My question is for those who have tried both the Dac Magic and the Xda-1, which one do you like the best and why? And for those who have just the Xda1 is the Usb imput stuck at either 44.1 or 48.1 sampling rate like the Dac Magic? I've heard people complain about the volume issue on the Xda1 and the fact that it doesn't show the incoming sampling rate or the rate period. From what I've seen both are dual dac units and differential. The reason I'm asking is I just bought a Dac Magic and I'm on the preorder list for the Xda-1 and trying to decide between the two? I have a computer built especially for this purpose and will be adding it to my system this week. If there are other negative regarding the Dac Magic please let me know besided the $100 extra upcharge ouch!!! Just picked up on 12-27-10 and haven't had time to open Dac Magic yet. I have been using windows media player lossless files so far.
Only have the DacMagic. It's fine for the money, but not better than the DAC inside my Yamaha AVR. Others can inform you about the USB imput from the XDA-1, though I believe it accepts 24/192. But if you are Sid Vicious, why would you care? ;D
If you are serious about the high bitrates and USB (I know no content in 24/192 to my liking, and I have a wide musical taste...), I would recommend something like the Wyred4Sound DAC2, which costs $1,500. The rest of the system needs to be on par also. Or else you would not hear the difference. Believe me, it's all very subtle.
The volume issues of the XDA-1 are only important if you don't use a preamp after it, no?
HT build Atmos™ 9.2.4: ◉subs◉ Full Marty ◤DIYSG Titan 615LX [LCR]◥ Surround & Wides: Cinema-10 Max  Atmos & Back: Volt-10  ▭XMC-2 to order
There have been drivers posted that address the USB issue being limited to certain bit rates. I haven't personally gone back and tested those though. The volume of the XDA-1 is not really an issue if you are running it into a preamp. For some it is not even an issue running as the preamp. It really seems to be system dependent.
Speakers: Monitor Audio RS8's, RSLCR, RSFX
Subs: Dual Epik Empires
Powered by: Dual XPA-5's & XMC-1
TV: Samsung 52" A750
Sources: Pio Elite BDP-05fd, Toshiba HD-A30, DirecTV HD, HTPC
Extras: Music Hall 25.2 DAC, JoLida JD9, Panamax 5100 (x2), Roku
I've owned the DACMagic for nearly a year and compared it directly to the XDA-1. My comparisons were performed using the XDA-1 only as a DAC and just using coax and optical inputs. I did not test the USB input.
My thoughts on the sound quality for the comparison can be found here: