Hegel H200 volume issues

Daneway

Novice Member
Hello All!
I've been meaning to register for ages and have now been prompted to do so for help with my newly acquired Hegel H200. I'm hoping there is someone on the forum who has a Hegel, to help me determine if I have an issue with this unit or I need to ship it off to Holland. (Unbelievebly Hegel's nearest agent)!
The story so far ...
Up to the purchase of the H200 I have been using my trusty Musical Fidelity A3CR Pre/Power combo. I bought myself a pair of ATC SMC11s to replace my aging Quad 11Ls and absolutely love them. When I set up the Hegel all sounded fine until I turned up the volume. Turned up to 70 on the display it was loud but nowhere near ear-shatteringly. (Maximum on the Hegel is 99 - apparently 86-99 kicks in an additional 6dB gain stage). It was at this point I became concerned that something wasn't right. Using the Musical Fidelity amps with the majority of music types I Iisten to, volume settings above 1/2 way are excessive in my room. I have a few other amps which I set up with the same source and speakers and they too, despite being significantly less powerful in wattage terms were capable of driving my SMCs to excessively high levels. Now, I am not a "loud is best" kind of person, not at all, but if this is a hint that the Hegel is faulty I will need to sort it out one way or another.
TEST 1 - non-scientific!
I connected my Exposure 2010 CDP to my Musical Fidelity combo and turned the amp to maximum. (I used an attentuator to keep volumes down). A reading of 85dB max was achieved. With the identical source the Hegel at maximum achieved just over 70dB, (which is less than half the volume, (given that every 10dB is perceived as twice as loud). I'm lucky enough to have a few other amps too which performed similarly to the Musical Fidelity gear.
TEST 2
I connected the MF preamp to the Hegel Main in (Home Theatre input) and the volume was as I expected.
TEST 3
Then I connected the Hegel preamp out to the Musical Fidelity poweramp. Volume was significantly reduced as it was with the Hegel on its own.

Hummm. Does this mean I have a poorly Hegel pre-amp stage?

I have spoken to Hegel which wasn't very helpful so I am hoping someone out there has a similar amp and experience. The bottom line is I will get someone to look at it, but I want to establish that this is not just a 'Hegel-ism', (though I don't buy that), as a few people have suggested to me!

Any help, gratefully received!

All the best.
Daneway
 

Ugg10

Distinguished Member
Had a look in the manual to see if the input sensitivities are significantly different (maybe the Hegel is 2v and the older MF is 0.5v ??) or the Hegel has variable input sensitivities but the Hegel user manual has very little useful info in it. My first port of call would be the dealer you bought it off (or was it a priate sale ?).

Otherwise, Audio Desination in Devon (see you are in Cornwall) are Hegel dealers, a trip to them may be able to diagnose it.
 

Daneway

Novice Member
Many thanks for your reply! Input sensitivities were my first thought too. I took a look in the somewhat insubstantial (and surprisinly homebrewed looking), manual and then had a conversation with Hegel but despite my best efforts of persuasion, they would not reveal the input sensitivies except too say that they were all the same. Very strange. They did say that it will easily 'handle' the standard 2V sources. They also told me that at full volume the amp would and I quote "explode my speakers!" The MF gear, the Roksan Blak and the McIntosh MA6300 I tried are all around 2V.
It was a private sale and supposedly checked but by an experienced technician, albeit not with much Hegel experience. I have spoken to Audio Destination and they tell me all of their servicing of Hegel goes back to Holland. Sigh. I am going to try and persude them to let me take the amp in and maybe compare against another Hegel. My gut tells me there's something not quite right here! Is there anyone on this platform that you know of, that has an H200?
 

Daneway

Novice Member
Hi! Regrettably no, I didn’t solve this one way or the other. I ran out of interest to be honest as covid meant difficulties getting anything done and I bought another amp. since my post the Hegel has now developed another fault whereby after switch on turning the volume control clockwise the volume decreases rather than increases. (Using the remote everything is fine). After a short while (30 seconds), the fault disappears. The quality of sound from the amp is excellent if not a little sterile for my taste, build quality is average and the support sadly lacking with no service agents in the UK so secondhand ownership can be expensive. Bill at Audio Distribution in Glasgow was extremely helpful and confirmed the nearest service agent was in Holland. There are independent service firms of course but these amps are very complex and sometimes require the attention and expertise of an official agent. My recommendation would be to buy new or at least secondhand from a recognised organisation who can provide a decent warrranty.
Hope that helps!
 

Ron100

Active Member
Thanks, reliability is important to me, that’s why I drive an Honda.
I think I will be giving Hegel a miss. Apart from the problems you had, it dosen't look like it's the kind of sound. The five year warranty on the Denon I'm looking at for the same money is looking good. Thanks for the reply.
 

Helix Hifi

Well-known Member
Anyway I believe Denon is more your alley if you like the bass to be fuller sounding. This goes for the rest of the soundstage too.

Hegel is very neutral, but dry bass. Little to analytical at times. I prefer more mellow sound.

Still if you like the sound to be very punchy, fast dynamic sounding you can’t go wrong with Hegel.
 

Ron100

Active Member
I'm looking at the PMA 1600 and the PMA110. The PMA 110 is the same price as the Hegel. Made Japan though, not China. I think £3300 for an amplifier assembled in China, with poor UK support is not for me.
What amp did you you finally end up with?
 

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