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10 Coolest New Stereo Products from Rocky Mountain Audio Fest

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Benchmark AHB2 THX amplifier
Benchmark AHB2 THX amplifier
Brent Butterworth

The AHB2 is the first amplifier to use THX's new all-analog high-efficiency amp technology. The technology employs a super-compact DC-to-DC converter and a tracking power supply that delivers only as much power as required by the music, so it doesn't have to burn off excess power as heat the way most amps do. The amplifier's "error feed forward" design is said to deliver extremely low noise and distortion.

Although the amp measures just 3 by 11 by 8 inches, it delivers a rated 100 watts into 8 ohms. During Benchmark's demo, with the AHB2 driving Studio Electric speakers, I placed my hand on top of the amplifier and it was just perceptibly warm, like the side of a cup of Starbucks black coffee after about 10 minutes. Price hasn't been set yet but figure about $2,500.

 

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