"The AHB2 easily outperforms the DIY Hypex NC400 I had tested before which used to be the best amp I had tested."
"THD+N versus output level looks far cleaner than anything I have tested before."
"Intermodulation distortion versus power level shows the same story of clean power."
"Usually when we test switching amplifiers we see all kind of "interesting" things in their outputs above hearing range. The AHB2 is a classic configuration albeit, with a switching power supply so all is well and clean here."
"Down 0.3 dB at 20 kHz. -3 dB down at 200 kHz!! Since this is not a switching amplifier, there is no filter there allowing the bandwidth to go to 200 kHz and beyond."
"We have 185 watts of power at incredibly low distortion of 0.00016%, besting the company specifications."
"500 watts into 4 ohm! Stunning 0.00026% distortion at 500 watts!!"
"As usual, I start with my 5 watt output test using 4 ohm load... I hope your jaw is on the floor just like mine was when I saw this picture emerge! 113 dB THD+N[at 5 W] in a power amplifier?Are you kidding me?"
"Look at the harmonic distortion. The worst case spike is below -130 dB! This is insanely good. Of course this type of SINAD (signal and noise ratio) crowns the Benchmark AHB2 as the best I have ever tested."
"Separating the noise from THD, we see that it is noise that we are measuring as THD+N, rather than distortion. Noise dominates (more benign than distortion)."
"There are a set of LEDs that show the status of the amplifier. They are driven by an FPGA (field programmable digital logic) that monitors all aspects of the amplifier and shuts down the unit if stressed. It did so very quickly and efficiently in my testing. Usually this is done with purely analog or maybe a small microprocessor. As such, the coverage of scenarios that could damage the amplifier is much less complete than using the approach Benchmark is using in AHB2."
"Bridged mode using same 4 ohm load ... you get 500 watts of stunningly clean power. Protection circuits shut the unit down after that, so it is quite safe to try. With a THD essentially matching the non-bridged mode, there is no reason to be afraid of trying this."
"... the FPGA protection mode kicks in and essentially shuts the amplifier down past the limit. You get absolutely distortion-less and noiseless performance until there is no more."
"There is a switch for selecting stereo or mono bridged output. The latter quadruples the amount of power available."
"In use the AHB2 stays very cool for a power amplifier when it is idling, outputting little power which was a nice surprise."
"Being a proper company of course the AHB2 comes with full set of regulatory/safety/emissions certifications which is super important with power amplifiers given the high voltages and currents running around in them."
"It goes without saying that the Benchmark AHB2 breaks new ground with respect to performance of power amplifiers."
"Using it, you can be assured that any distortion that you hear is from other sources (speaker, source, content, etc.). This is what I look for in high-end audio: absolutely the best performance so no second guessing is involved. You buy once, and you are happy forever!"
"All of this comes from a company that is a model of transparency with proper and accurate measurements of their products on their site. And importantly, volunteering to have that data shown to be correct by independent sources such as us."
"Needless to say, the Benchmark AHB2 gets my strongest recommendation."
- Amir Majidimehr (@amirm), AudioScienceReview.com
"Thanks to the special, discrete analog circuit/relay attenuator, this may be the most transparent line-stage preamplifier in the audiophile world."
"If you got a great-sounding source, the LA4 presents the audio in its original state — with gain or attenuation to the amplifier. I have never heard such low-level detail from a pre."
"The better the DAC, the better you hear it through a quality amp and speakers. It is quiet as a top-notch DAC, with S/N exceeding -135 dB and, feature-wise, it comes with unbalanced/balanced I/O and a really slick user interface."
"I use the four-input LA4 for audiophile A/B testing of DACs, monitoring my Hi-Res home recording/editing/mastering projects, as well as just listening how good my vast collection of 24 bit and DSD music sounds through an accurate amp and speakers."
"A steal at $2,500!"
- John Gatski, Everything Audio Network
"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
"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