New Hegel H390 Integrated

Hi there
Anyone get to try the new Hegel H390 yet, wondering how it sounds and how the DAC module would compare to a stand alone DAC like Qutest or TT2 for instance.
Thanks
Sean

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I have one and have been extremely impressed so far by the DAC and amp performance, although I can’t comment on those specific Chord products in comparison. Looking forward to their Roon Ready firmware update which is supposedly in alpha testing.

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Yes it looks a really great amp , it’s getting lots of really good reviews :+1:

I really love it. I just replaced a Naim Uniti Nova with the H390. But it’s not Roon Ready yet, so I haven’t had a chance to really test out the internal DAC (other than with Airplay and Spotify Connect).

I am a running a Chord M-Scaler + Hugo TT2 into the H390 via the balanced XLR inputs, so using that DAC mostly.

The H390 doesn’t have Airplay 2 yet either.

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Hi Matt thanks for the reply, please update if possible when you have it Roon ready id be really keen to see what you think of the internal DAC v TT2 with Mscaler , the TT2 + Mscaler is my ultimate DAC set up.
Thanks
Sean

People keep saying great things about the internal Hegel DACs, but I am having a hard time believing it can be better than the HMS+TT2 combo, which is over $10,000 USD, and more expensive than the H390 itself :slight_smile:

Will definitely run a comparison when the H390 is finally Roon Ready !

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More money may not always mean better sound, Chord are top notch for sure and id say anything would be hard pressed to surpass that combo imo, you can pay 30k for a DAC in fairness so for me the only way is to listen and test a/b. I d like to hear what you hear after testing.

Having just changed my speakers I am considering either the naim nova or Hegel, so would greatly appreciate your thoughts on how they compare, Darko seems to love the Hegel!

I have the H190 which I think is a superb amplifier, especially for the money - lots of power, excellent DAC. My speakers (Dynaudio Countour 30) could certainly handle better/bigger amplification, so an upgrade to H390 or even H590 (if my dealer is feeling generous…) is certainly on my to wish list for 2020. All reviews of the H390 I’ve seen are uniformly positive, and place it much closer to the H590 than the price difference would suggest. I auditioned the H360 when buying the H190 but didn’t think it was such a major step up to warrant the extra cost at that time. One word of caution, if you want to stream via DNLA to the Hegel’s DAC it doesn’t do gapless playback (I use Roon via an ultraRendu so that’s not an issue, and Hegel also has Roon Ready in the pipeline)

I haven’t heard the Naim, but it looks like a very accomplished all in one. Although depending on your speakers and room you could find it a bit underpowered (80wpc).

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Yes, and it’s just wonderful. Having had many years of multiple boxes and exotic cables, I felt like a switch to minimalism. A major clear out and eBay session helped fund the purchase - they are not cheap - and now I just have an SSD Mac Mini as Roon core with a short USB cable into the Hegel 390’s DAC and a big old pair of KEF monitors the other end.
The build quality and aesthetics of the Hegel are fairly military - solid but basic. But my set-up is hidden in a ventilated cupboard anyway and all control is from the Roon iOS app, which has been faultless.
Yes, it’s likely that adding external expensive components would sound different or subjectively better, but I know that room shape, surfaces and furnishings all are affecting the sound far more.
Audiophiles underestimate the degree of psychoacoustic adaptation - you get used to what you’re listening to - and the Hegel is giving me a very dynamic and enjoyable listening experience for all the types of music I like.

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I found an even better sound than USB through my Mac mini with my H390, you have to try it! The stage becomes wider when using the app Mconnect on your phone, with the H390 directly plugged to the box through Ethernet cable. And then I put the box on an LPS (even better). Superb! but not that straight forward to play music though Mconnect (but I can’t go back to usb and Mac mini clock)… I’ve been waiting for a century for the Roon Update!!! I’m paying Roon for nothing for 6 month now…

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Hi Laurent

This sounds interesting can you give m e some more detail please.Sorry for silly question but mabe you can explain.

390 to router via ethernet cable
390 Network select
Mconnect app on the phone

What is LPS ?

I thought USB is the optimal way to use ROON via 390. Yes the Roon ready is taking forever.
Thanks
Sean

Hi Sean,
LPS is a Linear Power supply. 12v 4A is more than enough (even a cheap one) for most of boxes, check what is needed on yours. Not compulsory but made a very very audible improvment, though my Internet box is of poor quality. Amazing. No USB is not optimal, I think it is because it conducts earth signal, Ethernet does not. Try and let me know.
Roon is useless now in this configuration, which sounds far better. I would like to use Roon on my phone instead of Mconnect, who does the job anyway…

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Hey, Matt. How does it compare to the Naim Uniti Nova in terms of sound. The Naim is packed with features that I love but always been curious about the sound quality compared to Hegel.

Can’t you use Roon via airplay feature while waiting for it to be Roon ready?

Then you are limited to 44/16–no thanks!

The Hegel has a lot more power and I think the sound is a bit more neutral than the Naim, which I prefer.

The H390 has XLR inputs, which the Nova does not–I wanted to run my Hugo M Scaler/TT2 into my amp. It does not have the beautiful screen of the Nova (which I miss) or the HDMI input.

The Nova is a great unit though!

AirPlay is a very very poor quality as compared to direct streaming through the internet box (Mconnect in my case)… it sounds like it takes some feedback, disgusting when raising up the volume… I can’t believe Hegel is taking so much time to fulfill his obligations and make the h390 roon ready…

H390 has a firmware update today. Happy
holidays.

I don’t understand what this update is about… I have given up my Roon subscription and I don’t know if this update makes the H390 a roon enpoint. I don’t think so indeed… no info from Hegel.

@Rockhound I returned my Rotel RA-1592 because a MK II was announced today, but that gives me a second chance to consider this Hegel H390.

I’d have to go with the 390 rather than 190 to get the bitrate I want in the internal DAC, my only questions are:

  1. With it not being Roon Ready yet, is it detectable by Roon, at least?

  2. Anticipating Spotify HiFi, am I right that the H390 won’t have Spotify Connect because it doesn’t have built-in WIFI?