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  • DAC3 Review and Test Report - John E. Johnson, Jr.,

    DAC3 Review and Test Report - John E. Johnson, Jr.,

    DAC3 DX

    DAC3 DX - "Will Bring the Studio to Your Home Audio System"

    "Benchmark’s DAC3 DX DAC is designed for recording and mastering studios, but it is a great product for consumer use as well."

    "The Benchmark Media DAC3 DX is the successor to the DAC2 DX. The differences between the DAC3 DX and the DAC2 DX are (1) active 2nd harmonic compensation, (2) active 3rd harmonic compensation, (3) lower THD+N, (4) lower passband ripple, (5) improved frequency response, (6) faster PLL lock times, (7) faster switching between inputs, and (8) adjustable calibration."

    "For the bench tests, I have moved to using much more sensitive measurements with the Audio Precision ... the distortion is so low, it is beyond the Audio Precision’s capability."

    "With the digital test signal at minus 5 dB, the distortion peaks are below minus 130 dBr (Figure 6, below)."

    Distortion peaks at minus 5 dB

    Figure 6

    In Use

    “Hymn to the Virgin”

    Hymn to the Virgin coverHymn to the Virgin, available from 2L in Norway by download, has become one of my go-to albums, not just because I love it so much, but that I now have all the nuances in the memory portion of my auditory cortex, so I know if anything is missing. Well, nothing was missing.

    Frank Bridge “String Quartets Nos. 2 and 4”

    String Quartets Nos. 2 and 4 cover"This Naxos album has Frank Bridge’s String Quartets Nos. 2 and 4, along with the Phantasy Quartet. It includes piano with the strings. The soundstage was perfect, the deep resonant piano tones were wonderful, and the strings were easily separable."

    Francesco Corbetta “La Guitarre Royalle”

    La Guitarre Royalle cover"Guitar is a wonderful test for any audio system. The transient peaks that occur when the strings are plucked make the difference between sounding live or sounding like a recording. The DAC3 DX was able to handle all of the transients perfectly in this Linn Records album of Francesco Corbetta’s La Guitarre Royalle."

    Hiromi “Brain”

    Brain cover"Hiromi is one of the finest jazz pianists I have ever heard. Her best album, in my opinion, is Brain, on Telarc disc."

    "Her lightning fast fingers, combined with a fine jazz drummer, were an easy job for the DAC3 DX. If you are a jazz aficionado, you should purchase this album."

    - John E. Johnson, Secrets of Home Theater and High Fidelity

    Read the full review (includes Audio Precision measurements) →

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    "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!"

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    "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."

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