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DAC1 HDR - Let the Music Engage You!
The DAC1 HDR is an all-in-one reference-quality stereo pre-amplifier. This stereo pre-amp
brings together all the best features and performance of the award-winning DAC1 family with
the convenience of an intelligent remote control solution. The DAC1 HDR combines some of
Benchmark’s finest engineering accomplishments into one device: the DAC1 digital-to-analog
audio converter with UltraLock™ clock system, AdvancedUSB™ computer audio playback
interface, and the legendary HPA2™ headphone amplifier. The unique remote control solution
of the DAC1 HDR is built around Benchmark’s new HDR-VC™ (high dynamic range volume
Benchmark’s product designs have achieved unprecedented sonic purity due to an
uncompromising engineering philosophy: eliminate digital distortion artifacts, establish a
pristine analog path, and maintain sonic integrity regardless of external factors. The DAC1 HDR
continues this tradition of excellence.
The remote control solution of the DAC1 HDR has an intelligent implementation of dimming
and muting. The ‘Dim’ (quiet) and ‘Soft-Mute’ settings of the remote control can be easily
adjusted independent of the normal volume setting. The DAC1 HDR remembers and recalls
your specified ‘Dim’ setting. This feature is ideal for HDTV users, as it allows you to set your
preferred ‘Dim’ level for commercials, etc. The ‘Soft-Mute’ function fades down the volume to
the ‘Dim’ level before muting and smoothly raises the volume to the normal level after unmuting.
With a generous offering of inputs and outputs, the DAC1 HDR serves as the heart of
expansive media and entertainment systems, optimizing the signal path from the various
sources to the amplifier. The DAC1 HDR will enhance the audio performance of your digital
television, digital cable box, DVD/CD player, computer, music/media server, satellite radio, and
any other device with a digital audio output. Also, the HDR-VC™ will control the pristine path
for an analog source, such as a phono stage, FM tuner, iPod, VCR, tape deck, etc.
All digital inputs on the DAC1 HDR (including the USB) feature Benchmark’s jitter-immune
UltraLock™ clock system. The USB interface operates with Benchmark’s AdvancedUSB™
native 24-bit, 96-kHz USB technology. The DAC1 HDR features a high-current output stage
designed to drive even the most difficult loads. Other features include selectable headphone
gain ranges and an auto-mute function for muting the main outputs when headphones are
HDR-VC™ High Dynamic Range Volume Control
The DAC1 HDR features Benchmark’s HDR-VC™ (High Dynamic Range Volume Control). The
HDR-VC™ is achieved with a custom-built motorized Alps potentiometer. The DAC1 HDR’s
motor-driven volume control maintains the dynamic range of the converter and audio output.
In contrast, digital volume controls reduce dynamic range, and analog volume IC’s introduce
distortion and noise.
The acclaimed DAC1 D-to-A conversion system
Recording studios, mastering engineers and audiophiles have grown to rely on
Benchmark for critical digital audio conversion for more than 10 years. The superior
performance of the award-winning DAC1 has made it the ‘Benchmark’ of D-to-A
converters. With the DAC1 HDR, this built-in state-of-the-art converter will improve the
sonic performance of your digital audio sources, including your computer.
Jitter-Immune UltraLock™ Clock System
Benchmark’s proprietary UltraLock™ clock system achieves an unprecedented immunity
to jitter. Many modern (and expensive) converters suffer from signifi ant jitter-induced
distortion, generating non-musical sideband tones and digital distortion. Benchmark’s
highly-regarded UltraLock™ clock system ensures that jitter is never a problem, even
under extreme conditions.
Even in the presence of extremely high input jitter, no jitter-induced artifacts can be
detected on the outputs of the DAC1 HDR (using state-of-the-art testing equipment
by Audio Precision). UltraLock™ will block more then 12.5 UI of jitter (@ 1 kHz). The
UltraLock™ clock system easily outperforms even the best-designed two-stage PLL
The bottom line is this: Benchmark converters will consistently and faithfully deliver
truthful audio without jitter-induced artifacts, no matter what variables are present.
AdvancedUSB™ Audio Technology
The USB interface of the DAC1 HDR operates with Benchmark’s unique AdvancedUSB™
technology. Unlike many USB-equipped D/A converters, Benchmark’s AdvancedUSB™
technology supports 24-bit audio at sample rates up to 96 kHz without the installation of
any drivers or other special software. Benchmark’s UltraLock™ clock system isolates the
converter from the high levels of jitter that are found on USB interfaces. The DAC1 HDR
achieves transparent, audiophile-quality playback through a true plug-and-play solution.
Audio streamed via USB is subject to significant amounts of jitter. The AdvancedUSB™
interface utilizes the UltraLock™ clock system. Consequently, the performance of the
USB input is equal to the performance of the other inputs, regardless of the jitter present.
The DAC1 HDR is natively compatible with Windows Vista/XP/2000 and Mac OS X. As a
native device, there are no drivers or other software required to install or configure.
HPA2™ Headphone Amplifier
The DAC1 HDR includes the HPA2™ - Benchmark’s signature high-current, 0-Ohm
headphone amplifier. The HPA2™ is the ultimate reference headphone amplifier. It will
deliver the full rated performance of the DAC1 to the headphones. The HPA2™ maintains
less than 0.0003% THD+N under a full load from two sets of headphones. The DAC1
HDR has two 1/4” headphone jacks on the front panel.