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  • DAC2 HGC Review - Erick Lichte, Stereophile

    by Benchmark Media Systems January 31, 2014 2 min read

    Stereophile logo

    "Fantastic resolution, an even tonal balance, and an engaging, up-front perspective"

    "A hi-rez download of Daft Punk's Random Access Memories (24/88.2 FLAC files, Columbia/HDtracks) provided fantastic listening via my Sennheiser HD600s. The tasty bass playing on the robot's "Give Life Back to Music" was full, controlled, solid, and driven, and Nile Rodgers's classic Stratocaster rhythm-guitar work really shone through the DAC2. What would normally be merely a pop song's background rhythm guitar was brought to the fore by the DAC2, allowing me to appreciate the subtle voicings and strumming patterns Rodgers chose for this groove. Hearing this track through the DAC2 made me appreciate why Nile Rodgers is the man."

    "Turning to classical music, I played Arvo Pärt's Tabula Rasa, from violinist Gidon Kremer's excellent Silencio, with duo violinist Tatjana Grindenko and Eri Klas leading the Kremerata Baltica (CD, Nonesuch 79582-2). The DAC2 laid out a very quiet background and extraordinarily precise images. With recordings of solo violin, I always listen for the proper balance of the sound of the instrument's body, the bow on the string, and, most important, the way the violin's overtones can light up the acoustic of the space in which it was recorded. There should always be a halo and shimmer in the octave above the written note, with a nice balance of the fifth above the octave of each note complementing the fundamental. In this regard, the DAC2 delivered a convincing depiction of what a real violin sounds like."

    "The DAC2 HGC is a step forward in every way from Benchmark Media's DAC1 models. It offers easy computer interfacing, a myriad of input options, remote control, and solid build quality, all from a company that has been around a while, and that stands behind its products. More than that, the DAC2 HGC is a fantastic value in terms of its sheer musical ability. It offers fantastic resolution, an even tonal balance, and an engaging, up-front perspective on the music. I can safely predict Benchmark's DAC2 HGC will be a hit."

    - Erick Lichte, Stereophile

    Read the full review →

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    Why do you own Benchmark products? - AudioScienceReview.com

    by Benchmark Media Systems June 06, 2023 1 min read

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    "I'm asking because clearly Benchmark is a highly regarded company here, and plenty of ASR members own Benchmark amplification/DACs. We know they are top of the heap in terms of measured performance, outdoing plenty of the competition in terms of typical distortion measurements."

    - @MattHooper, AudioScienceReview.com

    AHB2, LA4, DAC3

    • Subtle aesthetics? Check.
    • Unobtrusive size? Check.
    • Solid build? Check.
    • Made in America? Check.
    • Transparent? Check.
    • Best in class? Check.
    • Superior performance proven by Amir? Check.
    • Superior customer service? Check (and not just in audio world; best customer service I have experienced from any company, anywhere, ever).
    • Expensive? For me, yes. Limit of my budget, but buy once cry once.
    • Worth it? Yes.
    • Would I do it all again? Absolutely.

    - @KellenVancouver, AudioScienceReview.com

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    by Benchmark Media Systems April 23, 2023 1 min read

    "The afternoon before the start of the show I ran into John Siau of Benchmark Media Systems. He says to me quietly, “make sure you stop in our room, we have a surprise!” With curiosity suitably piqued, Co-Editor Jim Clements and I paid a visit ..."

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    - Carlo Lo Raso, Secrets of Home Theater and High Fidelity

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    AXPONA Show Report - Stereophile Magazine

    by Benchmark Media Systems April 21, 2023 1 min read

    "Sound was extremely well-integrated and controlled, and the bass memorable."

     "The Note received signal through the introductory version of the company's Liquid Cables. Each cable contains 27,000 wires. The company's introductory Elephant memory player joined Benchmark Media's AHB2 power amps, DAC3 B D/A processor, and interconnects."

    "With the aid of a forthcoming DEQX HDP4 processor that's due in the fall, the system sounded super on a 16/44.1 file of the famed rendition of Copland's Fanfare for the Common Man, recorded by Eiji Oue and the Minnesota Orchestra for Reference Recordings."

    - Jason Victor Serinus, Stereophile Magazine

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