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

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
AHB2 -
AHB2 - "2018 Amplification Component of the Year - Finalist" - Stereophile

January 03, 2019

Third place, just two points out of first place

The competition in the amplification category was very tight. There was a two-way tie for first place between two amplifiers that cost $30,000 a pair and $13,500 a pair. 

The Benchmark AHB2 was just two points behind the leaders when the Stereophile reviewers cast their final votes. In all, there were 13 amplifiers that made Stereophile's select list of finalists. The Benchmark AHB2 was the least expensive amplifier on the list, yet it received top scores from the reviewers. The list included amplifiers with stratospheric prices. Six amplifiers were priced between $25,000 and $118,000 a pair!

At Benchmark we believe that a great audio system shouldn't set you back by the cost of a sports car.

Read More