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Thread: Benchmark DAC1

  1. #1

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    Default Benchmark DAC1

    I just now got my new Benchmark DAC1 hooked up to take an initial listen and I just thought I would post my initial impressions in a decidedly In Progress set up as stuff rolls in.

    The first thing that I noticed was soundstage and placement improvement. I am playing Madonna's Confessions Tour Live album and it sounds incredibly spacious.

    Before it sounded good to my ears but the soundstage now has deepened and widened considerably. Definitely more 3 dimensional. I am a bit surprised to be honest.

    So far a definite inprovement in the digital front end....
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    Sharp Elite 70
    Anthem D2V 3D
    Parasound 5250
    Parasound HCA 1000 A
    Parasound HCA 1000
    Oppo BDP 95
    Von Schweikert VR4 Jr R/L Fronts
    Von Schweikert LCR 4 Center
    Totem Mask Surrounds X4
    Hsu ULS-15 Quad Drive Subwoofers
    Sony PS3
    Squeezebox Touch

    Polk Atrium 7s on the patio just to keep my foot in the door.

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    This is one of many typical improvements when moving to a high quality stand alone DAC. Congrats in discovering even more audio nirvana. I will probably always use a stand alone DAC in each of my systems.

    H9
    "Appreciation of audio is a completely subjective human experience. Measurements can provide a measure of insight, but are no substitute for human judgment. Why are we looking to reduce a subjective experience to objective criteria anyway? The subtleties of music and audio reproduction are for those who appreciate it. Differentiation by numbers is for those who do not".--Nelson Pass

    Pass Aleph 30; Eastern Electric Mini Max; Adcom GDA600; MIT S3/Z Pc; SDA 1C; Squeezebox; Tubes add soul!

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    Very nice, I almost picked up one of these recently got a deal on something else I couldn't turn down.
    "He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you." Friedrich Nietzsche

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    Is that a volume control? As in you can connect directly to an amp?
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    One more person that likes the Benchmark. I need to get one.

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    I believe it's a volume control for the headphone jack, possibly the whole unit also.
    "He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you." Friedrich Nietzsche

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    Wingnut... an improvement over what. Gotta know where you've been when you evaluate a change.

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    Quote Originally Posted by HTrookie View Post
    Is that a volume control? As in you can connect directly to an amp?
    Yes. You can and some like it some prefer to keep it going through the pre.It also controls the headphone volume.

    I have it hooked up to the cd input on the Parasound 850. I have not tried it direct yet. I have a lot of sources so it makes sense to go through the Parasound pre.

    I would have to say even with my short time today with it I won't ever not have one in my system for music. It's one of those whammy purchases.

    I have been switching back and forth comparing before and after and it's night and day. I would get this before any other upgrade.
    Sharp Elite 70
    Anthem D2V 3D
    Parasound 5250
    Parasound HCA 1000 A
    Parasound HCA 1000
    Oppo BDP 95
    Von Schweikert VR4 Jr R/L Fronts
    Von Schweikert LCR 4 Center
    Totem Mask Surrounds X4
    Hsu ULS-15 Quad Drive Subwoofers
    Sony PS3
    Squeezebox Touch

    Polk Atrium 7s on the patio just to keep my foot in the door.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wingnut4772 View Post
    I have been switching back and forth comparing before and after and it's night and day. I would get this before any other upgrade.
    Same when I first ventured into outboard DAC's. There is no going back now, everything else sounds flat and somewhat lifeless. Now of course there are some high dollar cdp's out there that sound excellent but not for around $1K which is about what the Benchmark is new.

    I orginally bought my DAC for my DVDp to play music dvd's because my DVDp sounded like ass. It was a nice surprise the total iimprovement it made for my Nak cdp as well. That was about 5 years ago and I can't stand to listen to music w/o the DAC.

    I have my eye on one of these. My brother just got one and he's going to let me demo it soon.

    Monarchy M24 or NM24 tubed DAC which can also be a line level tube pre-amp
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    "Appreciation of audio is a completely subjective human experience. Measurements can provide a measure of insight, but are no substitute for human judgment. Why are we looking to reduce a subjective experience to objective criteria anyway? The subtleties of music and audio reproduction are for those who appreciate it. Differentiation by numbers is for those who do not".--Nelson Pass

    Pass Aleph 30; Eastern Electric Mini Max; Adcom GDA600; MIT S3/Z Pc; SDA 1C; Squeezebox; Tubes add soul!

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    I'm another one who really enjoys what a good DAC can do for your system. It can really bring things up to a new level. Since I like the flexibility of my Onkyo 6 disc changer (load it & forget it) but didn't want to give up on great 2 channel listening, a DAC is the way to go. I doubt if I'll ever go back to a CD player.
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    SONOS System
    KEF Q900 / mains
    KEF Q600 / center
    KEF Q800 / surrounds
    KEF Q100 / rear surr.
    Def Tech ProMonitor 1000 / front & rear presence
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    Quote Originally Posted by rskarvan View Post
    Wingnut... an improvement over what. Gotta know where you've been when you evaluate a change.
    I had my Pioneer 79avi going through my new (to me) Parasound PHP 850 and out to my Earthquake Cinenova amp. (soon to be replaced by a Parasound HCA 1500a).

