Yay or Nay

Since I'm no expert I open this question to the floor.I own a Rega Apollo player hooked up to NAD C162-C272 combo with B&w 805S speakers. I was wondering if I added a Cambridge DAC Magic would I gain any better audible results out of my CD player or would I lose that distinct Rega sound which I really enjoy.
Thanks in advance
Cf130882 df3c 42da 891a 73cfbdd3ddccpaogorman2001
If you enjoy what you have, I'd say Nay.

The CAmbridge would sound different I am sure but not necessarily better.

I tube DAC like mhdt Paradisea might be a more interesting alternative in that price range. You can roll different tubes with that unit to change the sound significantly for marginal cost as well if you like.
At best, a lateral move...most likely different, but not better.

The creds on the Apollo speak for themselves - stand pat.
Having used both the Apollo and Cambridge Audio Azur 840C extensively, I can say that the sound between them is rather different.

Big assumption: The DagMagic would be along the lines of the Azur's sound. It is very likely you would see an improvement. However, I agree with Mapman that a tube DAC would further distance you from the Apollo's sound (Likely in a very positive way).

Finally, do not skimp on the Digital cable for the DAC as it has a strong influence on the quality of the resultant sound.

I have used the Monarchy M-24 pre/DAC with several players acting as transports. I used the Rega Saturn with the Monarchy and it was superb, a very rich upgrade in warmth and nice expansion of sound stage from the Saturn alone.

So, I would think that the similar transport of the Apollo would similarly be vastly improved by a good outboard tube DAC.
Oh, forgot; Disclaimer - I reviewed the Saturn, Azur and M-24 for Dagogo.com

Adding the Cambridge DAC Magic will be a sideways move at best.

With your present system, you will experience larger benefits by upgrading the
preamp/amp before the source.

However, down the road, adding a better DAC...like a Northstar 192, Paradisea
Havana, or several others higher up the food chain (too many to mention here),
would provide improvement over the stand-alone Rega.
when using the word "improvement", without specifying the nature of improvement is so subjective as to have little utility.

never assume what someone considers as "better". one person's "rupture" is another person's rapture.

it is more useful to be specify expected changes in sound than to use an adjective such as "lateral", "different" or "improvement".
I'm going to say "Nay," only because I know how good the Rega Apollo is as a stand alone player. But I will note that when my Apollo was new I didn't think it was all it was cracked up to be, and in fact, I didn't think it was much of an improvement over my old Rega Planet, which I've long since sold.

It took a good 3 to 4 months of break in before I began to hear the Apollo at its best. At first I used it as a transport for my Monarchy M24 DAC, which I ran directly from its DAC outputs using premium Siemens E88CC gold-pin tubes. But after extended break-in the comparison of the Apollo to the Apollo/M24 combination became a closer contest.

The Apollo stand-alone seemed to have deeper, more articulate bass, perhaps slightly better dynamics, and greater transient speed/clarity. Fast transients like sharp thwacks on a guitar, or sharply plucked strings sounded cleaner and faster.

Then again, on some recordings, the slightly plumper midbass of the M24 was an asset as was its tendency to smooth the music out a bit. The differences were not as huge as many would tend to argue, and my preference for one over the other would hinge on the quality of the recording and the particular instruments contained therein.

I recall getting more dynamic punch and tautness out of the drum kit on a particular Jack Johnson CD, and cleaner, faster guitar work from Tim Reynold's guitar on the solo Apollo. That said, on many vocal recordings and those with brass instruments I preferred the sound of the Apollo/M24 combo. The M24 helped to flesh out brass like the trombone and bass sax.

Ultimately, I ended up selling the M24 and using the Apollo solo. Later, down the road I bought a better tube preamp and although the system sounds just a hair's breadth slower than when using my solid-state passive buffered preamp, I prefer the tube unit's overall presentation. It seems to have a more dimensional soundstage and maintains an excellent sense of dynamic contrasts. It also sounds smoother in the upper-midrange/lower treble area.

If you use other types of source components like a tuner or turntable it may make more sense to upgrade your preamp rather than upgrading to an outboard DAC. This approach worked well for me. Plus you won't need to buy an expensive digital cable and another power cord not to mention finding extra shelf space to accommodate the DAC and possibly a related outboard power supply...
MrT, nothing pertinent to add to answer the original question, eh?

Adjectives notwithstanding, I suspect your post is less useful to the OP than
mine. Most every audiophile has a sense of what improved means in terms of
a component or system. There's no mystery involved.

There is only one audiophile to whom the standard audiophile meaning of
improved does not apply, and that's you.

Thanks for sharing, and now back to the topic at hand...
As I understand it, and hear it, for that matter, the Rega CD players are designed to sound warmer, and more analog-like, than other CD players out there, and this is what gives it it's distinctive sound. I bought an Apollo myself for this reason. I think if you moved away from it, you would most certainly miss that - I haven't ever heard the warmth I get from the Apollo in any other CD player I have yet heard.
hi tvad:

i remember one of the basic tenets of human behavior, namely, do no harm. one should never assume anything, including definitions.

while i may have not shed any useful information regarding the topic of this thread, i have not introduced any ambiguity or done any harm.

it is perhaps a tad more time consuming to specify the nature of an improvement, than to use the word and not state what you mean.

implying that audiophiles understand what is meant by the word improvement is an opinion, which is both probably true and probably false.

since i am not an audiophile, have not been an audiophile and never will be one, perhaps you can enlighten me as to what you mean by "improvement". you will thus do a good deed and free me from my ignorance.
MrT, this was the question asked by the OP:

I was wondering if I added a Cambridge DAC Magic would I gain any better audible results out of my CD player or would I lose that distinct Rega sound which I really enjoy.
Thanks in advance
Paogorman2001 (Threads)

You still haven't answered the question. Perhaps it'd be best if you stopped contributing to threads where you have nothing pertinent to offer.
hi tvad:

here is an answer to the question posed in the threadL

the question can only be answered by the questioner, after a comparison of the two components in question have been auditioned for some duration.

all other answers are merely speculations, which expose the questioner to some risk, if a purchasing decision is made, without hands on experience.
Thanks for everyone's input on this subject. I understand that everyone's ears are different so the question is quite a nebulus one, but I did get the general feedback I was looking for and decided to not go forward with the DAC and just keep enjoying that "Rega Apollo " sound that I love