In some cases, upsampling will improve the output of your D/A converter. The low-pass filters incorporated into the upsampling process will essentially replace the filters in your D/A converter. If the upsampling software has better filters than those built into the D/A, then you may see an improvement.

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Use the Benchmark's XLR outputs and leave the internal jumpers in the factory setting as shipped. We always suggest the use of balanced lines, when available, to avoid any interference. With the active speakers' gain control setting all the way down, set the DAC1's volume at about 3 o'clock. Bring up the speakers' gain to about the loudest volume level you would listen. Then bring the DAC1 volume down to a comfortable level. This gives you good use of the Benchmark's volume control range.
Most powered speakers will require the use of the 10 dB or 20 dB pads.

Related FAQs

What happens when 196/24 files are played via the DAC1 USB?

How can I use two Benchmark USB DAC units at once?

Products Discussed


How do I open the DAC1 or DAC2?

Benchmark Media Systems - October 07, 2014

DAC1 ›

  1. Remove 4 screws from each side of the cover.
  2. Lift the cover upward.

Caution: Do not remove the internal safety cover that encloses the AC power entry.

    Note: The cover is designed to fit tightly against the side of the unit.

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    The ADC1 converters have the ability to provide 16-bit outputs on the auxiliary output while providing high-resolution outputs on all other outputs. The 16-bit output mode is always TPDF dithered. The auxiliary output can be set for 16-bit operation or 24-bit operation. All other outputs are always 24-bit. 

    The ADC1 converters also have the ability to output up to 3 different sample rates simultaneously. The USB, Main, and Aux outputs are independent. The sample rate of the USB output is controlled by the computer.

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    Except for a difference in gain applied to the input channel, you should hear no difference whatsoever between "variable" or "calibrated".

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    We would not recommend spending extra money to get the 192 kHz version if a 96 kHz version is available.

    Our DAC2 D/A converter will provide exactly the same performance at either 96 kHz of 192 kHz. However, in most cases, many A/D converters (used to record the music in the studio) achieve better performance at 96 kHz than they do at 192 kHz. But, these differences will be very small.

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    Listening tests are very difficult to administer. Small errors in the setup can lead to erroneous results.

    Vinyl places many restrictions on the mix and mastering engineers. High-frequency content must be limited due to the mechanical limitations of cutters and playback cartridges. Low-frequency energy must also be limited for similar reasons. Stereo content must be limited and stereo separation of the system is also limited. Vinyl cannot be aggressively mastered for increased loudness, the way CDs can.

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