Benchmark AHB2 - 3000$ - 113 dB THD+N THX AAA power amplifier

Benchmark indeed. Holy shit.

But yeah, 3000$US. We need cheaper, like, 90dB SNR+ 90$ power amplifiers, to stack above our chi-fi stuff, DACs and headphone amps. :stuck_out_tongue:

I’ve heard this amp, and can definitely say that it’s really clean. It’s honestly way too clean for my tastes, and kinda removed the enjoyment of what I was listening to. They were on totem winds, and I much prefered them with a parasound Halo amp, since the benchmark amp was way too much

Edit: but I would be much more interested in their thx headphone amp

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You lucky :stuck_out_tongue: Hehe…

To compare, here are the specs of, possibly, the worst thing you’ll see here, my old, Denon AVR-1312 I bought used on eBay for less than 100$.

  • Output Power / Channel: 110 Watt, 75 Watt
  • Output Impedance / Channel: 6 Ohm, 8 Ohm
  • Frequency Response: 20 - 20000 Hz, at 1 kHz
  • Total Harmonic Distortion (THD): 0.05 %, 0.7 %

Which, I’m guessing, is 0.05% to 0.7% THD @ 1kHz.
And, to me, it sounds glorious.

Yep. Benchmark’s gear, how should I put it, sets a standard for all other gear. They are the criterion by which all others are measured by. They have become the industry reference. A litmus test for highest quality. A yardstick for audio gear. The touchstone of transparency.


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So much that some speakers weren’t designed with that clean of an amp in mind

I guess I find that it’s so much, it’s not enjoyable for long with some speakers. I feel I would have to purposely find warm sounding speakers to offset how fatiguing I find this amp to be with brighter sounding speakers. I personally enjoy a warmer, thicker sound with speakers, and an amp like this just didn’t give me that experience with what I heard them on.

Yeah, well, crisp, clear, clean source with accurate treble (and “air”, high treble 10khz-to-20khz+) can be a problem when most (high-end) speakers you buy are meant to compensate for the fact that most sources aren’t crisp, clear and clean with accurate treble. :stuck_out_tongue:

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No such thing as too much transparency, though… More like, not enough decent speakers.

Yeah, it’s mainly the pairing with the speakers that caused it to be unpleasant to me. I realize that I shouldn’t of said “transparent,” as a more accurate description I guess could be “sterile”, as it kinda took the life away from the music. It didn’t emphasize a certain frequency range or change dynamics or anything like that, it just seemed to sound unnatural and too “clean” for my tastes, somewhat lifeless and lacking microdynamics and lower level resolution. Also not that great timbre. Stage was also fairly flat. It’s just my personal, subjective opinion.

My little Marantz AV 7702mkii has the following:

  • Frequency response: 10 Hz – 100 kHz — +1, –3 dB (Direct mode)
  • S/N: 105 dB (IHF–A weighted, Direct mode)
  • Distortion: 0.005 % (20 Hz – 20 kHz) (Direct mode)
  • Balanced XLR pre-output: 2.4 V
  • D/A output: Rated output — 2 V (at 0 dB playback)
  • Total harmonic distortion — 0.008 % (1 kHz, at 0 dB)
  • S/N ratio — 102 dB
  • Dynamic range — 100 dB

But that Bencmark is a true monster… holy!

Marantz puts out some great stuff for the price

Edit: isn’t that just a pre amp though?

Yeah, well, there’s probably a good reason why my Denon doesn’t have the 20hz-20khz measurement.

Hmm. Maybe not! Apparently this is 15 years old (so, older than my AVR-1312) and 0.01 THD @ 80dB. A nice surprise! (well, for me anyway).

By the way, for XLR, Audio Science Review measured the Sabaj D5 (Zeos recently reviewed it – 500$ DAC/Amp).

ESS 9038PRO DAC + 118dB SINAD XLR OUT + 116dB SINAD RCA OUT and 106dB SINAD headphone amp.

Not THX, but still. Fucking endgame XLR out for speakers.
(Oh, and the THX 788 DAC/Amp does not have XLR out).