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!


Every amp I've had has been SS. Several Adcoms, Sunfires, Musical Fidelity, and the Wadia...which someone just bought, so I'll definitely have to do something and soon. 

@onhwy61 Yes, exactly. Pushing boundaries and the limits of this system. The 21s are surprisingly musical...they come from the sound reinforcement/live sound realm. I would say more musical than the 18's they replaced and the 15s before them. 

@jastralfu It's my third set of NHTs, I 've owned since new back in the early 2000's. Stereophile Class A limited back in their heyday. Only work that I had to do was replace the crossovers a year ago (I think room correction "adjusted" a little too much and they went out)

SEVEN 21-inch subs? OK, here’s my tenuously related old-audiophile anecdote.

When I was a kid in the early 70s, some friends dragged me to an attic bedroom in an old hippie house to smoke weed with two older Haitian guys that I didn’t know. The room was something like 25x6 feet, long & narrow.

At either end they had one of those giant metal horn speakers you see mounted on towers at rock festivals. Almost as tall as me. I should have run as soon as I saw them.

These guys were really proud of their system, but were also very scary. Without saying a word, one of them cued up Mountain’s first album. Mountain.  Of course.

The lead-in groove surface noise was deafening, but when the music started, I couldn’t hear anything at all. The only thing I remember is an intense sheet of pain bisecting my head. No sensation of hearing sound.

And to complete the mind-f**, the second guy put on a strange display while the music was playing, furiously dancing around the room waving a big-a** knife under our noses & grasping a humanoid cloth doll, as if to psych us out with some sort of drugged-up faux voodoo ritual. I’m sure they thought it was funny.

We left as soon as we recovered enough to rub two thoughts together. Even today, decades later, I still can’t hear "Mississippi Queen" without flashbacks to that terrifying experience. The wages of sin.

And that’s why I became an audiophile!


@cundare2 I think most people on social media responded with the GIF from the original Back to the Future with Marty over a Doc's with the guitar. This tale tops that for sure.


@onhwy61 Wrote:

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?

I agree! I would not use 7 21" subwoofers. I WOULD use 7 32" subwoofers! LOL 😎 Mike

I love my Mac gear but not sure you need more Mac with 7 subs. Never personally heard Benchmark but the discussions here about that line have usually been positive