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Steve Stifler

Hegel H360 with PMC Twenty 26

17 posts in this topic

Your advice would be appreciated please. I have the 20/26 and would like a new amp to go with them. Been looking at Bryston (BP26/4BSST2 and B135) but came across Hegel, a brand I've not heard of before. The H360 gets very good reviews and so does its H300 predecessor. Only issue is there are only 3 UK dealers so getting a demo mean a long drive but probably not with PMCs or my old Marantz CD player, so may not be the same as listening at home.Do you think this grippy amp would be a good combination with he transmission line PMCs? If not, what are your suggestions. Budget is circa £3K but could go to £5k for something exceptional. I'm not fussed about pre/power but tell me what you think.Cheers

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Cant say about PMCs but I've been using my new H360 with my Shahinian Obelisks and it is superb. The most incredible bass grip and detail.

It is a very neutral and clean amp (not bright but transparent) - so if you're looking for warm glows, it won't give you that.

Deifnitely recommend a home demo. I got mine from igloo audio and I believe he offers home demos

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At a lower spend level- I had the total pleasure of the Hegel 360 into Epos Epic floorstanders fed by an Eroica in rega arm and it was awesome at performance level. Showed detail and dynamism throughout the range and that bass wow!! Truly did not know the front end and back ends of my system were hat good. I want one badly but Even Santa does not do one at my budget.

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Banjoman and Navigator - thank you for your replies. Nav - you could always try a Hegel 160. The H360 is not cheap by a long way but from all reports its sounds great.Cheers

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Banjoman and Navigator - thank you for your replies. Nav - you could always try a Hegel 160. The H360 is not cheap by a long way but from all reports its sounds great.Cheers

I had the H160 before I went for the H360 - sonically they are very similar. The H360 has a ton more power which my Shahinian Obelisks need. If I had more easy to drive speakers I woulld definitely have stuck with the H160. Definitely recommend the H160 as well - should drive your PMCs well

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You are welcome to bring your PMCs to North Wales if you'd like to hear them with some Linn Klimax electronics :cool:

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Navigator. It was the H160 that you heard and liked. Banjomans description of the sound is identical to my own findings:-

HEGEL. Who? Not a universally familiar name but I am certain that it will become so. A philosophy of giving the best facilities and sound quality for the cheapest price is a good place to start from. Go to http://www.hegel.com for the low down and all the technical bits as this is a practical review of one of an evolving line of amplifiers.

The buzz is that this is the sweet spot in the range. A 150W per channel integrated with an on-board DAC in a standard black utilitarian but neat case for £2350. You are clearly not paying for fancy casework. It does have a nice metal remote which can operate the display off function which, as the display is big and bright blue, is a great benefit.

I ran the DAC section out through the fixed RCA output into my normal set up to see how it fared. I fed this with my usual Yamaha transport via RCA, via Optical and also Spotify via USB from the laptop. It will show all the differences but this is not a review of merits of digital.

My usual kit is big on dynamics and being Class A or valves is on the warmer side of neutral where I prefer it to lie. DACs in an amp are often an afterthought but not here. It may cost more than the asking price of this unit to buy a DAC that is this open revealing but with the benefit of not being sterile or hi-fi. Tracks that I know well were shown to contain more detailed layers and multi tracking than originally thought. The interplay of instruments was ruthlessly revealed whether on Damien Rice or Crystal Method. Digital inputs are represented by 1 Co-ax , 3 Optical, 1 USB and RJ45 Network . 24 bit is supported for the hi-rez fraternity with 92/194 although I do not have any hi-rez files to try it.

Add to that the convenience of the wireless connection to iphones etc and you in fact have a very good and flexible digital hub with an amp thrown in.

The amp section merely amplifies whatever signal it is given. The proverbial straight wire with gain was the first thought that came to mind. It has little, if any, sonic signature. What it does have is power, drive, grip, dynamics whilst still allowing the music to breathe. It is not a SET amp and is not a substitute for a valve amp and sympathetic high efficiency speakers. That said it is thoroughly engaging and with larger relatively difficult speakers it would cost multiples of its price to get anywhere near its revealing performance envelope with big valve or Class A SS amps.

