Hegel H390 or H190 for Focal Aria 926?

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dukehoops

Enthusiast
Is there any appreciable benefit to pairing Focal Aria 926 with Hegel H390 vs H190? Will sound quality be noticeably different?
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Jedi
Why do you think there would be a particular difference between the two for your use? Why Hegel?
 
D

dukehoops

Enthusiast
Hegel because read good things though no first hand experience. Hoping no difference for the particular speakers so i can save and buy the less expensive model. But looking to hear especially from folks that experienced both combinations.
 
John Parks

John Parks

Audioholic General
I’ve had no experience with your specific combo, but demo’d the Hegel H160 (precursor to the 190) with KEF’s R500, Reference 1 and Blade II. It had absolutely no issues driving any of those speakers quite loudly in a large room (and sounded great to boot!). Unless you are thinking you may be missing that last bit of headroom, the H190 should be more than adequate.
 
P

PENG

Audioholic Slumlord
May be may be not. It depends on your actual power need. The H390 will give you a couple dB more headroom so it may make a difference if you happen to need to tap into that extra "power". Otherwise no difference. As others have asked, why those? For the money you can go with a real "separate" power amp and gain more than just 1-2 dB headroom over a mid range AVR. Integrated amps with onboard DAC and other gadgets are unnecessary compromises, but that's just my opinion. You can easily get better DACs with better specs, can play more formats, for less money. Same for streamers.. For the convenience, I can see the benefits of having anything in on box but then you may as well get an AVR for a lot less, then again ymmv for sure.

Anyway, if that's your choice, then you should simply figure out your actual power need so that you can at least make an informed decision on those two. You can use the linked calculators, or tell us the distance and desired SPL and one or more of us will figure it out for you.

Peak SPL Calculator (homestead.com)
Crown Audio - Professional Power Amplifiers
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Jedi
You've never read nice things about other integrated amps? While I've read nice things about Hegel doesn't make me want to buy one. They're kinda pretty and all, but for that price there's better options IMO.
 
P

PENG

Audioholic Slumlord
You've never read nice things about other integrated amps? While I've read nice things about Hegel doesn't make me want to buy one. They're kinda pretty and all, but for that price there's better options IMO.
I have, NAD for one and that's why I bought one. And I was actually quite impressed with Hegel's even the little H90, so yes they are nice but I won't buy one because I despise (only a matter of principle) such integrated amps including Hegel's and the likes of the newest Parasound and Anthem's that came with DAC, streaming and others features, making them more like two channel receivers. For example, if I were to pick one from Yamaha's low end integrated, I would go with the A-S700 but not the 701 or 801. The A-S700 is more like a traditional (what I called "real") integrated amp whereas the S701 and 801 are more like a two channel receiver without the tuner and I know for fact those shared critical parts with their AVR cousins.

In terms of the so called better sound quality thing though, you must know me by now, that I believe when you get to the level of those I just mentioned, they are going to in fact sound the same if compared properly and fairly.
 
D

dukehoops

Enthusiast
Thanks for the above. I wanted to understand the more narrow question: given the specific speakers in question, and assuming general preference for Hegel integrated, how much of a benefit in sound quality would h390 provide over h190? Sounds like negligible if any but I will take the calculators about for a spin - good pointers there!

separately on “why not brand X etc” - don’t know; do know o probably don’t want to crowd my space with separates. For context I currently have a Yamaha Rx-2070 and actually will initially take the time to listed to Arias wired up to that AVR with tbd sub. Perhaps I will conclude thatI have no need for an addl 2 ch amp but for some reason got excited about a Hegel.
Definitely welcome alt suggestions
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Jedi
Well one thing I don't see in the Hegels is bass management for subs....
 
CajunLB

CajunLB

Full Audioholic
I think you’re Yamaha rx2070 should have good power and sound. If you need/want more power a power amp driven by the Yamaha would be great.
 
P

PENG

Audioholic Slumlord
Thanks for the above. I wanted to understand the more narrow question: given the specific speakers in question, and assuming general preference for Hegel integrated, how much of a benefit in sound quality would h390 provide over h190? Sounds like negligible if any but I will take the calculators about for a spin - good pointers there!

separately on “why not brand X etc” - don’t know; do know o probably don’t want to crowd my space with separates. For context I currently have a Yamaha Rx-2070 and actually will initially take the time to listed to Arias wired up to that AVR with tbd sub. Perhaps I will conclude thatI have no need for an addl 2 ch amp but for some reason got excited about a Hegel.
Definitely welcome alt suggestions
Once you calculated your power need, tell us and we (I will anyway) give you a more definitive answer. Please make sure you enter the right info.

