The P30A is our reference preamplifier. We have nicknamed it The Conductor because its job is to control the power amplifier with a signal that is as true to the music as possible. In our view, the preamplifier is the most critical component in a great sounding system, and it is also the hardest to get right. The very low amplitude signals coming from the source are easily corrupted, so in-depth technical know-how and clever engineering are needed to make sure the signal stays the same all the way through the preamplifier. With the P30A we have deployed all our skills in doing just that.
First, we use single pair FET transistors that have no higher order harmonic distortion. Within any batch of transistors, there will always be slight measurement variations. This might be within the bounds of what is considered normal deviations, but for sensitive electronics like this, that simply isn’t good enough. Therefore, Hegel’s founder and chief engineer Bent measures and carefully matches those transistors that have the exact same values. Having perfectly matched transistors is of paramount importance to the performance of the preamplifier, and it makes the P30A sound very smooth and natural, without compromising on the details. Furthermore, the internal layout is designed in a way that makes the signal paths within the preamplifier as short as possible. This reduces the possibility of distortion coming from electrical interference. To further reduce distortion, we also minimize the number of electrical components the signal passes through. In the P30A the music signal only passes through two transistors and an ultra-low noise volume attenuator. The P30A also uses Hegel’s patented SoundEngine technology. This actively monitors the music signal for corruptions and corrects for intermodulation distortion using a feed forward design. SoundEngine effectively removes distortion in real time as the signal is amplified.
All these steps make for a preamplifier that is very quiet and handles the sensitive low amplitude music signal as delicately as possible. Even so, distortion of the signal can still happen, but the P30A has one more feature that takes care of this. The P30A is fully balanced all the way through. This means you have two separate amplifiers, volume controls, and SoundEngine modules per channel. With this design, almost all leftover distortion is canceled out, and what you are left with is a signal that is as close to the original source material as possible.
The P30A offers a wide array of inputs and outputs. It features 2 balanced (XLR) and 3 unbalanced (RCA) inputs and a fixed level Home Theatre input that allows you to integrate it into a Home Theatre system. This input can also be configured to act as a normal input. On the other end you have one balanced (XLR) and two unbalanced (RCA) variable outputs that are all active, allowing you to connect several devices at the same time. One of the unbalanced RCA outputs can even be configured to be a fixed volume output. The P30A also has a 3,5 mm IR-direct input and a 12V trigger output connector. When you add it all up you get a highly versatile, extremely quiet, and natural sounding preamplifier that can be the heart of any high-end audio system. You get the P30A – A truly brilliant conductor of all music.