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.

I would like to add to the discussion regarding the strong reactions to the AHB2 and other amps. I find that audiophiles  (but never reviewers! LOL) present strong, hyperbolic statements in regards to components or systems that represent emotional reactions, rather than absolute conclusions to the value/sound of the gear. Readers should realize that and not react overly to someone's strong description, as it may not reflect the experience of every user. 

There is such a huge variance in listener preferences that one is bound to encounter strong negative and positive reactions to any given product. John Siau is cordial and correct in his analysis; the Benchmark products would be categorized imo more as "studio sound" rather than smoke-filled club sound. They do not editorialize, but neither did I find them to assault the ears. Many audiophiles seek what is imo a dullish, bloated, euphonic, but distorted sound and they consider that "real". Well, that depends on how much accuracy you want and how much tonal coloration/warmth. Of course, that varies with listener and system. 

Anyway, in my testing in the review I agree that the Benchmark products are neutral in a good way, not sterile. Are there more warm sounding components? Of course. But, often you have an expense associated with obtaining that warmth. I do not wish to give up either extreme definition or tonal richness, and obtaining both can be like balancing on a razor's edge. 

Finally�, don't forget, the speaker system has an overwhelming impact on the final result. It's not terribly convincing to declare a component warm, thin, tube-like or not, based on a listen with one speaker system. One may say, "... in my rig it sounded..." and be accurate, but this in no way captures the span of results possible. Try a product with dynamic, ESL and high efficiency speakers, a few amps and cables, then conclude. Most cannot, so any declaration based on one setup should be taken with a caveat, spoken or not.  

Kijanki,. Good stuff. I agree 100% with those quotes. I am firmly in the "I want to hear it accurately" camp.  Also low noise is exactly what one wants with HE speakers, all else aside.

Has anyone owned the ABH2 for a considerable amount of time and then decided to change? Just curious on long term impressions on the Benchmark.

I've been running back and forth in my mind between tubes (Quicksilver, Rogue stereo 100, mc275) or stay with SS. I figure if I get an abh2, I can always add "color" thru my Rogue Rp-5 premap by changing tubes. However, if I go tubes, I can adjust my subs for any lack of bass. 


I have owned AHB2 for a year (using it with Benchmark DAC3 HGC).
I am very impressed with the clarity, tonal balance, sound staging and separation. I am adding second one to add more power for my inefficient ATC speakers. Not that the one AHB2 cannot drive the speakers. But I sometimes do feel the need to crank it up more than probably I should.

I did try A21 in my system, but it didn't compare with AHB2 at any level (other than power), and I sold it right away.

Now waiting for the second AHB2, and stay with it for a foreseeable future.

This amp has re-defined 'music' for me.
A21 = $2,500

2 AHB2 to equal power of A21 = $6,000

Several posters wanting two for enough power

Not everyone's choice in amps in $6K range