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Benchmark ADC1 USB Analog-to-Digital Converter: A Pure Reference Component

Convert Any Analog Source to High-Resolution Digital with This Outstanding Component

The ADC-1 is the Perfect Piece to Convert Your Vinyl Collection to High-Resolution Files

Built to the highest tolerances in the industry, Benchmark's ADC1 USB is a professional-grade Analog to Digital Converter which allows any analog source to be converted to reference-quality digital. The ADC1 USB is essentially a mirror product to Benchmark's world-revered DACs, performing the exact opposite task. The ADC1 USB takes incoming analog signals and converts them to 24bit/192k, where they are simultaneously available on any of the digital outputs or at 24bit/96k from the USB output. Sound quality is outstanding as befits the Benchmark nameplate, with virtually no loss from either the A/D conversion process or the digital output. Featuring several of Benchmark's proprietary technologies, we believe the ADC1 USB is one of the best, if not the best, A/D converter on the market.

"Benchmark's versatile and full-featured ADC-1 USB both measures superbly and produces digital files that sound equally superb. I highly recommend the ACD-1 for transferring your LPs to digital!"
– John Atkinson, Stereophile

Professional Grade
Benchmark's ADC1 USB is built for the most demanding, rugged applications imaginable. The ADC1 USB is designed to withstand a tremendous amount of abuse and maintain perfect input/output clarity under any "real-life" conditions.  As such, the ADC1 uses BNC connectors for its digital coax output. Under heavy vibration or massive movement, BNC connectors won't allow the cable to come loose and fall off.  However, many home users have never seen a BNC, much less own a BNC cable, so we sell an adapter which converts BNC to RCA.  Made by Audioquest, the BNC to RCA adapter is a high-quality piece that we have found to be sonically transparent with no ill effects to the digital output.

Fully Balanced Circuitry
The ADC1 USB is fully balanced internally from input to output. Balanced topology improves the signal-to-noise ratio and increases gain, which is essential when transforming delicate analog signals into high-resolution digital files. To use the ADC1 USB with an unbalanced source (RCA), XLR to RCA adapters will be required. We sell two; the Cardas Clear XLR adapters and the Cardas Standard XLR adapters, the Clear adapter is preferred for its superior transparency, but either set will work exceptionally well.

Jitter-immune UltraLock
The UltraLock system delivers consistent, high-quality conversion even when slaved to a poor quality external clock. The performance of the ADC1 USB will not degrade when slaved to an external clock - a claim very few converters can make. Enjoy the convenience of a clock input that automatically recognizes AES/EBU, S/PDIF, Word Clock, or Super Clock sources - all with the unsurpassed jitter immunity of Benchmark's UltraLock clock-isolation system.

Benchmark's Precision Analog Circuitry
Benchmark has a long tradition of building ultra-high performance analog circuits that are designed for maximum transparency. The ADC1 USB extends this tradition by pushing performance to the limits of today's technology. The analog front-end delivers low-noise low-distortion high-bandwidth performance over a wide gain range (45dB). Precise gain and calibration controls allow for accurate channel matching. Capture exact imaging, difficult transients, and subtle details with stunning realism.

Intelligent Meters
The nine-segment dual-range, digital LED meters enable high-precision level monitoring. Meter response times are matched to the response of the human eye so that every peak is clearly visible. All metering is fully-digital and is not subject to calibration errors. A peak hold function allows an infinite hold to verify that an over has not occurred. Dual ranges allow signal presence monitoring, or precise headroom indication. The meters even use an upsampling technique to detect and display inter-sample peak overloads. This upsampled metering warns of potential overloads that may not be detected by conventional digital meters.

Flexible Digital Outputs
The ADC1 USB has a total of 5 digital outputs (1-XLR, 2-coax, 1-optical, and 1-USB). These can operate simultaneously at up to three independent sample rates. One of the coaxial outputs can be configured for 16-bit TPDF dithered output. This unique flexibility allows simultaneous recording to a CDR, while recording high-resolution to a digital recorder and a DAW. For example the CDR may operate at 44.1/16 while the DAW operates at 88.2/24 while the digital recorder operates at 192/24. Backup and/or reference recordings can be created with ease while high-resolution outputs are fed to primary recording devices. The optical output supports AES or ADAT formats at resolutions up to 192/24. In ADAT mode, high sample rates are supported using SMUX2 and SMUX4.

Benchmark's AdvancedUSB
Benchmark's AdvancedUSB solution provides a bit-transparent computer interface that is capable of streaming at rates up to 96kHz/24-bit without installing any drivers. This reduces CPU loading, eliminates driver compatibility issues, and greatly improves the reliability of the data transfer. Benchmark's unique driver-less AdvancedUSB solution is compatible with Mac OS-X and Windows 2000, XP, and Vista. Benchmark's UltraLock clock system insures the audio will never be contaminated with jitter-induced artifacts from a poor-quality computer-based clock. With the Benchmark ADC-1, the performance of the USB interface matches the quality of the AES and ADAT interfaces. The convenience of a direct computer interface no longer comes with a performance penalty!

Consistent Performance
Often specifications only indicate how a product will perform under the most optimal conditions. The ADC1 USB is designed to deliver consistent performance - even in adverse conditions. The ADC1 USB is fully specified at all gain settings, all sample rates, through all digital outputs, and even when locked to a high-jitter clock signal. This performance insures reliable and predictable results in the "real world." A full list of specifications and performance charts can be found in the ADC1 USB manual.

