Benchmark Dac1 - next step recommendations please

I've been using the Dac1 for over 6 months with my dvd player as a transport and long term I'm looking at computer->Dac solution.

While I like the Dac1 the next step is not as clear. Have folks used the USB Dac1 connected to their computer or perhaps upgraded to a higher-end Dac with a Squeezebox solution?

I've heard higher end players costing 3-5 times as much so I know you can get better sound. Current system: Dac1 - deHavilland UltraVerve - CJ 2500a

Thanks for the advice.
One approach would be to improve your DAC. I think you should consider the Audio Horizons TD 3.0 DAC ($2250), which can be obtained on a 30 day trial basis. It's a wonderful performer. You can find it advertised here on Audiogon.

I've used the TD 3.0 with both tube (VTL MB 185 Signature) and solid state (Simaudio W-5) amplification. Also, I've delivered digital signal to it from both a high end transport (Levinson 37) and a file server (SONOS ZP80). In each configuration, the TD 3.0 has been a great performer.
I would suggest that you speak with Stephen Balliet at Reflection audio ( He does a mod to the Benchmark that retains it's virtues while strenghting other areas...he can also instruct on one (there are others) way to go at computer digital.
Thanks Cedar,
I'm wonder if anyone has had good results with Modding a Dac1 or is the next step going to a better DAC?
Go to a USB DAC such as the Benchmark DAC1 USB.
If you haven't already, you should look at the website for Empirical Audio, Steve Nugent's company. They mod the DAC1 and also are thought leaders in the PC audio space.
While my office audio system is hooked up to my computer, I actually listen to music with a squeezebox 3 -> Musical Fidelity X-DACv8 as a source and have been very happy with the results.
Just added some DH Labs ceramic cones under the DAC1, the large size. After trying a few other things I'm surprised by the improvement of the DH cones. Following the instructions on their web site yielded the best results with a firmer, better defined base and lower mid range.
You can actually have your cake and eat it too. With the I2S interface that Empirical puts on the DAC-1, you can add a USB to I2S converter, or a Sonos, Olive or Squeezebox reclocked through a Pace-Car reclocker. This gives you the most flexibility as well as the lowest jitter. No upsampling either.

If you go with the DAC-1 USB (which is a good product dont get me wrong), you will always go through the upsampler chip and you will have USB as your computer audio interface.

Steve N.
Empirical Audio
I am a couple of months away from going to an all computer system. I am remodeling my house so i can run wires,etc as needed. What system would you recommend and should i run usb cables under the floor. Budget is $3000.
Streetdaddy - I have them and use them all, Squeezebox, Sonos, Off-Ramp USB converters. I like the Sonos myself. The output is very jittery stock however, so I highly recommend a Pace-Car reclocker. The first Zone player of Sonos needs a network drop. The additional ones can be wireless. There is no sound degradation with either. Do the demo at:

If you want the very best that Computer Audio can offer, then go with an I2S interface on the DAC of your choice rather than S/PDIF.
DAC's that have I2S:
Benchmark DAC-1, Northstar 192, Audio Logic, Spoiler, and the Perpetual P3A. The bonus with the DAC-1 is that it has a built-in preamp and balanced outs, however I highly recommend mods to it. You can drive your amps directly, but it is not remote controlled.

Steve N.
Empirical Audio