Benchmark DAC2 L D/A Converter (Black)

Benchmark DAC2 L D/A Converter (Black)

Benchmark DAC2 L D/A Converter (Black)

B&H # BEDAC2LB MFR # 500-15200-200
Benchmark DAC2 L D/A Converter (Black)

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Product Highlights

  • Native DSD Conversion
  • Hybrid Gain Control
  • High-Headroom DSP
  • UltraLock2 Jitter Attenuation
  • Quad 32-Bit Balanced D/A Conversion
  • Multi-Mode Asynchronous USB Audio System
  • Distributed Power Regulation
  • Sample Rate and Word Length Displays
  • Polarity and Home Theater Bypass
  • Digital Pass Through
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  • 1Description

The black DAC2 from Benchmark is a low noise, low distortion 2-channel digital to analog converter. It employs an advanced high-headroom digital filter design and a high sample rate asynchronous USB audio interface with each input fully isolated from interface jitter using the company's UltraLock2 jitter attenuation system. The device performs 32-bit internal processing and conversion and includes 3.5 dB of headroom above 0 dBFS. Each Balanced output is the sum of four balanced 32-bit converters.

All digital inputs on the converter support native DSD conversion. The DoP1.1 open standard is automatically detected by the device on all inputs and the system seamlessly switches to native DSD conversion. The DAC is designed to directly drive power amplifiers and powered speakers. The XLR outputs of the converters feature adjustable low-impedance passive attenuators that can be used to optimize the matching of the converter to the power amplifier or powered speaker. Sonically, the converter has been designed for maximum transparency making it appropriate for professional reference and Hi-Fi critical listening applications alike.

The converter combines active analog gain control with passive low-impedance attenuators, a 32-bit digital gain control, and a servo-driven volume control. Each of the inputs can be controlled by the rotary volume control which also will move in response to the unit's remote control. None of the digital inputs are ever allowed to pass through an analog potentiometer, and are instead controlled by the unit's 32-bit DSP system for precise L/R balance and imaging with minimal distortion or noise. The passive output attenuators provide gain reduction without compromising the dynamic range of the converter.

The device's Ultralock Jitter attenuation system uses 32-bit DSP processing with 3.5 dB of headroom and a sample rate of 211 kHz to reduce jitter to at least 140 dB below the level of the music and well below the threshold of human hearing to eliminate audible jitter artifacts. The DSP can handle digital signals as high as +3.5 dBFS because the inter-sample peaks found in many commercial releases as the result of signal interpolation can sometimes exceed the 0 dBFs threshold of individual sinusoidal wave samples.

The device's USB system supports USB Audio 2.0, DSD, and USB Audio 1.1. The frequency agile design allows the converter to follow sample rate changes initiated by the computer or media playback software while retaining asynchronous conversion to eliminate unnecessary sources of jitter.

The master clock of the device has a low-jitter design which controls the transfer of audio from the computer to the USB sub-system, then to a buffer in the DAC, and then to the D/A conversion sub-system. This second asynchronous transfer eliminates any traces of jitter that may accumulate as the data is transferred between the USB and conversion subsystems. The synchronous USB system supports USB Audio 2.0 for high resolution 192 kHz and DSD playback. No drivers are required on Mac operating systems and an easy to install driver adds both 192 kHz and DSD capabilities to Windows operating systems.

An Asynchronous driverless USB Audio 1.1 mode can be enabled from the front panel or remote control to allow quick plug and play connections to Windows, Mac, iOS, and Linux operating systems. Even when the DAC is powered down, the USB subsystem will remain active to prevent interruption of computer operations and eliminate the need to reconfigure the computer every time the device is turned on.

