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Benchmark DAC1 HDR

Discussion in 'Source Components' started by goaliechris, Jan 4, 2011.

  1. goaliechris

    goaliechris Active Member

    Hi out there,

    Anyone have personal experience with this version or any other of the DAC1 units? Thinking about adding one to hook up to a laptop to listen to lossless audio through my main system. Plus, it can serve as a dedicated 2 channel preamp as well. It seems like an interesting unit and has gotten some great reviews for both the preamp section and DAC.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Flint

    Flint "Do you know who I am?" Superstar

    I have seen it, it is a spectacular product. However, I would never in a million years spend that kind of money for something used the way you describe. It is overkill for that application. If you have the money burning a hole in your pocket, go for it. You could also just send that money to me.
     
  3. PaulyT

    PaulyT Behind the Curtain Staff Member Administrator Moderator Superstar

    Yeah, maybe look into something like a squeezebox... more flexible, cheaper. Unless you really need some ultra-high-sampling DAC like for 24/96 audio files or something? What sort of audio files/media are you wanting to listen to?
     
  4. Flint

    Flint "Do you know who I am?" Superstar

  5. goaliechris

    goaliechris Active Member

    Sooooo, what you're telling me is that I can spend less... Always a good idea! I kind of like the idea of having our old Macbook laptop in the system - easier to see menus and playlists from the listening position, can control iTunes from iPhone or iPad, and would have a direct connection to a DAC. I am guessing the M Audio product does the same thing for a lot less.

    I was thinking of future and current hi res music files.

    What is the intended use of this product where it would be worth it?

    - Are all DACs pretty similar?
    - Any loss of sound quality of lossless CD files over wireless network using a Squeezebox?
     
  6. Flint

    Flint "Do you know who I am?" Superstar

    Most DACs are similar, all sound good, some sound better, and some are amazing. But the differences are like comparing winning a $10M lottery versus winning $10,001,000.00 lottery. A thousand dollars is a lot of money, but not much more than 10 million dollars.

    The MacBook has always had a very good sound card. I would just plug the audio output on the MacBook directly into the receiver.
     
  7. goaliechris

    goaliechris Active Member

    I knew there was a reason I posted this question here - thanks to both of you. I'll send a commission check soon...
    I also had a brief discussion with a guy over at a computer audiophile forum, as I thought they might be a good resource, but that's a different experience over there. They have some people that spend like $5000 on an Alpha DAC. I was at first looking at the Bryston BDA-1 but that's a DAC without a preamp - therefore, I thought the Benchmark HDR must be a good value! Again, thanks.

    I will try hooking up my Mac directly to my Integra DTC-9.8. What kind of cable and connection do i need? RCA on one end of the coax cable but I assume an adaptor of some sort is needed on the Mac side?
     
  8. PaulyT

    PaulyT Behind the Curtain Staff Member Administrator Moderator Superstar

    Do you have some sort of optical/coax digital output? I don't know Macs... The DACs in the integra are probably also pretty good, that would be another option.
     
  9. PaulyT

    PaulyT Behind the Curtain Staff Member Administrator Moderator Superstar

    FYI, I have an outboard DAC, too - a custom modified M-Audio SuperDAC 24/96. I got it for the same reason as you, before I knew anything about squeezeboxes etc. I've done a little comparison between the SuperDAC and the squeezebox, couldn't hear a difference. But that was a while ago, I've got somewhat better headphones now, I think, would be interesting to re-run the experiment. Hmm...
     
  10. DIYer

    DIYer Well-Known Member Famous

    Not all forums are same. This isn't one but on some forums snake oil flourishes. Like Flint said, DACs are all good sounding now. I've seen DBT where people couldn't tell apart Benchmark DAC1 vs average DVD player's DAC.

    Well, you don't have to but... I'll PM you my address. ;)
     
  11. goaliechris

    goaliechris Active Member

  12. PaulyT

    PaulyT Behind the Curtain Staff Member Administrator Moderator Superstar

    Looks like just essentially a format converter - from USB input (connected to USB on your computer) to coax SPDIF output. It would be used with a DAC or receiver or whatever that has SPDIF (a somewhat older connection type) but not USB. But I think the m-audio transit that Flint posted does more or less the same thing, and a whole lot cheaper, except it does toslink (optical) out instead of coax. It's essentially the same.
     
  13. DIYer

    DIYer Well-Known Member Famous

    I'll reply but first, what's the commission? :eusa-whistle:
     
  14. goaliechris

    goaliechris Active Member

    I will give you a hint - "divide by zero" :eek:bscene-drinkingcheers:

    Good info, thanks. I may just use a cheap mini toslink adaptor from the Mac (Audioquest makes one for $2) to optical input on the pre/pro.

    Yeah, $450 seems a lot to spend on a converter (even though it's supposed to do something asynchronously? to reduce jitter - if you can hear that level of jitter anyway).
     
  15. Flint

    Flint "Do you know who I am?" Superstar

    All modern digital receivers (the device which receives the digital signal) does things to reduce jitter. They has small buffers in them which they write the digital stream into, then the device reads the data using a separate clock to send the data to the next step in processing, be it the digital to analog converter or a DSP engine to provide EQ, volume control, or bass management. Jitter hasn't been a real issue in Digital Audio for over a decade, yet all these silly devices are designed to solve a problem which was very serious 15 years ago, but is gone today.
     

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