"The AHB2 and the ML10Bs came through with unfaltering and thrilling performance every time."
"Immediately I heard that the AHB2 reproduced the recordings ambient space captured (or added artificially) as open and wide with reverb tails hearable down to the recording's noise floor. I could hear all of the reverb not more reverb--low level detail was more hearable much like wearing headphones vs. listening on speakers in a room."
"There was a pristine and smooth quality to the high and middle frequencies heard on the Tannoys. By comparison, another well-known power amp sounded "trashy" and harsh in the upper midrange."
"With the AHB2 there was an overall vibrancy and transparency not a hyped, bright sound. The transients--the spikey attack portion of snare hits, cymbal crashes and kicks are crystal clear if they are that way in the recording. Deep bass notes and loud kick drums are effortlessly reproduced without power amp compression as I sometimes hear on powered monitors--if there was any distortion it was the woofers themselves over-extending!"
"For listening to HRA directly at my studio, I bypassed my monitor controller completely and used Benchmark Media's DAC2 L digital-to-audio converter directly connected to the AHB2 ... For this test I borrowed a pair of Manley Tannoy ML10B monitors. If you like loud and room filling spectacular sound for classical pieces, you'll not be disappointed. The AHB2 and the ML10Bs came through with unfaltering and thrilling performance every time."
"As compared to my powered monitors, working on mixes in Pro Tools HD 11 through this system sounds more real, detailed and clear. In addition, this is a dead quiet--noiseless system. With no music playing, I could crank the DAC2 L's volume control wide-open and hear nothing--even with my ear right on the speaker cone!"
"There is only one word for the new Benchmark Media Systems AHB2 power amplifier: impressive. I highly recommend it!"
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.'"
"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."