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New Benchmark DAC1 HDR released... - Page 5

post #61 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by EliasGwinn View Post
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
Thanks Elias for explaining it like a pro!
One thing I want to add is that I'm now actually using DAC1 pre as a preamp to drive a pair of tube mono blocks. It replaced a preamp which costs a few times more and I'm very happy with it.
post #62 of 72

Hi everybody,

 

my DAC1 HDR gives me trouble at the unbalanced outputs.

One channel doesn´t do anything at all and the other is distorted.

I´ve tried to figure out what´s wrong but without a diagram I don´t get to the fault since the design seems a little strange to me.

 

So I would be most gratefull if anybody could supply me with the diagram/schematics of the analogue stages.

 

Thanks!

 

Cheers

Kai

post #63 of 72

Kai,

 

Your DAC1 HDR should still be under waranty.  Please call us at 1 800 262 4675 to request an RMA for service at our factory in Syracuse, NY.  If your unit is out of waranty, there will be a flat-rate $50 charge for the repair plus the cost of shipping the unit back to you.  Repair will include calibration, and a software update (if required)  at no additional charge.  Most repairs are completed within 24-hours.

 

Always feel free to call us at 1 800 262 4675 (9AM to 5PM New York time) if you ever have technical questions about your Bencmark products. We have people available to talk with you.  They will be happy to answer questions about interfacing to other products, and will help you get the most out of your product.

 

John Siau

VP

Benchmark Media Systems, Inc.

post #64 of 72

Hello John,

 

unfortunately I´m located in Germany and the unit was bought in the US.

So the German distributor says he´s not responsible for the repair, which is correct and sending it to the US and getting it back would cost a fortune and will also create hassle with customs here.

 

I don´t see that as an option.

The easiest way would be if you could supply me with the service manual or the diagram of the analogue stages.

 

Thanks!

Kai

post #65 of 72

If the unbalanced outputs are working, then the balanced output drivers must be damaged. Please note that this is very unusual. This type of damage is usually only caused by lightning damage, or a severe ESD discharge directly to the XLR pins or to the gain-setting jumpers.   U29 is the driver for the Left-channel XLR output.  U28 is the driver for the right-channel XLR output.

 

If the unbalanced outputs are also faulty, then we need to look elsewhere:  Check to see if the outputs are bad in both the "calibrated" and "variable" modes of operation (selected with the rear-panel toggle switch).  If both are bad, there are many possibilities.  However, if only the variable mode is faulty, this is most likely a damaged front-panel pot.

 

If the "German distributor" you mention is Analog Audio GmbH, please be aware that they were terminated as a Benchmark distributor in October 2010. They are still legally obligated to perform warranty service on units that were sold by them, but we recommend sending these units to our new distributor for service. SCV London is the master distributor for Germany, and they will honor all warranty repairs for units purchased in Germany.  All out-of-warranty units should also be sent to SCV for service.

 

Service for your unit (purchased in the USA) is available free of charge in the USA at our Syracuse, NY headquarters.  Service is also available for a reasonable fee (parts and labor) from SCV London.  SCV's service fee applies because the unit was purchased in the USA.

post #66 of 72

Hi guys,

 

since I wasn´t able to get the schematics, my friend had a splendid idea:

He checked the headphone outputs and they worked.

He then connected the headphone outs to the RCA connectors in the back and it now works beautifully.

In comparison to the original performance of the RCA outputs the sound is now much more complete.

The stage is wider now and especially the low frequncies have gained a lot of preciseness.

