Hegel HD 11 in the Test

Hegel wants to do with the arms race to ever-higher data rates. Rather, the Norwegians concentrate on solid construction and ease of use. And what about the sound? The HD 11 in the test.

No, is not a concession on the price “the limit of 24/96, clarifies Hegel developer Andres Ertzeid right at the beginning.” Us was important to provide a to complicated converter with HD 11, which works without any additional driver installation USB.” Brave, one can only say, is but the race to the highest possible USB data rate long ago in full Gange. Der 24/96-standard of the ports on the HD 11, which is not a special offer with 1050 euro, seems there almost anachronistic. But let’s face it: 24/192-pieces of music are still relatively rare. And the available are not all pure Studio master, but often Up sampled files that are usually even worse sound.

Quite the HD 11 opposite HiRes data not closes but. About the RCA digital inputs accept also 24/192. Thus one could lead to high resolution material from the computer the Hegel via a suitable USB-S/P-DIF – interface, even if it has no own electrical S/P-DIFDigital-out. The S/PDIF input provides the HD 11 for buffering of data which are then Re-clocked. This procedure reduces jitter and makes the Hegel regardless of the quality of the Player. Bei USB socket set the Norwegians to a proven good chip by tenor (TE 7022 L). It offers the opportunity to work, which also uses Hegel asynchronously. So, the USB port is independent of the clock of the delivered machine. Unlike at the RCA-digital inputs there is no input transformers for galvanic separation from the computer USB. Possible ground loops should be but still impossible due to a special mass separation. Sample Rate Converter Believed by upsampling little in Oslo, which is why only a sample rate converter by Asahi Kasei (AK 4127) before the DAC is switched. It converts data on the best – according to Hegel – rate for the 32-bit D/Opamps (AK 4399 EQ) to. What is this, but did not betray Ertzeid. It is certain that it can be not the 216 kHz, the converter and the sample rate converter maximum dominate, because not a multiple of 44.1 or 48 kHz represents 216. After the conversion, we continue strictly symmetrical; each channel is a stereo-OP (NE 5532) responsible for the XLR-Sockets. This is followed by an Asymmetrier stage with a further stereo OP for the asymmetric Cinch-Outs. This additional level ensures identical output level, but also – according to Ertzeid – to something less resolution at the unbalanced outputs.

The music machine

We could verify this in the listening room. For this, but also fully symmetric precursors such as such as the audio were necessary research DSPre or the Thorens TEP 3800. Otherwise, the difference was really hard to imagine. HD 11 with natural colors and a very elegant, fluid style of play were impressed by so or so–even when CD data. So he let the stereoplay highlight Violectric DAC 800 behind.

The 800 liked still with powerful acceleration, showed also a modicum more hardness and had a little Prussian. About the HD 11 rolled more vigorously the bassline by Sade “Cherry Pie”, the HiHat zingelte more nuanced, while the soft voice of the Lady exuded more natural warmth. This character has been preserved also at 24/96 kHz. Here, the HD 11 was superior, even the M2Tech Young although that was lined with 24/192, while the Hegel himself contented with 24/96. The latter brought not only the natural colors in Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto from the audiophile label Acousence (our site) over there, but also some more of the atmosphere of the concert. The passage with the fire wire-S/P-DIF interface INT 202 white showed that HD 11 had something in the quiver. With this and 24/192 data he sounded even a little finer. It confirmed only the editorial’s decision to choose the HD 11 stereoplay highlight.

 

Gallery

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Test D/A-Wandler - Hegel HD11

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