Hegel H300 Amplifier

The Hegel H300 is an integrated amplifier/DAC. Although for most British folks Hegel's sole claim to fame was being immortalised in the 'Philosopher's Song' by Monty Python's Flying Circus ("David Hume/Could out-have/Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel"), he was in fact among the driving forces behind German Idealism as well as a whole branch of the school that sprung from his concepts (unsurprisingly called Hegelianism) insists that reality must find a way to be expressed in logical - and consequently quantifiable - properties.

Hegel (the brand) has embraced the theories of Hegel (the man) by designing distinctly 'foo-free' gear; in the procedure being really big on the cost vs. performance equation throughout its literature. So, let us see what's around the menu in terms of the H300 as concerned and have a look.

Here is a chunky but normal case having a fairly subtle bowed front, a big on/off push switch, a pair of even larger rotary controls and a blue illuminated display that was very clear. Round the back there really are a single set of solid-seeming gold plated speaker terminals along with an adequate analogue input ability of one pair of balanced and three sets of connectors that are unbalanced. Enlarging things nicely, there's also just one RCA set of fixed- unbalanced and level Home Theatre inputs pre-out connectivity. The inclusion of a DAC is a welcome improvement, because it means the carton count could possibly drop to only H300 and a computer. However, there are a couple of coaxial S/PDIF inputs, supplemented by another couple of optical versions alongside a single USB input signal. You must declare that all this is beginning to look like a useful package indeed. The chip, the 32-bit AKM4399 is exactly like that discovered in Hegel's HD-11 DAC that as favourably reviewed here just criticisms that are minor have been addressed by Hegel by providing it -clocking it.

Output Signal is a large 250 watts into eight ohms in the Class AB amplifier, with low distortion figures achieved by the incorporation of the institution 's SoundEngine layout and topology that comprises FET transistors in the dual-mono preamplifier period. It may also be used if an external DAC is being used through its DAC Loop attribute. This is a welcome change that you frequently discover with many products nowadays, purchased in remote operation that is just for the sake of offering. One observation though is that the remote is not a small thing that is credit card kind, so why are all the function buttons located and so small so closely together? Remote controls that are great are such that you can use in a darkened room. One should least distinguish the rest and the volume controls for them to be readily reached. Small details, but significant ones yet.

So, we do, so and on the menu the Hegel H300 surely looks an inviting suggestion I believe you will agree I am told, eat with our eyes. The H300 promises power and high versatility to a set of Focal Diablo loudspeakers and also the outstanding Lindemann 825 CD player and I coupled it. David started by using some reasonably priced cabling from The Chord Company before upping the quality throughout with cable systems from both Nordost and Crystal.

The amplifier arrived on the clock with almost no run-in time, and with any new product, it's not often clear exactly how much time is required for it to come to life. Some layouts (the D'Agostino amplifiers, for example) tend to come on song almost instantly along with a day after first powering up the device, it's nearly as good as it gets. Others (like Ayre or Naim Audio) are notorious for running in to give of their best and requiring week after week of conditioning.

Right from the box, the H300 was no different to many, many other hunks of amplification as my path had been clearly without musical communication on first listening that have crossed it.

The Hegel H300 is one of those layouts that clearly undergoes important changes for the better as the run-in procedure develops. Some time into the H300's backdrop listening jobs, David was slouching on the sofa doing a bit of iPad surfing once I started to notice that what had seemed like a whole lot of unsympathetic separates appeared to be making friends and singing from exactly the same hymn sheet. The previously paperthin image demonstration, after so one-dimensional had begun to detach itself from the cabinets of the Diablo and grow both ahead and to the rear of the area. A percussion section that David knew well had become just that; disconnected in the key musical body I possibly could appreciate its driving precision and rhythmic connection to the tempo. It was beginning to sound as though the musicians had began to feel interested again and so was I.

As the hours, then days passed, I had been beginning to love this Hegel amp a great deal and that became the narrative of my time with it. The more I became involved, the more work David gave it to do. It features a quite natural manner with voices as well as a quite even handed tonal balance especially. It applies its substantial power with discretion also, since it's not notably grippy or particularly taught; according to your perspective (and selection of loudspeaker), this may come across as having a simple, unforced approach to bottom end, or being less than totally specific in the bass. Following a while I realised when I sat back and attempted to dissect its operation, I discovered it too soft and the midband a little over sweet but, fortunately I don't love listening to music in that way and it is one of those products where the whole exceeds the parts by some way. The Hegel is really, quite easy to reside with really.

As if to demonstrate these points, David altered the speakers -10 and introduced an entire run of the Blue Heaven in Nordost. I believe this to be among the best balanced of the wiring systems of all Nordost and lightness and its own speed of rhythmic touch showed another side of the H300 which, by this time seemed to have reached something. The music was more closely etched, its own space that was dynamic had grown and the entire picture was much more exciting. The depth the amplifier's considerable power could be viewed as a musical strength and that David mentioned before had expanded before my ears rather than a spec-sheet incentive. This is a wonderful mix for the Hegel, although David would still characterise this as a touch soft for my individual taste. The on board DAC was used by me and it certainly works very well. Of course it throws up an entirely new area of conversation as to how one should really configure a pc to get the very best but that is turning out to be entire subject in itself. This does make for a very simple, high quality music delivery system.

The Hegel is quite a decent all round performer in a tight end of the market. It has power aplenty and - although some intelligent system matching is needed by this - won't show up itself in the business of some very high quality loudspeakers. In a properly configured computer system, the DAC section is a real plus point and it definitely expands the allure and worth of is an amplifier that is rather tasty.

Hegel H300 Amplifier photo