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What do you Benchmark fans/users think?

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stan21

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Benchmark: Made and supported by a great team of no BS folks in the USA (New York). I hate the idea of "throw away" electronics, these guys give you a great product with 5 yr warranty and will actually repair your equipment if it has a problem. They answer emails in a few hours and pick up the phone when you call. Hang out in the forums with no BS sales tactics and lots of technical info. Equipment built for function not looks.
Doesn't get much better than that, I'm Happy to support them and am seriously enjoying their equipment!
Amin to that! That’s why in my OP i stated that i am not aiming to knock them down. They have a lot going for them. They have an amazing team! Great service, great warranty, solidly engineered products, built to last, and here in the US. John has done a fantastic job educating us audiophiles and I have tremendous respect for him and his engineering team, which i have expressed in other threads. I support the company wholeheartedly too, that’s why i bother writing these posts, because I care about the company and want to continue using their equipment. The sound has given me nothing but tremendous listening pleasure. I guess I am just more picky about the looks and since I spend a lot of time in front of them and I want to buy that matching LA4 and DAC4, and if they throw in a streamer, i’ll take it too, after which i would wish everybody happy listening and go back to enjoying my music and the Benchmark looks.
 

walt99

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I guess I am just more picky about the looks and since I spend a lot of time in front of them and I want to buy that matching LA4 and DAC4, and if they throw in a streamer, i’ll take it too, after which i would wish everybody happy listening and go back to enjoying my music and the Benchmark looks.
I keep most of my stuff in a cabinet under the TV with the LA4 the only thing sitting on top. I just recently added the LA4/DACB to the system and heard the rumor of the DAC4 but when I inquired about if/when it would be available it was promptly dismissed by Rory at BM as a rumor.
 
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stan21

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I thought we were discussing aesthetics? Those Halcros are ghastly, and huge. I like the looks of the DAC3 B / HPA4 stack. And I prefer them in silver.

Martin
I would never put that ugly looking thing in my listening room. Looks like a chair. Put a cushion on top and it would be the perfect place for your cat for the winter, but who knows, might be too much heat for it. And 400 lbs, no thanks, i will keep my tiny champ.
 

Tks

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I would never put that ugly looking thing in my listening room. Looks like a chair. Put a cushion on top and it would be the perfect place for your cat for the winter, but who knows, might be too much heat for it. And 400 lbs, no thanks, i will keep my tiny champ.

Imagine trying to stack a Halcro somehow lol
 

CtheArgie

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I was saying in another forum that boxes and wires are irrelevant to me for the pleasure of listening. That I don't want to see them and have them located removed from my eyesight. I do have to see the speakers. So, the design of the "boxes" is of little value to me.

I think that when we focus too much on the appearance we may end up in the dirty path to "audiophilia nervosa and/or neurotica".

Just my views.
 

blueone

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The law of diminishing returns kicks in.

The little Benchmark is lovely, for sure, but mired in low output power and low gain. You need two, in BTL to get remotely serious- let's be honest. And then, your SOTA performance drops right off.

The Halcro Eclipse mono or stereo are in a whole other league. And so they should be. They cost two arms and a leg.

Remember, Amir tested the Benchmark at a measly [email protected] for its SINAD number. The Halcro rates for FULL power at 1Khz and 20-20kHz. Not remotely comparable and hardly playing on the same playing field.

They are the lowest distortion, highest powered amplifers on the face of the earth. Nothing else comes remotely close.

Have a look at their specs. You can afford their gear, ring them up and ask for actual test numbers.

I'm not sure what you're talking about, John. In post #50 Tks inserted Amir's graph of the ABH2 in bridged mode, and manages 500 watts @ only 0.00026% noise and distortion. Perhaps the Halcro could do better in both regards, but I not seeing how "SOTA performance drops right off".

