AHB2 Review - Greg Weaver, Enjoy the Music.com

December 01, 2014

AHB2 Review - Greg Weaver, Enjoy the Music.com

"The sonic results are nothing short of extraordinary!"

"The sonic results of all the time and effort spent refining this circuit and developing this design are nothing short of extraordinary! Bass is rendered with exceptional detail and speed, and brother can it go deep! In fact, I can't think of another amplifier (or pair of monos) I've experienced for under about $6000 that can do what the AHB2 can do with the bandwidth below 100 Hz. It has jaw dropping, chest-thumping impact while still being able to render remarkably accurate and refined pitch definition. In many ways, its bass performance reminded me of my time with the $65,000 WAVAC MD-805 Mk II monos, which rendered some of the most engaging bass I've yet heard." 

"Midrange is simply captivating, rich in both musical resolve and harmonic texture. It affords an exceptionally well-balanced mixture of both tonal truth and emotional expression. Instrumental voices are provided the body and bloom needed to complete the "live" illusion, recording permitting, and are related with the proper texture and tonal color, if ever so slightly to the dryer side of natural."

"Treble is extended, airy, and resolute. Once again, I'm hard pressed to think of an amplifier for less than twice as much as the AHB2 that can even begin to compare, let alone match, this amps performance with the spectrum above 2.5 kHz. This extended and replete high frequency performance bestows a sense of ease and relaxed enchantment to well-recorded materials previously unheard of in this price point."

"One of the areas where the AHB2 really shines is in its ability to render the space between and the sense of both the space occupied by, and the interrelationships of instrumental positions and locations. Instruments and vocalists occupy an uncannily realistic sense of size and locale. I was left speechless more often than I cared to count by this engaging and enchanting ability."

"Benchmark's AHB2 amplifier is a truly breakthrough, innovative design."

- Greg Weaver, Enjoy the Music.com

Read the full review →



Also in Reviews

HPA4 Review - Peter Pialis, Headphone.guru
HPA4 Review - Peter Pialis, Headphone.guru

November 06, 2019

"Since the HPA4 arrived, I have rediscovered so many of my favorite works all over again with improved detail retrieval dynamics and transparency that it’s hard to pull myself away!"

"It drove my power hungry Abyss Phi TC headphones with complete authority, but it was still dead silent and nimble enough to amplify my easy to drive Focal Utopia headphones."

"Rarely have I come across such a wonderfully revealing amplifier that can drive many different types of headphones so darn well! The solid build construction and various controls make the $2,995 price tag seem a bit low based on the other headphone amplifiers in this market space."

- Peter Pialis, Headphone.guru
November 6, 2019
Read More
LA4 Review - Erich Wetzel, SoundStage! Hi-Fi
LA4 Review - Erich Wetzel, SoundStage! Hi-Fi

October 31, 2019

"Benchmark Media Systems’ LA4 preamplifier presented an utterly realistic reproduction of what was contained on each recording I played through it -- and weak recordings stood out more than usual. The LA4’s clean, analytical abilities are unmatched by any similarly priced preamplifier I know of. The LA4’s touchscreen brings it up to date with current user interfaces, and permits functions, such as balance control and muting at the device."

"If you want a preamp that editorializes, look elsewhere."

"If, like me, you value a high-resolution, totally neutral musical performance, add a Benchmark LA4 to your system, particularly if you already own a Benchmark DAC."

- Erich Wetzel, SoundStage! Hi-Fi

Read More
HPA4 Review - Gary Galo, Audioexpress.com
HPA4 Review - Gary Galo, Audioexpress.com

October 31, 2019

"You’ll have a tough time finding a cleaner, quieter, more transparent line amplifier and headphone amplifier anywhere, at any price. I found it to be a new reference. Once I heard it, I could not live without it, so I purchased the review sample. The HPA4 deserves my highest recommendation."

"The HPA4 is the latest product from Benchmark Media Systems, an upstate New York audio manufacturer. Benchmark calls it a headphone amplifier, but it’s really two products in one, combining the LA4 Line Amplifier introduced in 2018, with a headphone amplifier. It is also based on the same THX Achromatic Audio Amplifier technology used in Benchmark’s acclaimed AHB2 power amplifier."

- Gary Galo, Audioxpress.com

Read More