Benchmark’s ADC-1 Still Going Strong

Benchmark ADC 1 analog to digital converter

Benchmark ADC 1 analog to digital converter

I’ve been encountering Benchmark Media systems for years. From the earlier days of the modular System 1000 (distributed audio, mic preamps and AD/DA converters) to more recent products like the ADC 1 and DAC1/DAC 2. The DAC 1 made huge impact on the Pro Audio and computer audiophile scene, and now the DAC 2 is providing DSD conversion over USB for even greater file compatibility.

Not quite as popular, but equally impressive is the ADC 1 analog-to-digital converter. And Guess what? The editor over at Stereophile recently revisited the Benchmark unit and sang its praise. He compared it to an Ayre QA-9, and you can read the details here. I’m unsure why he did not compare the two units with the same sample rate, but overall you get the impression that he has appreciated the ADC-1’s  clarity and accuracy.

In my experience, the ADC 1 provided a solid and clear image of my stereo ORTF mics and Omni Flank mics. When paired with a clean mic preamp (Grace, Crane Song Flamingo) you can rest assured that what you hear is what you get.  From Orchestral Recording to Sound Effects, the Benchmark Media ADC 1 provides a sure fire way to get a jitter-free recording, not to mention a great dynamic range.

-HIFIQC

Benchmark Media introduces the new DAC2 HGC

Benchmark DAC2 HGC

 

While Benchmark Media is well know for the widely popualr DAC1, they have been hard at work updating and upgrading to the new DAC2 HGC. With promised greater resolution, here are the main features:

  • Sample Rate Display
  • Word Length Display
  • More Digital Inputs (5 total)
  • More Analog Inputs (2 total)
  • More Analog Outputs (3 total)
  • Digital Pass Through
  • Native DSD Conversion
  • Polarity Switch
  • Asynchronous USB 2.0
  • Driverless Asynchronous USB 1.1
  • Home Theater Bypass
  • Bi-Directional 12 Volt Trigger
  • Power Switch
  • Low Power Consumption

Speakers that Sound Natural

Image

(EXHIBIT A: EOS HDphoto courtesy of Green Mountain Audio 

Green Mountain Audio has been producing fine loudspeakers out of Colorado for some time now. Over the past several years I have been lucky enough to test drive the Eos HD in my system.

The Eos HD is a 2 way time coherent* monitor which employs a 1st order crossover design. This is achieved when the tweeter and mid range speaker driver move in unison or synchronously. Being made of a composite marble material helps dampen cabinet resonances while also allowing the designer to shape the cabinet in more acoustical appropriate ways.  Bottom line: The Eos HD produces music with excellent imaging/localization and a transparency that is truly amazing.

Happy Listening!

*The best comparison I can give to experiencing time-coherent speakers is listening to a DAC (digital to analog converter) with extremely low jitter through headphones such as the Sennheiser HD-600.  Since most headphones have one driver per channel, time coherence is built into the design. While a good pair of headphones and a DAC can reproduce digital music with great results, the experience is very different from sound produced over loudspeakers.

Note: I was able to hear the Lindemann BL-10 at T.H.E. show last year and was very impressed with the sound of this 2 way  speaker (employs a simple crossover design for minimum phase). I have not had extensive listening sessions with the Lindemann, but hope to review it in full in the future.

Happy Listening!