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For those of you who have one, do you use it much with headphones, and if so, how much improvement is it over the headphone amps in your other gear? I use Sennheiser HD280 phones.


Cucco Tue, 05/08/2007 - 10:53

Actually, I don't find the HP amp in the DAC 1 to be very good at all. It's acceptable at best. The DA portion is excellent though. If you are a big fan of headphones, I would advise getting a seperate HP Amp and running it off of the Balanced outs (which are excellent - as are the unbalanced outs).

If you really want this primarily for driving headphones, I would say go for the Grace. Its headphone amp is far nicer. The DA is good on the Grace - not *quite* as nice as the DAC1, but not off by much. I would say if there were 100 people (average people) in a room listening to both DAs, only 1 out of the bunch would be able to hear a difference.



Thomas W. Bethel Wed, 05/09/2007 - 06:51

Same here I have no noise in either of my DAC-1 Headphone amps. It is super quiet. Suggest contacting Benchmark. They sell that Headphone amp (H1) for high end audiophile users so I would imagine it should be super quiet and super good. What you are discribing is not NORMAL when it comes to noise. Here are the specs for the H1 which is basically what is in the DAC-1

Stereo 200 kΩ Balanced Inputs with over-voltage protection
+26.5 dBu with ±15 volt supplies
Stereo, for use with 1/4” Tip/Ring/Sleeve plugs only, short-circuit protected
“0 Ω”
Dependant upon power voltage and load [+20 dBu @ ±15V and 60 Ω
30 Ω or higher
Up to +20 dBu into 60 Ω [dependent upon power source]
Dual log taper response
Off to +20 dB
0.1 Hz to 300 kHz minimum
0.0003% typical at headphone inputs - under load!
Better than -75 dBu at maximum gain YOUR NOISE SPEC SHOULD BE AS GOOD.
Hope this helps. What you have is a sick unit get it fixed....

Simmosonic Thu, 05/10/2007 - 01:58

I don't have a DAC1, but it has always been on my 'must buy' list. It has moved up on the list since they added a USB input. Very interesting...


It can now be connected directly to a PC for 24-bit 96k monitoring, and apparently it doesn't need any drivers or anything.

This is very interesting for me, at least. All of my recordings originate on a Nagra V, so I don't need an audio input device for my laptop. But I do need a good way to monitor from my laptop during editing, and the DAC1 with USB is the obvious choice. A total no-compromise solution, IMHO, that can also properly drive a pair of active monitors. Perfect!