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Inside the latest Benchmark DAC1 - Page 6

post #76 of 179
Quote:
Originally Posted by Edwood
I'm really really really curious as to how the Benchmark pairs up with the Grace.

The "little lean on the bass" part worries me, though.

I need all the bass I can get with the R10's. Moreso with the K1000's.

-Ed
ROAD TRIP!!!
post #77 of 179
If all goes well with buying a condo (not going good lately) then there will be a mini meet at the new place.

-Ed
post #78 of 179
Quote:
Originally Posted by Edwood
I'm really really really curious as to how the Benchmark pairs up with the Grace.
we paired it up in may at the berkeley meet I held. I guess there are some impressions in that thread to look at? I really don't remember much from pairing them up.

I think raif needs to come over again with his benchmark so we can test it out again.
post #79 of 179
i think ampgalore has or has heard both of them.
post #80 of 179
Quote:
Originally Posted by ampgalore
Hehee, for once I am ahead of you edwood

The combo is a bit bright on the CD3000, but lifts the veil from the HD600.
post #81 of 179
Guys, I fail to see why on Earth would you think that this Benchmark DAC is overpriced for what's inside, considering what's out there. Doesn't it cost "only" US$700-800? Both the ASRC chip and the DAC chip are high class, at the top of the heap. The only reason they might not be is because there's always new stuff coming out. Yeah, it's fun to throw a few names that are better, for chips that may have started shipping only months ago but let's live in a reality for a while. Sure, there are better chips than 5532 as well as 78xx regulators, but there's no reason why this DAC shouldn't at the very least measure well (and from what I recall seeing it does indeed). It's called "benchmark" after all, not the "euphony king". Try to build one yourself and see if you manage to get it as cheap as a CMOY is compared to RA-1.
post #82 of 179
Quote:
Originally Posted by aos
Guys, I fail to see why on Earth would you think that this Benchmark DAC is overpriced for what's inside, considering what's out there. Doesn't it cost "only" US$700-800? Both the ASRC chip and the DAC chip are high class, at the top of the heap. The only reason they might not be is because there's always new stuff coming out. Yeah, it's fun to throw a few names that are better, for chips that may have started shipping only months ago but let's live in a reality for a while. Sure, there are better chips than 5532 as well as 78xx regulators, but there's no reason why this DAC shouldn't at the very least measure well (and from what I recall seeing it does indeed). It's called "benchmark" after all, not the "euphony king". Try to build one yourself and see if you manage to get it as cheap as a CMOY is compared to RA-1.
Coming from someone who designs and sells (very nice IMO) DAC's, I think this statement could not be emphasized more. This DAC sounds damn amazing, and could probably sell for several times its price, for the sound it delivers. Although I wonder if better opamps would improve it, I don't want to fiddle with this thing, and I don't think that'll change in a few weeks
post #83 of 179
Not saying that you can't mod it - in fact I'd change the opamps for sure, and any caps that are in signal path, but I certainly wouldn't bother with replacing AD1896 (one, it's SSOP, how are you going to remove it without destroying board if you don't have professional tools, two, unless you are an engineer or can understand datasheets, you will not know for sure that SRC4192 will work - they are compatible in most things but there are few differences, notably the 192kHz operation, so you might end up with a non-functional unit, and besides the differences between two are far, far below anything that is audible and these are digital chips).

If the unit is still 700-800, which I recall it was last time I looked, I don't think its price is outrageous (in fact I recall thinking how will I ever get to compete with these guys when they sell it with all these features for so cheap). I do admit that I was extremely surprised to hear that some $200-300 sound cards have top of the line DAC chips now. So many companies making audio stuff now - is there really so much demand for it (from "normal" people I know, I doubt it) or is it just a perception in the eyes of CEOs that there's money to be made here, as opposed to professional audio market? Or have we here started buying equipment meant for professionals so the choices seem so numerous?
post #84 of 179
Grrr..now I want to change the opamps, after reading you say that! As far as I can tell, there are no electroylics in the signal path. Looking at the datasheets, I definitely thought that the ASRC swap for that particular chip is a no-go, some of the pins aren't even the same. If I were to swap the opamps, I would likely use my old friend the LT1364, since all the opamps are very well decoupled, I would not need to add any new caps to make them run properly. Have you any experience with that chip, AOS? Do you think that one opamp or another is "better" for different parts of a DAC (i.e. I/V, output, etc.), or that one should just use a certain chip throughout?
post #85 of 179
I do think that not every chip is good for I/V, and I don't like the idea of using an opamp for I/V so I personally stay away from I/V DACs. As far as numbers go however, current out DACs seem to be by far the most common type in the very high end. Anyhow, my opinion is that a chip good for normal amplification might not work so well in I/V and vice versa. But I have not done any experiments myself. So considering that you can only replace these chips once or twice (SOIC!), you won't be able to experiment very much. So maybe I'd reconsider changing the opamps - it is not that cheap of a device so you might want to hold off on modding, or do it very modestly, unless you already have experience with this application and know exactly what you want to use. No caps in signal path is definitely good news. And not everything needs to be modded, after all.
post #86 of 179
Quote:
Originally Posted by aos
I do think that not every chip is good for I/V, and I don't like the idea of using an opamp for I/V so I personally stay away from I/V DACs. As far as numbers go however, current out DACs seem to be by far the most common type in the very high end. Anyhow, my opinion is that a chip good for normal amplification might not work so well in I/V and vice versa. But I have not done any experiments myself. So considering that you can only replace these chips once or twice (SOIC!), you won't be able to experiment very much. So maybe I'd reconsider changing the opamps - it is not that cheap of a device so you might want to hold off on modding, or do it very modestly, unless you already have experience with this application and know exactly what you want to use. No caps in signal path is definitely good news. And not everything needs to be modded, after all.
Yeah, I have a bit of a problem with that, I think I've modded almost every piece of audio gear I've owned at one time or another That is the dilemma here, the piece is so nice, and sounds so good already, yet there is that spectre of untapped potential looming over.
post #87 of 179
Quote:
Originally Posted by Iron_Dreamer
Well from what I can tell, the Gilmore isn't much better (if at all) than the DAC1's headamp, so it is going to be finding a new home.
I am sorry for sounding ignorant...
How much is this Gilmore amp and where may I find information about it on the web? Thanks.
post #88 of 179
Quote:
Originally Posted by Iron_Dreamer
Yeah, I have a bit of a problem with that, I think I've modded almost every piece of audio gear I've owned at one time or another That is the dilemma here, the piece is so nice, and sounds so good already, yet there is that spectre of untapped potential looming over.
LOL, if it ain't broke, mod it!

Or mod it til it's broke.

I keed, I keed. Your record is still good so far.

You keep upping the ante, though.

-Ed
post #89 of 179
Think it's possible to fit a laddered attenuator in there, Peter? I know you have to missing the "tick tick" feel there.

-E
post #90 of 179
Quote:
Originally Posted by Edwood
Think it's possible to fit a laddered attenuator in there, Peter? I know you have to missing the "tick tick" feel there.

-E
Actually the potentiometer is somehow "stepped", though it doesn't have the hard click feel of the one on my Gilmore. I don't think the same stepped I used in the Gilmore would fit, it'd have to be smaller.
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