Hegel Music Systems H95 Integrated Amplifier-DAC $2000 Review

September 13, 2020 § Leave a comment

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Next up was “I Can’t Tell You Why,” from the Eagles’ The Long Run (LP, Asylum X5E-508). I was taken aback by how clean and smooth Tim Schmit’s lead vocal and Glenn Frey’s lead guitar sounded, and by how starkly they stood out from the rest of the mix. In “Heartache Tonight,” though the weight of Don Henley’s drums was absent, I was floored by how clearly those drums and the space around them were reproduced, and by how powerful they sounded. These cuts from this LP played on the Pro-Ject X1 had never sounded so good.

I’d expected to knock the H95 a little for its lack of a built-in phono stage — after all, these days, so many entry-level integrated-DACs have one. That was all changed by the superdetailed, super-refined sound of the Pro-Ject X1 turntable and Bellari VP549 phono stage plugged into the H95’s analog input with inexpensive interconnects. The convenience of having a built-in phono stage not withstanding, I think those who value great sound and play LPs might be better off getting an H95 anyway and then finding their own phono stage — and a good one doesn’t have ”

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