The Pre/DAC for SCM40A

ATC & other makes of Hi-Fi equipment
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Re: The Pre/DAC for SCM40A

Postby MevDinc » Wed Mar 01, 2017 5:30 pm

Joe951 wrote:I've got the Benchmark DAC1 and DAC2. One thing I've noticed with both of them in multiple systems is that they do not do well if you run them directly to an amplifier and a subwoofer. I've tried this with both of them. I ran the balanced out to a power amp and the RCA out to a sub and in every case this resulted in very poor bass. I also have a Bryston BP25 preamp and if I run the benchmark to it and run the amp and sub off of the preamp balanced and RCA outs the results are great. The benchmarks just don't have the power.


That's interesting to hear as I did use Benchmark DAC1 before the Zodiac Gold with great success running in direct mode with my ATC actives. DAC1 had jumper settings to adjust the balanced output levels too, don't at all remember it lacking power output. I only used the balanced out.
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Re: The Pre/DAC for SCM40A

Postby Joe951 » Wed Mar 01, 2017 5:55 pm

MevDinc wrote:
Joe951 wrote:I've got the Benchmark DAC1 and DAC2. One thing I've noticed with both of them in multiple systems is that they do not do well if you run them directly to an amplifier and a subwoofer. I've tried this with both of them. I ran the balanced out to a power amp and the RCA out to a sub and in every case this resulted in very poor bass. I also have a Bryston BP25 preamp and if I run the benchmark to it and run the amp and sub off of the preamp balanced and RCA outs the results are great. The benchmarks just don't have the power.


That's interesting to hear as I did use Benchmark DAC1 before the Zodiac Gold with great success running in direct mode with my ATC actives. DAC1 had jumper settings to adjust the balanced output levels too, don't at all remember it lacking power output. I only used the balanced out.



I'm not saying the Benchmarks can't run an amplifier or pair of active speakers. What I'm saying is if he wants to add a sub to the Active 40s at some point he's going to get poor results if he hooks the sub up directly to the Benchmark along with the speakers. Just something to keep in mind. I've tried it several times and have always been surprised at how much better it got when I added the Bryston.

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Re: The Pre/DAC for SCM40A

Postby MevDinc » Wed Mar 01, 2017 6:03 pm

Understood, that's why I also finished my comment saying I only used the balanced out.

I never used subwoofer with my ATC's even when I had the 100As, of course, with 150s don't need one at all.
But from what I've heard of 40s and 40As they can really deliver great bass on their own in most listening rooms.
But as you say if people would like to use a sub as well then that's a different story.
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Re: The Pre/DAC for SCM40A

Postby MattSPL » Wed Mar 01, 2017 9:32 pm

My Matrix Quattro Dac is essentially a Chinese copy of a benchmark Dac1 USB with elements of the HDR. I too had that lack of power issue when trying to run a sub off the RCA outputs, but found the problem to be a huge voltage difference between the xlr and rca outputs, not an actual lack of power.
I overcame the problem by reducing the input gain on my active speakers, meaning I had to turn the Dacs volume up much more to get volume into the speakers, which in turn, meant the voltage on the RCA outputs was higher for going into the sub.
I used this method with s Velodyne DD12 and now with a DJ amp into my DIY sub.
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Re: The Pre/DAC for SCM40A

Postby linger63 » Thu Mar 02, 2017 8:54 am

Joe951,

Strange!!!........Never had ANY issues running a sub at RCA level and ATC actives at XLR level out of a Benchmark DAC2

Actually had to turn the sub volume DOWN due to having the XLR attenuation pads set at -20db on the Benchmark.

As my subs offer dual XLR and RCA inputs I can connect up my Benchmark DAC2 at RCA level and my HT Pre/Pro at XLR level.

I simply tuned the sub for stereo using all its on board settings and internal crossover.

When it's HT time I simply flick the crossover in/out switch to "out" when turning the sub on..........the HT Pre/Pro's settings and crossover kick in........very simple, if your sub (s) offer the right connections and features, and sounds great in either mode due to being optimised for both.

IME and IMHO then........any perceived bass issues would be related to settings and connections used, and quality of, the sub itself.
The Benchmark DAC is not the culprit at all and therefore it's unfair to criticise it.

I look forward on having a listen with 2 subs after I replace the plate amp in my other one and expect no issues then either.

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Re: The Pre/DAC for SCM40A

Postby scm100 » Thu Mar 02, 2017 12:46 pm

Strange indeed....in my second system I use a Benchmark DAC1 Pre with the xlr outputs going to a pair of ATC SCM20-2ASL.
The rca outputs go to two ATC C4 subwoofers , there is definitely no lack of power or poor bass when using both outputs.

The DAC1 pre is noticably better running the active ATC plus Subwoofers than the far more expensive Plinius M16 preamp which it replaced.

