Benchmark LA4 preamp and AHB2 power amplifier review

24

Comments

  • SIHAB
    SIHAB Posts: 2,114
    invalid wrote: »
    Does benchmark use the THX feed forward type of feedback in this amp, and if so what are the advantages of it?

    70-100 usable watts of distortion-noise free A-B power.

  • kevhed72
    kevhed72 Posts: 4,345
    jdjohn wrote: »
    Nice work, Drew B) Definitely worth considering, although for my purposes, I think one of their DAC2/3 HGC models is probably where I would land for a preamp.

    Why so....and thanks for putting this idea in my head 😂

  • kevhed72
    kevhed72 Posts: 4,345
    edited October 2020
    Clipdat wrote: »
    I need this combo back in my life. :pensive:

    Seriously missing it.
    So Drew it appears the amp has the option for one or two subs via the 3 Speakon connectors...is this correct? Excellent review BTW!!
  • Clipdat
    Clipdat Posts: 9,523
    I'm not sure, but I believe you likely could as all speaker outputs should be active simultaneously. Best to email Benchmark and confirm though. [email protected]
  • jdjohn
    jdjohn Posts: 1,928
    edited October 2020
    kevhed72 wrote: »
    jdjohn wrote: »
    Nice work, Drew B) Definitely worth considering, although for my purposes, I think one of their DAC2/3 HGC models is probably where I would land for a preamp.

    Why so....and thanks for putting this idea in my head 😂
    I done went and did it a few weeks ago:
    h1uagzcjujra.jpg
    I hate to break-up my PSA stack, but we'll see.

    I like the integrated DAC on the DAC3/HGC, as well as the headphone outputs...yes, there are two in case you need it B)

    EDIT: I'm wondering if anyone here (or elsewhere) has tried an A/AB power amp with this preamp.
    "This may not matter to you, but it does to me for various reasons, many of them illogical or irrational, but the vinyl hobby is not really logical or rational..." - member on Vinyl Engine
    "Sometimes I do what I want to do. The rest of the time, I do what I have to." - Cicero, in Gladiator
    Regarding collectibles: "It's not who gets it. It's who gets stuck with it." - Jimmy Fallon
  • kevhed72
    kevhed72 Posts: 4,345
    The DAC2 with the Benchmark amp is what I am pondering. Use the DAC2 as the volume control. The amp is small in stature and weighs 13 lbs, which is interesting.
  • jdjohn
    jdjohn Posts: 1,928
    Not the best arrangement, but finally trying this combo:
    bfhkzlvfwqd6.jpg
    "This may not matter to you, but it does to me for various reasons, many of them illogical or irrational, but the vinyl hobby is not really logical or rational..." - member on Vinyl Engine
    "Sometimes I do what I want to do. The rest of the time, I do what I have to." - Cicero, in Gladiator
    Regarding collectibles: "It's not who gets it. It's who gets stuck with it." - Jimmy Fallon
  • joecoulson
    joecoulson Posts: 4,944
    Interesting
    Thoughts from first night?
  • jdjohn
    jdjohn Posts: 1,928
    Very pleasantly surprised. It was a real PITA to swap-in the DNA-125, but it was worth it. I really need to get a better rack.

    Anyway, the sound has more heft and authority with the McCormack, and with the crystal-clear sound of the Benchmark, it is turning into a really nice combination. This setup is throwing a big soundstage that is wider, taller, and deeper than with the PSA S300. The S300 is very forward, which I have an appreciation for in my listening space, but so far I'm thinking the DNA-125 just fills the room better. More listening will help confirm that, and maybe get my wife's opinion as well.

    I am noticing that the McCormack seems a little slower, yet more lush, but the speed thing is obviously just in comparison to the PSA class-D design, which is very quick and tight.
    "This may not matter to you, but it does to me for various reasons, many of them illogical or irrational, but the vinyl hobby is not really logical or rational..." - member on Vinyl Engine
    "Sometimes I do what I want to do. The rest of the time, I do what I have to." - Cicero, in Gladiator
    Regarding collectibles: "It's not who gets it. It's who gets stuck with it." - Jimmy Fallon
  • joecoulson
    joecoulson Posts: 4,944
    Great thoughts. And not too far from my own changes.
    Hope all is well Jody.
  • verb
    verb Posts: 9,800
    jdjohn wrote: »
    Not the best arrangement, but finally trying this combo:
    bfhkzlvfwqd6.jpg

