Benchmark DAC1 versus DAC2

BlueFox
BlueFox Posts: 14,638
Lumin X1 file player; Sony XA-5400ES SACD; Pass XP-22 pre; X600.5 amps
Magico S5 MKII Mcast Rose speakers; SPOD spikes

Shunyata Triton v3/Typhon QR on source, Denali 2000 (2) on amps
Shunyata Sigma XLR analog ICs, Sigma speaker cables
Shunyata Sigma HC (2), Sigma Analog, Sigma Digital, Z Anaconda (3) power cables

Mapleshade Samson V.3 four shelf solid maple rack, Micropoint brass footers
Three 20 amp circuits.
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Comments

  • mikeyb128
    mikeyb128 Posts: 2,886
    The new dac2 looks sweet! the volume in my dac1 pre has developed a crackle in the left channel :neutral: maybe time to upgrade.
    2 channel:
    Bryston 4B3, Bryston BDA3, Cary SLP05, Shanling CDT1000SE with parts conneXion level 2 mods, Nottingham analogue ace space 294, soundsmith Carmen MKii, Zu DL103 MKii, Ortofon MC 20 MKii, Dynavector XX2 MKii, Rogue Audio Ares, 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 Femto, 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.

  • madmax
    madmax Posts: 12,435
    My Ayre CD player has a switch for Measurement vs Listening. Better measurement doesn't necessarily mean better sound.
    Vinyl, the final frontier...

    Avantgarde horns, 300b tubes, thats the kinda crap I want... :D
  • brianle
    brianle Posts: 572
    I didn't have both of the same time but I thought the DAC2 is more refined and warmer sound than the DAC1
  • steveinaz
    steveinaz Posts: 19,409
    I have a DAC2 L coming soon.......
    Source: Bluesound Node 2i - Preamp/DAC: Benchmark DAC2 DX - Amp: Parasound Halo A21 - Speakers: MartinLogan Motion 60XTi
  • tonyb
    tonyb Posts: 32,310
    madmax wrote: »
    My Ayre CD player has a switch for Measurement vs Listening. Better measurement doesn't necessarily mean better sound.

    Amen bro !!
    HT SYSTEM-
    Sony 850c 4k
    Pioneer elite vhx 21
    Sony 4k BRP
    SVS SB-2000
    Polk Sig. 20's
    Polk FX500 surrounds

    Cables-
    Acoustic zen Satori speaker cables
    Acoustic zen Matrix 2 IC's
    Wireworld eclipse 7 ic's
    Audio metallurgy ga-o digital cable

    Kitchen

    Sonos zp90
    Grant Fidelity tube dac
    B&k 1420
    lsi 9's
  • mikeyb128
    mikeyb128 Posts: 2,886
    steveinaz wrote: »
    I have a DAC2 L coming soon.......

    Which color did you go with?
    2 channel:
    Bryston 4B3, Bryston BDA3, Cary SLP05, Shanling CDT1000SE with parts conneXion level 2 mods, Nottingham analogue ace space 294, soundsmith Carmen MKii, Zu DL103 MKii, Ortofon MC 20 MKii, Dynavector XX2 MKii, Rogue Audio Ares, 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 Femto, 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.

  • steveinaz
    steveinaz Posts: 19,409
    edited October 2015
    Back to black this time. I still have to finalize everything with Rory on Tuesday.
    Source: Bluesound Node 2i - Preamp/DAC: Benchmark DAC2 DX - Amp: Parasound Halo A21 - Speakers: MartinLogan Motion 60XTi
  • mikeyb128
    mikeyb128 Posts: 2,886
    I've also went with black. Looking forward to it, and will match my gear.
    2 channel:
    Bryston 4B3, Bryston BDA3, Cary SLP05, Shanling CDT1000SE with parts conneXion level 2 mods, Nottingham analogue ace space 294, soundsmith Carmen MKii, Zu DL103 MKii, Ortofon MC 20 MKii, Dynavector XX2 MKii, Rogue Audio Ares, 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 Femto, 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.

  • steveinaz
    steveinaz Posts: 19,409
    Me too, I'm not sure why I bought my last DAC/PRE in silver?
    Source: Bluesound Node 2i - Preamp/DAC: Benchmark DAC2 DX - Amp: Parasound Halo A21 - Speakers: MartinLogan Motion 60XTi
  • steveinaz
    steveinaz Posts: 19,409
    She's on the way!
    Source: Bluesound Node 2i - Preamp/DAC: Benchmark DAC2 DX - Amp: Parasound Halo A21 - Speakers: MartinLogan Motion 60XTi
  • BlueFox
    BlueFox Posts: 14,638
    steveinaz wrote: »
    Me too, I'm not sure why I bought my last DAC/PRE in silver?

