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If I buy Cambridge CXA80, do I actually need a DAC or Network Player?

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I have been using Audirvana+ Player (Mac OS) connected to my KEF X300A (Active Speakers) for years, playing mostly AIFF and WAV files. Recently the KEF speakers are no longer working, and I plan to replace them with my Cambridge Audio speakers.

 

Since the new speakers are not active speakers, I will need an Amplifier for it and I am looking at Cambridge Audio CXA80. The question is, it seems to be that CXA80 has USB audio input and a WM8740 DAC chip, I believe I can connect it to speakers directly. Using Audirvana as player, do I still need to buy a DAC, or a network player, like DacMagic or CXN? What's the purpose for a network player (e.g. CXN) in my setup? 

 

 

 

 

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The CXA80 will do you very well indeed. It does have a USB Audio input that can accept 192/24 PCM, which AIFF or WAV are.

You can keep Audirvana + with a USB cable and connect directly to the CXA80 and it will work. 

 

I would recommend something be fitted in that USB chain like an iFi Galvanic 3.0 as a minimum, provided a USB3.0 port is available on the computer. Choice of USB cables is a personal issue and taste, for economy and performance, the Nordost Blue Heaven USB cables are highly recommended for durability and sound.

 

No other hardware is needed, unless you want to venture to DSD files, then you need a DAC that can play that format. Audirvana+ can convert to DSD to PCM, but best if the DAC does this work..also there's differing opinions on this, like most of audio.

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49 minutes ago, One and a half said:

The CXA80 will do you very well indeed. It does have a USB Audio input that can accept 192/24 PCM, which AIFF or WAV are.

You can keep Audirvana + with a USB cable and connect directly to the CXA80 and it will work. 

 

I would recommend something be fitted in that USB chain like an iFi Galvanic 3.0 as a minimum, provided a USB3.0 port is available on the computer. Choice of USB cables is a personal issue and taste, for economy and performance, the Nordost Blue Heaven USB cables are highly recommended for durability and sound.

 

No other hardware is needed, unless you want to venture to DSD files, then you need a DAC that can play that format. Audirvana+ can convert to DSD to PCM, but best if the DAC does this work..also there's differing opinions on this, like most of audio.

 

Just a note on a USB cable. I was using Blue Heaven mentioned above for years, it was ok. However, in one day I substituted it with clearly better sounding combination of much cheaper Supra USB cable with Regen amber.

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I have the cxa 80 with the cxn.

the cxn allows you to connect an hard drive . Or stream from computer.

the cxn has 2 dacs and is xlr internally balanced.

 

the cxn will play dsd 64, has well has an host of others.

the cxa80 and cxn are perfect match.

 

 

 

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23 minutes ago, terrys99 said:

I have the cxa 80 with the cxn.

the cxn allows you to connect an hard drive . Or stream from computer.

the cxn has 2 dacs and is xlr internally balanced.

 

the cxn will play dsd 64, has well has an host of others.

the cxa80 and cxn are perfect match.

 

 

 

If there's a CXU, SACD ripping is on the cards :)

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Thanks everyone! I'll go with CXA80 for now. Maybe later, I will look into CXN :) Now I ripped all my CDs and stored them in a Synology NAS and access it via Audirvana +

 

Just out of curiosity, does CXN replaces the need of Audirvana? I understood CXN can connect to NAS or External Harddisk, but do you view your Music Library on your phone/tablet? 

 

 

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You can connect an hard drive directly into the cxn, I have a 4 tb plunged in.

or use a upnp to stream from your computer.

or usb A B cable. Yes you can stream from android and Apple.

I have an hard drive for my dsd dsf albums and I use computer usb to send pcm albums.

 

amazing piece of kit.

 

best thing about the cxn is ,  it has connection galore.

and it sounds dam good.

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