I have decided to try out the DAC1 in my system. Does anyone have any experience with both versions of the DAC1? I have been told by Benchmark that a few things were changed from DAC1 to DAC1 USB but I find it hard to justify a 30% increase in price especially when I do not plan on actully using the USB option at least for now. Any thoughts? Thanks in advance.

My very modest setup:

NAD (5 disc changer)
Stratos Amp
Harbeth 7ES II Speakers
Rotel 1055 (used as peamp, looking to use the DAC1 as a pre and dac)
If you don't use the USB feature there is really no reason to buy the USB version - at all. The important features (e.g. output impedance) of both are up to date for both (I think) - best call Benchmark, must better than waiting for someone to relay potentially inaccurate info.
Benchmark updated xlr output stage with stronger driver LM4562 (and changed/lowered values of divider network) on DAC1 USB. Non USB DAC1 has probably still older NE5532 but calling Benchmark is the best option.
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Get the USB,buying the nonUSB version is like rewiring a house and not running extra wires for the future.....whats 300$ in this goofy business?YMMV,Bob
The thing is, the USB implementation on the DAC1 is reported to be, uh, not so great. (This is hearsay, so I may be wrong.) I think we can all look forward to much improved USB DAC performance in the near future.
Dac1Pre has even more LM4562 in the circuit.
I have compared using USB and coax and we (my girlfriend and I) both agree that using Cal Audio Delta transport sounds better. I thought it's noticeably better, and she said "of course it's better."
What's $300? That's about 1/4 a Macbook which you can use to feed the DAC1 Macbook via optical out (next time you are looking to get a computer).
Chenc -- maybe it's just me, but your post makes no sense. You compared using USB and coax from WHAT and into WHAT? The Cal Audio is better than WHAT?
Drubin,its not you.Its what you get when talk is cheap{Keith Richards}.I'd put the 300 towards a therapist and skip the USB in this CASE...cheers,Bob
The USB is connected to a computer of course. And the same album (ripped lossless into the HD) was used to compare.
INTO A DAC1 of course. Come on, guys. Are you messing with me? So far the only DAC mentioned here is the DAC1 and its USB version.
It just occurred to me I did not put "the" in front of "usb and coax" that might be the reason for losing you.
Thats cool.Its just so system dependent its hard to say.Good luck,bob