Benchmark Media Systems DAC3 HGC digital converter

Digital-to-analog converters
Benchmark Media Systems DAC3 HGC

Downsides are few and far between. OK, so if you want to do some custom configuration (such as modifying the headphone or the XLR gain) adjustment is through internal jumpers, but for most situations, you’ll never need to pop the case on the DAC3. Other custom modifications are ‘power chord’ multiple key presses on the front panel. In fairness, similar functionality issues were logged in the DAC1 and DAC2 and didn’t cause great distress. It’s more that engineers design engineer-led products that are easily understood by engineers, and the rest of us don’t think like engineers. The rest of us have a few glowing light learning curves to overcome. No biggie!

If ever there were a reason to shout how we are living in a golden age for music lovers, it would be Benchmark DAC-shaped. The DAC3 HGC is the kind of DAC that not only pushes the technological envelope, but also does so without sacrificing the sonic performance, and doesn’t cost as much as a car in the process. Highly Recommended!


Stereo DAC/headphone amplifier/preamplifier

Digital inputs: 1× USB (1.1 or 2.0, internal switching), 2× Optical, 2× Coaxial

Line inputs: 2× stereo RCA pair

Outputs: 2× single-ended stereo RCA pair, 1× balanced XLR pair, 2× ¼” headphone jacks

Frequency Response/Sampling:
to 24-bit/192kHz (PCM) DSD256

Frequency response (for 192kHz sampling):
+0dB (20Hz) –0.15dB (80kHz)

Signal to Noise Ratio +27dBu (@0dBFS, A-weighted): 128dB

Signal to Noise Ratio +27dBu (@0dBFS, unweighted): 126dB

THD+N (1kHz @ -3dBFS): 0.0016%

Crosstalk (@20kHz): –116dB

Max. Jitter amplitude induced sidebands: < –144dB

Headphone output power: 1.25V into 30Ω

Maximum output current: 250mA

Bandwidth: >500kHz, – 0.35dB @ 200kHz

THD+N @ 20mW: 0.0004% into 300Ω

Finish: Black and Silver

Dimensions (W×D×H): 22×25×4.5cm

Weight: 1.36kg

Price: £2,349

Manufactured by: Benchmark Media Systems Inc.


Distributed in the UK by: SCV Distribution


Tel: +44(0)3301 222500 

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