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  • DAC2 HGC Review - Steven Plaskin, Audio Stream

    DAC2 HGC Review - Steven Plaskin, Audio Stream

    AudioStream logoAudioStream Greatest Bits logo

    DAC2 HGC - "Sonically as neutral a DAC as I have ever heard"

    "The Benchmark DAC2 HGC is sonically as neutral a DAC as I have ever heard. It borders on a somewhat light sonic texture with absolutely no digital hardness or extreme brightness. The sound is quite detailed and well defined with no warmth or added richness. One attribute of the DAC2 HGC I enjoyed was its very well defined and articulated bass."

    "Playing Jane Monheit’s The Heart of the Matter 24/88.2 (HDtracks) I found that the Benchmark DAC2 HGC did a fine job of focusing Jane Monheit’s voice in the studio soundstage with exceptional clarity. This is a wonderful recording with Jane’s voice highlighted with a slightly up-front presentation. The interplay of the strings, flute, guitar and voice were beautifully reproduced by the Benchmark in the song "When She Loved Me". Each of the instruments were reproduced in their own acoustic space with no blurring of Jane’s voice."

    "A fine example of what the Benchmark DAC2 HGC can do when it comes to reproduction of the sonic space of a recording was with the Chesky Binaural+ release C.C. Coletti Bring It On Home 24/192 (HDtracks). This recording captures the acoustic space of the room with a deep and wide sonic presentation of the vocals, guitar and percussion. C.C. Coletti’s blues vocals were floated in this acoustic space with excellent focus as were the accompanying instruments. The Benchmark DAC2 HGC was able to reproduce the three dimensional feel of the acoustic space on this recording."

    "What I enjoyed most about the Benchmark DAC2 HGC was the way it handled native DSD files. DSD playback added richness to the sound with additional midrange weight that added realism to the reproduced music."

    "This is the first DAC I have reviewed for AudioStream that is priced under $6,000. While my initial expectations were not great, I was surprised at the level of sonic and functional performance offered by the DAC2 HGC. The DAC2 HGC was a pleasure to listen to with PCM and especially with native DSD files. Its acoustic honesty and functional precision was easily observed and appreciated. No doubt, John Siau and his team have designed a DAC that does not have to make any apologies to DACs costing considerably more. At its price of $1,995, I consider the DAC2 HGC to be a solid value."

    - Steven Plaskin, Audio Stream

    Read the full review →


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    Why do you own Benchmark products? - AudioScienceReview.com

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    Why Did You Buy Benchmark Gear?

    "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

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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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