Old 01-19-2012, 07:45 AM   #1
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Default Reaper and Benchmark DAC1

I intend to buy this DAC as a replacement/addition to my Audiofire4. As a mastering engineer I almost never use inputs so I decided to concentrate on a good D>A converter. Benchmark DAC1 has raving reviews throughout and is within price range.

I was wondering if anyone has used it in combination with Reaper and if it is working alright at 24/96, 24/44 and 24/48?
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Old 01-19-2012, 01:33 PM   #2
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You will use it through USB?
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Old 01-19-2012, 01:34 PM   #3
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I'd love one of those, it's supposed to have headphone outputs optimized for my Sennheisers.
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Old 01-19-2012, 01:43 PM   #4
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They are very good. The Mytek stereo96 is a great one too.

Last edited by bogo; 01-19-2012 at 02:23 PM.
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Old 01-19-2012, 02:14 PM   #5
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I own and have been using a Benchmark DAC 1 in my studio and they are great digital to analog converters. Top shelf!!! Years ago I commented and discussed converters ad nauseam on the usenet group rec.audio.pro and it was a very interesting discourse at least for me anyway.
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Old 01-19-2012, 02:50 PM   #6
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I have one. The original DAC1 (not usb) No problems at any sample rates. Powerful headphone amp. I use mine in conjunction with a Lynx Studio AES 16 to monitor headphones.

Regards, Wyatt
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Old 01-19-2012, 03:59 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WyattRice View Post
I have one. The original DAC1 (not usb) No problems at any sample rates. Powerful headphone amp. I use mine in conjunction with a Lynx Studio AES 16 to monitor headphones.

Regards, Wyatt
ditto.

it's resampling makes dither a non issue
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Old 01-20-2012, 01:47 AM   #8
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The USB question is relevant because the non-USB version is 250 euro's (that's a small 400 US dollars) cheaper than the USB version. I DO have an audiofire4 which has an SPDIF I/O and now the cheaper half of my brain is thinking perhaps it's a good idea to route from PC to Audiofire4 to Benchmark.

What do you guys reckon?
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Old 01-20-2012, 01:52 AM   #9
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The Mytek is butt ugly and would ruin the pleasure of working in the studio.
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Old 01-20-2012, 07:58 AM   #10
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If you use it spdif it's going to be only a DAC so no possible direct issue with Reaper. In USB it becomes a sound card. Don't know how good it works.
I have the spdif version and it works perfect but have a listen to the mytek, I tell you.
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Old 01-21-2012, 06:14 AM   #11
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The Cambridge Audio DacMagic Plus seems to be a tough contender, too! Quite a bit cheaper...
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Old 01-21-2012, 07:21 AM   #12
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Thanks beingmf, looks interesting and more widely available in Europe than Benchmark. This seems like an alrounder to me, whereas the DAC1 is a dedicated studio workhorse. Do you know of any comparison articles?
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Old 01-21-2012, 08:27 AM   #13
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It's to bad Dangerous doesn't make a D-Box with out the summing section for you.. Well I say that and they did just come out with something at namm that's table top and smaller..

But I love the D/A on my Dangerous.
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Old 01-22-2012, 03:45 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by earlabs View Post
Thanks beingmf, looks interesting and more widely available in Europe than Benchmark. This seems like an alrounder to me, whereas the DAC1 is a dedicated studio workhorse. Do you know of any comparison articles?
Here's a pretty interesting thread for you: http://www.gearslutz.com/board/so-mu...r-816-dac.html

EDIT: also this one:
http://www.gearslutz.com/board/so-mu...agic-plus.html

Last edited by beingmf; 01-25-2012 at 02:55 PM.
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Old 01-22-2012, 09:10 AM   #15
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Tried TapeOp (a reference site for professionals as well)

http://messageboard.tapeop.com/viewtopic.php?p=624755
http://messageboard.tapeop.com/viewt...3e10dd1555a2a1

Cambridge Audio yields NO results (through Google Site Search)

Perhaps I;m snobbish but I think I;ll stick to the Benchmark.
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Old 01-22-2012, 10:24 AM   #16
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Well, given the fact that the Benchmark is nothing "really special" (amongst the other High-End DACs) I personally would try the Cambridge first, and send it back if I don't like it. A friend's mastering studio uses the Benchmark for DA in a vinyl cutting setup. It has definitely its strengths there: a subtle "HiFi" sheen (whatever it is ), good resolution and hassle-free operation.

