Benchmark DAC1 Pre USB ($1,575) Review on Stereophile

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Stereophile has posted its review of the Benchmark DAC1 Pre USB D/A headphone amplifier ($1,575). This is a compact unit (photo) described as a “D/A processor/preamplifier/headphone amplifier with volume control, 2 headphone outputs, single-ended and balanced analog outputs, and UltraLock clock circuit.”

Reviewer Sam Tellig liked its versatility, auditioning it as a DAC, preamp, and headphone amp. He said this of its sound:

As for the Benchmark’s overall sound, I thought it tipped slightly toward the lean side of neutral. It wasn’t sterile or hard, by any means; perhaps what I heard was accuracy. In any event, don’t look to the Benchmark to impart richness and warmth to your system.

Check out the entire review, then tell me how it is different from this one. Hint: One of these reviews was written by someone who actually listened to the device before “reviewing” it.