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Benchmark AHB-2 Power Amplifier

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Product J18969
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Product Price $2,995.00
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Winner of the EAN "Best Gear of 2014" award, the AHB-2 has ushered in a new benchmark in professiona audio monitoring amplification and in audiophile...Click To Read More About This Product

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For critical listening.

Winner of the EAN "Best Gear of 2014" award, the AHB-2 has ushered in a new benchmark in professiona audio monitoring amplification and in audiophile playback. It presents an uncompromising standard in high fidelity, low-noise, critical listening power. For tracking, mastering and playback, the AHB-2 Power Amplifier is the professional's choice.

The AHB2 is the ideal match to the performance limits of High-Resolution (HRA) formats. Benchmark's AHB2 power amplifier delivers musical details without introducing the masking effects of amplifier noise and distortion. The dynamic range of the AHB2 is 132 dB, making it 10 to 30 dB quieter than the typical reference-quality power amplifier. The frequency response extends beyond 200 kHz. With the AHB2, you will discover previously overlooked nuances, dynamics, and detail in your favorite recordings and experience the full potential of the latest high-resolution 24-bit PCM and 1-bit DSD audio formats.

The musical details and emotion captured on today's finest High-Resolution Audio recordings can only be fully appreciated when every component in the signal chain is capable of true high-resolution performance. The AHB2's extended frequency response, ultra low noise, and vanishingly low distortion are key parameters contributing to accurate reproduction of high-resolution musical recordings.

Extended frequency response
The frequency response of the AHB2 extends beyond 200 kHz, to deliver the ultrasonic detail and fast transients captured by high-resolution recordings. At the other end of the audio spectrum, the low-frequency response extends below 0.1 Hz, for solid well-controlled bass.

The extended frequency response delivers a nearly perfect impulse response, and a nearly perfect phase response, over the entire audio spectrum.

Cleanest power
Other than loudspeakers, power amplifiers are usually the weakest link in the audio chain. Until now, high-resolution recording formats and converter technology have rapidly outpaced the development of audio power amplifiers. For example, Benchmark DAC2 D/A converters outperform most high-end power amplifiers by very significant margins. Most power amplifiers limit system noise performance to the equivalent of a 16 to 18-bit digital system. The differences between 16-bit and 24-bit recordings are inaudible when the power amplifier can only deliver 16-bit noise performance. In most audio systems, the details captured by today's high-resolution 24-bit PCM systems are lost in a veil of amplifier noise and distortion.

Benchmark's goal was to build a power amplifier that could deliver the full performance of their flagship DAC2 converters, as well as that of today's finest high-resolution recordings. The AHB2 realizes this goal.

Difficult speaker loads handled easily
Many loudspeakers have frequencies at which their impedance drops to levels that are much lower than the "nominal" impedance. The AHB2 drives these low impedance regions with ease. Most power amplifiers produce higher levels of distortion when the load impedance decreases. In contrast, the feed-forward error correction system in the AHB2 prevents any increase in distortion. The AHB2 produces almost no measurable distortion at any rated load condition.

High damping factor
The AHB2 has a high damping factor that augments its extended low-end to deliver solid, well-controlled bass. It' a stunning experience to finally hear full bandwidth high-resolution playback.

High output current
The AHB2 can deliver up to 18 A to each channel simultaneously. This easily handles some of the most demanding loudspeakers. Best of all, the AHB2 stays clean while delivering high current.

Imperceptible distortion
In most playback systems, the distortion produced by the AHB2 will never reach the threshold of hearing. The AHB2 allows you to escape the distortion limitations of classic amplifier topologies and enter the world of high-resolution audio playback.

A radical approach
The AHB2 amplifier is radically different than traditional audio amplifiers. Two new THX-patented feed-forward error-correction technologies eliminate most sources of distortion. An unconventional power supply maintains tight regulation and low ripple while minimizing magnetic fields. A low-gain topology optimizes the gain staging between the D/A converter and the power amplifier while minimizing noise. Sophisticated shielding and star-quad signal distribution provide outstanding immunity to interference. A unique output stage incorporates class-H tracking power supply rails to improve efficiency. The result is that the cool-running AHB2 has a signal to noise ratio of 132 dB while distortion is at or below the measurement limits of the finest test equipment.

