Want to upgrade your CD sound with an external DAC? I found a great one...

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by Lee Scoggins, Aug 10, 2003.

  1. Lee Scoggins

    Lee Scoggins Producer

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    Well friends,

    I had a very fun listening session with my friend Denny who brought over some 24/88.2k recordings and played them right into my system. Some of them sounded as good as anything we did at Chesky in 90s. Open, dynamic, natural...most done with just two microphones in front of chamber ensembles playing classical just wonderful.

    Denny also brought a DAC1 from Benchmark Media, a product I have been hearing a lot of. I wanted to compare this to the SCD-777ES internal DACs and see how big the sound gap was.

    It sounded wonderful. [​IMG]

    (I have no connection at with the company)

    Best of all it has a very good volume control so we could drive the VT 100 tube amp of mine directly.

    It was just magnificent. Just head and shoulders above the Sony although that sounded fine as well.

    This thing equates to some of the $6-10K outboard DACs I have heard including the Theta Digital Gear and Levinson 390.

    All for a cost of $850. A rare steal in audio. Consider it if you want to upgrade your CD player and have digital outs. I'm buying one soon.

    [​IMG]

    Here's some information:

    http://www.stereophile.com/showarchives.cgi?886

    www.benchmarkmedia.com
     
  2. Ron Reda

    Ron Reda Cinematographer

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  3. Craig_Kg

    Craig_Kg Supporting Actor

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    See what buffering and reclocking can do, Lee? [​IMG]

    I hope I can order one down here!
     
  4. Lee Scoggins

    Lee Scoggins Producer

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  5. Joe Casey

    Joe Casey Stunt Coordinator

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    Lee,
    You might also want to try the dAck by Ack industries: battery power supply, no brickwall filters, no up/over-sampling. Very sweet for under $400. And you can try it risk-free for $50. Here it is.
     
  6. John Royster

    John Royster Screenwriter

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    So Lee, you preferred DAC1 over the 777es?

    That certainly is a statement. Were you able to try regular redbook playback? Any loss of detail using the variable output?

    Sounds like a steal.
     
  7. Lee Scoggins

    Lee Scoggins Producer

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  8. John Royster

    John Royster Screenwriter

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    Arghhh..

    Darn you Lee. I don't want another device in my music chain nor do I want to spend money.

    must....not...puchase......restrain temptation.
     
  9. Craig_Kg

    Craig_Kg Supporting Actor

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  10. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Lee, thanks for the info. So from their web site, am I to assume that the DAC1 upsamples redbook CD to 24/96? If so, it looks like you can't turn upsampling on and off. Also, how many digital inputs does it have? Many external DACs have just one input, and I would want to run one with two components ('C555ES and '777ES).

    I don't suppose you have compared the DAC1 to the Musical Fidelity A324, have you? I know you were impressed with the A324 awhile back.
     
  11. Craig_Kg

    Craig_Kg Supporting Actor

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    It has a switch for XLR, toslink or coax input selection. Since it claims to be jitter proof, you should be able to use any of them without any difference so you can have 3 digital devices [​IMG].
     
  12. Lee Scoggins

    Lee Scoggins Producer

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  13. Adam_Reiter

    Adam_Reiter Second Unit

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    Lee, have you ever considered having your 777es sent to Dan Wright to have it modded? Might be something for you to check into. Dan has a few mods for the 777es and SCD-1. I hear Dan can do some wonderous things with his mods.

    modwright.com
     
  14. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Lee,

    Thanks. The DAC1 sounds like a killer piece. Of course, if I were to buy one, then I could really determine if it sounds like a killer piece. [​IMG]


    Craig,

    Thanks. I couldn't use the XLR input. It's too bad it doesn't have two coaxial digital inputs. Oh well. I could go with the optical and coaxial with the 'C555ES and '777ES.


    Adam,

    Fair point. However, I would try the DAC1 for $850 before shipping a 55-lb. player across the country to have mods done that would void the warranty. That's just me.
     

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