S

stalag2005

Full Audioholic
I called them today to get more information about their products. I found the following from them. The minimum system for audio would be the DAC3 HGC (has headphone amplifier) coupled with their AHB2 amplifier for a 2.1 stereo system. If you want a full reference system use the same AHB2 amplifier and add either the LA4 (no headphone amplifier) or the HPA4 (has headphone amplifier) with a DAC3 B. The gain control in the HPA-4/LA-4 is according to both Benchmark Media as well as other reviews is superior to the digital gain control in the DAC3 HGC. This is not a cheap stereo system but would be the best IMHO one could get. The HPA-4/LA-4 does have the ability to switch to different audio sources as well as the DAC3 HGC. The DAC3 B is just a straight DAC for a digital source only. The HPA-4/LA-4 are with the AHB2 THX certified and have the lowest noise floor on the market.

Their presale support was wonderful to deal with. The cables they sell are not snake oil but do use the best available wire and connections available. They are Blue Jeans Cables quality. These guys do sell into the professional audio market and are well aware of the snake oil cable sales tactics. I would recommend them based off just the presale support alone. Be aware that for what I heard of pricing it is not cheap but is well below the price of Bryson or McIntosh and would be priced closer to a stereo preamplifier/amplifier combination from Anthem to get the Benchmark Media gear.

over on Audio Science Review



 
P

PENG

Audioholic Slumlord
I think their power amp is a great deal for the price as you can't find a power amp that performs that good regardless of price (that I am aware of). If all you need is 100 W 8 Ohms, 190 W into 4 Ohms then you are good to go. Those who listen loud, in a big room, sit far away, and/or have low sensitivity speakers will have to look elsewhere or spend twice to get two units and bridge them.

For DACs/Headphone amps, yes they are well build but really overpriced imo, relative to the likes of Toppings, Gustards, SMSL etc.
 
AcuDefTechGuy

AcuDefTechGuy

Audioholic Jedi
...would be the best IMHO one could get...
The ”best” in terms of what?

Specs and measurements? Sure. Are these specs and measurements audible? Hells no.

Power output? No.

Sound quality? No.

Warranty? No.

Aesthetics? No.

Reliability? Probably not, otherwise offer at least a 7YR warranty or 20YR warranty.

So it depends on how you define “best”.
 
Eppie

Eppie

Senior Audioholic
How do you loose 3dB in performance changing from a SpeakOn connector to banana plugs?
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Jedi
Good question. How?
Kinda hard to know as Amir just says this "The SpeakOn are locking and provide the best performance. I lost about 3 dB of performance using the banana jacks due to less secure connect there. So the measurements you see are with SpeakOn jacks." Would it lose it's top spot if using mere bananas? Sure would like to know why a speaker connection like that is worth 3dB of what particularly? Not sure I'm up to 128 pages of forum discussion to see if/where it gets fleshed out....
 
G

Gmoney

Audioholic Ninja
How do you loose 3dB in performance changing from a SpeakOn connector to banana plugs?
Some bananas aren't as ripe as others :D That is one of many reasons I do not use banana connect plugs. Some have been know to turn Rotten faster and fall off, you'll lose All your dBs:eek:
 
G

Gmoney

Audioholic Ninja
Good question. How?
Something doesn't seem right with a 3bB lost. Unless one is Actually in the room as the test are being run. There should Not be any lost. One would think maybe check over All Connections first before, that would be like saying oh my speaker wire had One Strand touching and I found why it went into Protection mode???
 
S

stalag2005

Full Audioholic
Okay, for those of you who posted here I have a few questions of you gmoney and audioRX specifically.

1. noise is additive, what other amplifier has the noise floor of the AHB2?
2. The aforementioned amplifier is 100W at 8 ohms and is 190W at 4 ohms in a non bridged format. Those numbers double when in bridged mode to drive a single speaker. Do you know of another amplifier that forgiving.
3. Banana plugs are known to not have much contact area. The speak on are designed internally to be a positive lock connection and are meant for high current. From what I was able to find, the banana plugs are much more a convenience connection rather than a positive lock high current connection. Given this, it is not a surprise that a professional audio speakon connection is a better connection than the banana plug connections. If you would have looked further, Benchmark Media does sell speakon speaker cables with banana plugs on the other end to connect consumer stuff to their amplifier. I am not surprised you don't know of speakon connectors as pro audio is not part of the audiophile wheelhouse.

Personally I would have somewhat lower power output and get a much cleaner signal to drive the speakers. I don't want or need audio capable of blowing my eardrums. IMHO you can do stuff that is loud, but if it hurts, you won't hear. Things are not only about power but also about quality. I would rather myself have somewhat lower power but reference level (no artifacts due to any factor) in my audio experience. I am not worried about Benchmark Media as their stuff is known reliable from my experience.

Oh, and on the warranty, it is 5 years if you register the devices....
 
Irvrobinson

Irvrobinson

Audioholic Spartan
Okay, for those of you who posted here I have a few questions of you gmoney and audioRX specifically.

