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A nice new DAC2 from Benchmark showing at RMAF - Page 11

post #151 of 187

i just mentioned in another thread. it is more musical than the dac1. which is a good thing for home audio. it is not as resolving. what upset me was their ad-copy. i mean they went out of their way to sell it to audiophiles. saying things that aren't exactly true. like it cannot be measured with current equipment and it sounds analog. well, okay whatever. it does sound nice. less fatiguing than the dac1. indeed it is a darn nice home audio dac for 2 grand. one thing i was wondering is why they went with a switching psu? i mean that really has no bearing on sq but after all that marketing hype, no torroid?

 

also again i apologize for my comment about new posters. i see many of you know your stuff already.

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post #152 of 187
Quote:
Originally Posted by music_man View Post
 

i just mentioned in another thread. it is more musical than the dac1. which is a good thing for home audio. it is not as resolving. what upset me was their ad-copy. i mean they went out of their way to sell it to audiophiles. saying things that aren't exactly true. like it cannot be measured with current equipment and it sounds analog. well, okay whatever. it does sound nice. less fatiguing than the dac1. indeed it is a darn nice home audio dac for 2 grand. one thing i was wondering is why they went with a switching psu? i mean that really has no bearing on sq but after all that marketing hype, no torroid?

 

also again i apologize for my comment about new posters. i see many of you know your stuff already.

I don't agree that the DAC2 is "not as resolving" as the DAC1.  I've had 3 DAC1s over a 10 year period and the DAC2 for over a year and I know the characteristics and sound signatures of both very well.  The DAC2, while sounding fuller and smoother, is still more resolving than the DAC1, and that's clearly apparent in listening to the same music on both dacs in an A/B comparison.  Small details slightly obscured in the DAC1 are readily apparent in the DAC2.  Others have mentioned the same in various reviews of the DAC2.  I don't know how Benchmark managed that feat but they did.

 

Don't know why the poster above is "upset" about Benchmark's ad copy since, IMO, it is right on target. The fact is that current equipment cannot, i.e., is not sensitive enough, to measure certain characteristics of the DAC2  (but the same was true with the DAC1 -- see John Atkinson's various tests of both the DAC1 and DAC2, where he states that very fact.)  And since the sound of the DAC is certainly fuller and smoother, calling it analog-like is not out of line.  I note that MSB also describes the sound of their $60,000 dac as "analog".

 

To me, the sound of the DAC2 is quite superior to the DAC1 in all respects -- both in home and studio use.

post #153 of 187

I just don't agree. I think you are hearing more detail because it is fuller and smoother. not actually more detail. I will say I could be wrong. I personally find the dac1 more resolving. btw, I also have the msb diamonddac iv here. I actually prefer the dac1. I just traded one of my dac1's for a bryston. I think the bryston brings to the table the resolution of the dac1 and even more of what the dac2 offers. please understand this stuff is personal preference. in the studio I only use dac1's. of course I only use the k702 there as well. I meant the ad copy is to a consumer not an engineer. I don't think they are trying to get the dac2 into studios though so that is fine.

 

honestly, I did wonder why they went to a switching power supply. perhaps someone could explain that.

post #154 of 187
Quote:
Originally Posted by music_man View Post

honestly, I did wonder why they went to a switching power supply. perhaps someone could explain that.

 

Perhaps for similar reasons as their new amplifier?

 

http://www.stereophile.com/content/benchmark-debuts-high-dynamic-range-amplifier

 

"A switching power supply is used, Siau feeling that this was optimal because all the power-supply spuriae will be out-of-band and therefore more readily filtered. It also means that the ubiquitous 60Hz magnetic interference from conventional supplies, which you can often find in my amplifier reviews and is picked up by ferrous parts in the circuit, is absent."

 

Benchmark doesn't strike me as a company that would slap parts there just for the marketing value.

post #155 of 187

yeah, they certainly didn't. they put what is good. I completely feel switching psu is better for audio if implemented properly. I just meant a lot of audiophiles seem to think a torroid is better. benchmark does know there stuff and I am glad to see they went in the face of convention as to preserve sq. even I always used to look for a torroid even though I knew a proper switcher could be better. I am not faulting the dac2 as much as I did now. I probably wouldn't use it in the studio and I did choose the bryston over it. however it is an excellent showing and does in fact bring more to the table for hifi than the dac1. I think it is priced very fairly and certainly a contender. I have had one here but I have to bring it back this week. or.....perhaps I bring back the bryston. I am not completely sure yet.

post #156 of 187

holy cr@p! I am sorry I dissed this. perhaps it is not the last word in high end but I just realized the combo is exactly what I am looking for. a week ago I posted in high end looking for a small amp preamp combo that was serious stuff. well, this comes close enough. the dac2 and ahb2 can fit in my bedroom. I have heard better but this is plenty good. I mean better is like 5x the money anyways. I am going to keep the dac2 on loan and pick up the ahb2 tomorrow. I think it should sound very good as a combo. I am sorry I was a jerk about this. I totally went 360 now,. the dac1 is one of my favorites and I am sure I will enjoy the combo well enough. 

post #157 of 187
Quote:
Originally Posted by music_man View Post
 

holy cr@p! I am sorry I dissed this. perhaps it is not the last word in high end but I just realized the combo is exactly what I am looking for. a week ago I posted in high end looking for a small amp preamp combo that was serious stuff. well, this comes close enough. the dac2 and ahb2 can fit in my bedroom. I have heard better but this is plenty good. I mean better is like 5x the money anyways. I am going to keep the dac2 on loan and pick up the ahb2 tomorrow. I think it should sound very good as a combo. I am sorry I was a jerk about this. I totally went 360 now,. the dac1 is one of my favorites and I am sure I will enjoy the combo well enough. 

