I've not had the H390 but am confident it's a gem and very powerful. Indeed, this is so capable that without some further parameters (room size, music preferences, etc.) that $10k is going to open up an unmanageably long list of speaker choices for you. If you provide more clues about what might work for you, this thread might wind up being more helpful.
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what speakers under $10.000 sounded the best.+1 @hilde45 — there’s no way for us to know what might sound “best” to you, which is really the only thing that matters. You really need to share what sound characteristics you’re looking for and are most important to you to make any kind of a meaningful recommendation.
The salon 2 was more than my h360 could drive otherwise the integrated has been great. Streaming tidal with a pc or iPad was awful and I bought a dedicated streamer and now the onboard dac is good, yours is better, more resolving. Sonus faber might be a good match, the magico A3 is a tested match, kef uses it to demo the blades but good luck finding them for 10k....Dynaudio c60i, C4, Your new amp isn’t voiced towards bright or dull speakers but they will show your speakers true nature so make sure you know what you’re buying.
usually, the overarching principle in system building (short of the user having a clear preference towards a non-neutral tonality -- there are some people who like a bright, highly detailed, ’super hifi’ sound, while others may prefer a darker, warm, rolled off, bottom heavy sound) is to have chosen components offset each other in how they deviate from neutrality
so for example, traditionally harbeth speakers are rather warm and luscious in their sound signature, with a full midrange, midbass presentation, and reticent treble -- a smart user would then use a solid state amp that has a little extra treble energy and high dampling factor to counteract those inherent harbeth qualities, and give the speakers a little extra touch of sparkle and life
conversely, the better klipsch loudspeakers tend to be highly energetic and forward, a touch grainy, easily excited into harshness by a signal fed to them that is in itself sharp... thus most experienced users of klipschs drive them with tube amps, which provide a warmer, sweeter, smoother, sound, a richer tonality
so the question to the op is, what is your purpose of trying to find warm to neutral speakers driven by a warm to neutral hegel?... i guess neutral is neutral, so no problem there, but otherwise, ’doubling up’ on a particular sonic quality can often lead to ’too much of a good thing’
hope this little informal primer helps in your speaker selection...
From a sheer musicality approach, you cannot step a foot wrong with the Stenheims. The A2 is in your range and will pretty much blow anything in its class away. If you’re pushing your budget, the A3 will likely be the last speakers you’ll ever buy. The Hegel will grip the hell out of the A2 and yet it’s probably a bit high on power output, they scale like nobody’s business. The halo graphic and stereo separation is mind blowing. Probably one of the most musical speakers in the world. You’ll not regret a single moment.
First, if at all possible do NOT use the 15x15 room — it’s an absolute nightmare from a bass perspective (I know because I had that exact size room years ago). I heard Joseph Audio Pulsars (original version) with Hegel electronics and the sound was sublime. Not too warm, not too cool, just sounded like music with outstanding imaging/soundstage, and they’d work well in your room. Just one option, and best of luck.
A square room (15x15) will be difficult to impossible to tame the bass nodes. The speaker choice should be your's and your's alone. Many will work well with your Hegel but try to find one that satisfies your listening tastes. You'll have to get out and do some comparative listening and don't forget that a speaker will never sound the same in your room as it does anywhere else. Good luck!
Pretty hard to go wrong with something from Sonus Faber,Dynaudio or Dali.. Not a big fan of Dali but the Sonus and the newly designed Dynaudio are very nice.
The Hegel I would not say is a warm sounding amp. In fact in comparing it to the old BEL Audio amp recently, the Bel being a very good class A amp was more musical and warmer sounding.
Depending on your musical tastes, look at a used pair of Vandersteen 5As, Verity Audio, and Ascendo speakers as I have seen very good used prices on there speakers. The newer Ascendo speakers are excellent if you can find them.
I want the sound of the speakers to be the same as the amp so the sound would be as close to neutral. I don’t want a speaker that will color the sound one way or the other, but if they do, I’d want the speakers to be a taste on the warm side and not the cold side.
Does that make sense? Hope so.
My pride was abruptly challenged when I put these Italian stand mount speakers up against my Lenehan Audio ML2 stand mounts that I built.
These speakers are seriously highly resolving.
They are $9k with stands, I called Skip to ask him, and he said the Hegel is a good pairing.
Whatever you purchase, the Hegel is a great amplifier. I heard it in El Paso TX a few years ago, and I want to hear the H590 because of that amp.
