Dave’s Faves – Hegel H-190

Hegel H-190 $4000, 150×2 Stereo Integrated Amp (250×2 @4ohms)

Hegel H190

Hegel has just upped its H160 to H190. The power is the same. The price is almost the same.
What H190 has that its predecessor did not, is SoundEngine 2 technology. SE-2 allows H-190 to make your speakers start and stop a little faster, which we audiophiles know is always a good thing.
When the GRIP is better, things are more clear bass is tighter and the music is more DYNAMIC. This is what H-190 has accomplished.

All Hegels have massive, dual mono toroidal transformers. They all use Hegel’s DualAmp feed forward design. They all use Hegel’s patented SoundEngine 2 error correction circuitry- which eliminates the need for negative feedback. The parts quality, like hand chosen FET selection, is the same. In a nutshell, as you go up the line you’re getting more top end volume, but the sonic character is remarkably similar!

The Hegel H-190 definitely shares its bigger brother’s prodigious damping factor of 4000! The ability to start and stop your speakers on a dime lets you hear the marvellous technique of a great piano or guitar player for example. You can perceive the nuances among drum kits along with impact you didn’t know was there! Everything we like about music gets purveyed in spades when H-190 is driving your speakers. The H-190 is capable of driving any of our top end speakers with authority- despite being a middle-weight in price.

I need to make a special case for those of you with, or considering, Magnepans. Maggies undress a wussie amp in a heartbeat. They are so resolving that they’re unforgiving of mass market amps. The cheap D amps in particular- don’t cut it with Maggies.

I promise you’re going to love the performance of Maggies with Hegel integrateds! H-190 is the sweet spot for price/performance and is an absolute natural for MG-1.7i or MG-3.7i. If you’ve only heard Maggies with garden variety amps, you haven’t heard Maggies. We know that not many MG-1.7i owners are going to spring for $12k of Bryston separates. While these fine speakers are totally deserving of such electronics, it just doesn’t happen. But please consider spending $4000 on the H-190.

In the Hegel H-190, we have an affordable integrated with built-in DAC, Airplay and DLNA, that will drive Maggies better than anything we’ve ever heard near the $4000 price point. H-190 brings clarity and beef to the party. Perhaps by spending $4000 on your integrated amp, you might be able to step up a notch higher than you expected in speakers?!

H-190 is an AB design weighing in at 41 lbs built in Oslo. The crystal clear detail with ability to drop barbells on the floor is really fun to hear with any speaker. But it’s a special synergy for Magnepans where H-190 turbos up to 250×2 into the 4ohm Maggie load. Stop in to hear H-190 with Maggies or other fine speakers. You’re going to be as impressed as I am!

Inputs: Analog XLRs, 2 Analog RCAs, Digital Coax, 3 OPTs, USB-B, Network.
Outs: RCA fixed and variable. Even a headphone jack on front for H-190!