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Hegel teases Viking: a purist’s CD player

  • The last of its kind? When Hegel pulled the covers off its Redbook-only Mohican CD player in May 2016, it seemed to be so. A pandemic-induced parts shortage led to the Mohican’s discontinuation in 2022. That, as they say, was the end of that.

    But not so fast.

    This week, the Norwegians have announced a new CD player called Viking. And Viking is no sail-by refresh. It adopts the Mohican’s plain-Jane looks but has been reworked to better match the outward aesthetic of Hegel’s P30A pre-amplifier and H30A power amplifier. Viking also borrows Mohican’s twin circular compass-point switches. However, everything else has been redone from scratch.

    Viking loads CDs via a slot (and not the Mohican’s in-out tray) behind which sit a brand new laser-and-CD drive mechanism and a resampling/upsampling-free AKM 4493SEQ-based D/A converter, both of which are directly controlled by a thoroughly revised Master clock system.

    From the press release: “Using a quartz crystal with very low phase noise and our patented SoundEngine technology, the Hegel-designed discrete clock in the Viking reduces jitter to an absolute minimum.” 

    The front-panel OLED display is also new – reportedly chosen for its lower levels of electrical noise discharge – and the analogue output stage has been rebuilt from the ground up. The only other nods to the Mohican reside on the back panel where we find balanced XLR outputs, single-ended RCA outputs and a 75 Ohm BNC digital output (and no digital inputs).

    Pricing will land at €4995 / US$5000 when the Viking begins shipping in September.

    Further information: Hegel

    Written by John

    John currently lives in Berlin where he creates videos and podcasts for Darko.Audio. He has previously contributed to 6moons, TONEAudio, AudioStream and Stereophile.

    Darko.Audio is a member of EISA.

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