I met Hegel's Bent Holter at HE 2007, and I was instantly attracted to his combination of tech-talk and passion for music. Bent is at once serious and strangely wacky.
When I asked if he'd please pose with his top-of-the-line CDP4A CD player ("Sorry about all the numbers and letters," he said), P4A preamp, and 2 x 300W H4A power ampall making their US debutshe immediately jumped down onto the floor and gave me a big smile.
The CDP4A ($4500) uses Hegel's own server board and offers 24-bit/352kHz synchronized upsampling. The P4A ($4500) is a fully-balanced preamp, and the big, class-A/B H4A ($8000) is designed to eliminate all crossover distortion for "a smooth sound with great dynamic range," said Bent.
Hegel's best-selling unit, however, is their H200 integrated amp which, according to Bent, provides 95% of the performance at just over a third of the price of their P4A and H4A.
I played a bit of Henry Fiol's great Fe, Esperanza, y Caridad, which sounded really finelarge and aliveand Bent got down.