Review of the Hegel 300 amp
I have this beast currently in my listening room for demo, wondering whether it could please a tube amp snob like myself enough to convert back to ss gear. The amp is solidly built and is massive, be sure to check whether your hifi shelf can accomodate it. I love the blue digital display which when you look closely has an inverted display too, it looks like the reflection from a pond...very classy.
The first thing I noticed is the very smooth charachter and gobs of power. The amp sound very neutral but not analytical, it has a very Class A like quality but with less texture than you get from class A or even class A/B designs. The power is very impressive and it can put many pre powers to shame. It doesn't boast about the power and you don't feel that the watts you are getting are as muscular as from an Audio Research or a Gryphone for instance. The power is effortless though and while turning up the volume you never notice any part of the frequency range standing out. It doesn't have loads of bass to give but controlls the bass nicely which I think will pair well with something like the Bnw 6 series. The midrange is very sweet considering its a ss but has some sibliance at the very top end of the midrange which not many vocalists produce to be fair. The treble is very smooth but has nice texture. A very nice amp.
I like the amp and I'm sure it will be a great match in many systems but to be honest I like my cayin more, if I was spending this sort of money on an integrated I would be looking at a greyphone even if it costs more. The Hegel has power but I didn't feel like my Cayin cannot go comfotably loud enough. Plus it doesn't have the silky midrange and the Cayin has more textured bottom end. I would actually call detail levels at a draw with my source but people with a more capable source could notice a difference. All in all its another victory for the Cayin, I can't believe that an amp so affordable can stack up so well to high end gear. I think its very under rated...don't want to sound like an AVI owner bragging but its true.