"With roots in the broadcast and professional recording industries, Benchmark designs and engineers their equipment with a “measurements first” mentality. In mission-critical environments where a flat frequency response is not just expected but required, it’s imperative that the equipment doesn’t impart any of its own sonic character on the source material."
"This accurate reproduction enables recording engineers and producers to showcase their creative talents. Benchmark aims to give you the same experience musicians and engineers have in their studios when they play a recording they have just mastered; pure sonic perfection."
"The LA4 is a straightforward line-level preamp with four analog inputs, two analog outputs, and a summed mono output for a powered subwoofer. A relay stepped attenuator that uses gold precision-matched relays controls the volume level. From top to bottom, the design of the LA4 was meant to do one thing; preserve the sonic integrity of the material that passes through it."
"The Benchmark AHB2 is more than a quiet amplifier – it’s a silent one. When powered on, it exudes no noise whatsoever from its chassis, nor is there any hiss from the connected speakers. You can literally put your ear an inch away from the tweeter, and all you will hear is complete silence."
"Prior to reviewing these Benchmark components, I had heard the company’s products powering some of my favorite-sounding rooms at several audio shows. Based on what I’d heard at these shows, I was eager to hear how this equipment could perform in my own listening room."
"Two words immediately came to mind — unrestricted dynamics."
"I was shocked at the effortless dynamic swings that I heard from some of my favorite classical and jazz performances. I was also stunned by how certain sounds seemed to leap instantaneously out of the speakers and truly startle me."
"I had previously used the Comete EZ speakers with three other amplifiers, and I didn’t notice this explosive sensation. It was a genuine “you don’t know what you’re missing until you hear it” moment for me."
"Listening to the Benchmark gear in my own room, I felt an immediate and gratifying emotional connection to the music I was hearing. This unmistakable feeling was unique for me, and it was repeatable."
"The LA4 and AHB2 tear down so many of the usual walls that come between the listener and the music. Without those walls, I was drawn fully and completely into what I was hearing."
"As an audiophile, I strive to hear the soul, energy, and emotion contained within the music. My goal with this hobby is to enjoy that multi-faceted experience every time I listen. Pure transparency and unrestricted insight into my music is now affordable!"
"If you value transparency and accuracy, the LA4 and AHB2 will perform beyond your highest expectations."
"I'm asking because clearly Benchmark is a highly regarded company here, and plenty of ASR members own Benchmark amplification/DACs. We know they are top of the heap in terms of measured performance, outdoing plenty of the competition in terms of typical distortion measurements."
- @MattHooper, AudioScienceReview.com
AHB2, LA4, DAC3
Subtle aesthetics? Check.
Unobtrusive size? Check.
Solid build? Check.
Made in America? Check.
Best in class? Check.
Superior performance proven by Amir? Check.
Superior customer service? Check (and not just in audio world; best customer service I have experienced from any company, anywhere, ever).
Expensive? For me, yes. Limit of my budget, but buy once cry once.
"The afternoon before the start of the show I ran into John Siau of Benchmark Media Systems. He says to me quietly, “make sure you stop in our room, we have a surprise!” With curiosity suitably piqued, Co-Editor Jim Clements and I paid a visit ..."
"The results were pretty astonishing. A stable, enveloping stereo image that was devoid of any distortion whatsoever."
- Carlo Lo Raso, Secrets of Home Theater and High Fidelity
"Sound was extremely well-integrated and controlled, and the bass memorable."
"The Note received signal through the introductory version of the company's Liquid Cables. Each cable contains 27,000 wires. The company's introductory Elephant memory player joined Benchmark Media's AHB2 power amps, DAC3 B D/A processor, and interconnects."
"With the aid of a forthcoming DEQX HDP4 processor that's due in the fall, the system sounded super on a 16/44.1 file of the famed rendition of Copland's Fanfare for the Common Man, recorded by Eiji Oue and the Minnesota Orchestra for Reference Recordings."