Benchmark or Antelope?

Looking at these two (2) DACs and asking for some opinions from the student body. Will be used in a "Mac" environment. As an aside, I've heard really good things about Mytek, but it looks like "drivers" need to be fiddled with and that is a turn-off for me. I'm at the 1500 dollar (new)
price point and the referenced units come in around that figure.
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.
Sadly, can't help with a direct comparison, but loved the Silver Antelope when I heard it. I'd look into auditioning both, since you have narrowed it down this far. If no one locally has both, I imagine you could find online sellers with return policies that would enable that to work. Even if there is a restocking fee, it is worth it in my book to compare both in your own system. Looks like Sweetwater carries both.
Lindisfarne, I don't know about Antelope but I use Benchmark DAC1 with Airport Express + Mac Mini + Itunes (ALAC). Benchmark DAC1 offers jitter suppression and is very clean/transparent with tight bass. It was designed to be neutral and not warm. It gave me some brightness with aluminum dome Paradigm Studio/60 v2 speakers but it is just perfect with warm sounding Hyperions HPS-938. This way or another you need jitter suppression. Perhaps additional reclocker would give you freedom of DAC choice in the future (including NOS DACs). Jitter manifest itself as a noise proportional to signal level while Benchmark sound is as clean as it gets. In fact many complained that it is too clean (analytical, sterile itp.) In one studio test it came as most accurate but not the favorite one. It takes time to adjust to different sound but now I really enjoy it. Many people on this forum praised Antelope DAC.
I still own an Antelope Zodiac Gold and IMO it sounds wonderful and is brilliantly engineered. I use it as a passive preamp (via the volume control on the analog side) in my all digital rig. Having said that, however, it is really more DAC than I require (I don't play files at higher res than 192k) and it's a little on the expensive side.

I have been looking at the new Teac UD-501 - it sounds great and is well-made, but does not offer volume/gain controls and no remote. It's the same same for the Schiit Gungnir. I have also heard the M2Tech Joplin; very nice, but I do not find it to be the sonic equal of the Zodiac Gold. The specs for the Empirical Audio Overdrive SE looks great, but it seems stupidly expensive for what it is.

I have an Antelope Zodiac + on my desktop and really enjoy it.

Like Bodotes, I also use mine as a "preamp" to adust volume and switch between inputs including PC, Mac and television.

It sounds great and works perfectly - I never think about it which is one of the highest compliments I can give to a component.
I've got Mytek 192. It has state of the art volume control. Didn't get a chance to test its DSD capabilities yet.