Quad 32-bit Balanced Conversion System
Uses four balanced 32-bit D/A converters to deliver 4:1 redundancy which reduces noise and distortion
Diagnostic Tools - Sample-Rate and Word-Length Indicators
Displays sample-rate and word-length to confirm the proper operation of your media player
Polarity Switch
Inverts the polarity of the signal to solve phase related problems
Home Theater Bypass
Sets the pass-through gain to unity when the surround system is active
Digital Pass Through
Allows any selected digital input (including USB) to pass through to the coaxial output in bit transparent formats including DSD (DOP 1.0), Dolby Digital, and DTS
Power Switch
Sets the convert to standby or shut down mode with power consumption less than 0.5 W in full shut down
Low Power Consumption
Uses high-efficiency low noise power supplies that may be operated from any standard international voltage without adjustment
Distributed Power Regulation
Uses distributed power supply regulation of each critical subsystem with at least one dedicated low-noise voltage regulator
In the Box
Benchmark DAC2 L D/A Converter (Black)
  • Power Cord
  • Extra Fuses
  • Remote Control
  • Limited 1-Year Warranty
  • Table of Contents
    • 1Description
    Audio Performance Specifications
    Signal to Noise Ratio A-Weighted, 0 dBFS = 20 to 29 dBu:
    126 dB
    Unweighted, 0 dBFS = 20 to 29 dBu:
    123 dB
    Total Harmonic Distortion/Noise 1 kHz @ 0 dBFS:
    -109 dBFS, -109 dB, 0.00035%
    1 kHz at -1 dBFS:
    -110 dBFS, -109 dB, 0.00035%
    1 kHz at -3 dBFS:
    -113 dBFS, -109 dB, 0.00035%
    20 Hz to 20 kHz Test Tone at -3 dBFS:
    -112 dBFS, -108 dB, 0.00040%

    Fs = 44.1 to 96 kHz, 20 to 20 kHz BW, 1 kHz test tone, 0 dBFS = +24 dBu
    Frequency Response @ Fs= 96 kHz:
    0 dB, -0.04 dB (20 to 20 kHz)
    -0.04 dB at 10 Hz
    -0.04 dB at 20 kHz
    -0.04 dB at 40 kHz
    -0.7 dB at 45 kHz

    @ Fs= 48 kHz:
    0 dB, -0.04 dB (20 to 20 kHz)
    -0.04 dB at 10 Hz
    -0.04 dB at 20 kHz

    Fs = 44.1 to 96 kHz, 20 to 20 kHz BW, 1 kHz test tone, 0 dBFS = +24 dBu
    Crosstalk -116 dB at 20 kHz
    -130 dB at 1 kHz
    -137 dB at 20 Hz
    Jitter Maximum Amplitude of Jitter Induced Sidebands (10 kHz 0 dBFS Test Tone, 12.75 UI Sinusoidal Jitter at 1 kHz):
    < -144 dB
    Fs = 44.1 to 96 kHz, 20 to 20 kHz BW, 1 kHz test tone, 0 dBFS = +24 dBu
    Max Amplitude Spurious Tones with 0 dBFS Test Signal: < -138 dB
    Idle Tones: < -147 dB
    AC Line Related Hum & Noise: < -140 dB
    Fs = 44.1 to 96 kHz, 20 to 20 kHz BW, 1 kHz test tone, 0 dBFS = +24 dBu
    Differential Phase Inter-Channel:
    Stereo Pair at Any Sample Rate: +/- 0.25° @ 20 kHz
    Between DAC2 HGC Units Fs < 110 kHz Any Sample Rate:
    +/- 0.25° @ 20 kHz

    Fs = 44.1 to 96 kHz, 20 to 20 kHz BW, 1 kHz test tone, 0 dBFS = +24 dBu
    Maximum Lock Time After Fs Change: 400 ms

