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Benchmark DAC1 Converter

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Quick Overview

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The DAC1 is a two-channel, 24-bit, 192-kHz audio Digital-to-Analog converter. The DAC1 is perhaps one of the more significant recent advances in digital audio conversion technology. The DAC1 provides some of the finest analog conversion through 192-kHz and all sample rates playback with a 55-kHz analog bandwidth. The performance of the DAC1 is unrivaled. THD+N is an astonishing low -106 dB (0.0005%) measured at 0 dBFS, at any playback frequency, at any sample rate, with any degree of input jitter, and the performance just improves from there.

Listening to audio from the DAC1 is an amazing experience. The distortion free output is so pristine it truly feels as though someone has finally lifted the curtain! Now you can hear detail that was previously masked by jitter induced artifacts and distortion. If it was an exceptional recording, you'll hear it, if it wasn't, you'll hear that as well.

Many DACs derive their system clock directly from the AES receiver making them very susceptible to jitter. These DACs can rarely achieve their rated performance in real world applications. By contrast, the DAC1 takes full advantage of our jitter free UltraLock™ technology. On the test bench, or at the end of 1000' of cable, the DAC1's performance is the same! Actually, we don't think you should have to be a transmission line expert to be a great audio engineer.

Additional features include auto-processing of pre-emphasized digital audio and our latest HPA-2 headphone amplifier technology. This technology features distortion levels of 0.0003% under load. The audio output levels may be controlled from the front panel by the same gain control that feeds the headphone amplifier or it may be preset to a precise level with multi-turn trims. The preset gain range is +10 dBu to +29 dBu at 0 dBFS. The DAC1 has built-in international 115/230 volt power.

The DAC1 is essential equipment for mastering studios, high quality recording studios, high-end home audio systems, or anywhere un-colored digital playback is demanded.

The up-sampling DAC1 is now listed as a Stereophile Magazine recommended component. John Atkinson called the DAC1 "...a true audiophile bargain."

The DAC1 - Winner of a PAR Excellence Award at the 2002 AES Convention, the Reviewers Pick Award from Pro Audio Review, and nominated for a Mix Magazine TEC Award.

The DAC1... you never heard it so good!

Main Features:

  • 2-channel, 24bit, 192-kHz D-to-A conversion

  • All sample rates playback with a 55-kHz analog bandwidth

  • THD+N = -106 dB (0.0005%) measured at -0 dBFS, any sample rate, any test frequency, with any degree of input jitter!

  • 116 dB signal-to-noise ratio @55 kHz, A weighted

  • AES/EBU (XLR & Coax) and S/PDIF (XLR, Coax, & Toslink) inputs

  • Digital input source-selection switch

  • Balanced, low-Z XLR outputs

  • +29 dBu output level capability

  • Unbalanced RCA outputs

  • Variable or preset output level controls, switch selectable

  • Direct connection to powered monitors

  • Built-in Benchmark HPA-2, a high-output, ultra-clean headphone amplifier with dual outputs jacks

  • Total jitter immunity via UltraLock™ technology!

  • Phase Accurate D-to-A conversion across any number of channels

  • 1 power, 2 error indicating LEDs

  • Internal low-radiation toroidal power supply

  • International 115-230 input voltage range

  • Automatic De-emphasis for 44.1, 48, 88.2, and 96 kHz when Pre-emphasis bit is set

  • Milled aluminum front panel

  • 1/2 wide, 1RU chassis

  • Black rack-mount, Black and Silver non-rackmount versions available

  • Rack mount kit for 19" rackmounting available

  • CE Compliant

"I found the Benchmark DAC1 incredibly transparent sounding. It made my mastered 16-bit CDs sound more like the original 24-bit master recordings full of rich detail, wide stable stereo imaging and a clear high end. As an invaluable production tool, I use the Benchmark connected to my CD player's digital output to evaluate my mix dailies at home."

-Barry Rudolph

Recording engineer/mixer for Pat Benatar, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Hall and Oates, BB Mak, The Corrs and Rod Stewart.