I can't speak to your specific inquiry as to the Benchmark, but I currently own the 8260 and Perpetual Tech. setup with Modwright Sig. mods. While the 8260 gives a warm and muscial presentation, it is not close to the transparency, detail, etc. of the perpetual setup. I don't know how a stock Benchmark compares to a modded Perp. Tech. setup, but I would think there is more potential with the Benchmark (considering future mods).
Sns (System | Threads | Answers | This Thread)
There's been a lot of buzz with the Benchmark DAC1, with a very glowing review in stereophile that compared it to ultra-high end stuff, also some of the headphone nuts over at head-fi have given it glowing reviews.
I have no first hand experience of it myself, but I'm very interested so I've been trying to arrange an audition somehow (no luck so far.) Not many used units out there either. Other DACs in the price range include the Bel Canto DAC 2 and the Musical Fidelity X-DAC with the optional beefed up PSU (supposedly mandatory) and optional Tube Buffer if you'd like some Tube like sound inserted into your otherwise solid state setup. The Benchmark DAC 1 supposedly has a pretty good integrated Headphone amp if you have Senn 650s or AKGs or the like.
Sonance (Threads | Answers | This Thread)
The Benchmark Dac1 is a fabulous DAC. Sound is crystal clear. Need to spend many times what you spend on this to get better sound.
Abrahavt (Threads | Answers | This Thread)
I have the Benchmark DAC1 and I bought the Pioneer DV578A which has SACD, DVDA, 16/44, DVD, CDR/W. The SACD is nearly as good as the SACD 1000 which I owned two, with them both having the notorious glitches before they were sold. The Pioneer has optical and coax dig-out. I am using the coax outs and the Benchmark has far more air in the treble than the SACD 1000, with the DAC1 having a tighter and more articulate bass. The Benchmark also had a bigger stage both wider and deeper. The midrange wasn't as dark as the SACD 1000 and more delicate. The SACD 1000 was best with SACD , but the gap wasn't as large. Since I have more 16/44 recordings, the Benchmark is just the ticket. I am not sure you can spend money better than on this unit. Jallen
Jallen (Threads | Answers | This Thread)
keep your eyes peeled for the pending Grace Design 902.
its like the 901 headphone DAC, but it has RCA out and USB i/o.
I would imagine that this will give the benchmark a run for its money. I've got a friend that swears by the 901.
I've heard the DAC-1, and its a wonderful sounding DAC w/awesome features. Preamp? dont need one w/the benchmark (as long as you listen to digital sources).
Nickspicks (Threads | Answers | This Thread)