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What do you Benchmark fans/users think?

restorer-john

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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.

I agree. The Halcros monos are very expensive. And the Benchmark isn't cheap either at US$6k for a pair. Neither are on my shopping list as I have plenty of power amplifiers that are already more than good enough to see me out.
 

jtgofish

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Hard to imagine. I wonder what equipment they used with it.
Magico S5s.They are almost brutally accurate and revealing speakers and will tell you exactly how things really sound.
 

Kal Rubinson

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Yes, I understand that and, fwiw, I do that, too, although not exclusively. Apparently, they made measurements, as well.

But, as another has already posted, if the amp is fundamentally transparent (as measured), their judgement has to be based on flaws in the associated equipment (or elsewhere).
 

SIY

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But, as another has already posted, if the amp is fundamentally transparent (as measured), their judgement has to be based on flaws in the associated equipment (or elsewhere).

"Elsewhere" seems the likeliest. :cool:
 

Rizzle

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Magico S5s.They are almost brutally accurate and revealing speakers and will tell you exactly how things really sound.
Magico S5s Benchmark AHB2.They are It is an almost brutally accurate and revealing speakers amplifier and will tell you exactly how things really sound.

See how easy that was.

All jokes aside, I would believe the S5s are great loudspeakers, I’ve only seen measurements of the A5s and they seemed very nice. But, perhaps the reviewer didn’t like brutally honest, and prefered distortion and noise, maybe that “sweetened” things out or whatever musically engaging sounds like.
 

EJ3

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I agree with you in general. I’ve always kept my previous amps on top for better air circulation and heat dissipation. To be honest, it might be more of a preference in this case since the AHB2 doesn’t have the usual heating concerns. It runs very cool. Unfortunately, Benchmark doesn’t give us placement options. Putting the amp on top would look cartoonish. The components would have to be kept on a tv stand pretty far apart on different levels to be more ok visually.
I have a beautiful large coffee table (with a wide drawer) and a shelf on the lower portion. 2 stacks of 2 (with extended feet on the stacked ones) of my 5 NAD 2200's reside on the lower shelf. On the upper shelf is my Technics SL-M3 TT (about one third larger than the average TT, with a rosewood veneer plinth) on the right & my oppo 205 UHD on the left. Both my mother (who is very picky about aesthetics) and my wife (whom I am committed to living with [and has done a number of interior designs of living quarters {& doesn't particularly like stereo equipment}]) say that it actually turned out pretty good as opposed to the visual disaster that they both contemplated when I suggested how I wanted to integrate it in our (my wife & myself) large cathedral ceilinged living room. I was amazed at least as much as they were that a couple of days spent arranging and rea-arranging the stereo equipment (and buying a $25 table at an estate sale) worked out so well. And company that my wife has seems to like it also. Happy Wife=Happy Life. So mixed spreading and stacking can work great.
 

EJ3

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Two amps? You're my kind of demented.
There are more of us that are the right "kind of demented" than one would think. I run 3 NAD 2200's (2 bridged mono at 4 0hms [one left, one right] and one in stereo at 2 ohms for my subs). I have 3 more that are currently in resto-modification mode (2 to match the three I have & one early non-PE one to be used in a lesser secondary system). I aspire to do the same one day with the Benchmark AHB2's in the future, as I believe that they are the spiritual successor to the NAD 2200's. Please see the NAD 2200 Vintage Amplifier Review of one of my TRIPLETS (soon to be QUINTUPLETS) on this site.
 

Spkrdctr

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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.

I ALWAYS look for equipment that is musically convincing. If I'm not convinced that the music is convinced that it is any good, then it is not for me.
 

Spkrdctr

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Hard to imagine. I wonder what equipment they used with it.

Kal, you have to be convinced. If you are having trouble being convinced, I recommend just believing. If you believe long enough, you will become convinced. Problem solved!
 

Spkrdctr

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My AHB2s sit on top of NAD C298s. :)

Kal, this is a G rated site. Please do not talk about what your equipment does behind closed doors. It seems you need to talk to them about appropriate behavior. After the talk, if they are convinced that your right, then once again, you will know they are convinced therefor making convincing music! This seems to be a very convincing topic at the moment. Heck, I'm convinced.
 

Kal Rubinson

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Kal, can you share your subjective impressions of whether there's a noticeable difference in the sound produced? I assume you may have driven the same speakers with both.
I have expressed my impressions in my review of the NAD as well as in subsequent speaker reviews.
 
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pma

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Wes

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I like the looks, especially the proportionality, symmetry, visual flow, and synergy
 

Rizzle

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And this is even better

https://www.stereophile.com/content/boulder-amplifiers-2150-monoblock-power-amplifier-measurements

And they have been doing it for decades as well. Not cheap, however.
Depends on your definition of better, they seem fundamentally different. The Benchmark is easily the cleaner amplifier but delivers nowhere near the power of the Boulder 2150. If you "only" need 490 watts of power @ 8 ohms, you're better off with two Benchmarks bridged, however, if you need more then yes, the Boulder is better.

Boulder 2150:
8 ohm SINAD @ 5W = approx. 0.00165% // 95.65 dB
8 ohm SINAD @ 460W = approx. 0.0003% // 110.46 dB (lowest point)
8 ohm SINAD @ 800W = approx. 0.00037% // 108.64 dB (peak before distortion shoots up)
4 ohm SINAD @ 5W = approx. 0.005% // 86.02 dB (ASR reference)
4 ohm SINAD @ 750W = approx. 0.00046% // 106.74 dB (lowest point)

From the Stereophile measurements of the Benchmark AHB2:
Stereo
8 ohm SINAD @ 5W = approx. 0.0001% // 120 dB
8 ohm SINAD @ 10W = approx. 0.00007% 123.1 dB (lowest point)
4 ohm SINAD @ 5W = approx. 0.00014% // 117.08 dB (ASR reference)
4 ohm SINAD @ 50W = approx. 0.000085% // 121.41 dB (lowest point)

Bridged
8 ohm SINAD @ 5W = approx. 0.00014% // 117.08 dB
8 ohm SINAD @ 10W = approx. 0.00007% // 123.1 dB (lowest point)
8 ohm SINAD @ 490W = approx. 0.0002% // 113.98 dB (peak before distortion shoots up)

/Edit: There are other metrics than SINAD & power, but I'm not an expert. I just wanted to highlight that at least in the SINAD department the Boulder is not better than the Benchmark.
 

pma

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I am far from being interested in 1kHz SINAD as a universal single-parameter measure and I have repeated it many times, together with explanations why.

Moreover, there are measurement limits of SYS2722 vs. APx555.
 
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MaxBuck

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I have expressed my impressions in my review of the NAD as well as in subsequent speaker reviews.
Thanks; I went back and re-read your review. I infer that any differences are very subtle, as one would expect from excellent amplifiers.

I continue to be extremely satisfied with my C298 and see no reason for considering any upgrades. But I also continue to have great admiration for Benchmark.
 

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
 
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