Again, if you tell me the distance and the maximum spl you need, I can use my own calculator that is a little more precise.
 
D

dukehoops

Enthusiast
OK. I guessed I'd want max sustainable, distortion free SPL of 95db and 6db of headroom at listening position 13 ft away from speakers. Surprisingly, Peak SPL calc suggests 60wpc gets me above that:

1617495656838.png



Interestingly, more than doubling power 60 --> 140wpc increases SPL by < 4db:
1617495907518.png
 
P

PENG

Audioholic Slumlord
OK. I guessed I'd want max sustainable, distortion free SPL of 95db and 6db of headroom at listening position 13 ft away from speakers. Surprisingly, Peak SPL calc suggests 60wpc gets me above that:

View attachment 46297


Interestingly, more than doubling power 60 --> 140wpc increases SPL by < 4db:
View attachment 46298
That calculator is based on 8 Ohm nominal impedance. The 926 is 6 Ohm nominal, dip to 2.9 Ohm so I would consider them more like 4 Ohm nominal.

With one speaker, you would need 353 W for reference level, that is 105 dB, or about 112 W if the loudest spl you need is 5 dB below reference.

The H390 will give you 1.7 dB more, and lower distortions. I would say not enough to make a noticeable difference.

Even 5 dB below reference is probably too loud for most people.

It's a nice amp, but also a lot of money for not a lot of power.
 
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D

dukehoops

Enthusiast
thanks so much. bonus novice q then: why does a Hegel H190 cost so much more than the Yamaha RX-2070? ie their amp power rating is approximately the same (150 vs 140 wpc); but the Yamaha has so many more features. ie at least on paper it appears to be H190 ++++ (more channels, plus video capabilities, multi zone, but also does Direct 2ch, has a DAC etc). Yet the Hegel costs 2x. What's the catch? Does Hegel produce fuller, cleaner or otherwise "better" sound? Similarly Naim, NAD, Parasound et al integrated amps also seem to be so much more expensive than Yamaha-caliber AVRs...
 
P

PENG

Audioholic Slumlord
thanks so much. bonus novice q then: why does a Hegel H190 cost so much more than the Yamaha RX-2070? ie their amp power rating is approximately the same (150 vs 140 wpc); but the Yamaha has so many more features. ie at least on paper it appears to be H190 ++++ (more channels, plus video capabilities, multi zone, but also does Direct 2ch, has a DAC etc). Yet the Hegel costs 2x. What's the catch? Does Hegel produce fuller, cleaner or otherwise "better" sound? Similarly Naim, NAD, Parasound et al integrated amps also seem to be so much more expensive than Yamaha-caliber AVRs...
Yamaha can buy parts and material at deep discounts because of their purchase volume. Likewise their development cost and fixed cost would be much lower on per unit basis. The Hegel amps have much higher build quality than Even Yamaha's top model AVRs and that costs money. Comparable Yamaha integrated amps are the A-S1100 and higher models.

Lastly, when you have volume on your side you can afford to lower your profit margin.

FYI, Yamaha, Denon, Marantz all have integrated amps that are more expensive than the Hegel H390. The Denon PMA-SX1 limited costs almost $7,000, only rated 50W 8ohm, 100W 4ohms, no digital stuff. That does not mean it would sound better than a $1,000 amp. It depends..
 
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Out-Of-Phase

Out-Of-Phase

Audioholic General
Hegel H390 - Streaming Integrated Amplifier - $6,000.00

Good grief.
 
John Parks

John Parks

Audioholic General
Yeah, the H390 is alright at $6K, but if I had the money...

301wpc, not, mind you, 300 but 301 for $11,000. Sweet.
 
Verdinut

Verdinut

Audioholic Ninja
Yeah, the H390 is alright at $6K, but if I had the money...

301wpc, not, mind you, 300 but 301 for $11,000. Sweet.
Those Hegel products fall into the diminishing returns category. IMO, they don't provide superior audible SQ than any cheaper well designed Class AB or Class D amplifier.
 

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