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Benchmark AHB2 Review (Updated Measurements)

Rate this amplifier:

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 7 2.2%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 6 1.9%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 47 14.9%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 256 81.0%

  • Total voters
    316
Yep. It's fairly well known in pro circles that while Hypex amps sound great they are not particularly reliable. @restorer-john has photos around.
Thanks … This is a past phenomena and improvements made by Hypex and resolved, or this reliability/quality issue is still present? I used (abused :)) Hypex Fusion quite a lot past year, and never had a single issue.
 
The only measurement that matters for audibility here is the twin tone IMD. And the Hypex NCx and Purifi absolutely smoke this amp in that department. Let alone 4x+ the power output and 3-4x cheaper. In 2024 this amp is a headless panther.
-95 dB is audible? This amount of denigration for this amp seems a stretch... I think a look at the SINAD chart alone would yield many better contenders for the headless panther.

This review does not show better IMD, though the newer amps may best the Benchmark (I did not do an exhaustive search, just don;t care that much).
 
Their own specs do not show any real problems with low-impedance loads. The effective load an amplifier sees in bridged mode is half the normal mode, so to a bridged amp a 4-ohm load is the same as a 2-ohm load to a single channel. As for the rest, opinions vary, might as well leave it there.

Output Voltage Into Various Load Impedances​

< 0.0003 % THD+N at the following output voltages and load impedances, 20 Hz to 20 kHz

  • 29.03 dBV, 31.25 dBu, 28.28 Vrms into 8 Ohms, both channels driven
  • 28.92 dBV, 31.14 dBu, 27.93 Vrms into 6 Ohms, both channels driven
  • 28.81 dBV, 31.03 dBu, 27.57 Vrms into 4 Ohms, both channels driven
  • 28.57 dBV, 30.79 dBu, 26.83 Vrms into 3 Ohms, both channels driven
  • 27.14 dBV, 29.36 dBu, 22.76 Vrms into 2 Ohms, both channels driven
  • 35.05 dBV, 37.27 dBu, 56.57 Vrms into 16 Ohms, bridged mono
  • 34.83 dBV, 37.05 dBu, 55.14 Vrms into 8 Ohms, bridged mono
  • 34.59 dBV, 36.81 dBu, 53.67 Vrms into 6 Ohms, bridged mono
  • 33.16 dBV, 35.38 dBu, 45.52 Vrms into 4 Ohms, bridged mono
 
The only measurement that matters for audibility here is the twin tone IMD. And the Hypex NCx and Purifi absolutely smoke this amp in that department. Let alone 4x+ the power output and 3-4x cheaper. In 2024 this amp is a headless panther.
Headless, no way.
 
Really? Nasty 3k spike due to "traditional binding posts"?
As far as multitone concerned Soncoz SGP1 seems to be better and for less than 1/3 of the Benchmark's price (not to mention Topping LA90 discrete).
Can you elaborate on this? How is a -120dB 3rd harmonic, better than 99% of amps tested and totally inaudible, "nasty"?

How is the multitone of the Soncoz "far better"? They're virtually identical.
 
Mine also has a very slight pop/snap when turned on or off. I was also told by Benchmark that it's normal.
Are they bridged?
 
The NCx500 is almost 20dB better and 5x the power in the audible range. The Benchmark can’t even resolve 16 bits. Or handle low impedance loads. And hardly has any power. It’s worth $500 max in 2024.
While I agree the NCx500 is a better value than the Benchmark, the Benchmark remains, overall, one of the best amps ever tested here. It is audibly transparent and puts out 200 watts into a 4ohm load which is more than most of us will ever need.

If you think it's a poor value proposition, don't buy it. Suggesting it's somehow fundamentally flawed or broken, "can't even resolve 16 bits", has "hardly any power" or worthy of the "headless" panther is just ridiculous histrionics (or trolling).
 
Thanks. I didn't remember AHB2 manual mentioning bridged 6ohm guideline.
But even for that case, their own article touts "easily" driving 4 ohm load in bridged mode. Just makes me wonder what reasoning is for this.
The manual only provides rating down to 6 ohm, bridged, but if whatever article you referred to say 4 ohm in bridged mode, they likely meant short term. It would be like many AVRs can drive 4 ohm load easily too, as long as it is on short term basis, such as when the 8 ohm speaker load dips down to 4 ohm or even 4 ohms in certain frequency points when used with music/movie signals. Also, it always depend on the output level, if the amp can drive 160 W into 4 ohm, then it must be able to drive 80 W into 2 ohms.
 
Sadly, on a price/performance basis, the Benchmark is no longer competitive for hi-fi consumers. In the professional world, where reliability and support can directly translate to more profits the professional can make, it remains one of the best choices.
 
Look at the IMD. Who cares about the SINAD. Anything better than 100dB SINAD is inaudible. IMD on the other hand is very audible. The main thing that Hypex and Purifi improved over the original Ncore’s was the IMD. Both the Purifi and Hypex engineers will tell you it‘s the IMD improvements that made them sound better.
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