Question Hegel H90 vs H120 vs H190

CMPic

Active Member
I’ve been intrigued by the Hegel amps and thinking of upgrading my trusty Kandy K2 to one of these. I will probably buy used or ex-display as new they are quite pricey, making audition (esp. during lockdown!) difficult. Having had a look i've narrowed to these three but differences seem not easy to pick up on.

Hegel H90 (RRP £1500, released in 2017)
Seems to be an update to H80 but down in power to 60W per channel (from 75W for H80), probably to make room for the new H120 in the line-up. One reviewer claimed it has dedicated headphone amp, but H120 doesn't so I doubt that this is true for H90.

Hegel H120 (RRP £2200, released in 2019)
Successor to Rost (which came out after H80), seems to have Rost’s analog components but the DAC has been upgraded significantly. Rost already had SoundEngine Gen2 so no change there. H120 adds Spotify Connect and other streaming improvements over Rost. Compared to entry level H90, it has higher damping factor and more power but they are of the same physical dimensions. In a nutshell it's a Rost with a new DAC (same as in H190 and H360) and added streaming functionality...

Hegel H190 (RRP £3200, released in 2017)
Successor to H160 with SoundEngine Gen2 (vs Gen1 in H160). Power is the same at 150 per channel at 8 Ohms. Seems that DAC is upgraded, borrowing from H360. Compared to H120, it has more power obviously and has a dedicated headphone amp, but I don’t know if there are any other improvements. Again, sounds like H160 with a new DAC + streaming updates.

Now to the questions – Would H90 suffice for a small room running Spendor A5s (or A4/A7 if I was to upgrade). 60Watts is probably sufficient but it is slightly on the low side. Or shall I step up to H120 as a good middle ground? Would H190 be complete overkill or is there an improvement in sound even at low/moderate volumes over H120 or even H90? I don’t care about the headphone amp so one of the improvements in H190 vs H120 isn’t really a factor for me. H190 is quite dear even ex-display and H120 seems a bit more reasonably priced. The reviews seem to be good on all of them so not much help there... I suppose I could look at a used Rost but it doesn't have Spotify Connect which is quite handy.

If anyone has one one of these or have auditioned them, would be interested in your views.
Thanks.
 
Last edited:

Cebolla

Well-known Member
I suppose I could look at a used Rost but it doesn't have Spotify Connect which is quite handy.
The Hegel Röst can function as a UPnP/DLNA renderer, so it can be used as a Squeezebox network player under control of the Logitech Media Server software (on a NAS or networked computer) to provide it with access to internet radio & online music streaming services, such as Spotify, Qobuz, TIDAL & Deezer as well as your own music files.

You also need to install the Spotty (for Spotify Connect support - requires a Spotify Premium account) & UPnP/DLNA Bridge (to use UPnP/DLNA renderers as Squeezebox players) 3rd party LMS plugins.
 

CMPic

Active Member
I consider myself a fairly computer literate person, but I don't have any experience with DLNA bridges etc. so sounds like a quite a task :)

The Hegel Röst can function as a UPnP/DLNA renderer, so it can be used as a Squeezebox network player under control of the Logitech Media Server software (on a NAS or networked computer) to provide it with access to internet radio & online music streaming services, such as Spotify, Qobuz, TIDAL & Deezer as well as your own music files.

You also need to install the Spotty (for Spotify Connect support - requires a Spotify Premium account) & UPnP/DLNA Bridge (to use UPnP/DLNA renderers as Squeezebox players) 3rd party LMS plugins.
 

CMPic

Active Member
Found some info from a Hegel interview, for any that may want to know:

H120 vs predecessor Rost:
"The biggest upgrade is the digital section and the quality of streaming. You also get new functions like Spotify Connect"

H120 vs H90:
"...the difference between the H90 and H120 is much more than just power. First of all, the digital and network section is completely different than the H90’s and at a different level entirely. The DAC implementation is balanced and with a better analogue section. The streaming section is also a lot more powerful and will gradually become bit perfect with updates. Then there are several individual upgrades in the analogue section of the amplifier, such as the quality of local power supplies. Small things on their own, but very important for the overall performance of the amp."
 

The Sound Counsel

Active Member
AVForums Sponsor
Just a quick heads up. The Hegel H90 is on promotion throughout May and has £250 off the RRP making it £1250. We have some stock and are still shipping for anyone tempted.

Dan
 

baritone

Active Member
Hi Dan,
I have a H160, is there much difference to the 190, and even the H190.
Not too bothered about the power.

Alan
 

The Sound Counsel

Active Member
AVForums Sponsor
Hi Alan,

I hope you are well. My understanding is that a bit like B&W, Hegel tend to only do an upgrade when there is a real world difference. The way they present the sound usually means the upgrades are noticeable. With all hifi I usually avoid dictating to people what they will hear but you have enough good kit to be able to tell the difference I think. I hope you are well?
 

baritone

Active Member
Dan,
I'm fine thanks hope you and family are keeping safe.
The Hegel amps always get good reviews and I can agree my amp is
good, just enquiring what the new gen adds to previous ones.

Alan
 

CMPic

Active Member
For those interested, here are the pics of the interiors. Interestingly, H120 has two toroidal transformers (one for digital section, one for analog) whereas smaller H90 and bigger H190 dont. That said all three are listed as using DualPower power supply technology.
 

Attachments

The latest video from AVForums

Podcast: Reported HDMI 2.1 bugs, Audiolab Amp & LG LED Projector reviews + Best of the Month
Top Bottom