• WANTED: Happy members who like to discuss audio and other topics related to our interest. Desire to learn and share knowledge of science required as is 20 years of participation in forums (not all true). There are daily reviews of audio hardware and expert members to help answer your questions. Click here to have your audio equipment measured for free!

Hegel H95 Review (Streaming Amplifier)

pma

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Feb 23, 2019
Messages
2,890
Likes
5,749
Location
Prague
As discussed yesterday, there is no "usual 2V output level" for a line out.
This is your personal opinion. Measuring plenty of consumer audio products and designing my own ones during past 20 years tells me something else. "As discussed yesterday" argument would not convince me, hard data do.

This is measured at amplifier output playing Tchaikovsky 1812
telarc_1812_ recorded.PNG

For 35Vp output voltage with 26dB gain amp I need 1.75Vp input. This is just one example.

Digital source data are this:
1812_data_1.png


So what, are we talking about 150mV line output???
 
Last edited:

KellenVancouver

Active Member
Joined
Nov 16, 2021
Messages
109
Likes
161
This discussion leads to nowhere. We have measured results, we have interpretation of them so let anyone to make his own judgement.
Not to be contrary, but personally I find the discussion outcomes from Amir's analyses rather helpful, even when they may seem a bit redundant. While I can empathize with the sense that a discussion can grow old in the tooth, so to speak, there still seems great value in the diverse and divergent insights provided by members. In that respect it is the journey borne of the discussion that provides value, regardless whether it ultimately leads anywhere.
 

voodooless

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Jun 16, 2020
Messages
3,887
Likes
6,062
Location
Netherlands
That's not the scenario, the correct one is, for example: One and the same DAC (technically), one designed and manufactured by a global far-east player and one made by a small company locally in a expensive region.

Maybe you want to support a company for any number of reasons (like being local, producing local and eco-friendly and politically correct -- no sweat shops, etc).

The same reasons why not buy cheap clothes like Primark, Zara, what have you.

Of course one must be willing and be financially able to have such a supportive stance.
That just means you'll need to adjust the criteria for performance accordingly. The same goes for @caught gesture. Performance can be many things, including social responsibility figures.

Sorry, you seem to have no clue about what drives the price of a product.
Oh, I very well do. The problem is just that the effort is not the only driver here. Next to the cost of components, production cost and amortisation of the design, certification and other upfront costs, distribution, etc, there is always some kind of intrinsic market price. Some things simply don't sell if the price is too low (or too high). Some (if not most) audiophile stuff definitely falls in this quality.

The point is: if the effort is very high, one can never have a low-cost product and still make money. It just doesn't add up.

Now the question is how much the Chinese companies cheat in this aspect? Do they get state subsidies for their products? Who knows..
 

orangejello

Active Member
Joined
Apr 18, 2019
Messages
218
Likes
298
This guy deleted my comment and ASR link for this review too.
I followed the link to “This guy” and read some of the comments (couldn‘t bother with the video). Wow. Rather nauseating that he deleted your comment and link. He has a number of obsequious followers that seem to fluff him. To leave your comment and link in place would damage his authority - and he won’t let that happen.

To me it is a perfect example of the mess that is today’s internet. There is so much disinformation in every quarter that it leaves many people either misinformed or confused. When it comes to audio the stakes are not very high. But in matters of health or politics, the consequences are much more serious. One root cause of all of this disinformation is that people are making money by setting themselves up as authorities and developing a following. The worst thing that can happen to their efforts is for their authority to be called into question. Truth and accuracy are the casualties. This guy seems be just another example of that phenomenon.

Back to the Hegel. From my experience with their equipment, I never was able to understand the attraction that some have for the stuff. It just seemed overpriced and unremarkable. This review seems to bear that out. (Not to mention that its aesthetic appeal is non-existent for me)
 

Lambda

Major Contributor
Joined
Mar 22, 2020
Messages
1,341
Likes
1,071
We have measured results, we have interpretation of them so let anyone to make his own judgement.
We have some data for vol = 98.

What if the It would reach SINAD of ~90 at vol = 50?
Can you show from this data it would not?
 

Tangband

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Joined
Sep 3, 2019
Messages
997
Likes
976
The Tenor TE7022 is a perfectly competent receiver chip that has been around for yonks; I have a project from 10 years ago where I used one in a daughter board for the USB interface. If I recall correctly it is limited tp 96kHz, which could be the reason for the limits in the Hegel.
Dont agree.
Offering 96 kHz is maybe good enough if the jitter is low but not up to date 2021.

The TE7022 was probably chosen only because of low cost. This tested amplifier is expensive. The Chinese brands Topping and S.M.S.L offers xu208 and xu216 chips with super low jitter, with sometimes good volume implementation in the digital domain thats superior to TE7022 and does 192 kHz or 384 kHz.
 
