Norwegian audio brand Hegel Music Systems has announced the launch of its first amplifiers aimed at the home theater and distributed audio markets. Called the C5 Series, three models are available: the C53, C54 and C55, which are configured as 3, 4 and 5 channel amplifiers respectively. With MSRPs starting at $6,000 and up depending on configuration, the amplifiers will start shipping in November this year. Clearly at these price points, the amplifiers are aimed at the custom installation market, but if you’re rebooting your home theater this winter, these might be worth investigation.
The C5 Series are all Class AB mono-block analog amplifiers rated at 150-watts per-channel. The company claims the amplifiers maintain a peak reserve capability that “virtually doubles down to 2 ohms,” closing in at 600-watts per channel, making them capable of driving loudspeakers to their “fullest capability.”
Hegel uses a patented “SoundEngine2” low-distortion technology. This is also used in the company’s audiophile amps and cancels out distortion elements created within the amplifier’s circuits. It achieves this by playing them back in a negative phase (like a noise-cancelling headphone), achieving great musicality, according to the company. The tech combines the power efficiency of Class AB amplifiers with the accuracy of Class A amplifiers, yet without the drawbacks inherent to either. SoundEngine2 will deliver high-performance and low bias for cool operation, allowing for installation in a 19-inch custom AV gear rack yet without requiring active cooling.
“The C5 is a hybrid between our H30 mono-block and H190 amplifiers,” says Hegel Music Systems’ Vice President of Sales and Marketing Anders Ertzeid. “The C5 is based on the latest SoundEngine2 and the sound from the H190, yet with 50% more output transistors and individual massive toroidal power transformers on each channel. At the same time, it uses the same concept and layout at the output stage as the H30 mono-blocks, resulting in unprecedented speed and slam. Even compared to our giant H590, when people hear the C5 they go ‘Wow… what was that?’”
“The majority of high-end speakers are 4 ohms, and many will dip into 2 ohms, requiring a lot of current to keep music and action peaks fully reproduced. However, many amps simply choke at that point,” says Hegel Music America’s National Sales Manager Brad Paulsen, who is leading the expansion of the brand in the US. “The C5’s will easily deliver down to 2 ohms and in a big way. These amps are flame-throwers that will seriously light-up any home theater.”
There isn’t much info on the website just yet, but tech specs for the C5-Series (C53, C54 and C55) look like this:
Amplifier Type Class AB
Power Output 3/4/5 channels produce 150W/8 ohms, 300W/4 ohms, >550W/2 ohms
Minimum Load 2 ohms
Analog Inputs 3/4/5 balanced (XLR), 3/4/5 unbalanced (RCA)
Control Inputs 1 mini-jack 5-12V trigger
Control Outputs 1 mini-jack 11.9V trigger out
Gain Control Switchable between 23dB or 29dB (individual)
Phase Control Switchable 1/180 (individual)
Frequency Response 5Hz-100kHz
Signal-To-Noise Ratio More than 100dB
Crosstalk Less than -100dB
Distortion Less than 0.01% @ 100W 8 Ohms 1kHz
Intermodulation Less than 0.01% (19kHz + 20kHz)
Damping Factor More than 2000 (main power output stage)
Net Weight US 61lbs/73lbs/82lbs
Dimensions US 18.97-inches x 5.2-inches x 20.47-inches
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