Hegel H80 Amplifier

The firm has a solid technology pedigree and its own strategy to its sound merchandise variety that is wide-ranging would be to do things quite differently in the standard.

That is DAC and an integrated amplifier in one carton which is setting out its stall to offer quality along with convenience. That is not unusual but is more unusual as the budget increases of a customer, with many audiophiles choosing for DAC and different amp. Given DAC technology is proceeding at such a stride, can there be an inherent danger that this inbuilt DAC could shortly appear outmoded by newer separates with all the most recent bells and whistles?

Build quality feels of the sturdiness as well as a high standard and quality engineering is suggested by links round the rear. Suspect others might need more screen info controls as well as a headphone amp phase, although I love the understated design. Application and the understated design's plain face of three vibration-absorbing feet indicate the way that the bonnet seems and that maximum focus has gone into what is underneath it. The distant supplied is, on the other hand, a disappointment. An alternate could be purchased for £100.

Connectivity is wide-ranging. The H80 boasts two optical two coaxial as well as one non- USB input signal that is asynchronous. Coaxial and optical digital input signals are asserted to work up to 24-bit/192kHz with all the USB input signal topping out at 24-bit/96kHz.

Hegel isn't unafraid to buck the conventional sound these technological choices that are clear and layout tendencies underline the idea it can give better music playback to us by attentively optimising preamp, digital and power amplification into one carton.

Sound quality

Playing with a CD of the In The Meantime via analogue RCA input signals of Spacehog, the immediate feeling is of control and detail. Bass is business without overhang as well as the noise floor feels low, enabling high frequencies that are more silent . But this amp isn't in any way that is dim. Quite the contrary, it feels like my music sources cleaning and removing sound and distortion I did not understand I'd got used to. It comes across as impersonal, enthusiastic and upbeat and I am extremely impressed this transistor-established layout combines new degrees of detail and dynamic grasp using the smooth, clear delivery more generally related to valves. Sources I understand come through cleanly with virtually no colouration and improved dynamism.

Bass is complete but never overblown, partially I consider due to the extremely high 'damping factor' that Hegel claims because of its amplifiers. Think of it instead of hp getting you rapidly from the traffic lights.

Keeping the exact same path, I swap to the digital input signals. I am now able to find a difference that is noticeable also between different digital input signals and when the internal DAC is applied. Around higher frequency advice, important new element is shown, particularly on the coaxial input signals particularly. Being picky I'd say this additional detail has a moderate effect of appearing to flatten the stereo picture front to back and sometimes sounding a touch active on music that is more complicated, but the additional detail will win many around.

The visual input signal comes across relaxed and some may favor this digital selection, especially on digital records that are poorer. To my ear, but the USB input signal a little more simplistic and not as free streaming compared to other digital input signals and feels less accomplished.

That is an amplifier that gets feet tap and locks into a groove. Bass is strong and persuasive, and the more I recognize its quality, the more I listen to it. Some may hanker to get more or a much more fulsome bass 'fruitiness' but I believe some larger bass could be a side effect from a slight dearth of control.

Changing stripped and beguiling, emotive -back performance of the way You Remind Me on CD shows that subtle vocals are delivered by the H80 . And where some lower price transistor amps will often be criticised for drying female voices out, the H80 includes a really light touch and a nearly valve-like foil and silkiness to the delivery of the best upper mid group detail from Maria's captivating performance.

The mixture of a high damping factor grasping low distortion and the loudspeakers releasing new micro- detail that is dynamic gives me a fresh outlook to every one of the tracks I decide, be they jazz, rock or classical. Initially it is almost as if the sound's cleanliness indicates that recognizable tracks have now been discreetly re-mastered or I am listening to an alternate recording session in a room acoustic guitar that is somewhat different. But this effect is shortly followed by the realisation that these would be the tracks I understand well, only seemingly using a touch of digital or analogue 'grime' .


Blowing out some cobwebs with the Fistful Of Steel of Rage Against the Machine I go through each and every input signal by means of outside DAC, a CD transportation and MacBook Pro all supplying signals. Now it is not difficult to realise that the music lover can tailor the sound of individual tracks or their system they choose. But many standalone DACs generally have digital filters that are distinct to tweak this and the output signal doesn't. Nor does it means to upload new software or have a headphone output signal, or show any sample-rate information. Thus, is the output bit mean spirited only mature and in the attribute count to own its DAC outmoded by another breakthrough that is digital? This is a piece of true high end hifi in a a cost that is cracking and that i suppose Hegel has been quite generous in the internal characteristics incorporated into this single carton that is understated.

This amplifier feels like it is successfully addressing distortion and sound in ways that are fundamentally new. It could be an entry level merchandise in Hegel's merchandise variety, but it's certainly profiting from drip-down technologies found on machines that are first-class up the range. Used for two weeks of intensive I never hanker for quality or more advantage. Hegel has incorporated a competent DAC, preamp that was highly sensitive and revolutionary power output phases in a single carton in ways that adds up to a lot more in relation to the total of its own parts. And it is done this at a cost that was very reasonable. It comes across as a low sound, low distortion, high transparency, high handle amplifier which can be described as a bargain for the cash. You can go an separates route for exactly the same cost down, but you had must invest a good chunk of the funding interconnects and power cables and also then I am not certain you'd approach this degree of linked-up music making.

Hegel H80 Amplifier photo