 

Cheers

Kai

post #67 of 72

Related to John Siau's post below, I just wanted to share an extremely positive recent customer service experience I received from Benchmark.  I started having intermittent audio from the right XLR balanced output on my nearly five year old DAC1-USB (purchased directly from Benchmark in 2007, shortly after it was released).  I've been using it daily for almost five years and that's the first problem I experienced -- luckily, it occurred just within the (very generous) five year Benchmark warranty period.  I called the number John listed below, and immediately Elias answered the phone (after reading his unbelievably useful posts in multiple head-fi threads, I was very pleasantly surprised that it was Elias on the other end of the line).  Without any hassle at all I received an RMA and shipped my DAC1-USB to Benchmark in Syracuse, NY (from Washington, DC it cost less than $15).  It arrived at Benchmark just a few days after Christmas, and they turned it around and shipped it back to me the same day they received it!  Several days later I had a perfectly functioning unit again.  Even more impressive (to me, at least), rather than poking and prodding and re-soldering my five year old unit, they simply swapped out the entire board for a brand new one.  As far as I'm concerned, five years later I've now got a virtually brand new DAC1-USB, and with virtually zero hassle.

 

Everything about my experience with Benchmark -- the quality of their products, their outstandingly helpful and credible contributions to threads on various forums, the clear and objectively verifiable specifications they publish with every product, and their warranty support service -- has been outstanding.  Plunking down a large sum of money on a product that you use daily, like the DAC1, feels to me a little like tying yourself to the company as well as the product.  I honestly can't think of a better company to hitch yourself to than Benchmark.

 

[Disclaimer: I have absolutely no relationship with Benchmark other than as a customer of a single DAC1-USB in 2007, and I have no ax to grind with any of their competitors.  I'm just extremely impressed and want to recognize their exceptional business.]
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jsiau View Post

Kai,

 

Your DAC1 HDR should still be under waranty.  Please call us at 1 800 262 4675 to request an RMA for service at our factory in Syracuse, NY.  If your unit is out of waranty, there will be a flat-rate $50 charge for the repair plus the cost of shipping the unit back to you.  Repair will include calibration, and a software update (if required)  at no additional charge.  Most repairs are completed within 24-hours.

 

Always feel free to call us at 1 800 262 4675 (9AM to 5PM New York time) if you ever have technical questions about your Bencmark products. We have people available to talk with you.  They will be happy to answer questions about interfacing to other products, and will help you get the most out of your product.

 

John Siau

VP

Benchmark Media Systems, Inc.



 

post #68 of 72

 

That sounds very good. Well done Benchmark.

 

This is the service we wish no need to enjoy it.

 

 

post #69 of 72

I'm currently saving up money for a Benchmark DAC1 HDR, the main reason why I'm leaning towards this particular DAC is the features, small footprint and that I like the looks. So just a sanity check, is there any reason why I would not want to pair one with a WooAudio WA22 amp?

 

One thing that I'm worried about, is that some user reviews mention that the Benchmark dacs are bright. Aren't the Benchmark dacs designed to be as neutral as possible? My point of reference is the Cambridge Audio Dacmagic, I assume the DAC1 HDR is not going to be any brighther, anyone directly compared them?

 

Also I can't find a good photo of the remote, but it looks like the current remote design has cheap "plastic bubble" buttons, is that correct?. If that's the case it's really a shame, and I hope there is better replacement available for it. Because those bubble button remotes never last long, and considering the price of the DAC1 HDR, I would have expected something sturdy like say the remote that Woo has for their upcoming dac. 

post #70 of 72

 

Benchmark DAC1 is not bright, it's neutral. Somebody get used to the dull and feel neutral is bright.

post #71 of 72

^ Good that's assuring to hear, a neutral dac is what I need.  As I have a tube amp, I prefer to have the source neutral, so that if I want to "color" the sound I can do it by swapping tubes :)

post #72 of 72

Yes, the DAC1 is absolutely neutral.  To demonstrate this, we sent an AIX high-resolution music recording through the DAC1, then connected the output to our ADC1 (analog-to-digital converter) and recorded it.  We took that recording and sent it through that chain again, creating a 3rd generation recording.  We did this 20 times!!  We then took the 20th generation recording to Avatar studios in Manahattan and compared it to the original with all of their recording engineers and mastering engineers.  No one could tell which was the original and which was the 20th generation!!

 

Hope that helps!

 

Best,

Elias

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