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Hegel H95 Review (Streaming Amplifier)

steve59

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Personally I’m here to see if I’m getting ripped off. A lot of these companies have got away with ton of bs over the years.

As stated in my previous comment it’s really hard to for us as a consumer to really know what sounds good.

From another perspective to judge a reviewer or really know what their intentions are. They maybe deceiving you or as I said if it measures decent it will sound “good”

I mean take a look around, look at all the audio companies that exist and clearly all of them can’t be the best. Yet, they don’t go out of business. People do purchase and enjoy what they have even when it’s poopoo.

I understand the philosophy of these companies. From Hegel to Rega and you name it. You buy the cheap or mid first, you love how it sounds and they hope you move up the line as that clearly means better sound. If not that in the future buy the name with possibly a new line of amplifiers or dacs or who knows what piece of equipment.

Common sense says though you can’t get me to spend thousands on a product when something at a fraction of the cost is doing better and there’s evidence to back that.

A little more detail about journey and feel free to skip it, I got my point across. I’m extremely new to home audio. I started in September 2020. I was in real search for a good amp and found so many that cost so much Hegel, Rega, Cambridge and I was very close to pulling the trigger on cause there marketing got me.

I was finally settled on musical fidelity, but I couldn’t really trust them either. So I decided to try vintage and bought a couple amps and found exactly what I was looking for in parasound.

So far thanks to Amir we fished out Cambridge as somewhat of a rip and Hegel a super rip. Rega too, at least it gets good at a price tag of 4,000. The rest of these companies maybe dishing out mediocre for insane price tags

Honestly I can go on and on, but even on the top spectrum I got a chance to listen to the benchmark amp and it didn’t impress me either.

Yet at home in my main system, everything besides the amp is 120 db SNR my sources jitter is 142. To my ears everything sounds amazing.

Does the junk amp sound amazing? No it doesn’t.
Does it sound god awful? No it doesn’t.

I don’t think there’s any way to quantify the difference with an absolute answer.
I sold my parasound a21 to buy the hegel h360. In your 2nd sentence you say it's hard for us consumers to know what sounds good. I like that you classified yourself as a consumer and now can make the distinction between consumer products and components for more dedicated music listeners. I could suggest consumers as yourself aren't qualified to place value judgements on products other than what you are versed in. For that I would say ASR is a value based forum that really has no business judging products outside their target audience. Budget amps, dac's , speakers etc.

If you take this forum and think of it as consumer report the ratings and reasons are much more understandable.
 

Everett T

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I sold my parasound a21 to buy the hegel h360. In your 2nd sentence you say it's hard for us consumers to know what sounds good. I like that you classified yourself as a consumer and now can make the distinction between consumer products and components for more dedicated music listeners. I could suggest consumers as yourself aren't qualified to place value judgements on products other than what you are versed in. For that I would say ASR is a value based forum that really has no business judging products outside their target audience. Budget amps, dac's , speakers etc.

If you take this forum and think of it as consumer report the ratings and reasons are much more understandable.
I think you may be misunderstanding the use of consumer as we all are consumers, just that we are divided into market segments. I've used my $400 Topping DAC with my $12k two channel speaker/sub combo and I've never thought about how that defines me and my segment personally.
 

Geert

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ASR is a value based forum that really has no business judging products outside their target audience. Budget amps, dac's , speakers etc. If you take this forum and think of it as consumer report the ratings and reasons are much more understandable.

How did you conclude:
- The scope of ARS is restricted to budget stuff? If you ship a Boulder or Gryphon amp to Amir he will be happy to review it. There already have been reviews of expensive equipment, like the Mola Mola Tambaqui
- The ARS community as a whole only knows about budget stuff? How do you know what the members have experience with, or which equipment they own?
- This is a consumer forum? We have lot's of members who work(ed) in the hifi, pro audio, music or EE industry.
 

SwampYankee

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I sold my parasound a21 to buy the hegel h360. In your 2nd sentence you say it's hard for us consumers to know what sounds good. I like that you classified yourself as a consumer and now can make the distinction between consumer products and components for more dedicated music listeners. I could suggest consumers as yourself aren't qualified to place value judgements on products other than what you are versed in. For that I would say ASR is a value based forum that really has no business judging products outside their target audience. Budget amps, dac's , speakers etc.

