Benchmark LA4 Line Amplifier with Remote Control (Black)

BH #BELA4PARBF • MFR #500-17100-201
Benchmark LA4 Line Amplifier with Remote Control (Black)
Key Features
  • High Voltage, Current, and Power
  • 256-Step Balanced Relay Gain Control
  • 100% Analog Signal Path
  • Balanced and Unbalanced Line I/O
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The black LA4 Line Amplifier with Remote Control from Benchmark is a line-level preamplifier designed to sit between a reference-quality D/A converter and a reference-quality power amplifier. It offers relay gain control, relay input selection, and relay muting, and incorporates premium gold-contact relays. The gain control has 256 steps in 0.5 dB increments. Relay closures are precisely timed to deliver smooth volume changes. The LA4 incorporates a total of 40 precision relays and two independent 256-step attenuators, one for the left channel and one for the right channel.
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Expected availability: 2-4 weeks
$2,599.00
$217/mo. suggested payments
with 12 Mos. Promo Financing* 

Important Notice

  • This item is noncancelable and nonreturnable.
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Benchmark LA4 Overview

  • 1Description
  • 2100% Analog Signal Path
  • 3System Optimization
  • 4Speed and Precision
  • 5Balanced and Unbalanced Inputs/Outputs
  • 6System Integration
  • 7Touchscreen
  • 8Rotary Encoder
  • 9Convenience
  • 10Casework
  • 11Designed, Assembled, and Tested in the USA

The black LA4 Line Amplifier with Remote Control from Benchmark is a line-level preamplifier designed to sit between a reference-quality D/A converter and a reference-quality power amplifier. It offers relay gain control, relay input selection, and relay muting, and incorporates premium gold-contact relays. The gain control has 256 steps in 0.5 dB increments. Relay closures are precisely timed to deliver smooth volume changes. The LA4 incorporates a total of 40 precision relays and two independent 256-step attenuators, one for the left channel and one for the right channel.

The rear-panel I/O includes two balanced stereo XLR inputs, two unbalanced stereo RCA inputs, XLR and RCA stereo outputs, and a mono XLR output. Volume adjustments are executed via the 256-step balanced relay gain control, which uses increments of 0.5 dB. The integrated touchscreen allows convenient access to common functions such as input selection, dim, mute, and more.

100% Analog Signal Path

The LA4 is 100% analog. It is designed to be driven from external D/A converters and external line-level analog sources, and to drive any professional or hi-fi power amplifier.

System Optimization

At any volume setting, the relay-controlled gain stage provides an optimized attenuator to match the upstream analog source to the downstream power amplifier. This optimization of the gain staging delivers the best possible system SNR for each volume setting. The LA4 matches high-output D/A converters to low-input power amplifiers and vice versa. It also provides an optimized interface to and from balanced and unbalanced devices. In addition, it matches high-level professional balanced interfaces to low-level hi-fi balanced interfaces (in either direction).

Speed and Precision

The bandwidth of the LA4 extends from 0.01 Hz to over 500 kHz. This means that the LA4 delivers very precise amplitude and phase accuracy over the entire audio bandwidth. Wave shapes are accurately reproduced, and the entire spectrum is delivered with precise timing. The LA4 is designed to deliver musical overtones with lifelike accuracy so the sonic character of musical instruments is rendered truthfully.

Balanced and Unbalanced Inputs/Outputs

The LA4 features two balanced stereo inputs and two unbalanced stereo inputs. The line amplifier provides one balanced stereo output, one balanced mono sum, and one unbalanced stereo output.

System Integration

The LA4 can be operated using the included remote control. The LA4 is designed to work with the separately available DAC2 and DAC3 converters but may be driven from any high-end D/A converter. When paired with a Benchmark DAC, a single remote control will operate both units.

Two bidirectional 12V trigger ports can be used to link the LA4 with external D/A converters and power amplifiers. The trigger signal controls the power-up and power-down sequencing of the entire audio system. The trigger ports are compatible with most industry-standard trigger input or output ports, but can communicate bidirectionally with other Benchmark products.

Touchscreen

The touchscreen provides easy access to advanced features such as balance control, input level offsets, input names, screen dimming, remote control, and function locking. Help screens explain the special functions.

Rotary Encoder

The volume control knob features a high-quality optical encoder that is rated for heavy use. An acceleration feature makes it easy to move through the 256 volume steps while maintaining 0.5 dB/step resolution. A press of the control knob will wake, turn on, or brighten the screen if you are using the screen sleep or auto-dim functions.

Convenience

The LA4 includes an on-screen mute button for the line outputs. The outputs can also be muted with the volume knob or with the remote control.

The LA4 includes an on-screen -20 dB "audio dim" button that instantly reduces the level by 20 dB. This function provides a temporary volume reduction and makes it easy to return to the previous listening level. This control makes it easy to transition between a normal listening level and a background level. The -20 dB "dim" function is also accessible from the remote control.

The inputs may be renamed and unused inputs may be disabled. Input levels can be trimmed to provide input-to-input level matching.

Screen brightness is adjustable and timers can be set to dim or shut off the display. The screen can be locked to prevent access to advanced features.

Casework

The case features a milled faceplate and milled sides. Top, bottom, and rear panels are made from thick aluminum and feature a brushed texture.

Designed, Assembled, and Tested in the USA

The LA4 was designed, assembled, and tested in the USA using USA and imported components. Most major components are made in the USA.

Benchmark LA4 Specs

Number of Channels2
Input Connections4 x 3-Pin XLR Female (Two Stereo Pairs, Balanced)
4 x RCA Coaxial (Two Stereo Pairs, Unbalanced)
Output Connectors2 x 3-Pin XLR Male (One Stereo Pair, Balanced)
1 x 3-Pin XLR Male (Mono, Balanced)
2 x RCA Coaxial (One Stereo Pair, Unbalanced)
Trigger Connectivity2 x 12 V Bidirectional Trigger Ports
Maximum Input Level20 Vrms / +28 dBu
Maximum Output Level20 Vrms / +28 dBu
Function ControlsVolume
Power
THD< -125 dB (0.00006%)
Signal to Noise RatioLine Outputs: >135 dB (Unweighted, 20 Hz to 20 kHz), >137 dB (A-Weighted)
Frequency ResponseExceeds 0.1 Hz to 500 kHz (-3 dB)
10 Hz (-0.003 dB) to 20 kHz (-0.001 dB)
Output Impedance60 Ohms
Output Noise<1.9 µV at Unity Gain, 20 Hz to 20 kHz
CrosstalkLine Outputs: < -133 dB at 1 kHz, -116 dB at 10 kHz
DisplayTouchscreen
Input Power12 W Typical
17 W Maximum
0.33 W in Standby Mode
Dimensions (W x H x D)8.7 x 3.5 x 8.3" / 22.0 x 8.8 x 21.2 cm, Excluding Feet
Weight8 lb / 3.6 kg
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