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  1. #1

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    Default Who is using Benchmark DAC's?

    Whats up guys ,
    We just picked up Benchmark and are getting in the line of DAC's , I believe the Dac 2's are coming soon as I'm eager to demo it. I'm excited as they are well respected in the industry. Opinions on them?
    Dan
    My personal quest is to save to world of bad audio, one thread at a time.

  2. #2

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    Dan
    I've been running Benchmark DAC's for about 8 years; my current one is the DAC/PRE with the upgraded op-amps. I can find no fault with it. I run everything thru my DAC (BluRay, HDTV box, CDP) then the BM is connected (line level) to my Placette passive for volume control. The better your input sources, the more you will appreciate the accuracy of the Benchmark, it mates beautifully with my Harbeth speakers.
    Last edited by steveinaz; 12-21-2012 at 09:18 AM.

    Transport: Oppo BDP-103/USB HDD (flac)
    DAC/Preamp: Benchmark DAC/PRE
    Power Amp: Parasound HCA-1500A
    Speakers: Harbeth Compact 7ES-3 Monitor
    Cables: Kimber Hero/8TC; DH Labs D-75

  3. #3

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    I used a DAC-1 for a while and thought it was awesome. Great sound quality for the price.
    2-Channel:

    Source 1: PC
    Source 2: Rega Apollo CDP
    USB > SPDIF Converter: Stello U3
    DAC: Audio GD NFB-7
    Preamp: Audio Research LS-15
    Power Amp: BAT VK-500
    Speakers: Magnepan 3.7's

    HT:

    Source 1: HTPC
    Source 2: Oppo 103
    Pre/Pro: Marantz av8003
    Power Amp: Rotel RMB-1095
    Fronts: LSiM-705's
    Center: LSiM-704c
    Surrounds: LSiM-702's
    Subs: Dual SVS PC12-NSD's

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  5. #5

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    I'll take the 20 plus extremely positive reviews from professionals in the industry over "MarkK" on a forum anyday. Not to mention my own experience with this piece over the last 8 years.

    Stop "reading" and start "trying."

    Transport: Oppo BDP-103/USB HDD (flac)
    DAC/Preamp: Benchmark DAC/PRE
    Power Amp: Parasound HCA-1500A
    Speakers: Harbeth Compact 7ES-3 Monitor
    Cables: Kimber Hero/8TC; DH Labs D-75

  6. #6

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    I started with a DAC1, then bought a DAC1 Pre, and had no issue with either. However, in a case of upgrade-itis I bought a Bryston BDA-1 DAC. Personally, I like the Bryston a bit better. The Benchmark seems a bit harsh compared to the Bryston. However, if the Bryston ever breaks, the Benchmark will go right in, and I will not be unhappy.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by steveinaz View Post
    I'll take the 20 plus extremely positive reviews from professionals in the industry over "MarkK" on a forum anyday. Not to mention my own experience with this piece over the last 8 years.

    Stop "reading" and start "trying."
    I thought he was simply talking up the Xonar I didn't realize he's an idiot. He certainly didn't say the Benchmark was junk.

    Not going to try something I can't afford. From my read he's not simply some anonymous 'MarkK'. Seems well respected speaker designer. Before I would do the Benchmark I would have to upgrade from my LSi 9's.

    I thought the OP just wanted some opinions. Albeit it wasn't mine. Since Mantis strikes me as being in the business I thought him being able to reach out to another professional a plus. Have a Merry Christmas :)
    Last edited by Habanero Monk; 12-21-2012 at 12:06 PM.
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  8. #8

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    I never said he was an idiot.

    What makes you think Lsi9's are not worthy of a Benchmark DAC? I've had Lsi9's running on my system, and they were quite impressive w/the BM.

    Transport: Oppo BDP-103/USB HDD (flac)
    DAC/Preamp: Benchmark DAC/PRE
    Power Amp: Parasound HCA-1500A
    Speakers: Harbeth Compact 7ES-3 Monitor
    Cables: Kimber Hero/8TC; DH Labs D-75

  9. #9

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    I already have a solid amp and USB sound card. So after I get my subs built IF I were to spend the $1200-$1400(?) that the Benchmark seems to cost I would think I would have a bigger return on investment in speakers. That would be a while

    Is my understanding incorrect that opinions where being solicited?
    Last edited by Habanero Monk; 12-21-2012 at 12:25 PM.
    So hot it burns twice

  10. #10

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    Opinions from users here my friend. I'm sure the OP could google user opinions elsewhere if he hasn't already. Incidently, a sound card isn't going to give you the same results as a quality dac imho. Others may disagree, but everyone I know who has upgraded their sound card, still uses an outboard dac for better SQ.

