Hegel H390 or NAD M33 for Bowers and Wilkins 802D2 speakers?

I am looking for a one box amplifier, streamer, and Dac for my B&W 802 D2 speakers. My listening room is about 400 square feet with 18 foot ceilings.

I previously had a 200 watt Cambridge Audio 840W amplifier and 840 E pre-amplifier with a bluesound node 2 streamer DAC that I was pretty happy with but was looking for a step up in sound and a one box solution. I bought a NAD M10 six months ago but sold it after a few months because it didn’t seem to be as musical, rich, lively and dynamic as my previous Cambridge system. With the Dirac activated (standard version up to 500 HZ) on the NAD M10 the bass tightened up but the sound stage seemed to be pushed too far back in the room and the speakers seemed to have a veiled sound with the mids and highs toned down too much.

I think I have narrowed my replacement down to the Hegel H390 or the NAD M33. Both the Hegel H390 and NAD M33 are about $7,000 MSRP in Canada and both seem to be getting great reviews. I was leaning towards the Hegel H390 but the brand new NAD M33 seems to be getting some great reviews and as a bonus looks much better than the Hegel H390. My hesitation with the NAD M33 is my prior experience with the NAD M10 but perhaps the big brother newer M33 with Eigentakt technology has solved some of the issues I have had with the M10?

I will probably be only streaming Tidal and Spotify from my music system with no plans for vinyl. I am looking for a a warm, lively, dynamic sound and listen to everything from pop music, classical, jazz, vocals, and classic rock.Any suggestions on which of these 2 to buy? Unfortunately I probably won’t be able to take either of these home to try in my room with my speakers before I buy.

Thanks for any help offered!

if sound quality is the priority i would strongly recommend the hegel over the nad, h390 is superb

no affiliation, just a very happy owner, have been thru past class d amplified nad’s, quite unimpressed with the sq
SoundStage HiFi just dropped a review of the Purifi powered M33.


I have not owned a NAD integrated since the NAD 7175PE which was a very nice piece back in the day :)  I eventually sold it to get into separates;  if I was in the market today for an all-in-one Integrated that didn't break the bank, I would certainly be tempted to at least give the M33 a listen.    
Another vote for H390. Sound is excellent as is the DAC. 
6 months in and I still listen to it almost daily, just love it.
For good reason these sit in a number of reviewers systems as their reference. 

I’ve had a NAD integrated and now own the H390. There is no comparison. H390 would be my choice.
Comparing a new Purifi amp to an older NAD amp is probably about as useful as comparing the current Chiefs with Pat Mahomes at QB to the old Chiefs of a few years ago with Alex Smith at QB.
NAD was certainly stuck in purgatory using that poor icepower class d module on all their much hyped ’Masters’ level units, some folks like ej sarmento at w4s figured out how to make it sound pretty decent, but NAD never did

glad they have finally moved on to something that should sound better... hope it works
I recently got hold of the Purifi Audio (from Denmarl) EVAL1. It uses the same output modules that it sells to NAD for use in the M33. Simply put, it's the best amp I've ever encountered. It's getting fabulous reviews. So on that basis, i recommend the NAD M33.
I am still on the fence between the Hegel H390 and NAD M33 for my 802 D2 speakers but plan to probably decide this week. I prefer the look and Bluesound app with the NAD M33 but the H390 seems to have a big following because of it’s sound quality.

Any last thoughts on which of these 2 to choose? As indicated before, unfortunately I can’t listen with my speakers in my room before I buy...
The Soundstage web site (which I am a big fan off) has reviewed almost all the Hegels and also the new Purifi modules (as in the NAD). They loved the Hegels but have said the Purifi are in the category of very expensive reference gear. 

When I hear gear with very low noise I cannot go back to noisier gear. I miss out on so much of the music. Some may prefer the noisier sound.
From the reviews I have read it seems on the balance for what its worth, Hegel will offer you a very clean sound, with an up close soundstage, the sound will be balanced with nice resolution. Also that amp will have no problems driving most speakers because of the power output and the massive damping factor. However the Nad can be equally good with its own pros. You are in a tight spot not having the facility to audition both amps. Is there no way where you can invest in some time and travel fares to physically audition the two amps?  I believe the Nad products are made in Canada, maybe an advantage for support issues?
I currently own a Hegel H390 and have been very curious about the M33 since it was released. If anyone gets to do a side by side comparison, it would be great to hear impressions. 

Might put the H390 up for sale ;)
I asked a dealer who has heard both the Hegel H390 and the NAD M33 (without Dirac setup) and who also sells both what he would buy and he said the NAD M33 is the one he would buy. He said both are great but the detail and transparency of the M33 is amazing. He also described the M33 as very dynamic and very full bodied in it’s presentation. He also said Dirac offered much greater flexibility In adjusting the sound to your room and preference.

just buy the nad... its ok... we hegel lovers won’t be offended in the least .... hahaha

many paths to musical happiness

enjoy the music
Just a quick bump to this thread. Both the NAD M33 and Hegel H390 are finally now in stock at my dealer and both are very close in price. I have a friend that is going to pick up one of these next Wednesday and drive it to my house (I don’t live near the dealer).
Up until 2 months ago when the NAD M33 was released I was planning on buying the Hegel H390 but from the few excellent reviews out there for the NAD M33 and from what my dealer suggested (dealer sells both) I am leaning towards the NAD.

My dealer said both the Hegel and NAD are great and the Hegel of course is a more traditional class A/B, has low distortion, and good coloration in mids. The dealer said that the NAD is more raw, accurate with an ultra low noise floor, with outstanding bass, is full bodied, musical, and blows my old NAD M10 away.

