Music in the Round #97: Hegel C53 and DSPeaker Anti-Mode X4 Contacts

Sidebar 1: Contacts

Hegel Music Systems, PB26, Blindern, 0314 Oslo, Norway. US distributor: Hegel Music Systems USA, Springfield, MA 01060. Tel: (413) 224-2480. Web:

DSPeaker (VLSI Solution), Hermiankatu 8 B, entrance G, 2nd floor, FIN-33720 Tampere, Finland. Tel: (358) 50-462-3200. Web:

dalethorn's picture

Re: The X4 and "THD of <0.000%" -- that's an unusually low THD, yes?

Nice review, but I'm not at all surprised that with all of the bells and whistles of this device, that the most immediate benefit you seem to have gotten is to clean up the bass (unless I missed something).

Kal Rubinson's picture

Wow! Somehow that spec was truncated in my manuscript and it slipped through the entire editing process*. The correct spec is "Total Harmonic Distortion: < 0.0008%"

And, yes, that's what I was hoping for. Still hoping XTZ will offer a configuration for 3-4 subs.

*JA caught it in time for the print edition.

Mike-48's picture

Kal, I'm glad you reviewed this. We need more reviews of DSP products, and you are doing your part, for sure.

A question regarding the "treble slope of –2dB beginning at about 1kHz". Was this -2dB per octave, -2dB per decade, or -2dB total from 1kHz to the speakers' natural rolloff?

Kal Rubinson's picture

2db/octave to counterbalance the Silver8's elevated tweeter output.

Mike-48's picture

Thanks for the clarification.

avanti1960's picture

more DSP based products becoming available for the 2 (point 1, etc) channel audiophile consumer.
I would suggest that there is a lot that can be done with respect to speaker and subwoofer placement and tuning to help optimize the sound and integration prior to the use of DSP.
Putting little thought into speaker / sub location and integration and hoping DSP will be a silver bullet cure-all will not lead to the best results.

Bogolu Haranath's picture

One can always try out an external EQ/DSP unit with the existing system ...... If such unit has a bypass switch or, if the pre-amp or integrated amp has a processor loop, that would be helpful :-) ........

Kal Rubinson's picture

Agreed but I hope there was no implication in my review that proper setup can be entirely ignored with a "magic bullet." OTOH, it should not be necessary to repeat such basic advice in every report on useful DSP.

Bogolu Haranath's picture

That "magic bullet" may come in the form of an active DSP controlled loudspeaker ....... Who knows? :-) ........

Some are already in the market ........ Some have already been reviewed by Stereophile ........ More will be coming soon to a friendly dealer near you :-) ...........

Kal Rubinson's picture

Bogolu Haranath wrote:
Some are already in the market ........ More will be coming soon to a friendly dealer near you :-) ...........

.... and in upcoming issues of Stereophile. :-)

Bogolu Haranath's picture

Abracadabra :-) ........

Looking forward to the Stereophile reviews :-) .............

jorgen's picture

thank you for your review Kal, hmm, then why not a review of the miniDSP SHD serie which for on third of the dspeaker 4xs price will have more or less same features plus a first class streamer?

brams's picture

It would be great to hear some impressions of how this unit stacks up as a preamp, dac and headphone amp (with all filters and EQ off) to preamps, dacs and headphone amps in the same price range. Typically there is some compromise in multifunctional devices, but I was pleasantly surprised when I recently heard this unit used purely as a preamp/dac with all filters off. Very transparent even with the double conversion for analog inputs...

Also, I believe the functionality of the unit has been improved with the latest firmware update (20191219).