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  1. ericohgb
    Thanks for the review, DarKu. Aside the price and size, how would you compare the Benchmark to the Master 9? Best regards, Érico
    ericohgb, Jul 4, 2019
  2. DarKu
    Hi Erico, Truth to be told I was never impressed by M9, I felt it made LCD-4 slow and boring because of the slow transients M9 is having. At this very moment there isn't a headphone amplifier that can compete with HPA4. It is just miles ahead compared to Master 9 on all key aspects. With HPA4 I re-listened to my entire music collection and I rediscovered (for the 9-th time!) new nuances, new hidden details, more air mass, more of everything basically. Master 9 doesn't hold a candle to HPA4
    DarKu, Jul 4, 2019
    ericohgb likes this.
  3. ericohgb
    Thanks for your reply, DarKu. Pitty I can't hear one myself. My main setup is the BHSE + 007 and 009. My dynamic/planar setup is the M-9 + Utopia and Ether 2. Seriously considering the Benchmark HP4. Will get it eventually. Best regards, Érico.
    ericohgb, Jul 4, 2019
    DarKu likes this.
  4. Charlie Norwood
    Great review. I’m dying to hear this thing. Truth be told by the time you got to the price, I was hoping there would be another 0 on the end. $3K is more than I could probably ever justify, but it’s not out of reach with some budgeting and saving. This hobby... lol.
    Charlie Norwood, Jul 10, 2019
    DarKu likes this.
  5. DarKu
    Glad you liked it. Problem is, here in Europe it costs ~3700 EUR, that translates into ~4170 USD - not fun at all. Still I bought it on my birthday (8 of July), I don't think the following years I will test something better than this. I am getting goose bumps daily :)
    DarKu, Jul 11, 2019
    bidn, Reactcore and Charlie Norwood like this.
  6. Reactcore
    I wonder if there are other Achromatic amps in the market for affordable prices or is it the only 1..
    Reactcore, Jul 11, 2019
  7. DarKu
    It is - Massdrop THX AAA 789, but it is always out of stock
    DarKu, Jul 12, 2019
  8. ericohgb
    [USER=66237]@DarKu[/USER], Did you have the chance to compare the HPA4 against the Massdrop? Thanks.
    ericohgb, Jul 15, 2019 at 8:54 AM
  9. DarKu
    [USER=143754]@ericohgb[/USER], Yes, I did, later on and after I finished my review. A friend of mine has the THX-789 and we compared the two. Put it simply: you can't compare the two. HPA4 sounds even clearer, sounds more natural, has a much better slam and impact. It does justice to any headphone and makes them sing. THX-789 is a bit dry sounding and suffers when it comes to impact and slam. It is also not as layered and deep sounding. It can't really compete with HPA4
    DarKu, Jul 15, 2019 at 9:09 AM
  10. ericohgb
    Thanks a lot for your reply, DarKu. According to your review, the HPA4 doesn't seem to add any kind of coloration to the music, unlike tube amps or some type of SS amps. Is that correct?
    ericohgb, Jul 15, 2019 at 9:26 AM
  11. DarKu
    100% Correct, you are listening to your source, to your headphones or speakers. Still, do not underestimate how clean you source can sound, HPA4 will show you that in a natural manner.
    DarKu, Jul 15, 2019 at 10:33 AM
  12. ericohgb
    Thanks. BTW, Have you ever tried the XIAUDIO Formula S?
    ericohgb, Jul 15, 2019 at 11:02 AM