 

So you like it better than the bryston?

post #158 of 187
Quote:
Originally Posted by seb7 View Post

So you like it better than the bryston?

I came down to a choice between the Bryston BDA-2 and Benchmark DAC2-HGC too, and ended up with the Benchmark.
post #159 of 187
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skyyyeman View Post
 

I don't agree that the DAC2 is "not as resolving" as the DAC1.  I've had 3 DAC1s over a 10 year period and the DAC2 for over a year and I know the characteristics and sound signatures of both very well.  The DAC2, while sounding fuller and smoother, is still more resolving than the DAC1, and that's clearly apparent in listening to the same music on both dacs in an A/B comparison.  Small details slightly obscured in the DAC1 are readily apparent in the DAC2.  Others have mentioned the same in various reviews of the DAC2.  I don't know how Benchmark managed that feat but they did.

 

Don't know why the poster above is "upset" about Benchmark's ad copy since, IMO, it is right on target. The fact is that current equipment cannot, i.e., is not sensitive enough, to measure certain characteristics of the DAC2  (but the same was true with the DAC1 -- see John Atkinson's various tests of both the DAC1 and DAC2, where he states that very fact.)  And since the sound of the DAC is certainly fuller and smoother, calling it analog-like is not out of line.  I note that MSB also describes the sound of their $60,000 dac as "analog".

 

To me, the sound of the DAC2 is quite superior to the DAC1 in all respects -- both in home and studio use.

A big +1 on this. I had a DAC-1 PRE for years while other DAC's came and went and a DAC-1 in another system as well and the DAC-2 is better to my ears as well.

post #160 of 187

I really wish that Benchmark went in another direction than the Sabre chipset. I find the Benchmark DAC-2 suffers from the upper mids shout of many other Sabre based DACs I've heard. Plus, I don't want a headphone amp in my DAC, take that money and put it in the DAC section. Just my 2 cents...

 

EDIT: I will say that the Benchmark DAC2 is a good step up from the original DAC1...a very worthwhile upgrade.


Edited by MacedonianHero - 1/27/14 at 7:34pm
post #161 of 187

I like the bryston better. it is just that the amp and preamp/dac combo makes for a very small pretty good quality combo.

post #162 of 187
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacedonianHero View Post
 

I don't want a headphone amp in my DAC, take that money and put it in the DAC section. Just my 2 cents...

 

I do especially since it works fine with all headphones. Also external amps do not disconnect my monitors when I plug my phones in. This is really a great bunch of features in small package.


Edited by hekeli - 1/28/14 at 12:40am
post #163 of 187

so it is a sabre. it is interesting how they spend an entire page bragging about it but don't really give any specs. I also bet the ultralock(2) is not a femto.. the dac2 is alright as was the dac1 but there is better for not much more. perhaps even for the same price. what I really am liking about it is the size with the amp. it is by no means bad and at this size suits me well at the moment.

post #164 of 187
Quote:
Originally Posted by music_man View Post
 

so it is a sabre. it is interesting how they spend an entire page bragging about it but don't really give any specs.

 

I guess it's not a secret, but that's how they choose to market it.

 

After all, doesn't it sound quite sexy?

 

"32-bit PCM D/A conversion system, four 32-bit D/A converters per channel"

 

It's not lying,  but might sound cool for those who doesn't know how the "single" Sabre 9018 chip is implemented.

 

edit: Apparently the poster below thought I was somehow dissing Benchmark for this. I have no objections on how they market this stuff, as I said they are not lying and pretty much disclose everything there is to disclose. This was just one fact that was funny to me. Given that not everyone knows what chips exist, that's a good description with great marketing value.


Edited by hekeli - 1/28/14 at 1:16pm
post #165 of 187
Quote:
Originally Posted by music_man View Post
 

so it is a sabre. it is interesting how they spend an entire page bragging about it but don't really give any specs. I also bet the ultralock(2) is not a femto.. the dac2 is alright as was the dac1 but there is better for not much more. perhaps even for the same price. what I really am liking about it is the size with the amp. it is by no means bad and at this size suits me well at the moment.

How bout we focus on the unit itself. It's not very useful to take issue with advertising copy, but, FWIW, I'll recap the ad copy issues and hope we can move on: 

 

To recap, first there was an objection by MM to Benchmark's use of the word "analog" in a DAC2 ad, when he says he likes his earlier Benchmark DAC1 in many cases better than his $60,000 dCS Diamond IV dac (which, BTW, is a powerful positive testimonial for the Benchmark DAC1) -- and dCS even calls their dac the "analog dac".  (He then buys the DAC2 stating he's heard better but by better "I mean better is like 5x the money.")

 

Then, there is objection (by MM) saying the ad "brags" about the sabre dacs but doesn't give any specs.  Come on, this is an ad --has anyone seen much in the way of technical specs for a dac in an ad?  Maybe Benchmark should brag about the specs of the DAC2 since they are superb.

 

Then, there is some issue taken with the ad copy when it's mentioned that the ad IS TELLING THE TRUTH in stating there are four 32 bit da-converters per channel.  Has it come to the point where we now object to ads telling the truth?

 

To keep the focus on the sonic and technical aspects of the DAC2, and for those who don't subscribe or have access to the magazine, I will shortly provide a summary of the Stereophile review, including John Atkinson's test results.  (Hint: He ends up the technical review with the following:  "Summing up the Benchmark DAC2 HGC's measured performance is easy:  It's simply superb."

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