Newbie, need advice.


I have a old school Bench mark DAC1.I recently bought a Luxman CL-38uC Pre Amp and it says be aware that the maximum input level at the balance input is 2.5 V and therefore sound signals may be distorted if a device with larger output level is connected. I look up the spec sheet on the Benchmark Dac 1 and it did not see the spec for the output voltage, unless i misread it. Can anyone pitch in on this and let me know if i can use balance input cables from DAC to PRE-AMP?

Thank You 
Jorica
jorica
You are right no output voltage specs at all I checked the specs on the website and reviews no dice. However if you have the Benchmark and Luxman there on hand can't you just try it and see how it sounds?
Sounds like perfectly normal line level to me. You'll be fine.
jond4

I have the components. I'm debating on buying balanced Audioquest Colorado cables and that's why i posted the question and can't find the answer on the voltage.
millercarbon6

The line level should be fine, my concern is the output voltage from the dac. trying to get answer before purchasing cables.
Have you ever opened it and changed the balanced attenuation jumpers? If they are set to factory -20 you're fine if not set them to -20. 
Benchmark is quite responsive to customers. You might try emailing their support department.
The manual shows the voltage but it’s in dBu. As long as the balanced attenuation jumpers are set to -20 or -30 the voltage stays below 10dBu or 2.5v.
.775v = 0dBu
2.5v = 10dBu
Thanks to all of you that responded, i will follow up on the recommendations.

Thanks 
Jorica
I don’t know a doggone thing about DAC’s, however

It is VERY HIGHLY UNLIKELY that any DAC signal is close to or exceeds 2.5 Volt

a bit of history, in round numbers: The standard output of tuners and ceramic phono to mono amps was 1 volt prior to Magnetic Cartridges.

pre-amps were introduced to get the smaller magnetic signals up to 1 volt, then to the original amps. Mono was 1 amp, 1 good speaker. Then, Stereo, ADDED a second amp and ADDED a second speaker, dual mono, and the subsequent continued love of mono amps.

Next, stereo preamps, stereo amps. Still essentially based on 1 volt to the amp.

Then variations, stronger signal strengths. Some CD players, especially ones with built-in volume controls signals went as high as 2 volt. You could skip the pre-amp, go straight to the amp.

McIntosh amps have 2 position switches: .75 volt, and default 2.5 volt.

Thus, the world is based on ... no stronger than 2.5 volt,

Thus, VERY HIGHLY UNLIKELY your DAC sends more than 2.5 volt.

As I said, round numbers, my point is to give you the confidence to try it.

Or, buy an in-expensive multi-meter and measure it.

btw, My Tandberg Receiver includes a potentiometer at one of it’s rear inputs, so that two phono inputs (different cartridge strengths) could be ’equalized’ to the innards thus equal volume to the speakers.

McIntosh Vintage Preamps have ’trim’ controls (potentiometers, on the top, near the front) (more easily accessed, just slide the preamp forward about 2"), to ’equalize' several inputs, my SS C28 had and my vintage mx110z tube preamp ’trims’ three inputs: two phono inputs, and 1 aux input.

If you love your equipment, and found a signal strength mismatch, you could add a potentiometer in-line.
I spoke to Benchmark this morning and they advice having the attenuation jumpers at -20 which would give 1.3 volts output, putting jumpers at -10 would give me 4.0 volts which would cause distortion. Thanks again Gents for the advice

jorica.
Yes that's what I said set the balanced jumpers to factory -20 they will go higher than 4 volts if you set the jumpers to 0. I used to have a DAC 1 it was made for Studios as well as home use. 
jorica,

for what it’s worth, I have three pairs of the Colorado’s in my system and have no complaints.

All the best.

JD
Despite the claims of a poster above, I've had 2 DACs in a row that are 2.5V output or more. My current favorite DAC, the MHDT Labs Orchid NOS DAC, outputs 3V. 

That's a true pain-in-the-ass; difficult (but not impossible) to get the gain of downstream gear under control. But I like the sound of the DAC so I deal with it.
As I said, I don't know anything about DAC's.

Why in the world are they making such powerful outputs?
Yes the overabundance of gain is problematic with many digital sources. Any voltage over 2V seems not to be needed.

Many preamps (stand alone or within integrateds) provide more gain than needed as well, a greater problem with digital sources. 
Why in the world are they making such powerful outputs.               



Maybe to drive an amplifier directly without the use of a preamp.
Most amplifiers don't need any more than 2 volts to drive them to full power. 
Most but not all, my amplifier takes 2.5 volts, some take more than that.