LA4 and AHB2 Review - Drew Gagliano, The Audio Beatnik

January 31, 2020

LA4 and AHB2 Review - Drew Gagliano, The Audio Beatnik

"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."

- Drew Gagliano, The Audio Beatnik

Read the entire review at TheAudioBeatnik.com →



Also in Reviews

System Review - DAC3, HPA4, AHB2 - Geoffrey Vanhouwaert, Alpha-Audio
System Review - DAC3, HPA4, AHB2 - Geoffrey Vanhouwaert, Alpha-Audio

April 08, 2020

"There are many things that come into play when putting together a hi-fi system, one of which is synergy."

"After the arrival of the Benchmark Media Systems AHB2, I immediately thought of the matching HPA4 that colleagues Jaap and Yung were very pleased with."

"The key question, of course, was whether the HPA4 would really provide an audible improvement."

"Well you bet! The synergy between preamp and power amplifier is nothing short of magical, not to mention the DAC3 B that I got from importer Helios for the occasion."

"Not only a few curtains disappear, the whole window is gone."

- Geoffrey Vanhouwaert, Alpha-Audio

Read More
AHB2 Review - 10 Audio
AHB2 Review - 10 Audio "Perfect 10 Award"

March 15, 2020

"The Benchmark AHB2 is a very fine sounding, easy to live with, zero-maintenance power amplifier that has enough power for most systems. If more power is needed, two amplifiers configured for mono can provide it. The decision to purchase the review sample and make the Benchmark AHB2 a new, long term reference took over a month of listening and comparisons."

"The outstanding musicality of the Benchmark AHB2 takes some time to convince the listener of its wholly musical presentation. This subtle excellence assures long term satisfaction."

-10 Audio, Perfect 10 Award

Read More
DAC3 wins DAC Shootout - Alpha-Audio.net
DAC3 wins DAC Shootout - Alpha-Audio.net

February 15, 2020

Alpha-Audio.net tested 10 DACs side-by-side. Only one received the "Alpha-Audio Approved" award. That DAC was the Benchmark DAC3.

"Are you looking for the best DAC (d/a converter) in the price range from 1500 euro to 2500 euro? That’s great! Because we’ve put ten beauties side by side. And we tested it live on camera for you."

"It was incredibly instructive to put so many converters side by side. We clearly hear differences - and the viewers could as well."

"One of the models we all agreed on is the benchmark DAC3. This is a delicious musical product. Virtually no coloring, nice stereo image and plenty of inputs."

DAC3 - Alpha-Audio Approved!

Read More