At any volume setting, the relay-controlled gain stage provides an optimized attenuator to match the upstream analog source to the downstream power amplifier. This optimization of the gain staging delivers the best possible system SNR for each volume setting. The LA4 will match high-output D/A converters to low-input power amplifiers and vice-versa. It will also provide an optimized interface to and from balanced and unbalanced devices. In addition, it will match high-level professional balanced interfaces to low-level hi-fi balanced interfaces (in either direction).
SPEED AND PRECISION
The bandwidth of the LA4 extends from 0.01 Hz to over 500 kHz. This means that the LA4 delivers very precise amplitude and phase accuracy over the entire audio bandwidth. Wave shapes are accurately reproduced, and the entire spectrum is delivered with precise timing. The LA4 will deliver musical overtones with life-like accuracy. This means that musical instruments are rendered without changing their sonic character.
BALANCED AND UNBALANCED I/O
The LA4 features two balanced stereo inputs and two unbalanced stereo inputs. The line amplifier provides one balanced stereo output, one balanced mono sum, and one unbalanced stereo output.
The LA4 includes IR remote control and can be operated using the optional Benchmark remote. The LA4 is designed to work with the Benchmark DAC2 and DAC3 converters but may be driven from any high-end D/A converter. When paired with a Benchmark DAC, a single remote control will operate both units.
The touch screen provides easy access to advanced features such as balance control, input level offsets, input names, screen dimming, remote control, and function locking. Help screens explain the special functions.
The volume control knob features a high-quality optical encoder that is rated for heavy use. An acceleration feature makes it easy to move through the 256 volume steps while maintaining 0.5 dB/step resolution. A press of the control knob will wake turn on or brighten the screen if you are using the screen sleep or auto-dim functions.
The LA4 includes an on-screen mute button for the line outputs. Outputs can also be muted with the volume knob or with the optional remote control.
The LA4 includes an on-screen -20 dB "audio dim" button that instantly reduces the level by 20 dB. This function provides a temporary volume reduction and makes it easy return to the previous listening level. This control makes it easy to transition between a normal listening level and a background level. The -20 dB "dim" function is also accessible from the optional remote control.
Inputs may be renamed and unused inputs may be disabled. Input levels can be trimmed to provide input-to-input level matching.
Screen brightness is adjustable and timers can be set to dim or shut off the display. The screen can be locked to prevent access to advanced features.