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05-05-2008, 03:55 AM
I purchased several sets of audio interconnects from a sales rep for a German company called "Benchmark Audio" quite a few years ago. This is not the Benchmark company that makes high end electronics, but either a company that has gone belly-up, or one that just no longer exports its products to the U.S.

With my B&W 802 F Specials, I didn't care for the sound of the Benchmark cables, as there didn't seem to be enough detail. That was also in a very different listening environment, and I've moved several times since then. I use a Benchmark 3 meter cable to connect my preamp and power amp, and find that it, at least in my currnent listening location, and using my Dahlquist DQ-10's instead of the B&W's, vastly outperforms any cable I'd used in the past.

I mentioned on another thread that I was using Kimber silver cables to connect my Marantz SA-8001 SACD player to my preamp, and was curious as to whether or not I could improve on the sound by replacing them. I'd always found the sound from those Kimber cables to be clear, sharp and distinct. I'd never used the 1 meter long Benchmark cables I've had stored away for years to connect a CD player, so I thought I'd give them a try.

Wow! The difference these cables make is almost as much difference as the Marantz unit itself did! Everything's still clear and distinct, but the deep, "throatiness" of the brass and particularly male choir voices is all but incredible. My wife used the terms "full," and "rich," while I felt the more appropriate one was "lush."

I've tried to Google Benchmark audio cables but can't find them anywhere. They're rather thick - over 1/2" - and have finely machined, rather heavy and highly polished chrome screw-on collars over their ends so that a tight connection can be achieved. Unfortunately, those collars are so large that if the jacks on the components to be connected are fairly close together, they just don't fit. That's why I couldn't use them in the past to connect my previous CD player/DAC combo, but as the Marantz unit has purposely widely spaced jacks on the rear, they're a perfect choice.

So, now I've got something else to listen to to hear "how much better everything sounds."
Boy, this hobby (obsession?) is fun, isn't it!