Buy 2 components and get 4 free cables. Free shipping on all orders over $700. We will be closed on Good Friday (March 29).

0

Your Cart is Empty

AHB2 Review - Mono Mode - Geoffrey Vanhouwaert, Alpha-Audio

Alpha-Audio Logo

AHB2 - Mono Mode - "The Playback in Mono Mode is Off the Charts"

"The HPA4 and AHB2 have been a fixture in our reference set for several years now."

"In stereo mode we get a nice 100 watts (8 ohms class A/B) but in mono that goes to an impressive 380 watts!"

"We set the small switch on the back of the AHB2s to mono and connect each speaker to an AHB2."

"The playback in mono is 'off the charts' ... there's no going back really. You have been warned!"

About Benchmark

"Benchmark Media Systems Inc from Syracuse, New-York is an American company and has been one of the top pro-audio manufacturers for thirty years. In recent years they have also ventured into the consumer market with considerable success. Their first commercial product, the Dac1, was very well received worldwide."

"Of course it didn't stop with d/a converters. In collaboration with THX came the AHB2 power amplifier and not much later they developed a suitable headphone amplifier and preamplifier, the HPA4 and LA4 respectively."

 

Benchmark HPA4 Headphone and Line AmplifierBenchmark LA4 Line Amplifier

 

"The HPA4 and AHB2 have been a fixture in our reference set for several years now."

Benchmark AHB2 Power Amplifier

Versatility

"These devices are indestructible, wonderfully compact and not very heavy."

"Their greatest quality, however, is their versatility. With the HPA4 you can adjust the balance, name each input, set each input separately (useful when testing DACs) and control the volume very precisely."

"The AHB2 is also particularly versatile for a power amplifier. For example, you can adjust the gain (useful when testing DACs with volume control), a SpeakOn connection is possible and you can convert them into a monoblock."

Speaker Cable with SpeakOn Connector

 

SpeakOn NL2 to Locking Banana - Speaker Cable

 

 

AHB2 Rear Panel

The AHB2 rear panel features XLR inputs,  SpeakOn outputs, a 3-position gain switch and a Stereo/Mono switch.

Benchmark AHB2 Power Amplifier - Rear Panel

Testing an AHB2 pair in Monoblock Mode

"In stereo mode we get a nice 100 watts (8 ohms class A/B) but in mono that goes to an impressive 380 watts!"

"We set the small switch on the back of the AHB2s to mono and connect each speaker to an AHB2."

Conclusion

"Is it worth buying a second AHB2?"

"We say a resounding yes."

"The extra power (380 watts!) not only gives you more control over your speakers, but so much more."

"The AHB2 is not cheap, but it does deliver great quality. It is particularly versatile, compact and indestructible. And even more than in stereo, the playback in mono is 'off the charts'."

Caution!

"There's no going back really. You have been warned!"

- Geoffrey Vanhouwaert, Alpha-Audio

Read the full review here →


Also in Reviews

AHB2 Review - Constantine Soo, Dagogo

AHB2 Review - Constantine Soo, Dagogo

by Benchmark Media Systems April 02, 2024

 

Benchmark AHB2 - Black

 

"The AHB2 bridgeable stereo amplifier ... was the topic of a recent discussion between American electrostatic panel speaker manufacturer Sound Lab’s president, Dr. Roger West, and me."

"In our discussion, he related his highly positive experience in driving even his largest, $55k Majestic 945 panels with the $7,000 pair of Benchmark Media AHB2 monoblocks, along with the $3,050 LA4 Preamplifier and factory XLR cables."

"Dr. West described the AHB2 as a class AB design using “feed-forward distortion reduction [thus removing] any possibility of pushing the margin of safety of a standard feedback loop, used in most amplifiers, into an unstable oscillatory mode.”"

"He further shared with me that “this is of most concern on powerful musical transients. The distortion of the amplifier in the balanced mode is astonishingly low even at just below the clipping level of 380 watts.”"

"The prospect of the AHB2’s specified distortion level of 0.00015% or lower when at full volume is comical at first glance, but upon actual audition the impact of the achievement is very audible from medium-high listening levels and upward."

"It was unlike any other sub-$20,000 amplifier I have auditioned."

"My audition of the Benchmark Media AHB2 amplifiers underscores the reason Dr. West is so taken by it, and confirms the design is best described as a watershed moment in the high-end audio industry."

- Constantine Soo, Dagogo

Read Full Post
DAC3 Review - Jerry Del  Colliano

DAC3 Review - Jerry Del Colliano

by Benchmark Media Systems April 02, 2024

Benchmark DAC3 B with Silver Faceplate

"Benchmark is a stalwart brand in pro audio, but has carved out a very respectable niche in the audiophile world with their diminutive but powerful components."

Benchmark DAC3 B Studio Version with Rackmount Faceplate

"The audiophile world sometimes looks to the professional audio world for enlightenment, especially on the digital side of things, and Benchmark Media is one of the companies that we put high on a pedestal."

"They are hardcore digital engineers freezing their asses off in upstate New York as they come up with some pretty innovative ways to get your varied digital sources sounding as much like the master tape as possible. Thank you for your service, gentlemen."

"If you really want to hear what your music sounds like in today’s streaming-driven world, this might just be the DAC that you need to test out."

- Jerry Del Colliano, Future Audiophile

Read Full Post
DAC3 & AHB2 - System Review, Trevor Butler, The-Ear.net

DAC3 & AHB2 - System Review, Trevor Butler, The-Ear.net

by Benchmark Media Systems March 28, 2024

Editor's Choice Award - DAC3 and AHB2 - the-ear.net

"I began with the DAC3 HGC and AHB2 powering the glorious Morel Avyra 633 three-way floorstanders."

"This pairing created a full-bodied sound which brought the recording to life."

"Notable from the off was the bass from the DAC3 HGC and AHB2."

"Wow! It was deep, tight and conveyed a real feeling that the electronics were in charge of the transducers."

"Involuntary foot-tapping confirmed the timing ability and the overall presentation was spot-on, the Benchmark electronics created a fluent sound across a vivid soundstage; performers evident both tonally and spatially in an easy-to-believe presentation that brought the performance close."

"The Benchmark’s ability to retrieve deep-down detail and display it so well across the soundstage, with accurate positioning and convincing layering, made for a glorious re-creation of the recordings."

"To my mind the AHB2 is an amplifier with no obvious characteristics of its own: the level of transparency is sublime."

"Above all, the improved transient response performance stood out in a presentation that was not only lively but incredibly fast and revealing. The attack and decay displayed was awesome and not something I expect at this price point."

"The Benchmark DAC3 HGC and AHB2 are cracking products, sonically superior to a lot that’s available and well priced."

"They are superbly designed and built to an extremely high standard."

- Trevor Butler, the-ear.net

Read Full Post