Benchmark AHB2 amplifier - what to expect?


My current amplifier, driven by Benchmark DAC3 HGC, is Rowland model 102.  It is basically couple of Icepower 200ASC modules packed into resonance free heavy case, with additional input differential amp THAT1200.  These modules were used in many small class D amps, including Bel Canto S300 and M300.  I feel that Benchmark AHB2 might be a good choice for few reasons:

- It matches my Benchmark DAC3 (electrically and physically) 
- It has neutral sound, that I like, with very low noise floor (according to reviews)
- It could possibly extend trebles a little more  (trebles are slightly veiled now).

My speakers are Hyperion Sound HPS-938, (a giant killer), but not too many people are familiar with them since company went bankrupt few years ago.  They tend to sound warm (soft dome tweeter), with wonderful midrange.

I'm looking for anyone familiar with AHB2 and class D amps.  I found favorable review of AHB2 vs NAD M22, but it might not apply to my situation since M22 is based on different modules (Hypex).  My birthday is coming in a month and I could buy myself a present.  I will be grateful for any comments.


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Showing 2 responses by dpac996

Back in April/May of last year I auditioned, with the intent to buy, the AHB2. I read pretty much every report, paper, review, etc on this piece because I was in the market for an amp --looking for a good fit with my Dynaudio Contour S3.4 LEs. My first AHB2 amp arrived and a problem developed shortly after; I connected everything up properly, turned it on, played some music, then listened for a bit then it went into protection mode. I called Benchmark and they were phenomenal with sending me out a new unit. The second unit was stable with no issues. I found the sheer resolution very remarkable; The bass was tight and tuneful. The midrange was transparent and open. It easily drove the Dyns with precise control. After some time however, the sound grew fatiguing to me, and I noticed that it did not sound all that great when played at low to medium-low volume. In the past I drove my dyns with a Pass X250.5, Plinius SA102, and I know how amazing they can sound at pretty much any level. There was just something missing about the AHB2 presentation; like the soul was sucked out and I could not connect to the music.
At this time a lightly used Bryston 4B SST2 popped and I bought it. The Bryston was heads and tails a better match. Back the AHB2 went. I kept the Bryston. The Bryston has very low distortion on paper, perhaps not as low as the AHB2, but to me its another "who cares" lesson because its all about the end synergy. It’s either there and the system has that warm, organic sparkle, or its flat and annoying. The Bryston and Dyn match was superb.
Cheers



Kijanki, 
Agree 100%. When you find the right system synergy, you know it. 
Let us know what your thoughts are after you spend some time with the AHB2!