AHB2 - Receives The Absolute Sound's 2016 Golden Ear Award!

"Used within its 100Wpc rating, this is in any practical sense a perfect power source, with by far the lowest measured noise and distortion of any amplifier currently on the market."

"... if you need more power, buy two and strap them for dual mono at 380 watts a side."

"Either way, power just doesn't get any cleaner or purer than this."

"Neutrality and accuracy are the names of its game ... a sense of being plugged right into the source."

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HRA System - "I loved the open, colorful, well-balanced, and immediate sound of this system."

"I was happy to have finally heard the Benchmark AHB2 power amp that Kal Rubinson and so many others have raved about."




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AHB2 Lab Evaluation - AVMENTOR.net

Benchmark Media Systems - June 15, 2016

AHB2 › HiFi › Test Reports ›



AHB2 - "This stable and load-independent behavior ... is something not often encountered"

"AHB2's output power ... easily confirmed the specs given by the company itself."

"Based on this performance, the amplifier seems more than capable of driving difficult loads."

"Damping factor was estimated above 200, therefore, no system frequency response discrepancies, due to loudspeaker's impedance variability, should be expected."

"In distortion measurements, AHB2's behavior was impressive ..."

"The amplifier's spectral behavior does not seem to change significantly with a 4-Ohm load at its outputs."

"This stable and load-independent behavior of the output stage is something not often encountered."

"This performance clearly shows that the Benchmark/THX design approach works ... the result is a power stage with very low distortion, indeed."

"The noise performance of the amplifier was, also, top-class ... there is an apparent absence of noise components from the power supply ... this is a remarkable behavior, especially with the output stage under load conditions ..."

- Dimitris Stamatakos, AVMENTOR.net

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DAC2 Review - Paul Rigby, The Audiophile Man

Benchmark Media Systems - June 08, 2016

DAC2 › HiFi ›

DAC2 - "Taking the DAC1 ... and improving upon it"

Benchmark DAC2 HGC"I remember writing up a large group test, for a national UK Hi-Fi magazine, several years back, on DACs. I’d never heard of Benchmark before but the DAC1 trounced all of the other DACs on test to win the crown for that test. I was more than impressed and vowed to keep an eye on the brand from that day forward."

"Benchmark says that this, the latest iteration in the range, is superior in terms of sound quality to the DAC1."

"Immediately, right from the off, I was seriously impressed with the DAC2."

- Paul Rigby, The Audiophile Man - audiophileman.com

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AHB2 - "A convincing example of what the future of power amplifiers can be"

"Benchmark dared to engage their power amplifier project from a different angle, discarding the standard approach ... and certainly succeeded. The theoretical advantages of their choices are both evident in the laboratory and heard during the listening sessions, thus justifying the whole approach."

"Based on a very interesting set of ideas, with a long history but few examples of a practical application, the Benchmark AHB2 could serve as a convincing example of what the future of power amplifiers can be. Combine it with a renowned D/A Converter like the DAC2 HGC, and what you have is a top quality system from which only the loudspeakers are missing!"

DAC2AHB2 - "The best preamplifier/power amplifier ... in this price range"

"Overall, the DAC HGC/AHB2 pair is the best preamplifier/power amplifier we had the opportunity to listen to in recent years in this price range."

- Dimitris Stamatakos, AVMENTOR.net

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AHB2 Review - Paul Rigby, The Audiophile Man

Benchmark Media Systems - June 01, 2016

AHB2 › HiFi ›

AHB2 - "The perfect heart to any hifi"

"Neat in construction, busy in terms of features and small in stature, the AHB2 is quite remarkable in how it goes about its business of delivering music. I’ve seldom heard such a balanced, easy on the ear power amplifier as this that also provides tonal accuracy plus an attractive space in the midrange. The AHB2 would be an ideal fulcrum to any hi-fi system, acting as the heart around which you can build up your hi-fi chain. It’s dependable and rock solid. The perfect heart to any hifi."

- Paul Rigby, The Audiophile Man - audiophileman.com

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SMS1 - "Airy mids, confident and powerful bass, spacious soundstage"

"I was impressed by the broad nature of the SMS1 soundstage. Clarinets and strings had a beautifully resonant aspect, letting the ear know that all of these instruments had a specific character. Another feature of the soundstage was the piano’s ability to make itself heard." 

"The space and air around the midrange helps these speakers to tackle even the most complex of arrangements while the allied meaty bass means that they will be a good performer within any genre of music."

 

- Paul Rigby, The Audiophile Man - audiophileman.com

 

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AHB2 - "Essentially Perfect"

"Benchmark products ... are made for the professional market (where they are ubiquitous) and designed to the most exacting standards of performance and reliability."

"Within a remarkably short period of time ... my mental processes shifted from comparison mode to enjoying music, all the attention drawn to the source material and the rare sensation of feeling as if I were listening back to the source."

"... the AHB2 gets as high, enthusiastic, and confident a thumbs up as my arm is capable of reaching."

- Paul Seydor, The Absolute Sound, April 2016

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DAC2 Lab Evaluation - AVMENTOR.net

Benchmark Media Systems - April 05, 2016

DAC2 › HiFi › Test Reports ›



DAC2 HGC - "Offered a very high level of performance, with very low distortion"

"The noise spectrum shows that the DAC2 HGC is indeed a very quiet device without problems of interference or hum."

"Frequency response is flat across the entire range of measurement without a visible cut-off towards the lower frequencies, and with a rather mild roll-off at very high frequencies close to 80kHz. The differences between the two channels are small, in the range of 0.2dB."

"The THD+N Vs Frequency graph does not hide any unpleasant surprises. The curves (for an output level of 1Vrms) are below 0.003% with an apparent increasing trend from the 10kHz upwards but with minimal level-depended variation, an indication for a good analog stage design."

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AHB2 - Receives Stereophile's Highest Rating!

"Class A Recommended Component, 2016"

"More apparent low-level detail" - KR

"In his listening tests, Kalman Rubinson discovered 'much more apparent low-level detail in already-familiar recordings' - a characteristic he credited to the Benchmark's evident noiselessness - and a tonal balance that 'sounded more right' than any of the other amps on hand."

"An extraordinary amplifier" - JA

"In measuring the AHB2 and attempting to confirm its specified very high signal/noise ratio, John Atkinson observed nonlinearities in his testing equipment that 'Haven't affected the measured performance of other amplifiers I've tested, but they were detectable with the AHB2's very low intrinsic distortion and noise.' His conclusion: 'an extraordinary amplifier.'"

The AHB2 shares the elite "Class A Recommended" category with amplifiers costing 10 to 20 times more.

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