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  #21  
Old 06-05-2016, 11:57 PM
ylee's Avatar
ylee ylee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aqman View Post
I'm using Benchmarks's cable with Speakon to locking bananas on the other end. So nice and easy to use the SpeakOn connector. The cable is fairly flexible for a thick cable and they look about as good as simple black wire can. I couldn't tell a difference from the benchmark cable and a blue jeans cable with locking bananas on both ends.

Still enjoying the AHB2 everyday, now with Magico S1s.
How many hours roughly did it take for your amp to settle in with its permanent sound?
__________________
Primary System (Always in flux):
Analog Source: Rega RP10
Phono Preamp: Bryston BP2/PS3
Digital Software: Roon, Tidal Streaming
Digital Music Server: Melco N1A/2
Digital Sources: Totaldac d1-twelve SE MkII (factory upgraded from MKI) with "live power" 4 output power supply, Oppo UDP-205
Preamplifier: Rogue Audio RP-9 (factory upgraded from RP-7)
Amplifier: Vandersteen M5-HPA
Speakers: Vandersteen Quatro Wood CT w/IsoAcoustics Gaia 1 feet
Cabling: WW Platinum Starlight 7 digital wires, Totaldac Gigafilter USB filter, AQ Sky XLR, AQ Fire RCA
Speaker Cables: AudioQuest Oak spades ---> bi-wire spades
Power Cables: Esprit PC (for DAC), 2 WW Platinum Electra PC (Preamp/Phono Preamp), AQ NRG10 (Melco N1A/2), AQ Blizzard (Quatro Wood CT built-in subs)
Power Conditioning: 2 AQ Niagara 1000, 3 Oyaide R1 outlets
Sound Treatments: 23 ASC Tube Traps and 10 Panels
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  #22  
Old 06-07-2016, 10:21 PM
aqman aqman is offline
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I did not really notice much change in sound, but I was moving it back and forth between two systems for the first few weeks. I would think that with the feed forward, feed back systems that there should not be much burn in required.
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  #23  
Old 06-13-2016, 10:54 PM
ylee's Avatar
ylee ylee is offline
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The Benchmark Speakon cables (6' pair) arrived today. Before I get into details about them, it helps to give an update on my experience over the past few days while listening with the AQ Oak speaker cables in place.

The tonal balance on older recordings ripped from CDs seemed shifted higher toward treble. The bass extension was all there - at least as much as my Classe CA-2200 that has twice the rated output. Newer recordings sounded mostly fine - exceptional in most cases. A lot of what I listen to however come from the 60s - late 80s period. I suspected the jerry-rigged method I had devised to connect two pairs of very stiff Oak cables may have had something to do with this tonal shift.

Now, plugging in the $250 dollars worth of Benchmark cable which cost 1/20th of my AudioQuest wire was bound to be interesting one way or another. I played some John Mellencamp files first to see if the Speakon connectors would restore the tonal balance. Much to my relief I could immediately tell that they did. Everything I played had the tonal balance I was used to hearing with my CA-2200 except with better resolution. Soundstaging to my surprise also seemed slightly better with the new cable. That said, the price point of this cable was bound to show itself one way or the other. The primary detriment I can discern is that the Benchmark cable sounds grainier than the AQ Oak, which are very smooth.

In having experienced this, my next task is to see if I can get my Oak speakers terminated with Speakon connectors with each channel pair connected to a single connector per polarity. I suspect that will yield better sonic benefits. The Benchmark cable is very good for its price, and is far better than the 1/20th price would indicate vs. the Oaks.
__________________
Primary System (Always in flux):
Analog Source: Rega RP10
Phono Preamp: Bryston BP2/PS3
Digital Software: Roon, Tidal Streaming
Digital Music Server: Melco N1A/2
Digital Sources: Totaldac d1-twelve SE MkII (factory upgraded from MKI) with "live power" 4 output power supply, Oppo UDP-205
Preamplifier: Rogue Audio RP-9 (factory upgraded from RP-7)
Amplifier: Vandersteen M5-HPA
Speakers: Vandersteen Quatro Wood CT w/IsoAcoustics Gaia 1 feet
Cabling: WW Platinum Starlight 7 digital wires, Totaldac Gigafilter USB filter, AQ Sky XLR, AQ Fire RCA
Speaker Cables: AudioQuest Oak spades ---> bi-wire spades
Power Cables: Esprit PC (for DAC), 2 WW Platinum Electra PC (Preamp/Phono Preamp), AQ NRG10 (Melco N1A/2), AQ Blizzard (Quatro Wood CT built-in subs)
Power Conditioning: 2 AQ Niagara 1000, 3 Oyaide R1 outlets
Sound Treatments: 23 ASC Tube Traps and 10 Panels

Last edited by ylee; 06-14-2016 at 12:19 AM.
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  #24  
Old 06-13-2016, 11:31 PM
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cma29 cma29 is offline
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Here are pictures of the AHB2 Benchmark amplifier. Nice-looking gear.