Last edited:

Hegel Music System

Member
Manufacturer
Joined
Dec 3, 2019
Messages
6
Likes
106
First of all thank you for taking the time to measure the H95. Immediately upon seeing the measurements we realized that something was very different to our own. We could not recognize ourselves in the results or in the conclusion.

Please consider this as a manufacturers comment. One where we totally respect the work that has been put down, and peoples views on the product. But where we want to comment the findings, where these does not match our own. So this will typically be our only comment on the issue.

We promised our own findings today. I will therefore present what we disagree on and why.

1) All the DAC measurements are in our mind misleading. They were measured at a level where the amplifier is clipping. In our view, they should be dismissed completely.

1.1) There has been some debate on how we can allow the RCA pre out to be optimized at 550mV, which actually is a fair question. The reasoning behind this is that we mainly see this as a subwoofer connection. Obviously you can debate wether that is a good or a bad choice.

When the pre amp output is more than 550 mV, the speaker output will be clipping and that will influence the performance of the pre out.

The pre-out on the H95 is taken directly from the power amplifiers input stage. See figure below:

Layout.jpg

When the power amplifier starts clipping, this will reflect in the RCA pre out as well. As such, the RCA pre out can NOT be used as a 2V DAC output. When we measure the DAC performance we connect Audio Precision directly to the output stage of the DAC board. You can of course also measure the DAC on the RCA output, but with a lower setting than 98 and it will include factors from the preamp.

Notes on why;
We used to have a lower output level on the RCA Pre out (earlier models), but since we have 32 dB gain in our power amplifiers we had to raise it to allow for easier subwoofer integration.

Actually we used to run the output from the preamp at a level where it never really started clipping (also earlier models), but on a 60w/pc amplifier consumers did not like to have the volume control at “98” to play loud. And what if you played an old Pink Floyd piece, with low gain… it would never be loud enough.


2) The stability measurement THD + N from ASR claims that the amplifier never reaches stability after warm up.

This measurement is, in our view, wrong. This is how it should look (our own test on AP 2722 today)

Measurement.jpg

We have only almost managed to recreate the ASR measurement if we wiggle the speaker cables in the H95 terminals or tap the output relays.

We disagree with the comment about the power amplifier not being stable. The Hegel output stage is a no-feedback design, and since the distortion characteristics of the power transistor change somewhat with temperature, the total distortion will have a small increase with temperature. In a high open loop gain feedback-design this effect will be much smaller.


3) Distortion measurements in analog mode. These do match ours and are in our minds absolutely fine. We only have some comments.

We could obviously also achieve a super low 0,0001% THD by using lots of feedback. That is a fairly easy design.

But we don’t and the reason is that global feedback amplifiers, in our minds, doesn’t sound very good. Subjective, we take that, but it is our experience. So, we use our SoundEngine to dynamically reduce distortion instead. In the integrated amplifiers the soundEngine is only used in the output stage where we believe it is most important.

Finally, thank you for reading this rather long feedback. I am sure not all f you will agree in our thoughts and comment above. That is fair and it is really what a forum is about. Debating ones hobby.

And if you are ever in doubt, we urge you to visit your Hegel dealer for an audition.

Hegel Music System AS
Anders Ertzeid
VP Sales & Marketing
 

Hegel Music System

Member
Manufacturer
Joined
Dec 3, 2019
Messages
6
Likes
106
One more thing that I forgot. Yesterday we linked to Paul Millers (HiFi News) lab report in our post #101. His results looked more like our own. We were obviously not the first as it was presented earlier in post #59, and then @amirm dismissed Paul in post #62 insinuating he was a “has been” and asked how Paul could be satisfied with 86dB signal to noise ratio. First of all, Paul wasn’t happy with 86dB. He was happy with 100,9dB, if you look closer. Second, Paul is an expert at measuring with 40 years of experience and one of the few in this industry who has actually designed and built high performance measurement equipment.
 

jensgk

Active Member
Forum Donor
Joined
Mar 21, 2020
Messages
192
Likes
458
Location
Denmark
Amir doing this for free does not imply that sloppiness is excusable, in my view.

This is not some unimportant random blog with zero hit rates. You have to get real and serious if you really claim to be the lighthouse in the dark.
So it is ok for the Line Out to clip severely at Volume 98? I think it is a sign of bad engineering.
 

PeteL

Major Contributor
Joined
Jun 1, 2020
Messages
1,972
Likes
1,965
Your oncept of amplifiers putting out "Watts" is wrong to begin with.
Your Amplifier amplifies voltage and it puts out voltage. The speaker might be pulling amps depending on the voltage but Volts times Amps is VA
not Watts only if the Current and voltage is in phase its real power.

Most Amps have a fixed Gain an Analog Attenuation.
The designer knows Exactly how many Volts the DAC outputs at 0dBFS and how mush gain the Amplifier has.
If it can’t Handel this badly designed.

The limiting factor shuld never be how many Volts your Amp can output but how loud you want to listen.

