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Hegel H95 Review (Streaming Amplifier)

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.
 

FeddyLost

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the spec is <0.01% at 25W/8 ohms/1kHz
Another example of bad equipment performance when distortion numbers claimed like that.
It's very disappointing to have such performance for this price.
Looks like design goal was "and now we need a streaming amplifier for 2K USD".

PS And am I wrong or circuit board layout is strange with all this mess when speaker cables laying between power caps and twisted wires "from dac" crossing output connector?
 

pma

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There is a large area of physical loop between speaker output and return wires. Perfect source of radiation, this is never good. Speaker red and black wires should be twisted together and going to almost same places of the PCB.

hegel-h95-audiocompl-fot3.jpg
 

Dogen

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Well, at least we may have found the first product that actually does require hundreds of hours of break-in.
 

JayGilb

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There is a large area of physical loop between speaker output and return wires. Perfect source of radiation, this is never good. Speaker red and black wires should be twisted together and going to almost same places of the PCB.

View attachment 168019
Manufacturers have been trying to pack a whole rack of equipment into a small footprint and suffering from their efforts.
Vintage receivers are huge in comparison, have 1/10th of the functionality and still required careful layout to minimize stray signals from interfering.

Double the size of this chassis and I bet that the specs would rise considerably.
 

CerealKiller

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I love to stop early but every time I have attempted that I get asked to test the rest. And then defenders of the product claim I only tested one or two things. To avoid all this, I spent a long time testing all these subsystems.
And for your comitement to work we can't never be thankfull enough, thank u Amir, u singel handedly have built the most extensive database and inspired others to folow that example.
 

amper42

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HAPPY THANKSGIVING!
It's a time to be thankful for all the turkey's in the world. Even my Hegel H90. :facepalm::D:po_O

1. Crappy hidden power button - Thank you!
2. Spotty wifi - thank you!
3. undesirable low gain line out - Thank you!
4. Nice sounding even if measurements suck - Thank you! :D:oops::rolleyes:

Bless you all.
 

JiiPee

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For me it’s around -100dB THD+N. Others may disagree, but I can clearly hear the difference between an amp with -108dB THD+N and -92dB THD+N. And can tell them apart blind 10 out of 10 times.
Interesting. May I ask what speakers You have used in those blind tests?
 

PeteL

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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.
I was not trying to be pedantic, I am not sure I understand what you mean tough? 0dBV is 1V RMS you know that. Well, the difference (I think? you tell me) is that on a preamp output we don't expect line level, but we expect a voltage gain applied? If not why call it a preamp?
 

Tks

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What I don't like is the absence of power button on the front face. After some research I found out it is on the bottom. I realize without it there is symmetry

One problem, no there isn't. They STILL goofed it up because the headphone-out itself destroyed the symmetry.. In fact, if they had power on the front-left side of the device, it would have had better symmetry.
 

Geert

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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.
To give them a fair chance; line level for consumer products used to be -10 dBV, being 0,316 V. Although that standard got lost once CD players started using the full digital dynamic range instead of maintaining head room (the reason why on a lot of amplifiers you can only use 1/4th of the range of the volume control).
 

Serg

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I was the brief owner of an H390 and returned it. The thing made no bass; there was no kick/punch to it whatsoever (compared to a 30wpc EL34 tube amp!!!). After some experimenting during the in-home trial period, it turned out the internal DAC was at fault. I connected a Topping E30 to the analog inputs and had much better sound instantly. Also, one of the optical inputs didn't work right out of the box. All this for $6K!!
 

sarumbear

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I was not trying to be pedantic, I am not sure I understand what you mean tough? 0dBV is 1V RMS you know that. Well, the difference (I think? you tell me) is that on a preamp output we don't expect line level, but we expect a voltage gain applied? If not why call it a preamp?
That is the problem. Pre level, line level are nothing but words. Without any qualification they mean nothing. We should not expect anything. We should be told.
 

Bouteille

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Oh boy this one made me create an account... I had to thank you !

At some point last year, I decided to update my audio gear.
Yeah it was about time... I had a "Yamaha RX V393" for very/too long, rca inputs were all producing a different sound... Not even sure which one were better or worst.

I watched all these 'audiophile' videos and have been amazed to see how pricey audio gear was, and the amount of subjectivity in reviews.
Finally settled on Hegel because of all the fantastic reviews and "affordable" price (for such quality)... Until I decided to dig in the specs and found your forum.

In the end, I went for a minidsp SHD and a Purifi amplifier.
By publishing these objective measurements, you allow us (consumers) to avoid spending thousands on crap. For most of us, buying an amplifier is a big investment and we don't want to mess up and regret it later.

At some point, I will replace the loudspeakers too... Still using my old "Infinity primus 150" (BTW I would love to see them reviewed at some point).
Looking at the price of speakers, I know I'll have to go "second hand" but honestly I don't know what to buy.
Here (France) some local brands with "innovative engineering" are appreciated by the audiophile community (JMR, PEL, Mulidine) but I don't believe these audiophile guys anymore, and these speakers are not reviewed properly like you do here... So I'm stuck :)

Coming back to Hegel, I think they have a (much cheaper) chinese clone which looks exactly the same (internal and external), without the "sound engine" blue chips... But can't find it anymore... I wonder how it measures.

Would love to see how the praised H590 (>10k$) performs too...

TLDR; Thank you, Thank you, Thank you !!
 
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sarumbear

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To give them a fair chance; line level for consumer products used to be -10 dBV, being 0,316 V. Although that standard got lost once CD players started using the full digital dynamic range instead of maintaining head room (the reason why on a lot of amplifiers you can only use 1/4th of the range of the volume control).
The CD players had been around for 40 years. Why should anyone expect to find levels pre-dating CD on a modern amplifier?
 

aj625

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If people like Hegel then it means people prefer the sound of distortion.
 

AdamG247

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Prepare for the onslaught of brand new members here to defend this POS Streaming Amp. In Amir’s words:
“Conclusions
Let's quickly agree that both the DAC and headphone amplifiers are junk.”

Ouch! Junk, as in trash or discarded waste. Electrify the peremiter and double the Guard. :eek:
 

Phorize

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The CD players had been around for 40 years. Why should anyone expect to find levels pre-dating CD on a modern amplifier?
Well, it could be a useful feature for tape aficionados but as it wasn’t labelled as such I’d assume it was just mistake.
 
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