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Munich High-End 2019: Hegel’s H390 integrated amplifier

  • Hegel amplifiers are an iron fist in a velvet glove; elegant beasts dressed in the plainest of attire. We’ve already seen their H190 integrated up close and taken a deep dive on the flagship H590 integrated that launched a year ago to the day at Munich High-End 2018.

    At this year’s Munich event, the Norwegians are tending to the middle of their amplifier range with the introduction of the H390 — an H360 replacement that borrows tech from the H590 to offer up 250wpc of Class A/B power armed with Hegel’s not-so-secret Soundengine 2 feed-forward circuitry that compares input to possible output and before adding that difference – phased inverted – to the output, thus cancelling any detected distortions.

    From Hegel’s Oslo HQ, chief designer Bent Holter goes much further on how Soundengine 2 works in this (shotgun) video:

    On analogue inputs, the H390 offers up 1 x balanced XLR and 2 x single-ended RCA.

    And it wouldn’t be a Hegel integrated without a suite of digital inputs that feed a DAC whose design is largely informed by the Mohican CD player. Here, a trio of TOSLINK plus one each of coaxial, BNC and USB, all of which are MQA-capable.

    The Ethernet input hooks the H390 into a network for streaming. Out of the gate, that means UPnP/DLNA, Airplay, Spotify Connect and – in the Autumn/Fall/Herbst – a firmware update will add Roon Ready certification. And when that happens, expect to see Roon Readiness arrive at the H190 and H590 as well.

    The H390 will sell for €5900 when it begins shipping in August.

    Further information: Hegel

    Written by John Darko

    John currently lives in Berlin where he creates videos and podcasts and pens written pieces for Darko.Audio. He has previously contributed to 6moons, TONEAudio, AudioStream and Stereophile.

    Darko.Audio is a member of EISA.

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