If for some wired reasoning you want excessive gain over 0dB (and you don't want to boost in digital)
It shuld Clearly be labeled as excessive gain region with clipping to the user.
For example if the volume controls go from 0 to 100% (like in usually in bad consumer gear)
It shuld go from 0 to 150% ore something

I find it strange that you seem to want your amp to be clipping at full volume?!
I want an amplifier to never Clip and to never be the limiting factor.
Well, gain is Vout/Vin by definition an amplifier with volume control have variable gain, in the sense of this definition.
Yes, I want my weakest sources to be able to reach full output, this mean the loudest sources will clip at full volume, that's quite common. Yes there are digital content that wont reach 0 dBFS, and yes the designer knows how much volt it is at the output of the dac, before volume control. The point is? You'll attenuate this voltage, and then you'll amplify it. I stand than not being able to reach full output with a weaker signal is a bigger problem than being able to clip an amp when the volume is maxed out on some sources.
 

sarumbear

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Aug 15, 2020
Messages
3,256
Likes
2,929
Location
Southampton, UK
Current Yamaha amplifier AS-501:
View attachment 168097

Accuphase E-5000 current model:
View attachment 168098

150mV was typical in the 70s, 80s and 90s. It's now around 200-250mV on line inputs for full rated power on SE RCAs. Power amplifiers are usually from 1.0V-2.0V for full rated power.
But why would you feed an integrated amplifier's "line output" to another integrated amplifier's Aux/CD input?
 

Chagall

Member
Forum Donor
Joined
Jul 9, 2020
Messages
83
Likes
187
If a good price means that people work in sweatshop conditions without access to basic health and safety rights and reasonable pay, that the environment gets polluted to reduce the costs of getting rid of manufacturing waste, then I have to think a lot more about price. At least if I am to have a conscience about the planet and my fellow man.

Although I empathize, this is how the world works. People don't seem to care when they buy millions of those assembled in China, design in California products.
 

pma

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Feb 23, 2019
Messages
2,890
Likes
5,749
Location
Prague
So it is ok for the Line Out to clip severely at Volume 98? I think it is a sign of bad engineering.
It is not and look at my post with real life measured values
There are moments we need full output which has been 2V for digital sources in the past 2-3 decades. We do not live in cassette age anymore. For 400W/4ohm (or 200W/8ohm) and 26dB gain I need 2V input.
 

Lambda

Major Contributor
Joined
Mar 22, 2020
Messages
1,341
Likes
1,071
1.1) There has been some debate on how we can allow the RCA pre out to be optimized at 550mV, which actually is a fair question. The reasoning behind this is that we mainly see this as a subwoofer connection. Obviously you can debate wether that is a good or a bad choice.

When the pre amp output is more than 550 mV, the speaker output will be clipping and that will influence the performance of the pre out.
At what volume level is 0dDFS = 550 mV?
Or what is the maximum volume level to avoid clipping with a digital full scale signal?
At what volume level digital in an analog preamp would this am Measure the best?

What is he ideal and maximum innput level for the analog input?
 

sarumbear

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Aug 15, 2020
Messages
3,256
Likes
2,929
Location
Southampton, UK
There is a huge responsibility and sorry to say it so directly to you, @amirm, you seem to lack that engineering thoroughness that is required by now. Don't post review/measurements when you are not 100% sure you can really nail down what's going on. Check back with the manufacturer in case you see unexpected behavior, or at least check back with the local forum experts, you know who those are.
I totally disagree! He is doing a stellar job. He is open and transparent. If a device is not up to standard that "he" expects, he says it as "he" feels like it. A manufacturer have the same rights as any member and like me and you, they can reply.

You are mistaking ASR with an industry forum. It is not. It is a consumer forum and @amirm is the consumer advocate. It is up to the manufacturers to prove him wrong.
 

sarumbear

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Aug 15, 2020
Messages
3,256
Likes
2,929
Location
Southampton, UK

Koeitje

Major Contributor
Joined
Oct 10, 2019
Messages
1,699
Likes
2,648
But why would you feed an integrated amplifier's "line output" to another integrated amplifier's Aux/CD input?
That other amplifier might be more powerful and you want to use the streaming/digital functions from this one.
 

caught gesture

Active Member
Joined
Feb 19, 2021
Messages
227
Likes
427
Location
Italia
I totally disagree! He is doing a stellar job. He is open and transparent. If a device is not up to standard that "he" expects, he says it as "he" feels like it. A manufacturer have the same rights as any member and like me and you, they can reply.

You are mistaking ASR with an industry forum. It is not. It is a consumer forum and @amirm is the consumer advocate. It is up to the manufacturers to prove him wrong.
+1000
 

sarumbear

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Aug 15, 2020
Messages
3,256
Likes
2,929
Location
Southampton, UK
That other amplifier might be more powerful and you want to use the streaming/digital functions from this one.
So you will cascade two preamplifiers and two volume controls?
 
Top Bottom