Benchmark Media Systems

The Benchmark room on the 10th floor also featured the retro-looking loudspeakers and amplifiers from Studio Electric. The Studio Electric Monitor ($2,550/pair) and Studio Electric EA4 Dual Mono Hybrid Amplifier employs a tube input (NOS E88CC) and MOSFET power out (projected cost $8,000).

The Benchmark DAC1 Pre ($1,595) handled the front end and was playing 16/44 songs from Jamaican guitarist Ernest Ranglin and it sounded like music you'd like to spend more time listening to. The Benchmark DAC1 PRE offers six inputs - one analog, one USB, and four S/PDIF (one optical, and three coaxial digital) and four outputs - stereo XLR balanced, RCA unbalanced, and two headphone jacks driven by Benchmark's HPA2'99 0-ohm headphone amplifier.