1. noise is additive, what other amplifier has the noise floor of the AHB2?
2. The aforementioned amplifier is 100W at 8 ohms and is 190W at 4 ohms in a non bridged format. Those numbers double when in bridged mode to drive a single speaker. Do you know of another amplifier that forgiving.
3. Banana plugs are known to not have much contact area. The speak on are designed internally to be a positive lock connection and are meant for high current. From what I was able to find, the banana plugs are much more a convenience connection rather than a positive lock high current connection. Given this, it is not a surprise that a professional audio speakon connection is a better connection than the banana plug connections. If you would have looked further, Benchmark Media does sell speakon speaker cables with banana plugs on the other end to connect consumer stuff to their amplifier. I am not surprised you don't know of speakon connectors as pro audio is not part of the audiophile wheelhouse.

Personally I would have somewhat lower power output and get a much cleaner signal to drive the speakers. I don't want or need audio capable of blowing my eardrums. IMHO you can do stuff that is loud, but if it hurts, you won't hear. Things are not only about power but also about quality. I would rather myself have somewhat lower power but reference level (no artifacts due to any factor) in my audio experience. I am not worried about Benchmark Media as their stuff is known reliable from my experience.
Why do you care what anyone else thinks?
 
Eppie

Eppie

Senior Audioholic
3. Banana plugs are known to not have much contact area. The speak on are designed internally to be a positive lock connection and are meant for high current. From what I was able to find, the banana plugs are much more a convenience connection rather than a positive lock high current connection. Given this, it is not a surprise that a professional audio speakon connection is a better connection than the banana plug connections. If you would have looked further, Benchmark Media does sell speakon speaker cables with banana plugs on the other end to connect consumer stuff to their amplifier. I am not surprised you don't know of speakon connectors as pro audio is not part of the audiophile wheelhouse.

Personally I would have somewhat lower power output and get a much cleaner signal to drive the speakers. I don't want or need audio capable of blowing my eardrums. IMHO you can do stuff that is loud, but if it hurts, you won't hear. Things are not only about power but also about quality. I would rather myself have somewhat lower power but reference level (no artifacts due to any factor) in my audio experience. I am not worried about Benchmark Media as their stuff is known reliable from my experience.

Oh, and on the warranty, it is 5 years if you register the devices....
A little searching and I found the same reports that speak-on connectors can handle more current. I'm still surprised that a banana plug can not supply enough current for a consumer grade amp even if it's 380W bridged.
 
Mark E. Long

Mark E. Long

Senior Audioholic
A little searching and I found the same reports that speak-on connectors can handle more current. I'm still surprised that a banana plug can not supply enough current for a consumer grade amp even if it's 380W bridged.
I run a bridged carver Tfm -25 with locking bananas on both ends probably close to 500 watts bridged I’d never know if I lost 3 db’s anywhere . The amp runs cool never seems to lack for current one would think if it was lacking current it would heat up a little . I’d be the first to admit I may not understand all about this tho .
 
Irvrobinson

Irvrobinson

Audioholic Spartan
A little searching and I found the same reports that speak-on connectors can handle more current. I'm still surprised that a banana plug can not supply enough current for a consumer grade amp even if it's 380W bridged.
I’m not buying it. A locking banana plug will have more contact surface area than bare stranded wire, and both probably have less than a large flat spade. I can’t explain what Amir measured, but I think this concern is overblown.
 
Eppie

Eppie

Senior Audioholic
I’m not buying it. A locking banana plug will have more contact surface area than bare stranded wire, and both probably have less than a large flat spade. I can’t explain what Amir measured, but I think this concern is overblown.
Yeah, I can't help but wonder if there was an issue with Amir's connections. Speak-ons are used in professional audio so we're talking very high wattage power amps. Those connectors can handle 40 amperes with suitable wire but a banana plug still has plenty of contact area. I tried to find some studies comparing the two types of connectors in the same application but came up empty. Little off topic though from the original post. The Benchmark amp is still pretty impressive.
 
Irvrobinson

Irvrobinson

Audioholic Spartan
Yeah, I can't help but wonder if there was an issue with Amir's connections. Speak-ons are used in professional audio so we're talking very high wattage power amps. Those connectors can handle 40 amperes with suitable wire but a banana plug still has plenty of contact area. I tried to find some studies comparing the two types of connectors in the same application but came up empty. Little off topic though from the original post. The Benchmark amp is still pretty impressive.
Having used SpeakONs before, they are definitely not designed for home use. They are designed to be quickly and easily attached to speaker cables, latch and unlatch quickly, and they have a positive lock and unlock mechanism to ensure secure connections that do not accidentally cause a failure during a live performances. It used to be that Benchmark had a significant pro-audio segment of their sales, and perhaps that's why they included SpeakONs, common in studios. For home use, I'd rather have a good flat spade, though for convenience I use BlueJeans locking bananas for my amplifier outputs. Most bananas won't easily fit on the rear connectors of the Salon2s with the connection bay door closed, so I use spades on that end.
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Jedi
I use speakons in my diy stuff....but my amps also accommodate....
 

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