Benchmark DAC3 HGC (w/ ESS Sabre 9028PRO)
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headwhacker

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Bad timing on my part? I just bought a DAC2 couple of weeks ago. Now they release the DAC3.
 
https://benchmarkmedia.com/collections/digital-to-analog-audio-converter
 
I wonder how much can they improve from DAC2. Apparently using the latest Sabre DAC. Unfortunately, the headphone amp (HPA2) remain unchanged.
 
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Wow. These must have just launched? I was just browsing the Benchmark website yesterday and it wasn't listed.
 
I was just about to submit payment for my Grace M920 order.
 
Although I will very likely still proceed with the M920, would be really interesting to see a comparison between it and the DAC3!~
 
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Also just noticed these are available for order on BH Photo Video now.
 
Benchmark DAC3-L ... US$ 1,895.00
 
Benchmark DAC3-HGC ... US$ 2,195.00
 
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  Wow. These must have just launched? I was just browsing the Benchmark website yesterday and it wasn't listed.
 
I was just about to submit payment for my Grace M920 order.
 
Although I will very likely still proceed with the M920, would be really interesting to see a comparison between it and the DAC3!~

It just did, I don't see any google search for DAC3 except Benchmark's site. The only thing new I can see which is interesting is the Harmonic compensation. I wish the have updated the HPA2. Everything else seems like an incremental update. Comparing DAC3 to DAC2, the difference is not that big than comparing DAC2 and DAC1.
 
So I guess the DAC3 won't give me enough of an itch to upgrade
from DAC2. But I can see DAC1 users maybe tempted to jump in. I hope they have some sort of a trade-in program.
 
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I own an DAC2 DX. I'll be anxiously waiting for some listening comparisons to the DAC2. Like you say, more of an incremental upgrade. So I'm thinking-ok, take a hit selling the DAC2, then spring for a new DAC3. I'm probably looking at a total cost of $1K to upgrade. Likely not to happen.
 
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Link:

https://benchmarkmedia.com/blogs/application_notes/dac3-introducing-the-new-es9028pro-converter
 
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I have been considering upgrading my Oppo HA-1 dac/amp combo.  I've been shopping for a pre-owned Benchmark DAC2-HGC.
 
My concern was that I would be "upgrading" to another DAC based on the same Sabre 9018 as my "old" Oppo HA-1.  I was concerned that wouldn't be be much of an upgrade.   A DAC3 HGC with the ESS9028PRO chipset will most certainly be a significant upgrade.
 
...what about DSD support?  We know that DAC2 supported DSD64.  
Will the new DAC3 support double (DSD128) or quad rate DSD (DSD256)?
 
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I have been considering upgrading my Oppo HA-1 dac/amp combo.  I've been shopping for a pre-owned Benchmark DAC2-HGC.
 

My concern was that I would be "upgrading" to another DAC based on the same Sabre 9018 as my "old" Oppo HA-1.  I was concerned that wouldn't be be much of an upgrade.   A DAC3 HGC with the ESS9028PRO chipset will most certainly be a significant upgrade.

...what about DSD support?  We know that DAC2 supported DSD64.  

Will the new DAC3 support double (DSD128) or quad rate DSD (DSD256)?
I'd drop Benchmark an email with that one. They have been good in the past with me asking questions.
 
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I'd drop Benchmark an email with that one. They have been good in the past with me asking questions.
 
I took your suggestion and emailed Benchmark.  You were right; I got a very quick reply.
The Benchmark Sales Manager I corresponded with confirmed that the DAC3 supports DSD64 only.  
 
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I took your suggestion and emailed Benchmark.  You were right; I got a very quick reply.
The Benchmark Sales Manager I corresponded with confirmed that the DAC3 supports DSD64 only.  
Awesome. Well to me at least it's not a deal breaker. Dsd above single rate is super limited and pricey. Good luck to you. If you do decide to get one, let us know your impressions.
 
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Good luck to you. If you do decide to get one, let us know your impressions.
Let's see what kind of "Black Friday" sales retailers like MusicDirect, Audio Advisor and B&H offer.
 
I suspect there's going to be a firesale on DAC2's here in the classified section.  

 
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T Bone

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  Bad timing on my part? I just bought a DAC2 couple of weeks ago. Now they release the DAC3.
HeadWhacker - you might not be out of luck.  I just saw this on Benchmark's Facebook page:
 
Benchmark Media Systems We have a 30-day return policy, so if you purchased a DAC2 HGC or DAC2 L within the past 30 days, you can exchange your DAC2 for a DAC3. You will just need to pay the $200 difference in price and ship your DAC2 back in like-new condition. We will cover the outbound ground shipping of your new DAC3. Give us a call to arrange an exchange.
 
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  HeadWhacker - you might not be out of luck.  I just saw this on Benchmark's Facebook page:
 
 
I'll discuss this with my local retailer and see how it goes.

 
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