DAC2 - "Taking the DAC1 ... and improving upon it"
"I remember writing up a large group test, for a national UK Hi-Fi magazine, several years back, on DACs. I’d never heard of Benchmark before but the DAC1 trounced all of the other DACs on test to win the crown for that test. I was more than impressed and vowed to keep an eye on the brand from that day forward."
"Benchmark says that this, the latest iteration in the range, is superior in terms of sound quality to the DAC1 and that it features an advanced digital filter design plus a new high-sample-rate Asynchronous USB Audio interface."
"Immediately, right from the off, I was seriously impressed with the DAC2."
"It’s been an education, reviewing this group of Benchmark products because the one element that threads its way through all of them is low noise and I love a company who targets noise as the enemy of the hifi-loving public. The DAC2 shows this attention to low noise detail in abundance because the clarity on offer is excellent. By doing this alone, there is so much more detail on offer and buzzing around the soundstage."
"The ear suddenly picks up a host of new information, not just because the noise has gone but because the noise removal separates the instruments and allows them to perform as individual instruments in a group scenario, if you see what I mean. "
"Highlights? There’s plenty. The bass is powerful, meaty and dryly solid with fine edges and character. Vocal delivery is sensitive in its approach while the guitar playing hits a tremendous groove. The enhanced tonal accuracy gives the song a natural air and a sense of confidence."
- Paul Rigby, The Audiophile Man - audiophileman.com
"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
"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
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.
"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
"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