DMP-A8 review

gyosa Posts: 699
edited January 18 in Going Digital
I preordered this in early December and received it about a month ago. It is replacing a Cambridge Audio 851n that I’ve had for a few years now. My goal was to simplify my system as I was basically running 2 separate systems in my main rig with a speaker selector switch - a Onkyo TXRZ-610 for the TV and the Cambridge with a Parasound A21 for music sharing the same pair of Salk speakers….. a real hassle. I wanted a preamp/streamer with a HDMI ARC input so I could ditch the Onkyo and selector switch…. I wanted high quality sound with seamless integration. I considered a Matrix Audio Element M2 - would have checked all the boxes - but price and continually glitchy software were an obstacle.
I also considered the new Matrix Element I4 - but no 12v trigger out.

I listen to Sirius XM quite a bit and was using a Yamaha WXC-50 , as a “transport” - digital coax out (bypassing its DAC) into the Cambridge…. It sounded pretty good 16/44.1….

Anyways … the A8 is hooked directly to the A21 via XLR cables and Ethernet to my router. Using Salk Supercharged Songtowers. I won’t bore you with the specs , here they are -

Lemme say , I have absolutely no problems at all with the Cambridge- I love it , as many of you do who either own it or have owned it … it is a fantastic piece of gear.

The A8 is every bit as good if not better - the 851 sounds fantastic . I don’t have a way to compare them side by side so I’m just going by memory. I won’t pretend to describe it’s sound with superfluous adjectives- suffice to say it sounds fantastic feeding the A21 and Salks.
The nice thing about it is that it is highly customizable- you can select XLR , RCA outputs individually or both , rename inputs/outputs, set volume limits of all kinds, select HDMI ARC mode, screen settings, sampling rates,etc…. The list goes on and on. It has TIDAL CONNECT MAX (hi rez flac).

The PEQ function is interesting in that it is fully customizable and you can assign different/ multiple settings to each specific input/output. It also has a graphic EQ function that is assignable as well … different loudness and compression settings as well and all assignable. I have played around with it a little , but the PEQ is complicated.

Interestingly , if you want a music app that isn’t native to the A8 , you can download the APK and install it on the A8 . I did that with Sirius XM - it works great and streams in 16/44.1 - I can further simplify now and remove the WXC-50 . It actually sounds better than using the WXC.

The operating system has been flawless for me , nice and snappy - no lag whatsoever . A nice touch is the app - you can use the app to access the A8 but you can also “mirror” the A8’s screen to your phone/ipad - meaning what you see on your phone is what you see on the A8 - and all of its functions when accessed on the phone show on the A8 … hard to explain , but it makes things simpler. The unit will wake on lan via iPhone app when connected via Ethernet , or with the remote control.

Anyways, don’t know what else to say other than I’m very happy with it .
I don’t know what else can compete with it in its price range …
Will most likely be parting with the 851n 😃.


Dayens Ampino , Yamaha wxc-50 , Polk SDA 1c’s ( my first love .. ) , Kimber Kable 4TC, Sony 42” - BEDROOM

B&K EX-442 ( it will go in my casket when I die ... ) , PS Audio 4.6 preamp ( old school , but it still jams on ... ) , Eversolo DMP-A6 , Boston Acoustic voyager 7’s - POOL

Parasound A21, Eversolo DMP-A8 , Yamaha wxc-50 , Kimber Kable 4vs , Salk Supercharged Song towers ( difficult choice between these and my family if I had to choose ... 😩 ) , Sony XBR-A8F 65” OLED - DEN , MAIN RIG

PS Audio S300 - sitting in the closet for now …

Onkyo TX-nr609 , Polk atrium 7 , Boston acoustic sound ware (4) , Boston acoustic sub , B&W center , Sharp 65” TV - PATIO
Post edited by gyosa on