DomT

'Cake and eat it' amplifier please!

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Posted (edited)

I have ASR Emitter II Exclusive with large Tannoys and really like the combo. Not sure how Emitter would sound with Harbeth speakers, but maybe worth considering? 

Edited by tnorvaisas
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On 03/04/2020 at 11:01, DomT said:

Completely open to ideas as I have not visited this area for a long time

You already know the answer.  I've raved about it consistently.  The Hegel 390 does everything you described you want and it's at your price. It even has internal DAC and Streamer.  Sell the Altair for some proceeds towards the H390.

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Super Wammer
Posted (edited)
57 minutes ago, ChemMan said:

You already know the answer.  I've raved about it consistently.  The Hegel 390 does everything you described you want and it's at your price. It even has internal DAC and Streamer.  Sell the Altair for some proceeds towards the H390.

Thanks Steve but there is no native app, no streaming screen, no headphone socket, no tape loop and no onboard hard drive.

These may be small things to some but the headphone socket on the Altair with my Meze Empyreans is superb and I prefer the Altair headphone socket over listing to the Altair with a decent headphone amp eg Teac, Stax (ai did days worth of demos)

I also really like seeing the screen on the Altair to see what I am listening to; I dislike picking up a mobile phone. 

The lack of a native app is important to me. I know that you didn’t like the DS app compared to Bluesound but the third party app that the Hegel works with has even worse reviews than the DS app.

The Hegel maybe amazing and I trust your judgement but from a functional perspective is was down the list and it seems a shame to pay for streaming and not use it. 

Edited by DomT
Added hard drive

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5 minutes ago, DomT said:

Thanks Steve but there is no native app, no streaming screen, no headphone socket and no tape loop.

These may be small things to some but the headphone socket on the Altair with my Meze Empyreans is superb and I prefer the Altair headphone socket over listing to the Altair with a decent headphone amp eg Teac, Stax (ai did days worth of demos)

I also really like seeing the screen on the Altair to see what I am listening to; I dislike picking up a mobile phone. 

The lack of a native app is important to me. I know that you didn’t like the DS app compared to Bluesound but the third party app that the Hegel works with has even worse reviews than the DS app.

The Hegel maybe amazing and I trust your judgement but from a functional perspective is was down the list and it seems a shame to pay for streaming and not use it. 

Dom

There isn't an app native to Hegel but my understanding (as I am looking at the same product) is that you can use Linn Kazoo (free and easy to use) or, if you are a Roon user, that takes care of it all as well.

I have hesitated like you because of the same reasons but am likely to push the button on an H190 this week to replace a Linn streamer, with a view to the H390 to replace the other if it goes well.  There is a way around the app issue.  Hegel users I am sure will correct me if I have that wrong, and the products are immensely powerful and revealing.

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57 minutes ago, ChemMan said:

You already know the answer.  I've raved about it consistently.  The Hegel 390 does everything you described you want and it's at your price. It even has internal DAC and Streamer.  Sell the Altair for some proceeds towards the H390.

ChemMan - do you own a Hegel?  If so can I ping you a PM with some questions to avoid me hijacking the thread?

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Super Wammer

The other thing that is important to me is power consumption. I already use too much power and am trying to control and reduce this. 

The L505uX uses 250w

PM11S2 300w

Unison Unico 90 550w

Hegel 390 830w (inc streamer) but has an eco mode 

Altair G1 50w

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Super Wammer

Maybe a lower model Hegel could be in the mix. If so which one? Does it have to be a current model. The review of the 390 seems to suggest newer Hegel amps are better

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17 minutes ago, DomT said:

Maybe a lower model Hegel could be in the mix. If so which one? Does it have to be a current model. The review of the 390 seems to suggest newer Hegel amps are better

19 minutes ago, Paulq said:

ChemMan - do you own a Hegel?  If so can I ping you a PM with some questions to avoid me hijacking the thread?

I think it's OK we are still talking amps.

The Hegel amps listed below are all superior, IMO, to the Exact DSM, which I heard with my LS50s for comparison sake.

I've heard the H160, H190, Rost, and H390.

IMO, the 190 and 160 have a slightly "darker" sound and don't play all the music the same way.  Sometimes I preferred the sound of my MA252, when comparing the H190.  It has a very expansive sound. Say 66% Hegel and 34% Mac.

Then you move up to the 390 and it's even more like a live performance.  The MA252 has that sweet McIntosh sound, but when it comes to immersion in the music it's the H390 for me.  I seriously think that VFM on the Hegel is other worldly.   The H390 can be used with the UpnP (plug and play app like bubble).   

The 390 DAC is much improved over the Bluesound Node 2.  The  DAC in the H160 is sometimes better than the Node 2 and sometimes not, same goes for the 190.

