake might conjure, being tuned for detail and high frequencies has a marketing advantage….Playing devils advocate, in the pantheons of us pretentious audiophiles, forwardness connotes something to avoid…..but who says so in the right HiFi system!?!? Also too, we must remember that products have to appeal to a market. Those who are content on sound quality improvements visiting their local store, however achieved, may not even associate with the word ‘Audiophile’. I don’t think I did ten years ago when buying HiFi.
So what I’m saying is that the products don’t just suit those like me, poking around at sound quality to the nth degree, deconstructing a product to the extent perceptions may exist of unworthiness. No No No. Products suit the entirety of a market who come across them. And as I alluded to, one review is rightly based on the experiences of one set of gear or a few sets, not those who may have differing experiences or HiFi which is more price and performance commensurate. The DacMagic 200 is compared to the others since Mojo 2 is price comparable in some locales and a very worthy (and hard to beat) product….
2. Chord Mojo 2
How much has been said already about this DAC, considered my favourite in this DAC shoot-out. I’ve assessed it to completion in my Mojo 2 review and now the bullets have stopped ricocheting in the shoot-out. But maybe not – for there is one more test to do and watch this space for Poly, Chord’s add on streamer module. I’m late to the party, sure! – 5 years late in fact, as this unit came out in 2017, but a review is a review nonetheless and a test using Mojo 2 against the output of newer smartphones, like those from the Apple stable, is a new test.
3. Denafrips Ares 2
I think I have said as much as I can on the Ares 2, featured in my previous video here in a comparison to the Chord Qutest, and RME ADI-2 DAC FS. But one thing being mentioned on the Denafrips Facebook group at the moment, is grey imports of the Ares 2, being sold at considerably reduced prices.
A grey import is essentially a product that doesn’t have a manufacturer warranty for a number of reasons. So beware!
Whilst talking consumer matters, if you are buying remotely and are UK or EU based, be aware that HiFi dealers CANNOT charge restocking fees, if you decide to return a product, under the auspices that they haven’t got the item in stock at the time you buy and have had to order with the manufacturer. Restocking fees are a charge on items returned when buying online or via tele-sales, in difference to in situ shop purchases. I saw a UK dealer charging a 20% restocking fee in their policy recently. Distance selling allows a useful means of trying a product and cancelling an order within 14 days, if you should desire, and good UK/EU dealers honour this.