"Open, smooth detailed sound with that recording studio accuracy that I am used to from Benchmark."
"I cannot say enough about the DAC3 DX’s sonic character of transparency and accuracy."
"Jitter is in the past"
"Benchmark was a pioneer in jitter reduction in D/A converters, and the effective UltraLock2(TM) jitter attenuation system, asynchronous upsampling remain unchanged in the DX."
"The DX is very well built, using low-noise voltage regulators, and the circuit board has six layers of copper and includes 3-dimensional shielding for critical signals. Components are chosen for the most linear response and lowest distortion."
Passive output attenuators
"The passive output attenuators on the XLR outputs optimize the gain staging between the DAC3 and the power amplifier or powered monitors. Most amplifiers and powered monitors will require the -10 dB setting. The Benchmark AHB2 accepts full studio levels and requires the use of the high amplitude setting (attenuators off). These pads are very important for optimizing the SNR of the entire playback system."
"LEDs for word-length verification, ... and LEDs for sample rate status ... are key to showing that bit-transparency is maintained from the audio player or computer to the DAC."
"The remote control duplicates all front panel functions including input switching, volume, dim/mute, and polarity controls. The classy remote is made of aluminum and has a nice feel; the buttons are easy to operate."
"My DSD DSF rip (of the often played) Warren Bernhardt - So Real SACD sounded incredible through the Martin Logans using this DAC. The audible cymbal splash sheen detail is like hearing the cymbal in the front of your listening room."
"Same with the Steinway piano tone. Upper register notes are so live sounding. The “air” and “space” around and between the instruments is simply stunning when played on the best gear."
"On numerous hi-res tracks, the opinion was the same: sonic excellence!"
"With the dual-buss feature you can control the level of headphone amp and the analog balanced or unbalanced line outputs separately. Or you can set the line outs to the fixed level and still have variable headphone level control."
In my studio, I connected the DAC3 DX’s balanced outputs to a Benchmark AHB2 amp, which powered a set of Amphion closefield speakers. With the dual-buss feature, I was able to monitor via headphones to check the detail, balance and low level noise; yet, I also could alternately listen and control volume to the Amphion speakers.
"The DAC3 DX most certainly gets an EAN Stellar Sound Award, and should be closely looked at by pros and audiophiles alike."
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."