"There are many things that come into play when putting together a hi-fi system, one of which is synergy."
"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."
"This is a great touchscreen that works very intuitively. You never have to think twice to run any function. This is where Benchmark's pro background comes into play."
"The 'killer feature' on the HPA4 for me is the ability to make each input play equally loud. Adjusting the gain so that different sources and dacs are equalized is a fantastic tool."
"Balance control is also an important feature given the fact that listening spaces are never perfect."
"Remote controls are a pet peeve of mine, but this one is a 'beauty'. It is beautifully made and it fits perfectly in the hand. It has just the right selection of buttons, nothing extra, nothing missing. Adjusting the volume, choosing the inputs and being able to mute every now and then are the most important features.The other settings, which you usually only have to do once, are made via the touchscreen."
"Initially I thought to buy an LA4 (preamp only) because I am not really a headphone aficionado and because I thought that the LA4 would perform slightly better... but Benchmark assured us that the line amplifier is identical in both devices."
"The HPA4 is the best deal because for a limited additional charge you get one of the best headphone amps on the planet."
"The DAC3 B also fits seamlessly into the system. So much so that we prefer it to the Metrum Acoustics Onyx in this setup. Once again proof that synergy is important."
"The HPA4 has now taken a permanent place in my reference system."
"The slogan of Benchmark Media Systems actually sums it all up nicely: “Benchmark ... the measure of excellence!”"
- Geoffrey Vanhouwaert, Alpha-Audio
Note: The quotes above were translated from Dutch. The full review (in Dutch) is available below.
"I don't think it is sterile sounding at all ... it is very neutral."
"In the studio, neutral, flat and detailed are on the top of my list."
"The HPA4 is speeding up my work, helping me make better decisions."
- Ken Jacobsen, Ken Jacobsen Music
"It has already been noted in previous reviews that the professional market often offers products that may also be of interest to the 'ordinary' consumer. In Japan in particular, home systems often consist of a mix of consumer equipment and (vintage) professional items."
"Benchmark was founded in 1983 and started building professional audio equipment."
"The goal, from the outset, is to build sound-transparent equipment of the highest quality. The employees are musicians, audiophiles and audio technicians. So sound quality is top notch."
"The HPA4 and LA4 are preamplifiers and largely identical. The HPA4 also has a built-in headphone amplifier."
"The Benchmark HPA4 and LA4 preamps deliver a very high quality neutral and transparent signal."
"Developed from a professional focus on sound reproduction, they bring the essence of the recording closer to the listener."
- Ruud Jonker, FWD Magazine, fwd.nl
"Before I dig into the sound of the LA4 it is important to know that it employs a wide bandwidth design. The LA4’s bandwidth is specified at 0.2 Hz to 500 kHz."
"Most of the wide bandwidth designs I have heard exhibit ... a purity in tone with superb timing and speed ... the LA4 proved to be no exception."
"The Benchmark LA4 yielded a change that was quickly apparent in several areas. Notably were; bass, upper midrange, treble, low-level listening, and the ability to distinguish the colorations of other components that were contributing to my overall sound."
"Acoustic guitar, piano, and harmonica among many other instruments are presented with speed, clarity, and coherency that made them sound more “present” in the room and less like a recording."
"The Benchmark LA4 is simply the most transparent, least colored, and most revealing component I have had in my system to date. I look forward to it joining my stable of reference components."
- Ken Redmond, The Audio Beatnik