    The only difference so far is that now the Pioneer 79 avi goes to the Benchmark and the Benchmark goes to the PHP 850.


    One cool thing is now I feel I can really give a good comparison of vinyl vs digital.

    I have several albums on both formats.

    One bad thing is that SACD and DVD Audio can't go througn the Benchmark and I like the redbook through the DAC1 better than the SACD without in my set up.
    Sharp Elite 70
    Anthem D2V 3D
    Parasound 5250
    Parasound HCA 1000 A
    Parasound HCA 1000
    Oppo BDP 95
    Von Schweikert VR4 Jr R/L Fronts
    Von Schweikert LCR 4 Center
    Totem Mask Surrounds X4
    Hsu ULS-15 Quad Drive Subwoofers
    Sony PS3
    Squeezebox Touch

    Polk Atrium 7s on the patio just to keep my foot in the door.

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    I bought a LITE Audio DAC 72 on Ebay some years ago.
    This page has em http://vocativeaudio.com/
    I am sure there are some better DAC's now, but I think it will cost a LOT more.

    I have some used Mullards in mine and it is sweet, sweet, sweet.

    Price is right too!

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    I finally ran my Oppo thru the Bel Canto and noticed the improvement immediately. The Benchmark and Bel Canto DAC2 sound damn near identical.

    Wes
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    Without a DAC, IMHO, digital is unlistenable, unless of course you are listening to a high end player like the MF Tri Vista.

    Great find Darla; I heard the Benchmark at PHil's and it sounded gooooood! I love my DAC and won't leave home without it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hearingimpared View Post
    Without a DAC, IMHO, digital is unlistenable, unless of course you are listening to a high end player like the MF Tri Vista.

    Great find Darla; I heard the Benchmark at PHil's and it sounded gooooood! I love my DAC and won't leave home without it.
    Joe, I think you have me confused with someone else. I did have the Benchmark quite a while ago before I met you. You heard Frank's Ultra DAC at my place but as of yet you haven't heard the TADAC. To date the best one in my system.
    "2 Channel & 11.2 HT "
    Panny 65" 3D Plasma
    Yamaha AVENTAGE RX-A3010 AVR
    D>SONIC M2-600M mono's / mains
    Rotel RMB-1095 / 5 channel amp
    Rotel RMB-1075 / 5 channel amp
    TEAC UD - 501 DAC
    Oppo BDP-93
    SONOS System
    KEF Q900 / mains
    KEF Q600 / center
    KEF Q800 / surrounds
    KEF Q100 / rear surr.
    Def Tech ProMonitor 1000 / front & rear presence
    Velodyne SPL-1200R subs / dual pair
    DSPeaker Anti-Mode 8033 sub EQ
    Equitech Balanced Power Son of Q 1.5R
    Extensive room treatments

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    I've tried the DAC. The volume control can act as a pre amp, but doesn't perform as well as the DAC itself. The volume control should be disabled and the DAC placed in line with a good transport and preamp. In the end I thought the DAC was a little too analytical for me. I decided to go with the PS Audio DLIII as its warmth meshed better with my system.

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    Congrats Darla. I know that things improved when I acquired the MF Tri-Vista DAC 21 for my system.
    Michael ;)
    In the beginning, all knowledge was new!

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    Hi all, For those of us that don't know what a DAC is/does.
    what is it?, how do you incorporate a DAC into your system? is this for connecting a computer to your sound system?
    anyone has a picture they can share?
    Tkx.

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    Quote Originally Posted by olilugo View Post
    Hi all, For those of us that don't know what a DAC is/does.
    what is it?, how do you incorporate a DAC into your system? is this for connecting a computer to your sound system?
    anyone has a picture they can share?
    Tkx.

    DAC- Digital to analog converter

    All digital components have this as part of their make up. A stand alone DAC in many cases is better at converting the digital information to analog so we can hear it. They tend to use much higher quality parts and are designed to stricter standards and isolate each part of the process much better.

    The DAC typically hooks up to your sources digital output via one of 3 connections. Typical RCA, Toslink (optical) or SPDIF (sp?). It runs between your source and pre-amp/receiver although some stand alond DAC's can act as a preamp as well.

    You can use it for your computer, cdp. DVDp, digital recording equipment, etc.

