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March 10, 2017 1 min read

DAC3 HGC - "Expansive soundstage populated with nicely layered instrumentation."

"Tonally things are well balanced, with no part of the frequency range gaining undue prominence. This is coupled to a good dose of refinement, so any aggressive tendencies in recordings, while revealed, are never overemphasised."

"Like all the best products, the Benchmark manages the difficult feat of stepping out of the limelight and letting the music take centre stage."

"These results remain unchanged whether we use the Benchmark as a conventional line-level DAC or as a headphone amp. It is consistent regardless of set-up used, which is a testament to the precise way the company has developed this product."

"The initials HGC in the product name stand for Hybrid Gain Control. The volume control uses a clever design that works in both analogue and digital domains separately."

"Digital signals are governed by a 32-bit dithered volume control, while analogue streams aren’t touched by the processing but remain in their native state throughout the product."

"Benchmark’s work with the Hybrid Gain Control seems to have resulted in a lovely, transparent performance that, if anything, sounds even more impressive than the number-crunching section."

"There’s a high degree of transparency here, and a fluidity of dynamics few rivals can match."

"The Benchmark ... lacks any hint of luxury. It reminds us more of lab equipment than premium hi-fi ... but give it a little time to prove itself and you’ll find it’s an impressively capable unit – we can’t think of an alternative that does so much so well."

- What Hi*Fi?

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