Cambridge Audio Dacmagic 200M - Problem!

This is my first post in this community. I am a ROON user for a couple of weeks now, and i really enjoy ROON.

A big “thank you” to all of you because all the questions i had were already answered in one of the posts…til today.

i bought a new DAC (Dacmagic 200m) last week and there are some strange things happening:

  1. The Dacmagic is connected via USB to an iMac with the ROON Bridge running. The analog output on the DAC is set to “fixed volume”. When i use the “Exclusive Mode” in the device settings there is no “Device Volume” available. Without the “Exclusive Mode” i have the Volume slider back but than the DAC is limited to 44,1Khz 16Bit.
    No Hhires nor DSD.

When i switch to DSP Volume it works but the sound quality suffers a lot, so this is not a good option. Furthermore the volume slider has kind of a strange behaviour. Only the last 20% on the scale have a real impact on the volume. So it happens often that i accidental turn the volume a bit to far and wake everybody up at night :wink:

I have multiple DAC’s like an Auralic Vega and a Woo Audio WA7 (DAC / Headphone amp) in different rooms and they all work great with ROON and have Device Volume working fine wiith the Exclusive Mode turned on…

What am i missing?

  1. MQA…
    This is my first DAC with MQA and here ist get strange:
    With any kind of DSP on, even just replay gain there is no MQA available.

Even with headphones, the Dacmagic 200M has a headphone stage, there ist MQA only with the Volume knob at max. Unusable.

OK, i could return the Dacmagic and call it a day BUT:
with Audirvana none of the problems accrue. I got Software Volume Control, HiRes, DSD and MQA working fine.

Any ideas?

thx in advance

BTW…sorry for my bad English.

I would ask CA support the same questions .

You are not defining your Core , is it the iMac in which case you should just need to enable the DAC in “Connected to the Core”

Maybe expand your system description

Hi Mike,
thank you for the fast reply. My config is as follows:

One iMac (Intel i7 / 500 GB SSD,8 GB Ram) runs the core, nothing else.

Another, older iMac runs thhe bridge and is connected via USB to the CA Dacmagic 200M.
The same iMac works fine with a 10 year pld CA Dacmagic Plus. The Dacmagic 200M should have been the replacement

Two other Macs serving other DAC’s.They are all running a wired ethernet. No wifi.
The music ist stored on a Synology NAS.

There are 4 more Airplay devices and and 2 Apple TV 4K.
In a nutshell, this is it…

CA support would tell me that if everything works fine with e.g. Audirvana 3.5 but not with ROON it is a ROON problem. DAC*s are not ROON ready or tested because they have no streaming capabilities.


Not sure this helps but at 4 minutes this reviewer mentions using USB DAC on iMac losing the ability to control volume only mute worked.

It’s Mac drivers are not an issue.

This DAC is very new, I haven’t seen any comments about it so far until someone has experienced one.

I have been looking as I fancy one too. I also had the 100 years ago.

Flag @support for help, but it may come down to just playing around with the device settings until you hit the right combo.

I see that @Mike_O_Neill has already flagged Support for you, but I’ve moved your Post and this thread into the Support category of the Forum, where it will be automatically seen, and responded to, by a member of the Support team. Best to keep all support questions together in the Support category.

I have several older DACs either connected by USB bridges (Ropieee), direct to core or via an old laptop as a bridge, so no Mac.In exclusive mode, I always have ‘volume control fixed’ even though one DAC ESS Sabre based has a volume control. So reaching the device volume control in exclusive mode is simply not possible. If I turn off exclusive mode, I can control the volume on my bridge laptop, but AFAIK I use the windows mixer for that. I think you are chasing something technically impossible if you want to control volume directly at the device via exclusive USB mode.

Hi Klaus,
thank you for your comment. But i have to disagree. I tried three different DAC’s ( Auralic Vega, WooAudio and Nuforce uDAC) and they all have Device Volume Control with the “Exclusive Mode” enabled. Without the Exclusive Mode there will be no Hires or DSD, just 16Bi t/ 44,1khz.

I wonder if other users here have different experiences…
How to choose a DAC or streamer if you don’t know if you are able to control the volume with your Smartphone or not?

Or do you all control the volume manually on your amp’s or preamp’s?
I read a lot of reviews and postings in this great community and volume control was no issue.

That is very disappointing not just for this DAC but how to choose a device if you don’t know wether this would work or not.

And if not, what should be the alternative?
I really love all the great features in ROON but this could end it for me.

Volume Control from your smartphone, tablet or Laptop isn’t something new…it is a standard feature for years now.

Still hoping for a real solution from ROON.


Sven, each DAC implements the USB control API differently, in my experience. I think this is especially likely if the DAC manufacturer provides an app you can use to change the settings on the DAC; there’s usually an API tailored to the needs of that app.

Roon Bridge will see them and use them if (a) the DAC USB implementation provides something it can see, and (b) Roon Bridge understands what it sees. Your odds of Roon understanding your DAC are higher if it’s “Roon Tested”, but even then the DAC itself may not provide any “handles” that Roon Bridge can use to control volume or other functions.

Also, a DAC can be “Roon tested” even if it doesn’t have streaming capabilities. Sounds like the manufacturer doesn’t understand what they’re saying. I’d look to the DAC manufacturer to “solve” this “problem”, instead of Roon.

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There is always the solution to set DSP volume which allows you to control the volume via Roon remote. Roon internally converts the signal to 64 bit and applies DSP volume control. Personally I have have not noticed a sound degradation compared to a signal path fixed volume DAC > preamp > amp, but my hearing isn’t that of a 20 year old anymore…

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Yres, DSP is a fallback option, but far from ideal. The CA Dacmagic 200M is a brand new DAC. And CA is a respected company with many devices ROON Ready or/and ROON tested. And than their newest DAC dosen’t support a key feature in ROON? Sorry, no way.

