The Hegel H90 Integrated Stereo Amplifier is able to become the center of a high-end audio system and is equipped with a full range of modern features. This amplifier incorporates several of the proprietary technologies previously found in the Hegel Reference Series, now available at a very attractive price point.
On the front panel of the device there are only two knobs for input selection and volume control, as well as an Oled display for displaying operating modes. The amplifier is equipped with output stages made according to the patented SoundEngine 2 circuit, signal pre-amplification stages borrowed from the Reference series models, and a high-tech digital-to-analog converter.
The DAC in the amplifier is built in the same way as the individual Hegel converters, which received many flattering reviews in the specialized press. This device has five digital inputs supporting 24 bit / 192 kHz signal conversion, and two unbalanced analog inputs. One of them can be reconfigured to connect the amplifier to a surround processor if used in a home theater system.
Also Hegel H90 has a USB-input and it can be connected to a PC for listening to music in the mode of an external sound card (you can play files with a resolution of up to 24 bit / 96 kHz). In this case, the standard remote control of the amplifier can control the operation of the software player. The new DAC section now also allows streaming over Ethernet. Those looking for a higher performance for DSD among Hegel products should look at one of two separate DACs, as MQA is not currently part of Hegel. Apple Airplay is also supported.
Another way to listen to music is through headphones, and here Hegel again shows the highest results in comparison with built-in amplifiers. This is by no means a secondary issue, and while there are more advanced stand-alone headphone amplifiers, we have a very good example of what can be done in a dedicated two-channel amplifier. The H90 may indeed be the cheapest component in the entire system, but it won’t be the weakest link.
DualAmp technology separates the voltage and current amplification stages between two different amplifier modules, while DualPower is designed to supply current from a small power supply to the I / V amplification stage in the preamplifier section and to the current output stage of the power amplifier path with separate taps from independent power supplies supplying the transformer. SoundEngine is a form of local error correction, rather than global feedback, that in terms of sound quality transforms a Class AB amplifier into something similar in performance to Class A. Together, they create Hegel’s signature organic sound that is not associated with a specific engineering concept. , and to a greater extent with listening tests and generalized application of technologies,
The Hegel H90 develops 2 x 60 W output power when driving an 8-ohm load and has a high damping factor (over 2000). The latter circumstance, due to the use of proprietary SoundEngine 2 output stages, allows the amplifier to sound excellent even with speakers with complex impedance characteristics.
Hegel H90 has a neutral tonal balance and a very wide frequency range, therefore it is quite universal in relation to music of any genre.