This Norwegian company is redefining performance and value, especially in the Integrated Amplifier market. Founded in 1988, I first heard of the company when I read the reviews in Soundstage magazine.
A few years ago, the distributor, Richard, brought some samples when we were still in Vaughan. I remember being quite impressed, especially with the way the integrated amplifier made our Magnepans sound. We finally took the plunge and brought the line in last month. Our resident single-ended tube/horn lover, Vilip, was stunned by how good the integrated amps sounded. He proceeded to sell a bunch of them in quick succession. When we connected the H90 (rated 60 watts with DAC and AirPlay built-in for $2,200) to the new Magnepan LRS, we could not believe our ears. This was the best we’d ever heard these speakers. Ever since we received the LRS, we’d had difficulty getting great sound. We had been warned that the LRS was much more demanding of electronics than the previous model, the MMGi, and we’d used some pretty expensive amps. The Hegel H90 seems to be a match made in heaven, at a very reasonable price.
Even more interesting is the H390. Rated at 250 watts/ch, it sounds much more powerful, with amazing control in the bass. Perhaps it is because of the outrageous damping factor of 4000! Or the patented Sound Engine 2 circuit which samples the incoming signal, compares it to the outgoing signal, then subtracts the difference and adds it to the music in reverse phase. This cancels the distortion made by the amplifier in real time.
The amps are also upgradable through the network connection, ensuring that it remains current.
Regardless, the end result is that Hegel makes some of the finest electronics we’ve heard, and at very competitive prices. We urge you to have a listen and hear it for yourself.