Ayre v Hegel sound

My setup is comprised of a Roon-ready Ayre QX-5 Twenty DAC, Ayre DX-5 DSD disc player, Ayre KX-5 Twenty preamp and VX-5 Twenty amp driving a pair of KEF Reference 1s augmented below 80 Hz with s pair of acoustic room corrected Velodyne HGS-15s.  The speakers are high-passed at 80 Hz by a Marchand filter.  I've been mulling over the idea of replacing the DAC, preamp, and amp with a Hegel H390 integrated for simplicity and downsizing , but I have no idea what effect that might have on the sound.  Anyone out there know or have an opinion? 

Ag insider logo xs@2xdbphd

The dacs in any of the h3xx integrateds are not that good. I used to own a Hegel h3xx integrated and used the dac for maybe 1 hour in the years that I owned it. I used a dac that cost more than the Hegel integrated itself and it blew away the internal dac.

At rmaf, I had the Hegel room compare the internal dac in the h360 to their standalone dac, it wasn’t even close in sq. But I do like the sound of the hegels they just didn’t have the power I need

i have a different point of view... in the h390 and h590 i feel the dacs are quite good, especially the 590, where they integrated the sound quite synergistically with the pre/power sections ... to my ear, certainly as good as the better stand alone dacs up to roughly $1000 (which is a pretty high standard sonically these days)... my experience is based on running roon, using the streaming function, with a well cleansed lan feed (good switch, well filtered, linear power supplies)

in my opinion one has to spend more than $1000 to noticeably better the sonics of the internal dacs in the upper hegels... (think modded mhdt orchid, dena pontus/venus, chord qutest and higher...)

The hHegel is nowhere near as refined. Acoustic instruments will not sound nearly as natural. I couldn’t stand Hegel myself. It sounds coarse in comparison. Maybe more dynamic. If I only listened to Electronic music, with synths I was unfamiliar with, maybe.

I’m spoiled though, I mostly listen to the AX-5 fronted by a Bartók Apex.