Just saw this post, let me add my two cents here.
I was also looking to downsize my home office rig but really wasn't interested in giving up a whole lot. The system I wasn't looking to compromise much from was not chopped liver:
MBL Corona C15 mono's, MBL Corona C31, MBL 6010D pre, MBL 116F speaks, all tied together with Wireworld Gold Eclipse 5 (pure silver) wires and a Dynaudio Sub 500. 18x24ft room, speaks short wall with 5ft from each sidewall and almost 3 ft behind, a nice 6-7 foot center fill. Talkin a 100k retail system all in.
Just to be clear and honest, I am and have been a huge MBL fan for years, I'll likely never buy another box speaker again for live music, but I have no financial interest in promoting their gear, I just love it to listen to. The above mentioned rig was better in many ways than my full reference MBL rig with 101e's. It was just set up right and really sweet for this room. (no treatments).
In an effort to get rid of way too much gear hanging around and streamline this system, I made two basic changes after months of research and chat with others.
-I replaced the C15 mono's and the 6010D with Hegel H360, and
-I replaced the C31 CDP with a Esoteric UX-1pi
Stripped out 60k in retail and replaced it with a 4k almost new Hegel and a $3200 older Esoteric, and accomplished my goal of giving up ALMOST nothing, and got a universal with HDMI to boot.
ALMOST means the overall sound of the new rig is still phenomenal, the Hegel has produced excellent results with one exception. While streaming from my desktop compared to going through the C31 CDP, the sound took a dump, a pretty bad one. Seems as if the biggest downside to the Hegel is the USB input., it just sucks. And that considers I bought a new Wireworld Starlight 7 USB wire that I thought would be an upgrade compared to the old generic piece of junk i was using, wrong- and it's not the wire- it's the Hegel.
ANY SUGGESTIONS ON A GOOD VALUE USB DAC??
My only other significant observation is the sound stage is definitely set back form the previous set up. Not necessarily a negative as the center fill is tremendous(as it always is with the MBL speakers, just abit different. I may also add that with my 84db 4 ohm speaks, the hegel doesn't even start to sing until 40 or so on the volume knob- but between 50 and 85 it sings really, really well. Alot of product here for the $.
I just wanted to ad a response as I'm not sure if this may be a major problem with Hegel H360s or a very personal issue.
I have a Squeezebox Touch with a USB-out into my H360 to allow DSD playback as this is the only option. For awhile now I've thought vocals and highs didn't have much sparkle and seem rather veiled. Given this is a rather neutral amp with a warmer character, I kind of dismissed this and tried to get used to it. Until tonight when I came across your post, Jack.
There is a significant different between using a coax off the Squeezebox to the Hegel vs. using the USB. It's like I put a major upgrade in the chain somewhere.
Now I have to experiment if the Squeezebox USB just isn't very good (and technically was never designed to be used this way) or if it's the Hegel USB input. I'm going to try my laptop and a few cords I have to see if I can narrow things down with 24/192 and DSD formats of the same album.
If the Hegel USB input is to blame, this seems like a major problem for a near $6,000 unit where their highest source material that it is capable of accepting is compromised by sub-par hardware/workmanship.
A combination of both msommers.
Buying a H360 today and will also play around with usb cables to see whats up with streaming thru usb otherwise I never heard my speakers sound so fast and clean! very musical and involving without murdering lesser/older recordings although the last statement may have more to do with system synergy. If you don't need 250 wpc the H190 is tits!
The Hegel is an excellent integrated I would say there are tons of other great integrated amps you may want to also check out.
I will agree that today there are some amazing integrated amplifiers which can actually beat some excellent separates from
We sell the T+A gear from Germany and their HV 3000 integrated an $18k integrated amplifier was compared to $120k worth of CH Precision gear in the Absolute Sound magazine, and Allan Taffel was having difficulty telling a difference between the two setups, so yes you can actually get an integrated amplifier today that can beat or rival really good state of the art separates. There are also other world class integrated amps from Gryphon, Vitus and others. So you may want to look at some of the more expensive higher end integrated amplifiers.
T+A also makes a less expensive line the R series which offers at $11k integrated which offers much of the same sound quality as the bigger integrated amplifier which means world class performance.
It will come down to the sound quality you seek and if you need the power of the Hegel. The Hegel sound is clean, clear, open with great bass, the built in dac is very good, however, you may prefer an integrated which has more tone color or a wider set of features.
We have the Micromega M100 which is close to the same price $4,500.00 it is a fantastic piece of hardware with a few advantages over the Hegel.
