Hegel Music Systems Debuts V10— Its First Ever MM/MC Phono Preamplifier

Norway-based Hegel Music Systems just announced the February 2021 release of the V10, the company's first MM/MC phono preamplifier, though chief designer Bent Holter says he's been "tinkering" with phono preamp designs since the mid 1990s.

From the press release: "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.'"

According to the press release the V10 was built "from the ground up" using modern discrete amplification. "The chassis is divided into two compartments, physically separating the power supplies from the sensitive amplification circuitry. There is simply no detectable interference between the two parts. For the best possible connection, we have fitted the V10 with gold-plated terminals, balanced XLR outputs, and a solid custom grounding screw. On the all-important 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. That is why we have fitted the MC input with four such transistors connected in parallel. Making the input completely silent and stopping any bias current feedback to the cartridge coil.

"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 extremely 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, analog AC-power supply. This features a large, custom design, E-core transformer, placed in its own housing to eliminate all possibility of interference.

"For us it has been particularly important that all vinyl enthusiasts get to enjoy the V10. So, out of the box it is configured as an excellent plug and play MM preamplifier. For many, this is exactly what they want and need, but some want even more. That is why we made the V10 highly optimizable, 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 even has a Subsonic Filter to remove unwanted low frequency noise. And at the end of the night, when the listening session takes you way past bedtime and you forget to turn off the V10, the adjustable auto standby function does that for you."

The price was not in the press release.


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

Toptip's picture

"The Hegel V10 is the Norwegian company’s first foray into the land of phono-stages. It costs £1350 and is distributed by Auden Distribution in the UK."

Jim Tavegia's picture

Some people are going to start spending more money. I am sure Hegel has some loyal followers who are about to get on board. EVEn in US dollars it seems like a good value.

Ortofan's picture

... variable load resistance for the MM input?

dial's picture

I must admit my vinyl set-up is very vintage, with a thorens ppa-990 as pre (2 or 22 ohms) and more modern a Project MM RIAA...
Am I still from your club ?

xtcfan80's picture

Dial...1. Do you love music? 2. Do you love music reproduced on vinyl? 3. Do you not own or stream any Lady Gaga?? Yes.. you are in!!!

Analogue+Fan's picture

Who is Ben or Bent .?

Tom L's picture

Bent Holter bio: https://www.hegel.com/about

Analogue+Fan's picture


Trevor_Bartram's picture

I just pulled my Dual turntable out of storage and was surprised to find it ran perfectly. I removed light scratches on the cover using Meguiar's scratch remover. I replaced the forty year old Grado cartridge (with an Audio Technica) because I could hear the Grado distorting. I checked my home built phono preamp (LM394 + LM318) to make sure the capacitive loading was correct. No need to worry about the power supply, it runs (for about forty hours) on two PP9 (9V) batteries, you can't get quieter than that. I estimate the preamp parts would cost $30 at today's prices, why does this Hegel cost so much?

xtcfan80's picture

Trevor...enjoy your DYI phono stage and please do not try to be "objective" or "understand" why any piece of gear costs what it does. Following this track will greatly enhance your enjoyment of domestic audio.