More info: my main system is Spendor and ARC and is sound I prefer but this will be much lower budget system. I found the Powernode 2 to sound thin and small and looking for better SQ.
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If you like ARC I think you’d do better with the Hegel. ARC tends to be more in the neutral sound camp with lots of detail and air that also applies to the Hegel while the Marantz sound skews more to warmth with less detail/air up top. And although the Hegel sound is generally neutral with good detail they are never categorized as thin sounding in any review I’ve read. Best of luck.
I am helping a good friend of mine to setup a system and we are looking at the same amplifiers to power up a pair of Revel F36 loudspeakers. While we have not listened to either of the 2, it is the Marantz's wireless streaming convenience that seems very lucrative at the moment. Can we stream Spotify/Tidal/Amazon HD to the Hegel wirelessly?
The Naim Uniti is $3k+, outside of my budget for this system. Similarly for NAD M10 at 2.75ish.
In reality, at twice the cost the SQ of Hegel will have to be much better than the marantz for me to justify the extra cost, but if it is then it’ll be worth it.
A UK mag that reviewed the marantz stated it was much better on several levels than the Bluesound Powernode 2i, so that’s positive. For whatever mag reviews are worth ....
Both the Hegel and marantz are class AB.
The Powernode sounds "small" driving what? How big is this office? How loud do you want music to be playing while you work. Too loud for me and I can't think about things other than the music. I assume an office has a computer. If I was doing an office system, I would use a pro usb audio interface connected to my computer and as good a pair of powered monitors as I could afford.
Powernode was driving NHT-C1 bookshelves. Office is 14x11ish.
I don’t really have room for floorstanders or stands. Speakers have to sit on a table 2ft from wall. I know not ideal.
I just haven’t been that satisfied with the fullness of the Powernode/NHT combo I guess. Maybe I’m not describing it correctly but I feel like there are a lot of layers or fullness missing.
Normal office and environment so not loud playing.
Just looking for upgrade
If you are looking for some all in one up to 2 grams you should point to Yamaha or Denon also MarantzYou will get pretty decent devices for this money.
Audio vendors get crazy past decade and dictate pretty high prices to the quality. This is why the mass players are better than small manufactures especially if all-in-one segment when production costs are lower. So try AVC-X6500H or Marantz AV8802A or Yamaha MusicCast RX-A3080.
The other way is to go with second hand with 5.1 systems from Naim or Krell. Personally it will be my pick even if more risky. The Atmos application is very demanded in therms of number of loudspeakers and listening room and well.. not so game changer as it is claimed.
Hi-Fi Choice compared some of the models you mentioned (Hegel, NAD, Arcam, Denon, Yamaha, Technics) in this price category and they liked the Denon PMA-1600NE. You may want to add it to your audition list.
Question to anyone who is using Hegel integrated amplifiers. What is the best way to play Tidal/Spotify wirelessly to the integrated amplifier? The Hegel integrated amplifier has an Ethernet connection, but no wireless antennas. My friend wants to use either his Android phone or tablet to play music via the amplifier to the loudspeakers.
Do you know whether the sub output is active when running in direct mode?
Reason I ask is I have a 2ch Integra receiver that I think sounds better in its direct mode for music except doing so kills the sub output and I use bookshelves and need a sub in that system so can’t use the direct mode with that amp
I don't know for a fact it is active in direct mode. However, I know that with DM tone and balance controls are bypassed but the 2 speaker switches still work. I would expect output to sub to remain. Travel g right now so can't check manual. Btw, probably use preamp 50% of time as tone control include bass, midrange and treble and lots of old cds benefit from eq.
As to the Hegel wireless question, I guess would have to use Bluetooth or Airplay if those are supported, which I’m not sure because I don’t need to go there, as I’ll be able to run direct Ethernet cable.
Well I missed the LS 50 sale so now I am leaning towards instead migrating my current second system speakers, Spendor SA1 bookshelves, to this system. I doubt that’ll materially affect Hegel v Marantz choice (or denon) but it gives me little more time to get this right.
What I really need to see in person is how the Hegel Tidal interface works. I’m not clear on that issue from Hegel documentation and reviews
I'l throw another option in the ring....Peachtree nova150 or nova300 with a streamer of your choice. Or....get the Peachtree and what about 30 days as they are just about to release their built-in wifi streaming solution. The existing units are upgradeable. That will be truly all-in-one. I went from a nova300 to a nova500 and now on to separates. I just did a comparison of the nova500 to a McIntosh C47+Wyred4Sound SX-1000R monobloc setup. The separates where better, but the cost increase was stupid. The nova500 went to my bro and I still have the nova300 waiting in the wings for something. Long story but......I continue to be amazed at what the Peachtree units can deliver for the $.
Update:We put in the system for my friend. He went with the Hegel H90 and is completely thrilled. This is an amazing amplifier. Agreed, we did not compare with the Marantz integrated, but this amplifier drives the Revel F36 without any problem. We used AirPlay to play Spotify on this amp (wired ethernet) and it sounded awesome. The Hegel is heavy considering it's sleek looks. I was taken aback when I lifted it. Speaker wires are Audio Envy (recommended by @wig). The amp is detailed with slight warmth. The only problem is it is super revealing. As a quick test, we connected a cheap optical out from his TV to the amp and it sounded alright at best. This was for a regular YouTube album. Have not yet tried a Coaxial from a good source for the DAC input. My friend plans to get a good BluRay player to be used as a transport, which he will use rarely, now that he has experienced streaming :-) Lets see when this BluRay happens.
Currently using a generic CAT5 cable for ethernet. The Inakustik CAT7 cable is on order and expected in 2-3 weeks. My friend is eventually going to try Tidal and Amazon HD. All-in-all a simple system, but sounds really good for the money spent.