Benchmark DAC1 -- Big Upgrade maybe
For a possible "upgrade" on the Benchmark DAC1, I suggest you take a look at a post on Audio Asylum Digital from yesterday (7/17) by "Ned", entitled "Benchmark DAC1--Substantial FREE upgrade/improvement". The upgrade was alluded to in posts on Audiogon earlier in the year but apparently never completely divulged.
The post states that the upgrade is really a way of working the various controls on the DAC1, by using the headphone out instead of the RCA or XLR outs and then putting the toggle switch on the back in the middle position. This shuts off the RCA and XLR outs and uses the high current buffered headphone amp, which has a zero output impedance. A cable connection or adapter for the headphone out is needed to split the interconnect cable into 2 RCA's for attachment to the preamp or directly to the amp.
The catch is that the upgrade apparently works really well in some cases and in others it makes no difference. No one knows why but they speculate it is impedance related.
Maybe some of you can try it and let us all know the results.