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A nice new DAC2 from Benchmark showing at RMAF - Page 12

post #166 of 229

okay I am sorry I was really being  a jerk about this. I really should have just kept my gripes to myself. all I mean is I would like to see specs and not descriptions. that is because I am an audio engineer. I realize the target audience is not engineers so I apologize for being a jerk. I will say that I think it means a lot that I feel better dacs are 5x the price. the bryston is a toss up with the dac2 imo they are in the same class just different sound. I also have to say I like a clinical sound. in that respect the dac1 actually does beat the msb simply because the msb is warmer like analog. just like they say. I think even though the dac1 is the old model that says a whole lot. of course that is just personal preference. the only dac I really like better is the defunct lavry da gold. so you can see my sonic preference. it is not what most people care to listen to. I record music all day. anyways, I am sorry I was rude.

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post #167 of 229
You'd be surprised how many engineers hang around these forums, both mastering ones and plain old electrical engineers wink.gif
post #168 of 229
Quote:
Originally Posted by music_man View Post
 

all I mean is I would like to see specs and not descriptions. that is because I am an audio engineer

 

Well did you read the manual? It goes pretty deep into specs and design with a large number of actual measurements. Of course some information can be slightly generic. Then again if you are looking for seriously deep information like what clock chip or mhz it has exactly and stuff like that, I don't know why you would bother since everything is a sum of the whole design and end result matters. No femto dac etc? Does that really matter and who here is a proficient dac designer that can tell without a doubt that a single feature like that without considering everything else will make it that much better audibly?

post #169 of 229
Yeah I compared the DAC2 to an Antelope Zodiac which supposedly has a very good clock, but I still prefer the DAC2...
post #170 of 229
Quote:
Originally Posted by music_man View Post
 

all I mean is I would like to see specs and not descriptions. that is because I am an audio engineer. I realize the target audience is not engineers so I apologize for being a jerk. 

 

If there is one brand out there that's pretty open as far as specifications and measurements are concerned, it's Benchmark. Apart from Resonessence, I don't recall of any other company out there that released a full set of measurements about their own DAC.

 

And I still don't see why the target audience isn't engineers. Many at Gearslutz would disagree with you I believe.

post #171 of 229
Quote:
Originally Posted by MayaTlab View Post
 

 

If there is one brand out there that's pretty open as far as specifications and measurements are concerned, it's Benchmark. Apart from Resonessence, I don't recall of any other company out there that released a full set of measurements about their own DAC.

 

And I still don't see why the target audience isn't engineers. Many at Gearslutz would disagree with you I believe.

 

http://www.exasound.com/e20DAC/Measurements.aspx

 

http://www.yulongaudio.com/en/product_detail.asp?pid=30


Edited by tgx78 - 1/28/14 at 1:38pm
post #172 of 229

 

Indeed I forgot about Exasound. There's also Anedio, but only an even more limited set of measurements.

Anyway, measurements from manufacturers themselves may not be the most reliable source of information, but at least it shows a little bit of confidence into a product and that they're decently serious about what they're doing - Benchmark certainly isn't to fault there when it comes to providing specifications and measurements.

post #173 of 229

okay I apologize again. the manual is a whole different ball game. it tells/shows plenty enough. in fact those are some pretty snazzy measurements I do like to know about the pcb but not unlike many companies I understand they would like to keep that somewhat of a secret. for obvious reasons. it is a great piece for the money if you like the sound. I think I need to listen to it more.!

post #174 of 229

guys, when you say this is so much better than the dac1 I just want to make sure we are comparing apples to apples. I am only using pcm coax 16/44.1. I have no doubt it is better with dsd. it is somewhat better at pcm in some ways but I do tend to still prefer the dac1. in fact I actually still prefer the dac1 to the bryston I just got. I enjoy a very clinical dry sound.on the other hand i now hate paying for dsd capability I don't care to use.  I was just wondering if anyone a/b'd the dac1 and dac2 with 16/441. pcm coax? please don't fault me this is just personal preference. I mean some people prefer a 40 year old corvette to a new one. remember, we all loved the dac1 at the time.

post #175 of 229

Any comparison between DAC2, mytek 192 dsd and Fostex HP-A8??

post #176 of 229

Benchmark DAC2 HGC review in Stereophile, February 2014 issue.

Sorry for the delay in following up on my recent post, in which I mentioned I would provide a summary of the Stereophile review of the Benchmark DAC2 HGC for those who didn’t subscribe or have access to Stereophile magazine.  By this time the review is already on the Stereophile.com website.  The direct link to the review is:

 

http://www.stereophile.com/content/benchmark-dac2-hgc-da-processorheadphone-amplifier

 

For your reference, two other reviews of the Dac2 are:

Everything Audio:

http://www.everythingaudionetwork.blogspot.com/2012/10/exclusive-first-review-benchmark-media.html

 

The Absolute Sound

http://www.theabsolutesound.com/articles/three-new-dsd-capable-dacs/

 

Summary: Stereophile review

The review is in two parts: the review itself, by Erick Lichte; and the Measurements section by John Atkinson, editor.

 

Review section summary and highlights: (exact quotes)

- “The layout is very clear and organized, the styling professionally oriented. The fit and finish were great, and the feel of the volume control was solid and silky.

-Benchmark claims that the DAC2 HGC is a full 10dB quieter than the DAC1. 

