DAC3 HGC - "More space, Increased Precision"

The Benchmark DAC3 is the first product to ship with the new ESS Technology ES9028PRO D/A converter chip.

"It may look like the DAC2 HGC, but the new DAC3 HGC offers a slew of better measurements and more notably, an incremental boost in sound quality."

"Via headphones I definitely could hear more space around the instruments and an increased precision in transients — like cymbals and upper-register piano notes."

"In terms of new functions, the DAC3 switches a lot faster between inputs, and gone is that audibly phasy transition when you initially switch between two digital sources."

John Gatski, Publisher, Everything Audio Network

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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."

"Yep. Good stuff, those BM boys."

- Gary L Beard, Positive-Feedback

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DAC3 HGC - "More space, Increased Precision"

"It may look like the DAC2 HGC, but the new DAC3 HGC offers a slew of better measurements and more notably, an incremental boost in sound quality."

"Via headphones I definitely could hear more space around the instruments and an increased precision in transients — like cymbals and upper-register piano notes."

"In terms of new functions, the DAC3 switches a lot faster between inputs, and gone is that audibly phasy transition when you initially switch between two digital sources."

John Gatski, Publisher, Everything Audio Network

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AHB2 - "Essentially Perfect"

"Benchmark products ... are made for the professional market (where they are ubiquitous) and designed to the most exacting standards of performance and reliability."

"Within a remarkably short period of time ... my mental processes shifted from comparison mode to enjoying music, all the attention drawn to the source material and the rare sensation of feeling as if I were listening back to the source."

"... the AHB2 gets as high, enthusiastic, and confident a thumbs up as my arm is capable of reaching."

- Paul Seydor, The Absolute Sound, April 2016

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AHB2 - "A Technical Tour de Force Without any Question"

"The Benchmark amplifier is quieter than any other amplifier I am aware of."

"It has noise of around 110 dB down relative to 1 watt, and since it has 100 watts of power, the signal-to-noise ratio that is relevant to resolution is around 130 dB."

"The Benchmark also has extremely low distortion—among the lowest around and surely far below known thresholds."

"The Benchmark can be used in bridged mode, to give 400 watts into 8 ohms (actually 380W is specified). That ought to be enough for most applications except in extremely large rooms."

"The Benchmark AHB2 amplifier is a technical tour de force without any question."

- Robert E. Green, The Absolute Sound, April 2016

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AHB2 Review - HIFIQC

Benchmark Media Systems - February 11, 2016

AHB2 › HiFi › Pro Audio ›

AHB2 - "Runs like a high-performance sports car"

"This amplifier runs like a high-performance sports car. I was amazed at the AHB2’s ability to keep up with dense music mixes and never sound congested or lacking. In fact, this tidy beast produced some of the tightest low end I’ve ever heard in my 2 way speakers. The midrange was articulate and clear with an obvious clarity that bested my current class A/B amplifier. Extending to the high frequencies were equally clear and distortion free, no hype here- just honest clear reproduction."

"Acoustically, the AHB2 performs so cleanly and quietly that it resolves the hall and space between musicians distinctly- something professional engineers and audiophiles can equally appreciate."

"If you are looking for an amplifier that can reveal your source material and DAC without flinching, then the AHB2 is a top choice."

-HIFIQC, February 11, 2016

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AHB2 - "An immediacy that makes for uncanny realism"

"Orchestral dynamics were also well served, as the amp has considerable speed and an ability to deliver serious power with alacrity, and there's no sense of overhang in the bass."

"Dr. Feelgood's 'Roxette' [Down By The Jetty, United Artists] raised the hairs on the back of my neck. The Benchmark has an immediacy that makes for uncanny realism, so a track like this is more intense and vital, more powerful in fact."

"The Benchmark SMS1 had been supplied with the amps with a view of doing a whole system eview, a state of affairs that came to pass with gusto when I discovered just how well the combination gelled."

"The Benchmark pairing proved analytical (in typical studio style) but not dry - just very revealing of recording style and balance."

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AHB2 - "Conspicuous Only in Its Absence"

"Before she joined Jefferson Airplane, Grace Slick was in a band called The Great Society. They made an LP, Conspicuous Only in Its Absence, the title of which has stuck in my mind ever since I first heard it as a teenager. (The album also contains some killer psychedelic rock riffing, but that’s another story for another time.) That album’s title is a perfect description of how the new Benchmark AHB2 power amplifier fits into a studio monitoring system."

- Tom Fine, Tape Op

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DAC2 DX - "Home Recording/Audiophile D/A Converter Product of The Year"

 "Take the ultra accurate PCM/DSD DAC2 converter add AES/EBU and dual buss output and you now have the ideal studio or hi-fi DAC for headphone or speaker listening — the $1,995 DAC2-DX. And no DAC measures any better."

- John Gatski, Everything Audio Network

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AHB2 Review - Toby Tingskog, dagogo

Benchmark Media Systems - January 11, 2016

AHB2 › HiFi › Pro Audio ›

AHB2 - "Star Wars Attacks High End Audio"

"There’s a new actor in the high end audio amplification field – THX. The company is a technology spin-off from Lucasfilm, which originated the Star Wars movie series."

"THX has patented a novel amplifier design, THX AAA Technology(TM) and Benchmark Media Systems has turned it into a new power amplifier – AHB2. The design is called Achromatic Audio Amplifier. Achromatic may mean colorless or neutral or without modulation."

"So is there a sound signature to the AHB2? Since THX calls it Achromatic we can assume that they were not aiming for a warm and sweet tubey sound – and this is not what it delivers. The sound is indeed neutral and exact without being sterile or clinical. Colorless? Not really. The amp will send through the sound palette of the source component and disc/file without stripping any color away."

"The AHB2 is so good it will immediately expose weaknesses in your system. It requires a very good pre-amp ... which should output a balanced signal."

"Medals to everyone and a rebel princess to the AAA Technology inventor!"

- Toby Tingskog, dagogo.com

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