BENCHMARK MEDIA: Howard Popeck speaks at length to people with interesting things to say: John Siau – Benchmark Media DACs

Originally published 2014 John … in the audiophile world Benchmark Media have entered quickly and built a terrific reputation from scratch. Very impressive. However from your perspective, how do you see the differences between studio buyers and audiophile end users? The short answer is that audiophiles talk more. Audiophiles are passionate about their love for […]

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Benchmark DAC into Meridian G08

Hello Howard. I have read HFA now for some months, deriving great pleasure and stimulation from it’s diverse contents… around the pursuit of the art of listening to music. Interested in recent exchange around the benchmark dac1. I currently have a meridian g08, along with a range of meridian pre power equipment of varying ages […]

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BENCHMARK MEDIA: AHB2 power amplifier – test review

Stereophile: I first saw Benchmark’s AHB2 stereo power amplifier at the 2013 Convention of the Audio Engineering Society, in New York City. On silent display in Benchmark’s booth on the convention floor, its compact size and comprehensive features made the amp immediately attractive, and the design was described as a departure from traditional analog and […]

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BENCHMARK: Audio application notes – Intersample Overs in CD Recordings

John Siau writes: We have frequently used Steely Dan’s Gaslighting Abbie from Two Against Nature in our listening tests. This is a spectacular CD recording with lots of dynamics and a low noise floor. Nevertheless, in a little over 5 minutes, this track has 559 intersample overs on the left track and 570 on the right track for a total […]

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Benchmark Media: AHB2 Stereo Power Amplifier This little unit will change the way you look and listen to amplifiers.

      Review And Images By Greg Weaver My first taste of this remarkable new amplifier came earlier this year in April at Chicago’s AXPONA where I discovered it driving a newly redesigned Studio Electric Pasadena loudspeaker, also bearing the Benchmark trademark. Now called the SMS1, the Pasadena’s crossover had been reworked by Benchmark, […]

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BENCHMARK: Audio application notes – Speaker Sensitivity and Amplifier Power

John Siau writes: Speaker sensitivity is a measure of how loud a speaker will play at a given input power or at a given input voltage. Sensitivity is normally measured with a 1 watt power input or a 2.83 Vrms voltage input. The acoustic output is normally measured in an anechoic space at a distance […]

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BENCHMARK: Audio application notes – Interpreting THD Measurements – Think dB not Percent!

John Siau writes: Distortion measurements (THD, THD+N and IMD) are traditionally expressed in terms of percent. But what do 1%, 0.1%, 0.01% or 0.001% mean in terms of loudness or audibility? If you are like most people you just know that 0.001% is the best of the three numbers listed above. If you are a well-trained […]

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BENCHMARK MEDIA DAC. Howard Popeck rates it highly!

Hi Howard, Good to see that you are stocking the Benchmark range. I have a DAC1 and it is truly superb. I use it to drive my active ATC 50s directly, or my Stax 717 & Omegas – no preamp necessary anymore! This little Benchmark really does punch far above it’s weight – right? My […]

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BENCHMARK: Audio application notes – Laboratory Use of the Benchmark AHB2 Power Amplifier

John Siau writes: SEAS driver test system uses Benchmark AHB2 SEAS, a well-known manufacturer of high-quality loudspeakers, selected the Benchmark AHB2 as a key component for use in testing loudspeakers. They created an innovative test system that measures loudspeaker motor strength and moving mass with higher accuracy than previous methods. This new measurement system was […]

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BENCHMARK MEDIA: Some observations about the Benchmark DAC1

IMO the DAC1’s true potential can only be realised when the extra bells and whistles (XLR output attenuators, physical volume pot) are switched off, and it is fed a digital signal that is attenuated, with dither at 24 bits, and upsampled well (e.g. SoX with -v) to 110.6kHz. If used via XLR, also the XLR […]

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BENCHMARK: Audio application notes – Laboratory Use of the Benchmark AHB2 Power Amplifier

John Siau writes: SEAS driver test system uses Benchmark AHB2 SEAS, a well-known manufacturer of high-quality loudspeakers, selected the Benchmark AHB2 as a key component for use in testing loudspeakers. They created an innovative test system that measures loudspeaker motor strength and moving mass with higher accuracy than previous methods. This new measurement system was […]

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Ask an expert: Benchmark DAC

Have you heard a difference between the DAC performance of the Benchmark USB DAC and the Benchmark DAC-1 preamp and if so, which one is superior?  I have done this experiment on a number of occasions and have very rarely heard any difference at all. It might have been my imagination. And so it is […]

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BENCHMARK: Audio application notes – Relay-Controlled Volume – The Ultimate Solution for Analog Audio

John Siau writes: Benchmark has introduced the new HPA4 headphone/line amplifier with four 256-step relay-controlled attenuators and four 16-step relay-controlled boost amplifiers. Together these form two fully-independent, fully-balanced stereo volume controls. One volume control is dedicated to the line output and one is dedicated to the headphone output. Each has a +15 dB to -122 […]

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BENCHMARK MEDIA DAC: What about better power cords?s

Does improving the power cord from the one that is supplied improve the sound?  Yes, it does seem to in my systems here. I have experienced dramatic improvements, in terms of subtle detail retrieval, a faster bass and so on with many other DACs through the years and so I suppose I quite naturally expect […]

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BENCHMARK: Audio application notes – Balanced vs. Unbalanced Analog Interfaces

John Siau writes: If you look at the back of any Benchmark product, you will find balanced XLR analog-audio connectors. As a convenience, we also provide unbalanced RCA connectors on many of our products. In all cases, the balanced interfaces will provide better performance. We build our unbalanced interfaces to the same high standards as […]

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BENCHMARK: Audio application notes – Feed-Forward Error Correction

John Siau writes: The Benchmark AHB2 power amplifier and HPA4 headphone amplifier both feature feed-forward error correction. This correction system is an important subset of the patented THX-AAA™ (Achromatic Audio Amplifier) technology. It is one of the systems that keeps these Benchmark amplifiers virtually distortion free when driving heavy loads. It is also the reason […]

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BENCHMARK: Audio application notes – Rules of Thumb for Music and Audio

John Siau writes: As an engineer I like to use “rules of thumb” to make quick estimates that help explain what can be expected from the physical world around me. These rules of thumb are easy-to-remember approximations that eliminate the need for complicated and needlessly precise calculations. If you learn a few key rules of […]

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