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Benchmark's superb AHB2 amplifier

Sal1950

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#2
Within my abilities to understand the technology, I find the AHB2 amp to be an interesting design combining the best of old and new school ideas. The outstanding measurements and quality build, at a pricing that can almost be considered as reasonable in todays "hi end", makes for a SOTA product.

I give kudo's to the people at Benchmark for offering products like the AHB2 and their line of renowned DAC's. Benchmark continues to follow a common sense approach to hi end audio that put's them among the very few in that section of the industry. If you can afford these components, you can get the best of the best in sound reproduction without stepping over the line into luxury goods pricing.
JMHO
 

watchnerd

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#3
I think the most remarkable thing about the Benchmark amp is that the TAS reviewer admitted that amps are basically a solved problem now with little to sonically differentiate good designs.
 

Purité Audio

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#4
There was little to differentiate low distortion solid state designs forty years ago, the Benchmark amp or two of them, if you need the power is really all you would ever need.
Keith
 

Sal1950

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#5
There was little to differentiate low distortion solid state designs forty years ago,
Very true, except for some boutique high end players that build such wonky gear as to throw any normal expectations out the window. o_O
 

RayDunzl

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#6
Here's one, just about life-size

 

Sal1950

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#7
Here's one, just about life-size
I admit to having a hard time getting warm and fuzzy for a amp without a monster toroidal trans and beer can sized power caps.
 

Thomas savage

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#8
I admit to having a hard time getting warm and fuzzy for a amp without a monster toroidal trans and beer can sized power caps.
Yea, it's tough getting excited about these hybrid sports cars too.. probably for similar reasons.
 

amirm

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#11
I admit to having a hard time getting warm and fuzzy for a amp without a monster toroidal trans and beer can sized power caps.
Not the cleanest assembly/design though. I see a diode that has moved before being soldered. Caps are placed in a non-grid like, etc. The goop is just squirted everywhere. Would love to see the brand of capacitors.
 

fas42

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#12
I think the most remarkable thing about the Benchmark amp is that the TAS reviewer admitted that amps are basically a solved problem now with little to sonically differentiate good designs.
One area where current amps are still easily differentiated is their ability to put out their rated power without obvious distortion - to go loud cleanly, IOW. The visit to the Sydney audio show a couple of years ago demonstrated this is still a common weakness, most systems started to fall apart at reasonable volumes - there were a couple that performed admirably, that showed that a few designers were getting on top of this, and of course the Brystons I've mentioned several times were way above the rest - "staggeringly" loud, with complete composure - this was a true "benchmark", :p :D.
 

tomelex

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#13

"suggested that it has enough dynamic ability to handle typical modern compressed masterings at adequate playback levels through my system".

When I read comment such as this I know these people don't know what the hell they are talking about. Dynamics have nothing to do with compression, if anything, less dynamics are needed.....audio reviewers...
 

Purité Audio

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#14
Dynamics has everything to do with compression, if we define dynamics as the ability to play the quietest and loudest artefacts on the file, Archimago isn't a 'reviewer' he just takes the time to measure and dispel audio myths, propagated by 'reviewers'.
For example the fact that Emotiva amps measure 'better' than the hugely more expensive Vitus.
You should read his article you might learn something.
Keith
 

Fitzcaraldo215

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#15
"suggested that it has enough dynamic ability to handle typical modern compressed masterings at adequate playback levels through my system".

When I read comment such as this I know these people don't know what the hell they are talking about. Dynamics have nothing to do with compression, if anything, less dynamics are needed.....audio reviewers...
I think it is purely semantics and being consistent in the usage of terms and words. "Dynamic Range" is, of course, all about comparing loud vs. soft and compression definitely reduces dynamic range. But, is "dynamics" the same as "dynamic range"? I think most people understand "dynamics" that way.

Or, is "dynamics" about just sheer, absolute loudness? Personally, I do not think so. That is best termed loudness or volume level, etc. But, also note that loudness is often measured in dB, which is a relative scale involving comparison to a reference standard. Hence, loudness level when stated in dB is just another dynamic range comparison.
 

Sal1950

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#16
But, is "dynamics" the same as "dynamic range"? I think most people understand "dynamics" that way.
Nope dr is simply a spread measure from softest to loudest.

Or, is "dynamics" about just sheer, absolute loudness?
Nope again, I can get my little Braven boom box to play pretty loud. :)

But I don't think dynamics as discussed in speaker qualities can be part of amp discussions. IMO they can be explained easily as a function of amp power when combined with the attached speaker. Power vs efficiency should tell you most of what you need to know.
 

Fitzcaraldo215

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#17
Nope dr is simply a spread measure from softest to loudest.


Nope again, I can get my little Braven boom box to play pretty loud. :)

But I don't think dynamics as discussed in speaker qualities can be part of amp discussions. IMO they can be explained easily as a function of amp power when combined with the attached speaker. Power vs efficiency should tell you most of what you need to know.
Ok. " Dynamics"is not this, it's not that. And, speaker "dynamics" is not to be confused with amplifier "dynamics". But, what in the hell is "dynamics"? Explained easily? I do not see a definition of what "dynamics" actually is before we start to explain it. And, boom boxes do not help understanding whether or not we are applying the same term to the same concept.

To me it is simple, but exactly what "dynamics" means is still somewhat vague and subject to different interpretations. As I said previously, I think most people consider it synonymous with "dynamic range". That, in turn, might be limited by either speaker or amp limitations, or possibly other limitations in the audio system.

So, what is your definition of "dynamics". Is it dynamic range or sheer absolute loudness or something else?
 

Sal1950

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#18
So, what is your definition of "dynamics". Is it dynamic range or sheer absolute loudness or something else?
Maybe we should start a new thread for this?
 

fas42

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#19
So, what is your definition of "dynamics". Is it dynamic range or sheer absolute loudness or something else?
To me "dynamics" is the ability to play soft bits, and loud bits, or softly and loudly, with equal integrity - as a simple, first test, pick any piece of music, put a chunk of it on a track; add onto the end a repeat of that chunk, but reduced in level by 10dB, or 20 dB to make the job quicker; add another repeat down a further 10 or 20, and continue until 60 or perhaps 80dB down from the original - and then play the whole thing at the loudest you would ever want to listen to the system ... does it always "sound the same", apart from volume? If yes, then it most likely has excellent "dynamics" ...
 

amirm

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#20
I think the word "dynamics" by itself just means the peaks. It isn't dynamic range as in a technical specification. At least that is how I often use it :).
 
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