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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

D/A Converter Preview!
Benchmark Media Releases New DAC2 D:
Lower Cost, Same Performance as DAC2-HGC



by John Gatski


 Benchmark Media Systems has announced a lower-cost DAC2, the DAC2 D, which costs $200 less than the highly rated DAC2 HGC that EAN reviewed last Fall. Benchmark squeezed out a lower list price, by eliminating the analog inputs and the remote 12V trigger. The DAC2 D Price is $1,799 versus the DAC2-HGC’s $1,995.
  Based on the factory info, the DAC2 D’s performance is exactly the same as the top-of-the-line HGC model — with the Sabre32, eight-channel 32-bit DAC (ES9018), DoP DSD conversion, onboard sample rate and word length indicators, UltraLock2 jitter attenuation, and asynchronous USB 2.0 audio.
  The DAC2 D also gets the same high-resolution volume control and excellent headphone amp contained in the DAC2 HGC. Other features include polarity switch, home theater bypass, multiple digital inputs, digital pass-through, and high-efficiency, low-noise power supplies.

Look Ma! No Analog Inputs

  In my view, I think the lower-cost DAC2 D is a good move for Benchmark. Though difficult to make major price reductions on USA-manufactured audio products, eliminating the analog inputs and 12V trigger ekes out a couple of hundred clams in savings — without hurting the performance. Many audiophile and pros only want to use a DAC as a DAC, and not as an analog preamp, which is the way I use them most of the time. Can’t wait to get my hands on a test sample DAC2 D. Benchmark says that the unit is already shipping, available in black and silver finishes.

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1 comment:

Kemper Holt said...

Smart move by Benchmark, making a great DAC even more affordable.