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Benchmark To Offer First Amp With THX High-Efficiency Technology

San Francisco – The first product incorporating THX’s all-analog, high-efficiency amplifier technology is coming to market from Benchmark Media Systems.

THX, which demoed the technology at CES 2012, contends its patented technology delivers sound quality that equals that of the best Class A/B analog amplifiers while equaling or exceeding the efficiency of most Class D “digital” switching amps in normal use when playing music or movie soundtracks.

Benchmark said the AHB2 stereo amp eliminates “the distortion limitations of classic amplifier topologies” and delivers the full potential of high-resolution audio formats.

The amp is available for preorder, but pricing and availability haven’t been disclosed. It will retail for less than $3,000, however.

Because of the THX technology’s efficiency, the amp’s enclosure is only 3.5 by 11 by 9 inches, but it puts out at 2×100 watts into 8 ohms, 2×170 watts in 4 ohms, and 340 watts bridged mono into 8 ohms. The amplifier, designed for both the consumer and professional markets, also delivers an A-weighted dynamic range of 130dB, making it 10 to 30dB quieter than typical audiophile power amplifier, Benchmark said.

 THD is less than 0.00013 percent at 1kHz, and frequency response extends above 200kHz at the high end and down to 0.1 Hz at the low end. A high damping factor is said to “deliver solid, well-controlled bass,” added the Syracuse, N.Y., company, which sells product direct to consumers and through retailers in the U.S. and Canada.

The amplifier has speakeon connectors for the professional market and standard binding posts for home audio installation. The AHB2 is promoted as an ideal choice for high-resolution recording applications.