What’s the value of HD video without accompanying high-resolution sound? Home theater screens continue to get bigger and the pixels multiply; it was only yesterday that 1080p was the standard and now 4K is gaining prominence. However, home audio sound technology hasn’t always kept pace.
As a solution, Everything Audio Network publisher and audio expert John Gatski set up what might be the highest quality audio rig for a surround-sound home theater. John presented 2014 Capital Audiofest attendees with an audio treat — continuous demos of high-resolution surround-sound and stereo music played through three of Benchmark’s new AHB2 high-resolution power amplifiers.
This was the only high-resolution surround system featured at the audio expo, and the Everything Audio Network hospitality suite did not disappoint. High-resolution surround music was played via digital outputs from a JRiver Windows server and an Oppo BDP-105. High-resolution surround PCM and surround DSD were both played through the system throughout the show.
The system included:
The new Benchmark AHB2 power amplifier was a key component in this high-resolution system. Benchmark partnered with THX, the original pioneer in theater audio sound, to build the performance-leading AHB2 high-resolution power amplifier. THX recently patented two new technologies that address crossover distortion and error correction. Benchmark incorporated these innovations into the AHB2 design. These new innovations virtually eliminate distortion while offering opportunities to improve efficiency, damping, and dynamic range.
According to publisher John Gatski,
“The amps were astounding in their smoothness, but the upper-end detail and the wide separation of instrument layers, as well as the focused center channel sounds, were clearly audible. The clean accuracy from this amp is impressive. Even on high-energy, effect-laden hi-res movie via linear PCM, DTS-MA and Dolby Tru-HD soundtracks, I did not suffer any ear fatigue. This amp is a natural for high-end home cinema, as it is for audiophile stereo reproduction.”
According to John Siau, Vice President at Benchmark,
"High-Resolution audio is only as good as the weakest link in the playback system. Benchmark's AHB2 power amplifier delivers musical details without introducing the masking effects of amplifier noise and distortion. The dynamic range of the AHB2 approaches 130 dB, making it 10 to 30 dB quieter than the typical reference-quality power amplifier."
In layman's terms, Benchmark's AHB2 power amplifier delivers true high-resolution audio, helping listeners discover previously unheard nuances, dynamics, and detail in their favorite movies and songs. Like Dorothy stepping into Technicolor Oz, Benchmark’s AHB2 uncovers the richness and beauty of high-quality source material.
Benchmark has been building high-end audio components for decades in Syracuse, New York. Known for pro-audio digital-to-analog converters, Benchmark is now designing and manufacturing components for the entire audio signal chain. These include; DACs, amplifiers, speakers, and cables. The Capital Audiofest was held at the Silver Spring Sheraton Hotel in Silver Spring, Maryland, July 25-27.
For more information, please visit www.benchmarkmedia.com.
Benchmark demonstrated the Benchmark DAC3 D/A converter and two Benchmark AHB2 power amplifiers driving a pair of PMC MB2S passive monitors. This combination may be the best playback system we have heard anywhere. The low-distortion performance of the PMC monitors compliments the ultra-clean Benchmark signal chain.
This year the show was co-located with the NAB show and it was definitely the busiest AES show in many years.
We want to extend our thanks to everyone who stopped in and visited us at our booth!