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
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
Manufactured by: Benchmark Media Systems Inc.
Distributed in the UK by: SCV Distribution
Tel: +44(0)3301 222500