Audio.de April issue test the 2. The test score is actually similar to version 1.
Had expected a huge difference.
DAC 2 is about 800 more than the DAC 1.
So, the more expensive equipment gets, the better it gets?
Mac mini > AVI ADM9Ts
Anyway, not sure what it was about this debate that got me to write so much about it on two work days, but I've been thinking about this a lot. Thanks for the thought-provoking discussion and sorry for talking too much. I may end up arguing the other side of this in a few months...
It is a very fresh take on our little HiFi hobby and I really enjoyed reading what you wrote!
i second that, belatedly finding hs thread...
Hi-Fi: Krell KAV-300cd, Michell TecnoDec/RB250/Grado Prestige Black1, KAV-300i amp, Transparent balanced interconnects and bi-wire to Sonus faber Concerto grand piano speakers, Nakamichi ZX-7 cassette deck, Logitech Squeezebox Touch, Hitachi FT-5500 and Sony S570ES tuners, BCD Engineering stand, RA Powerlink, Chord powerchord, Grado SR60i cans.
AV: Sony Bravia KDL-32EX503 telly, BDP-S370 player with QED HDMI. Currently unused: Denon AVR-1705, DVD-1710, KEF KHT1005.2
Luckily, that's not linear. The review essentially stated that it sounded differently, not better.
I'd be suprised if it sounded different at all. The extra cost goes towards newer technology and more features.
I have been using two DAC1 (ver1) since many years now - professionally, so I know them and their shortcomings intimately.
Since a month I have been testing, using and ended up buying a DAC2.
I can confirm that the difference is there, in all aspects and it is a very big upgrade compared to the DAC1.
In comparisong the DAC1 is veiled, rough and at the same time closed in. Relatively speaking that is, I still find it an amazing DAC at the price.
We tested the new DAC2 against Weiss DAC202, Gracedesign m903, Bricasti M1 and the new Bryston BDA-2.
The DAC2 was very clearly superior to the Weiss and the Gracedesign (although I am a big fan of Grace, all our mic preamps our by their design).
The Bricasti M1 (costing 4x more) was hard to compare to. On its proposed filter setting (Stereophile), it was tossed out as inferior straight away. Digging into the filter settings brought the maximal performace to the surface, and it was a slower minimal phase filter that brought it on the same level as the DAC2. We never understood why they choose to included all those filter settings... (and I am a big fan of Bricasti, we have and use their M7 reverb processer, it is simply amazing)
The Bryston BDA-2 was very intruiging, as it was very very close to the DAC2. But no volume control, no headphone preamp, so on practical consideration it was tossed out.
The DAC2 managed to beat all of them, including the M1 on the preferred filter setting by the sheer listenability, it is frighteningly clean, but at the very same time utterly musical. It has been the first time since a decade I find myself listening in the studio to music I am not working on - just for pleasure.
I think that says it all. You want to listen to it. That is a hard feature to beat in a DAC.
Yannik, in what way was the Benchmark superior to Weiss and Grace design? To my opinion my recently purchaced Cyrus CD8X is much more musical than DAC2. Sure, the Benchmark is more precise, true, flat, greater soundstage etc etc... but just as quote from WHF "..it's much easier to admire than to love".
Tellurium Q black XLR
AKG K702 Anniversary
The Weiss was plainly put digital sounding in a nasty sense.
The Grace M903 has never convinced me, as the m902. They both sound superior to the DAC1, but never quite right. There is something about the soundstage that bothers me as well, sometimes very convincing, other times not so clear as even the DAC1. The m903 never sounds really open nor non-resonant in the HF. Even with the top DAC (the M1) I always have this last little bit of HF nastyness (digitalness) even on the most convincing filter setting. The DAC2 is clearly the winner in this regard.
I do not know the Cyrus, but as it is an older design and as you put it yourself, less precies, less true, less flat, smaller soundstage,... need I say more ?
My work is hearing real life classical musicians in a great hall and record them as convincingly as possible. The DAC2 has lifted one of the last big barriers for me. So for me it is easy to admire AND to love !
Precision is a synonym for musicality here, if the music/musician being recorded is great.
I do admit, for the non-professionals there are other criteria, mainly because so much of the cds you end up buying sound so bad. Seriously.
On the other hand, even the DAC2 allows me to listen to much more cds than the DAC1 did, which seems contradictory, as the dac2 is clearly even more transparant and precise. It must be that it is doing something extremely right !
When the Cyrus runs as a cd player it just lets the music flow, i do not think about sound. But when switch it as transport to the DAC2, after a while i find myself analyzing music instead of getting lost in it. Benchmark makes it a bit detached musically..
but it also depends on music style.. some acoustic chill out, classical, emotional stuff i prefer the Cyrus. Upbeat music, fast electronic, house, vocal trance, where i want to feel speed, precision and attack i choose the DAC2. this kind of music i want to have totally flat and honest.
Do you use it as a pre-amp ?
Yes and no. I use it as a dac converter for my DAW and CD player, straight into my Bryston 3B sst.
the dac1 pot was useless, so I always used the direct outs, volume controlled digitally in my daw.
With the dac2 the digital inputs never pass through an analogue pot, so this problem has been solved as well.
We did our first recording session with the dac2 last week, it was amazing how close the sound was to the original, when walking back into the live room.
Never had that before.
My 2 cents (for what they're worth):
I recently tested the DAC2-HCG in place of my normal DAC-1.
The difference was chalk and cheese. The sound was smoother and more transparent. Bass was better extended. In a word: much more musical.
I want to get my hands on the new Naim V1 to compare the sound, but the Benchmark will be a hard act to follow.
Harbeth Compact 7 ES-3 speakers
2 x Musical Fidelity X-AS100 power amps
My thoughts on the DAC2 HGC after a while living with the player...
Hifi: Audiolab M-DAC > Audiolab 8200P > Tannoy DC6T SE ●
Headphone: Q701, HP100, HE500, M80, TH900, Mad Dog, D7000, DT880, M100, K550, TH600 ●
DAC: E7, U100, rPAC, Modi/Magni, 120Ds, HP-A8, DAC2 HGC, BDP 105EU, EHP 02D, iDAC ●
ClassicalMusicLover please keep us updated
Benchmark DAC2 HGC super Star!!!
When using a balanced connection (0 dB) Benchmark DAC2 HGC much better quality of its nearest competitor Mytek 192 DSD.Mytek 192 DSD much weaker.That is the best detail on Wh (in extension and refinement as well), more musical, high-quality building scene (the perception of space real and tangible) gives more air-reverberation, no digital rezkost.Okras more neutral and solid.Dynamics, energy and quality lf the same high level.Headphone Amplifier more detailed and accurate, powerful, preamp real good in this price, quality USB at the highest level as a result of sense to use a third-party transport numbers is not that interesting.A notable influence cable, network and analog digital.
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