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Best DAC that has a balance control

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I would appreciate suggestions for a digital-to-analog converter that has a balance control.


My system is quite simple. I have a digital source, two monaural amps and two speakers. To feed my digital source to each of my amps I am currently using the Benchmark DAC1. That sounds great, but to really get the proper sound stage I need a balance control and the Benchmark does not have one.


Suggestions are welcome.


Here is a link to my setup:








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The Berkeley Audio Alpha DAC has a balance control.






They just sent me a discussion of their internal clock. I have posted the reply on the Music Server forum under "clocks and the alpha DAC."


Hope this helps,




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Drop the mac, it is too limited. I am currently running wirless via my laptop and router yet plan to connect a external HD to the laptop so no wireless playback.


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Mike - thanks for pointing me to the Berkeley Audio Design Alpha DAC. In addition to the review on this site, I see that the January issue of The Absolute Sound has a rave review of it.


A related question:

Am I correct to be avoiding a preamp? There is no way it would enhance the sound, right? I do not need a preamp to juggle various sources.


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Hi Henry - I don't use a preamp with my Alpha DAC and there are very few people who use a preamp with Alpha DACs. It's really up to each person, but I think you'll struggle to find a reason for a preamp with this DAC. Bypassing another filter (preamp) and a pair of interconnects is a good thing in my opinion.


Founder of Audiophile Style | My Audio Systems

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The $5,000 Berkeley Audio Alpha DAC is tempting but very expensive, especially if all I'm looking for is a balance control.

Is there a way to control balance in the software?

Currently I am using iTunes as the software to drive the system.






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Could the calibration potentiometers  on the Benchmark DAC1 be used to adjust the balance? Obviously this would be to tweak the system once for the room and speaker placement.  


I found them on p. 7 of the owners manual. "They are accessible through the rear panel using a small screwdriver. The calibration potentiometers are 10-turn trimmers and are accessible through the rear panel using a small screwdriver. These trimmers provide a 2 dB per rotation adjustment"


Here is a link to the owner's manual: 








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