HiFi ElectronicsCD-PlayerHiFiHiFi LuxuryNews

Hegel VIKING Reference CD Player - The best CD player Hegel has developed so far

A solution developed from the ground up for optimal playback of standard CDs in Redbook format is how Hegel Music System describes the new Hegel VIKING and even calls it the new reference in the field of CD players.

Story Highlights
  • No less than a reference CD player is to be launched with the new Hegel VIKING, this is what the high-end hi-fi forge Hegel Music System promises.

The Norwegian high-end hi-fi manufacturer Hegel Music System is obviously sending out a clear signal, because even though it devotes a lot of attention to streaming, it does not want to write off the classic CD as obsolete and is even presenting a new audio CD player in the form of the Hegel VIKING.

The Hegel VIKING is said to be a solution specialised solely in the playback of Redbook-compatible audio CDs, but it accomplishes this task with such precision that Hegel Music System refers to the Hegel VIKING as nothing less than a new reference CD player.

Hegel VIKING – When everything should be simple

Yes, of course, streaming has immense advantages; it’s not for nothing that amplifier systems are based on solutions that offer streaming without any problems ex works and thus offer all the possibilities that go with it, according to Hegel Music System.

For many users, however, streaming is still a topic that they consider complex, complicated, after all, despite increasingly sophisticated systems, you somehow have to deal with sound formats, compression methods, various streaming services and their different pricing. All points that are simply irrelevant when playing CDs. Hegel Music System is convinced that many hi-fi enthusiasts and music lovers still enjoy playing CDs the most and wants to provide them with the appropriate tool with the new Hegel VIKING.

In this context, Hegel Music System also refers to the Hegel The Mohican, a CD player that came onto the market in 2016 and which the Norwegians suspected might be the last of its kind, which is why they decided on this unusual name.

And in fact, the production of the Hegel The Mohican had to be stopped long ago, because important components were no longer manufactured. However, instead of putting the subject of CD players to bed, they decided to develop a successor to the Hegel The Mohican.

Reminiscence of the Vikings

And once again, we are playing with associations around the name, because, as is probably not hard to guess, the product name of the Hegel VIKING refers to the Viking people. According to Hegel Music System, the old Norse ancestors distinguished themselves by improving and even perfecting existing things, such as boats.

“We named our CD player Viking because, like our Old Norse ancestors, we improve on existing technology. When the Viking era began, boats had been around for thousands of years. But the Vikings perfected the design. Their longboats could not only sail close to the coast, but also cross the open oceans. The improvements they made took the Vikings to new shores and even new continents. CD technology may be old, but we believe that when perfected, it is still the best digital medium available.”

Hegel Music System

Designed solely for CD playback

As mentioned earlier, the new Hegel VIKING was designed for a single task, and that is the playback of Redbook-compatible audio CDs. The manufacturer even speaks of bit-perfect playback, the basis for which is a specially designed slot-in drive with a special laser.

When designing the drive, special attention was paid to a particularly robust construction, because this is the only way to actually guarantee the high precision when reading the data carriers. It also guarantees reliable operation for many years.

Another important point according to Hegel Music System is that the new Hegel VIKING uses a D/A converter that is optimised for the signal conversion of data with 16 bits and 44.1 kHz and does not perform any upsampling. The data stream remains untouched and is not manipulated in any way.

In order to actually achieve the best result, a unique master clock is used as a clock generator for the drive and the D/A converter. This guarantees perfect timing between these two elements and thus a reproduction free of any distortion and lowest noise with all nuances and details, according to the manufacturer’s promise. The use of the Hegel SoundEngine 2 as well as a newly developed output stage especially for the Hegel VIKING also contributes to this, and this should not go unmentioned. This output stage contains both an analogue low-pass filter and the so-called Hegel Line Driver Technology, which ensures completely balanced and noise-free processing of the signal all the way to the amplifier.

Unbalanced or balanced

The new Hegel VIKING offers both unbalanced and balanced outputs, one in the form of a pair of C-inch sockets, the other in the form of XLR connectors.

In addition, there is the option of forwarding audio signals in digital form, even if this is unlikely to be of any importance in view of the high-quality signal conversion of the Hegel VIKING. However, if this is desired, an S/PDIF interface in BNC format is available.

Elegant design concept

The manufacturer explicitly points out that the new Hegel VIKING has been designed to perfectly match the Hegel P30A and Hegel H30A solutions and to create a modern, harmonious overall picture.

The front is naturally adorned by the centrally arranged slot-in drive and the LCD below it. Both are flanked by two rotary encoders, which are the only operating elements of the CD player. Of course, a matching remote control is included in the scope of delivery, the Hegel RC8 being made of aluminium.

With dimensions of 430 mm in width, 305 mm in depth and 99 mm in height, this new CD player weighs an impressive 7.3 kg. This is a clear indication of the extremely robust design of the housing, which can thus prevent sound-damaging vibrations from occurring in the first place.

Prices and availability

The new Hegel VIKING Reference CD Player will be available in specialist shops from September or October 2023, according to the manufacturer’s forecast, which lists a recommended retail price of € 4.995,- for this solution.

Getting to the point

It was not for nothing that the product name of the last CD player from Hegel Music System was Hegel The Mohican, because the Norwegian company assumed that this would probably be the last of its kind. Now, when the Hegel Mohican had to be discontinued because essential components were no longer available, the company nevertheless set about developing a new solution. The result is now presented in the form of the new Hegel VIKING Reference CD Player, a solution designed solely for the playback of Redbook-compatible audio CDs, but which is supposed to do this brilliantly. It is not for nothing that Hegel Music System calls the new Hegel VIKING the best CD player the Norwegians have ever developed.

Price€ 4.995,-
ManufacturerHegel Music Systems
Distribution AustriaGP Acoustics GmbH
Distribution GermanyGP Acoustics GmbH
Distribution SwitzerlandSoundrevolution Sàrl
More about this manufacturer at HIFI BLOG
Show More

Michael Holzinger

Michael Holzinger, founder and editor-in-chief of HiFi BLOG and sempre-audio.at, has been working for years as a journalist in the fields of IT, photography, telecommunications and consumer electronics.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Back to top button