Intg Amps: Hegel 590 vs NAD M33 Masters vs Gryphon Diablo 120


Hi All: I am getting an itch to upgrade my integrated amp from Hegel 190 to something more robust that facilitates future speaker swapping.  And no, I'm not presently interested in separating components that much further (e.g. separate DAC; separate amp; clock; etc. etc).  I mainly interested in the following 3 on a used basis:

Hegel 590 OR NAD Masters 33 OR Gryphon Diablo 120

Max budget is $7500 if I choose to go towards the Gryphon (used), but curious if it's really THAT much better.   I'm particularly interested to hear from people that have had or auditioned at 2 out of 3.  The room correction on NAD is very appealing but I quite like my Hegel and it's tight control, and so something nice about staying true.

 

Current Setup:

* Unideal Brooklyn Apartment living room into Kitchen

* Hegel 190

* Monitor Audio Silver 7G 500

* Pine Tree Audio Cables

* Dual 1216

* Schiit Mani 2 (though I hear the phono preamp on some of above may make this superfluous)

* Spotify/Tidal (main streaming source)

128x128gill_benedek

Hello gill_benedek!  In my experience, the "room correcting" feature of many companies makes an enormous improvement in my systems. I have five systems in the house (and a very tolerant wife), all have been "corrected." NAD uses the Purifi Audio output sections, which are are very good (I have four of them - two stareo pairs). Surely, the NAD is worth a try. Haappy listening!

You don't always get what you pay for. Boutique audio is the proof of that. 

But, If you don't pay for it, you won't get it!   Good power is unfortunately not cheap.   

The Hegel is out of my price range, so I just ordered a Vidar to get "decent". Not sure if it will actually be an upgrade to my own amp.  If I had gone class D, it would have been a Buckeye. 

@tvrgeek I'm not sure what your budget would be but the H590 can be had slightly used at very good prices.  As an example:

https://www.usaudiomart.com/details/649990562-hegel-h590/

I purchased the H590 from an original owner a few years back.  You would never have known it wasn't brand new when I received it.  As quality amps are built to last for decades, paying 50% or more extra just to get the "new car smell" has always made me ask why.  Cheers. 

@bigtwin

I purchased the H590 from an original owner a few years back.  You would never have known it wasn’t brand new when I received it.  As quality amps are built to last for decades, paying 50% or more extra just to get the "new car smell" has always made me ask why.

I wonder if there are any purchases other than high end audio equipment that suffers such a loss in value over a couple of years?  It's worse than purchasing a car.

Many years ago when I lived in Boulder, on Pearl street was a huge used store. Most stuff was buy @ 25%, sell @ 50.   Got a lot of stuff there.  Some special stuff held it's price better. Luxman and Mac amps, Revox reel to reels.  

Just about all stereo stuff has progressed in the last few years in quality and price.  So be careful looking backwards through rose collared glasses.   Also be aware that some equipment does age. Big electrolytics dry out and their ESR skyrockets. Pots and switches get dirty.   Also be aware, about half of what one finds on E-bay has hidden defects. 

It is worth respecting what running a brick and morter costs.  If they can't make 50%, they can't keep the doors open. Middlemen not much better.  That is why a lot of companies have gone direct sales. Thy take the middlemen cut, but save you the retail cut.  IF you know what you want, win-win.  Of course, some hold direct sales at the same price as their retail outlets to protect them.  Otherwise it is like cars. You go to your local high-overhead dealer and cost them time test driving, then go online and buy from a volume seller. 

I had a max for the amp of about 3K, but did not have to spend that. I am hoping the $700 for the Schitt is a safe move.  If not, there are quite a few others. Atoll, Hegel, Denafritps, Anthem, ATI, Acrus, Aragon, Audiolab, Rotel, Outlaw, Soncoz and that is not touching the class D.  ...