Benchmark Dac 1 USB

Dear all,
ive been looking into DACS recently and i come accross this one while browsing the net. It is not very expensive relativly speaking. its small light weight and not very visually striking . there are very glowing reviews on the net. even suggestions that only the very, very best can better its performance.i find that quite difficult to believe. i dont take reviewers word for it, but they are able to point in a right direction. I would like to hear from owners of this dac. how would this dac compare to a dac in a 3-4k player? is it really only bettered by very expensive dacs? any views? thank you kindly
Oh dear. The Benchmark is highly regarded by many, yet frequently quite controversial around these parts. Tends to generate strong feelings (and often disagreement). A search of the forums will bring you back more than you might want, but this one would be a great start. In sum, I think, it is an excellent dac with a very pronounced design goal inherent in its sonic presentation, and folks seem to either love it or hate it. Which camp you might fall into will take a listen to figure out.
I have a DAC-1 USB and I love it but I have friends who absolutely hate it. So just like most things in audio, it is 100% subjective and the spec can't always tell what is better. The only way to find out is to listen to it yourself.

I think Benchmark Media offer a 30 day free trial. Or you can buy a used one and resale it if it doesn't please you.
thank you for the responses. anyone have an idea if a 3- 4 k cd player would have a better dac section. the reason im asking is im considering the dac because of the usb/ computer connection and if it would be better than my own cd player dac, i might consider using it as a transport only. the hi fi reviewers say alot of things but are never specific. thank you.
I strongly suggest you look into Wyred 4 Sound DAC-2. It has Async USB, which is wonderful.
I'm talking as an ex owner of a Benchmark DAC-1 who found W4S to be a superior product, and by a large margin. In my humble opinion, W4S is way better (albeit the word better means different thing for different folks).
As always, trust your ears, nothing else matters.
If you want a USB dac to be able to use a computer source, you'll be well served by a USB dac. If you're hoping that there's something magical about a USB dac that will "improve" the sound of a respectable CDP in the $3-4k range, think you may be disappointed. Personally, found that I needed to spend in the neighborhood of $3-4k on a dac to come close to equaling the sound I was getting off of a vanilla CDP retailing in the same ballpark (Meridian 508.24 v Ayre qb-9). Thinking that you can better the onboard dac on a well-conceived CDP with a relatively much cheaper off-board dac is likely not going to be a recipe for happy-making. Just my two cents.
Mezmo, thank you for the response.your quite right, i was hoping there was something magical in them to enhance the sound of a 3k ( GB pounds ) player, as well as the pc source capability. it did seem too good to be true!
still, theres the pc capability which is useful if the sound quality is near cd. if only reviewers were more open. ive only ever been able to audition a few items. they test many and know how they perform. Im really starting to think they are inclined to say every bit of kit is good ( money?). Very rarely do i read reviews where the product is not recommended.
Tranquility is an excellent sounding usb DAC. I heard at a friends running off a MAC. I have a Benchmark but have never used the usb portion but have compared it to a Weiss Minerva using coax (Bryston 14BSST to Martin Logan CLS/Depth i sub)...I will stay with my Benchmark.
Hi.Thank you for all the replies.Can these dacs connect and play streamed music from services such as spotify?
Thank you.