Hegel H90 vs Denon AVR-X4700H (Stereo use)

Truthslayer

Truthslayer

Full Audioholic
I seem to remember that he didn't quite say that but I'll look again.
Ya, im sure i did not word everything correctly as i look back at my post, but i think you get the jest of what i was trying to relay. Meds have kicked in, i should not be operating any equipment. :)
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Jedi
Ya, im sure i did not word everything correctly as i look back at my post, but i think you get the jest of what i was trying to relay. Meds have kicked in, i should not be operating any equipment. :)
This quote isn't from the article "The Sound of Audio Amplifiers: Can you hear a difference between Amps?" which is what I think you referred to (but don't find your reference particularly), but one of the linked articles has this:
"So, sometimes (not all the time) there are differences in the sound of amplifiers, but according to Hirsch, probably not for the reasons we’d like to think. Are there other reasons for audible differences between amplifiers, such as the “gut feeling” one gets when viewing beautifully laid-out amplifier circuitry, massive heatsinks, storage capacitors with impressive uf ratings, and a large heavy torridal transformer, all accompanied by convincing technical literature text and an impressive array of reviewers’ quotes lauding the design’s sonic excellence? "
 
S

Sachb

Full Audioholic
I sure did. Denon didn't compare at all. The quality of sound wasn't even close. Hegel H90 beat Denon 4700 by a mile. I was shocked how big the difference was.
Interesting, same here, but this is a more closer comparison. I just switched to a Yamaha from a Denon reciever. Big difference. I can hear more bass from the speakers. My Elac B6.2s have really opened up with better dynamics and stronger punchier midbass, low end.

People say you need better sub, calibration was inproper and all that excuses to defend the Denon, but to me it just looks like the Denon is indeed weak.

You won't believe this, but a guy who owned the top of the line $4000 Denon X8500 sold it for an Anthem processor. He said to me that his Denon wasn't worth the $4000 price tag. Also it took him quite a while to get rid of it.

Whats even more suprising, my Denon X2300W is 95 watts, and Yamaha is 110 watts at 8 ohms, but Yamaha sounds so much bigger, to get the audible difference a minimum of 3 db difference is required, which is twice the power, such as 95 + 95 watts = 190 watts

I think the amp and dac are doing some wonders inside. Sabre is said to be one of the best dacs. Idk about burr brown or akm on Denons.

Denons aren't praised for their DACs but only for audyssey XT32.

Always remember a better Hardware will always crush software optimization.

Sent from my LM-G710 using Tapatalk
 
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killdozzer

killdozzer

Audioholic Samurai
I seem to remember that he didn't quite say that but I'll look again.
Oh, no! By no means should you do that. That's that Colin idiot. Remember? I pressed him to provide back up for his stupid claims and blatant lies. After awhile he had to admit he pulled it out of his ass, but started whining how he wrote it late at night and so on. Now I see he is whining about taking pills. I bet it would go on. It's a complete waste of time.

Believe me, the "Death to Denon" crusader has more witts about him than this guy.
 
killdozzer

killdozzer

Audioholic Samurai
I sure did. Denon didn't compare at all. The quality of sound wasn't even close. Hegel H90 beat Denon 4700 by a mile. I was shocked how big the difference was.
Don't get me wrong, it’s a nice that you found what you like and if you can afford it, you should get it.

Thing is, most of what you described points to a sound signature on Hegel’s side. And the thing about sound signatures is; they’re repeatable. You could make your Denon sound like Hegel and, in fact, many other sound signature amps.

While you get one single set up with Hegel. Imagine this like Hegel has one single EQ set up.

The reason why most people will say this is not exactly desirable is because when you play a material that is in itself “fuller”, as you say (which most often refers to lows), than it adds up to too much lows.

The material should play as full as intended. The amp shouldn’t add to that.
 
WaynePflughaupt

WaynePflughaupt

Audioholic Samurai
I use a Denon 4700 in my home theatre. It works great for 7.2.4.
My apologies if someone already asked this, but did you remember to change the Denon’s main speaker settings to “Large?” That’s the first thing I thought of when you said the bass was really weak.