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I'm considering replacing a Majik DSM with the H190 but use it with active speakers. The MDSM gives the ability to turn off its internal power amp and I'm pretty sure the Hegel doesn't ?  That's an issue for me.

Ideally I want a decent streaming preamp for that system but not sure what's out there. Or simply swap to passive with the H190.

My main system is a Akurate DSM with Katalyst. It's not Exakt as I'm not a fan of it so I run with Exposure 3010s2 and Dynaudio Special Fortys. My option here is to swap out the Exposure (Anthem STR is high on my list) or swap out Linn and Exposure for an H390.

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Super Wammer
2 hours ago, ChemMan said:

I think it's OK we are still talking amps.

The Hegel amps listed below are all superior, IMO, to the Exact DSM, which I heard with my LS50s for comparison sake.

I've heard the H160, H190, Rost, and H390.

IMO, the 190 and 160 have a slightly "darker" sound and don't play all the music the same way.  Sometimes I preferred the sound of my MA252, when comparing the H190.  It has a very expansive sound. Say 66% Hegel and 34% Mac.

Then you move up to the 390 and it's even more like a live performance.  The MA252 has that sweet McIntosh sound, but when it comes to immersion in the music it's the H390 for me.  I seriously think that VFM on the Hegel is other worldly.   The H390 can be used with the UpnP (plug and play app like bubble).   

The 390 DAC is much improved over the Bluesound Node 2.  The  DAC in the H160 is sometimes better than the Node 2 and sometimes not, same goes for the 190.

Interest and thanks Steve. 

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1 hour ago, Paulq said:

My main system is a Akurate DSM with Katalyst

Now you are narrowing the gap.  I've heard the Akurate DSM and it sounds pretty damn good.  I also heard the Akurate DS/Kat with the Linn 2200 here in my house on the Spendors. I would say the H390 with my Spendors and my Node 2 was more to my liking.

I love the Special 40s and think that a H390 with Special 40s might be one of top systems under €9k that one could find. :rockin:

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17 minutes ago, ChemMan said:

Now you are narrowing the gap.  I've heard the Akurate DSM and it sounds pretty damn good.  I also heard the Akurate DS/Kat with the Linn 2200 here in my house on the Spendors. I would say the H390 with my Spendors and my Node 2 was more to my liking.

I love the Special 40s and think that a H390 with Special 40s might be one of top systems under €9k that one could find. :rockin:

Agreed.  I am no Linn acolyte but have always held the view that their streamers are some of the best in the business.  I had an ADSM without Katalyst and now have one with.  There's a difference ; if not the night and day wonderment that some would have you believe.  Whether it's worth the best part of £2k is, IMO, questionable but owners will make their own decisions about that. Similarly with Exakt - some rave about it whereas, me, I find it to remove musicality and present very clinically.  That's not a criticism, just my own ears.

One of the things that the Linn kit does well is the integration with streaming providers and that's something I'd have to seriously consider if I did decide to change.  Even Kazoo is pretty simple to use, Roon integrates pretty well also. 

If there's a 'weak' link in my system it's the Exposure.  It's a fantastic amp in its own right and very well regarded/reviewed but, being the perfectionist I am, I want slightly more from the high quality of setup that I have in terms of source and speakers.  One option is to offload the Linn/Exposure kit and go for something like the H390 but the more I think about that the more reluctant I am to move away from the ADSM.  I think the more likely one, for me, is to swap out the Exposure for something that would represent pretty much my end game system (until I have somewhere big enough for those ATC SCM40a's :))

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3 minutes ago, Paulq said:

Agreed.  I am no Linn acolyte but have always held the view that their streamers are some of the best in the business

We are on the same page.  If I could find a Akurate DS2 or 3 with Kat for about €3000-3500. I would get that for myself. 

A Hegel 390 with a Akurate DS Kat would be ince indeed. The Akurate adds a lot of air and separation to instrumentation that, to my ears, sounds realistic.

6 minutes ago, Paulq said:

Similarly with Exakt - some rave about it whereas, me, I find it to remove musicality and present very clinically.

Yes.   

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Super Wammer
Posted (edited)

Quick update from my end. Have been listening to the PM11S2 pre with Quad 909 since 09:00 today on TV then music details. At 16:00 I unplugged it as the music is not right. It’s laid on a little too thickly. On simple music it sound good but it looses something to the Marantz; instruments sound more realisticly weighted on the Marantz (says the guy who is not searching for realism 😂😂)

One thing that I did notice is that the percussive attack was still there and the Quad added warmth. 

Maybe one idea is to find a better power amp? Not saying that the Quad is bad. It will be great in the studio but it’s not for me for hifi in the main system. One complaint (that I also had with the L505uX was a peakiness/forwardness in the upper midrange; it really shows up on solo classical piano whereas the Marantz is balance though the entire piano range.)

Edited by DomT
Hilarious typo

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