Benchmark DAC1 USB Digital to Analog Converter in excellent condition. 1 year old (manufactured date: 02/22/2011)
From Positive Feedback review:
Benchmark DAC1 USB sounds even better and is more flexible than the original. Hook up about anything that outputs up to 24/192, even your computer, and enjoy top notch performance from this truly great DAC. Benchmark claims ultra low jitter which I will attest too. At $1295, this well mannered and super detailed device is always musically involving. Bests anything under $2000.
The new DAC1 USB is a cut above the original non USB version. I hear more definition. I hear more depth. I hear a greater sense of ease and elegance. I also hear more extended highs and more dramatic lows. You get the picture. It's well worth the added coin. Well done Benchmark!
The highs are delicate and sophisticated. The DAC1 USB sounds just a bit sweet, very nice, and this compliments the increased dynamics and airiness. I'd rate the highs as excellent, attractive, and clearly achieving the next level of purity.
The mids are clearer and smoother, exhibiting greater warmth and sweetness. Soundstage size is now clearly excellent. Plenty of delicacy is apparent in the music that sets the unit apart from others in its price category. Depth perspective and imaging is clearly enhanced with the DAC1 USB.
Vocals are gorgeous with increased textures to enjoy. Choral music is alive and room filling. This is high-end performance for sure. Just wait till you hear jazz on the Benchmark. You will think you have spent $5000 for the device. 'In the room sound' is yours with the small but mighty DAC.
The bass is now as powerful as my higher priced references and almost as dynamic as my tubed ModWright Sony 9100. This is a weightier and more dramatic sound than the original DAC1, though the performance you get will depend on your transport and digital interconnect. If you don't want to take chances, buy an Alesis and a Kubala-Sosna AES-EBU. Plus, move the darn jumpers to 0! (This is clearly described in the excellent manual.)
I did take some time to listen to my great Ultrasone Edition 8 Reference Headphones on the DAC1 USB. Superb! It's a tad smoother than my HeadQuarter headphone amp from KingRex, but just as detailed. The Benchmark is more flexible too.
The Benchmark DAC1 USB has been updated and released in a new version for audiophiles. It's clearly been improved overall and is a killer product at the price. I found it very hard to criticize its performance and any quibbles I had had with the original DAC1 are now fixed. This is a truly perfected DAC. I loved the mids, highs, and bass which were all outstanding and easily outperformed the competition. I'd buy the Benchmark and forget about the many flavor of the month high priced DACs being touted today. The Benchmark DAC1 USB offers big-time sound at a low ball price. Highest recommendation!