I have read your discussions regarding your issues with a lot of amps these days not meeting the USA FTC power output measurement standards for their specifications, but I admit I'm on a different page than you about how important things like a one hour 1/8 rated power preconditioning period are. I'm sure in the FTC rule realm the Halcro wins, but for $40K I'm just not excited about it. I'm still using a boat-anchor linear power supply Class AB solid state amp, and even the performance and compact form factor of a pair of bridged ABH2s for $6K isn't getting me to budge. (Finding a better speaker than my 11 year-old Salon2s at a reasonable price (e.g. less than $30K/pair) might get me excited enough to buy, but I haven't heard anything like that yet.) IMO, amps just aren't interesting enough for $10K+ anymore, if they ever were.
 

jdw202

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Umm, the Halcro aesthetics could be could be more egregious than the Benchmark, and are not stackable. The Halcro reminds me of the Cray 1. I could enjoy either. Put all the sound production gear in a room adjacent to where you listen so you don't see them. Music sounds better that way anyway.

+1 for someone that knew and remembers the Cray 1 enough to compare them. First thing I thought too!
 

jdw202

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Doesn't matter. Their current models (the mono and the 2 ch) leave the baby Benchmark in the weeds. It's just a kid's amplifier by comparison.

Back in 2002, nearly 20 years ago, Halcro showed everyone how to design amps with the DM58. Then Candy built the DM88. If you've ever seen, listened, and touched one, you wouldn't even question. Dredge up some technical reviews and weep.

Now we have the Halcro Eclipse mono and stereo. Built by the original engineers and improved. Choose your poison if you think they are a bad option when it comes to true state of the art in amplification. But, be prepared to be eating a truckload of humble pie in the harsh spotlight of hindsight, should you dismiss their superiority.

Sure, they are a truckload of money, but not a lot compared to much other supposed SOTA gear. But, I know what I would be buying.

How do these compare to something like the Mcintosh 1.2k monoblocks? I haven't seen measurements here for their amps so always wondered. Thank you!
 

etc6849

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@stan21

You can always go rack mount to help tie everything together better. I really like the look of my front amps. Best looking and best performing amps I could hope for. If they start putting their stuff in $1k chassis, I could have never built my system as it was already stretching the budget.

Rack mount will also help with cable management. I used some butcher block and welded open frame racks by Middle Atlantic. I also made all my cables except the power cords using the same canare cable benchmark uses.

Front rack installed:
IMG_20180329_141556.jpg


Rear rack before it was installed:
Theater Rear Rack.jpg
 

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TimF

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@stan21

You can always go rack mount to help tie everything together better. I really like the look of my front amps. Best looking and best performing amps I could hope for. If they start putting their stuff in $1k chassis, I could have never built my system as it was already stretching the budget.

Rack mount will also help with cable management. I used some butcher block and welded open frame racks by Middle Atlantic. I also made all my cables except the power cords using the same canare cable benchmark uses.

Front rack installed:
View attachment 149517

Rear rack before it was installed:
View attachment 149518
The Audio Science Review website could and might have an extended discussion of the sonic effects of the particular towel used in this application, and a double-long discussion about the towel's aesthetic.
 

jtgofish

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Hi Fi Critic awarded the AHB2 one of its worst ever scores.Measured very well but it was not musically convincing.
 

sq225917

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Er the halcro is 0.001 at 10w, the benchmark is 0.0002. I don't have maggies, so don't need the halcros...
 

jtgofish

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That's okay, Hi Fi Critic is not objectively or technically convincing.

Being a subscription only publication they are arguably the most objectively convincing audio publication available.And they conduct very thorough technical assessment and measurements.
 

Rizzle

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Being a subscription only publication they are arguably the most objectively convincing audio publication available.And they conduct very thorough technical assessment and measurements.
But, if the amplifier only adds amplification and does not add distortion or noise to the signal, what then isn’t musically convincing? The loudspeakers? The music? The source? As far as amplification, you’re getting an as true as possible representation the music, so how would musically convincing be defined?
 

blueone

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Being a subscription only publication they are arguably the most objectively convincing audio publication available.And they conduct very thorough technical assessment and measurements.

Oh really? What measurements are supporting their assertion that a well-designed amplifier like the ABH2 is "not musically convincing"? What does it mean for electronics not to be musically convincing? In other words, how can a "technically accomplished product" result in audibly inferior amplification? It sounds like a bullshit story to me, fueled by a personal agenda. (BTW, I have heard the ABH2, but I don't own one.)
 
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