Benchmark HPA4 headphone/line amplifier coming soon
Hi-Fi NewsBenchmark Media Systems has introduced their new HPA4 headphone/line amplifier at two recent trade shows and is now gearing for a UK launch.
Benchmark partnered with THX in order to incorporate the THX Achromatic Audio Amplifier (AAA) technology into this new high-end audio product. According to John Siau, VP of Benchmark, they "chose to leverage the THX AAA technology because it reduces harmonic, intermodulation, and crossover distortion by 20 to 40 dB to guarantee a realistic and fatigue-free listening experience".
This is the same THX technology Benchmark used in their AHB2 power amplifier. The HPA4 features the flagship THX-888 headphone amplifier design and is driven by an all-new Benchmark line amplifier featuring a fully-balanced 256-step relay gain control. A separate 256-step attenuator controls balanced and unbalanced line outputs. The HPA4 also features a touch screen and remote control capabilities. The HPA4 will begin shipping June, 2018.
The HPA4 is a completely analogue product and is designed to be driven from an external DAC or analogue source. According to Siau, "from start to finish the HPA4 development team has been focused on delivering the ultimate listening experience".
The core of the line amplifier is a bank of four fully-balanced 256-step attenuators featuring gold-contact relays and precision metal film resistors. Siau added that "the attenuator relay closures are precisely timed to provide a silky-smooth volume control with precise 0.5 dB steps ... this Benchmark system defines the state-of-the art for high-end volume controls".
Benchmark expects that many customers will purchase the HPA4 strictly for headphone use. Others will use the HPA4 to drive their favourite power amplifier and speakers. The HPA4 has independent volume controls for the headphone and line outputs and is well-suited for users who enjoy both modes of listening. This headphone amp / line amp configuration provides the flexibility to integrate with virtually any hi-end audio system and is specifically designed to match the performance of the AHB2 power amplifier.
The UK RRP is set at £3199 and it will be available in a black or silver finish.
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