    Awesome amp! I've got one of those lying around here somewhere! :)
    Basement: Polk SDA SRS, Cary SLP-05 Pre with ultimate upgrade,Enlightened Audio Designs CD Transport, Northstar Designs Excelsio DAC, Cambridge 851N streamer, Marantz SA-14 SACD, McIntosh MC300 Amp, Silnote Morpheus Ref2 Digital Cables, Furman 15PFi Power Conditioner, Pangea Power Cables, Wireworld Oasis 8 RCA IC's, MIT Shotgun S3 IC's, MIT Shotgun S1 Bi-Wire speaker cables
    Office: PC, EAR Acute CD Player, EAR 834L Pre, Northstar Designs Intenso DAC, PASS ACA Monoblocks, Denon UDR-F10 Cassette, Acoustic Technologies Classic FR Speakers, SVS SB12 Plus sub, MIT AVt2 speaker cables, IFI Purifier2, AQ Cinnamon USB cable, Groneberg Quatro Reference IC's
    Spare Room: Antique Sound Labs Wave AV-8 Monoblocks, Tisbury Mini Passive Pre, Tjoeb 99 tube CD player (modified Marantz CD-38), Analysis Plus Oval 9's, Zu Jumpers, AudioEngine B1 Streamer, Klipsch RB-61 v2, SVS PB1000 sub, Blue Jeans RCA IC's, Shunyata Hydra 8 Power Conditioner
    Living Room: Peachtree Nova Integrated, Cambridge CXN v2 Streamer, Rotel RCD-1072 CD player, Furman 15PFi Power Conditioner, Polk RT265 In Wall Speakers, Polk DSW Pro 660wi sub
    Garage: Cambridge Audio 640A Integrated Amp, Project Box-E BT Streamer, Polk Tsi200 Bookies, Douglas Speaker Cables, Shunyata Power Conditioner
  • verb
    verb Posts: 9,800
    Love the review Drew! Since I've known you, I have learned to trust your ears.

    Gosh every time I read one of your reviews I have to resist getting out the CC! :)

    Well done sir!
    Basement: Polk SDA SRS, Cary SLP-05 Pre with ultimate upgrade,Enlightened Audio Designs CD Transport, Northstar Designs Excelsio DAC, Cambridge 851N streamer, Marantz SA-14 SACD, McIntosh MC300 Amp, Silnote Morpheus Ref2 Digital Cables, Furman 15PFi Power Conditioner, Pangea Power Cables, Wireworld Oasis 8 RCA IC's, MIT Shotgun S3 IC's, MIT Shotgun S1 Bi-Wire speaker cables
    Office: PC, EAR Acute CD Player, EAR 834L Pre, Northstar Designs Intenso DAC, PASS ACA Monoblocks, Denon UDR-F10 Cassette, Acoustic Technologies Classic FR Speakers, SVS SB12 Plus sub, MIT AVt2 speaker cables, IFI Purifier2, AQ Cinnamon USB cable, Groneberg Quatro Reference IC's
    Spare Room: Antique Sound Labs Wave AV-8 Monoblocks, Tisbury Mini Passive Pre, Tjoeb 99 tube CD player (modified Marantz CD-38), Analysis Plus Oval 9's, Zu Jumpers, AudioEngine B1 Streamer, Klipsch RB-61 v2, SVS PB1000 sub, Blue Jeans RCA IC's, Shunyata Hydra 8 Power Conditioner
    Living Room: Peachtree Nova Integrated, Cambridge CXN v2 Streamer, Rotel RCD-1072 CD player, Furman 15PFi Power Conditioner, Polk RT265 In Wall Speakers, Polk DSW Pro 660wi sub
    Garage: Cambridge Audio 640A Integrated Amp, Project Box-E BT Streamer, Polk Tsi200 Bookies, Douglas Speaker Cables, Shunyata Power Conditioner
  • Clipdat
    Clipdat Posts: 9,523
    Thanks Dave! Glad you enjoyed the review.
  • SIHAB
    SIHAB Posts: 2,114
    Did you use balanced interconnects Clip?
    What amp setting did you use?
  • Clipdat
    Clipdat Posts: 9,523
    edited October 2020
    Yes I used balanced XLR with the amp sensitivity switch set to the bottom Low-Gain = 22 dBu (9.8 Vrms) position.
  • SIHAB
    SIHAB Posts: 2,114
    I've found I like the middle sensitivity setting usually when using
    the DAC2. When using a pre in HT-bypass the lowest setting
    all the way.
  • jdjohn
    jdjohn Posts: 1,928
    The jumpers definitely need to be experimented with on the DAC3/HGC for XLR output, depending on the power amp.
    "This may not matter to you, but it does to me for various reasons, many of them illogical or irrational, but the vinyl hobby is not really logical or rational..." - member on Vinyl Engine
    "Sometimes I do what I want to do. The rest of the time, I do what I have to." - Cicero, in Gladiator
    Regarding collectibles: "It's not who gets it. It's who gets stuck with it." - Jimmy Fallon
  • Clipdat
    Clipdat Posts: 9,523
    "Once I heard the Benchmark LA4 preamp and AHB2 power amplifier, I thought, “This could be my last preamp and amplifier purchase, ever.”"

