Had the Benchmark DAC2 HGC in house and it was awesome. I just went with an amp with a built in dac and that's the only reason I returned the Benchmark. I will probably buy it again later. If I was in the market for a standalone dac it would be the one. I've had the Wyred for Sound DA2, EE Minimax Dac 2, Rega DAC, and Centrance Dacmini, and the Benchmark impressed me more than those. I feel like it's a game changer in its price range. But I've seen great things everywhere about the Antelope Gold too, so who knows. Another legitimate DAC shoot out would be great. After posting I noticed your $1500 price. Can't get the Benchmark HGC for that. Sorry. If I were you, I would not consider the Benchmark 1 with the 2 available. I'd save for the 2. The Benchmark 2 is detailed but not etched, natural, resolved, musical. It's all of that.
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