DAC upgrade advice

Hi all.

I am currently running CORE on a NUC i5 plugged directly into a Cambridge 851N (acting as DAC) via USB. While I am very pleased with the sound I have an opportunity to purchase a used Mytek Brooklyn DAC (not the +) for an attractive price. Do you think I would get a noticeable jump in sound quality from the ‘upgrade’?

Thank you


You would get MQA if that’s important to you. It would be to me.

Yeah - I know its a controversial subject, but I like MQA. I have a AusioQuest DragonFly Black just for music on the go and I think it sounds good. I have read many good reviews of the MyTek Brooklyn and I can get one for around the same price I could sell my Cambridge 851N for. I’m just trying to work out if any sound improvements would be worth the effort. It’s always hard trying to ‘guess’ what some thing will sound like without actually being able to audition it in my own system. :grinning:

If you don’t have a way to audition it, you could buy it and see which one you like best. Then, sell the other one. If you’re getting a good price, you probably won’t lose anything. Personally, the MQA would be worth the swap. It makes no difference if someone else doesn’t like MQA.

Advantage of buying the device used is you can resell and little or no consequence if there is no improvement. MQA is a non-issue for me, in fact, I’m selling my Meridian MQA DAC on eBay. I went with Qobuz and dumped Tidal. If MQA is important to you, find the right DAC that has that feature.


If you don;t mind me asking why did you move from Tidal to Qobuz?

I had Tidal for a few years. Deezer Elite (Sonos) prior to that. I had both Qobuz and Tidal simultaneously for several months. I moved to Qobuz during their US beta. I felt Qobuz sounded more natural than Tidal MQA, and as a result selected the Qobuz versions more often. MQA is good too, but I found myself selecting the Qobuz cuts whenever possible. MQA sounds thinner to me. Most of my listening is by good quality headphones…One drawback to Qobuz, I think Tidal’s catalog is much better. Qobuz has improved over time. Qobuz customer service is better than Tidal. I’ve reached out to Qobuz requesting catalog additions, and had timely responses. Hope that helps.

Thank you Robert

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Btw have you upgraded to Cambridge Audios StreamMagic app , its quite an improvement on Connect

Hi Mike,

I did back late last year and I couldn’t get on with it. I email CA customer support and the person who responded said there were having problems with it. If those problems have been resolved I’ll try again. Although, I very rarely use it anymore now that I have Roon.

Hi Ian

It has a few quirks like not sorting lists eg my Tidal favourite artists are Random , not easy

But it does work. I use a mix of Roon & JRiver although I much prefer the JRemote app over anything

I haven’t tried JRiver - I’ll give it a look

Its more old school but very flexible for setting up views and you can customise tags , not really the place to discuss. PM me if you need help i am a 8 yr veteran :joy:

Your CA Azur 851N is no slouch, and I am not knocking the Mytek either. I just don’t think you will get that significant of a sound quality upgrade.

You will “notice” the sound quality difference, from the DAC signatures and tones, but it won’t make you go “Wow” or anything, more like “Hmmm.” And not in a bad way. The Mytek has a distinct sound. Some love it, and some can pass on it.

BUT…as you have stated, you are interested in, and like MQA, so that may be worth it for you.

Thank you Andrew & Mike for your input. I think I am just being a kid with a new toy at the moment, I am so pleased with the performance of my current (new) set up; specifically an NUC i5 with Rock going directly into my CA 851N. I think I should just enjoy that for a while before I start looking at upgrading. Its fun to dream though!!!