Benchmark and Studio Electric

The pairing of Benchmark Audio and Studio Electric Loudspeakers had a new face, the Studio Electric Monitor ($2295/pair, or $2450/pair with handsome retro custom grill). With a frequency response of 44Hz–22kHz (±4 dB), the 6 ohm impedance two-way offers 87dB sensitivity. The sound was impressive and musical, inviting extended listening.

Benchmark was showing its latest HDR DAC with remote ($1895). In his follow-up in the September Stereophile, Erick Lichte noted that this is the best-sounding Benchmark DAC so far. No doubt the fact that it uses the same premium op-amps throughout that the DAC1 USB only uses in its output stage, and a different volume pot, must have something to do with the sonic improvements.