Beresford Caiman VS Benchmark DAC1
Oct 15, 2009 at 6:10 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 26

KevDo

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I know the "which DAC" has been done to death.

I don't use headphones these days. I use Quad 22L speakers, Quad 99 Stereo Power Amp and since I don't have a CD player I've decided not to bother (was considering the Quad 99 CDP-2) and just use the Squeezebox Touch when it comes out later this year.

These DAC choices that I've boiled it down to are the only real options for me budget-wise that have RCA outputs (Quad amp only has RCA not XLR) and have a pre-amp/attenuator onboard (meaning I don't need to fork out for a separate pre-amp).

Has anyone done a comparison on the Beresford TC-7520SE Caiman and the Benchmark DAC1 (just the basic one, not the USB, PRE or HDR)?

I'd be interested in hearing your thoughts and opinions. Basically on how it would sound with the Quad gear. I don't like my music "coloured" to any noticeable amount although a little warmth in the mid-range still maintaining good detailed trebles without sounding too bright would be ideal.
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Appreciate any response!
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Oct 15, 2009 at 6:22 PM Post #2 of 26

scootermafia

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The Benchmark has a reputation for being quite bright and unmusical, but very precise sounding. I don't know anything about the Caiman. For under $1000 you could get an AudioGD RCA preamp, a very nice one with volume control (the P2, I believe) and the DAC19 which has usb/coax/optical and uses the very nice PCM1704UK dac chips.
 
Oct 15, 2009 at 6:54 PM Post #3 of 26

KevDo

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Thanks for the suggestions, I'll definitely check them out!

Sorry, I wasn't thinking. I wont need a DAC with a pre-amp as I'll be able to use the volume control within the Squeezebox Touch. So I'm open to more DAC's in that case. I'm looking for a DAC within the £400 range (will take second-hand).

Stello DA100
Red Wine Audio Isabellina
Cambridge DacMagic
CIAudio VDA-2

Any others I should consider which would fit with the rest of the system?

(If anyone uses Squeezeboxes can you just confirm that the volume control does indeed control the digital outputs?.. I'm sure it does but extra confirmation wouldn't hurt)
 
Oct 15, 2009 at 7:08 PM Post #4 of 26

BigTony

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You can set volume on your squeezebox via digital outs (i don't but i know you can). The SB also has ReplayGain option - which is handy to keep volume levels under control.
 
Oct 15, 2009 at 7:16 PM Post #5 of 26

KevDo

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Thanks Tony!

I'm looking at the CI Audio VDA-2 just now, seems like a good option for me.. plus I can upgrade with the PSU at a later date. From what I hear it has the sound characteristics that I'm after. Obviously the power amp would have more of an effect on the sound than the DAC but the Quad amp is very passive, like a "straight wire with gain".

Pay day can't come quick enough
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Oct 15, 2009 at 7:20 PM Post #6 of 26

scootermafia

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I probably wouldn't use the SB to control anything volume-related. Digital output to whatever is the best audiogd DAC you can afford, their $700-900 usd ones have the same case and power supply and such as the Ref1 or close to it and are surely a good bargain if you're not doing balanced.
 
Oct 15, 2009 at 10:26 PM Post #7 of 26

KevDo

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Wow. Just read up a lot on the Audio-GD gear. It all sounds very impressive.

I think I'll get the Squeezebox Touch and the P-2 preamp just now and just hold off (save up) and buy the DAC-3DV.. I'm sure the DAC will last for years to come so might as well invest a bit more in it.
 
Oct 16, 2009 at 1:12 PM Post #9 of 26

Bones13

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http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f7/ps-...nk-iii-290761/

I got this DAC recently, and found it to be very smooth and detailed. It has both XLR and RCA out. Stock its ~700, but can be modded up as desired, by the company in California that used to assemble the DAC. It has had a recent price drop, as it is assembled in China now.

I have been experimenting with it recently with my Raptor single ended, using iMac (ALAC files) as source. Completely transformed my HD800 and more interestingly AT W5000, which I found anemic and lifeless with my previous DACs. I was considering selling the W5000, but now can't wait to try them with the Apache I plan on getting, and even possibly recabling them balanced.
 
