DAC3 DX - "The DAC3 hits the mark..."
"Once again Benchmark looks to set its namesake on the field of digital conversion. The DAC3 hits the mark with its acute sound quality and massively diverse application from DAC to pre to monitoring system."
"Replacing a previous generation with only a mild bump in cost, the upgrade makes perfect sense from both a technological standpoint and an acoustic one."
"Both the optical and USB connectivity started up without a hitch – no driver installation is necessary for Mac computers."
"It can fit on nearly any desktop for all-in-one headphone use and slides in under the television without too much fuss."
"If you a take step back its easy to see how the Benchmark DAC3 can handle preamp capabilities just as easily and delicately as its digital duties are executed. Despite the pro styling and design elements, home theater and two channel endeavors are deftly covered much in the same detail-oriented manner as the now-mature conversion capabilities are. It is clearly one of the internal design elements for Benchmark, now offering a matching power amp called AHB2 ($3k) that plugs directly into the DAC3. Loaded into the theater-friendly ELAC UB-5 the pairing made for a very interesting system, one that really didn’t take up much physical space for the power and capabilities held within."
"If we had to categorize the sound of the DAC3 using three words, those words would be precision, precision and precision."
"Truth be told, the ELAC UB-5 never sounded so good as they do with the DAC3 plus AHB2 combination. That speaks volumes ... most DACs sound downright horrible as preamps, but not this fine specimen."
"Partnered with the AHB2 power amplifier, the system represents a significant powerhouse in a relatively small footprint."
"Overall the two part rig was so detailed and acute, resolution practically gushed out of the over performing bookshelf with little to no effort."
"While the combined price tag of over $5k may be out of reach for some, those in the market will find a complete system that pulls together some of the best parts of audiophilia without all the fuss and formality."
"Dynamics were surprisingly tight, quick and responsive in a manner that would make most audiophiles take another look at the “pro” side as a viable category to dip into for some two-channel populace."
"While most surprising may be the pre amp capabilities, the DAC3 would make for a great desktop listening station all on its own. But perhaps its greatest capability is the most obvious, it’s a solid DAC from end-to-end and fine complement to any system needing some additional digital to analog love."
"The afternoon before the start of the show I ran into John Siau of Benchmark Media Systems. He says to me quietly, “make sure you stop in our room, we have a surprise!” With curiosity suitably piqued, Co-Editor Jim Clements and I paid a visit ..."
"The results were pretty astonishing. A stable, enveloping stereo image that was devoid of any distortion whatsoever."
- Carlo Lo Raso, Secrets of Home Theater and High Fidelity
"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
"Laufer Teknik - The Note line array - The most immersive listening experience I had the entire show."
"There is no sweet spot because everywhere is the sweet spot. Even behind the speakers sounded incredible!"
"SVS Subs doing the low end work and Benchmark 380 watt class H monoblocked amps driving the arrays."
"I spent an extended amount of time in this room."