I also ran my Io/Tri-planar/Acutus/ANs3/SJS valve phono into the balanced inputs and the amp section still gave a very neutral but open and clean sound with huge stage width and depth. The SJS could have done with a higher input resistance as it has been tuned to the Graaf'as 100K, so it is an oddity of my system not the Hegel. I was certain that there was even more to come via phono using a more sympathetic phono stage.

The DAX Decade balanced, when fed into the balanced input, again showed the prowess of the amp to clearly distinguish between the on board DAC and the warmer analogue DAX. As you can tell my preference is not for neutral kit but that is only a personal choice after many years of living with that sound.

If I were not wedded to the vinyl/valve thing and only used digital then this is a great one box solution. There may be price competitors out there with stand alone DACs and line level integrated so it should certainly be on the short list to audition. I really enjoyed my time with it over an extended period.

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Hi Sunbeamgls, thank yo for your kind offer. Just a little too far away to make the trip,but appreciated.

Yoda - thanks for your Hegel insights. Sounds like just the sort of product I fancy.

Cheers

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Yoda thanks for refreshing my memory. I still lust after that amp . What a revelation it was ! I'd no idea just how good my setup of turntable was or how decent those Epos epic 5 were until that unassuming box went in circuit and an immediate " oh! Wow" .it gets hold of the cones and delivers exactly what it's given to them .

ps I hope to see more of your reports/ reviews - excellent transfer of info and well expressed - many thanks.

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Yoda thanks for refreshing my memory. I still lust after that amp . What a revelation it was ! I'd no idea just how good my setup of turntable was or how decent those Epos epic 5 were until that unassuming box went in circuit and an immediate " oh! Wow"

Yes, it did sound really good that day. A really nice piece of kit.

But dont forget the "foo" rug that we were using too. :)

Human League have never sounded so good.

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Human League? I hear them everytime I'm put on hold at Plusnet! (Sheffield-based- use Sheffield music!) But....sound...good? Hmm.

anyway.

http://www.6moons.com/audioreviews2/hegel/1.html

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Hi Sunbeamgls, thank yo for your kind offer. Just a little too far away to make the trip,but appreciated.

It was tongue in cheek, from behind the shades :)

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Brian Freefallrob and I have great memories of your bake off .

We learnt a lot about our own kit and others and different currys that day.

Yes our bright forward in your face presentation benefited from the foo rug.

Am currently trying some small studio monitors ESI unik 08 ( courtesy of FFR and Des) and wow they are fab nuanced soundstage and incredible detail ( like Focals) sax included but yeah " bright. "

am matching to Rel sub for a small full range system . And yes you are thinking correctly --- it's not working .

Yet . If the sound can be got right then I will find it even if it means closing curtains and adding the FOO rug!

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Dave,

It's not just a rug you need the knotted balls of wood for the really foo effect with a Hegel H360 and some shiny speakers. No need for a sub just add a laptop or DVD and you have a full range system in a total of 4 boxes. Must appeal to SWMBO. She could also play her tunes from her ipad or phone without risk of breakage. My TT/CD system has 9 boxes and SWMBO will not touch it. Simplicity has great appeal.

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Hi guys, just to update you on progress. I picked up a spanking new H360 from Rick at Musicraft a few weeks ago. I've had some time now to give it a listen. I can say that the descriptions from Banjoman, Navigator and Yoda are all correct. This is a seriously good amp, and the DAC work brilliantly. When SWMBO is out I just cannot stop listening to music, even if I'm downstairs. I had a Heed Si and X2 power supply which I still really like.

However, the Hegel H360 is in another league. It much better IMHO than Bryston BP26/7B (too harsh), Bryston B100 (underpowered IMHO) and Musical Fidelity M6si. I was seriously on the verge of getting a Bryston B17 and 4B, as the brand is recommended for PMC. I'm so glad I got this. It comes with a free remote, unlike Bryston, and also includes a DAC and had networking capabilities, which the Bryston doesn't. Its just fantastic to listen too. It works great at lower volume levels, everything there, but at loud volumes (50 to 60 on the display) it just keeps going without being harsh, bright or fatiguing. SWMBO came home one evening to find I couldn't hear the door bell or her shouting me, I got a surprise when she burst in the room. Any remote doubts about Hegel as a brand and the H360 as a product are completely dispelled.

Oh and I received great service and advice from Rick at Musicraft - thank you!

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