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  • AHB2 Power Amplifier Black

    Power Amplifier

  • HPA4 Headphone Amplifier Silver

    Headphone Amplifier

  • LA4 Line Amplifier Silver

    Line Amplifier

  • Digital to Analog Converters

  • AHB2 Award - "Class A Recommended Component", Stereophile

    Stereophile Logo - 400 Recommended Components - 2016

     

    Stereophile Banner - 400 Recommended Components - 2016

     

    AHB2 Receives Stereophile's Highest Rating!

    Benchmark AHB2 Black

    "Class A Recommended Component, 2016"

    "The AHB2 makes use of THX Corporation's Achromatic Audio Amplifier (AAA) technology, in which a low-power feed-forward amplifier drives a low-bias class-AB output section, the latter energized by a system of class-H power-supply rails that deliver power in response to demand - resulting in an extremely efficient amplifier capable of robust power output."

    "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.'"

    "Kalman Rubinson's last word: 'bargain'"

    Stereophile 2016 Recommended Components, April 2016

    Read the Stereophile Review 

    Read the Stereophile Bench-Test Report 


    Stereophile's Rating System

    Stereophile 400 Badge
    Stereophile 500 Badge

    Stereophile rates recommended components by placing them in one of 6 classes; A, B, C, D, E, and K. Of these, the highest rating is "Class A". Benchmark shares this small and elite class with amplifiers costing 10 to 20 times more than the AHB2.

    Stereophile's Definition of "Class A"

    "Best attainable sound for a component of is kind, almost without practical considerations; 'the least musical compromise.' A Class A system is one for which you don't have to make a leap of faith to believe that you're hearing the real thing."


    Also in Reviews

    AHB2 - A-Rated Recommended Power Amplifier - Stereophile

    AHB2 - A-Rated Recommended Power Amplifier - Stereophile

    by Benchmark Media Systems September 15, 2023 1 min read

    Stereophile LogoBenchmark AHB2 Power Amplifier

    AHB2 - Receives Stereophile's Highest "A" Rating for Power Amplifiers

    "Benchmark's AHB2 makes use of THX Corporation's Achromatic Audio Amplifier (AAA) technology, in which a low-power feed-forward amplifier drives a low-bias class-AB output section."

    - Stereophile, 2023

    "Much more apparent low-level detail in already-familiar recordings" - Kalman Rubinson

    "A tonal balance that sounded more 'right' than any of [the other amps on hand]." - Kalman Rubinson

    "An extraordinary amplifier." - John Atkinson

    Read Full Post
    LA4 - Class A Recommended Preamplifier - Stereophile

    LA4 - Class A Recommended Preamplifier - Stereophile

    by Benchmark Media Systems September 15, 2023 1 min read

    Stereophile Logo

    Benchmark LA4 Silver

    LA4 - Receives Stereophile's Highest "Class A" Rating for Preamplifiers

    "Benchmark's usual approach to design is to out-spec the competition, and so it is here. Like other Benchmark equipment he has tested, the affordable LA4 challenged the resolution of John Atkinson's test instruments, with 'superb' channel separation, 'extremely low noise, and virtually no power-supply-related spuriae.'"

    "Benchmark's LA4 is the widest-bandwidth, widest-dynamic-range, lowest-noise, lowest-distortion preamplifier I have encountered." - John Atkinson

    "In his listening room, Kalman Rubinson compared the LA4 to a cable—and couldn't hear any difference. He concludes, 'the LA4 is probably the most transparent and revealing audio component I've ever used. It does not seem to leave any fingerprints on the sound.'"

    - Stereophile, 2023

    Read Full Post
    Stereophile 2023 Recommended Component Badge

    DAC3 - Class A+ Recommended Processor - Stereophile

    by Benchmark Media Systems September 15, 2023 1 min read

    Stereophile Logo

    Benchmark DAC3

    DAC3 HGC, DAC3 B - Receive Stereophile's Highest "Class A+" Rating

    "The DAC3 B is a stripped- down, lower-priced version of the DAC3 HGC, which omits the headphone amplifier, balanced and unbalanced analog inputs, volume, mute, and polarity controls." - Stereophile

    "The DAC3 was all about depths, in several respects...I heard deeper into the music."

    "All I can say is Wow!"

    - John Atkinson

    "In a Follow-Up, JCA wrote of using the Benchmark processor with the same company's AHB2 power amp—a combination of high source output voltage and modest amplifier gain that he describes as 'optimal for minimizing noise and distortion' —and reported hearing 'richer and more interesting' reproduction of very subtle details."

    - Stereophile

    Read Full Post