It all depends on your expectation: do you want a slightly coloured box to make longer listening sessions a likkle more fun, or do you prefer clean soberness à la Mytek, which makes decisions easier, but is also a litte fatiguing in the long run? My opinion of course.

The Cambridge btw seems too new to generate significant search results – technical specs (and feature list, although not very studio-ish) do look very good.
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Old 01-23-2012, 02:57 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beingmf View Post
Well, given the fact that the Benchmark is nothing "really special" (amongst the other High-End DACs) I personally would try the Cambridge first, and send it back if I don't like it. A friend's mastering studio uses the Benchmark for DA in a vinyl cutting setup. It has definitely its strengths there: a subtle "HiFi" sheen (whatever it is ), good resolution and hassle-free operation.

It all depends on your expectation: do you want a slightly coloured box to make longer listening sessions a likkle more fun, or do you prefer clean soberness à la Mytek, which makes decisions easier, but is also a litte fatiguing in the long run? My opinion of course.

The Cambridge btw seems too new to generate significant search results – technical specs (and feature list, although not very studio-ish) do look very good.
I am looking for a clean sound to make appropriate decisions for my mastering clients. In my opinion the Benchmark's specs are convincing to me (as a relative newb on that level, I must admit).

I found the following text to be quite impressive. But I don't know if it's just marketing jibberish and you will tell that ALL dac's have this feature:
"Jitter-Immune UltraLock™
Digital interconnect cables, electro-magnetic interference, and many other variables introduce jitter into the digital audio. Jitter presents a major problem to most D-to-A converters. Jitter is a type of clock error that, if not properly addressed, can cause the D-to-A to misfire. The result of these misfires is a non-musical, digital distortion.

Many modern (and expensive) converters suffer from severe jitter-induced distortion. Jitter is NOT a problem for the DAC1 and DAC1 USB, which achieve jitter immunity by utilizing the proprietary UltraLock™ clock-recovery system.

With the UltraLock™ clock-recovery system, the digital-to-analog conversion-clock in the DAC1 and DAC1 USB is totally isolated from the clock of the digital audio input. This clock-recovery topology outperforms even the most well-designed two-stage PLL designs. Using state-of-the-art Audio Precision testing equipment, no jitter-induced artifacts can be detected with the DAC1 or the DAC1 USB. Any signal that can be decoded by the USB or AES/EBU receivers will be reproduced without the addition of any measurable jitter artifacts. The bottom line is this: Benchmark converters will consistently and faithfully deliver truthful audio with no jitter-induced artifacts, no matter what variables are present."

Another hesitation concerns the price of the Cambridge Audio. Strange as it may seem I am under the impression that a 500 euro apparatus will not perform as well or consistently as a 1,000 euro one.

I'd love to be convinced the other way
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Old 01-23-2012, 03:20 AM   #18
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Finally found a post where someone has experienced multiple dac's http://www.head-fi.org/t/469322/mytek-stereo96-dac
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Old 01-23-2012, 03:21 AM   #19
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Quote:
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Another hesitation concerns the price of the Cambridge Audio. Strange as it may seem I am under the impression that a 500 euro apparatus will not perform as well or consistently as a 1,000 euro one.

I'd love to be convinced the other way
Only way for that to happen is for you to get both and then send one of them back! But you're not going to be "putting a foot wrong" if you just go straight for the Benchmark - it's used by loads of mastering guys ... even Abbey Road use them - they are worth their price.

Even if the DA on the Cambridge is amazing, what's the headphone amp like? The DAC1's is excellent, plus you get 2 - one for you one for the client - would be extremely useful.

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Old 01-23-2012, 04:16 AM   #20
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Dang! Another contestant: I found that the Lavry DA-11 is actually not THAT more expensive.
The Mytek 192 DSD is 1329 euro's at Thomann.de
The Benchmark DAC-1 USB is 1100 euro's at the Dutch dealer address
The Lavry DA-11 is 1290 euro's at Audio Addict (France)

I hadn't even looked closely at the Lavry's as I thought they'd be at least 2000 euro's but it seems I was wrong.

http://www.gearslutz.com/board/maste...avry-da10.html
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Old 01-23-2012, 04:18 AM   #21
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Come on Jos, do us (all) the favour, get'em both, let us know which unit you like better and why – and send the second winner back... I want some opinions

EDIT: Well, you've started it Another contender in that price and quality range: http://proaudiogear.de/product_info.php?products_id=537. Made by Lake People (German broadcast supplier) with supreme technical specs!