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Pro Audio Review (PDF, 409 KB)

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Recording (PDF, 6.6 MB)

Resolution (PDF, 109 KB)



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Analog Audio Inputs
Number of Inputs (balanced) 2
Connector Gold-Pin Neutrik™ female XLR
Impedance 200 k O
Sensitivity -14dBu to +29 dBu (at 0 dBFS)
Clock Reference Input
  Format Auto-detect AES/EBU, Word Clock, and Super Clock (256x)
  Impedance 75 O
  Sensitivity 150 mV AES
  200 mV Word Clock
  750 mV Super Clock
Wordclock Reference Output
  Impedance 75 O
  Level 5 Vpp
  2.5 Vpp into 75 O
Digital Audio Outputs
Number of Digital Outputs
  1 XLR Main
  1 TOSLINK Main
  1 BNC Main
  1 BNC Aux
Connectors Gold-Pin Neutrik™ male: XLR
Number of Audio Channels: 2
Main Output Word Length: 24 bits
Main Output Sample Frequencies: 44.1, 48, 88.2, 176.4, or 192 kHz
Aux Output Word Length: 16 or 24 bits
  110 O XLR
  75 O BNC
  4 Vpp into 100 O XLR
  1 Vpp into 75 O BNC

Audio Performance
Fs = 44.1 to 192 kHz, 20 to 20 kHz BW, 1 kHz test tone, 0 dBFS = +24 dBu (unless noted)
SNR - A-Weighted, 0 dBFS = +8 to +29 dBu 121 dB
SNR - Unweighted, 0 dBFS = +8 to +29 dBu 119 dB
SNR - A-Weighted at max gain, 0 dBFS = -14 dBu 108 dB
THD+N, 1 kHz at -1 dBFS -102 dBFS, -101 dB, 0.00089%
THD+N, 1 kHz at -3 dBFS -107 dBFS, -104 dB, 0.00063%
THD+N, 20 to 20 kHz test tone at -3 dBFS -106 dBFS, -103 dB, 0.00071%
Frequency Response at 192 kHz Sample Rate
  -3 dB, +0 dB, 2 Hz to 92 kHz
  +/- 0.01 dB, 20 Hz to 20 kHz
  -0.06 dB at 10 Hz
  -0.01 dB at 20 Hz
  -0.00 dB at 20 kHz
  -0.18 dB at 88 kHz
  -3 dB at 92 kHz
  -100 dB at 108 kHz
Frequency Response at 96 kHz Sample Rate
  -3 dB, +0 dB, 1 Hz to 46 kHz
  +/- 0.01 dB, 20 Hz to 20 kHz
  -0.06 dB at 10 Hz -0.01 dB at 20 Hz
  -0.00 dB at 20 kHz -0.10 dB at 44 kHz
  -3 dB at 46 kHz -108 dB at 54 kHz
Frequency Response at 48 kHz Sample Rate 3 dB
  +0 dB, 1 Hz to 23 kHz
  +/- 0.01 dB, 20 Hz to 20 kHz
  -0.06 dB at 10 Hz
  -0.01 dB at 20 Hz
  -0.00 dB at 20 kHz
  -0.10 dB at 22 kHz
  -3 dB at 23 kHz
  -110 dB at 27 kHz
Passband Ripple: +/- 0.008 dB
  -105 dB at 20 kHz
  -130 dB at 1 kHz
  -130 dB at 1 kHz
  -200 dB at 20 Hz
Jitter Tolerance
  >12.75 UI sine, 100 Hz to 10 kHz
  >3.5 UI sine at 20 kHz
  >1.2 UI sine at 40 kHz
  >0.4 UI sine at 80 kHz
  >0.29 UI sine at 90 kHz
  >0.25 UI sine above 160 kHz
Maximum Amplitude of Jitter Induced Sidebands
  < -134 dB with 10 kHz 0 dBFS test tone
  12.75 UI sinusoidal jitter at 1 kHz
Maximum Amplitude of Spurious Tones with 0 dBFS test signal: -130 dBFS
Maximum Amplitude of Idle Tones: -145 dBFS
Maximum Amplitude of AC line related Hum & Noise: -130 dBFS
Interchannel Differential Phase
Stereo Pair: +/- 0.5 degrees at 20 kHz
Between ADC1 Units: +/- 0.5 degrees at 20 kHz
Maximum Lock Time after Fs change
  < 1 s for frequency lock
  < 5 s for phase lock

Delay (Analog Input to Digital Output)
  1.20 ms at 44.1 kHz
  1.09 ms at 48 kHz
  0.75 ms at 88.2 kHz
  0.67 ms at 96 kHz
  0.63 ms at 176.4 kHz
  0.59 ms at 192 kHz

AC Power Requirements
  110 V setting - 95 V min 140 V max
  220 V setting - 190 V min, 285 V max
Frequency: 50-60 Hz
  16 Watts Idle
  16 Watts Typical Program
  20 Watts Maximum
Fuses: 5 x 20 mm (2 required)
  110 V setting - 0.5 A 250 V Slo-Blo® Type
  220 V setting - 0.5 A 250 V Slo-Blo® Type
  Form Factor 1/2 Rack Wide, 1 RU High
  Depth behind front panel 8.5"
  Overall depth including connectors without power cord or BNC-to-RCA adapter 9.33"
  Width 9.5"
  Height 1.725"

Weight ADC1 only: 3.6 lb.
ADC1 with power cord, 3 BNC-to-RCA adapters, extra fuses, and manual: 4.9 lb.
Rack mount kit (blank panel, junction block, and rack-mount screws): 0.32 lb.
Shipping weight: 7 lb.

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Manual (PDF, 1.3 MB)

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