New amplifier technology
The AHB2 is the only amplifier that leverages the patented THX-AAA Technology (TM). This patented system reduces distortion to vanishingly low levels while enabling several power-saving techniques.

Bi-Polar Class AB output stage
The AHB2 has a bi-polar class-AB output stage that delivers high output current and low noise. The THX-AAA Technology (TM) provides accurate cancellation of zero-crossing errors.

High efficiency
Low-noise power supply
Passive cooling
Low-noise input amplifiers
AB and H topologies

Power as clean as it gets. Order today.

1 kHz, < 0.0003 % THD+N
100 W/channel into 8 Ohms, both channels driven
130 W/channel into 6 Ohms, both channels driven
190 W/channel into 4 Ohms, both channels driven
240 W/channel into 3 Ohms, both channels driven
200 W Bridged Mono into 16 Ohms
380 W Bridged Mono into 8 Ohms
480 W Bridged Mono into 6 Ohms

132 dB A-weighted, Stereo Mode
135 dB A-weighted, Bridged Mono
130 dB Unweighted, 20 Hz to 20 kHz, Stereo Mode
133 dB Unweighted, 20 Hz to 20 kHz, Bridged Mono

1 kHz, 80 kHz LPF, at full rated output into any rated load
< -118 dB (< 0.00013%) - Stereo Mode
< -118 dB (< 0.00013%) - Mono Mode

1 kHz, 20 kHz LPF, at full rated output into any rated load
< -119 dB (< 0.00011%) - Stereo Mode
< -120 dB (< 0.00010%) - Mono Mode

Better than -115 dB at 1 kHz
Better than -92 dB at 20 kHz

Frequency response
Better than 0.1 Hz to 200 kHz, +0/-3 dB
-0.01 dB at 20 Hz, -0.17 dB at 20 kHz, 8-Ohm Load
-0.23 dB at 20 Hz, -0.32 dB at 20 kHz, 4-Ohm Load

Maximum audio output current
18 A per channel, both channels driven
18 A protection shut-down threshold

Input sensitivity
Low-Gain = 22 dBu (9.8 Vrms), Gain = 9.2 dB
Mid-Gain = 14.2 dBu (4 Vrms), Gain = 17.0 dB
High-Gain = 8.2 dBu (2 Vrms), Gain = 23 dB
Use Mid-Gain or High-Gain settings for unbalanced inputs
Unbalanced inputs require RCA to XLRM adapter cables

Input impedance
50 k Ohms, normal mode
1 M Ohm, common mode

Input CMRR
80 dB at 20 Hz, typical
80 dB at 1 kHz, typical
65 dB at 20 kHz, typical

Trigger I/O
12 VDC 200 mA current-limited output to trigger turn-on of remote devices
DC input for slaving to remote devices
Input responds to 3.3 V logic and higher, VIL = 1.26 V, VIH = 2.7 V
Absolute maximum input voltage = 30 VDC
Absolute minimum input voltage = -0.3 VDC
Input Impedance = 20 k Ohms

Non-rackmount version
11.04" W x 3.88" H x 9.34 " D - Including feet and binding posts
11.04" W x 3.47" H x 8.33 " D - Excluding feet and connectors
Faceplate height is 2RU

Rackmount version
19.00" W x 3.88" H x 10.62 " D - Including binding posts, handles and removable feet
19.00" W x 3.47" H x 8.33 " D - Excluding feet and connectors
9.09" rack depth, including binding posts, excluding cables
11" rack depth, including cables
Faceplate height is 2RU

12.5 lbs., 16 lbs. shipping - Non-rack-mount version
13.5 lbs., 17 lbs. shipping - Rack-mount version

AC Input
Auto-ranging AC Input
100 to 120 VAC +/- 10%, 8 Amps, 50 - 60 Hz
220 to 240 VAC +/- 10%, 8 Amps, 50 - 60 Hz

This oversized item has special shipping requirements


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