Hegel HD10 Digital Converter... Exceptional DAC
Hegel is a long-established firm with a strong track record. It was founded in Norway in 1988 by chief designer Bent Holter, and all their products are still manufactured there. LIke most Hegel products, the HD10 has a modest, elegant appearance and is relatively small: about 8.25”W x 2.5”H x 10.25”D, and weighing just over six pounds. But it’s well built, with a black, all-metal case that feels sturdy. The HD10 ships with its own basic black power cord, but the IEC-compatible AC inlet on its rear panel means that aftermarket cords can be swapped in. For this review, I used Hegel’s basic cord.
Hegel claims that the HD10 is a fully balanced design; that is, much of its circuitry is duplicated in a symmetrical fashion in order to reduce noise and distortion. The rear panel has balanced as well as single-ended analog outputs, but it stands to reason that the best sound will be had with a balanced connection. I tried both types of output connection and found the sounds to be nearly identical. Still, if pressed about all-out performance, I’d give the nod to the balanced connection, and recommend using it that way if the rest of your system allows.
At the heart of the HD10 is an Analog Devices AD1955 DAC chip that will accept digital signals of resolutions up to 24-bit/192kHz through either of the two RCA-based S/PDIF inputs on the rear panel. The TosLink connector accepts only up to 24/96, the adaptive-mode USB input to 16/48. Selecting among the four digital inputs (Coax 1 and 2, Optical, USB) is done using the single large pushbutton on the front panel.
So we've all come to know that anything from the Richard K Collection is in fact a special piece of audio. This Hegel DAC, when new in 2012 was a game changer. It was a $1400 high-end piece that was a darling of media writers accross the board. Today 11yo later, it's STILL a formidable piece of kit ans performs Incredibley well. This piece is in solid 9+ condition and is like new and blemish free. If you are now just into streaming and or want to a great piece to up the game of your CD transport or steamer, look no further. This piece is special!
Come demo this fine Hegel DAC her at the Lawrence shop or purchase with confidence via this site.
Hegel, HD10 D/A Converter: $459 + applicable sales tax