10.2017

We Welcome Hegel’s New H90 Integrated Amp $2000 (60×2)
3 1/8h, 16 7.8w, 12 1/4d, 27 lbs

 

Hegel Audio of Oslo, Norway, brought out its H80 integrated amp ($2k) in 2013. H80 has been a defacto price class leader since its inception. Here we are four years later and H80 has been superseded by the new H90.

We’re happy that H90 is the same price as H80. It has an improved version of Hegel’s patented Sound Engine technology, dubbed Sound Engine 2. With SE2 comes superior damping factor whose spec is 2000. Most amps have a damping factor of about 100. Hegel runs 20 times higher! Design is A-B as opposed to D.

H90’s enormous damping factor means it has super tight control of your speakers. Musical transients START and STOP faster. Think plucked strings on a guitar or hammers hitting cords in a piano. Everything sounds more distinct. H90 is the ideal, affordable integrated amp to bridge the gap from more main stream fare- to the ultra high end of our hobby, without breaking the bank.

In addition to SE2, Hegel incorporates their unique SYNCHRO DAC. It’s a 24/192 hi-res DAC that is not asynchronous. It’s plug and play. Hegel is very proud of its DAC. If you listen to H90’s DAC vs what’s in your CD player for example, you’re sure to be impressed by the upgrade in clarity. We have compared the sound of CD players that run $3-6k with the SYNCHRO DAC within Hegel. We’re confident you’ll prefer the Hegel. That same DAC can work for you on any digital source.

Hegel shakes hands with the new world. It has an Ethernet input so it’s easy to stream. It has Apple Airplay. H90 has a nice headphone amp- which was left off H80.

Audio Connections:
Two Analog RCA inputs (no XLR ins on H90)
One Coax Digital input
Three OPT Digital inputs
One USB-B Input
One Ethernet Input
One set RCA analog outs

The power cord is detachable in case you choose to upgrade- which does make sense if you run an Isotek Mains Conditioner.

 

Rogue RP-1 Stereo Tube Preamp $1700


What’s the best buy in a tube preamp these days? Built in the USA, the Rogue RP-1. Rogue is one of the last owner operated companies in audio. Most of the venerable names of our biz have been bought/sold several times over the years and no longer run true to the original design brief. I’ve been dismayed at the direction of a number of companies I used to have on a pedestal! Mark O’Brien and staff have their feet on the ground and don’t waver in their craft.

RP-1 starts with two 12AU7 tubes. It supports phono, MM & MC! It has a dedicated headphone amp- this feature isn’t an after thought. It has four line inputs and a HT input.

RP-1 has two variable and one fixed output. Comes with remote. Has a mono switch and balance control. It is available in black or silver. The sound is tube burnished, just the ticket for a sentient man of the new millennium!
 

Starring WHO?!


Each year the Prostate Cancer Foundation has a fund raiser that generates $4-5 million.
Who did they invite for the most recent event to draw ‘em in? Billy Idol. At 62 this year, who thought Billy would last this long much less still be performing?!

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