The MEElectronics P1 Pinnacle and the new Benchmark DAC – NAMM 2015

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The main floor of NAMM can be quite the mad house, but just underneath the surface lies an entire additional floor of booths and vendors. If you can find the staircase, you can immerse yourself in the hidden landscaper of guitars, microphones and the occasional headphone company. One of the highlights from the basement level was a relatively new company to the IEM space called MEElectronics.

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Mike Chang, Head of biz dev for MEElectronics was showing off his newest audiophile-grade IEM called the P1 Pinnacle.

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The Pinnacle is due out in March and will retail for $199. The universal fit in ear felt well placed in around around my ear, while in use they felt exceptionally well-seated in both the ear canal and on the outside of the ear. The construct of both the housing and the cable connection felt very study to the touch. The P1 allows for standard silicone tips and a removable cable. A quick listening session on the noisy show floor left me with an impression of a slightly treble forward response, but still detailed and responsive. Again, even with the isolation of the tips, it was still a difficult environment to get a solid grasp on the sound of these little bad boys, so take that reaction with a grain of salt. The P1s will ship with a wide assortment of tips, both silicone and comply.

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Back on the main show floor, Benchmark was showing the newest edition to the DAC 2 line called the DX. The DX is actually a replacement for the outstanding “D” DAC 2 we reviewed [here].

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It is nice to see the variations within the DAC 2 line, as it allows you to scale back or add features based on your needs and budgets, almost like customizable options on a car.¬†While the Benchmark company as a whole is one of the few companies that properly straddle the pro and audio side very well, the DAC 2 line definitely has a pro side slant to it and the newest revisions to the “D” reflect that. From the company website:

The DAC2 DX is the DAC2 of choice for users who do not need analog inputs.

The DX is well suited to the needs of professional users and includes an XLR AES digital input. The DAC2 DX is the only DAC2 model that includes dual stereo output buses. The analog output buses can be independently set to fixed or variable gain. The DAC2 DX is also the only DAC2 available with in a rack-mount version.

The DAC2 DX replaces the DAC2 D while adding several important features:

Dual analog output buses
XLR AES digital input
12V trigger I/O
Improved DIM and MUTE functions

Any way you decide to shape the DAC, at its core it is a solid example of how good the ESS SABRE 9018 can sound at this price point. The new DX is currently available for purchase and retails for $1,995. More information available on the company website:

http://benchmarkmedia.com/