Behind the Brand
Hegel is a Norwegian company which had a rather strange beginning. ‘Way back in 1988 Bernt Holter, a young electrical engineering student at the Technical University in Trondheim (NTNU), was paying his way through uni by playing in a heavy metal band called ‘The Hegel Band’. As the band became more successful and started playing larger venues, it needed more powerful amplifiers, so Holter decided to build them himself, using a new amplifier topology based on a circuit he’d developed for a thesis in which he’d proved that it was possible to reduce distortion in an audio amplifier without adversely affecting other performance parameters, in particular frequency response and damping factor (the circuit is now trademarked by Hegel as ‘SoundEngine Technology’).
Rather than build ‘one-off’ amps, he decided the circuit was so good it deserved to be built into fully commercial products, capable of being mass-produced, so Holter negotiated a partnership with one of the biggest telecommunications companies in the world, the Telenor Group, which is based in Oslo, Norway, but has mobile operations in 13 markets under its own name and in another 14 markets in partnership with VimpelCom Ltd. In all, Telenor manages more than 390 million mobile subscriptions.
Of course the new company required a name, so Holter decided on using his band’s name for both the name of the company and the brand name of the amplifiers. Thus it was that Hegel Music Systems came into being. #