Hegels are outstanding. If you don't need the internal DAC then a used 360 would be very good. If the onboard DAC is important, then get the new 390. I love mine. Best solid state I have heard in a quite a while.
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Jjss49 - not sure why you say H360 doesn’t have a DAC. It does. However I will have to get a separate phone stage with it.
While I am planning to use this with my TT, it’s nice to have the flexibility to stream too. However none of these units are so called Swiss Army knives And won’t have all of the below: 1. Streamer 2.DAC 3. Phono stage 4.Pre+Power
So with Hegel I will have go get phono.
With ML585, i will have to get a streamer and either get 585.5 or get a phono stage too. With ARC I will have to get a streamer/DAC and Phono stage.
With Luxman will have to get streamer/ DAC.
With the exception of Hegel H360, all of these will require a streamer, which is fine.
I left out brands like Plinius. It will be great to hear inputs on what else shall I add or feedback on the list I have.
Corelli, fair point. Hopefully the following will add some value to the exchange:
Here is the type of sound I like:
1. A tad bit warm while still having a lot of punch (nothing muddled about it)
2. Vocals (Diana Krall, John Mayer etc) have a level of cleanliness to it
3. Guitar (Gipsy kings, Jesse cook) sound airy without being lean
4. Speakers can fill a medium to large room (16’x16’x9’) even at modest volume and sitting on my sofa (9 ft away from speakers), I feel engulfed by the sound. Key is even at moderate volume.
5. It may be related to my first point above; forgiving of recordings that weren’t mastered at very high quality.
The sound you are describing sounds like you should look seriously into a tube integrated...
PrimaLuna EVO400 integrated is very, very good and describes your needs to a tee. I would consider changing from EL34's to KT150 to give you more power and a slightly tighter and pushier low end. It's at a small cost of air and space (where EL34's excels).
Hegel H390 is an excellent match with Wilson speakers. Here you can find a video comparing Hegel h390 and Mcintosh Ma352, both driving Wilson Yvettes.
The guys talking in this video are very experienced and they explain to you the type of sound you get from the Hegel H390 and the Mcintosh MA352.
Seems to me that the Hegel could be what you are looking for.
I really think this will give an idea about the Hegel sound, but is very important that you try to audition one to be sure.
5k is a lot of money and let me tell you by personal experience that is very easy to mess up things buying blindly.
responding to your reply earlier - i did not mean to say that the hegel h360 does not have a DAC (it certainly does)
what I meant to say is that the current gen hegels have specifically improved the DAC sections of the units over the prior gen ... thus, if you do not have a need to use the DAC in the H360, it is a good value used as an amplifier
conversely, if you wanted to use the onboard DAC, then best to get the latest gen H390 or H590 as these will provide the cleanest D to A conversion that Hegel offers
...either way, you are correct, you will need a separate phono stage if using a Hegel... they only have line level RCA inputs
sorry for my sloppy writing :)
and BTW - no affiliation here with Hegel... just a very happy and very impressed customer...
To add to what @jjss49 was trying to get at, I believe, is the quality of the DAC. The 360 has a dac/streamer, yes. However, the newer 390 has a much better dac/streamer. Also a better preamp/amp section.
I've owned 4 different Hegels, and the newer models have performed quite a bit better all around than the discontinued models (360).
All that being said, my vote goes for the Luxman and separate dac (with streamer) to meet your sound preference. The phono stage in Luxmans are no slouch either.
You can get a streamer/dac used for reasonable prices, i.e. - Auralic Altair, Teac NT-505, Simaudio 280D.
Good luck in your search!
Thanks all for your inputs.
Thanks for your inputs. I am based of these inputs trying to narrow it down to
New fits within my budget
1. Hegel H390
2. Supernait 3
3. Simaudio 340i x
4. ARC VSi75
5. Luxman 509
Of this list, I should be able to try out Naim, ARC and Moon with Wilsons because my local Wilson dealers carry them. However there is no local dealer that has Luxman and Hegel.
You're crazy not to consider the Anthem STR integrated. Tons of features and flexibility including dual sub outs with bass management and Anthem Room Correction.
Even if you don't want to use room correction, the fact they offer it is awesome, makes it much better resell, you might want it one day...etc..