If you take this forum and think of it as consumer report the ratings and reasons are much more understandable.
Tribalism in audio is real. Whether you are invested financially/personally in boutique audio or believe your equipment needs to be state of the art based on objective measurements, there's a community ready to reinforce your preference. You appear to fall closer to the former clan and may find ASR threatening to your faith. Denigrating the work Amir does as budget-oriented is absurd, but I can understand that your statement may help you preserve your faith in what's guided your choices. Hegel is one of many brands that offers an audio clan identity for a price. The H95 doesn't appear to provide a good value in technical performance. If that doesn't matter to you, so be it.

I have my own reservations about elevating measurements to the sole factor in my own purchasing decisions. I'm quite certain I can't hear the differences among properly functioning DACs or reasonably designed and built amplifiers. I doubt many people can. My choices for those components are driven by a combination of reliability, performance, convenience, and the availability of features I value.

All that said, I don't begrudge someone else's priorities or preferences. I come here to learn and satisfy my curiosity about technical matters with which I have limited technical knowledge...not validation.
 
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sjeesjie

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It’s too bad companies like Hegel don’t send out stuff to Amir. Is that because the stuff sells anyways, or because they’re afraid of what he might find?
 

amper42

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It’s too bad companies like Hegel don’t send out stuff to Amir. Is that because the stuff sells anyways, or because they’re afraid of what he might find?

After the H95 review I doubt Hegel views ASR as their target audience? The product would need to be revamped so the variable pre-out did not exist and upgrade the DAC to be worth the risk of a review. No need to stir the pot if the product can't get a more favorable review. The other issue is even if these items were fixed, there are quite a few other products that measure better at lower price points. The Hegel veil has been lifted. :D

I still like my Hegel H90 but the value I would be willing to pay for one is considerably lower than retail now. Not sure how the company over comes that issue?
 

steve59

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How did you conclude:
- The scope of ARS is restricted to budget stuff? If you ship a Boulder or Gryphon amp to Amir he will be happy to review it. There already have been reviews of expensive equipment, like the Mola Mola Tambaqui
- The ARS community as a whole only knows about budget stuff? How do you know what the members have experience with, or which equipment they own?
- This is a consumer forum? We have lot's of members who work(ed) in the hifi, pro audio, music or EE industry.
I understand anybody can send anything to be reviewed here. I can't imagine spending thousands of dollars without knowing how it sounds. Am I incorrect in understanding ASR is a value based forum placing priorities on price and measurements? My understanding from discussions here is our ears can be influenced by our brains and so we cannot trust ourselves to select something to listen to without Amir and his kippel seal of approval, That's the process I use for buying appliances.

As to the forum members i'm sure we come in all different shapes and sizes, but, again why would somebody that doesn't even trust their own ears want to shop for hi end equipment? If your answer is status then who cares about measurements? It's a predetermined conclusion that everything can be done cheaper and better so why waste any time shoveling more dirt on the graves of the 'hi end' equipment this forum so vehemently dislikes?

Price and measurements before listening impressions is the ASR standard yes? That's the short answer.
 
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amarsicola

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...

Price and measurements before listening impressions is the ASR standard yes? That's the short answer.

I would say that ASR helps everyone in understanding if the asked price is worthwhile from an objective performance standpoint.
There are several products reviewed by ASR that are veeeeery expensive (e.g. Mola Mola stuff, Benchmark amplifiers, some top-line Revel or Genelec loudpeakers etc.) that have proven to excel from a performance perspective, so don't feel offended if the manufacturer asks a lot of money for what is delivered.
Other stuff equally veeeeery expensive have proven to be a waste of money from a pure performance point of view.
The most useful page of ASR for me is indeed the quality (measured as Olive's score rate) VS price graph you can find here:
audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?pages/SpeakerTestData/ (push "Go to Analysis" button). The simple rule i have is: spend more only when objective performance is improved. It happens that the best performing loudspeakers ever measured cost 8000$ for a pair of compact (Genelec 8351B) and 16000$ for a pair of towers (Revel 328). Not exactly cheap in my dictionary.
Then of course performance is not everything, aesthetics and reliability have to be taken into account.
 
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Rottmannash

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I would say that ASR helps everyone in understanding if the asked price is worthwhile from an objective performance standpoint.
There are several products reviewed by ASR that are veeeeery expensive (e.g. Mola Mola stuff, Benchmark amplifiers, some top-line Revel or Genelec loudpeakers etc.) that have proven to excel from a performance perspective, so don't feel offended if the manufacturer asks a lot of money for what is delivered.
Other stuff equally veeeeery expensive have proven to be a waste of money from a pure performance point of view.
The most useful page of ASR for me is indeed the quality (measured as Olive's score rate) VS price graph you can find here:
audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?pages/SpeakerTestData/ (push "Go to Analysis" button). The simple rule i have is: spend more only when objective performance is improved. It happens that the best performing loudspeakers ever measured cost 8000$ for a pair of compact (Genelec 8351B) and 16000$ for a pair of towers (Revel 328). Not exactly cheap in my dictionary.
Then of course performance is not everything, aesthetics and reliability have to be taken into account.
Cool tool. Just noticed my F208's were one of the top selections-nice!
 

