Any improvement of using 2K$ Dac with Cambridge CXN

I am now using Cambridge CXN mainly for TIDAL HIFI to int.amp Creek 100A and speaker Amphion Argon 3.

Now looking to update my system, is there any improvement if I buy external dac (2K$) and let the CXN as network transporter. Or should I sell the CXN and looking to new streamer that able to use TIDAL MQA (because CXN cannot). 
My eyes are now on
- TEAC NT505
- Mytek DAC
- Lumin
- Aularic

BTW, sorry my English is not that good and I stay in Bangkok, Thailand.


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@wallpoom IMO it depends on what your goal is. It kind of looks like you're looking at all-in-one network streaming DACs, but asking if that is a better option versus a standalone DAC where you continue using the Cambridge Audio as your network streamer.

I would say technically you're more likely to get a higher quality DAC and overall better sound at a given price point if you continue using your Cambridge Audio as the network streamer and purchase a DAC, ignoring MQA.

This article about jitter may help, but in short imagine a clock or metronome sometimes being a little off whenever it ticks. Either the next tick comes a little too soon or a little too late. If you're trying to keep time based on the ticks, and they're not always exactly right, then whatever you're doing might be a little incorrect.
The Cambridge is very good for the money,their Flagship 851n beats many $3-4kdacs  out there. their  AD dual dacs are still one if the best sounding out there . 
I owned a Lumin my friends Cambridge Audio 851N was Much more detailed across the board  that is why it has won awards 4 years in a row . very good parts quality ,well engineered in the U.K and built in China in their factory .
if built here it  would be over $3k with ease .
Audioman 58 but we used to sell both the Cambridge and the Lumin.  We had both units in the same system and could a/b both at the same time and in the same system, and there was no contest at all, the Lumin completely outclassed the Cambridge.

Also totally don't agree with you about beating $3k-$4k dacs, the Mytek Brooklyn Bridge is way better, so is the Lumin D2 and the Lumin T2 different league altogether. 

The 851n is the same guts as the 851CD player a 2012 design.

Another fact Lumin is constantly adding features that people want, such as Obouz and MQA,  we stopped selling Cambridge,because we coudn't sell the streamers  as our clients wanted access to Tidal and were not interested in waiting for Cambridge to add Tidal access,  both the CXN and the 851N streamers only had access to Spotify unless you wanted to blue tooth to the streamers. It took them years to finally add Tidal.

Don't think that Qbouz is available now is it, also no MQA.

The general hardware  feature set of the Cambridge units are great, the sound quality is good,  the no Qbouz and no MQA are kind of deal breakers for a popularly priced streamer. 

Sorry to have a very different opinion of the company, they do make some excellent products, the 851N is showing its age it is a good piece for its no lower price with the above mentioned caveats.

Dave and Troy
Audio Doctor NJ Lumin, Mytek, dealers


yeah my concern is that the software technology is always quickly change. If I buy a good quality DAC now in the future I can just sell CXN and buy another streamer transporter with catch-up recent technology( MQA, QUBUS, ...) and keep using the same DAC.  Or I should buy the all-in-one but once technology change I just sell it and buy the new one...