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. Benchmark DAC-1 ; Any Contenders? Go back
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ryder

Joined: Joined: 29 Oct 2006
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Post Post subject: Benchmark DAC-1 ; Any Contenders?
Before I get this silver piece from Tong Lee, I would like to have opinions from folks who have had experience with this unit versus similiarly-priced DAC's. Wouldn't mind if it's an older higher-end unit.

Much earlier the Theta Gen III and Va were recommended by some folks due to their inherent characteristics of signature bass slam and dynamics that suited me well. Few can match the Theta in this area. However, recently I found out that servicing for these units would be problematic as spare-parts are not available locally, hence I've disregarded these in my shortlist.

Another DAC that was recommended was Audio Note 1x and 1.1x Signature. Anyone heard of them? These were tube and according to some, the AN was slower and more laidback in comparison with the Benchmark which had detail and transparency aplenty. The 1.1x was slightly more expensive than the Benchmark, and with the latter having more functions of built-in pre and balanced connections(plus a sound signature that suits me well on paper), the AN was less-favoured.

Any serious contenders to the Benchmark at its price range?
saucywkc

Joined: Joined: 18 Apr 2006
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I have had extensive sessions with DAC1 and the much older AN1 over a span of months.

I would rule out the lower range AN as they are slow and would not show AN's true color! Of course they preserve the rich AN tonal colors and saturation, but they lacked speed and rhythm. They are like overnite yau char kuai.

OTOH, even with the older AN DAC 5 Sig, it is a hell of a product! Damn, it could go fast when asked. Good drum speed and composure! Tonally rich and saturated with solid imaging! Nothing the lower range could provide!

I have reservation on the Benchmark DAC1 though as it does not provide consistent performance reaps. You could not predict its effect on your setup unless you have tested it.

Partnered with my Sony XA5ES as transport, it gave sparkling highs and taut bass. However, it lacked substantial body that I would have preferred. It's overly neutral, but not to the extend of sterile. Mids is very clean, pure and smooth.

Not much difference when tried with diff digital cables. And I had to squeeze the last ounce of bass by using PS Audio powercord! I have no idea on the range you are venturing into now, but seriously, I think you would outgrow both in a very short while!
ryder

Joined: Joined: 29 Oct 2006
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Saucy,
Thanks for your response. The AN 2.1 Signature at RM14k by our local AN dealer already cost a bomb. I don't want to imagine how much the AN 5 costs. AN higher-end models, although very good, are overpriced IMO.

I owned the Sony XA7ES for a couple of years before I sold it off to one of my buddy. It was unfortunate I didn't test any DAC's with it at the time the 7ES was still with me but it was said that Sony's players do not do too well as a transport. Have you tried any good dedicated transport with the Benchmark yet?

From your description however, I can see your findings on the Benchmark coincide with most forummers in Audiogon. The Benchmark was described as having sparkling pristine highs and a champ when it comes to detail. The downside, as you have mentioned is sterile and something of a cold fish. Some of the DAC1 owners compensated this with a tube preamp while some preferred it straight into the power amp although the sound may be too forward. The DAC1 may suit me as I am leaning towards a forward upfront presentation. Unfortunately I cannot get one for in-home trials although there is this trial-return period in the States.

"I have no idea on the range you are venturing
into now, but seriously, I think you would outgrow
both in a very short while!"

By this line, do you mean I am better off with something else? Kindly clarify thanks.

Last edited by ryder on Sat Nov 11, 2006 10:54 am; edited 1 time in total
saucywkc

Joined: Joined: 18 Apr 2006
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Sony did the XA series at a lost to prove their worth in hi-end audio and the fixed lens mechanism was hailed as one of the top 5 transport! Back then it was Denon, Pioneer, Teac, Sony and CEC being those with strong CD mechanisms. I am sure u realize this as you owned the XA7ES before.

I definitely think you should go something better, maybe a 1 box solution like Meridian G08, Krell SACD Standard, Bladelius Freja or some others. I would really want to try out Ayre CX-7e.

But DAC to me is something passe and introduce more variables like power cords, digital cables and isolations for more headaches!

Just my 2 cents lor.
ryder

Joined: Joined: 29 Oct 2006
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I've got a dedicated CEC transport so there's no turning back.

Anyway agreed on a convenience of a one-box CD player. I just wanted to try something different as this is the first time I'm going into tranport/DAC. There are pros and cons on both approach

Cheers.
woon8899

Joined: Joined: 04 Sep 2006
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hi guy, i look for a Da conventer now may be DA10 i prefer.

have a look on this http://studioforums.com/groupee/forums/a/tpc/f/694106689/m/6611090261
ryder

Joined: Joined: 29 Oct 2006
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Woon, who is the distributor of Lavry products? From Lavry's site it appears there isn't any distributors in Malaysia or Singapore.

I've shortlisted Stello DP-200 as the main contender to the Benchmark as it has a remote control and HT bypass, both very useful functions for my applications. Unfortunately the price is almost double the Benchmark.
woon8899

Joined: Joined: 04 Sep 2006
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Stello da200 already is a old model why not try new model stello 100 the price more cheap i have read hong kong magazine before they use cambriage audio 640c hook to stello 100 the sound can be improve 20-30% http://www.hifi500.com/direct.htm

LAVRY engineering introduce taiwan agent to me. next coming month dec around 7th will drop by singapore so they direct give it to me.
http://www.midimall.com.tw/nuke/modules.php?name=News&new_topic=68

Hope can help you this information
ryder

Joined: Joined: 29 Oct 2006
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I'm not talking about the DA-200 but the DP-200 which comes built-in with a preamp. Award winner and still current model. The DA-220 is the new model that replaced the DA-200 but it's solely a DAC only and doesn't come with a built-in preamp and remote control. I am looking for a DAC with built-in pre, HT bypass and remote so I could eliminate my dedicated preamp. The Stello had all these and was built like a brick(20lbs) compared to the featherweight 3lbs Benchmark DAC-1.

Unfortunately the selling price here is even higher than the US retail price although it's a Korean product...........

Cheers.
ryder

Joined: Joined: 29 Oct 2006
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I am compelled to ask questions or add another thread in this forum after the lack of interest in the moderators to maintain the integrity of this site. Another typical Malaysian care-free attitude. *sigh*

Woon,

What is the price range of the Lavry Black DA10 and the Lavry Blue? Who distributes Lavry products 'unofficially' here in Malaysia since the nearest Asian dealers are Indonesia and Taiwan? It is a shock there isn't any distributors in Singapore and Lavry chose Indonesia as a base.

I may drop you a private mail as I no longer wish to participate in the forums here.

Cheers.
woon8899

Joined: Joined: 04 Sep 2006
Posts: 3
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http://lavryengineering.com/lavry_forum/login.php?redirect=
You can look the web site a lof of information out here. So you can direct contact the lavry and get some information about agent. The price around us$1000 (da10)just for your reference.

After run in a month plus really improve my system more harmony no more sharp sound. i used cambridge audio 640c+jmlab 806s speaker+cyrus amp.
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