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Hegel HD12 DSD DAC

Discussion in 'Dedicated Source Components' started by schneller, Jan 17, 2015.
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  1. schneller
    This was also just announced at CES.
    HEGEL is one of the best names in the audio business. They just announced the $1400 HD12 DSD DAC.
    I wonder how it compares to the Chord 2Qute for $375 less?
  2. erikfreedom
    it flat out kills. I had an hegel hd25 for more than a year and it is not that much better sounding than the hd12. I even think the hd12 sound just as good. the headphone out is more than decent and power my hd 800 beautifully. people around here d'ont care much about hegel audio, but let me tell you they make incredible stuff, and it is made in Norway. they put sound quality before anything else. I have a made in china carat amplifier and you can see the difference in the way they do things. it's all beautiful in the outside, but not that good sounding at all.  no it is not the best looking dac in thre world, but at 1400 bucks it can embarrass a lot of 3000 bucks and over dacs. I c'ant wait for the next generation of the hd25 dac.
  3. schneller
    Thanks for the feedback!
  4. erikfreedom
    we did ab tests this afternoon. we had hegel hd12, naim dac v1, hegel hd25, brand new simaudio moon 380d dsd. amplifier was a devialet 200 wich also has a fantastic dac. speakers were monitor audio gold series gx300.
    the poorest performer of the bunch was the naim dac v1. at twice the price almost of the hegel hd12 it is only if you are a fan of naim and like it's cute look. soundwise it is not impressive. and it is very expensive.
    the hegel hd12 is just as good as the hd25. sorry to say it but I was with 2 other guys, including the owner of the shop who has heard just about everything on earth and we all agreed that hd12 is just as good. and since it has dsd capability and headphone amp I say it is a much better deal than the hd 25 wich is a 2500 bucks dac. the hd 12 is 1400 and it's dac section is equal to hd 25. there you go.
    hd 12 and hd 25 also have slightly better sound than moon 380d wich is a very good dac. but way overpriced.
    the devialet dac is fantastic. if I had the cash I would have a huge devialet sound system. those things are amazing. the hegel stuff sound just as good but has way more conservative look. devialet is a work of art.
    I ordered an hegel hd 12. I will have it tomorrow. they have it in stock at the hegel distributor in montreal.
    the name of the shop were I played with all those toys is, musique avant tout. it is located in Chicoutimi in northern quebec. it is the only high end shop in the sector.
    it's all in French sorry.
  5. schneller
    Wow. I really appreciate the review.
    The HD12 remains on my short list. Its main competitors to me remain the Chord 2Qute ($1700 USD), Teddy Pardo DAC ($1500 USD) and the new Schiit yggdrasil ($2300? USD).
    Of these, only the Hegel and Chord offer DSD support.
    The Teddy DAC supposedly outperforms the NAIM DAC (nDAC) which is regarded much better than the V1. The V1 has failed to garner many positive reviews really.
    Have you heard any Schiit? Gungnir USB Gen2 by chance?
    The yggdrasil may be too expensive and too big for my tastes as well. it appears to have a large footprint. The Hegel, Chord and Teddy are all fairly small/shoebox size.
  6. erikfreedom
    the hd 12 is also a better sounding dac than the naim dac. we tested them this afternoon and we all came to the same conclusion again. the ndac cost a fortune. the hd12 not.
    this shop does not carry hugo products and the only schiit stuff I have at home is a schiit lyr amp. it is decent but nothing more. I have not heard any of the schiit dac. the schiit stuff is too hyped for me. I d'ont trust too much hype.
  7. schneller
    Thanks for the continued feedback.
    Any chance you can compare to Chord? 2Qute? Hugo?
  8. erikfreedom
    no I have never heard a hugo product. and the shop were I get my stuff does not sell their stuff. I would be curious to hear their stuff.
  9. Greg121986
    I agree with everything said above based on my experience with this hardware as well. The only component above that I have not spent time with is the Simaudio Moon 380DSD. 
  10. schneller
    Another review of this DAC:
  11. tgdinamo
    I currently use Avid MBox 3 with my desktop setup (using Mac with Audirvana Plus) and output goes from MBox to Focal CMS 40 speakers.
    I mainly play 192/24 and 96/24 files although MBox converts 192 to 96 since thats the highest it can support. The whole setup sounds pretty nice.
    However, would I hear significant improvement if in this setup I replace MBox 3 with HD12 (without touching anything else)? Or would I also need to get a separate amp to put between HD12 and speakers to really hear significant improvement in SQ? Or maybe have to upgrade the speakers as well?
    If yes what would be a good amp to get for this desktop setup (say I'm willing to spend about another $1000 or so for the amp if that's needed)?
    Thanks for any advice on this. Also, if there are any recommended cables to hook it all up to get the optimal SQ please point that out as well.
  12. RubyTiger
    Did you get the Hegel you ordered?? If so can you tell us more about the sound and how it compares to the two reviews stated in this thread??  Looking at the ranking's at the end of the 'enjoy the music' review and comparing them to the Hugo review it looks as if the Hegel trounces the Hugo. Two different reviewer's but still one must ask what the rankings are for if not accurately portrayed. Also noticed the comparison to the Hugo in the 'Computeraudiophile review' went unanswered.
    Comments? Thoughts? Throw a dog a bone??
  13. erikfreedom
    I had the hd12 for 1 week and then I returned it. the dac section is good, but the amp section lacked power for my hd 800. I simply decided I wanted to invest in a very special rig for my hd 800. hegel makes good stuff. but I miss the sound of tubes.
  14. tgdinamo
    I received my HD12 last night and quickly set it up. Already love it - wonderful SQ accross the whole range and very detailed. Also I expect it will further improve (manual says needs 100 hours to burn it).
    I'm currently using it with my desktop setup (Macbook Pro running Audirvana Plus, Moon Audio Silver Dragon USB cable input into HD12, and HD12 XLR balanced output to Focal CMS 40 monitors).
    As I mentioned earlier in the thread I don't have any audiophile high end equipment to compare HD12 against (moving to the above setup from Avid MBox 3 which is basically a very nice guitar/voice interface that also happens to sound great just playing hires file, and can play up to 96/24 - but obviously can't hold a candle to HD12).
  15. aqsw

    So tell me, what better dac did you get for your return?
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