Hegel comparison

I have the opportunity to buy either a Hegel 390 or 590.  Pricing to be negotiated, and there are no dealerships anywhere in my region that would allow me to hear either one before making a decision.

Does anybody have an opinion, based on live auditioning, re: the relative sonic profiles of these two products?

Thanks for any opinions based on first-hand experience.



You can never take one opinion too seriously. What you CAN do is look at the trend or the majority of opinions. And that seems to show you get a lot of power, great sound, connectivity from the 390, 590. I don’t care what piece of audio equipment you’re talking about, there’s always a few guys who will proudly stand up and say it’s utter crap. No matter how good it is. Presumably to show how deeply golden their ears alone are. 

The Hegel I borrowed, I had paired with a set of Dynaudio Special 40's The Hegel sounded damn near the same as my Arcam A-49 Amp. Both dull and flat. The Arcam is now out in my Garage/cigar lounge. With a pair of Dynaudio Emit 20's  Its tolerable

My fave was a Krell kav 300il that had a habit of baking itself. I was using an old pair of revel salon 1's when I brought home everything up to $6k price range. My main music was live recordings 1 specifically being 'big head todd and the monsters'. The Parasound A21 was thick in the mids, Anthem 225i, B&K 4420, Peachtree nova 300. sunfire, older Jeff Rowland mono's. The H360 stood out using my radioshack analog db meter to level volume the h360 was the most dynamic and neutral also offering a large soundstage with better image placement and bass. At the time the H190 just came out and while it offered a bit more top end resolution bringing brushes and cymbals into the listening room and more of the audiences cheering into the room I still settled on the h360 for the added 100 wpc thinking I could always upgrade the dac down the road. I would add not all amps have the same impact on speakers. 


i think everyone hears similarly but the Hegels have sounded so different in different systems that a prospective owner really needs to hear it before making a decision.  With the H390 integrated it sounded punchy and dynamic with some Sonus Faber floorstanders but the midrsnge was recessed.  This was the best I heard it sound.  With Harbeth speakers it was so soft and dull.  

The P20 power amp sounded hyper real and threadbare bright powering a set of KEF R11 towers.  They need to be auditioned at home or subject to a generous return policy IMHO.  But why bother, there are plenty of excellent amps available at competitive prices.