    Fs = 44.1 to 96 kHz, 20 to 20 kHz BW, 1 kHz test tone, 0 dBFS = +24 dBu
    Soft Mute Ramp Up/Down Time: 50 ms
    Mute Receive Error: Yes
    Lock Error: Yes
    Idle Channel: No
    50/15 us De-Emphasis Enable: Automatic in consumer mode
    De-Emphasis Method: Digital IIR
    De-Emphasis Supported @: Fs = 32, 44.1, 48 kHz
    Latency Digital Input to Analog Output (Function of Sample Rate):
    1.36 ms at 44.1 kHz
    1.27 ms at 48 kHz
    0.90 ms at 88.2 kHz
    0.82 ms at 96 kHz
    0.51 ms at 176.4 kHz
    0.47 ms at 192 kHz
    Unbalanced Analog I/O
    Inputs 2x Stereo pair RCA
    Input Impedance 20 kΩ
    Maximum Input Level 19 dBu
    @ Factory-Set Calibration Levels: 14 dBu
    Capacitors DC blocking on all analog inputs
    Transient and Over-Voltage Protection on Analog Inputs:
    Series R and diode protection
    Input Capacitance: 10 pF
    Gain Range Off to 0.5 dB (RCA in to RCA out)
    Off to 16.5 dB (RCA in to XLR out)
    Off to 10.5 dB (RCA in to headphone)
    Factory-Set Gain in Home Theater Bypass Mode:
    0 dB (RCA in to RCA out)
    6 dB (RCA in to XLR out) (with 10 dB Pad)
    Outputs 4x RCA
    Output Impedance 30 Ω
    Output Clipping Level 13.5 dBu
    Output Level @ 0 dBFS:
    Off to 7.5 dBu
    Factory Set Home Theater Bypass Output Level (at 0 dBFS):
    < +/- 0.006 dB
    Balanced Analog Outputs
    Balanced Output 2x Gold-Pin Neutrik male XLR
    Output Impedance 60 Ω (attenuator off)
    425 Ω (attenuator = 10 dB)
    135 Ω (attenuator = 20 dB)
    Output Clipping Level 30 dBu
    Output Level Range (@ 0 dBFS) in 'Variable' Mode:
    Off to 23 dBu (attenuator off)
    Off to 13 dBu (attenuator = 10 dB)
    Off to 3 dBu (attenuator = 20 dB)
    Output Level and Impedance Sample Rate (44.1 kHz versus 96 kHz): < +/- 0.006 dB
    Digital Audio I/O
    Digital Inputs Switchable Between:
    1x USB 1.1 or 2.0
    2x TOSlink optical
    2x Coaxial
    Channels 2
    Frequency Range Coaxial: 28 Hz to 210 kHz
    TOSlink Optical: 28 Hz to 96 kHz
    USB: 44.1, 48, 88.2, 96, 176.4, 192 kHz
    Word Length Maximum: 24-bits
    Input Impedance Coaxial Input: 75 ͅ
    Capacitors DC blocking on digital inputs
    Transient and over-voltage protection
    Minimum Input Level Coaxial: 250 mVpp
    Jitter Tolerance with No Measurable Change in Performance:
    >12.75 UI sine, 100 Hz to 3 kHz
    >1.5 UI sine at 20 kHz
    >1.5 UI sine at 40 kHz
    >1.5 UI sine at 80 kHz
    >1.5 UI sine at 90 kHz
    >0.25 UI sine above 160 kHz
    Attenuation Method:
    Benchmark UltraLock2 on all inputs
    Status Display
    Indicators 16x LED on front panel
    Selection Indication 1x Dim/mute
    7x Input
    1x Home Theater Bypass
    1x Polarity
    2x Word-length
    4x Sample Rate
    General
    Compatibility Mac OS X
    Windows XP, Vista, 7
    USB port
    Operating Voltage Nominal Input Range (VAC RMS):
    100 to 240 V
    Frequency:
    50 to 60 Hz
    Power < 0.5 W Idle
    12 W typical program
    15 W maximum
    Fuses 5x 20 mm (2 required)
    0.5 A 250 V Slo-Blo Type
    Operating Range Minimum/Maximum (VAC RMS):
    90 to 260 Hz
    47 to 63 Hz
    Rack Size Width: 1/2 rack space
    Height: 1 RU
    Dimensions (DxWxH) 9.3 x 9.5 x 1.7" (237 x 249 x 45 mm)
    Weight 3 lb (1 kg)
    Packaging Info
    Package Weight 5.05 lb
    Box Dimensions (LxWxH) 14.6 x 11.1 x 3.3"

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