MacCali

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I sold my parasound a21 to buy the hegel h360. In your 2nd sentence you say it's hard for us consumers to know what sounds good. I like that you classified yourself as a consumer and now can make the distinction between consumer products and components for more dedicated music listeners. I could suggest consumers as yourself aren't qualified to place value judgements on products other than what you are versed in. For that I would say ASR is a value based forum that really has no business judging products outside their target audience. Budget amps, dac's , speakers etc.

If you take this forum and think of it as consumer report the ratings and reasons are much more understandable.
And I agree with you honestly don’t like how any of the new parasound equipment sounds to my ears.

Yes by consumer I mean someone new in his or her audio journey. We do not really know what to go by, prior to ASR I had to ask people questions on what to buy.

I found that system to be flawed. A lot of people suggested Schitt audio as a good place for a beginner to start. I live 30 mins from the store and after going there and listening to anything affordable I was not impressed and I did not enjoy my experience.

Coming to asr after that experience further probably justified that. I do feel that this may go against my own statements in my comment which you are commenting upon. But that’s my take it. I had a ifi nano BL which I used that a friend let me borrow and I enjoyed it far more than any of Schitt products. And I doubt it measures in any superior rank.

Well I am not one place a value judgement, I just want to be sure that what I am buying is actually equating to competent manufacturing.

I’ve already made decisions prior to ASR and in total, in less than a two year period, I’ve spent nearly 15,000 on audio. From my home theater, to headphones, and stereo. I have money to spend on anything I want to buy and just because I am new doesn’t mean I should blow money on anything and assume it’s the best.

Amir has saved me loads of cash that would of just went down the drain.

I’m not trying to be an audiophile or be called anything. I just love music, and never knew what the possibilities of music reproduction were.

I can’t see how there’s a target audience here, I am sure some people contribute as much money per month as what some people set ups cost. Cost is no object to them and we can be certain they are not here for budget reviews.

They are here to keep the show running.
 

MacCali

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I think you may be misunderstanding the use of consumer as we all are consumers, just that we are divided into market segments. I've used my $400 Topping DAC with my $12k two channel speaker/sub combo and I've never thought about how that defines me and my segment personally.
I am not quite sure what direction @steve59 is going. I am not taking it in a negative fashion and get his opinion to certain extent though I do find it extreme and responded to it.

My speakers for stereo are 2500 each msrp. I was in the search for a high class amp to bring them to life little did I know that 2x 400 dollar amps made me super happy lol.

I actually wanted to purchase the JC-1+ or whatever the newest parasound monos were but I just didn’t like the new parasound sound. I can’t really explain it, but hell I was have been in almost 12000 on just speakers and amps. The musical fidelity I settled was going be 8000 with speakers.

I’ve saved a fudge ton of cash. I don’t care if that makes me any name in the hobby or industry I am very pleased and my pockets are too.

Virtually 18 months, I went from JBL bt headphones, a sound bar, and flip 4 bt speaker to 1 full home theater 7 channels. 1 3 channel mini ht. 3 pairs of headphones, all the crap that comes with it. 3 sets of strictly stereo speakers.

My house is damn sea of audio and without sales, demos, and open box I probably would be in the 20k+ range lol

I’m not trying to show off and I already stated I’m not rich. I’ve been saving money for years and I finally found something I really enjoy. Honestly have no limit on investing in what I enjoy so much. And I can thank covid for all of this
 

MacCali

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How did you conclude:
- The scope of ARS is restricted to budget stuff? If you ship a Boulder or Gryphon amp to Amir he will be happy to review it. There already have been reviews of expensive equipment, like the Mola Mola Tambaqui
- The ARS community as a whole only knows about budget stuff? How do you know what the members have experience with, or which equipment they own?
- This is a consumer forum? We have lot's of members who work(ed) in the hifi, pro audio, music or EE industry.
Some people like myself want to learn too, like myself, this is a whole new ball game for me and I’m trying to develop and grow from it.

