Fresh From the Bench: Benchmark HPA4 Headphone/Line Amplifier

January 29 2020, 09:10
The November 2019 edition of audioXpress reviews another example of audio excellence coming from Benchmark Media Systems, the upstate New York audio manufacturer. We think very highly of the products that Benchmark and John Siau, the company's director of engineering, have been launching in the market - and I'm certain our readers share that opinion. In this article, Gary Galo wrote the definitive review of the new Benchmark HPA4 Headphone/Line Amplifier, in reality two products in one, combining the LA4 Line Amplifier introduced in 2018 with a headphone amplifier based on the same THX Achromatic Audio Amplifier (AAA) technology used in the acclaimed AHB2 power amplifier (reviewed in audioXpress, April 2015). 

Resulting from Benchmark’s collaboration with THX, the HPA4 features a THX-888 headphone amplifier for an output signal with high voltage, current, and and power complemented by low distortion, noise, and crosstalk. The signal path in the HPA4 is entirely analog, with four stereo, line-level inputs—two fully balanced XLR and two unbalanced RCA. Outputs include stereo balanced XLR, a summed-mono balanced XLR, and stereo unbalanced RCA. The HPA4 is designed for full, professional operating levels using the XLR I/O, up to +28 dB, or 19.5 VRMS, in and out. Galo has reviewed other Benchmark products and there is no one better than him to explain in detail why this is another outstanding engineering achievement.

This article was published in audioXpress, November 2019

Read the complete review available here
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