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  #25  
Old 07-20-2016, 09:18 PM
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ylee ylee is offline
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I thought I'd post an update on this remarkable amplifier after two months of owning it and listening for 1 - 3 hours per day. I believe at this point the amp, Speakon terminated cables, Wireworld Platinum Starlight 7 USB2.0, and the Wireworld Platinum Electra 7 PCs have all burned in.

The sound is crisp and clear, with a wide soundstage and a good sense of front to back dimensionality. I'm particularly pleased at the pitch definition on the bass end of the spectrum. I didn't realize that my CA-2200 amp was somewhat muddy down there until I put the AHB2 in my system. Low organ pedal notes are especially well served by this amp through my Quatro Wood CT speakers. With a very high S/N ratio of 132 db, its extremely quiet. The only amp I know of that beats the AHB2's S/N ratio is the 10x expensive Ayre MXR Twenty - which is probably one of the best amplifliers in the world. The AHB2 gives a very good taste of what lies far higher in the amplifier price range. The $3k price is an absolute bargain.

Finally, the 100 watts/ch into 8 ohms is largely sufficient for me. It of course helps that my Quatros have built-in 250 watt/ch subwoofer amps in each speaker. The AHB2 stays clean across the spectrum at high volumes. It provides good bass extension with the desired level of slam that suits me on the vast majority of my music collection. I enthusiastically recommend it to anyone shopping in any price range. If the stereo mode doesn't have enough horsepower for you, you can turn a AHB2 into a mono block with a flick of a switch and get 380 watts/ch into 8 ohms. I may try that next year.
__________________
Primary System (Always in flux):
Analog Source: Rega RP10
Phono Preamp: Bryston BP2/PS3
Digital Software: Roon, Tidal Streaming
Digital Music Server: Melco N1A/2
Digital Sources: Totaldac d1-twelve SE MkII (factory upgraded from MKI) with "live power" 4 output power supply, Oppo UDP-205
Preamplifier: Rogue Audio RP-9 (factory upgraded from RP-7)
Amplifier: Vandersteen M5-HPA
Speakers: Vandersteen Quatro Wood CT w/IsoAcoustics Gaia 1 feet
Cabling: WW Platinum Starlight 7 digital wires, Totaldac Gigafilter USB filter, AQ Sky XLR, AQ Fire RCA
Speaker Cables: AudioQuest Oak spades ---> bi-wire spades
Power Cables: Esprit PC (for DAC), 2 WW Platinum Electra PC (Preamp/Phono Preamp), AQ NRG10 (Melco N1A/2), AQ Blizzard (Quatro Wood CT built-in subs)
Power Conditioning: 2 AQ Niagara 1000, 3 Oyaide R1 outlets
Sound Treatments: 23 ASC Tube Traps and 10 Panels

Last edited by ylee; 07-20-2016 at 11:25 PM.
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  #26  
Old 06-13-2017, 09:26 PM
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ylee ylee is offline
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An update a year later that my AHB2 amp is serving me nicely. With a new very high end source in the system, the amp is able to live up to its side of the bargain by amplifying and sending to my speakers some of the best sounds I've ever heard.
__________________
Primary System (Always in flux):
Analog Source: Rega RP10
Phono Preamp: Bryston BP2/PS3
Digital Software: Roon, Tidal Streaming
Digital Music Server: Melco N1A/2
Digital Sources: Totaldac d1-twelve SE MkII (factory upgraded from MKI) with "live power" 4 output power supply, Oppo UDP-205
Preamplifier: Rogue Audio RP-9 (factory upgraded from RP-7)
Amplifier: Vandersteen M5-HPA
Speakers: Vandersteen Quatro Wood CT w/IsoAcoustics Gaia 1 feet
Cabling: WW Platinum Starlight 7 digital wires, Totaldac Gigafilter USB filter, AQ Sky XLR, AQ Fire RCA
Speaker Cables: AudioQuest Oak spades ---> bi-wire spades
Power Cables: Esprit PC (for DAC), 2 WW Platinum Electra PC (Preamp/Phono Preamp), AQ NRG10 (Melco N1A/2), AQ Blizzard (Quatro Wood CT built-in subs)
Power Conditioning: 2 AQ Niagara 1000, 3 Oyaide R1 outlets
Sound Treatments: 23 ASC Tube Traps and 10 Panels
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  #27  
Old 06-22-2017, 01:33 AM
lordcloud lordcloud is offline
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Location: Dallas, Tx
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ylee View Post
An update a year later that my AHB2 amp is serving me nicely. With a new very high end source in the system, the amp is able to live up to its side of the bargain by amplifying and sending to my speakers some of the best sounds I've ever heard.

