(Hegel vs Luxman) vs PS Audio

Can anyone help me. Looking at Possibly moving from my PS Audio ( BHK Monoblocks and Pre) to Luxman C900 and M10 Amps (monoblocks)or to Hegel 30a amps (monoblocks) and Conductor Preamp [latest versions]. What are the differences in sound amongst these house combinations. 


What improvements are you looking for, and what sound characteristics are most important to you?  Also, what’s the rest of the equipment in your system?

My other components are ps audio latest transport, Dac (for Sacd), p20 power supply, mola mola tambaqui for cd, streaming, Synergistic Research all Galileo SX interconnects and Power Cords, SR active Ground block, Lumin streamer with separate lumin power supply, Focal  Scala Evo Utopia.....

Looking for more soundstage(though it's pretty good now) just improvements (width,depth); more impact. 

I like soundstage definition and impact - (not just in base) and detail, lots of detail. Coldness should not equate to detail though. 

Big fan of Luxman, but these are relatively easy to drive speakers.  The stereo units will do just fine. Another amp I think would do really well with these is Ayre.  They may complement the treble balance.

That helps a lot, but what are your room dimensions and how do you have your speakers set up in the room?  Also, what room treatments, if any, are you using?  You have good equipment and many of the things you’re looking for can be greatly affected by things like speaker placement and room treatments, and a lot cheaper than buying new equipment.  @erik_squires can give you much better recommendations on room treatment, and I agree with his frequent recommendation on consulting with GIK for how to maybe treat your room.  

So room is the "Elephant in the room". Open concept speaker fronts 4.75' off back wall, ceiling sloped then flat at 14' high, room primary depth is 23'. Part of right side is intermittently open. Just complicated. Speakers have been dialed in using PS audio set up. Super detailed, clean, real nice soundstage l to r , descent f to r.. mor source dependant. I have some panels made with help from Acoustamatic. About the limit of WAF. The room is the family room. My biggest issue is I have yhe balance at 3% to right to help the sound stage (open side). My sweet spot is great, but move 6" r or l and it drops off. Speakers are towed in a little less than Focal wants. 

I forgot, also is my home theater using pass-through on Bhk preamp. In stereo and HT I have 2 REL 810 subs one left one right.

Keep what you got and get a better room. The room is the most important piece of your system. You have a terrible room, it doesn’t matter how much you spend on equipment, it will sound bad. Great sounding/treated room, mediocre equipment can still sound good. 

I'm not sure your room is so bad; I'm not sure why @rbstehno made that comment. You have high ceilings, which is great. You may have it open on one side, but if you're positioned reasonably close to the speakers, I don't see why that would harm soundstage. Perhaps you can post a drawing of your space. I would like to know what you have from Acoustimac. If you don't have diffusion happening in the space, that might be helpful for soundstage.

@krymer2 I own the Hegel H30's and like them very much.  The new H30A is the same as the 30 but they are using a different supplier for the caps, and a big price increase.  I would see if the American supplier happens to have a couple H30s still available at a discount.  Having said that, one of the intersting features with the H30 is 1100+ watts in mono mode and the ability to run them in stereo mode at about 450 watts x 4.  Now you have the option of bi-amping your speakers.  I am using one amp as Left/left and other right/right.  So there's my 2 cents.  Great amp with added felxability.  

I do use the subs for music. I have tried with and without and really like the extra at the bottom and I mean bottom. They are crossed over very low. 

@biftwin can uou describe the Hegel sound in comparison to PS Audio or Luxman.  Do uou use the Hegel preamp? What would you call the Hegel sound as being ...... I know it's a slightly loaded question, but having never heard Hegel and only having seen one review on YouTube just trying to gather more info....

Well, I have two suggestions but I’m afraid you (meaning your wife) ain’t gonna much like either one, but they’re free/cheap.  The first thing I’d do is try pulling your speakers 6’ out from the wall just to see what happens (I recommend trying this when the wife is MIA).  I have a feeling that alone might do a lot of what you’re looking for.  If it works you can install these Herbies gliders in place of spikes, and in addition to making it easy to move speakers out and back they may also give you sonic improvements as well.  I had to do this before I got a dedicated listening room and was well worth the effort.  Eventually I just started leaving the speakers out the the wife just got used to the look and stopped saying anything about it. 

Next, you could try some diffusers like these behind your speakers, and in addition to possibly yielding imaging improvements they might let you leave the balance in the middle rather than having to put the balance control in the circuit — I know my sound quality suffered when I used my preamp’s balanced control.  Plus, I think these look pretty cool…

The good news is, as audio gear goes, these are relatively cheap and may be very effective.  The downside is implementing either may result in your wife throwing something at your head.  Maybe use some of the $$$ you woulda spent on an amp on a nice necklace or something to help cushion the blow.  Just a couple things to ponder FWIW, and best of luck!

@krymer2 I can't compare the Hegel sound against the other two amps as I have not heard them.  Hegel states their mission is to add nothing to the sound with their amps and I suggest they hit the mark.  I have owned the H390, H590 and not the H30s.  I also own a pair of TRX-M845 tube mono blocks from Triode Audio of Japan.  50 Watts per side Class A.  I struggle to hear any difference in sound between the H30 and the Triode.  I have read reviews of the H30 that claimed the sound was close to tube amps.  The reviewers words.  I don't know that you achieve much be changing your amps.  PS makes good equipment and I've never really bought into the whole idea that one SS amp has a "sound" that's different from another amp of similar power and build quality.  

I’m selling my Hegel H30 monoblocks and P30 pre to buy a pair of Plinius Ref A-300. They are wonderful with my Magico A5’s. I just like changing things up periodically. 

You have spent more than enough to achieve great sound.