One thing in particular I like, is that, though it has a built in DAC, it's ability to accept an external DAC makes it even more versatile and future proof.
Great purchase mate!
A brand no one has mentioned is Aerial Acoustics. I demo’d the H590 in my house with mine and found the Hegel comparably neutral and powerful to my current Ayre K-5xe pre-amp/Levinson 250w/ch power amp combo. The Aerial Model 7T is slightly above your speaker budget, while the Model 6T is $2-3k below your budget depending on finish. The Aerial speakers are very musical and just slightly warmer than neutral. Well built speakers assembled in the USA, with outstanding cabinetry. They’re good for just about any kind of music.
I demo’d the H590 at the dealer with a pair of Magico A3 speakers, another excellent combination as others have mentioned. They’re slightly above your budget, priced similar to the Aerial 7Ts. The latter have a fuller sound and better bass to my ears, but the Magico’s were clean and clear. I found the Harbeth speakers too warm for my taste, but others love them. You might also look for a pair of used Wilson speakers, also neutral to my ears.
the hegel h390 and 590 are voiced a touch warmer than the lower hegel integrateds... different circuitry in the preamp section developed for those higher models shape the tonality a touch
i would agree that most hegels, from the last gen h160 h300 h360 to current gen lower models up to the h190 are very very neutral (and that means no treble emphasis that many if not most other ’good’ solid state class ab amps still have...), but the h390 and h590 were built to offer the listener a bit more ’luxurious sound’ than their junior siblings
many good speakers have been named, i won’t add further to the list... given op prefers to err on the slightly warm side rather than the bright side, i would lean towards harbeth, vandersteen, spendor classic, and lean away from focal, magico, spendor d series, top tier kefs... but given the basic neutrality of the hegels, it may well the source and the room the op uses that dictate where he lands on the warm vs cool spectrum in making the speaker selection
wish the op good luck in auditioning and finding what works for him
Good for you! I had the H190 which is really a fine sounding piece on its own, I wanted to get a little more oomph, so I went for the 390 which I received about 2 weeks ago, and it's a piece of magic, for sure. I'm driving the LS50 Metas for now. I have other speakers, but I'm more familiar with the KEF, so I'm getting to know the amp. Can't wait til it's broken in. It has a sound and dimension like I've never heard from anything I've ever owned before. The last Integrated I had was the Yamaha 2100 which is really a nice piece of electronics, but this piece just smokes it. I haven't messed with the network stuff yet, so nothing to report there. The 390 may be the last power piece I own. Even tho it was way out of my budget, once I had the 190, I knew I was on the right track. Have fun with your new toy! It's heavy, so watch your back. Anyway, that's what Wives are for!
I have listened to this Hegel amp at my local dealers, playing through many different speakers, and they all sounded great. Note: his listening room was purpose built and treated. I have heard Qln, Dynaudio, Dalis and Wilsons, and they all sounded great. You have a lot of work to do to find out what you like, but part of the joy is in the hunt! If you do not have a local audio store to help you, buy a used reputable brand of speaker that looks good to you and sell them if you don't like them! Good luck.
Hegels and Wilsons play very well together. Being the Wilson sound overall is highly resolved, the Hegel amps bring two good things to a nice center. In your price realm The Watt Puppies would get you there, or a pair of Sabrinas. A little above budget, but can be found “used” right in the ballpark. I wouldn’t hesitate for a second with a 390/Sabrina combo.
I used the h390 with my Raidho C1.1 and they sounded great. Then got the h590 which was even better, but could have lived with the h390. Then moved up to the Raidho D1.1 and the H590 drove them without any problem. Now everything sounds great in my 13’x20’ room. I’m using the MG Audio Design Planus 3 speaker cables. If you buy used you can find the Raidhos in you budget. If your going with 390 the C1.1 would be the better fit and also more affordable. Lots of great reviews on Hegel and Raidhos to read.
As some have noted... the Hegel amps are especially great at driving Harbeth speakers.
I have the H590 - which I bought especially because it sounds so good with my Harbeth 30.1's and 40.2's - just as Alan Shaw has suggested.
It has the power / current / damping to control the woofers / mids to provide the clarity the Harbeths need.
Just as it does here:
Congrats on a very wise choice of amp. A friend has the 590 with Focal Kanta 2s in a room similar size of yours. I thought it would be a little bright for my tastes but it was not.
The beauty of the Hegel is it can run sensitive or not so sensitive speakers so you have many choices. Several good ones above and
in another 12 months you might manage to hear them all.
