Responses from stereo5

Benchmark AHB2 in Mono Block Configuration
To OP There is an excellent review on Dogogo of the Benchmark AHB2 Monoblocks.  The reviewer really loved it.  If you get a chance, check it out it may remove all your doubt.   
Whats playing on your system today?
Legacy Audio, “Legacy Music Sampler III.”  This is my go to for auditioning equipment.  It will truly make your system shine if it’s up to the task.   I got it free at RMAF 2017.    Nick Mason, “Live At The Roundhouse CD1&CD2.” I just love th... 
My First Stereo. What Was Yours?
First system was a Sansui 20wpc receiver, Rectilinear bookshelf speakers, I believe they were the 1A, Garrard record changer with a Shure M75 cartridge and a Sony Cassette deck with the groundbreaking Dolby B noise reduction. Price was around $500... 
Akai AS-980 Value
What is an Akai  AS980?  Is it a reel to reel tape deck?  
Best Sounding Adapter - Making RCA into Banana or Spade? Thanks!
All I hear are crickets😂  
Excellent Solid State or Hybrid Monoblocks Recommendations
Not sure if this would be to your liking as you already have Pass but there is a pair of Pass 160. something for sale here around your budget.  I believe they will do class A up to their rated output of 160wpc.   
Still looking for a new Moving Coil Cartridge
@newfzx7, It certainly was under my radar.  I got a couple dozen PM singing the praise of the AT MM cartridges, especially the VM 540 and their more expensive siblings.   I purchased a mounted AT direct from AT and only had to slide the cartridge... 
Still looking for a new Moving Coil Cartridge
Mostly because I have a very excellent MC phono pre built into my Mac C2500 tube preamp.  I decided to go with a MM phono cartridge and purchased an AT VM540 cartridge.  It came in around $300 on a factory mounted headshell.  My Rock records reall... 
SVS Subwoofer Connection
Why aren’t you using the line inputs on your SVS sub ?   It’s a better way and much easier.   
Looking for integrated solid state amp for daily usage
I believe JBL makes an integrated amp for less than your max price.  It may be a S.A. 75 or something like that.   That should compliment your JBL speakers quite nicely. I believe MD has an open box or demo of said amp for a very reasonable price.... 
Speaker cable length.
No it will not make any difference.  My main system has 1 15 foot speaker cable and 1 23 foot speaker cable. In the 25 years in this house I have never heard a difference or imbalance in either channel.  The cords are 11 gauge.   I have used 3 dif... 
Equalizer to compensate for hearing loss - Any success stories?
I am in the same boat as the OP.  I thought the tone controls on my Mac preamp would be enough but I was mistaken.  I purchased the 6 band Schiit EQ for I think $300.00. It has been a Godsend.  I was able to adjust it so that my system sounds the ... 
McIntosh C52 to C53?
As others have said, get a good dac. My C2500 has the DA1 dac and I prefer not to use it. It is based on the ESS chip which I am not fond of. I find it too forward sounding. Suppose you bought the C53 and a better dac comes In a newer Mac preamp. ... 
A Big Shout out to TAP Electronics
that is comforting news.  
JJ preamp tubes - repeated problems
I have used JJ tubes for the past 7 years, in my case re-branded tubes with the McIntosh logo on them.  The 12ax7 tubes are quieter than the 2 Gold Lion 12ax7 tubes I am using in the line stage.  This weekend I will swap out the Gold Lions for 2 M...