I thought I would update this thread if anyone was curious how the AHB2 system went.
I have had the following new system setup now for 3 days with about 30 hours on it. It is still breaking in but I can already conclude I love this system.
I wanted a detailed system for the office and was willing to live with a little edginess if that was what it took. However, my new office system has none of the harshness I was thinking that may occur. The speakers sound the best I have ever heard it. Just a pleasure to listen at any volume. It is now 2 AM and I am working in the office with the music playing rather quietly. I can hear everything clearly and with the same toe tapping effect as when I play louder. I was looking for that in my next office system.
The system now sounds like a live performance on most of the music I am playing. It certainly sounds different than anything I have heard before on this speaker. I was playing some live concerts of groups I have seen live, Rush and Santana, and I was taken back to the show but with better seats. The fact this system is maybe the quietest system one can setup could be why it sounds a little different (better) to me.
Best compliment I can give it is that is sounds a lot like the http://www.resonessencelabs.com/
Mirrus DAC that I have been so enamored with. The DAC3L direct to the AHB2 sounds so much better than when I had the Benchmark DAC2 direct to a Parasound A23 amp. The difference in quality is ridiculous. At one time I had that older Benchmark DAC2 running into a BAT VK-42SE preamp and it did not sound as good as the new system. It is the lack of noise that is the secret sauce.
Benchmark AHB2 amp
Sony HD Radio
Bryston XLR between preamp and amp
Audience AU SE speaker cable
Assorted inexpensive power chords
Torus RM15 power conditioner
KEF LS50 speakers
I will be replacing the Bryston XLR with an old Audience AU24e XLR next week. I will also be replacing the KEF LS50's with Audience 1+1 speakers next week. The KEF's move to the bedroom to be powered with my existing PeachTree Nova 150. I decided on the Audience because it is a crossover less speaker and it has had great reviews for my type of office application. I will eventually be running that on dedicated stands but will have to put it on my desk (on Isoaccustic stands) until I move.
I finally found a reason not to buy the KEF 1. I wanted to have some variety in the speakers since I hope to also get the Blade 2 at some future time for the living room.
I have been saying how great the PeachTree Nova 150 sounds with the KEF LS50;s. I still think this is the case and that is why I am keeping it for the bedroom. However, I do feel that the all Benchmark system is at another higher level in terms of sound reproduction.
Now back to work.