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by tonyb View Post
    Opinions from users here my friend. I'm sure the OP could google user opinions elsewhere if he hasn't already. Incidently, a sound card isn't going to give you the same results as a quality dac imho. Others may disagree, but everyone I know who has upgraded their sound card, still uses an outboard dac for better SQ.
    I thought he just asked for "Opinions on them". How would I know if he did/didn't Google. Maybe he should. Jeez. I even use an outboard sound card because of portability and the connections are easy to get to. And the fact this is the way they seem to be going
    So hot it burns twice

  12. #12

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    I have the Benchmark DAC HDR. It is a great little preamp/dac. Sounds great, very compact, and very versatile. It is hooked up to my TV, sonos and blueray!
    Rig1 - Totem Hawks, Benchmark HDR, Parasound A21, Sonus, Samsung 52 LCD, Audioquest Type4
    Rig2 - LFD LE IV Integrated, Harbeth P3ESR, Rega Dac, MF V-Link, IMAC, Audioquest Type4

  13. #13

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    I had the opportunity to experience a db balanced shoot out that included a Benchmark, Bryston BDA-1, Nekko, and the SimAudio D300. To be fair we were listening them thru Burmester, Sooloos, and $140k Gamut S9 speakers so differences were easy to discern. The Benchmark was the oldest model by 2 years. Of the four the SimAudio won first or second in every category among the three of us. After that afternoon I sold my musical Nekko and searched out the Sim.

    The great thing about Benchmark DACs is that they truly are a Swiss Army knife. So many people I know that own Benchmarks use them as a preamp/DAC combo. If buying them used make sure to get the most recent chip series as the sonic improvements are noticeable.
    Staff Member TONEAudio[SIZE="1"]
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    2 Ch. System
    SimAudio Moon i7 int. amp
    MacBook/PureMusic/iTunes,1.5 TB hd
    SimAudio 300D DAC,
    Harbeth Compact 7es3 Spkrs
    Magnepan1.6 w/SkiingNinja x-overs
    Rega RP1 w/Ortofon Super OM40
    SimAudio LP5.3 phono pre
    Additional Gear:
    ACI Emerald XL, Celestion Si Stands, AudioArt, Shunyata Venom3, Virtue Audio int. amp, Vista Audio Int. amp, iPod 160 gig

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by markmarc View Post
    I had the opportunity to experience a db balanced shoot out that included a Benchmark, Bryston BDA-1, Nekko, and the SimAudio D300. To be fair we were listening them thru Burmester, Sooloos, and $140k Gamut S9 speakers so differences were easy to discern. The Benchmark was the oldest model by 2 years. Of the four the SimAudio won first or second in every category among the three of us. After that afternoon I sold my musical Nekko and searched out the Sim.

    The great thing about Benchmark DACs is that they truly are a Swiss Army knife. So many people I know that own Benchmarks use them as a preamp/DAC combo. If buying them used make sure to get the most recent chip series as the sonic improvements are noticeable.
    Did you use these dacs with USB ?

    I am interested in the new benchmarks and the only thing holding me back is the look of them. My wife hates the look of them and she like the ps audio pw dac. I would love to hear a benchmark hooked up to my Martin Logans as they tend to favor a really high quality signal and bring out all the details without sounding harsh so BM might be perfect

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by polkfarmboy View Post
    Did you use these dacs with USB ?

    I am interested in the new benchmarks and the only thing holding me back is the look of them. My wife hates the look of them and she like the ps audio pw dac. I would love to hear a benchmark hooked up to my Martin Logans as they tend to favor a really high quality signal and bring out all the details without sounding harsh so BM might be perfect
    We stuck with COAX. The look of Benchmark is a love it or hate it deal with audiophiles that I have discussed it with over the past few years.
    Staff Member TONEAudio[SIZE="1"]
    Blogger Site_ smallspacesaudio
    Founder/Publisher Affordable$$Audio 2006-13.
    2 Ch. System
    SimAudio Moon i7 int. amp
    MacBook/PureMusic/iTunes,1.5 TB hd
    SimAudio 300D DAC,
    Harbeth Compact 7es3 Spkrs
    Magnepan1.6 w/SkiingNinja x-overs
    Rega RP1 w/Ortofon Super OM40
    SimAudio LP5.3 phono pre
    Additional Gear:
    ACI Emerald XL, Celestion Si Stands, AudioArt, Shunyata Venom3, Virtue Audio int. amp, Vista Audio Int. amp, iPod 160 gig

  16. #16

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    I'm gonna shootout the D2 with the SC-68 USB DAC. That should be interesting as I think it sounds better then the Cambridge , Peach Tree and Audioengine.
    Dan
    My personal quest is to save to world of bad audio, one thread at a time.

  17. #17

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    When you say D2 are you referring to the Anthem D2 I have?

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by mantis View Post
    I'm gonna shootout the D2 with the SC-68 USB DAC. That should be interesting as I think it sounds better then the Cambridge , Peach Tree and Audioengine.
    Never mind my question Dan I just got done reading your very informative review of the 68 posted and caught that you mentioned the D2 is from benchmark and not Anthem, thanks for posting it for all us to read

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