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Thread: Benchmark DAC-1 - Need help and opinions guys!

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  1. #1
    RIP 2014 Ken Pachkowsky's Avatar
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    Benchmark DAC-1 - Need help and opinions guys!

    I am contemplating buying the following:

    http://www.benchmarkmedia.com/dac1/

    Does anyone have experience with this dac?

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Senior Member Ian Mackenzie's Avatar
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    You might find it a bit clinical but probably not with all that wood in your Horns. (In a hi end review of a mod'd unit that had BeeBee tweaks everywhere)

    Ken, Have a look at some of the Musical Fidelity stuff or the Apogee MiniMe

    My free tip of the day : Never buy a dac or anything else for that matter without hearing it first.

    Second tip: Never ask for an opinion about something your gonna spend bucks of money on.

  3. #3
    RIP 2014 Ken Pachkowsky's Avatar
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    Ian

    Thanks for the valued opinion. Yes, the thought of buying one without trying it out is keeping me at bay. I have yet to talk to anyone who has one. My understanding is a good dac can make quite a difference on a high end system. I must admit to being curious...

    Ken

  4. #4
    norealtalent
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Mackenzie
    ...My free tip of the day : Never buy a dac or anything else for that matter without hearing it first...
    I have to agree with Ian in theory. In reality I sometimes buy without hearing first if buying is the only way to hear it. That is how I have learned what I know, experiencing it for myself. The TAD is a prime example, you loved it, I didn't. What sounds "good" has many angles to be percieved from and are all subjectively based in our own experiences. My moto is to only buy what I know I can get my money back out of if I don't like it. That moto has never let me down.

  5. #5
    RIP 2014 Ken Pachkowsky's Avatar
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    I hear ya

    Thanks for the input. I am struggling with the decision. I think I could sell it for a small loss if I don't like it. I could buy one direct from the manufacturer with a 30 day money back guaranty, but it would cost me 250.00 bucks more.

    Hmmm

    Ken

  6. #6
    norealtalent
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Pachkowsky
    ...I think I could sell it for a small loss if I don't like it...
    Ken
    My greatest teacher always said,"Knowledge is expensive." With every single day, I find it to be priceless...

  7. #7
    Senior Member Bernard Wolf's Avatar
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    Well, if you have a lot of CD's and listen often and there is no other way to do it then I say go for it! I just popped over a grand for a cartridge without hearing it.... sometimes you just have to gamble.

    BTW, the cartridge turned out great.. a Clearaudio

  8. #8
    RIP 2014 Ken Pachkowsky's Avatar
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    Best Digital Connection

    What is the best digital connection?

    BNC, Spdif, or XLR?

    Thanks

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    I prefer the AES/EBU standard on XLR. Correct cable impedance is important.

  10. #10
    Junior Member House de Kris's Avatar
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    Ken, I believe SPDIF is a protocal, not a connector. When SPDIF travels over copper, it is typically terminated in RCA, but BNC is also common. So, if the question is, what is the best digial connection, BNC, RCA, or XLR?, then I'd recommend the BNC.

    RCAs are rarely made as 75ohm connectors. It is no problem to find 75ohm BNCs. I've never measured XLRs, but I really wonder how close they are to 110ohms. Oh, just to qualify, I have measured lots of RCAs and BNCs.

  11. #11
    RIP 2014 Ken Pachkowsky's Avatar
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    Thanks

    Thanks guys, obviously my age shows as I know nothing about digital cables or connectors. My Benchmark Dac1 will be here Friday and I want to pick up the best type of cable for it. I am using a Sony CDP-11 and a Pioneer Sacd 578A.

    Ken

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    Hi Ken!

    XLR all the way- IF:
    I may be wrong, but I think XLR in a true balanced set up is only as good as it's weakest link. What I'm saying (and I'm sure everyone will rush in to correct me) is that is really does little good to have a balanced run downstream from...say RCA's. Better to go the full balanced route if you can do it. XLR's are sometimes only offered as an output/input for convenience and aren't even balanced connections at all. Look into that before going XLR.

    XLR's (non balanced) by itself does have the good advantage of being a strong, solid connection that can handle the endless swapping in/out that us audio geeks like to do. It's used in touring for a reason.

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    Moderator / Treasurer/Marketplace Czar boputnam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Pachkowsky
    I am using a Sony CDP-11 and a Pioneer Sacd 578A.


    Then, you will need to use two of the three (switchable) inputs. Most convenient between your sources and the DAC1 would likely be the TOSLINK and the coaxial. You might use the TOSLINK with the SACD, but whatever...
    bo

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  14. #14
    Moderator / Treasurer/Marketplace Czar boputnam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Pachkowsky
    What is the best digital connection?

    BNC, Spdif, or XLR?

    Thanks


    Keep it optical. Both the Sony CDP-D11 (and D12) and the Benchmark DAC1 have optical TOSLINK connectors. Use those.
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    bo

    "Indeed, not!!"

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    Bo

    Thanks for the info.

    Ken

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