Benchmark Media Systems LA4 Line Amplifier and DAC3 B DAC Review

January 16, 2021 § Leave a comment

Suffice it to say that, as with every Benchmark product I’ve used or reviewed, everything works smoothly, precisely, flawlessly. I must single out for special mention the volume control. While the whole unit is completely relay controlled, with a total of forty “precision relays switching high-precision metal-film resistors,” each channel has its own gain control with 256 steps in 0.5dB increments. An accelerator facilitates rapid movement up and down the range while preserving the 0.5 steps, while exact channel-to-channel balance is maintained regardless of changes in level (if you’ve altered the balance to favor one channel, the imbalance is preserved through any level changes until you alter it again). The volume control is designed to generate a light “ticking” or “clicking” sound when used, which I liked. For one thing, it sounds cool; for another, the steps are so fine that without it you might not know you’ve made a change. By far, without question this is the best volume control I have ever encountered, capable of finer resolution of level increments than any in my experience (hard to imagine a set of conditions in audio usage where finer gradations would be required)

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