Signal path is 'High quality' instead of 'Lossless'? (H190)

Hey everyone,
I just bought a H190 because I wanted to simplify my setup. Before, I used to connect my Node 2i into my Preamp via Coax, which is fed by an external Roon Core (NUC) via Wifi. One of my goal was to get rid off the Node 2i, because I wanted to use the network functions of the H190.

Now if I use the H190 as endpoint the signal path is displayed as ‘High quality’, it looks like it downsamples from 192kHz to 105.47 kHz. With the same album (played via Qobuz) the Node 2i offers a signal path of ‘Lossless’, so 192kHz stays 192kHz. I tought the Hegel DAC is capable of handling 192kHz files? Attached you can find the signal paths of the H190 and Node 2i, as well as the settings from both.

Honestly I don’t hear a difference so far and I don’t have the mood to do endless A/B-Testing, I just want to get the best out of my system and I’m a bit confused why I achieve lossless with a cheap Node 2i, but not with the H190. Did I mess up my settings?






The Hegel resamples to 105

So if I want the best performance, I use my Node 2i again and don’t use the network feature of the H190? Somewhere in these threads I read that 105 is ‘golden’ for these amps, what does it mean, is it better with 105 than with 192 via my Node 2i?

Honestly I’m a bit disappointed and confused now, because I wanted an all-in-one solution.

PS: also with Coax I bypass the DAC of my Node 2i and the H190 DAC is used… Why can it handle 192 this way? Very confusing stuff.

Id listen to both wsys and see if you hear sny difference.

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Based on what I read in the Hegel thread’s before it was always down sampling anything that went through the DAC to 105 but no one was told.

Not sure what happens with what goes through the RCA connections, but if 16/44 is good enough for most, then 24/105 should be well outside of your ability to hear any difference.
I know some people feel like they have been robbed by Hegel and it doesn’t sound like you are one of those.

Like Ged has said, listen to both and if you are happy with the Hegel All in one solution then stick with it. If not you have the option to use the Node.

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I’m not really a great A/B-Tester, I forgot how it sounds after I changed connections/switched songs. But I’m very petty about that kind of things and things like that bother me, it will bother me for eternity. This is a quirk of mine and the fact that I even open a thread like this shows you how I am :slight_smile:

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I’m pretty sure my untrained hearing couldn’t tell the difference. I don’t feel cheated, rather surprised since the dealer told me that it is a fully Roon capable device as of late. Having used the Node 2i before, I thought it would at least have the same technical capabilities.

I’m very small-minded about such things, so maybe I should consider giving the H190 back. I know it will bug me for eternity.

So in summary, for optimal technical playback (theoretically) I should use Node 2i. If I want simple usability, use the H190.

It is fully Roon Ready, and the down sampling is done at the DAC level.
You really should hear no difference at all, but many people will complain as Hegel never told anyone about this down sampling and Roon demanded full transparency around the signal path and that seems to be what finally came out.

If it’s going to bug you forever then maybe return the device and get something else, but using the Node into the Hegel is unlikely to be any better than the Hege8on it’s own

Few people are actually good at this type of testing, and it’s not very fun anyway, especially for minute differences like this. I’d suggest listening for a week or two with the 190 and take some notes about your mood during and after your listening sessions. Allow yourself to forget about the signal path. Just relax and focus on the music. Repeat the next week with the Bluesound.

Review your notes. With which setup did you listen to more albums from start to finish without skipping around? Any differences in how much you looked forward to listening? These longer-term observations will be far more valid for minor differences than any kind of A/B tests…at least for conclusions that affect you personally.

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Excellent advice.

I am really sorry to read that people feel cheated by Hegel here. @Michael_Harris @Janis_Forstreuter

The truth is that resampling to 105.47 kHz (in the H120/H190) is actually a brilliant way of making an affordable DAC sound really good. So good that we considered not doing Roon since we had to reveal it to competitors.

The digital audio world is sometimes a little like Mega Pixels was for cameras back in the day. The marketing was all about getting the highest number, while the truth was usually at least more complex.

Meaning - if you feel cheated. Don’t. There is absolutely no reason to, and you can probably look up facts online to support our claims above.

But you need to decide for yourself if you like the amp or not. In regards to the Node 2, I would think that the H190 DAC is better than the one in the Node 2, but that is subjective of course.

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Connecting the Node 2i this way by-passes the Node’s DAC. Testing A/B would use RCA from the Node to the pre-amp.

Exactly, but as I understand it now, even by-passing the Node 2i DAC, it is still converted to 105khz by the H190, is that correct @Anders_Ertzeid ?

Apparently Roon doesn’t know that its converted to 105khz when you by-pass the DAC of the Node 2i (it shows lossless). But when you use the H190 directly to stream, then it becomes apparent (it shows High quality).

I think there is no question that anything is better than using the DAC from the Node 2i, but that wasn’t the point and not worth A/B-testing for. I didn’t use the Node 2i DAC with my previous setup (Quad Artera Play+) and I don’t plan to do so.

All the digital inputs on the H190 (and H95, H120) are re-sampled to 105.47kHz.

It is a way of making the DAC chip we are using perform optimally.

You will feel bugged to eternity if you believe that the higher the kHz the better the sound quality.

But it would bug me to eternity if I found out that I’ve sacrificed other more valuable stuff to chase the 192 when 105 would have been more than sufficient.

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This makes sense to me. Benchmark has been doing something similar for over a decade (110 kHz, in their case).

That was for their DAC1 which used a AD1853 DAC chip. The 3 series use 211 kHz.

Which I suspect is exactly 2x Fs 105.47 kHz that Hegel employs.

AJ

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@Anders_Ertzeid I have just started using Roon via my H120 based on information from Hegel’s website that states the amp is fully Roon tested and ready.

And based on the audio playback settings, the bit rate and sampling rate shows 24 bit 192 kHz respectively.

So to my understanding and I think for most, if not all end users of the H95, H120 and H190, would be that Roon will be able to fully utilize the said settings.

There is no where on Hegel’s website that indicates that sampling is only limited to 105.47 kHz.

I think what is be overlooked here is proper disclosure from Hegel themselves.

If the H95/120/190 can only accept these formats - 44.1, 88.2 and 176.4 and resamples at 105.47, then please state so in the product support page and manual so that all end users can know this upfront rather than only to discover this when in use.

It is misleading to say that the DAC is 192 kHz capable when in actual use, it will never achieve said sampling rates in the first place.

Thanks for hearing me out.

++++
Agree 100%. Disengenous at best, fraudulent at its worst