d8b d/a convertors findings
Well I finally got my Benchmark Dac1 (quite a task over here in the Uk I assure you!) After a couple of a/b test I have come to the scientific conclusion that the d8b convertors are poop!
I don't have access the classic/iconic tracks of the 70's etc but a track came out recently (Marin Solveig - Rocking music) which caught my ear. Whilst listening on my top of the range Sony CD player/Headphone combo the vocals sound tight, crisp and clean. The articulation is good as is the timing (many vox tracks of different vocalists) so couldn't wait to get it in the studio and 'really' hear it. Powered up the studio ripped the Cd to my hard drive and hit play...... The tight vox were smeared all over the mid/top end, I could hardly differentiate the vocalists! All the definition had gone as was the punctuation in the percussion. I was left thinking what was the point in spending £30k on music equipment and acoustic treatment if a £300 cd/headphone combo sounded better?!
So, I wire in the Dac1 (aes>DAC1>Genny 1031+7070 sub) tentatively press play and what do ya know? I got my focus back! Probably 85-90% of the clarity of the cd/headphone combo but a massive improvement over he previous 50-60% I had previously. It's like not realizing you need glasses, you get those prescription googles and go 'Ohhh, now I get it!'. I think the glasses analogy is best suited for this situation, it really is 'focusing' of sound. For what I wanted it for it certainly does the job. It's not an 'oh my god it sounds like a Neve now!' just that final coat of gloss on a sports car, that extra bit of tightness I felt the d8b was lacking, shame it cost me the best part of a grand tho!
Whilst I didn't have the luxury (or budget!) of testing lots of different D/As I'm still really pleased with my purchase. And I based alot of my research around the posts in this forum, so thanks to all who assisted me (indirectly of course!) in getting to this point. I've also got a lucid w/c coming and hopefully that'll tie up the remaining 10ish%.
Thought I'd let you know,