Why do I use a Benchmark DAC?

by Chris Pavey


As the cold autumn nights draw in and the doom and gloom of post summer fun surrounds us, I sit here in my studio listing to a recently completed master. A wonderfully detailed string quartet arrangement that was a pleasure to work with.

Now... I have a lot of gear which I use everyday and I don't always appreciate the complexity or the shear scale of the technology under the hood. Whether thats a compressor a EQ, or dare I say it - a well engineered plug-in! (May the analogue purists start their letters now!) 

But! There is always an exception, everyday I seem to be reminded about my convertors - my glorious Benchmark Media DAC 1. Simple yet beautifully complex, small and compact but giant in quality, the DAC 1 with out failure blows me and my clients continually away. This is reflected in a common request from clients who visit CPM is, 'Could you just play this through your system...' a request I am always happy to accept!

Ok yes, there are other parts to the signal chain which contribute to the output for the listener. However, in my opinion, the greatest link is the D to A, and the DAC1 truly is superb at that complex conversion.

Due to the nature of my work, the way in which I perceive and listen to music means that I am a stickler for detail and nuance of sound. Small intricate changes of half a dB, a slight variation in tone or even the sound of a watch ticking over the pick ups of a guitar, (thats another story for another blog post!). The point is the Benchmark DAC's allow me to hear these tiny details in a clear uncoloured way that lets me do my job better, which in turn allows me to create better sounding masters.

So thanks to Benchmark - and may the innovations you create continue to shape the audio landscape!

Chris Pavey - Mastering Engineer CPM.