NEW AUSTRALIAN STARTUP HESCHL AUDIO LAB UNVEILS FLAGSHIP AMPLIFIER
The launch of any new high-end brand is always cause for celebration. But when that brand is 100 per cent Australian we reach for a magnum of Tasmanian House of Arras Grand Vintage 2007 and enjoy every sublime mouthful.
Heschl Audio Labs deserves our audiophile accolades because of its passion for music and a company ethos of crafting audio components that deliver musical veracity with astounding confidence and ease.
Three self-confessed audiophiles created the brand - Dan, Rod and Simon in 2018. Its HQ is Queensland’s sunny Gold coast.
Head designer, Rod Harris says the brand was named after the Heschl gyri that is the part of the human brain that processes incoming auditory information.
Without it, you hear no sound and research has shown a musician’s Heschl’s gyri is typically larger than most-thus ‘an ear for music’.
Giving you what the artist hears is what Heschl Audio Labs is all about. It was only fitting that we celebrated this fact with a name that symbolises what we are trying to achieve.
Harris had had a lifelong passion for audio. His father worked for Pioneer Electronics, and he was continually sharing stereo products with his young, curious son.
It was through this exposure I developed a real appreciation of “sound” and what this meant for audio enthusiasts and musicians alike.
Handily for Harris, he also had a natural interest in how things worked and a passion for electronics.
He decided to make audio his career starting off repairing equipment and later, designing amplifiers and speakers in his spare time. At the start, he made gear for himself, but as often happens with good sounding gear word got out and about.
Harris soon found himself making custom solutions for discerning buyers who wanted more than the audio mainstream offered.
On the recommendation of a recording engineer, Harris began working for the recording studio industry.
It was here I helped notable establishments such as Studios 301 maintain and upgrade systems and format mixing consoles. SSLs, Neve, Neotek plus Studer, Ampex tape machines and outboard gear.
The studio equipment restoration experience was fruitful because it gave Harris an insight into live as opposed to reproduced sound. He made “realism” his goal as a designer.
After leveraging the design features of top rank studio gear and paying attention to size and cost, the Heschl HAL350 Integrated DAC amplifier emerged.
The HAL350 delivers 350 watts per channel into an 8ohm load and 600 watts into 4ohms. Moreover, it is stable with any load.
The DAC part of the HAL350 uses a custom DAC module based on a discrete R-2R sign-magnitude DAC design with FPGA based FIFO buffering/reclocking and custom digital filters. It has 28-bit resolution.
Connections include a USB input that accepts up to 384kHz sample rate and 192kHz SPDIF and Toslink inputs. This DAC has an automatic de-emphasis for 44.1kHz material along with a built-in set of simple FIR filters for all sample rates.
Well known within audiophile circles, Mike Lenehan of Lenehan Audio told StereoNET:
I have recently had the opportunity to have a listen to the Heschl HAL350 in my factory reference system . Ok just a quick history, Rod Harris the designer has been bringing me his prototypes for about three years now. Starting with the 300watt per channel power amp! It was a good amp from the first prototype, and perhaps within the top five or six amps I had heard.
The Heschl Audio Labs HAL350 is available now and sells for $24,999 RRP.
StereoNET will publish its full review of the HAL350 soon.
For more information visit Heschl Audio Labs.
One of the veterans of the Australian HiFi industry, Peter was formerly the Audio-Video Editor of the Herald Sun for over two decades. One of the most-respected audio journalists in Australia, Peter brings his unparalleled experience and a unique story-telling ability to StereoNET.