The Micromega is a class a/b amplifier and has a very lush midrange and a very tight punchy bass, it offers a streaming dac, and a streaming music app, it also has a built in phono stage, headphone amp and here is a big advantage you can get an optional room correction module which can really help you get the best sound in any room add in Aptx blu tooth, DLNA, and Airplay and you have a Swiss army knife in connectivity.
You may also want to look at the Naim Uniti line which is also a fantastic integrated amplifier line, with the advantage of having an incredible app, as well as offering an echo system of streaming speakers so you can easily have a Naim connected sound throughout your home.
So my point is there are many different options you can use at the same price with different options or at a higher price with even better sound then perhaps your separates.
Dave and Troy
Audio Doctor NJ
But don't expect Hegel to back you up if you run into any problems. They are Nordic Neanderthals when it comes to customer service. Been there with them. Caveat emptor.
Please take it for what it is worth:
I heard both the H360 and the Hegel Reference separates - pre/amp/DAC with Blade IIs at the Los Angeles Audio Show. The demo used the H360 and its internal DAC vs. the separates and though there was a difference, I found it fairly small. There was much more of a difference between the Rost, their new integrated, and the H360 and to me the price spread between the two was very worth it. The H360 was able to control the Blades with finesse and sounded great. Maybe the Hegel DACs are just not to your liking since it seems that both the integrated line DAC and the reference sound pretty similar. I do not have a DAC recommendation, but I would also say I love MBL; I've heard most of their gear over the last 4-5 years and it got me thinking about building another system, it is that good to me. Anyway, I hope this helps.
Hegel DACs? You must be joking. Once you listen to the PS Audio DirectStream then Hegel is quickly despatched.
I've heard the DirectStream a number of times and in good-sounding systems. But I have not heard the Hegel on the same day in the same system. So, I have nothing to add there.
I have to say the H190 may sound a bit better than the h360 I bought friday. My speakers are current hungry and I baked a 200 wpc Krell int several times under warranty because it got so hot, that was my reasoning for stepping up to the h360 even tho' I was floored by the synergy in my room with the 190. My recommendation is the h190 at $4000 if 150 wpc 8 ohms and 250 into 4. I'm quite happy with my decision since I can push the salons to high spl's without the case getting more than slightly warm and the unit is sounding better the longer I listen to it. The h360 replaced a parasound a21 driven by a kav 300il pre out and the hegel just makes the music seem live.
Can you explain how h190 is better than h360? Wider soundstage? Lower noise floor? more dynamic? How is it better? What is making h190 sound better than h360?
Also has anyone compared a Hegel h160 / 360 to either Simaudio moon 600i OR 700i?
I never had them side by side so we're dealing with my reaction to the gear over time, four days.Soundstage was huge with both, noise floor also excellent, but dynamic? can that go to the lower powered amp? As great as the H360 does with the midrange I think the h190 might have eeked out a little more presence and with just enough detail to give singers sharing the same mike just a little more distinction. I suck at describing this but I would love to hear others findings after hearing both. It could all be in my head since the h190 is a couple years newer it's sure to have a newer dac and maybe this sound engine2 is an upgrade to the one in my unit? Anyhow i'll be fine til they come out with the H390!
Hegel does the 1 box solution about as well as anyone. I've compared the Naim Uniti Nova to the Hegel H160, haven't heard the H360 though. The Naim might be a bit under powered depending upon the speakers/size of the room. I never found myself wishing for more power then the 160 but if you are looking at the H360 you must be coming from a pretty serious setup. That said, the Naim nails the voices and is an extremely attractive and feature filled component and would be my favorite if looks and features mattered and didn't need to recreate concert volumes in my living room. The Hegel has a more balanced sound with nice amount sparkle in the highs and a fuller bottom end, but the vocals weren't as pronounced like in the Naim. When it comes to price there is no contest. Since the H190 came out there are incredible deals on the H160. Its going to be the same way for the H360 when the H390 comes out. Both units feature Airplay which is an incredibly awesome feature and changed the way I listen to music. As for the dac on the Hegel, its terrific. But DACs all sound pretty much the same under blind testing conditions. It mostly comes down to the source file, if two different DACs are capable of playing the file at its native resolution they will be virtually impossible to tell apart.
@perkadin I was going to try Bluesound/MC452 with WA Sophia 3s. And then got smitten by Uniti Nova. We have a 30 ft x 20 ft room, with most of the listening being within 10 feet of the speakers. In your opinion, for an experience like that of an intimate cafe performance (as compared to concert hall), how successful would this combination be? I've read that Naim underreports its watts. Advice much appreciated!
I am hoping for a dealer demo at my house in a couple of weeks.