"The biggest part of my role as a mastering engineer is listening. I spend a great deal of time listening to my clients' mixes, offering my observations and recommendations before moving to the final mastering stage."
"I have built my mastering room (details, here) to be very quiet because that is necessary for audio mastering purposes."
"I can tell you that from the first 3 seconds in, I found that the difference in detail that I was hearing via the Benchmark DAC2 vs my old DAC1 was much more dramatic than I expected. You may have read several other reviews for the DAC1 series and DAC2 series that discuss things like "added separation of instruments", added depth, or a jaw-dropping sense of three-dimensionality. I will confess that when I read such things in other reviews, I was dismissing them as mere wishful thinking. I am happy to report that they are in fact true in my experience with the DAC2."
"I have read some reviewers describe benchmark products as "clinical" or "sterile". I have no experience with the DAC1 series, but I can tell you that the DAC2 series has no "personality" per se, and I mean that in the best possible way; it is not "sterile", or clinical, nor is it euphonic. I would use words such as "clean", "accurate", "detailed", "faithful", "linear" and "correct" to describe the sound of the Benchmark Media DAC2 HGC. It is exactly what I would expect of a high grade DAC. It neither adds or removes anything to or from the sound, nor should it."
"A high grade, high resolution, highly neutral DAC is an essential foundation point for any music system. If you are a serious music lover (you do not have to be a professional, or call yourself an audiophile), who wants to get the very most out of your playback system, I think you owe it to yourself to check out the Benchmark Media Systems DAC2 HGC."
"If you are interested in assembling an audio system to playback high resolution audio, the DAC2 is an essential starting point. You will need the exceptionally low noise, high linearity and exceptional clarity that this DAC has to offer before you can enjoy everything that high resolution digital audio has to offer."
LA4 - Receives Stereophile's Highest "Class A" Rating for Preamplifiers
"Benchmark's usual approach to design is to out-spec the competition, and so it is here. Like other Benchmark equipment he has tested, the affordable LA4 challenged the resolution of John Atkinson's test instruments, with'superb'channel separation,'extremely low noise, and virtually no power-supply-related spuriae.'"
"Benchmark's LA4 is the widest-bandwidth, widest-dynamic-range, lowest-noise, lowest-distortion preamplifier I have encountered."- John Atkinson
"In his listening room, Kalman Rubinson compared the LA4 to a cable—and couldn't hear any difference. He concludes,'the LA4 is probably the most transparent and revealing audio component I've ever used. It does not seem to leave any fingerprints on the sound.'"
"The DAC3 B is a stripped- down, lower-priced version of the DAC3 HGC, which omits the headphone amplifier, balanced and unbalanced analog inputs, volume, mute, and polarity controls."- Stereophile
"The DAC3 was all about depths, in several respects...I heard deeper into the music."
"All I can say is Wow!"
- John Atkinson
"In a Follow-Up, JCA wrote of using the Benchmark processor with the same company's AHB2 power amp—a combination of high source output voltage and modest amplifier gain that he describes as 'optimal for minimizing noise and distortion' —and reported hearing 'richer and more interesting' reproduction of very subtle details."