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Benchmark - DAC-1 Black Reviews


Clarity, power, quality


Pros: build quality, sound quality, many inputs, many outputs, fantastic company support, great looking

Cons: some might find it... plain?

If you have waded across the web all the way to this review, I'll assume you've already read some of the big forum threads on this site, and I'm sure you've already read all of the reviews on other websites and publications about this piece of gear, so you already come into this with some background knowledge about this device and devices like (or unlike) it.      I have the Benchmark DAC1 USB: the second model slightly upgraded from the original design of the now classic Benchmark DAC1. Before this, I had (and still have) a Nuforce Icon HD. I use both of these as both DAC and headphone amplifier for my Denon AH-D5000, and preamp for my KRK studio monitors.  ...
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The HD800 of DACs


Pros: Neutrality, Clarity, Resolution, Build like a rock, Handsome

Cons: Expensive, It doesn't make eggs

Caution: Anything I say in this review is what I think of the DAC and according to my taste as a audiophile, you should always be aware there's a degree of YMMV in any review. Also, I did most of this review using speakers but I will comment on how it sounds with the Beyer DT880 600 ohm edition.   Introduction: I've experienced and purchased many pieces of equipment in my short audiophile career (less than a year) but I've never been so impressed by one that I felt like I need share my opinion with other people. I bought this DAC used from a user right here on Head-Fi for $900 USD who also bought it used. I'll try to use relatable and non technical terminology that you may not...
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Is 'transparent' sound really for you? If so, you'll like it.


Pros: Delivers what it promises:bal out,various inputs,24b/96k USB.Long printed manual on how it works,low noise,resolving/transparent sound.Solid ext build

Cons: Not for you, if you like warm-ish/mids oriented sound. Still need a good amp if you have something like Beyer T1.Manual bit brochure like(marketing)

Summary: Well, read the pros/cons, but if you want a straight line FR response and low distortion, that's what benchmark DAC promises and delivers along with an array of I/O. If you want a DAC+HP amp combo, DAC1 USB may not necessarily be what you're looking for. Do note that you may feel that non-rolled off highs are making it harsh and unpleasant on some systems. You may also interpret that as benchmark DAC being highs-centric and mids being somewhat recessed. You may also end up with a combination of straight FR for all the following: DAC, AMP, HEADPHONES which your ears might not like. Or DAC-1's HP amp and your headphones. What's in the box: There's the dac, the manual,...
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Suntory_Times Benchmark DAC1 Review


Pros: Fantastic balanced sound, well built, simple design, balanced output, small size and very cheap for what you get.

Cons: No power switch on front of unit, heapdhone amp.

This is a great unit for the price, see pros to the side.  The only cons are the headphone amp whilst good will leave you wanting to upgrade this section later down the line (which this unit allows you to use the dac and send the signal to an external amp in any case), and the lack of power switch on the front will annoy some.
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