Norwegian brand Hegel has just launched the V10, their first ever Phonostage, read on for more info and find out what we thought in our review.

Hegel told us: “With the revival of vinyl, many of our customers, dealers, and distributors have also wanted something for the opposite end of the audiophile world and encouraged us to make a phono preamplifier. For years we resisted, always prioritizing other products. Always with a heavy heart, because phono preamplifiers are something our chief designer, Bent Holter, was tinkering with for Hegel amplifiers all the way back in the mid-nineties. So, when we finally decided to make one, Bent was very enthusiastic. Our original plan was to start off with a relatively simple and inexpensive one, it seemed sensible to start small. The more Bent worked on it, the more fun he was having, and the bigger the project became. It was just too hard not to implement this great idea or that great idea, to quote Bent: “If you are not going to make it the right way, then why bother making it at all.”

Hegel V10 Phonostage

Analogue Audio

This enthusiasm was very infectious and spread throughout the company. Bent has as usual been at the helm with his knowledge and experience in analogue audio, however, this project has been special and the V10 has been carried forward as a group effort, with input from the entire staff. With the V10 Hegel say that they have not been copying textbook solutions or using “off the shelf” circuitry. Using Hegel’s know-how in amplification design they have taken a theoretical approach right from the start. The V10 is, as they say, “pure Hegel”, built from the ground up using modern, discrete amplification.

Into The Groove

The chassis is divided into two compartments, physically separating the power supplies from the sensitive amplification circuitry.  For the best possible connection, they have fitted the V10 with gold-plated terminals, balanced XLR outputs, and a solid custom grounding screw. For input stage, we have used ultra-low-noise discrete JFET transistors for both the Moving Magnet (MM) and Moving Coil (MC) input. Eliminating external noise is especially important when using sensitive low output MC cartridges. they have fitted the MC input with four such transistors connected in parallel. Making the input silent and stopping any bias current feedback to the cartridge coil.

Hegel V10 Phonostage rear view

MM And MC Cartridges

The input signal feeds into equally silent amplifier circuits, where both the MM and the MC gain stages use ultra-low-noise power supplies built with discrete bipolar transistors to keep the signal noise at a minimum. This ensures an accurate amplification of the input signal coming from the turntable. And to make sure the V10 gets the best operating conditions, it is supplied with a linear, low noise, analogue AC-power supply. This features a large, custom design, E-core transformer, placed in its own housing to eliminate all possibility of interference.

Out of the box the V10 is configured as a plug and play MM preamplifier. The V10 is optimisable, catering to individual preferences and requirements in set up, the V10 can be adjusted for any MM and MC cartridge.

When using a MM cartridge, you can freely increase the Capacitance between 100 and 467 pF and when using a MC cartridge, the impedance can be set freely between 33 and 550 ohms or fixed at 47 kohm. On both MM and MC, the gain can be increased by 5, 10 or 12 dB, matching the output of your other sources, the V10  has a Subsonic Filter to remove unwanted low frequency noise. And at the end of the listening session, the adjustable auto standby function turns it off for you.

Read or review of the Hegel V10 Phonostage here!

Technical Specifications

Amplifier Typology Ultra low noise discrete JFET transistor input stage for both

MC and MM

Gain XLR Out MM: 40dB / 45dB / 50dB / 52dB

MC: 60dB / 65dB / 70dB / 72dB

Gain RCA Out MM: 34dB / 39dB / 44dB / 46dB

MC: 54dB / 59dB / 64dB / 66dB

MC Load Impedance Freely adjustable between 33 and 550 ohm / 47 kohm

MM Load Capacitance 100pF / 147pF / 200pF / 220pF / 247pF / 320pF / 420pF /

467pF @ 47 kohm

Subsonic Filter: Switchable on / off, -3dB at 20Hz, -18dB octave

RIAA Accuracy +/- 0,2dB / 20Hz – 20kHz

Output Noise -84dB/MM (“A” weighted ref: 0dBV)

-81dB/MC (“A” weighted ref: 0dBV)

Output Impedance XLR / RCA: 200 ohm

Channel Crosstalk -84dB @1kHz 0dBV

Frequency Response 2Hz-20kHz

Distortion (THD) MM: < 0.005%

MC: < 0.009%

@1kHz 0dBV

Inputs 1*unbalanced (RCA) MM

1*unbalanced (RCA) MC

Outputs 1*unbalanced fixed (RCA)

1* balanced fixed (XLR)

Power Adapter Hegel Power Adapter M30103

Dimensions with Feet 6cm x 21cm x 28cm, 2.4” x 8,3” x 11”

H x W x D

Weight 2,2kg/ 4,9lbs unit weight

Price

£1350 available in the UK through Auden Distribution’s network of dealers, shipping in February 2021

Read or review of the Hegel V10 Phonostage here!

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