We are sorry to announce that the SMS1 has been discontinued.
When Benchmark decided to add a speaker to our line, the goal was simple in concept, but would require careful implementation. We would build on the attributes of our favorite speakers. Then take the art and engineering a step further. We needed to combine enjoyable voicing, great imaging, powerful dynamics, and solid bass response in ONE new speaker, a speaker we would want to own and use in our own homes. A speaker YOU would want to own.
Listen first. We asked: What characteristics do great sounding speakers share? We spent hundreds of hours listening to dozens of models from top-tier manufacturers. There are some very good speakers out there. The best reproduce music in an engaging and organic way. We picked our favorites.
2 - Measure
Using state of the art measurement equipment, we analyzed the response curves and electrical characteristics of the best sounding speakers in our large test group.
3 - Design
Our engineers identified important design elements of the best speakers. We purchased exclusive rights to essential technologies, identified and sourced critical components. We drew on the many lessons learned from three decades of collaboration with major recording and broadcast studios.
4 - Build
Finally, we applied our considerable expertise in tight tolerance component matching, PCB design, precision assembly, and stringent quality control.
5 - The SMS1 - A new Benchmark
The new SMS1 represents both the art and science of sound. Great design, strong engineering, quality components, in a speaker that conveys the magic of the music.
We are proud to use superior quality components in this design.
Our exceptional woofer and soft-dome tweeter were chosen from many possible types. These transducers were selected for both great sound, and low unit-to-unit variance.
Our crossover uses custom film capacitors from Clarity Cap - some of the finest available. All inductors are custom wound air core, to minimize distortion. Component values are held to tight tolerances in order to maintain close matching between units.
Our stainless mesh grills are fabricated from the same material used for fine microphones, nearly transparent acoustically, and more durable than grill cloth.
Together, these components contribute to a speaker with outstanding clarity and imaging - a clear window into the music you love.
The Return to Acoustic Suspension
We know that small ported loudspeakers have become fashionable. We don’t do fashion. The SMS1 is an acoustic suspension loudspeaker. By nature, it is more linear than a ported design. It can also produce impressively deep bass. The trade-off is efficiency.
The slightly lower efficiency of the acoustic-suspension design places higher demands on the power amplifier.
The SMS1 speakers are not recommended for low-power single-ended tube amplifiers. They work great with larger tube amplifiers (30 watts or more), and with quality hybrid and solid-state amps.
If you have a small listening room you may have good results with a small amplifier but we emphasize that deep solid bass usually requires a robust amp - which brings us to the Benchmark AHB2.
Though the SMS1 will sound great with any high quality amplifier, it mates wonderfully well with the Benchmark AHB2 amplifier. If you are looking for system synergy, try a complete Benchmark system!
Side Panel Options
SMS1 loudspeakers are available with your choice of Black, or solid Mahogany side panels. Add $200 for the Mahogany panels.
The side panels allow customization to match your decor, and are easily removable for repair or replacement.
The side panels are not just cosmetic, they perform an important acoustical function: The panels help to stiffen and dampen the sides of the loudspeaker enclosure, contributing to a tight and well-defined bass response.
The SMS1 is 2-way passive monitor/loudspeaker with bi-amp capabilities.
170 mm Custom Copolymer Low-Frequency Driver
25 mm Soft Dome High-Frequency Driver
Air-Core Inductors for Minimal Distortion - Custom Built for Benchmark
Top-Quality Precision Film Capacitors - Custom Built for Benchmark
Non-Inductive Wire-Wound Power Resistors
Precision Component Tolerances for Precise Matching
Asymmetric Crossover Optimization
3 kHz Crossover Frequency
Switch-Selected Bi-Amp Mode
Uses NL4 4-Pole Input Connector
One SpeakON NL4 High-Current 4-Pole Twist-Lock Input Connector
Two Fully-Insulated Multi-Way Binding Posts
10.75" W x 13.5" H x 9.87" D (270mm W x 345mm H x 250mm D)
Recommended Stand Height: 36" (914mm) - Floor to Base of Cabinet
Unit Weight: 23 lbs. (10.4 Kg) - One Speaker with Grill
Shipping Weight: 52 lbs. (23.6 Kg) - Speaker Pair in Single Carton
Response: 44 Hz - 22 kHz
Crossover Frequency: 3 kHz
Sensitivity: 85 dB, 2.83 V, 1 m
Impedance: 6 Ohms
Recommended Power: 30 - 200 W
Performance plots and additional details are available in the downloadable manual.