That’s why as I said I am not sure if his comment is steering towards only broke people come to ASR or what the point is he’s trying to get across. But I stated above my intentions and experience quite clearly.

Nor am I trying to make it a competition, but I’ll be damn certain there’s many people who out the gate spend a cars value audio within their first year just to learn what they like lol

And @SwampYankee hit the nail right on the head with his statement
 

MacCali

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It’s too bad companies like Hegel don’t send out stuff to Amir. Is that because the stuff sells anyways, or because they’re afraid of what he might find?
That was my point in my original comment, clearly there’s even higher units in Hegel’s line up that 4K you spend might be only be getting you mid grade performance.

I stated before that these damn companies know that if they sell a product too cheap than the consumer may consider it inferior and hell why not make more money than we are supposed to. They don’t care lol.

Every time I see these “budget” lines fall so far under it really makes me question the rest of line. Especially when that budget item isn’t so budget friendly
 

MacCali

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After the H95 review I doubt Hegel views ASR as their target audience? The product would need to be revamped so the variable pre-out did not exist and upgrade the DAC to be worth the risk of a review. No need to stir the pot if the product can't get a more favorable review. The other issue is even if these items were fixed, there are quite a few other products that measure better at lower price points. The Hegel veil has been lifted. :D

I still like my Hegel H90 but the value I would be willing to pay for one is considerably lower than retail now. Not sure how the company over comes that issue?
I think my chain of comments is way too long and I’ll leave this as a final one for me, that’s my point about Hegel.. not only was it the marketing but the reviewers as well!

iwii or whatever that dudes name was drooling over Hegel. Jay igias the Canadian reviewer the same. I know at least one or two more are out there that really made me want to buy it lolll and now I don’t want to ever buy it at full price for damn sure. End of Story lol
 

MacCali

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I understand anybody can send anything to be reviewed here. I can't imagine spending thousands of dollars without knowing how it sounds. Am I incorrect in understanding ASR is a value based forum placing priorities on price and measurements? My understanding from discussions here is our ears can be influenced by our brains and so we cannot trust ourselves to select something to listen to without Amir and his kippel seal of approval, That's the process I use for buying appliances.

As to the forum members i'm sure we come in all different shapes and sizes, but, again why would somebody that doesn't even trust their own ears want to shop for hi end equipment? If your answer is status then who cares about measurements? It's a predetermined conclusion that everything can be done cheaper and better so why waste any time shoveling more dirt on the graves of the 'hi end' equipment this forum so vehemently dislikes?

Price and measurements before listening impressions is the ASR standard yes? That's the short answer.
I think I tried to get this point across from my very first comment. You can’t trust your own ears cause even if something is virtually garbage you won’t vomit everywhere and your ears won’t bleed. So that means if something is in the middle ground you will love without a doubt.

That’s why I keep telling everyone on here, one someone comes on here to say measurements are false and it sounds good not to talk smack to them and clown on them.

And I am explaining why. On one system I have everything is less than 300 dollars and doesn’t sound like the worst thing in the world! It’s sinad is 36 db. My main system is excellent to my ears and measures excellent. But I can’t tell you how much better it is vs my trash heap I call a secondary stereo setup.

Also as I stated by clowning on these people you deprive them of ever getting a chance to look into measurements or ever having an open mind.

We got to help this community grow, not create factions
 

steve59

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I'm not saying hegel is better than parasound, just that with the salon1 in my system the hegel really brought out the best from those speakers and by comparison showed how other amps caused a coloration of the sound. weather it was the speaker or the amp or little of both I don't have the training or equipment to determine. I will say with the persona 7f with the very same hegel sounded much less neutral.

Amir has already found class leaders at prices less than the hegel or B&W speakers so since it's a predetermined conclusion the products failed why waste the time doing the review? Is it to recruit audiophiles from the listener side to the science side or protect potential audiophiles from snake oil salesmen? I would be fine with either except I've heard how average components that do nothing wrong can sound exceptional with proper component matching, room placement and attention to details. Since B&W is a very successful company maybe they have tests of their own they don't want to share with the industry, idk
 

peng

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Is it to recruit audiophiles from the listener side to the science side or protect potential audiophiles from snake oil salesmen?

"listener side"? Do you mean the "side" where people evaluate the sound quality they perceive based on their on own subjective impression regardless of specs, measurements and don't believe the need to do apple to apple blind tests?

Regardless, I have not been an ASR member for too long so I may be wrong, but so far I do get the impression that ASR probably does attract more people who tend to form their opinions more on facts and data based on science, logic, and specs verified by bench test measurements, and less (not ignoring, just less) on subjective measurements by ears/brains.
 

