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DAC Shoot out: Benchmark DAC1, Bel Canto DAC2, & Grace m902 - Page 3

post #31 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by Edwood
Well, after I mod the Bel Canto, you want to have a five way DAC shoot out?

-Ed
The question is, will I have my Electrocompaniet modded before you finish modding your Bel Canto?
post #32 of 60
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilS
The question is, will I have my Electrocompaniet modded before you finish modding your Bel Canto?
Maybe keep it stock for a baseline comparison first, then mod it, and then compare modded one.

Will give you more time to research modding potential.

-Ed
post #33 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by Edwood
I wouldn't say any of these DAC's are the upper range by any stretch of the imagination. There are certainly way more expensive ones out there. But bang for the buck these certainly have a lot going for them.

Man, I hope these DAC's aren't the upper range. That would be depressing.

-Ed

Sorry, it was a relative comparision based on the range of dac's found on this site. The tested dac's in this thread are upper range for most Head-Fi users I've come across.
post #34 of 60
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lan



Ever thought your systems are not up to par to deal with a better DACs

Shhhhhhh!

That kind of talk is really expensive.

-Ed
post #35 of 60
Ok. You need a better digicam So scratch upgrading the rest of your system
post #36 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by ooheadsoo
Ah, wish I could visit NY again...Well, the socal guys seem to have no interest whatsoever, so who knows I haven't even gotten a single reply, yes or no, from them.
You're getting a souped-up DDDAC, right? Come north, m'brother...I'd love to hear it. The bay area is much closer than New York!
post #37 of 60
Hehe, I'm eager to hear this thing. It's basically the dddac1543 with basically nothing left to upgrade except the pot on the headout. I didn't get the stepped attenuator on the headout because I don't listen to my headphones anymore and I don't know how the thing sounds in the first place.

We'll see. I'd love to take a trip some time if I can find time.
post #38 of 60
since you look like you have some experience with listening to music from computers, i must ask you, how much better is listening to a dac-1 like that then just analog out to a decent amp like a gilmore lite? from 1-5? also, have you chosen the av710 digital out(?) for a reason over any other soundcards digital out (emu 0404?). i'm very eager to hear your response. thanks very much.

also, if you could just generally elaborate on your computer setup and the thoughts behind each components selection. thanks so very much again.
post #39 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by Edwood
I wouldn't say any of these DAC's are the upper range by any stretch of the imagination. There are certainly way more expensive ones out there.
By upper tier do you mean upper tier in price or performance?

Reviews I have read in audio press compare Bel Canto and Benchmark DACs to the uber-expensive Mark Levinson, Weiss, Apogee and Zanden units and could hardly find faults in the cheaper models. If I put a cheaper headphone up against HE90 and really has to try very hard to find fault about the cheaper headphone, I would put it in the performance top tier.
post #40 of 60
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post #41 of 60
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lan
Ok. You need a better digicam So scratch upgrading the rest of your system
Must stay away from L series lenses........must.......resist.................

-Ed
post #42 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by Edwood
I wouldn't say any of these DAC's are the upper range by any stretch of the imagination. There are certainly way more expensive ones out there. But bang for the buck these certainly have a lot going for them.
The Benchmark won Stereophile Magazine's 'Editor's Choice' award last year, and the induction article had this to say:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stereophile
The DAC1 doesn't sound quite as expansive or quite as smooth as, say, the Mark Levinson No.30.6, the Theta Generation VIII, or the Wadia 27ix—but at $975, it costs around the same as the sales tax on those behemoths!
post #43 of 60
Thread Starter 

DAC Shootout Round 2





Line up:
Benchmark DAC1, Bel Canto DAC2+, Grace m902, Sony SA5000, and Sony R10.

Looks like the mods to the Bel Canto DAC2 have tightened up the bass to be more than a match for the Benchmark. However, Iron_Dreamer and I did hear in a few songs where the lowest octaves were a tiny bit more pronouced with the Benchmark DAC1. Of course I could only hear it with the SA5000. The soundstage of the Bel Canto DAC2+ was a bit wider but was more up front and wraps around more, the shape of the soundstage, that is. The Benchmark had a soundstage that was a bit further back, but more flat across when listening from left to right.

This was my first time listening to the SA5000's. I was impressed. Funny thing, is that if I could sum up my opinion of the SA5000, it sounds the most like somewhere between the Sennheiser HD650 and the Sony R10's.

The R10's still have more detail and tighter imaging, but the R10's simply do not go as low as the SA5000's do. The SA5000's have fantastic subterranean bass. Without a doubt, the SA5000's would be my #1 choice for Electronic music. Yet, they are detailed and have a nicely shaped frequency spread. I liked them for all other genres of music as well. I found them to be very balanced in sound, unlike their predecessor, the CD3000.

While not as comfortable as the Qualia's, the headband is weird. I put it right on the top of my head, and the metal parts just dug into my head. But tilting it back, and it rested nicely. But this did place more pressure on the ears. While the clamping pressure is nowhere near that of the K1000's or even the HD650, it is significantly moreso than the R10's and CD3000.

-Ed
post #44 of 60
damn edwood you got too much time on your hand, mate.

Thanks for the update, Your observations on the 5000 is very interesting indeed, something in between the 650 and R10 hmmm....

The K501 always reminded me as being between the 650 and RS-1 in terms of presentation. maybe the 5000 would be a good investment, but I will wait until the issue regarding the headband to earpiece connector does not manifest itself.
post #45 of 60
The foam underneath the headphones is a nice touch! Looks like the R10's resting in comfort.

Best,

-Jason
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