Hegel H190 + Roon + Tidal MQA

Hi All,

Looking for an SQ upgrade for my H190. I’m only streaming from Tidal (Masters/Hifi) through Roon. But can only use Airplay now. So looking for a streamer/dac that can do the total unfold of MQA. I think my budget lies somewhere around 2K + budget for cables.

I don’t want to wait for the Roon readiness inside the Hegel, although in the back of my mind i have a last option to switch to H390 and wait for Hegel to become ready, cause in that machine everything is build in: good dac, MQA support.

Short list of products I came across:
-Auralic Altair (would be easy, just XRL cables and you’re done)
-Zen (Mini) MK3 (would need a MQA dac behind it, don’t know which dac would make a difference and is in the 1K ballpark)

I don’t think the Altair does MQA from what I recall but maybe it does now. You could think about a Lumin D2 (DAC/streamer) or a Lumin U1 mini (streamer - use the H190’s DAC). Just been through all of this - I hovered over the U1 mini for ages, but finally decided to go with T2.

I also was looking at the D2, it seems the best with full MQA support (you were right about Altair, thats off my list now). What made you buy the T2 over the D2: TWICE THE PRICE!

I know! I’m taking a long term view - I am going to upgrade to the H390 or even 590 - but likely not this year now. I reckoned that if I’d gone for the D2 I would want to upgrade that once I had better amplification. The DAC in the T2 is pretty sweet by all accounts. Maybe I’m wrong, but the deed is done now, just waiting for delivery!

Haha! Ok good for you buddy, that sounds great.

What are your thoughts about H390 vs H190 + Lumin D2?

That’s a tough call. I haven’t heard the H390 yet but all the reviews are stellar and of course the DAC does MQA. But until Roon Ready, you still need something to stream content! I might be tempted to go for a U1 mini which will give you MQA beyond what Roon does - that was what I vacillated over. I worried that the DAC in the D2 wasn’t better than in the H190.

Hm but the mini is same price as D2 w/o dac. I read some Dutch reviews that they preferred the analog in of the H190 over the USB or UPnP streaming. They tested with a D2 and it was a good step up.

I’m gonna let it sink in for a couple of days. Enjoy your T2 when it comes in. I found one for 3.5K online…


Whilst I can’t directly help here, I currently use a D2 and the H360 - I’ve commented elsewhere on my experience of comparing the DACs. Afaik, the DAC in the H390 is the same as the H590, except it offers MQA on all inputs. My arbitrary guess would therefore be that the H390 DAC is likely ‘better’ than the D2 but I suspect on the basis of my H360 experience that the D2 outperforms the H190 when fed to balanced inputs. Take all this with a very large pinch of salt though - I have no specific knowledge!

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