Thanks for the update. This is an amp I'm considering, along with the Job 225, as I want a neutral amp that's transparent and low in distortion. I currently have a Firstwatt F7, but my speakers need a bit more to be driven properly.
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  #28  
Old 06-22-2017, 04:28 PM
ylee's Avatar
ylee ylee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lordcloud View Post
Thanks for the update. This is an amp I'm considering, along with the Job 225, as I want a neutral amp that's transparent and low in distortion. I currently have a Firstwatt F7, but my speakers need a bit more to be driven properly.
This is a very linear sounding amp that maintains its composure as one cranks up the volume. That it can stand between a $35k DAC and $14k pair of speakers and transmit very musical sounds is a testament to the design's fundamental merit. It drives my loudspeakers louder than I am willing to subject my ears to while remaining clean.
__________________
Primary System (Always in flux):
Analog Source: Rega RP10
Phono Preamp: Bryston BP2/PS3
Digital Software: Roon, Tidal Streaming
Digital Music Server: Melco N1A/2
Digital Sources: Totaldac d1-twelve SE MkII (factory upgraded from MKI) with "live power" 4 output power supply, Oppo UDP-205
Preamplifier: Rogue Audio RP-9 (factory upgraded from RP-7)
Amplifier: Vandersteen M5-HPA
Speakers: Vandersteen Quatro Wood CT w/IsoAcoustics Gaia 1 feet
Cabling: WW Platinum Starlight 7 digital wires, Totaldac Gigafilter USB filter, AQ Sky XLR, AQ Fire RCA
Speaker Cables: AudioQuest Oak spades ---> bi-wire spades
Power Cables: Esprit PC (for DAC), 2 WW Platinum Electra PC (Preamp/Phono Preamp), AQ NRG10 (Melco N1A/2), AQ Blizzard (Quatro Wood CT built-in subs)
Power Conditioning: 2 AQ Niagara 1000, 3 Oyaide R1 outlets
Sound Treatments: 23 ASC Tube Traps and 10 Panels
Reply With Quote
  #29  
Old 06-23-2017, 12:50 PM
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paulphoosreal paulphoosreal is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lordcloud View Post
Thanks for the update. This is an amp I'm considering, along with the Job 225, as I want a neutral amp that's transparent and low in distortion. I currently have a Firstwatt F7, but my speakers need a bit more to be driven properly.


I too am considering upgrading my current mono amps.
I've researched the Job 250 extensively and believe that is the route I will take as pricing plays a big part in my purchases. That being said. This article has now aroused my interest in class D amps. The Benchmark sounds very promising. This hobby of ours can be complicated at times. Thank you for all the inputs on the Benchmark amp.
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  #30  
Old 06-24-2017, 11:14 PM
ylee's Avatar
ylee ylee is offline
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Location: Haymarket, VA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paulphoosreal View Post
I too am considering upgrading my current mono amps.
I've researched the Job 250 extensively and believe that is the route I will take as pricing plays a big part in my purchases. That being said. This article has now aroused my interest in class D amps. The Benchmark sounds very promising. This hobby of ours can be complicated at times. Thank you for all the inputs on the Benchmark amp.
To clarify, the AHB2 amp is a class A/B design.
__________________
Primary System (Always in flux):
Analog Source: Rega RP10
Phono Preamp: Bryston BP2/PS3
Digital Software: Roon, Tidal Streaming
Digital Music Server: Melco N1A/2
Digital Sources: Totaldac d1-twelve SE MkII (factory upgraded from MKI) with "live power" 4 output power supply, Oppo UDP-205
Preamplifier: Rogue Audio RP-9 (factory upgraded from RP-7)
Amplifier: Vandersteen M5-HPA
Speakers: Vandersteen Quatro Wood CT w/IsoAcoustics Gaia 1 feet
Cabling: WW Platinum Starlight 7 digital wires, Totaldac Gigafilter USB filter, AQ Sky XLR, AQ Fire RCA
Speaker Cables: AudioQuest Oak spades ---> bi-wire spades
Power Cables: Esprit PC (for DAC), 2 WW Platinum Electra PC (Preamp/Phono Preamp), AQ NRG10 (Melco N1A/2), AQ Blizzard (Quatro Wood CT built-in subs)
Power Conditioning: 2 AQ Niagara 1000, 3 Oyaide R1 outlets
Sound Treatments: 23 ASC Tube Traps and 10 Panels
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