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 (USB DAC) 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 control).
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 being used.
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 significant 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 designs.
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 7/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.