You can go for max detail, max warmth or somewhere in between.
Open Baffle, Box or planar/electrostatic are all quite different.
Get some good XRCDs and start listening. 1st stop RMAF in Denver
in October. Love to know what you buy.
+1 Kef. maybe Ref 5 or if you can, blades?
also, using ethernet into the hegel, note that you will hear significant SQ improvements with a BonnN8 network switch (with LPS).
I understand that an etherregen (with LPS) will also make similar improvements i the Bonn8
The hegel is a great amp and it will improve further with noise reduction from ethernet and also from power supply/power conditioners.
I agree that the Hegel gear sounds great with a lot of speakers. My recommendation is KEF Reference 1 bookshelf on the matching stands for $10k. Don’t be fooled by the bookshelf description. You do not need subs with this. When you go to shows KEFs are being driven by Hegel gear a lot. If you need towers go with the R line which is less expensive like the KEF R5 or KEF R11. This store sells both in the Chicagoland area:
If anyone has either of these brands and wants to demo them to hear for themselves you should stop by this store. They let you demo products in your home. When I was in the store pickin up my Hegel V10 phono stage that I ordered they had the H590 hooked up to the KEF Blades. The other big room is where they had the Hegel H390 and the KEF Reference 1s on sound anchor stands. They look good with both stands. I prefer the KEF stands. Another option is Maggie’s with the JL Audio Subs. This would be $10k also if you bought big enough Maggie’s and the F series JL Audio subs like a pair of JL Audio F110 subs.
This store is not a Maggie dealer. Maggie’s also sound great with REL subs. I own both brands and love them both. I hope this helped you out.
Speaker Cable Rabbit Hole #3642 and counting. :-) I'm still learning, testing (A-B with different sets). I purchased custom length and custom terminated cables from Blue Jeans Cables in the, "not expensive let's try them a while category" and have loved them. I spent significantly more for AudioQuest Rocket speaker cables and the A-B was barely noticeable. Imo not worth the the "cost benefit".
Blue Jeans has an interesting "ultrasonic welding" which imo is impressive. And the offer more termination options than any custom cable I've seen. (If you're into banana connections theirs are a "locking" connection which I think is impressive. Some prefer spade -- for better surface connections -- and they offer 2 different sizes. They have a dropdown menu of 14 different configurations!) Oh, and they are FAST in making and shipping cables. I've ordered 3 different sets and was surprised how quickly I received the order. (FYI I do not work for nor receive benefit from Blue Jeans. They probably don't even remember my orders :-))
Even AudioQuest connections are set screws into twisted cable. Blue Jeans are very good cables at a very affordable price you can use, and if you (like me) consider upgrading in future, you've not spent a lot of money (like my 4 sets of AudioQuests in a box) :-) Happy hunting!
We went from the H360 to the H390. You should really like the Hegel. A few points, if I may.
It needs to break in. So don't be flipped out if is sounds dull and un-engaging when you first set it up.
It needs to be on for about an hour, even after break in, to sound its best. Cold it's a little "dull". We leave ours always on. We're bad people.
In our system it drives a pair of Focal Sopra 2's. The music is effortless. Mostly orchestra, chamber, rock n roll like phish, .moe, Dead etc. It loves to play loud but is also very accurate at low volume too. The amp is very "neutral", clean, fast and pretty flat.
Based on that I'd recommend that you not concentrate on what goes best with the amp but, rather, focus on what speaker will give you the kind of sound you want, warm, bright, hot, laid back etc. The Sopra 1 would be a great speaker but you'll want a sub to go with it. We have a Rel S/510 that's not absolutely needed with the Sopra 2, but is a nice a addition. With the Sopra 1 you'd def want it, however.
Maybe consider a pair of Martin Logans? This amp is smooth and easy and fast and while it sounds crisp it never sounds harsh or "shiny" so I think it'd be an interesting match with the lightening fast speed of an electro.
So many have given great suggestions, Magnapan, Dali, Dynaudio, Franco Serbin or Sonus Faber or Focal. You don’t have to spend a fortune on cable, but I can say that with my speakers the solid core ofc cables provide a great path of uninterrupted travel versus stranded cable. I use Marrow and AQ which I’m replacing with Marrow audio, or Nordost flat cables if you want more style. Kimber work great. There are so many great choices in your price point, just find one that makes you smile instead of analyzing..otherwise you will be upgrading forever. Congratulations on your move to a great integrated kit