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Hegel P20 Preamplifier (demo)
The P20 is our entry level preamplifier and offers an affordable door into the Hegel Reference line of products. Designing the P20 was not a task we took lightly. Many of the ideas and concepts were taken from its bigger brother. Although scaled down, many of the good characteristics remain: the enormous soundstage, the deep rhythmic bass response, the perfect timing… In short, the sense of being there with the performers. The P20 comes with a high quality system remote control, milled out of one solid piece of aluminium. It has the same bead blasted and anodized surface finish as the preamplifier itself. You can really feel the quality each part of the P20; not only hear it. There is a total of 5 regular inputs. Both balanced and unbalanced. In addition, a special Home Theatre input allows integration in Home Theatre systems. Finally, there are both balanced and unbalanced outputs as well as a fixed line-level output.
The idea behind the P20 was, as mentioned, to offer a more affordable entry into our line of separates. But most of all, it was to set a new standard of price and performance in preamplifiers. Something we think we have achieved. The preamplifier is perhaps the most delicate unit in a sound system. Because the signal levels are so low, even the tiniest levels of noise or distortion smear the image and mask the small details that enliven the music. In designing the P20, we achieved the highest quality of sound at such a low price point by using brand new technologies, such as Silicon Germanium transistors. In addition we implemented high frequency components that were not originally designed for audio, and use them in ways that had never been done before. The result is an open and natural sounding preamplifier at a very competitive price.
“Quality audio equipment requires substantial knowledge, design, and manufacturing prowess. Hegel Music Systems demonstrates all of these with their recently released P20 preamplifier, which continues their tradition of high-quality sound from well-built equipment at reasonable prices.
I tend not to read an audio component’s promotional materials until I’ve finished assessing its sound, so that I’m not predisposed to hear what the manufacturer wants me to hear. But as I finished listening to the P20, I took a look at www.hegel.com and found the following description of the P20: “an open and natural sounding preamplifier at a very competitive price.”
I’ve used the words real and natural interchangeably here, and have discovered that I agree with Hegel’s description of the P20. I like that there’s no hyperbole on their website. Self-aggrandizement is not becoming.
The Hegel P20 was neutral in its sound. It allowed for beautifully clear separation of sounds, voices, and instruments; and the vivid depth of its bass was a revelation. This preamplifier allowed singers and instruments on the best recordings to sound natural and almost fully real. The buyer gets far better sound than the P20’s price of $2900 suggests.”
– Erich Wetzel, soundstagenetwork.com
Remote control: Volume, source and mute controlled by the Hegel RC8
Inputs: 1 x XLR balanced, 4 x RCA unbalanced and Home Theatre inputs
Outputs: 1 x XLR balanced, 1 x RCA unblanced and 1 x RCA recording outputs
Signal to noise ratio: More than 130 dB balanced mode
Crosstalk: Less than -100dB
Distortion: Less than 0.005%
Intermodulation: Less than 0.01% (19kHz+20kHz)
Dimensions/weight: 8cm x 43cm x 30cm (HxWxD), weight 10kg
Dimensions/weight US: 3,2″ x 17″ x 12″ (HxBxD), weight 22 lbs