The Hegel Room

(All prices are in Canadian dollars unless otherwise indicated.)

Without further ado, let's jump right in, starting with the system in the Hegel room, which was bright, clean, and crisp—and that was just the room. Among the vertical cue of Hegel integrated amps you see in the following photo, only the third from the top was in operation: the 250Wpc, class-AB, dual-mono Hegel H390 with DNLA streaming DAC ($7500), which was being fed Tidal tracks streamed via Apple Airplay. Analysis Plus Silver Apex speaker cables ($3500/8ft pair) connected the Hegel to a pair of French-made, 89db-sensitive Apertura Edena Evolution speakers ($13,000/pair or more, depending on finish). The speakers use a ribbon tweeter and are said to deliver a frequency range of 35–30,000Hz, ±3dB. The integrated amps on quiet display include, from the top, the 150Wpc H190 ($4600), the 60Wpc H95 ($2300), and the H590 ($13,500).

Listening to streams of mostly pop-ish fare, including the song "Who says" by John Meyer, in which he sullenly repeats: "Who says I can't get stoned, turn off the lights and the telephone, me in my house alone"—I’m thinking, "dude, you’re in your forties, do what you want"—I heard a densely pixilated and vibrant presentation that hung on a horizontal plane like a hi-def movie unfolding on a projection screen. The sound had volume, but it was also finely textured, fleet on its feet, and suavely articulate.