The Benchmark DAC1 — the crowning champion for stand-alone D/A converters in the $1000 range — is now being challenged by the Lavry DA10; a newcomer from a highly-respected converter company, Lavry Engineering.
"A bias: If there's any bias here - it's towards the DAC1. I've owned one since they first came out in 2002. And ever since then had commented regularly that the DAC1 was the one single piece of gear I would not swap out of my studio in exchange for something else. Also, just the fact that I owned the DAC1 would somehow make things easier if I just liked it better and shipped back the review unit of the DA10. Liking the DA10 is more of a pain in the butt, 'cause then I've got to go to the trouble of selling the DAC1 and then ponying up for the DA10. Ah, decisions, decisions..."
"...So, after living with the DAC1 and DA10 for over five months - what's the conclusion? The DAC1 was sold about a month ago, and the DA10 is sitting snug in my rack as my main DA. And while the DAC1 was a formidable opponent to the DA10, in the end, sonically I found the DA10 to be superior on every level. I was happy enough with the DAC1 - until I was shown a better way. It's as if I'd gotten used to a pair of prescription eyeglasses, and then a visit to an optometrist and a new prescription yields clearer, more accurate vision with more depth of field...."
"...The DA10 offers too big of a step forward in DA technology. Whatever Dan Lavry and Lavry Engineering are doing - they're doing it right. Consider me converted."
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