"I’ll cut right to the chase:
The Benchmark DAC3 HGC is a sonic marvel and an engineer’s wet dream."
"The DAC3 offers the following improvements over the DAC2:
• Active 2nd Harmonic Compensation
• Active 3rd Harmonic Compensation
• Lower THD
• Lower passband ripple
• Improved frequency response
• Increased Dynamic Range
• Faster PLL lock times
• Faster switching between inputs
In short – it's everything you like about the DAC2 only mo’ better."
"I started my evaluation with the Black Keys’ El Camino album and their track “Sister”."
"The big bass drum kick that anchors this track has left me disappointed on other systems and pairings. The DAC3 HGC nailed it and kicked with the authority that I've often found lacking."
"Immediately impressed with the “grunt” of the HPA2 amp section, I moved on to my all-time favorite Red Hot Chili Peppers song – their cover of Stevie Wonder’s “Higher Ground”. I love Flea’s bass guitar in this track. The benchmark had me toe tapping to the “chicka-wow-wow” rhythm."
"I have some Florence + The Machine tracks that sounded dull and lifeless on other equipment, but popped on the DAC3 with new clarity and energy. You know you’re onto something special when a piece of gear can breathe new life into flat tracks."
"I queued up one of Dr. Chesky’s evaluation discs and got to listening. Perhaps the most interesting test (to me at least) was Rebeca Pidgeon’s cover of “Spanish Harlem”. Each shake of the shaker was indeed different. The DAC3 did an excellent job of resolving minute details in the material. Compared back-to-back against the DAC section of the ES9018 based Oppo HA-1, the Benchmark nailed it. It wasn’t one of those subtle differences that makes you go “hmmm” – it was a “wow” moment."
"I have some great tracks in my collection that are in DSD format. So Benchmark’s support for DSD was “must have” feature for me."
"I think it’s a fantastic sounding D/A converter. On well recorded material it does an outstanding job with detail and resolution. It brought new life to CD quality 16/44.1 material - even on tracks that weren’t particularly well mastered."
- "T Bone", Head-Fi.org
"There are many things that come into play when putting together a hi-fi system, one of which is synergy."
"After the arrival of the Benchmark Media Systems AHB2, I immediately thought of the matching HPA4 that colleagues Jaap and Yung were very pleased with."
"The key question, of course, was whether the HPA4 would really provide an audible improvement."
"Well you bet! The synergy between preamp and power amplifier is nothing short of magical, not to mention the DAC3 B that I got from importer Helios for the occasion."
"Not only a few curtains disappear, the whole window is gone."
- Geoffrey Vanhouwaert, Alpha-Audio
"The Benchmark AHB2 is a very fine sounding, easy to live with, zero-maintenance power amplifier that has enough power for most systems. If more power is needed, two amplifiers configured for mono can provide it. The decision to purchase the review sample and make the Benchmark AHB2 a new, long term reference took over a month of listening and comparisons."
"The outstanding musicality of the Benchmark AHB2 takes some time to convince the listener of its wholly musical presentation. This subtle excellence assures long term satisfaction."
-10 Audio, Perfect 10 Award
Alpha-Audio.net tested 10 DACs side-by-side. Only one received the "Alpha-Audio Approved" award. That DAC was the Benchmark DAC3.
"Are you looking for the best DAC (d/a converter) in the price range from 1500 euro to 2500 euro? That’s great! Because we’ve put ten beauties side by side. And we tested it live on camera for you."
"It was incredibly instructive to put so many converters side by side. We clearly hear differences - and the viewers could as well."
"One of the models we all agreed on is the benchmark DAC3. This is a delicious musical product. Virtually no coloring, nice stereo image and plenty of inputs."
DAC3 - Alpha-Audio Approved!