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 Benchmarks 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 THD+N 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 Polarity Control Direct DSD D/A Conversion -20 dB DIM Bi-Directional 12V Trigger Power Switch with Auto-On Function Home Theater Bypass Digital Pass-Through High-Headroom DSP Dual-Domain Hybrid Gain Control Additional I/O
----------------------------------------------------------- Benchmark Media Systems' DAC3 HGC is evidence that an engineering-focused company-one that seems to spend more time staring at instruments than testing its devices with their ears, and that cares more about transparency than it does about whether or not you like the sound their products make-can produce a product of astonishing fidelity and emotional expressiveness. Science works. Artists may be sexy, but never underestimate a good geek.