Regards,
Wayne A. Pflughaupt
 
V

VMPS-TIII

Audioholic General
Thing is, most of what you described points to a sound signature on Hegel’s side. And the thing about sound signatures is; they’re repeatable. You could make your Denon sound like Hegel and, in fact, many other sound signature amps.
In most cases, I would tend to lean toward what you are saying. That's why when the Denon 4700 sounded thin I went in and setup Audyssey, added DEQ and made as many modifications as possible to try to enhance the Denon sound. So what happened after I put all that time into the Denon and switched back to the Hegel H90?

The Hegel sounded full, rich, amazingly dynamic and beat the Denon sound without having to do anything but turn it on. It's an amazing sonic difference that I did not fully understand until I put these two units side by side with the BMR's.

I know this tends to bust some peoples belief systems. They think everything sounds the same with enough EQ. But after this comparison, I can see that's not always the case.
 
V

VMPS-TIII

Audioholic General
My apologies if someone already asked this, but did you remember to change the Denon’s main speaker settings to “Large?” That’s the first thing I thought of when you said the bass was really weak.

Regards,
Wayne A. Pflughaupt
Yes, when I configured the Denon 4700 for Stereo in amp assign and ran Audyssey it automatically set Fronts as large. Thankyou!
 
V

VMPS-TIII

Audioholic General
Please understand I am not trying to bash Denon in this thread. I have a Denon 4700 running my 7.2.4 Home theatre. It works fine. The Hegel H90 does not come close to that functionality.

I was blown away by this stereo side by side comparison test and thought I would share. Until I tried this direct comparison, I did not realize the difference with the BMRs.

My Denon 4700 and the Hegel H90 are normally in different rooms. Until now I had not thought a direct comparison would yield much difference. In fact, I thought the 125W of the Denon might reinforced the sound. To my surprise, that was not the case....
 
P

PENG

Audioholic Slumlord
Yes, when I configured the Denon 4700 for Stereo in amp assign and ran Audyssey it automatically set Fronts as large. Thankyou!
There is no way the difference would be as described if the comparison was under truly apples to apples conditions. I have compared a smaller X3400H with my separates based on both a A21 and 4B SST that are much more powerful than the H90 and found no such difference.

Do you use REW? If you do, plot some graphs and we will be able to see where the differences are as such difference even just in the basic frequency response should be quite large, for you to hear such big difference.

Dennis Murphy will tell you the Denon should have no trouble driving the BMRs, if the 60 W Hegel can do it.

Just a short note: A good and fair way to compare the two would be to:

- Set the Denon to pure direct mode, not stereo
- Use an external DAC with analog output
- Connect the DAC's analog outputs to the analog inputs (example: CD) of the Denon
- Level match to within 0.5 dB using a good SPL meter or REW/Mic
- Do the same for the Hegel hook up, that is, same DAC.
- Use the same media player/contents obviously, and only those with very high recording/mastering quality.

If you still hear the same kind of difference, then do it blind, and if still the same then there is something wrong with that particular Denon.
 
V

VMPS-TIII

Audioholic General
There is no way the difference would be as described if the comparison was under truly apples to apples conditions. I have compared a smaller X3400H with my separates based on both a A21 and 4B SST that are much more powerful than the H90 and found no such difference.

Do you use REW? If you do, plot some graphs and we will be able to see where the differences are as such difference even just in the basic frequency response should be quite large, for you to hear such big difference.

Dennis Murphy will tell you the Denon should have no trouble driving the BMRs, if the 60 W Hegel can do it.

Just a short note: A good and fair way to compare the two would be to:

- Set the Denon to pure direct mode, not stereo
- Use an external DAC with analog output
- Connect the DAC's analog outputs to the analog inputs (example: CD) of the Denon
- Level match to within 0.5 dB using a good SPL meter or REW/Mic
- Do the same for the Hegel hook up, that is, same DAC.
- Use the same media player/contents obviously, and only those with very high recording/mastering quality.

