lABoRAToRy TEsT REPoRT
Hegel rates the output of the H80 with an output of 75-watts per channel, both channels driven into 8Ω and this is exactly what Newport Test Labs measured on its test bench, and it measured this output right across the audio spectrum from 20Hz to 20kHz. This is obviously a good result, but it’s also one that shows that Hegel has such confidence in its manufacturing and quality control procedures that it doesn’t feel the need to build a little ‘headroom’ into the specification to cope with model-to-model variations.
Hegel doesn’t specify the H80’s output into 4Ω loads, but you can see from the tabulated results that Newport Test Labs measured the output of the review sample as 110-watts per channel at 20Hz, 114-watts per channel at 1kHz and 106-watts per channel at 20kHz (all measurements with both channels driven). This isn’t even close to the results I would have expected to see (theoretically an amplifier will double its output when load resistance is halved) of around 150-watts per channel. This indicated to me that Hegel might be using current-limiting circuitry, which was proved when the lab tested the amplifier into 2Ω loads, because that circuitry limited the Hegel H80’s output to 25-watts into 2Ω.
Distortion at an output of one watt is shown in Graphs 1 and 2 into 8Ω and 4Ω loads respectively. You can see the Hegel H80’s distortion was low with both load values, but lower with the 8Ω load. Into 8Ω, the second harmonic distortion component was at –92dB (0.0025%), the third at –100dB (0.001%), the fourth at –102dB (0.0007%), the fifth at –105dB (0.0005%), and the sixth at –109dB (0.0003%). Seventh, eighth and nine harmonic components are visible, but all are around –112dB (0.0002%).
Distortion increased significantly at rated output into both 8Ω and 4Ω loads, as you can see from Graphs 3 and 4. In this case, distortion into 4Ω is slightly lower because Newport Test Labs tested at a power level of 75-watts, rather than the Hegel’s maximum output level of 115-watts into 4Ω. Into 8Ω, the second and third-order harmonic distortion components are at around –83dB (0.007%), then the even-order harmonic components are at around –105dB (0.0005%) right across the audio spectrum, and the odd-order harmonic components are at around –95dB to –100dB (0.001%) out to the eighth harmonic, before dropping below –100dB for the higher-order. It’s pretty obvious that the Hegel H80 is operating at the limit of its abilities here, though the overall THD+N is still only a very low 0.006%.
Intermodulation distortion is shown in Graph 5. The first two sidebands at 19kHz and 20kHz are 85dB down (0.0056%) and the others more than 100dB down (0.001%) which is excellent. The regenerated signal at 1kHz is at –88dB (0.0039%).
Newport Test Labs measured the frequency response of the Hegel H80 into both a standard non-inductive test load as well as into a load that simulates that of a two-way standmount loudspeaker and found the amplifier’s response into both was exceptionally flat and extended—6Hz to 112kHz ±0.5dB and 4Hz to 181kHz –3dB. That section of the frequency response lying within the audio band is shown in Graph 6. You can see the response into the resistive load (black trace) tracks the
Readers interested in a full technical appraisal of the performance of the Hegel H80 Integrated Amplifier/DAC should continue on and read the LABORATORY REPORT published on the following pages. Readers should note that the results mentioned in the report, tabulated in performance charts and/or displayed using graphs and/ or photographs should be construed as applying only to the specific sample tested.
Power output: Single channel and both channles driven into 8-ohm and 4-ohm non-inductive loads at 20Hz, 1kHz and 20kHz.