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Had a demo and compared this with the Elektra Reference HD. An interesting comparison.

Ended up with the Elektra.

Perhaps says more about my preferences than anything else.

Paul R

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Agreed.

 

Really impressive when it’s a “switch mode supply”. And it’s for a power amp too that makes it astonishing....  just like some of the hypex psu. 

 

As I have previously many times b4 on this forum and have said that some SMPSU are better than any BS after market mod that’s trying to sell you to upgrade, but there are many here who will disagree and even with those measurements will attempt to use after market linear supply that’s sold with the assumption that’s far superior!  

 

Edited by Addicted to music

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2 hours ago, Paul R said:

Had a demo and compared this with the Elektra Reference HD. An interesting comparison.

Ended up with the Elektra.

Perhaps says more about my preferences than anything else.

Paul R

How would you describe the two amps compared to each other?

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How would you describe the two amps compared to each other?
The Elektra was more musical. A valve like solid state amplifier.

The Elektra replaced a pair of VTL deluxe 200 monoblocks running in triode mode. The VTLs were running EI KT90 tubes, eight a side, sixteen in all. Impossible to replace. And too dicey to replace with KT88s or 6550s tubes. We did not miss the VTLs too much as we kept the VTL Ultimate preamp at that time.

Paul R

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The Elektra was more musical. A valve like solid state amplifier.

The Elektra replaced a pair of VTL deluxe 200 monoblocks running in triode mode. The VTLs were running EI KT90 tubes, eight a side, sixteen in all. Impossible to replace. And too dicey to replace with KT88s or 6550s tubes. We did not miss the VTLs too much as we kept the VTL Ultimate preamp at that time.

Paul R

Correction, 300 watt monoblocks

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Fascinating. I have an Elektra power amp - it too sounds good to me. And the Benchmark is a thoroughly intriguing piece of work. Of design. There's real intelligence at play there. The review of it in theabsoultesound is like no other review I have ever read, describing the amp as "in any practical sense perfect". Not the sort of thing you can generally say in a field where subjectivity counts. But the reviewer (Paul Seydor)  lays out his case, and is persuasive. He also notes the power supply is very strictly regulated. in order to maintain the virtually zero distortion of the amp (including allegedly zero crossover distortion going from Class A to Class B). All achieved with no negative feedback. The designer, John Siau, writes about it at length on Benchmark's site, and how the design goals were set in order to achieve perfectly linear playback of the highest res files. He got THX to design the power supply. THX has apparently made a headphone amp of unparalleled linearity, thanks largely to their power supply designs. Yes, although aftermarket power supplies can really improve some equipment, it would in all likelihood degrade this amp. Hand in hand with all that, Stereophile's John Atkinson concludes his measurements of the Benchmark DAC3 by stating it is state of the art, with an exclamatory 'Wow'. It has volume control, and XLR outputs of pro standards – outputting double the voltage of consumer XLR outputs – which are happily accepted by their amp's corresponding XLR inputs. Siau explains on the website how that makes for lower noise. Any why they make the unusual (and sanely priced) XLR cables they do. And why they include Speakon connections on the amp, And all of this in a tiny little unit, not one foot wide, not four inches tall, which can be picked up in one hand. 

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On 27/05/2019 at 7:39 AM, Paul R said:

Had a demo and compared this with the Elektra Reference HD. An interesting comparison.

Ended up with the Elektra.

Perhaps says more about my preferences than anything else.

Paul R

Hi Paul,

Good day, just want to understand Elektra reference is better than benchmark? May I know the setup speakers, preamp?

 

Thank you

 

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On 27/05/2019 at 8:47 AM, sir sanders zingmore said:

Hey,

Would any one like the opportunity of trying one at home. See how it  performs? Obviously conditions apply. 
I have a demo unit that I could send to someone. If so please PM me to see if we can come to an arrangement. Otherwise I always have in in my isolated, quiet showroom. 

Kind regards 

Geoff 

HeyNow Hi-Fi 

CF5EBEBF-9E3C-4C03-A1DE-767562B42D14.thumb.jpeg.ee3712a68e429af6724238c701c88e48.jpegF5D0CA18-8108-40F6-8F1F-7DC6B60EA97A.thumb.jpeg.9a84f75833cef8e1ac99919f6f64ad7e.jpeg

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On 27/05/2019 at 8:47 AM, sir sanders zingmore said:

In answer to your question @sirsanders (which I've only just realised is a year old), I have heard one. This is one clean, clear amp. I took up Geoff's offer in the post above, and borrowed the amp for a home demo for a week. Which obviously meant I got to listen to it in my house on my speakers, which should give you the best insight into it. In that week, the Benchmark did everything right and nothing wrong. It never got even warm to touch. And that was on all sorts of music (from reggae to classical, Kraftwerk to Gillian Welch, Louis Armstrong to Sigurd Hole) from low to loud, on big speakers and small, from 2 to 4 to 8 ohm). The fact that you can literally pick up this amp in one hand and move it room to room so easily makes this sort of testing quite easy. The main amp I compared it to was a Halcro DM38. Listening to them on one set of speakers running just one high quality 5in driver, I could not tell the two amps apart. At all. To the point that I had to try a third amp, to test that finding against another one. The third amp sounded completely different (and inferior). That just made me think that both the Halcro and Benchmark were simply doing exactly the same thing to the speakers, and so producing exactly the same sound. At other times on other bigger speakers I sometimes felt I preferred the Halcro, but it was not possible to point to a difference, to nominate the actual difference, that made it better. It was simply more engaging - but that might just be because I'm attuned to it. Or biased, cos it's mine. Whichever, the Benchmark is a very good amp. If I was starting again, this is perhaps where I would start. (PS does anyone else read Jerry Seigel at 10audio? His reference power amp for years has been a 10watt single-ended Valvet – just now displaced by this Benchmark)

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