Hegel has unveiled its first-ever full-sized digital-to-analogue converter in the shape of the new HD30 DAC, which the company is describing as its reference DAC. This being Hegel, though, the intention has been to come up with a product that is new and quite unlike anything that's currently available. And so Hegel describes how the development of the HD30 meant it had to  tweak and improve on the best measurement equipment in the world first, before technically addressing the things its engineeers had heard and then tweaking them.

First up was the noise floor. The HD30 boasts separate power supplies for what Hegel describes as the ”noisy” and ”not noisy” areas of the DAC and believes that by careful distancing of the transformers it has achieved a noise floor approaching -150dB. Next up on the agenda was phase noise or skirting, which is a form of jitter that creates noise in the immediate frequencies around the main tone. The effects of phase-noise results in a lack of precision and blurring of details. Hegel worked to reduce phase noise by re-developing the master clock with careful matching of transistors and the clock crystal and the result is claimed to be stunning imagery and a very life like sound.

Inputs around the back include balanced AES/EBU and BNC, as well as coaxial, network and three optical inputs, while the USB input supports native DSD64/128 files. The aforementioned master clock is claimed by Hegel to have made a dramatic improvement to streaming via AirPlay or via a NAS drive and the HD30 has been developed so that it is compatible with most streaming apps on the market.

The HD30 is available to buy now for £3,200 and you can find out more about it here.