 

-Headphone sound quality - provided fantastic listening via my Sennheiser HD600s -

DAC2's ability to offer wonderful image size and separation via headphones, while still giving each instrument the proper solidity and scale in the mix. I think that partly comes from a low level of self-noise, which the DAC2 certainly seemed to have. But from treble to bass, the DAC2's sound through headphones was also very dynamic and even, highlighting nothing but missing nothing.

 

-The DAC2 HGC's treble performance seemed a big step forward from that of the DAC1 and DAC1 HDR.  Sure enough, the DAC2 had slightly cleaner treble performance than the older DAC1 HDR. But surprisingly, the DAC2 offered far more body on the tone, which can be heard as a more solid sonic image, or perhaps a slightly more full-bodied rendering of each sound. The Benchmark DACs of old were sometimes criticized for sounding a bit cold and analytical. The DAC2 didn't editorialize euphonically, but it did seem to have a lot more soul in its music making. It was also noticeably better than the DAC1 HDR at keeping aural images separate, and creating the sense that little to no noise was riding along with the music.

 

- Versus the Centrance DACmini – The Benchmark had more excitement and immediacy, offered greater image separation, and much better control in the bass. Both DACs played musically, but felt very different in terms of pacing, transient attack, and release. The DAC2 HGC also gets the nod for the perceived resolution of every recording .  Via the DAC2, I felt I could hear far deeper, and with less effort, into each track.

 

-Versus the Bel Canto e.One DAC3.5 VBS ($4,985) -- What struck me was how similar the Benchmark and Bel Canto were in terms of tonal balance, treble resolution, and delicacy.  I was very surprised that the Benchmark, at less than half the Bel Canto's price, could so closely compete with it in sound. The DAC2 HGC had an up-front immediacy that I very much enjoyed with some tracks, though not quite the Bel Canto's unambiguous front-to-back layering. Aside from the issue of image width, the Benchmark DAC2 was very close to the Bel Canto's performance in most other musically meaningful ways. Unlike the Bel Canto, the DAC2 HGC offers DSD decoding.

 

- Summing up:  The DAC2 HGC is a step forward in every way from Benchmark Media's DAC1 models. It offers easy computer interfacing, a myriad of input options, remote control, and solid build quality, all from a company that has been around a while, and that stands behind its products. More than that, the DAC2 HGC is a fantastic value in terms of its sheer musical ability. It offers fantastic resolution, an even tonal balance, and an engaging, up-front perspective on the music. I can safely predict Benchmark's DAC2 HGC will be a hit.”

 

Measurements section by  John Atkinson: (mostly exact quotes)

-“Benchmark's frequency response with data sampled at 44.1, 96, and 192kHz - In each case, the response is flat. Channel separation via the digital inputs was superb.

-The Benchmark DAC2 offered one of the highest resolutions I have measured.

- With the very low level of noise and superb linearity, reproduction of an undithered 16-bit tone was essentially perfect: the waveform is symmetrical about the time axis, the three DC voltages described by the data are well resolved, and the reconstruction filter's symmetrical Gibbs Phenomenon "ringing" on the tops and bottoms of the waveform is readily evident. With undithered 24-bit data, the result is an excellent sinewave.

- Even driving a very demanding 600 ohm load, the DAC2 offered very low levels of analog distortion.  Intermodulation distortion was also superbly low, again even into 600 ohms.

- … spectrum almost completely free from jitter-related sidebands, and with the odd-order harmonics of the low-frequency, LSB-level squarewave all at the correct levels.  

- The analog inputs offered a very wide frequency response

- Regarding channel separation and harmonic and intermodulation distortion for the analog inputs, the results were just as superb as for the digital inputs,

- Used as an analog–analog preamplifier, the DAC2 HGC offered superb performance (my summary).

- Summing up the Benchmark DAC2 HGC's measured performance is easy: It's simply superb.”


Edited by Skyyyeman - 2/7/14 at 1:42pm
post #177 of 229
Quote:
Originally Posted by stakatch View Post
 

Any comparison between DAC2, mytek 192 dsd and Fostex HP-A8??

See the above link to The Absolute Sound, which also includes discussion of the Mytek and a brief comparison with the Benchmark DAC2.  I can say also that, as another member had reported, the "word on the street" is that the Benchmark DAC2 has the superior analog output section (for use as a preamp.)

post #178 of 229

It is a pity that more DAC/headphone amp combos don't provide analog inputs like the benchmark. I can also think of the Mytek and  fostex HP-A8 besides this. Everyone says that their headphone amplification stage is the best available, however without analog inputs it very difficult to assess them.

Has any of you guys compared the headphone output on its own to other standalone amps?               

post #179 of 229

I have this in house again. it is really good for the price. what kills it for me is all the led's. didn't they think people would use this in a home theater or bedroom? I had tape over the dac1's leds. if I tape all these it is going to look awful. I know others have mentioned this elsewhere. it is s a shame that has to be a deal breaker for me. I like it better than the stereo192 for instance. however, when you figure this is also a preamp it becomes a bargain.

post #180 of 229

I just wish they had sorted the clicks and pops out before releasing it.

 

The DAC1-HDR is like a fine piece of furniture; the master craftsman's finest work, perfected over generations of tweaks and improvement until it is a masterpiece.

 

The DAC2 is a bit rough and ready by comparison.  Yes, it sounds great.  But it is rough around the edges.  I *hate* the loud pop when switching to analogue input for example. It's really naff.  The DAC1 was always so impeccably behaved and to go from that to the uncouth DAC2 is a bit of a let down to be honest.  Yes, it sounds great and that's the most important thing.  But I can't help think that the DAC2 MK1.1 will be a bit more polished than my 1.0 version is.

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