Hegel H390 Integrated Amplifier Review

February 6, 2022 § Leave a comment


Break in on the H390 was not particularly drastic or jarring, but the amplifier did like about 100 hours to loosen up after sounding a bit tight and thin out of the box. I first listened to the Hegel as a pure analog integrated, forgoing the streamer and DAC for the moment. Let’s be frank, the streamer and DAC portions are important features and may help seal the deal for many buyers, but the sound quality of the pre and power should always be paramount when considering a unit at this price. 

Very quickly I discovered the strengths of this amplifier design and why they seem to be flying off the proverbial shelves. This amplifier is powerful, and I don’t just mean in watts per channel (of which it has plenty), rather, I am referring to its muscle and grip when applied to any speaker you throw at it. With the Alyssa, the Hegel tamed the larger than life bass of the transmission line design (something the McIntosh could not do) and allowed deep instruments and notes to come through with punch and clarity. With the Harbeths, the Hegel breathed fire to wake up these studio monitors and make me wonder if I was listening to much larger speakers.

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