    Maybe that is all they offered at the time? My DAC1 is black, but it's replacement, the DAC1/Pre is silver. Since at the time my other gear was black I'm sure I would have ordered black if available.
    Lumin X1 file player; Sony XA-5400ES SACD; Pass XP-22 pre; X600.5 amps
    Magico S5 MKII Mcast Rose speakers; SPOD spikes

    Shunyata Triton v3/Typhon QR on source, Denali 2000 (2) on amps
    Shunyata Sigma XLR analog ICs, Sigma speaker cables
    Shunyata Sigma HC (2), Sigma Analog, Sigma Digital, Z Anaconda (3) power cables

    Mapleshade Samson V.3 four shelf solid maple rack, Micropoint brass footers
    Three 20 amp circuits.
  • mikeyb128
    mikeyb128 Posts: 2,886
    Was on benchmarks website today. Looks as though their prices have increased about 500$. About a week ago the dac2 L was 1795$ with remote and is now 2300$ The hgc was 2000$ and is now in the 2500$ area! Wow!
    2 channel:
    Bryston 4B3, Bryston BDA3, Cary SLP05, Shanling CDT1000SE with parts conneXion level 2 mods, Nottingham analogue ace space 294, soundsmith Carmen MKii, Zu DL103 MKii, Ortofon MC 20 MKii, Dynavector XX2 MKii, Rogue Audio Ares, 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 Femto, 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.

  • steveinaz
    steveinaz Posts: 19,409
    edited October 2015
    mikeyb128 wrote: »
    Was on benchmarks website today. Looks as though their prices have increased about 500$. About a week ago the dac2 L was 1795$ with remote and is now 2300$ The hgc was 2000$ and is now in the 2500$ area! Wow!

    Their website is jacked-up right now, it's probably showing you the UK site. It happened to me yesterday when ordering, so Rory took my order over the phone.

    Prices are:
    HGC...$1995
    DX...$1895 (no analog inputs/add 1 XLR dig input)
    L...$1795 (no headphone section)
    Source: Bluesound Node 2i - Preamp/DAC: Benchmark DAC2 DX - Amp: Parasound Halo A21 - Speakers: MartinLogan Motion 60XTi
  • steveinaz
    steveinaz Posts: 19,409
    edited October 2015
    Received my DAC2L yesterday; initial impressions are good. The remote is a beefy lil bastad, made of aluminum. I like the 2 sets of RCA outputs now, which makes sub integration easy for 2 channel dinosaurs. Also 2 analog inputs vs 1 on the DAC1/PRE. Immediately the soundstage appears wider/deeper and detail retrieval is just phenominal without ever being edgy. I'm pleased. I opted for the model without the headphone amp, as I never was a headphone guy. It has everything else on the HGC model; 2 coax, 2 Toslink, 1 USB (async), 2 analog inputs, 2 analog RCA outs, 1 set of XLR analog outs. Integrates well (level wise) with my Parasound amp. I'm running it as a preamp. Native DSD, HT pass-thru, digital pass-thru, polarity swap....blah, blah, blah.....
    Source: Bluesound Node 2i - Preamp/DAC: Benchmark DAC2 DX - Amp: Parasound Halo A21 - Speakers: MartinLogan Motion 60XTi
  • tonyb
    tonyb Posts: 32,310
    Stevearino, you using the Dac as a pre also ? Hows it for that function alone ?
    HT SYSTEM-
    Sony 850c 4k
    Pioneer elite vhx 21
    Sony 4k BRP
    SVS SB-2000
    Polk Sig. 20's
    Polk FX500 surrounds

    Cables-
    Acoustic zen Satori speaker cables
    Acoustic zen Matrix 2 IC's
    Wireworld eclipse 7 ic's
    Audio metallurgy ga-o digital cable

    Kitchen

    Sonos zp90
    Grant Fidelity tube dac
    B&k 1420
    lsi 9's
  • steveinaz
    steveinaz Posts: 19,409
    edited October 2015
    tonyb wrote: »
    Stevearino, you using the Dac as a pre also ? Hows it for that function alone ?

    It's GREAT. The HGC volume control is 32 bit (with dig inputs) and has "dim" and mute functions. The volume control acts as an analog pot with analog inputs. Stereophile's John Atkinson called it's performance "simply superb." 10dB quieter than the DAC1 (which was already silent).

    There is 1 minor annoyance for some; If you shut the Benchmark off completely (as opposed to standby) there's an audible "thunk" thru the speakers on power-up. This can be avoided 2 ways--either power up your DAC2 first, then your amp OR leave the DAC2 in standby mode rather than total shut-off mode (which is what I have always done).