If you still hear the same kind of difference, then do it blind, and if still the same then there is something wrong with that particular Denon.
@PENG - I respect your analytical views. But, I'm not trying to compare the Hegel amp section against the Denon amp section. I'm comparing the whole product. That's why it would not make sense to introduce an external DAC into the mix.

I'm also not saying the Denon can't power the BMR. It can. What I am saying is the Hegel sounds superior to my ears even though it has a lower published power rating.

I could drag out REW and make exact measurements of the sonic differences and report those. It might be of some value in determining what the sonic differences show.

If I setup the Denon 4700 in pure direct mode it sounds much worse. That is where I started. That is why I tried to optimize with Audyssey and DEQ. I wanted the best sound from the Denon. I also tried with Audyssey disabled. I tried everything except creating a custom EQ with the iPad.

The one thing no one mentioned was ECO mode. I have it set at AUTO.
 
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S

Sachb

Full Audioholic
@PENG -
The one thing no one mentioned was ECO mode. I have it set at AUTO.
There shouldn't be an audible difference changing it from Auto to Off. I've tried it many times. Didn't notice much difference, only difference switching from auto to off is that the temps might go up.

Sent from my LM-G710 using Tapatalk
 
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Trell

Trell

Audioholic Field Marshall
There shouldn't be an audible difference changing it from Auto to Off. I've tried it many times. Didn't notice much difference, only difference switching from auto to off is the temps might go up.

Sent from my LM-G710 using Tapatalk
This is the same for me in my small living room, though my room (as I said) is small, listening at "moderate" volumes along with moderately efficient speakers (87-88 dB) along with subwoofers. The material is, of course, also very important: Recordings with a very high dynamic range is probably (?) more likely to give audible artefacts with regards to Auto or off.
 
P

PENG

Audioholic Slumlord
@PENG - I respect your analytical views. But, I'm not trying to compare the Hegel amp section against the Denon amp section. I'm comparing the whole product. That's why it would not make sense to introduce an external DAC into the mix.



I could drag out REW and make exact measurements of the sonic differences and report those. It might be of some value in determining what the sonic differences show.

In my tests, the audio CD tracks played were identical. Both were feed with a Denon DCD-800NE.

If I setup the Denon 4700 in pure direct mode it sounds much worse. That is where I started. That is why I tried to optimize with Audyssey and DEQ. I wanted the best sound from the Denon. I also tried with Audyssey disabled. I tried everything except creating a custom EQ with the iPad.

The one thing no one mentioned was ECO mode. I have it set at AUTO.
Thank you for clarifying this.. My concern is that if not clarified, it could be taken out of context, as I have just done:D, and it could just add to the hearsay/myth spread.. probably wouldn't matter as such claims are already widespread on the internet anyway..

What I am saying is the Hegel sounds superior to my ears even though it has a lower published power rating.
Example: Don't you think when stated like this, a lot of people would interpret as 60 W of Hegel could somehow be more than Denon's 100 W, and/or it is not the W, but something else, and what would that be then, if as you clarified you were not comparing the power amp sections?

If it is the DAC, okay that may be reason, though it would seem most posters on AH would not believe DAC at those levels would not make such kind of big difference.

Now you are clear that you were comparing the whole units, I would love to understand which part of the Hegel specs would be responsible for the big difference:

Hegel H90:
Frequency response: 5 Hz - 100 kHz
Signal-to-noise ratio: More than 100 dB
Crosstalk: Less than -100 dB
Distortion: Less than 0.01% @ 50 W/8 Ω/1 kHz
Intermodulation: Less than 0.01% (19 kHz + 20 kHz)
Damping factor: More than 2000 (main power output stage)

I can see the Hegel's crosstalk spec is far superior, but the Denon would actually be very comparable on other important areas such as THD+N, IMD, SNR etc.!!

Can't find any measurements of the H90 to compare but we can compare the H160's.

The Denon actually measured a little better. You can compare the harmonics too, using the FFTs, no clear winner there either.