DSJR

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May I repeat that where amps are concerned, back in the 80's and maybe 90's too (subjectivism had taken the UK market and press over by then), an estimated sinad of 70 odd was classed as pretty darned good (bass and mid distortion levels mid 70's and IMD (19+20khz) around 65 to 70dB down) and far eastern amps 'walking it' with levels around mid 80's to lower 90's dB down rated excellent 'on the bench.' Interesting that most of the higher performing amps in HiFi Choice tests didn't 'sound' very good apparently (Audiolab 8000 range was one notable exception). The reviewer's reference models were US valve imports with measured estimated sinad in the 40's!!! :mad: and the excuse given was that measurements tell us little about sound quality - I suspect this was before proper recognition was given to psycho-acoustics and how the other senses (touch and sight) arguably influence what we 'hear' far more than we think...

Speakers are a different thing, as we're discovering here that dispersion and bass distortion levels can have a huge influence on how a speaker 'sounds' in a given room (I suspect low bass distortion can give warmth, bloom or some form of 'organic' quality to bass notes). A flat on axis frequency response is I suspect, becoming less important now and certainly not the main criteria for judging a speaker unheard...

Just my notes, but I still don't think the Hegel is a bad product and let's face it, many mature couples able to afford such boxes don't want a pile of often unmatched and not always dinky boxes with wires everywhere cluttering up their rooms or lives.

Come back B&O, all is forgiven :D
 

steve59

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I think I tried to get this point across from my very first comment. You can’t trust your own ears cause even if something is virtually garbage you won’t vomit everywhere and your ears won’t bleed. So that means if something is in the middle ground you will love without a doubt.

That’s why I keep telling everyone on here, one someone comes on here to say measurements are false and it sounds good not to talk smack to them and clown on them.

And I am explaining why. On one system I have everything is less than 300 dollars and doesn’t sound like the worst thing in the world! It’s sinad is 36 db. My main system is excellent to my ears and measures excellent. But I can’t tell you how much better it is vs my trash heap I call a secondary stereo setup.

Also as I stated by clowning on these people you deprive them of ever getting a chance to look into measurements or ever having an open mind.

We got to help this community grow, not create factions
Here's where you and I split in our thinking. If I can't trust my own ears why am I spending a small fortune on a system? I could buy a few JBL charge 4 modules or the ones with dsp built in for $250 ea and walk away. We are making progress bridging the gap. I never suggested measurements are useless, in fact I think it's a great method for assembling a ht system. That the forum founder/ax man shows no regard for component matching when my own experience with this forum's monolith, holy grail, Revel ultima salon 2 might be the most amplifier sensitive speaker i've ever owned leaves me scratching my head.

I'm basically trying to say the same thing on 4 different threads at the same time and i'm starting to drool down my shirt.

My mistake is in assuming forum members here were class D amps, $250 dac, and revel speakers. I never considered they needed protecting from expensive products that I consider niche, hi end kit that requires careful component matching. Component matching is something I don't hear much about on this forum and I really can't state how much more important it becomes as we upgrade.

And finally, it's impossible to address each individual so when I comment i'm hoping my argument is taken in context. Time to pack up the bike and ride to phoenix. 1750 miles each way anybody want to wish me dry sunny weather both ways? As long as we keep asking questions products will keep improving, at least I hope so.
 
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Everett T

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Here's where you and I split in our thinking. If I can't trust my own ears why am I spending a small fortune on a system? I could buy a few JBL charge 4 modules or the ones with dsp built in for $250 ea and walk away. We are making progress bridging the gap. I never suggested measurements are useless, in fact I think it's a grte and start over because my thoughts do get too aggressiveeat method for assembling a ht system. If the forum purpose is to make folk feel good about their 'affordable' systems i'm down for that to. That the forum founder/ax man shows no regard for component matching when my own experience with this forum's monolith, holy grail, Revel ultima salon 2 might be the most amplifier sensitive speaker i've ever owned leaves me scratching my head.

I'm basically trying to say the same thing on 4 different threads at the same time and i'm starting to drool down my shirt.

My mistake is in assuming forum members here were class D amps, $250 dac, and revel speakers. I never considered they needed protecting from expensive products that I consider niche, hi end kit that requires careful component matching. Component matching is something I don't hear much about on this forum and I really can't state how much more important it becomes as we upgrade.
When you say component matching, are you referring to things like voltage gain?
 
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