The following photos and system descriptions were provided to us by one of our customers, Ellery Coffman. He has put together an amazing system and has carefully treated his room with acoustic absorbers. Nicely done!
Home Theater Featuring 10 Benchmark AHB2 Power Amplifiers
Thanks again for your help. For two speakers, it is truly unbelievable how real this tri-amp system sounds; it is nothing short of jaw dropping! It truly sounds better than the $200k+ setups I've heard in some of the high-end audio shops I've been to.
It took an entire weekend, but I built a rack by repurposing some shelves I made, rack mounted four of the AHB2's you sent, soldered custom length Canare star quad cables (after seeing John Siau's YouTube video), and also added the Neutrik speakon connectors you recommended. I can't wait until I move to hear this in surround; it is going to be truly jaw dropping with the AIX tracks I have. For each speaker: one AHB2 is used to drive the midrange and tweeter and one AHB2 drives the woofer.
The custom Windows 10 PC uses JRiver and RME's ASIO hammerfall driver. It sends AES out from an RME HDSPe AES-32 sound card to the Xilica XD4080's AES input. The Xilica does FIR filtering for the WF/MR/TW filters and the DAC that feeds the AHB2 amps.
Of course the passive crossovers were removed from the speakers as I am striving for best at any price sound... and I think I'm there. The only thing that might be better is using software based FIR filtering and buying a bunch of DAC3's!
Update October 2020
Since the original 2017 post, Ellery has made a number of upgrades to his already outstanding system:
Tri-amped center speaker
Five level-matched and time-aligned subwoofers
Water-cooled PC in custom chassis to match the AHB2 amplifiers.
His home theater now features 10 AHB2 power amplifiers.
In Ellery's words:
"I'm still very impressed with the amps. In fact, even three years later I still get goosebumps when listening to certain tracks."
All photos courtesy of Ellery Coffman
Front, Side and Ceiling Room Treatments
Rear Wall and Ceiling Room Treatments
Rear of Room Showing Earthworks Measurement Mic at Listening Position
Front Rack with Custom Water-Cooled PC (Upper Left Corner)
Custom Water-Cooled PC
Heat Sinks on Water-Cooled PC
Front Equipment Rack Featuring 6 AHB2 Power Amplifiers
Rear Equipment Rack Featuring 4 AHB2 Power Amplifiers
Rear of Main Equipment Rack
Front Equipment Rack (Before Adding Water-Cooled PC)
At the 2023 AXPONA show in Chicago, I had the opportunity to see and hear the Hill Plasmatronics tweeter. I also had the great pleasure of meeting Dr. Alan Hill, the physicist who invented this unique device.
The plasma driver has no moving parts and no diaphragm. Sound is emitted directly from the thermal expansion and contraction of an electrically sustained plasma. The plasma is generated within a stream of helium gas. In the demonstration, there was a large helium tank on the floor with a sufficient supply for several hours of listening.
While a tank of helium, tubing, high voltage power supplies, and the smell of smoke may not be appropriate for every living room, this was absolutely the best thing I experienced at the show!
If an audio system is composed of multiple components, we may have detailed specifications for each component, but we will not know the performance of the combined system without doing some calculations. You may have questions such as these:
Will my audio system produce audible noise?
Will my audio system produce audible distortion?
How will my audio components work together as a system?
How loud will my audio system play?
Use Benchmark's online audio calculators to find answers!
For example, if we know the output power of an amplifier, as well as the sensitivity and impedance of our loudspeakers, we can calculate the maximum sound pressure level that our system can produce.
This application note provides interactive examples that help to answer the questions listed above.