The Musical Fidelity V-DAC arrived early this morning so after about six hours running in impatience got the better of me and I tried my first comparisons. The Cambridge DacMagic was powered by the Maplin AC-AC converter, the snappily coded L54BR, and the V-Dac by a Maplin VN10L AC to DC adapter set to 12 Volts. The reason for using the Maplin PSs is that the MF looked as if it was a SMPS and they really affect my system. SMPS and Naim systems don’t really mix well.
The two DACs are pretty close; in fact I’ve not drawn a conclusion yet. The MF is initially very enticing, it has a very direct quality as if a veil has been removed from in front of the speakers but at the same time it wasn’t quite as cohesive. The DacMagic – set to my preferred Minimum phase setting – was a little more relaxed, laid back in presentation but the bass was together with the rest of the band. The MF, although it timed, somehow managed to sound a tad slow on bass lines.
Lots more listening to do with coax S/PDIF as today was with optical. More soon.