Benchmark Media Systems, the designers of the award-winning DAC1 family, has announced the release of their flagship stereo preamplifier, the DAC1 HDR. The DAC1 HDR incorporates several of Benchmark's proprietary designs: the AdvancedUSB computer audio interface, the DAC1 digital-to-analog converter, and the HPA2 headphone amplifier. It builds on Benchmark's DAC1 PRE with the addition of a unique remote control solution and motorized volume potentiometer.
"The DAC1 HDR features a custom-built, motor-driven Alps volume control," says John Siau, Vice-President of Benchmark Media Systems. "Our approach to remote volume-control is unconventional, since we were not satisfied with either the dynamic range limitations of digital volume controls or with the distortion and noise introduced by IC-based analog volume controls. Our customers should not have to sacrifice clean and transparent sound to enjoy the convenience of remote control. The DAC1 HDR delivers performance and convenience."
The remote control of the DAC1 HDR controls on/off, input selection, volume, soft-mute, and adjustable dim level. The user can adjust the "dim" volume setting and the "normal" volume settings independently, and the DAC1 HDR will remember those volume settings. This feature targets the HDTV users, who may want to lower the volume during commercials without losing the normal volume setting.
The DAC1 HDR main unit is similar to Benchmark's DAC1 PRE in form, function, and performance. It can connect to a digital cable box, HDTV, DVD/CD player, computer, music server, satellite radio, FM tuner, phono stage, VCR, etc. The DAC1 HDR will be available with both black and silver faceplates.
"We are incredibly excited about the DAC1 HDR's remote control solution," said Elias Gwinn, application engineer. "The custom volume potentiometer maintains the full sound quality, and the unique dim settings give the user unprecedented control."
Benchmark will begin shipping the DAC1 HDR the week of April 20, 2009. Price is $1895.00 USD.