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Hegel H95 Review (Streaming Amplifier)

naviivan

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The H95 was meant to be my all in one dream amp that one day I wish I could afford and be an endgame amp. Now you ruined the fantasy for me @amirm

I would like to imagine that you just had a faulty unit.
 

Dialectic

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I seem to recall reading a few years ago in one of the high-end rags that Hegel is one of the new, "good" high-end audio companies making "affordable" products that have "state-of-the-art performance."
 

restorer-john

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sarumbear

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Answer from Hegel (official Hegel facebook group):

Measuring audio products is a difficult task. You obviously have to know what you are doing and also have the required knowhow on the subject of the measurements to establish the correct procedure so you don't end up with the misleading results. This "review" gets off on the wrong foot straight away in that respect by measuring the distortion on the variable output at volume level 98. H95 is an integrated amp, not a preamp, so a 2 volt signal on the variable output is outside parameters and will be heavily distorted.
There is no information about operating levels on their specs, which just says: Line level Output: 1 x unbalanced variable (RCA)
Complaining that 2V output is outside their parameters is as lame as it gets.
This continues with some rather unorthodox measurements and strange results which we of course would like to comment, so please give us some time for a propper response.
Translation: We have to find a way to refute this guy but it will take some time.
Remember that an integrated amp like H95 is designed to play music on a loudspeaker and the proof is always in the pudding.
Translation: Who cares about objective measurements, subjectivity rules.
 

Madjalapeno

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Did you see the Sound Engine 2 IC that they added to the amp circuitry? The way he describes the thing is, it uses feedback to cancel out unwanted stuff. A in-house part.


We're all doing it wrong. Need to put our laptops on big spikes to get the sound right.
 

Dimifoot

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Remember that an integrated amp like H95 is designed to play music on a loudspeaker and the proof is always in the pudding.
@amirm I wonder if it’s possible if you could measure the “system SINAD” from digital input to loudspeaker outs (in integrated amps).
 

voodooless

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@amirm I wonder if it’s possible if you could measure the “system SINAD” from digital input to loudspeaker outs (in integrated amps).
He did:
index.php
 

sarumbear

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it looks like most of the internal and external modern class d amps are designed to clip after ~ 1 - 1.4 volts anyway, so maybe instead of thrashing manufacturers for bad performance at 2 volts, 1 and not 2 volts should be the most useful benchmark for DACs in such products?
Why would we want to test a line out at 1V. 1V input to a power amp will be just about enough for 30-40W @ 8ohms output. You need more level if you want to utilise the line outs. Just because "most of the internal and external modern class d amps are designed to clip after ~ 1 - 1.4 volts anyway" is not an excuse. Thanks to @Amir we now know that most amplifiers on the market are rubbish!

Meanwhile, the manufacturer says the line out should not be treated as a pre-amp out. What are there for then? To feed a tape recorder?

Would save you in the future from repeatedly facing this unimportant battle.
There is no battle. Just a naked Emperor :)
 

sarumbear

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The H95 was meant to be my all in one dream amp that one day I wish I could afford and be an endgame amp. Now you ruined the fantasy for me @amirm

I would like to imagine that you just had a faulty unit.
Yey! The standard excuse has arrived. It took long this time though, 122 posts... :)
 

Dimifoot

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Thanks, so this measurement is what they have to re-test and improve.
Isn’t this what they implied on their press release?
 

PeteL

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There is no information about operating levels on their specs, which just says: Line level Output: 1 x unbalanced variable (RCA)
Complaining that 2V output is outside their parameters is as lame as it gets.

Translation: We have to find a way to refute this guy but it will take some time.

Translation: Who cares about objective measurements, subjectivity rules.
Nominal line level is -10dBV or 0.316V RMS. To their defense, they didn't write pre out.
 
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voodooless

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Thanks, so this measurement is what they have to re-test and improve.
Isn’t this what they implied on their press release?
I have no idea? What did they imply? Would be strange to have a press release of a product what already tells potential buyers that there is a performance problem.
 

Dimifoot

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I have no idea? What did they imply? Would be strange to have a press release of a product what already tells potential buyers that there is a performance problem.
I meant the post in their Facebook page -not an actual press release- that’s mentioned here, post#93

“Remember that an integrated amp like H95 is designed to play music on a loudspeaker”
 

voodooless

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I meant the post in their Facebook page -not an actual press release- that’s mentioned here, post#93

“Remember that an integrated amp like H95 is designed to play music on a loudspeaker”
Ah! No, they are actually regering to the very first graph that Amir did. Still, the fact that the digital SINAD is so much worse is another reason of concern.

Funny how they think the finding is not relevant while several people here that actually have an equivalent product of the same range all seem to echo the findings, and see it as a bad point because one cannot properly use it as a sub-out.
 

beren777

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Hey everyone. Wow, this was quite the review to wake up to this morning. I am not going to go ahead and respond to the findings as such. Findings are findings however they came about.
But we are working on trying to replicate them to see how this could have been.
I will say that measurements and striving for low distortion is a driving factor at Hegel. We invest significant money in the the measurement equipment you can buy for Audio Precision and others. We measure to a great extent and getting as near as possible to the truth is what we aim for. I will get back and share our findings when we find them.

I wanted to share something from HiFi News to begin with though. They have also measured the H95:
https://www.hifinews.com/content/hegel-h95-network-attached-amp-lab-report

The RCA out starts clipping at 1V, for example. Measurements are done by Paul Miller who is an expert at measurements.

I will just leave that there for now and I will share more info on our findings later. Hopefully tomorrow.

Anders Ertzeid
VP Sales & Marketing
Hegel Music System AS

Anders, thanks for engaging directly with the forum. So many manufacturers either shove their head in the sand or hide on their own forum behind strict moderation.
 

sarumbear

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Nominal line level is -10dBV or 0.316V RMS. To their defense, they didn't write pre out.
What is the difference between their label "Line Level" and a pre out? Nominal level is the operating level at which an electronic signal processing device is designed to operate. As they have not specified their levels it is perfectly normal to assume that the signal levels are referenced 0dBV and hence +6dB is a good level to stress the device under test.

Besides, if you want to be pedantic, line level means it is to feed a line and hence a more robust and higher level signal is to be expected.
 
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