DAC3 vs. DAC2
The DAC3builds upon Benchmark’s highly successful DAC2 product family. The DAC3 maintains the familiar DAC2 form factor, but adds the higher performance available from the new ES9028PRO D/A converter. The DAC3 DX offers the following improvements over the DAC2 DX:
- Active 2nd Harmonic Compensation
- Active 3rd Harmonic Compensation
- Lower THD+N
- Lower passband ripple
- Improved frequency response
- Faster PLL lock times
- Faster switching between inputs
- Adjustable calibration
DAC3 vs. DAC1
The DAC3 and DAC2 add these features that are 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
- Home Theater Bypass
- Digital Pass-Through
- High-Headroom DSP
- Dual-Domain Hybrid Gain Control
- Additional I/O
3:1 Parallel Conversion Structure
The conversion system in the DAC3 DX achieves a 4.77 dB signal to noise improvement through the use of 3:1 summing on the main output bus. The ES9028PRO D/A is an 8-channel 32-bit converter. In the DAC3 DX, three channels are summed in the analog domain to form each of the two output channels on the main bus. The remaining two channels provide the aux bus outputs
The 3:1 summing also improves the THD. The non-linearities in individual conversion channels are averaged across the four summed channels and incoherent non-linearities are attenuated by up to 4 dB.
The ES9028PRO has two distortion compensation systems that independently remove most of the 2nd and 3rd harmonic distortion in the D/A converter. Benchmark's ultra-clean analog output stages allow these systems to be fully leveraged in the DAC3 series. To the best of our knowledge, no other D/A converter has lower THD than the Benchmark DAC3 series.
The DAC3 DX is Benchmark's newest 2-channel D/A converter. When compared to the legendary DAC1, the DAC3 series has lower noise, lower distortion, and improved accuracy. The DAC1 and DAC2 series converters have become the reference standard in many of the finest recording studios and mastering rooms. The DAC3 defines a new reference.
DAC3 converters deliver outstanding musical detail and precise stereo imaging. They employ 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 includes 3.5 dB of headroom above 0 dBFS. Three balanced 32-bit D/A converters are summed together to form the main output bus. Two channels are reserved for the auxiliary RCA output bus.
The performance of the DAC3 DX exceeds the measurement limits of today's state-of-the art test equipment.
Native DSD Conversion
DSD (in DoP 1.1 format) is automatically detected on USB, coaxial, and XLR digital inputs. The system seamlessly switches between native DSD and native PCM conversion. DoP 1.1 is supported by many media players, and DSD downloads are now available from several sources.
Enjoy seamless transitions between native DSD and native PCM playback.
Direct Connectivity to Power Amplifiers and Powered Monitors
Benchmark DAC1, DAC2, and DAC3 converters are designed to directly drive power amplifiers and powered 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). The sonic importance of these attenuators cannot be overemphasized. Proper gain matching between the DAC/preamplifier and the power amplifier is essential for achieving peak system performance. The attenuators allow precise matching to all amplifiers and powered monitors.
Passive output attenuators are only found on Benchmark converters - don't settle for anything less.
All Benchmark converters are designed for maximum transparency. This transparency is absolutely essential in the studio monitoring chain. DAC3 converters are ideal for critical reference-quality professional systems. In home applications, the DAC2 delivers the sonic signature that was created in the recording studio.
Hear the music exactly as it was heard in the studio.
Take the Studio Home
When Benchmark's professional converters are used in hi-fi applications, studio-quality sound can be enjoyed in a home environment.
Discover the natural, uncolored, analog sound of the DAC3.
The Digital-Only DAC3 for Audio Professionals
The DAC3 DX is the DAC3 of choice for users who do not need analog inputs.
The DX is well suited to the needs of professional users and includes an XLR AES digital input. The DAC3 DX is the only DAC3 model that includes dual stereo output buses. The analog output buses can be independently set to fixed or variable gain. The DAC3 DX is also the only DAC3 available in a rack-mount version.
A New Reference - Going Beyond the Legendary DAC1 and DAC2
Benchmark's DAC1 and DAC2 series converters 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 DAC2. The DAC1 and DAC2 have been some of the best-selling 2-channel reference-quality converters and are in daily use at many of the finest recording studios and mastering rooms. Benchmark converters are also enjoyed by thousands of audiophiles. Benchmark has raised the bar ... the DAC3 defines a new reference.
- Reference-Quality Studio Monitoring
- Sound-Card Elimination for Computer Audio
- Stand-Alone Headphone Amplifier for Digital Sources
- USB to SPDIF Transfer Device
The DAC2 DX uses digital connections (USB, Optical, Coaxial, or AES) to bypass the low-quality built-in converters that are included in many audio products.
- Audio Output Device for Music and Video Servers
- Home Hi-Fi Playback from Digital Sources
- Audio Output Device for TV and Home Theater Systems