Hegel Music Systems H160 integrated amplifier Measurements | Stereophile.com

An example comparison graph:
1607177506428.png


ASR review AVR-X4700H

1607177626019.png


To make it easy to compare the two different formats (% vs dB)

0.03%.................... -70.45 dB
0.05%................... -66 dB
0.01%................... -80 dB
0.005%................ -86 dB
0.003%................ -90.45%

On the subjective side, I am very familiar with Hegel's. Yes, even the smallest 60 W integrated amps sounded great in the demo room, but no, I definitely believe if compare it to any of the Denon X3000H and higher models, one would not be able to pass a DBT, or even SBT if analog is used from input to output using the same source and source player.

And before anyone pops up and make the point that THD+N is not a good correlation to sound quality, then let me be clear, we are not talking about higher levels such as 0.1%, but in the order of 0.05% to 0.001%.

Yes, there are other factors such as IMD that is more audible, but again we are talking about very low level there too, also low THD typically indicate low IMD as well. Regardless, even if somehow 0.05% could result in better sound than 0.03% due to the harmonic profile (no evidence seen so far between the two...), the difference would not be so big right?

I am a little too interested in your post because I happen to have done quite a bit of comparisons, with others in the room too using various preamp/amp/dac/avr/avp combinations and again, am very familiar of the fantastic Hegel amps. Not only that, I also own a pair of the fantastic BMRs, probably one of the best sounding speakers at the below $5,000 a pair price point imo.
 
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little wing

little wing

Audioholic Chief
I have been using the Hegel H90 with my BMR's for stereo in my office for the last month. The Hegel H90 is rated at 60W a channel. It's an integrated amp with a USB port along with several other inputs. The Hegel H90 shows up as a sound card on the MBP when a USB cable connects the computer to the H90.

As the Hegel H90 has a relatively low 60W rating I wondered how the 125W Denon AVR-X4700H would work as a replacement for powering the BMRs.

What did I find?
The Denon 4700 sounds like WEAK SAUCE compared to the Hegel H90. I have to turn up the Denon to 65 to get the same volume level as the Hegel H90 at a 50 volume setting. And even then the bass sounds weak and that's with Denon Dynamic EQ turned on the 4700. The H90 has no EQ settings just awesome sound and power.

The Denon sounds so weak in an A/B blind test that I guessed it was the 60W amp and the Hegel H90 was the 125W. I am blown away. I never would have guessed the difference would be this HUGE. The Hegel H90 sounds so much better than the 4700 in this stereo BMR side by side test.

What did I learn?
1. Rated Watts on an amp may not mean as much as I thought.
2. If you have a speaker with a super flat response, you probably don't want any EQ.
3. Side by side, listening comparison tests are much more helpful than ANY spec!

View attachment 42326
I have absolutely no trouble believing a quality integrated amp sounds better than an AVR in two channel. I had a similar experience when listening to Peachtree amp compared to an AVR.
 
V

VMPS-TIII

Audioholic General
On the subjective side, I am very familiar with Hegel's. Yes, even the smallest 60 W integrated amps sounded great in the demo room, but no, I definitely believe if compare it to any of the Denon X3000H and higher models, one would not be able to pass a DBT, or even SBT if analog is used from input to output using the same source and source player.
When someone tells you they like chocolate more than strawberry do we ask them for an ingredient comparison analysis? What spoon did you use? Do you have a cold? Have you tried Vanilla? No, we say, "Cool, glad you like it."

I totally understand there are those who think Denon can sound as good as anything else with enough work or add on hardware. I respect that. But to my ears this test was an eye opener.

I can go back and try to narrow down what caused the difference?
1. Did the USB port on the Hegel introduce a sonic difference?
2. Measure the Denon 4700 with Direct mode with REW.
3. Measure the Hegel H90 with REW.
4. Compare different inputs.