    Coming out of standby mode returns the volume to it's last setting--which is also how the dim and mute functions work. Dim simply turns volume down to a programmable lower level, then back up to where it was; mute turns it down fully, then returns to the previous volume setting. All functions are present on the remote. The volume control is smooth and predictable in its movement. Very nice.
    Source: Bluesound Node 2i - Preamp/DAC: Benchmark DAC2 DX - Amp: Parasound Halo A21 - Speakers: MartinLogan Motion 60XTi
  • steveinaz
    steveinaz Posts: 19,409
    edited October 2015
    The 2 elements I noticed right away was 1) The depth of soundstage and "realness" of performers/instruments 2) I've never heard "decay" like this with cymbals; it's like you can visualize the cymbal slowly vibrating to a halt. Insane detail retrieval.
    Source: Bluesound Node 2i - Preamp/DAC: Benchmark DAC2 DX - Amp: Parasound Halo A21 - Speakers: MartinLogan Motion 60XTi
  • tonyb
    tonyb Posts: 32,310
    Hows the tone Steve ? Better than the dac-1 or about the same ? Lots of meat on them bones ?
    HT SYSTEM-
    Sony 850c 4k
    Pioneer elite vhx 21
    Sony 4k BRP
    SVS SB-2000
    Polk Sig. 20's
    Polk FX500 surrounds

    Cables-
    Acoustic zen Satori speaker cables
    Acoustic zen Matrix 2 IC's
    Wireworld eclipse 7 ic's
    Audio metallurgy ga-o digital cable

    Kitchen

    Sonos zp90
    Grant Fidelity tube dac
    B&k 1420
    lsi 9's
  • steveinaz
    steveinaz Posts: 19,409
    edited October 2015
    Tony; The DAC2 sounds a touch more "analog" with good drive; though I always felt the tonality of the DAC1 was very linear, the DAC2's treble is as accurate as I have ever heard, and helps make the midrange more organic. I'd say it (tonality) would be in line with a good cable upgrade--subtle, but beneficial to the big picture.

    Gone is any presence of sterileness or leanness.
    Source: Bluesound Node 2i - Preamp/DAC: Benchmark DAC2 DX - Amp: Parasound Halo A21 - Speakers: MartinLogan Motion 60XTi
  • steveinaz
    steveinaz Posts: 19,409
    We have had a contractor re-doing our concrete counter tops all week, but he'll be done today, so this weekend I'll be able to get some serious listening time in with various generes of music. I'll post Monday, with my impressions.
    Source: Bluesound Node 2i - Preamp/DAC: Benchmark DAC2 DX - Amp: Parasound Halo A21 - Speakers: MartinLogan Motion 60XTi
  • mikeyb128
    mikeyb128 Posts: 2,886
    I've got to say I am loving the dac 2 as well. I have very little experience in the 2 channel realm, the dac 1 pre sounds fantastic, the 2 is even better. I'm experimenting this weekend, using my oppo 105 as a pre amp/dac, it sounds good! But the benchmark blows it out of the water. The dac 2 seems a tad more laid back in the treble compared to the 1. Like they took the edge off a little.
    2 channel:
    Bryston 4B3, Bryston BDA3, Cary SLP05, Shanling CDT1000SE with parts conneXion level 2 mods, Nottingham analogue ace space 294, soundsmith Carmen MKii, Zu DL103 MKii, Ortofon MC 20 MKii, Dynavector XX2 MKii, Rogue Audio Ares, 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 Femto, 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.

  • tonyb
    tonyb Posts: 32,310
    steveinaz wrote: »
    We have had a contractor re-doing our concrete counter tops all week, but he'll be done today, so this weekend I'll be able to get some serious listening time in with various generes of music. I'll post Monday, with my impressions.

    Concrete counters seems to be the new fad, whats the guy using...a jackhammer ? lol

    I would think the concrete is more porous than a dense granite or other type. Anyway, glad that dac2 is working it's magic for you.
    HT SYSTEM-
    Sony 850c 4k
    Pioneer elite vhx 21
    Sony 4k BRP
    SVS SB-2000
    Polk Sig. 20's
    Polk FX500 surrounds

    Cables-
    Acoustic zen Satori speaker cables
    Acoustic zen Matrix 2 IC's
    Wireworld eclipse 7 ic's
    Audio metallurgy ga-o digital cable

    Kitchen

    Sonos zp90
    Grant Fidelity tube dac
    B&k 1420
    lsi 9's
  • mikeyb128
    mikeyb128 Posts: 2,886
    DSkip wrote: »
    The oppo 05 as a pre is not a great sound. Awesome in theory, but lacking in application.

    Definitely agree. I'm a few hours into listening. It has me wondering why I payed so much for it, Since it is mainly used as a blu ray player.
    2 channel:
    Bryston 4B3, Bryston BDA3, Cary SLP05, Shanling CDT1000SE with parts conneXion level 2 mods, Nottingham analogue ace space 294, soundsmith Carmen MKii, Zu DL103 MKii, Ortofon MC 20 MKii, Dynavector XX2 MKii, Rogue Audio Ares, 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 Femto, 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.

