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New Benchmark DAC1 HDR released... - Page 4

post #46 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by Runkby View Post
to be honest using the dac1 hdr with my computer plugged into the preamp sounded nearly as good as my krell kps28c cd player; i do not have them side by side to compare them, but it was prob 95% as good,
You were using Benchmark's USB input, I presume?

It's hard to believe kps28c and its huge power supply and class-A discrete output stage didn't easily eclipse Benchmark's op-amp output, but as usual, these things are very system dependent, and impressions over long term may be different.

The really interesting comparison would be Benchmark's internal preamp driving your amp directly vs. Krell KCT preamp, which may have been the equalizing force at play
post #47 of 72
Well perhaps I should have said 85% as good or so... Clearly the kps is better, but nonetheless the benchmark did extremely well considering that i was using my computer (via usb) as my source... when i get the kps back from krell, as it recently had a problem where the soundstage suddenly dropped off due to some problem with the unit, i will be sure to do a side by side comparison, especially using high fidelity recordings played both thru the cd player as well as using my computer with the benchmark... but all i was saying was that i was very impressed with how well it drove the system, but ill get back to you for an a / b test when i get my cd player back, which may be a month or so b/c krell is slow ... i also want to compare it to the kav300cd which krell also has right now b/c that one also broke recently b/c the motor that drives the cd tray died... when connected to the cd player ill most likely end up using the analog out on the cd instead of the digital b/c the dac in the cd player is prob better... but ill know when i get it back, as i also have a digital coax out on the cd player... time will tell but for now sounds good
post #48 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by Runkby View Post
well i had a chance last night to test this unit out with not only my headphones but also with my stereo, using my computer as the dac to connect it to my preamp... most of the songs that i played i ripped to my computer, to an external harddrive, in .wav format... when i was using my headphones, the sennheiser hd 650's with equiniox cables they really sounded great, but because both my cd players are in the shop for repair (a krell kav300cd as well as a krell kps28c) i figured that id try using the dac1 hdr with my computer as a source for my stereo... i the benchmark into my stereo using one of the rca outputs on the benchmark into one of the rca imputs on my preamp... and the associated equipment i was using with this was a krell kct pream, krell fpb 700 cx, and two b&w 802 speakers... to be honest using the dac1 hdr with my computer plugged into the preamp sounded nearly as good as my krell kps28c cd player; i do not have them side by side to compare them, but it was prob 95% as good, as i played many songs that i know very well and listen to very often... the only thing that i noticed is that when using the benchmark to drive my stereo with my computer as a source that i seemed to be turring the volume up and down more than i would with my other cd player (although i was using the volume on the preamp itself as in this configuration i was only using the dac in the benchmar)... but it really surprised me in how good of a dac it was and when i went from listening to the speakers to the headphones on the same track i did notice that the headphones were not as clear and open sounding as the speakers were playing the exact same track... this leads me to belive that either the headphones themselves could use improvement or perhaps the amp in the benchmark is not sufficent to drive the 650's... i really do not have a clue which it is, but nonetheless the headphoens did sound amazing, but in light of how the dac made my stereo play, it leads me to wonder if adding a better headphone amp would improve the sound.... my next move will likely be with a high end headphone amp but i am still unsure of what i want to go with, as i have been considering both solid state and tubes.... but my overall impression of the benchmark is that it is a great unit, and i really like the remote when using it as a headphone amp, to me it was worth the extra money for the remote... all that said, however, i am using the benchmark now with my computer and headphones playing some springstein and i just have to smile with how good it sounds
Runkby,
Have you had a chance to compare the two side-by-side?

On an absolute basis, how would you rate the the Benchmark headphone amp?
I'm considering whether to get it as a DAC for my CDP and as amp for my 650s. Benchmark also claims the HDR is good enough to use as an audiophile preamp. If true, that would be one heck of a triple!

Thanks,
post #49 of 72
What are the differences between the DAC1 PRE and DAC1 HDR??
post #50 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by phototristan View Post
What are the differences between the DAC1 PRE and DAC1 HDR??
FWIR, the HDR is basically the PRE + remote control + High Dynamic Range Volume Control (whatever that is ...)
post #51 of 72
Thanks, yeah, I found that out after I posted

Seems like it's very expensive. I mean I wouldn't pay some $300. more for just a remote and that volume control thing...
post #52 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by Runkby View Post
when i went from listening to the speakers to the headphones on the same track i did notice that the headphones were not as clear and open sounding as the speakers were playing the exact same track... this leads me to belive that either the headphones themselves could use improvement or perhaps the amp in the benchmark is not sufficent to drive the 650's... i really do not have a clue which it is, but nonetheless the headphoens did sound amazing, but in light of how the dac made my stereo play, it leads me to wonder if adding a better headphone amp would improve the sound....
Runkby, I am looking at buying the benchmark DAC1 in some form, probably HDR.

I have read your posts, I wondered if you/anyone else could help me?

I, like you, wondered if the HPA was sufficient for HD6x0. I researched it and found that at CES 2009 the HD800's were premiered with the benchmark DAC1 as a HPA.

"To show just how much headphone technology has improved, Sennheiser set up a demo in which listeners were able to switch between Sennheiser's former top of the line, the HD 650, and the twice as costly HD 800. Associated equipment included a Meitner CD/SACD player driving a Benchmark DAC1 USB used as a headphone amp".



Source (Stereophile: World’s Finest Headphones?)

I thought "surely the Senn's guys know all about synergy and carefully selected the equipment for their biggest recent premier? The HD800 got rave reviews, surely it must power them to a high percentage of their potential?"

