Benchmark DAC2 HGC vs DAC3 HGC or??


Can anyone detail the differences between these two DACs?   I've had a DAC2 for 10 years or so on my pc setup.   It drives powered Dynaudio speakers via Nordost Heimdal XLR cables/   The DAC is connected USB to my PC via a Audioquest Diamond cable.   I have always loved this setup as it transformed my workstation with respect to audio in every way.  I don't play studio cd's that much or stream.  Every now and then I play DSD files or a cd via the speakers or to my Eytomatic ER4/XR's 

I mainly use this audio setup for mastering music and live concerts with SoundForge.   I'm curious on differences in sound quality of the two Benchmark DACS and any other similar DAC that you like.



Rory Rail at Benchmark said they sound the same. I have had both, still have the DAC3B, and I think they sounded the same. Though I never had them at the same time.

The DAC3B is a little hot on top. It works nicely with a tube headphone amp I have but with some SS gear you can hear that heat.

I am keeping the DAC3B. Here are some DACs I liked better, but they were rolled off on top.

  • Schitt Yggi+ LIM
  • Lumin X1
  • Mustec 005

The Schitt Yggi+ OG (no longer available, but the Yggi+ MIB maybe similar) is the best DAC that I think gets everything right.

I hear the Benchmark DAC3 the same way, nicely detailed but a little sizzle up top depending on your associated gear. It can be a lot of fun or it can be too much, depends on the system.