I feel like Hegel gets alot of hype because of those Youtube guys who push Hegel everything.
djones51 ha. Most of those other options are bare bones. Not sure if any offer base management, especially for two subwoofers and none that I can tell have home theater bypass. HT bypass was something I didn't think I'd use but I do now and LOVE that feature. It allows me to use my front two channels in HT and 2-channel. A benefit not afforded with any of the others.
The Hegel will drop hard in price soon and makes me think $5700 is overpriced. Demos are already selling for $3500.
Over the $5k mark, I'm not sure why you'd want an integrated when you can get separates like the small form factor of PS Audio's Stellar Gain Cell DAC with M300, M700, or M1200 amps which should outperform all of these in most regards.
I bought a used McIntosh MAC6700 well under that and it has everything I need. You might even be able to get the HD Radio TM-3 Tuner for it and still be under $5000 too. I am still amazed by how clear HD radio can sound through my system, and I never even listened to the radio at home until I had it.
Also, I heard the latest Anthem STR at Axpona in 2019 running into a pair of Paradign Persona 3 speakers. They had it set up in a hotel room (as is most of the show), and I thought they had the absolute best sounding hotel room in the whole place. I don't think you could go wrong and I think you could get that new under your budget number, and probably even less if you could find one used.
djones51 and dtximages - thank you for pointing me to Anthem. It wasn’t on my radar. While I am was originally looking at brands that have more of an audio heritage, makes sense to look at Anthem too.
Djones51 - in my post yesterday I did thank everyone collectively for their inputs, that included you as well.
This at the very low end of your price range but I thought I would mention it in case you might want to direct some of your budget to other upgrades. Denon made a series of integrated amps with the designation PMA-2000. I have the 2000IVR. They have 80 watts per channel into 8 ohms and double their power into 4 ohms. Mine weighs about 60 lbs and is extremely well built. I run this integrated in my desktop system but I've compared it to my Krell separates in my main system and it holds up surprisingly well in sound quality. Many people would turn up their nose at a Denon integrated but they would be missing an amp that is better built than a lot of high end brands. These come up now and then and go for between $500 and $1000.
Thanks guys. Really appreciate all the inputs.
I have found a dealer that has Luxman, Hegel, PrimaLuna & Simaudio. So feels like a good place to compare these.
Also planning to visit 2nd place to compare Naim, Hegel, Pass, Audio Research. While at the 2nd place will also look at Anthem and Langford (other suggestions here).
Hopefully between these two auditions I will select something.
i am curious to hear what the dealer you mentioned, who carries luxman hegel and sim says about their respective integrated amp offerings
and to the one poster above -- i am sorry but no the hegels do not sound thin at all, if anything they have a bit more body in the midrange than most good ss amps ...
...what the hegels do have is a very very high damping factor, so they can lean out the bass of some underdamped coned speakers that can sound bloated when driven by lesser amps - that can lead one to think the hegel sounds lean/thin driving 'x' speaker...
naims are highly rhythmic but they are actually brighter and a bit more harsh than hegels
- Hegel 360
- Luxman 509
- ML 585
I have heard these 3 that were asked about. My money would go towards the ML 585. However, that thing is big.
It did sound closer to the $20K ML separates that I also heard witht he same speakers. The Luxman 509x did not sound close to the Luxman 900 series separates (with same speakers), though many people on A’gon think they do.
The Hegel 360 was not as good as the top end Hegel separates on the same speakers.
The ML 585 is close to the top end ML gear and my fav. Second is the Luxman, and the Hegel.
BTW - I recently heard that Harmon is now longer going to make the Revel Salon’s. Makes me wonder what the future is for ML.
@ryder This was with 3 different speakers.
- all Hegel components with the KEF Blade
- all Mark Levinson components with Magico A3
- all Luxman components with TAD ME1 and 2 sets of Harbeth somethings
Now each of these systems had either the integrated or preamp + DAC + amp. The only way to have a better comparison than what I had was to have the same speakers with all these systems. In my world that is not possible and I did manage to get a great feel for the quality of each group of systems. The particular value of my observation was within the sub-group of each system when I was able to see were each companies integrated amp fit relative to the top end separates. In this case the variability in the speakers did not matter so much to me.