As you can see I have done a sufficient amount of research to talk myself in to buying the benchmark DAC1 and some senn hd headphones. I just wanted to ask you if you have tried the different jumper settings for the 'phones and if this helped? Or see if anyone else could offer experience on this.

from the HDR user manual

"The gain of the HPA2™ is high enough for
the most difficult headphones, but it may be
too high for some other headphones. The
HPA2™ in the DAC1 HDR features three gain
ranges to customize the output level for a
particular set of headphones. These gain
ranges are set using internal jumpers. The
jumpers reduce the input to the HPA2™ by 0,
10 or 20 dB. These jumpers are factoryinstalled
at 10 dB below full gain. Instructions
for setting the headphone gain range are
detailed in the ‘Internal Settings’ section of
this manual.
TIP: For optimal performance, the
headphone gain jumpers should be set
so that comfortable listening levels occur
when the ‘Volume Control’ is set above
the ‘11 o’clock’ position".

source (http://www.benchmarkmedia.com/manual...anual-RevA.pdf )

I believe some other DAC1 models only have 2 HPA gain jumper settings.

Of course it may just be that the HD800/6x0s through another HPA sound much better? but just thought i would ask, prior to spending so much money in my first step on this hi-fi journey.

Thanks in advance

All the best

Ste
post #53 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by stevencjones View Post
Runkby, I am looking at buying the benchmark DAC1 in some form, probably HDR.

I have read your posts, I wondered if you/anyone else could help me?

I, like you, wondered if the HPA was sufficient for HD6x0. I researched it and found that at CES 2009 the HD800's were premiered with the benchmark DAC1 as a HPA.

.......

Ste
This thread should answer your questions

http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f46/be...le-usb-223006/
post #54 of 72
Thanks for your post pekingduck,

I am on about page 17 of 185, and counting...

This seemed to answer it more succintly if anyone else is interested

Benchmark's Complete Stereo Solution | Benchmark Media Systems, Inc.

Cheers

Ste
post #55 of 72
as usual, im confused. is the hdr model a headphone amp or not. Part of my confusion is i dont know what a pre-amp is.

can someone buy this unit and expect not to need any other headphone amp.. that was my impression when i looked at it online, but most of you seem to be implying otherwise.
post #56 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by Br777 View Post
as usual, im confused. is the hdr model a headphone amp or not. Part of my confusion is i dont know what a pre-amp is.

can someone buy this unit and expect not to need any other headphone amp.. that was my impression when i looked at it online, but most of you seem to be implying otherwise.
All the DAC1 models can be used as headphone amps(as well as a DAC). They added :
1)A USB input for DAC1USB;
2)More digital inputs and an analog input for DAC1 pre;
3)A remote control for the DAC1 HDR.

I believe those are the main differences.
post #57 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by pcf View Post
All the DAC1 models can be used as headphone amps(as well as a DAC). They added :
1)A USB input for DAC1USB;
2)More digital inputs and an analog input for DAC1 pre;
3)A remote control for the DAC1 HDR.

I believe those are the main differences.
is it a weak headphone amp or something, or are all the people who seem to say its not enough just the types who want another amp simply because they want another amp

also why are people calling it a pre-amp and what is the difference between an amp and a pre-amp
post #58 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by Br777 View Post
is it a weak headphone amp or something, or are all the people who seem to say its not enough just the types who want another amp simply because they want another amp

also why are people calling it a pre-amp and what is the difference between an amp and a pre-amp
An amp consists of a preamp section and a power amp section. They can be separated or in one box (integrated amp). If you add a radio tuner to an integrated amp it would be called a receiver.
A preamp would take different inputs, provide switching between them and add a volume control before feeding the signal to the power amp(s). There are differences between active and passive preamp as well which someone else can explain better than I do. In the old days, a preamp would typically include a phono stage which would amplify a lower level signal from a turntable cartridge to line level. Not anymore.
Since my technical knowledge is poor, I can only explain this in simple idiot proof terms that even I am able to understand myself. Hope you do as well.
I think DAC1 is a decent headphone amp although I mainly use it as a DAC. It is not a popular amp (or even a DAC) here at headfi. If you do a search you can probably find some posts about that.
post #59 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by Br777 View Post
also why are people calling it a pre-amp and what is the difference between an amp and a pre-amp
Hello Br777,

pcf already answered this, but I'll put it in different words.

The amplifier is the device that drives the speakers. Its only role is to amplify a small (line-level) audio signal to create a powerful signal that can push speakers in and out.

A pre-amplifier is a device that preceeds the amplifier. The pre-amplifier determines what the amplifier is amplifying. Specifically, it is a source selector and volume controller. In other words, it allows you to choose the source (CD, tuner, computer, phono, etc) that you want to hear and allows you to set the level of the (small) signal being sent to the amplifier. In most cases, amplifiers have fixed gain, so the pre-amp's volume control is the main volume control of that system.

All DAC1's are also pre-amps because they have a source selector (to switch between signals from multiple digital sources) and a volume control. The DAC1 PRE is a more typical 'pre-amp' because it can accept analog sources.

All DAC1's have Benchmark's HPA2 headphone amplifier built in as well.

All DAC1's have a 'DAC' (digital-to-analog converter) built in as well.

Let me know if I can answer any more questions for you.

All the Best,
Elias
post #60 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by Br777 View Post
as usual, im confused. is the hdr model a headphone amp or not. Part of my confusion is i dont know what a pre-amp is.

can someone buy this unit and expect not to need any other headphone amp.. that was my impression when i looked at it online, but most of you seem to be implying otherwise.
I've found the headphone amplifier in the DAC1 to perform just as well as other dedicated headphone amps. I like the simplicity in an all-in-one unit. Other prefer separates as they can continue to swap out pieces to find a "sound" they like.

Bill
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