Benchmark Media Systems/Studio Electric

Benchmark Media Systems introduced their new DAC2 HGC ($1,995) that, according to Benchmark, "outperforms the [well-received] Benchmark DAC1 in every respect." Sporting a total of 5 digital inputs, 2 analog inputs, 3 analog outputs, the DAC2 HGC can function as a DAC/Preamp/Headphone amp and perhaps most exciting of all it supports native DSD playback using DoP 1.0.

The Benchmark DAC2 HGC drove the Studio Electric Amplifier #4 ($7,500) which drove the prototype Studio Electric Large Monitors (about $4,500/pair).

labjr's picture

How did it sound?

Michael Lavorgna's picture

The music/recording or the DAC or the amp or the speakers? Or the system?

labjr's picture

I'm interested in the DAC because of the new features like Async USB, and native DSD conversion. Also supposed to be better jitter suppression. But not sure you could audition just the DAC.

Michael Lavorgna's picture everything is unfamiliar in this case - the room, the system, and the music so its difficult to isolate the performance of a given component.

That said, I did enjoy my albeit brief time in this room and based on the reception the previous Benchmark DACs have received, this one would certainly appear to be worth an audition if you're in the market.

labjr's picture

The jitter induced noise is supposed to be better than  -140 db. which is an impressive spec. Actually, if you read the description on their web site farther down it says better than -150 dbfs with async USB .  I'm guessing that's with the ASRC enabled or whatever the ultralock scheme is in this model. Anyone ask them which DAC chip is used in the new model? Maybe the Sabre DAC?