But, for those who are interested in sound quality, i put the DAC in my headphone set to test MQA:
(iMac - Aurdirvana 3.5 - Dacmagic 200M with Audioquest USB Cable - Auralic Taurus MK II - Audeze LCD 3)

MQA is a “funny” thing. It sounded really good on first glance. As soon the blue light switches on it seems to have a slight but noticeable improvement in SQ. The treble has more energy and the overall dynamic seems to be improved.
Seems? Yes…during 3 hours of listening and comparing MQA against my own libary songs i think that it is just a kind of psychoacustic trick.

Tidal songs with MQA appear just a bit loader, that’s is easily mistaken for more dynamic and a bit more treble simulated airiness.

Sorry, but IMHO not better. I read a lot about it. Some said it is a big leap in sound quality, others mentioned that it is, as it happened so often, just for the money. And i agree. It sounds different, not better.

I call myself an audiophile for over 35 year now (@Klaus my ears aren’t 20 year old too anymore) but i heard a lot of gear. From more cheap devices, like this CA Dacmagic 200M up to really TOTL gear.

I still hope to find a non-DSP solution for the volume problem, but for all of you that look at new DAC’s because of MQA, spare the money.

Just my 5 cent’s -)

still hoping for good advice from all of you…

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Why? The old DACMagic wasn’t Roon-tested, either.

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Hi Bill,
why? Because when they launched the old Dscmagic when ROON wasn’t that big deal back then. But that has changed. It is not just because of us 100.000+ ROON subscribers. That is not such a big number. But ROON is all over the HiFi and High-End media.

it is a bit like it is with MQA. Just one minor streaming service (Tidal) supports MQA ad CD’s with MQA or downloads are quite rare. But it is an often asked feature. Not supporting it means loosing potential buyers.

And CA is not only supporting ROON in most of their devices, they advertise it.

But you are right, they didn’t with the Dacmagic 200M.
So it is my fault. Period. I do not blame them, i am just a bit disappointed.

But still i like to keep the Dacmagic 200M, if someone could find a way to play Hires and DSD files without having to use the DSP Volume Control.
That’s all i want. And it must be technical possible or Aurdirvana could not work as tested.

Look, i don’t want to sound harsh, i am new to ROON and as such a complex system it has of course a learning curve. I am just hoping that some more experienced user or ROON support could tell me "just click there and than there, and it would work, just like it does with other DAC’s i own.

Thats all :wink:

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You are expecting Roon to know every DAC, which is unreasonable.

According to @danny a while back, CA worked well with Roon.

There is no Roon Ready status for a non streaming device, it implies the application of the RAAT streaming technology which for a DAC only device doesn’t apply.

I believe CA support should help as almost certainly they will have Roon software somewhere given the number of devices that are Roon Ready.

I can’t remember now but I suspect the DAC Magic 100 was also fixed, I recall using the amp volume control. It’s a while back.

Out of interest what do you see if you connect with the Stream Magic app if you can ?

It all boils down to what the USB input circuit of the DAC as others mentioned relays back to the Roon bridge. I have an older Denon USB 300 DAC connected to Raspberry 4 running Ropieee as a Roon bridge and a passive preamp with manual volume control between the DAC and the amp. It plays everything within the capabilities of the DAC. Well, no remote volume control, but I can live with that.

I guess you are right. It seems that it comes down to a kind of trial and error, or a little luck… we’ll see

unreasonable ? ok. Thanks for your input. I just hope that you do not talk in any official capacity for ROON.


Nope I am just a user like you , a fellow CA user trying to be helpful

I have two DACs, RME ADI 2 FS and SMSL SU9, Roon cannot control the preamps on them, it’s not a problem. Not all DACs allow this, if they can it would be available it depends on their design. More so with headphone amps I find. The only DACs that allowed control of hardware from Roon for me have been the Dragonfly series all of those worked but they are all Roon Tested DACs. My Ifi Nano when I had it also didn’t work.

Roon tested means DACs have been tested by RoonLabs and work with most features intact. Roon cannot know everything about every DAC however if its does not used standards it understands. Not all DACs allow hardware volume control, some do but it’s limited to specific OS no hard or fast rules, some DACs allow software volume which is far from ideal.

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Hi Sven are you in your return period?

If so you could try something like the Matrix Audio mini-i 3 which is not a lot more expensive (but doesn’t support MQA or WiFi like the Pro) but is fully Roon ready and an overall excellent device.
I have the Pro but the differences are just an improvemed clock, WiFi and I think MQA from memory. There are a lot of happy user’s in the forum’s.

I waited for that specifically because it was going through Roon certification and I already had three DAC amp’s that I could not control the volume through Roon.

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After looking at the package of the Dacmagic 200M i discovered a “ROON ready” sign on the top of the package. So i contacted CA support.

Here is there, indeed very fast, reply:

Hi Sven

Thanks for getting in touch.

The DacMagic 200M has been designed as a Roon Ready product however, Roon don’t appear to have updated their system yet to include it in this classification.
This could be becasue they have not completed their testing or may be simply a result of a work backlog.
As a result, some Roon Ready features may not be available yet.

I have reported this issue to the engineering team and we will chase-up the certification status with Roon

Once the classification is complete, the item should appear on this page: Roon + Cambridge | Get Roon for a Better Music Experience and also be listed as a Roon Ready device in the Audio settings area of the Roon app.

We will also double-check the volume functionality - it should in principle operate similarly to the DacMagic Plus.

I will place this ticket on hold and when i have an update from Engineering i will get back in touch.


xxxxx xxxxx
Customer Support

@ ROON support: Can you confirm that the device is or will be ROON ready ?