Dec 25, 2009 at 5:59 AM Post #11 of 26

btbluesky

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Beresford Caiman got tons of good stuff inside, with its price, I don't know any other DAC can deliver the same deal:
1. Wolfson WM8716 - 192KHz 64x oversampling DAC chip. I mean there are tons of burrbrown 8x oversampling stuff, but wolfson...they made their name making the best DAC chips in the top tiers brands (like meridian)
2. A single Digital Filter Circuit.
3. LM4562NA opamp
4. PCM2902 USB in, not the old and cheap PCM2702.
5. Class A circuit for headphone out.

I have one right here with my Havana and Paradiaea because I want to try out some HDtracks sound. Redbook Havana might still be the king under 1G, but 96k/24bits sampling, or other SACD stuff, I'll be using the Caiman.

I'll be doing some comparison against Havana once my SET amp is here (to go with Fostex bookshelf), on both 96/24 and redbook. But right now, I'm using it daily with a pushpull 100w tube amp, and its SWEET as it is.
 
Dec 25, 2009 at 6:07 AM Post #12 of 26

LingLing1337

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I wouldn't throw any money at Stanley... But I won't say any more than that about it. I will suggest that you buy a used 7520 and throw in the LM4562NA and WM8716 for much less than the $400 that Beresford NA is asking. The fact that they charge $100 to change out the SOCKETED opamps should set off a red flag in anybody's mind.
 
Dec 25, 2009 at 7:09 AM Post #13 of 26

Cankin

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Quote:

Originally Posted by btbluesky /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Beresford Caiman got tons of good stuff inside, with its price, I don't know any other DAC can deliver the same deal:
1. Wolfson WM8716 - 192KHz 64x oversampling DAC chip. I mean there are tons of burrbrown 8x oversampling stuff, but wolfson...they made their name making the best DAC chips in the top tiers brands (like meridian)
2. A single Digital Filter Circuit.
3. LM4562NA opamp
4. PCM2902 USB in, not the old and cheap PCM2702.
5. Class A circuit for headphone out.

I have one right here with my Havana and Paradiaea because I want to try out some HDtracks sound. Redbook Havana might still be the king under 1G, but 96k/24bits sampling, or other SACD stuff, I'll be using the Caiman.

I'll be doing some comparison against Havana once my SET amp is here (to go with Fostex bookshelf), on both 96/24 and redbook. But right now, I'm using it daily with a pushpull 100w tube amp, and its SWEET as it is.



If based on spec only, I'd probably choose the upcoming Emotiva DAC

Preliminary spec:

AD1955
Balance output
24/384 upsampling
Discrete output stage
 
Dec 25, 2009 at 4:51 PM Post #14 of 26

nick_charles

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Quote:

Originally Posted by scootermafia /img/forum/go_quote.gif
The Benchmark has a reputation for being quite bright .


Frequency Response at Fs=48-kHz:
+/- 0.1 dB (20 to 20-kHz)
-0.02 dB at 10 Hz
-0.20 dB at 20 kHz
Frequency Response at Fs=96-kHz:
+/- 0.1 dB (20 to 20-kHz)
-0.02 dB at 10-Hz
-0.20 dB at 20-kHz

This is not bright this is utterly flat, where does this reputation come from ?

I am not a benchmark owner.
 
Dec 26, 2009 at 12:29 AM Post #15 of 26

btbluesky

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Cankin /img/forum/go_quote.gif
If based on spec only, I'd probably choose the upcoming Emotive DAC

Preliminary spec:

AD1955
Balance output
24/384 upsampling
Discrete output stage



So where is this DAC, and link/reference? Curious to what they would come out. And alot of China DAC is using AD1955 + AD1896, not saying their SQ since I have not heard it. But I do not see a chinese DAC with a Wolfson 64x chip. Another one with the same dac chip is Cambridge Audio Sonata CD player.
 

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