"My initial impression was simple: TheLA4preamp plays everything that is, and nothing that isn't...Neutrality in Audio... and that's really all this review needs to convey."
"TheLA4preamp may occupy neutral audio country, but it is a sweet piece of audio kit. I love its form-factor. I love its simple operation. And I love that it allows the sound of the signal to flow through to the downstream components."
"The LA4's specifications are unquestionably excellent. When using pro-level balanced interconnects, the LA4 manages a Signal to Noise Ratio (SNR) greater than 135 dB, and Total Harmonic Distortion (THD) of -125 dB."
"The LA4 has a noise floor that is not just low, it's bats-strain-to-hear-it low."
"The Benchmark LA4 is an excellent preamp, an operationally solid spec-monster that also happens to sound great."
AHB2 - "It's phenomenal! Gobs of power, detail, finesse and control."
"Benchmark has been around for a long time. In fact, they are one of the early Audiophile pioneers of USB DACs ... I had always thought of them as more of a digital conversion company, and not an amplifier company—until the AHB2 came about."
"A PF colleague of mine (Steven Lefkowicz) said... Dude, you HAVE to try the Benchmark in your system (which at the time was going through a gamut of speaker changes as part of a myriad of reviews being done for PF) to which I replied, wow, they have an amp?"
"I was immediately taken aback with the level of detail given to this unit. Just one glance at the back plate will tell you that this is a well-engineered piece of equipment. Fully Balanced = Check. Speakon Outputs = Check. Bridging Support = Check. Input Sensitivity Adjustment = Check. 12v Trigger support = Check."
"So, how does it sound, after all of that? Well, this thing is no slouch. It's phenomenal! Gobs of power, detail, finesse and control."
AHB2 - "It could well be the last amp you'll ever own. Yes, it is that good."
"Benchmark Media Systems Pro-centric products tout exceptional specifications, and their AHB2 amplifier--developed in tandem with engineers from THX and using their patented HX Achromatic™Audio Amplifier technology—uses some rather unusual patented designs to get to those remarkable spec numbers."
DAC2- "The Benchmark AHB2 is a very good amp, and the DAC2 is a very good DAC—it's no wonder that they have been slathered in near-universal praise."
"These two partners in musical misbehavior sound great together and cost less--with Benchmark cables included—than my Pass XA 30.8 amp alone. To be sure, my reference Pass is a fantastic amplifier, but the AHB2 has its own charms that I found played to my own listening biases."
HRA SYSTEM - "The whole system was under $10,000 and just killed."
"I've enjoyed the Benchmark Media Systems rooms over the past few shows when they've shared their room with Studio Electric using their excellent sounding speakers."
"This time around, Benchmark were showing not just their excellent DAC2 L, but also their new AHB2 100 wpc amp and SMS1 speakers. With the exception of real deep bass (though certainly more than you would expect from speakers this size) this system the sound was smooth, expressive, dynamic and rich."
"The whole system was under $10,000 and just killed."
DAC1 USB - "Enjoy top-notch performance from this truly great DAC"
"Hook up about anything that outputs up to 24/192, even your computer, and enjoy top notch performance from this truly great DAC."
"I loved the mids, highs, and bass which were all outstanding and easily outperformed the competition. I'd buy the Benchmark and forget about the many flavor of the month high priced DACs being touted today."
"The Benchmark DAC1 USB offers big-time sound at a low ball price. Highest recommendation!"