  • steveinaz
    steveinaz Posts: 19,409
    tonyb wrote: »
    Concrete counters seems to be the new fad, whats the guy using...a jackhammer ? lol

    I would think the concrete is more porous than a dense granite or other type. Anyway, glad that dac2 is working it's magic for you.

    He's recoating and creating a granite-like finish. The counters were badly stained because the previous owner didn't seal it properly.

    Source: Bluesound Node 2i - Preamp/DAC: Benchmark DAC2 DX - Amp: Parasound Halo A21 - Speakers: MartinLogan Motion 60XTi
  • steveinaz
    steveinaz Posts: 19,409
    edited October 2015
    DAC2 summary; Lots of drive and excitement. The music has body and serious depth. Nutshell: If you liked the DAC1, you'll love the DAC2.
    Source: Bluesound Node 2i - Preamp/DAC: Benchmark DAC2 DX - Amp: Parasound Halo A21 - Speakers: MartinLogan Motion 60XTi
  • tonyb
    tonyb Posts: 32,310
    steveinaz wrote: »
    tonyb wrote: »
    Concrete counters seems to be the new fad, whats the guy using...a jackhammer ? lol

    I would think the concrete is more porous than a dense granite or other type. Anyway, glad that dac2 is working it's magic for you.

    He's recoating and creating a granite-like finish. The counters were badly stained because the previous owner didn't seal it properly.

    Makes sense....I was gonna say concrete will stain like a MF'er. It's not just a one time seal deal either, every few years you have to re-do it. Unless they've come up with some space technology that allows a one and done seal for life. Hopefully it's also a waterproof seal.

    Question though....if he's making your concrete counter look like granite, why not just install granite ? Coin ?
    HT SYSTEM-
    Sony 850c 4k
    Pioneer elite vhx 21
    Sony 4k BRP
    SVS SB-2000
    Polk Sig. 20's
    Polk FX500 surrounds

    Cables-
    Acoustic zen Satori speaker cables
    Acoustic zen Matrix 2 IC's
    Wireworld eclipse 7 ic's
    Audio metallurgy ga-o digital cable

    Kitchen

    Sonos zp90
    Grant Fidelity tube dac
    B&k 1420
    lsi 9's
  • steveinaz
    steveinaz Posts: 19,409
    Less expensive, and its totally customized to the colors/look that you want. He does a 3-step poly-seal that doesn't require any further maintenance.
    Source: Bluesound Node 2i - Preamp/DAC: Benchmark DAC2 DX - Amp: Parasound Halo A21 - Speakers: MartinLogan Motion 60XTi
  • tonyb
    tonyb Posts: 32,310
    edited October 2015
    Gotcha bro, post up some picks when it's all done, would love to see it. Same dude that did the work in your old house ? He did a fantastic job there if it is.
    HT SYSTEM-
    Sony 850c 4k
    Pioneer elite vhx 21
    Sony 4k BRP
    SVS SB-2000
    Polk Sig. 20's
    Polk FX500 surrounds

    Cables-
    Acoustic zen Satori speaker cables
    Acoustic zen Matrix 2 IC's
    Wireworld eclipse 7 ic's
    Audio metallurgy ga-o digital cable

    Kitchen

    Sonos zp90
    Grant Fidelity tube dac
    B&k 1420
    lsi 9's
  • steveinaz
    steveinaz Posts: 19,409
    edited October 2015
    Yep. Cannon Creative Surfaces. Prior to the pic below, the tops were basically a terracotta light red color, but had become really stained up, and cracks needed repair.

    gomlycxeryi6.jpg

    1ayomoe9yo84.jpg

    Source: Bluesound Node 2i - Preamp/DAC: Benchmark DAC2 DX - Amp: Parasound Halo A21 - Speakers: MartinLogan Motion 60XTi
  • tonyb
    tonyb Posts: 32,310
    Looks cool man. My only suggestion would have been to have him round out those corners. That's gonna hurt....lol. Nice big kitchen, Bev must be diggin' it.

    Sorry for the derail on your dac, back to our regular scheduled programming.
    HT SYSTEM-
    Sony 850c 4k
    Pioneer elite vhx 21
    Sony 4k BRP
    SVS SB-2000
    Polk Sig. 20's
    Polk FX500 surrounds

    Cables-
    Acoustic zen Satori speaker cables
    Acoustic zen Matrix 2 IC's
    Wireworld eclipse 7 ic's
    Audio metallurgy ga-o digital cable

    Kitchen

    Sonos zp90
    Grant Fidelity tube dac
    B&k 1420
    lsi 9's