    e21mnoxn8jqa.jpg
  • maxward
    maxward Posts: 834
    The Absolute Sound named the LA4 solid state preamp of the year, so your review seems to be corroborated by those guys.
  • Clipdat
    Clipdat Posts: 9,523
    Christmas came early!

    ne4r8me6lcq8.jpg
  • gyosa
    gyosa Posts: 583
    Sweet !

    Bk
    Parasound A21 , Yamaha wxc-50 , Polk SDA 1c’s ( my first love .. ) , Kimber Kable 4TC, Sony 42” - BEDROOM

    B&K EX-442 ( it will go in my casket when I die ... ) , PS Audio 4.6 preamp ( old school , but it still jams on ... ) , Yamaha wxc-50 , Boston Acoustic voyager 7’s - POOL

    PS Audio Stellar S300 , Cambridge Audio 851n , Yamaha wxc-50 , Kimber Kable 4vs , Salk Supercharged Song towers ( difficult choice between these and my family if I had to choose ... 😩 ) , Sony XBR-A8F 65” OLED , Onkyo TX-RZ610 - DEN , MAIN RIG

    Onkyo TX-nr609 , Polk atrium 7 , Boston acoustic sound ware (4) , Boston acoustic sub , B&W center , Sharp 65” TV - PATIO

    DAYENS AMPINO ( thanks Verb ! ) , KEiiD streamer ( this was only 60 bucks ?? ) , Polk atrium 8SDi’s - KID’s BEDROOM


  • Milito
    Milito Posts: 1,192
    Congrats Drew!
    Yamaha RX-A2070, Music Hall A70.2 integrated amp, Benchmark Dac1, Bluesound NODE 2i, HSU VTF-2 MK5, LSiM705, LSiM704, Douglas Connection Alpha 12AWG OCC Speaker Cables, Douglas Connection Alpha Analog Interconnect Cables, Audioquest Interconnects and Digital Cables, Douglas Connection Alpha 11 OCC Custom Power Cable, Cullen Gold and Crossover Series Power Cables, Signal Power Cable, Furman PL-8C 15 Power Conditioner, Fluance RT85, Parasound Zphono USB Phono Preamp, Sony 65" 900F, Sony UBP-X700, Fios.
  • jdjohn
    jdjohn Posts: 1,928
    Will this be your "last" as advertised? ;)
    "This may not matter to you, but it does to me for various reasons, many of them illogical or irrational, but the vinyl hobby is not really logical or rational..." - member on Vinyl Engine
    "Sometimes I do what I want to do. The rest of the time, I do what I have to." - Cicero, in Gladiator
    Regarding collectibles: "It's not who gets it. It's who gets stuck with it." - Jimmy Fallon
  • maxward
    maxward Posts: 834
    Looks great, Drew!
  • SIHAB
    SIHAB Posts: 2,114
    now that you have had it for a couple of hours... :)
    Does the LA4 really do nothing at all to the sound?
    Thanks either way.
  • Congrats Drew ! Looks sweet !
    "if it's not fun, it's not worth it & remember folks, "It's All About The Music"!!
    *****************************
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