AHB2 Review - Hans Wetzel, SoundStage! Network

"If ever there were a giant-killer of an amp, this is it."

"Benchmark Media Systems’ modest-looking little AHB2 power amp may be hi-fi’s biggest bargain. It is one of the -- if not the -- quietest, most resolving amps I've heard. Time and again, without ever having intended to, I wound up hours deep in listening to the fringes of my music collection, thanks to the AHB2’s reference-level transparency and obscene athleticism."

"The AHB2 was, almost without qualification, astonishingly good. Spotting sonic differences among the ocean of class-AB amps offered for less than $10,000 can be challenging because those differences can be so subtle. But with the Benchmark, it was immediately apparent that I was listening to something special. Only one other amp has come close to matching the AHB2’s utter lack of noise and grain. I recall putting my ear practically on my speaker’s tweeter to hear only the faintest white noise from the Devialet 120, and I had much the same experience with the AHB2. There was just nothing there. Reading this on your screen, it might be difficult to imagine so total an absence of grain or noise floor in the sound of your own system. But let me tell you, the effect was profound."

"The AHB2 was incredibly transparent. It just tore down the cloud of ambiguity that burdens the sounds of, well, just about everything else I've heard."

"Wanting to hear how the AHB2 would handle richer, denser music, I cued up the high-resolution version of “Get Lucky,” from Daft Punk’s Random Access Memories (24/88.2 FLAC, Columbia). My concern about this monster single sounding in any way threadbare was misplaced. Pharrell Williams’s velvety chorus was supple and substantive, while the foundational bass guitar and kick drum were as solid as I could hope to hear them. The higher the fidelity of recording I threw at the Benchmark, the more rewarding my listening experience became."

- Hans Wetzel, SoundStage!

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Benchmark Media Systems
Benchmark Media Systems

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