    Linky that will tell you more than you could possibly wan to know about DAC's :)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital...alog_converter
    H9
    Last edited by heiney9; 09-28-2007 at 09:33 AM.
    "Appreciation of audio is a completely subjective human experience. Measurements can provide a measure of insight, but are no substitute for human judgment. Why are we looking to reduce a subjective experience to objective criteria anyway? The subtleties of music and audio reproduction are for those who appreciate it. Differentiation by numbers is for those who do not".--Nelson Pass

    Pass Aleph 30; Eastern Electric Mini Max; Adcom GDA600; MIT S3/Z Pc; SDA 1C; Squeezebox; Tubes add soul!

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    Quote Originally Posted by pearsall001 View Post
    Joe, I think you have me confused with someone else. I did have the Benchmark quite a while ago before I met you. You heard Frank's Ultra DAC at my place but as of yet you haven't heard the TADAC. To date the best one in my system.
    DUH!!!:o

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    Quote Originally Posted by wingnut4772 View Post
    I would have to say even with my short time today with it I won't ever not have one in my system for music. It's one of those whammy purchases.

    I have been switching back and forth comparing before and after and it's night and day. I would get this before any other upgrade.
    I love mine. Try it as a preamp, it's incredibly neutral. I have my CEC connected to the Benchmark via AES/EBU cable.
    Last edited by steveinaz; 09-28-2007 at 10:33 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

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    Quote Originally Posted by steveinaz View Post
    I love mine. Try it as a preamp, it's incredibly neutral.
    I am tempted to...
    Sharp Elite 70
    Anthem D2V 3D
    Parasound 5250
    Parasound HCA 1000 A
    Parasound HCA 1000
    Oppo BDP 95
    Von Schweikert VR4 Jr R/L Fronts
    Von Schweikert LCR 4 Center
    Totem Mask Surrounds X4
    Hsu ULS-15 Quad Drive Subwoofers
    Sony PS3
    Squeezebox Touch

    Polk Atrium 7s on the patio just to keep my foot in the door.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wingnut4772 View Post
    I am tempted to...

    HA, HA, that Parasound PH/P 850 will be back on the FM before you know it :p
    "Appreciation of audio is a completely subjective human experience. Measurements can provide a measure of insight, but are no substitute for human judgment. Why are we looking to reduce a subjective experience to objective criteria anyway? The subtleties of music and audio reproduction are for those who appreciate it. Differentiation by numbers is for those who do not".--Nelson Pass

    Pass Aleph 30; Eastern Electric Mini Max; Adcom GDA600; MIT S3/Z Pc; SDA 1C; Squeezebox; Tubes add soul!

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    Quote Originally Posted by wingnut4772 View Post
    I am tempted to...
    You have to flip a switch in the back...but you probably already knew that ;)

    I could actually run my whole system by the Benchmark if I didn't love my A3CR so much. Polk tuner via toslink, DVD via coax, and CDP via AES/EBU...pretty cool when you think about it. All selectable from the front of the DAC1, which would also add headphone capability to any of the 3 inputs.
    Last edited by steveinaz; 09-28-2007 at 10:57 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

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    Nice; just missing the remote :)
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    remote...bah humbug.

    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

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    Quote Originally Posted by HTrookie View Post
    Nice; just missing the remote :)
    The Parasound does not have a remote either but I need it for the other stuff and it sounds really nice. I admit though that the phono stage is not as nice as the new one.
    Sharp Elite 70
    Anthem D2V 3D
    Parasound 5250
    Parasound HCA 1000 A
    Parasound HCA 1000
    Oppo BDP 95
    Von Schweikert VR4 Jr R/L Fronts
    Von Schweikert LCR 4 Center
    Totem Mask Surrounds X4
    Hsu ULS-15 Quad Drive Subwoofers
    Sony PS3
    Squeezebox Touch

    Polk Atrium 7s on the patio just to keep my foot in the door.

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    Can somebody post a backend shot of one of these please?
    Sunfire TGP III PrePro, Sunfire Cinema Grand Signature 405wpc 5 ch. Amp, Rotel RCD-1072 CDP, Onkyo TA2600 Tape Deck, Pioneer Elite 47-A DVD, Sony 32" XBR TV, Polk RTA-8T Main Speakers, Boston VR-920 Center Channel, Boston PV-600 Subwoofer, Polk DSW 400 Subwoofer, Polk FXi-3 Surround Speakers

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    Note the "Output level" switch near the analog outputs, you switch to "variable" to use the DAC1 in preamp mode. The new model has USB also:
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    Last edited by steveinaz; 09-28-2007 at 12:56 PM.

    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

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    So I could use a digital cable to my dvd player & the red & whites to my cd player?
    Sunfire TGP III PrePro, Sunfire Cinema Grand Signature 405wpc 5 ch. Amp, Rotel RCD-1072 CDP, Onkyo TA2600 Tape Deck, Pioneer Elite 47-A DVD, Sony 32" XBR TV, Polk RTA-8T Main Speakers, Boston VR-920 Center Channel, Boston PV-600 Subwoofer, Polk DSW 400 Subwoofer, Polk FXi-3 Surround Speakers

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