A New Reference - Going Beyond the Legendary DAC1 and DAC2
The DAC3 is Benchmark's newest 2-channel D/A converter featuring the new ESS Technologies ES9028PRO converter chip. The DAC3 converter has lower THD and THD+N noise than Benchmark's DAC2 converter.
Benchmark's DAC1 and DAC2
D/A converter families have been the reference to which other
converters have been compared. It is rare to find a converter review
that does not draw comparisons to the DAC1 or the DAC2.
Benchmark converters are in daily use at many of the world's finest
recording studios and mastering rooms. Benchmark converters are also
enjoyed by thousands of audiophiles. Benchmark has raised the bar again ... the DAC3 defines a new reference.
The DAC3 delivers outstanding musical
detail and precise stereo imaging. It employs an advanced high-headroom
digital filter design, and a high-sample-rate Asynchronous USB Audio
interface. All inputs are fully isolated from interface jitter by
Benchmark's new UltraLock3™ jitter attenuation system.
Internal digital processing and conversion is 32-bits, and this
processing includes 3.5 dB of headroom above 0 dBFS. This headroom
prevents the DSP overloads that commonly occur in other D/A converters.
Four balanced 32-bit D/A converters are summed together to
create each balanced analog output. This 4:1 summation provides a 6 dB
noise reduction, and gives the DAC3 industry-leading performance.
DAC3 vs. DAC2
The DAC3 builds upon Benchmark’s highly successful DAC2 product family. The DAC3 maintains the familiar DAC2 form factor and feature set, but adds the higher performance available from the new ES9028PRO D/A converter. The DAC3 offers the following improvements over the DAC2:
Active 2nd Harmonic Compensation
Active 3rd Harmonic Compensation
Lower passband ripple
Improved frequency response
Faster PLL lock times
Faster switching between input signals
DAC3 vs. DAC1
The DAC3 and DAC2 added these features that were not found on the DAC1:
Asynchronous 192kHz USB Audio 2.0
32-bit D/A conversion system
Word Length Display
Sample Rate Display
Direct DSD D/A Conversion
-20 dB DIM
Bi-Directional 12V Trigger
Power Switch with Auto-On Function
Home Theater Bypass
Dual-Domain Hybrid Gain Control
Native DSD Conversion
All digital inputs on the DAC3 support
native PCM or DSD conversion. From any input, DSD is transported with
bit accuracy over DoP 1.1. DSD and PCM are both natively converted to
analog. There are no DSD to PCM or PCM to DSD conversions to compromise
the quality of the music. The DAC3 conversion
system seamlessly switches between native PCM and native DSD conversion.
DSD over DoP 1.1 is supported by many media players, and DSD downloads
are now available from several sources.
Direct Connectivity to Power Amplifiers
Benchmark DAC1, DAC2, and DAC3
converters are designed to directly drive power amplifiers and
speakers. Benchmark converters feature adjustable low-impedance passive
attenuators at the XLR outputs that can be used to optimize the
interface to the power amplifier (or powered monitor). This unique
Benchmark feature optimizes the gain staging between the DAC and the
power amplifier. Proper gain staging cannot be overemphasised. When
audio stages are properly matched, each component in the audio chain is
able to operate at its optimum signal level, and the system performance
is significantly improved.
Sonically-Neutral Studio Monitoring
All Benchmark converters are designed for maximum transparency. This
transparency is absolutely essential in the studio monitoring chain. For
this reason, DAC3 converters are ideal for critical reference-quality professional systems. Unlike many competing products, the DAC3 is not designed to add "euphonic" coloration to the audio. Instead it is designed to be as uncolored and natural as possible.
Step Into the Studio
When Benchmark's professional converters are used in hi-fi
applications, studio-quality sound can be enjoyed in a home environment.
Enjoy pure music without any coloration from the electronics. Hear the
music exactly the way it was heard in the studio, and exactly the way
the artists intended.
Discover the natural, uncolored, analog sound of the DAC3.
Sit in the Performance Space
Transparent sound can go beyond replicating the studio experience.
Recordings that have been produced with a natural and unprocessed sound
can transport you to the performance space. But, this can only happen
when the entire playback chain is selected for maximum transparency.
This experience of "being there" cannot be created by systems that
are designed to add "warmth" or "euphonic color" to the music.
DESIGNED, ASSEMBLED, AND TESTED IN THE USA
This Benchmark product was designed, assembled, and tested in the USA
using USA and imported components. Most major components are made in