Any last words or suggested pick before I make the purchase on Wednesday?
I was always suggesting to people to get the Hegel 390 last 2 years. However, today I would likely get the NAD M33 based on the Purifi module and that it should sound like the Benchmark AHB2. Both are super quiet, which has become a very high priority for me when selecting an amp.
I have had my NAD M33 for 2 days now and I am very impressed with the sound quality I am now getting with my 802D2 speakers! The NAD M33 just makes everything sound more musical and more like you are listening to the performers and not a recording. The sound is very clear and detailed with great stereo imaging across the room of all the vocals and instruments. There is also lots of power on tap and it never feels like the M33 is straining and there is lots of dynamic range from the dead quiet moments to full blown loud instruments.

I never heard the Hegel H390 with my speakers in my room but the NAD M33 blows away my previous NAD M10 with my speakers in my room. Of course the M33 bluesound operating system is also an added bonus because I can use the M33 with my bluesound powernode 2i in my dining room.

I just started playing with the Dirac this afternoon and setup a few different presets and the Dirac seems to nicely tighten up some of the bass reflections in my listening room.
Glad it’s working out. M33 and Purifi in general are very disruptive products. Looking forward to when DALI or another manufacturers starts making Purifi speakers.
I recently added a Purifi amp to my Hegel H90...maybe it’s just me, but it’s pretty close from what I can tell. Using an external DAC and Bluesound node, as well. The Hegel is really neutral to begin with, but the Purifi is just as neutral with a little more kick, detail. I’m running this on a pair of LS50 Metas.
Updates from anyone that listens to both would be wonderful.

Thanks for all of the positive input.

Krell K300i...absolutely the finest Class A sound to be had short of possibly $20k plus Class A separates!  Just gorgeous sonically with great dimensionality and control.  

Actually, I had an M33 and now have an H390. Here are my experiences.

My thoughts about purchasing an amp were much like yours: The M33 has "great reviews" "bonus looks" and Dirac (which I really wanted). The M33 sound was really nice -- but -- in my experience, not the software that ran it. I needed a very open system to feed it. Bluesound, to my great surprise is rather closed. You must have NAD equipment to use it (at least for WiFi connectivity). Marketing literature clearly caught my eye and I convinced myself that would give me what I wanted in system architecture and sound. The NAD is built carefully and certainly looks really impressive too. While literature said: "Just connect speakers", I fought hard to get their software to work -- for weeks. <ugh> Their software support people were great I must admit.

I have, for good or bad, a pc with JRiver Media center. After sharing my plight with my dealer, and telling him that I would supply the network hardware and software to feed it, he recommended the Hegel H390. He also had Martin Logan 13s at home (mine are 11a’s). Unsure, I ultimately decided to not be bound by that eco-system and turned the M33 in and bought the H390.

So many people have commented what they prefer that I continued to be worried about making the right choice and wasting even more time and money instead of enjoying my purchase. After turning on the H390 for the first time, and playing the same music as with the M33, my head kind-of snapped: Where did the speakers go? What kind of sound is this? OH MY -- I LIKE IT!

And there you go. Everything works as advertised and I am happy (and relieved!) in another world of wonderful sound that I never imagined.

- Hank
I have had NAD M33 for some time now and tested with various speakers Dynaudio Confidence C4, B&W 804 D3, PMC Twenty5 24i and now B&W 802 D2. I have designed 5 different filter with Dirac Live and with these filters I got rid of the room problems and the edgy treble is 100% controlled and softned. In my room by good margin the best combo - NAD M33 and B&W 802 D2 - I ever had.
leave aside the dac portions of nad vs hegel, on pure musicality control tonality beauty of sound, hegel delivers some of the best solid state sonics money can buy

nad m33 is very good (and many enjoy it immensely), but frankly not in the same class as the mid to upper hegels - not a knock on the m33 but a compliment to hegel

the better the rest of the system, specifically the resolution/transparency of source and speakers, the more the difference will be apparent
On the subject of Purifi amps,.. I just ordered a pair of March Audio monos. I’m very intrigued and had a fairly long conversation with Alan March. Class D is so polarizing. But some of the merits as claimed with the Purifi amps and looking at the test results make it hard not to try. If they sound like they measure, they could be a disruptor for sure. Whats not to like? Tiny, run cool, very discreet. 
To what JJSS said, the Hegel does indeed offer one hardcore bang for the buck. Top notch SS int...
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I just bought a Hegel H390,

It arrives in a few days and I’ll let you know.

regarding the op's original query 


this is on point, and these guys spell it out... they are very experienced, run a serious brick and mortar store, carry BOTH hegel and nad, thus no axe to grind... they tell the truth in with a balanced and complete perspective (skip past first few minutes of small talk, serious content starts about 5 min in)
I auditioned an H390 along with 6 other high end integrated amps. The Hegel sounded pretty much as good as  any of the others. Very impressive sounding amp. The other 6 amps included: Pass Labs INT 60, Gryphon Diablo 300, NAIM Supernait 3, Luxman 509x, Simaudio 340ix, and VAC 170i (all tube). I loved them all. One wasn’t necessarily better than the others. I just like the flavor of sound with Pass Labs gear, so I went with a Pass INT 250. But I would also highly recommend the Pass Labs INT 60 unless you really need gobs of power. But, not a thing wrong with the H390 either. Wonderful amp. You might want to keep in mind the H390 is a Chinese made amp designed in Norway. Makes a difference with some people, not a problem with others. I’ve not had the opportunity to audition any NAD gear. But I’ve read that they punch above their weight.