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Old 01-23-2012, 06:18 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beingmf View Post
Come on Jos, do us (all) the favour, get'em both, let us know which unit you like better and why – and send the second winner back... I want some opinions

EDIT: Well, you've started it Another contender in that price and quality range: http://proaudiogear.de/product_info.php?products_id=537. Made by Lake People (German broadcast supplier) with supreme technical specs!
I dunno about your German, but as far as I understand the hi-fi freaks are not unanimous about it. The discussion is highly subjective, though. Plus: no headphone output and no accurate volume setting (mwahh..).
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Old 01-23-2012, 08:24 AM   #23
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I'd be curious to blind test one of those:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/HIFIDIY-net-...#ht_3925wt_952
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Old 01-23-2012, 08:35 AM   #24
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Hihi – my German is about 101% (native speaker) Well, the comments I've found so far are very positive! Especially the clock technology seems to be more than top notch. Generally, products by this company (Lake People) are well known in Germany for their high resolution and uncoloured character, hence the German broadcast supplier status. Even the old 20-bit AD/DA's are still preferred by many engineers btw.

Quote:
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I'd be curious to blind test one of those:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/HIFIDIY-net-...#ht_3925wt_952
Unbalanced output...

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Old 01-23-2012, 09:13 AM   #25
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Quote:
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Hihi – my German is about 101% (native speaker) Well, the comments I've found so far are very positive! Especially the clock technology seems to be more than top notch. Generally, products by this company (Lake People) are well known in Germany for their high resolution and uncoloured character, hence the German broadcast supplier status. Even the old 20-bit AD/DA's are still preferred by many engineers btw.



Unbalanced output...

very easy to add...

http://www.ti.com/product/drv134
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Old 01-23-2012, 10:17 AM   #26
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Quote:
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Probably it's easy for you, I don't know about earlabs Now, honestly, if you plan on testing such a device, and eventually have to send it back... I don't think the seller would accept it if you "soldered around" in the circuit.
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Old 01-23-2012, 10:31 AM   #27
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No I don't think so! I'm just curious to know how good it performs. They seem to have followed the texas instrument implementation of the chip. I will give some review here if I order one.
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Old 01-23-2012, 10:37 AM   #28
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The main problem is the lack of a volume control.
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Old 01-23-2012, 11:05 AM   #29
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Opinions are like ears and most everyone has one or two. Also, no two ears are created the same or equal and that is what I call an earprint. So what might sound good to one person is going to sound different to another, so take all opinions with a little more than a grain of salt.

You have my subjective opinion and comment in an earlier post in this thread and that is all that matters.
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Old 01-23-2012, 11:37 AM   #30
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Quote:
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Opinions are like ears and most everyone has one or two. Also, no two ears are created the same or equal and that is what I call an earprint. So what might sound good to one person is going to sound different to another, so take all opinions with a little more than a grain of salt.

You have my subjective opinion and comment in an earlier post in this thread and that is all that matters.
You're right but it has to be pretty flat from 20hz to 20khz and have a low noise floor first.
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Old 01-23-2012, 11:42 AM   #31
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Quote:
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Unbalanced output...
That's..... odd..

I have to converge now. Choice is definitely between
Lavry DA-11
Mytek 192
(Benchmark DAC-1)
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Old 01-23-2012, 11:52 AM   #32
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Quote:
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That's..... odd..

I have to converge now. Choice is definitely between
Lavry DA-11
Mytek 192
(Benchmark DAC-1)
Mytek 192? There is no Mytek 192 stereo DAC.
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Old 01-23-2012, 12:22 PM   #33
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Quote:
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Mytek 192? There is no Mytek 192 stereo DAC.
Everyone thinks there is...
http://mytekdigital.com/download_lib..._july_2011.pdf
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Old 01-23-2012, 12:55 PM   #34
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Wow! I tought there was just the 96. Thanks!
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