Benchmark Media DAC1 -anyone have one?

the pro reviews of the Benchmark Media DAC1 are uniformly positive in the extreme. These are from the most dispassionate of all ears, someone who shows up Monday mornings to "do music" It seems very well engineered, if anyone knows of someone who has auditioned one, please chime in. thanks

I had the opportunity to hear my friend's unit in my system for about three hours yesterday. I'm sold on this product.

Now, all I need to know is where can I buy one. My friend neglected to tell me where he got his, but a google search turned up only two dealers — neither of which were discounting it.
best price i've seen is sonic sense

I purchased one because my two time Grammy winning brother raved about it. Exceptional transparency, great pacing and tone. Comes pretty close to my reference $7500.00 Bremen No.1 DAC which is the best I've heard. Worth more than four times it's $800.00 selling price compared to what is out there under $4000.00 sonically. Small size and connection options makes it really easy to integrate with any system.Since it reclocks Benchmark claims it can be used with any transport...BULL###! The better your source the better the sound. Used it with a Theta DaviD transport , wonderful, an Audio Note CDT-2, wonderful, a Classe CDT-1, NOT VERY GOOD! Well worth a listen ***** Cisco McGregor PS buy one, you'll love it
I have one and love it. When I bought mine you could by it directly from Benchmark with a money back gaurantee. John Marks of Stereophile is a fan of this DAC.
Audio Revelation is selling these:
I've had a Benchmark Media DAC1 for about nine months. I think it's a great product for the price, especially if you're directly connecting it to a power amp, but be aware of some weaknesses. In my system, directly driving a PS Audio HCA-2 with balanced XLR connections, the performance of the DAC1 is highly dependent upon AC power quality, power cords, and power conditioning, etc. Experimenting is strongly suggested -- I still am. Additionally, the performance depends a lot upon the interconnect used, and the internal level settings (I'm using -10 dB setting). I can't comment about the performance of the single-ended RCA outputs. Again, experimentation is strongly advised. Vibration isolation experimentation is also advised -- I'm currently using Black Diamond Racing Cones MK IV, but still experimenting.

As far as variation in performance with various digital sources, such as Ciscomc suggests, I haven't found that to be the case, but then I don't have a high priced drive and cable to try, plus all my digital sources are a long distance from the DAC1, and highly power isolated, and completely ground isolated. Ciscomc's experiences with source dependency could be caused by vibrational connections, rf/em interference, AC power interference, or grounding problems. If you isolate all of these, then Benchmark Media's claimed immunity to source and digital cable might be accurate. I've used a variety of coax and Toslink digital sources and cables with negligible audible differences. This was one of the great selling points for the DAC1 for me, since I have four different digital sources connected to it, and I don't like the added complexity of tweaking digital sources. Perhaps, after I get other system issues taken care of, I'll be experimenting with source and digital cable effects.

Even with the issues I've mentioned, the Benchmark Media DAC1 is a wonderful product worth serious consideration if you're in the market for a DAC. Just don't expect to drop it into your system and get great performance (unless you're lucky). Tweaking was necessary for me -- performance can be stunning when you reach a sweet spot. I'm considering the posibility of doing internal modifications to the output stage, power supply, and adding rfi/emi treatment, to see if the performance can be further improved.

I'd enjoy hearing of others experiences.
I listened to one last night for the first time. Several hours with familiar material.

it smoked. bar none.
it smoked on its own. blew the doors off of my preamp! Love all the options w/the defeatable variable gain and dual headphone jacks.

those damn lights though...yowza! they are bright.