Founded in 1988 by Bent Holter, the Norwegian high-end audio company Hegel Music Systems has now come to the U.S. with a nine-model range of products comprising a USB-S/PDIF DAC, two CD players, two integrated amplifiers, two preamplifiers, and two power amplifiers. The company will base U.S. marketing, technical support and service operations in Fairfield, IA.
A company press release states that Hegel “has been among the top-tier of European audio electronics for two decades,” adding that, “for the past 11 years, Hegel has been shipped worldwide.” By way of explaining the identity of the Hegel brand to U.S. audio enthusiasts, the release quotes company founder Holter as saying, “Many of today’s ‘high-end’ brands are OEM’d from a few common sources. Innovation has been supplanted by expedience. Over the past 20 years, Hegel has developed and patented breakthrough technology that sets us apart from our competitors. This innovation gives Hegel an identity and a distinct edge over brands whose products are often only distinguished by their faceplate.”
Holter goes on to say, “The current financial crisis benefits Hegel. Our combination of proprietary in-house technology, combined with locally out-sourced assembly, enables Hegel to deliver highly competitive prices in tough economic times.”
Holter comments that one of the biggest differentiators for Hegel components involves his firm's patented SoundEngine circuit technology, which "uses feed-forward instead of feedback." The result, notes Holter, "is vastly reduced intermodulation distortion, while actually increasing damping factor."
Scandinavian-born Ben Gosvig, formerly National Sales Manager for DALI loudspeakers, will head Hegel's U.S. operations. Hegel's press release states that Gosvig will team with Anders Ertzeid of Hegel Music Systems in Norway to "build distribution and marketing of Hegel in the U.S."
Commenting on his reasons for joining Hegel, Govig is quoted as saying, "rarely does one have the opportunity to bring a brand as established and highly regarded as Hegel into the world's largest consumer market. Once I saw and heard Hegel products, I knew this was a rare find."
To give AVguide viewers a sense for general price range of Hegel components, we list the company’s initial nine model offerings, along with MSRP prices, below.
- HD10 USB-S/PDIF DAC, $1200
- CDP2A CD player, $2650
- CDP4A CD player, $4000
- H100 integrated amplifier (2 x 100Wpc) with USB DAC, $3000
- H200 integrated amplifier (2 x 200Wpc), $4400
- P2A preamplifier, $2150
- P4A preamplifier, $4600
- H20 power amplifier (2 x 200 Wpc), $5750
- H4A power amplifier (2 x 300Wpc), $8100