DAC1 HDR Review - Peter Aczel, The Audio Critic

July 07, 2009

DAC1 HDR Review - Peter Aczel, The Audio Critic

DAC1 HDR - "Damn close to a perfect piece of equipment"

"What the Benchmark DAC1 HDR adds to or subtracts from its input signal is borderline unmeasurable, so the sonic character of its output is obviously the sonic character of its input. It’s as simple as that. It has no sound of its own."

"All in all, the Benchmark DAC1 HDR is damn close to a perfect piece of equipment. Neither its digital performance nor its analog performance could be meaningfully improved. That’s really all that needs to be said."

"If I could change anything at all about it, it would be to add a couple more analog inputs. I realize that there is no room for that, so I use a small input switch box that sits on top of it. Most users won’t need it."

"There exist DACs and preamps at ten times the price of the Benchmark, but they aren’t any better. Let the high-end police come and take me away in handcuffs."

- Peter Aczel, The Audio Critic

Read the full review →


Also in Reviews

LA4 Review - Gary L Beard, Positive Feedback
LA4 Review - Gary L Beard, Positive Feedback

April 09, 2019

"My initial impression was simple: The LA4 preamp plays everything that is, and nothing that isn't...Neutrality in Audio... and that's really all this review needs to convey."

"The LA4 preamp may occupy neutral audio country, but it is a sweet piece of audio kit. I love its form-factor. I love its simple operation. And I love that it allows the sound of the signal to flow through to the downstream components."

"The LA4's specifications are unquestionably excellent. When using pro-level balanced interconnects, the LA4 manages a Signal to Noise Ratio (SNR) greater than 135 dB, and Total Harmonic Distortion (THD) of -125 dB."

"The LA4 has a noise floor that is not just low, it's bats-strain-to-hear-it low."

"The Benchmark LA4 is an excellent preamp, an operationally solid spec-monster that also happens to sound great."

- Gary L Beard, Positive Feedback

Read More
HPA4 -
HPA4 - "Best Headphone Amplifier" - AV Tech Media Awards 2018/2019

January 22, 2019

"The headphone section, with its choice of 6.35 mm stereo or four-pin balanced XLR connectors ... really impresses with a smooth signal delivery."

"While on the one hand it can rock out when it needs to – its prodigious output means it can give as much power as your headphones can take – its sheer impact, openness and vivacity is jaw-dropping."

"An immaculate all-analogue design, the aptly named Benchmark is both technically and sonically as good as it gets."

- AV Tech Media Awards 2018/2019

Read More
Stereophile 2018 Product of the Year - Editors' Choice Awards
Stereophile 2018 Product of the Year - Editors' Choice Awards

January 03, 2019

Stereophile's editors chose 10 products to receive their top award, the "2018 Product of the Year - Editor's Choice Award". Two Benchmark products made this exclusive list - the AHB2 power amplifier and the DAC3 HGC D/A converter.

AHB2 - 2018 Editors' Choice Award 

"I was impressed by this revolutionary stereo amplifier but it became an obsession when I mated three as monoblocks to a trio of Benchmark's DAC3s."

"The AHB2 is deadly silent, musically revealing, surprisingly compact, and quite powerful."

- Kalman Rubinson

DAC3 HGC - 2018 Editors' Choice Award

"Benchmark has created a long line of DACs (several of which I've purchased) that present recordings with as little embellishment as is possible at their price points. The latest incarnation, the DAC3, is no exception, and excels at presenting the unvarnished truth, as the artist intended."

- Jon Iverson

Read More