Benchmark or McIntosh....

Brain says two Benchmark ABH2 as monoblocks. Heart says Mc because meters and more power. A little background info:

Mixed-use theater/listening room. More listening versus movies. Primary source is a Hifi Rose RS150B into an Anthem AVM 70 pre/pro. Current amplifier is a Wadia A315 at 150x2. Speakers are NHT M6 monitors (a 6 ohm/ 250w sealed speaker, which is exceedingly rare and why I still have them.) I have seven 21" subwoofers so it is fairly equivalent to a live concert when everything is fired up but I need a little more oomph from the monitors.

I was set on a pair ABH2s earlier this week, but I keep getting drawn back to McIntosh - primarily monos MC601 MC611 MC1201 etc...

Do I pick Mc with more power (will probably be a second-hand model due to availability/wait times/budget etc) or so I go for the Benchmark with superior SNR (pre/pro is 110db and Hifi Rose is 117db)

TIA for any real-world feedback!


This whole exercise seems the equivalent of shoehorning a V12 into a Pinto. The NHT’s at their very best won’t be exceptional. Your $$$ though.


@curiousjim Room is 22x12x7 give or take a few inches.

@mm1tt77 100% agree on the McIntosh resale. It would be a pretty easy proposition. Krell on the other hand...would probably make the room into a sauna.

@panzrwagn You are spot on. I just am reluctant to change everything out. I could probably just change the front LRC and live with it. Something with more efficiency would help. 86/87db on the current monitors.  

Definitely considering Parasound monos, Musical Fidelity monos. Wadia monos. I looked at some others (Krell, Mark Levinson, Theta, Mola Mola, Wyred 4 Sound and others.

It appears some of you are not buying into the concept of multiple 21" subwoofers.  Isn't being an audiophile about taking it to extremes?

Sell the NHT's and buy the biggest pair of Sound Labs ESL's! Nothing as realistic as having square feet of sound radiating surface!

My MA8900 never runs hot. I don’t think it lacks detail either. I find it to be an excellent balance of smooth and detailed. I’ve heard the 611 and 1.2 in a dealer room and I’m sure they would be an upgrade but I’m really happy with my setup at the moment and honestly they would be overkill in my small listening room.  I remember hearing some NHTs years ago and really liked them a lot.  Listen to all of them, buy what you like.