.
ATC SM100 ASL PRO , SCM20 ASL PRO MK2 , Two ATC C4 SCM 0.1/12 Subwoofers.
Bel Canto Pre6 Gen2 multi channel preamp , Oppo BDP95 , Wadia WT3200 cd transport , Benchmark dac1 HDR.
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Re: The Pre/DAC for SCM40A

Postby linger63 » Thu Mar 02, 2017 3:06 pm

scm100 wrote:Strange indeed....in my second system I use a Benchmark DAC1 Pre with the xlr outputs going to a pair of ATC SCM20-2ASL.
The rca outputs go to two ATC C4 subwoofers , there is definitely no lack of power or poor bass when using both outputs.

The DAC1 pre is noticably better running the active ATC plus Subwoofers than the far more expensive Plinius M16 preamp which it replaced.

.



Sounds like a VERY nice second system!!!!.....

I take it you made up some hybrid I/C's for the C4's due to them only having XLR inputs.
I guess adaptors wouldn't be too bad considering it's subs doing LF.

Not a fan of using adaptors for any Mains connections at all!!!

Interesting to see the Plinius came up short vs the Benchmark re pre amp duties.

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Re: The Pre/DAC for SCM40A

Postby scm100 » Fri Mar 03, 2017 12:24 am

I got rca to xlr cables made up by pro audio LA.
Canare cable with neutrik xlr's and rca's.
ATC SM100 ASL PRO , SCM20 ASL PRO MK2 , Two ATC C4 SCM 0.1/12 Subwoofers.
Bel Canto Pre6 Gen2 multi channel preamp , Oppo BDP95 , Wadia WT3200 cd transport , Benchmark dac1 HDR.
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Re: The Pre/DAC for SCM40A

Postby Joe951 » Fri Mar 03, 2017 2:16 am

I shouldn't have said the bass was poor with the Benchmark. I should have just said I was surprised at how much better it is with the Bryston. I've had this experience enough times to be confident that there's a very noticeable difference. I think anyone who is currently running both an amplifier/active speakers and a sub out of the Benchmark should at least try a regular preamp if they get a chance. I've noticed this 3 times in 3 different systems now so I'm confident of the difference. The first time was with Classe CA200 amp/B&W N802 speakers and Velodyne DD18. Second time ATC P4 amps into SCM110 ASLs and Velodyne DD18. I also recently disconnected the sub in my other system consisting of DAC2, pair of Cambridge 840 amps running bridged mono into Thiel 3.7s and Infinity Intermezzo 1.2 sub.

One thing I haven't tried but that might work is to run the sub out of the headphone jack rather than the RCA outputs. I don't know how the DAC2 is constructed but I think this is probably at least worth a try.

The difference I've noticed is definitely not just volume. I've played with the sub volume a lot and there is simply a lot more resolution/slam/authority with the Bryston. Bryston is known for having authoritative bass from what I've read so this difference would probably be less noticeable with a more relaxed sounding preamp.

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Re: The Pre/DAC for SCM40A

Postby Matt70 » Sat Apr 01, 2017 6:29 pm

Hi,

I've had opportunity to compare 4 DACs with Pre function:Mytek Brooklyn, PrismSound Callia, Benchmark 3 and Calysto Femto with ATC SCA2 and in my opinion there is a really big difference, I mean the sound via SCA 2 is better in any considaration than directly via DAC. In terms of pure DACs, Calysto Femto was the best for me.

Cheers
Matt

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Re: The Pre/DAC for SCM40A

Postby Matt70 » Sat Apr 01, 2017 8:44 pm

Calyx Femto of course:)

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Re: The Pre/DAC for SCM40A

Postby MattSPL » Sat Apr 01, 2017 8:57 pm

Matt70 wrote:Calyx Femto of course:)


That's a pricey Dac!
Sony BDP-S790 > Matrix Quattro Dac > Digidesign RM2's with SB Acoustics drivers > DIY Dayton Audio UM18-22 Sub

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Re: The Pre/DAC for SCM40A

Postby Matt70 » Sun Apr 02, 2017 7:33 am

MattSPL wrote:
Matt70 wrote:Calyx Femto of course:)


That's a pricey Dac!

As a new yes. However, the used one is in the same price like for instance Benchmark new , but we get definitely higher class of equipment.

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Re: The Pre/DAC for SCM40A

Postby MattSPL » Sun Apr 02, 2017 11:59 am

Matt70 wrote:
MattSPL wrote:
Matt70 wrote:Calyx Femto of course:)


That's a pricey Dac!

As a new yes. However, the used one is in the same price like for instance Benchmark new , but we get definitely higher class of equipment.


It certainly looks well built :)
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Re: The Pre/DAC for SCM40A

Postby hvries » Wed Apr 19, 2017 9:04 pm

I can confirm Joe's statement about a Benchmark DAC2 used as a pre amp into SCM100 ASL.
Use it as a seperate DAC with a Bryston BP26/MSP2 pre-amp, and it will give you more of everything.

I can also recomment the combo Ayre K5 XEmp pre with Wyred4Sound DAC 1LE.
ATC SCM 100ASL, Bryston BP26/MSP2, W4S DAC 1LE, Cyrus CD XT SE drive, Transrotor Fat Bob RB 808/Denon 103R

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