Review: Benchmark Dac 1 Pre Preamplifier

Category: Preamps

Hey, I Just wanted to post a quick review of my experience of the Dac 1 Pre from Benchmark. My story starts with a purchase of an NAD 375bee Integrated amp and a pair of Dynaudio Focus 220 mk2 series speakers. After hooking them I wasn't satisfied with the sound at all. After spending $2800 on the dyns and $1300 for the NAD I was a little pissed off. I actually had trouble sleeping for 2 weeks! The bass was awesome! but the mids and highs were fatiguing, and unnatural sounding and i wasn't happy at all. A few phone calls to Dynaudio USA and mick told me that these speakers needed at least 250 hours of breakin. He wasnt kidding, because i kept listening to them in 60 hours intervals with no changes in the awful mids and highs. I can report that after 210 hours they are opening up and they are quite good now.(not great) In the meantime i ordered and received a pre-amp with a Dac built in called the Dac 1 Pre. I didnt really know what to expect as this product is primarily used for recording engineers for mixing music. Upon initial hook up i was not impressed at all. While i could hear alot more details in my music it seemed un- balanced and overly bright!
After some online investigation of reviews and forums posts i realized that this Pre amp needed some break in time. ( i never really believed that solid state equipment needed breakin btw) until now ! After running for 2 days the sound coming out of my speakers was flat out amazing! world class ! My first reaction was that i dont need to ever touch this system, its perfect. To make small note this is with only about 12 hours of break in so far. Im hoping it will even get better. Either the pre-amp section in the NAD is really bad or the pre-amp in the Dac Pre 1 is really good. Either way my dynaudios NOW sound great and im very very happy!
Im thinking of replacing my NAD with a Parasound A21 amp.
I guess when hooking up dynaudios, you really cant use mid fi equipment! Lesson learned.

Associated gear
Nad 375bee , Dynaudio Focus 220 mk2
My experience is the same. The Benchmark will break-in in a day or two.
After playing with the Dac pre and Dac sections , i realized that the best sound is now using the NAD pre-amp with dac. I apologize for my initial post. I feel the dac 1 pre does make sound a lil too lean, like it strips out the bass or something. It could need further break in though....
Not sure what was wrong. In ether case your setup should not sound awful. What are you comparing this awful sound to? What was is your reference?
it was the speakers not being broken in. all is ok. everything sounds as it should.