DAC3 HGC Award - Stereophile

September 13, 2018

DAC3 HGC Award - Stereophile

DAC3 HGC - Class A+ Recommended Component - Fall 2018 - Digital Processors

Jim Austin wrote:

"In fact, I found the sounds of the two DACs quite different. The DAC1 was brighter. . . . The DAC3 was all about depths, in several respects: the sound was weightier, with a darker frequency balance; the soundstage was deeper—I heard deeper into the music." The more concise conclusion to JA's Measurements sidebar: "All I can say is 'Wow!'"

'Class A+' is Stereophile's highest classification for digital processors. Stereophile defines Class A and the digital processor Class A+ as follows:

"Best attainable sound for a component of its kind, almost without practical considerations; "the least musical compromise." A Class A system is one for which you don't have to make a leap of faith to believe that you're hearing the real thing. With Super Audio CD, DVD-Audio, and Hi-Rez PCM and DSD files now available, we have created a new Class, A+, for the best performance in those digital categories."

Read more at Stereophile →

Stereophile Overall Component of the Year - Winner

The DAC3 HGC was one of three products to receive Stereophile's top award for 2018, the "Overall Component of the Year".

Stereophile Headphone Product of the Year - Finalist

The DAC3 HGC was also nominated as a finalist for Stereophile's "2018 Headphone Product of the Year". Ultimately, this award went to the Audeze LCDi4 in-ear headphones. 



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"The headphone section, with its choice of 6.35 mm stereo or four-pin balanced XLR connectors ... really impresses with a smooth signal delivery."

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Stereophile 2018 Product of the Year - Editors' Choice Awards
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January 03, 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.

AHB2 - 2018 Editors' Choice Award 

"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."

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DAC3 HGC - 2018 Editors' Choice Award

"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

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AHB2 - "2018 Amplification Component of the Year - Finalist" - Stereophile

January 03, 2019

Third place, just two points out of first place

The competition in the amplification category was very tight. There was a two-way tie for first place between two amplifiers that cost $30,000 a pair and $13,500 a pair. 

The Benchmark AHB2 was just two points behind the leaders when the Stereophile reviewers cast their final votes. In all, there were 13 amplifiers that made Stereophile's select list of finalists. The Benchmark AHB2 was the least expensive amplifier on the list, yet it received top scores from the reviewers. The list included amplifiers with stratospheric prices. Six amplifiers were priced between $25,000 and $118,000 a pair!

At Benchmark we believe that a great audio system shouldn't set you back by the cost of a sports car.

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