Before wasting anymore $ on gear, work the room around via GIK

or trying other setup orientations in the room.


Read what Bob Katz says about Audio Veros Acourate digital room and loudspeaker correction. For around $500 you can do some amazing things.


Keep us posted on the outcomes please.

I as other have said think if you are pretty happy then changing for change sake is not the right answer. I'm lucky in that I have a music lounge setup just for hifi 7mx5mx3.2m acoustically treated a bit ...side points ...corner bass traps and rear panels ... 3 thick rugs on top of each other etc  .. I did nothing to roof as lovely victorian cornicing and ceiling rose .... 

Everytime I think of changing I make myself pause now.is it just an itch to scratch or is something wrong? It sounds like so much is right with the system that apart from speaker position tweaks I would hang fire .... Have a holiday instead probably cheaper and that will refresh ears in a new way. 

Just my tuppence worth 

I have no experience with Hegel, but have owned the BHKs and moved to the m900u.  Initially i was disappointed with the bass on the Luxman, relative to the BHKs.  But over time I've come to think that the BHKs bass, while deep and present, was less precise or a bit muddied.  Again, relative to the Luxman.  I'd still like a bit more bass, and the M10x addresses this.  In all other regards, the Luxman, to my ear, out performs the BHKs.  Detail in spades while remaining liquid, a light, airy upper end and an almost tube like treble.  Not to mention soundstage, build quality and aesthetics.

Thanks to all who have given suggestions.  I have gone back and worked on speaker positioning last evening and achieved some improvements though they are not as Focal had suggested (now they are slightly toed out - about 10" to the outside of ears at seating position).  The improvements were in depth and height of Soundstage with a dash of width --- it was pretty good before. I think the greatest takeaway from this discussion is confirmation that the room is my primary limitation and chasing "better sound" will always be mostly limited by the room and not the equipment.  I guess it like trying to put a Cosworth engine in a Triumph, as in the end you still have a Truimph.


What about room correction? Lyngdorf room correction makes a huge difference in a challenging room, I haven’t tried others. I believe that’s going to get you much further than any amp change. 

At this point I'm going to look into further treatments if they can suit yhe room or digital correction.  The system sounds really good I just one of those who will I guess always be wondering "what if". I just don't want to move for the sake of a hobby.  We have a great home.

@krymer2  I haven't heard your models, but other Focals tend to want to be used with minimal toe-in for best imaging and a wide listening sweet spot.

That room sounds pretty tough. Not sure you could do enough physical room correction. IMO a good digital room correction would be a game changer. I had a Lyngdorf 2170 in my basement. With room correction on it was the only way to get the sound I wanted out of multiple amps. Was the difference between damn why did I spend money on all this crap to ohhh yeah that’s why. When I moved my system upstairs to a more suitable room the difference with room correction on and off was not there so I sold it. 

Here’s a suggestion that will probably get laughed at, but dies actually work. I have quite a lot of gear, high end and low end. If I find myself getting somewhat bored with a certain configuration, I’ll put in one of my Marantz or SANSUI receivers and use that for a month. When I go back to my higher end gear, I appreciate it that much more. 
It sounds like what you have there probably sounds pretty good and you’re just looking to make a switch because you’re bored. It sounds like a pretty costly switch though.

just an out-of-the-box suggestion. Good luck with whatever you decide on.

Go with what @lldd said! I have never heard a PS Audio anything that I thought was competitive in its class. The Luxman is sublime! The Hegel is an neutral as they come and can be a little boring but not as much as the PS Audio! The Luxman has all-day listenability and for the record, I don’t own one. 😉

Interesting conversation... Room vs gear, I guess the room always wins.

But if no music plays in a treated room, does one enjoy the sound? I kid.

I'm presently a JC1+ owner, but am in love with my Riviera Labs Levante integrated and have nothing bad to say about my JC1+. I am now looking for a solid state amp with tighter bass and more of a romantic tube like sound and airiness. Seems to be the Mark of the new Luxman M-10x and I'm most likely going to make a move on one to drive my none 90+dB speakers.

@krymer2 what did you end up doing, room, gear or both?

Made the jump... and have a second coming! This amplifier is definitely a revelatory addition, one of those pieces where "you hear things you didn't know were there before" kind of additions. Decided to go with a mono set up as opposed to getting the C-10x. My current preamp will be the Yamaha C-5000 (once hooked up), but presently just listening to it on my T+A DAC200 and B&W 706s3 and I'm just smiling ear to ear. Can wait to pair it with all S-tier gear, but I always listen to new stuff on basically everything I own working up to the higher end stuff.

@krymer2 I have/had a lot of the same equipment you do, BHK everything, I have the Perfect Wave DAC MK2 and the transport also. I replaced the BHK preamp with a Boulder unit and went wow, the difference was bigger than I thought. I love the sound of the PS Audio BHK equipment but it's noisy and the imaging is fluffy and warm but isn't accurate. I have very efficient speakers and really only use them for their mid and high end so the PS Audio equipment was really noisy. The MK2 DAC and the transport are much better on the noisy scale. I have a Luxman m-10x coming also, just bought it this morning. 

Also I started in acoustics and your room is wonderful, don't make the most common mistake by putting in to much making your room to dry, enjoy the room is something you never hear acoustic people say. 


Since then I have acoustically treated my room with Viacousic and they did a great job providing the perfect match.  Massive help.  Everything is so much tighter and focused.  Then I upgraded to Gryphon Antellion EVO amp and Pandora Preamp.  Mega wow now.  The bass control is amazing on all levels and the soundstage is even bigger.  The thickness of the music is amazing.  Now its full bodied.  You can hear pedals on pianos and breathing from musicians.  Its startling.  I cant wait for all this to get some more time under its belt and just listen over Christmas and New Year holidays.  Loving the experience now!