Affordable D to A



I am looking for some affordable DA for monitoring. I have an MBOX Pro at home, and I want something a bit better for monitoring. At this point I'm looking at the following which are all in the $850-1100.00 price range:

Benchmark DAC1, Lavry Engineering DA10, Mytek STEREO96 DAC, Apogee Mini-DAC

I'm leaning toward the benchmark, but I'm willing to be swayed. A few of the above have usb or firewire add ons, but I won't need them. If I am working the Pro Tools I'll be taking the spdif output and any other core audio app I'll just take the optical output on my Mac Book Pro. So hit me with your opinions please.


Benchmark DAC1 Lavry Engineering DA-10
Myteck STEREO98 DAC Apogee Mini-DAC


Posted 2010-03-27T15:27:09.010

Reputation: 968



Out of all of those, I'd definitely go with the Apogee. I love the mini-dac - it sounds awesome - plus I'm a long time fan of Apogee. Nice thing about the mini-dac is that you can get the firewire option and you can bypass your MBP optical output when not using the mbox. Lots of nice options on this guy, plus it'll go up to 192k.

However, it won't make a huge difference for you if your room isn't treated for modes and reflections and if you don't have a nice set of speakers. If it indeed is treated already, I'd get the mini-dac. If it isn't, I'd spend the money to treat the room first.

Colin Hart

Posted 2010-03-27T15:27:09.010

Reputation: 7 588


I can't really give real input on this one. However, I Apogee makes lovely ADC, so I can only assume their DAC will be of top quality!

Andrew Spitz

Posted 2010-03-27T15:27:09.010

Reputation: 6 251


I would recommend the TC Electronic BMC-2 which is only £229, and has an excellent reputation.

TC  Electronic BMC-2


Posted 2010-03-27T15:27:09.010