Benchmark DAC-1

KrazyMofo24KrazyMofo24 Posts: 1,118
I just picked up a Benchmark DAC-1 to use a dac for my Audeze LCD-2s and just realized it has a very good built in headphone amp. When researching for headphone amps I don't recall ever seeing the Benchmark on the list but it's definitely worth checking out.

I'm currently using it as a PRE, AMP, and DAC using optical to the Macbook and it's sounding great. Even though it's my first night with it I can tell it's a significant upgrade. I figured I'd share in case there is anyone else in the same boat.

https://benchmarkmedia.com/blogs/application_notes/37983617-the-hpa2-headphone-power-amplifier

https://benchmarkmedia.com/blogs/application_notes/14498801-will-the-hpa2-drive-my-headphones
Setup:

2 Channel: Vienna Acoustics Mozart Grand, T+A P 1230R, Peachtree iDac, B&K ST-202
PC: Vienna Acoustics Haydn Grand, Cambridge Azure 650A v2

Comments

  • DSkipDSkip Posts: 12,987
    Congrats Rock. Good to see you back around these parts. Will you be attending LSAF this year?

    I wouldn't mind getting my ears on that piece in the main rig sometime if you ever want to come out and have a few beers.
    audiothesis.com/

    Speakers: Usher CP-6311, Usher Be-10, Usher T-515, Rosso Fiorentino Elba, Totem Hawk, Polk T50, Polk Signature S60, S55, S35, S30, S20, S15
    Preamps: Shuguang S200MK, Dayens Ampino, Parasound P5
    Amps: Shuguang S845MK, Dayens Ampino Monoblocks, Parasound A23
    Integrateds: Dayens Ampino, Dayens Ecstasy III, iFi Retro Stereo 50, Triode Corporation TRV-88SER
    Sources: AURALiC Aries, AURALiC Aries Mini, AURALiC Altair, AURALiC Vega, iFi iDSD Micro, Denon HEOS Link
    Cabling: Wireworld
    TV: Sony XBR-75X940C
  • KrazyMofo24KrazyMofo24 Posts: 1,118
    Thanks Skip. I just checked the dates and should be able to make it out on at least one of those days. I'll definitely bring it definitely due to meet up again.
    Setup:

    2 Channel: Vienna Acoustics Mozart Grand, T+A P 1230R, Peachtree iDac, B&K ST-202
    PC: Vienna Acoustics Haydn Grand, Cambridge Azure 650A v2

  • mikeyb128mikeyb128 Posts: 2,270
    I've had several of benchmarks dacs and are very, very good. I feel they don't get the attention they deserve due to not being "audiophile" enough. They are mostly used in the pro/studio setting so this might be why.
    2 channel:
    Bryston 4B3, Bryston BDA3, Cary SLP03, Shanling CDT1000SE with parts conneXion level 2 mods, Nottingham analogue ace space 294, soundsmith Carmen MKii , Eastern Electric minimax phono pre, Core power technologies balanced power conditioner, Akiko Corelli power conditioner with Akiko Audio HQ power cable, Nordost heimdall 2, Frey 2, interconnects, speaker and power cables, Focal Electra 1028 BE 2, Auralic Aries mini, Black diamond racing cones, ingress audio level 1 roller blocks, JL Audio E110 with Auralic subdude, Primacoustics room treatments.
    Theater:
    Focal Aria 926,905,CC900, SVS PB ultra x2. Pioneer Elite SC85, Oppo BDP93, Panamax M5400PM, Minix neox6, Nordost Blue heaven LS power cables.

  • steveinazsteveinaz Posts: 17,666
    Owned the DAC1 for years, now I own a DAC2 that I use as my preamp/DAC.
    Oppo BDP-103/USB HDD | Benchmark DAC2L | Parasound HCA-1500A | Harbeth Compact HL 7ES-3 | Panamax M5300-PM
  • KrazyMofo24KrazyMofo24 Posts: 1,118
    I'm definitely curious about the DAC2 and the DAC3 after owning this one. I haven't had a chance to test it out much with my speakers since my amp went out and my substitute isn't up to par.

    However for my headphones it made a huge difference. I tried the Peachtree idac with T+A preamp, Cambridge Azure 640A v2 which both claim to have decent amps and a couple of budget headphone amps but they aren't close to the benchmark.

    I think the good amp on the Benchmark that can power the Audeze LCD-2s is probably a big plus. I do think overall I prefer the Benchmark over the Peachtree. MSRP is the same but when you include USB, multiple inputs, remote like the Peachtree then it's almost double the price to get that for the Benchmark.

    But definitely curious about the new Sabre DACs on the Benchmark 3.
    Setup:

    2 Channel: Vienna Acoustics Mozart Grand, T+A P 1230R, Peachtree iDac, B&K ST-202
    PC: Vienna Acoustics Haydn Grand, Cambridge Azure 650A v2

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