I can do all that and it might be interesting to discover a possible source of the difference. But it's so much easier for me to simply enjoy the Hegel H90 sound with the BMR knowing it is what it is. lol

Before this direct side by side test I didn't realize how different the sound quality would be. I'm not trying to sell Hegel or bash Denon. I'm just saying what my ears prefer and it's not a small difference at all.

Hegel doesn't list a 4ohm spec just 60W 8ohm. It's possible the two units are more closely power matched at 4ohms than I first thought?
:D
 
V

VMPS-TIII

Audioholic General
@PENG - How would you measure the Hegel H90 with REW when there is no HDMI port? What type of cable do you recommend in that situation? Can I simply use the USB cable for REW measurements?

H90Back.jpg
 
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Truthslayer

Truthslayer

Full Audioholic
This quote isn't from the article "The Sound of Audio Amplifiers: Can you hear a difference between Amps?" which is what I think you referred to (but don't find your reference particularly), but one of the linked articles has this:
"So, sometimes (not all the time) there are differences in the sound of amplifiers, but according to Hirsch, probably not for the reasons we’d like to think. Are there other reasons for audible differences between amplifiers, such as the “gut feeling” one gets when viewing beautifully laid-out amplifier circuitry, massive heatsinks, storage capacitors with impressive uf ratings, and a large heavy torridal transformer, all accompanied by convincing technical literature text and an impressive array of reviewers’ quotes lauding the design’s sonic excellence? "
Lovin, here is one of the videos i was referring to. Do Expensive AV Receivers Sound Better than Cheap Ones? - YouTube
He wrote a post around the same time on here, but i don't see a need to look for it. I think you know what i was getting at. I'm sure i didn't quote him word for word, rather just trying to get my point across.
Oh, no! By no means should you do that. That's that Colin idiot. Remember? I pressed him to provide back up for his stupid claims and blatant lies. After awhile he had to admit he pulled it out of his ass, but started whining how he wrote it late at night and so on. Now I see he is whining about taking pills. I bet it would go on. It's a complete waste of time.

Believe me, the "Death to Denon" crusader has more witts about him than this guy.
Killdozer, Not sure who your confusing me with, don't know who Colin is. So calling me an idiot just shows who the real idiot is. I can give you a pass for your confusion. You should also consider, most people don't feel the need to argue back and fourth, and when you do that on here, im not sure why you think that makes you the victor, just because someone may not feel the need to continue an argument.

As far as making a statement about being medicated and shouldn't be operating equipment. In no way was that whining. That was simply true, it was obvious by my post to Lovin, that i was not being clear and probably should have waited to post. I have no problem admitting when im wrong. So there is no need for you to continue with your arrogance. I am not here to argue, but if that's what you feel like you need to do, please continue on. I'm sure someone else will be happy to argue with you, just not me.
 
P

PENG

Audioholic Slumlord
When someone tells you they like chocolate more than strawberry do we ask them for an ingredient comparison analysis? What spoon did you use? Do you have a cold? Have you tried Vanilla? No, we say, "Cool, glad you like it."

I totally understand there are those who think Denon can sound as good as anything else with enough work or add on hardware. I respect that. But to my ears this test was an eye opener.

I can go back and try to narrow down what caused the difference?
1. Did the USB port on the Hegel introduce a sonic difference?
2. Measure the Denon 4700 with Direct mode with REW.
3. Measure the Hegel H90 with REW.
4. Compare different inputs.

I can do all that and it might be interesting to discover a possible source of the difference. But it's so much easier for me to simply enjoy the Hegel H90 sound with the BMR knowing it is what it is. lol

Before this direct side by side test I didn't realize how different the sound quality would be. I'm not trying to sell Hegel or bash Denon. I'm just saying what my ears prefer and it's not a small difference at all.

Hegel doesn't list a 4ohm spec just 60W 8ohm. It's possible the two units are more closely power matched at 4ohms than I first thought?
:D
No problem at all with what you are saying except the misleading parts I pointed out earlier. Of course enjoying what you have now is all that matters, no one would dispute or even question that. If my points are not clear there is nothing I can add. With due respect, you are the one who started those misleading statements I referred to.:)
 

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