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Hegel H390 upgrade to H590

Vortex

Active member
Jun 6, 2021
2
3
25
Hi, I’ve currently got a Hegel H390 which I’ve been very impressed with and have for the last few months been considering upgrading to the H590. Does anyone have any experience or insights between the two? My slight concern is the H390 is so good I’m not going to see a huge difference if I take the fairly significant cost upgrade to get to a H590. I’m using it with Kef Reference 3 speakers (Foundry Edition) and Chord Epic speaker cable. Looks like the H390 Would sell for between £3600 and £3800 on the used market as it’s still in new condition so would need to probably put close to the same again to get to a H590 depending on discount etc.

Many thanks, appreciate any views on this.
 

RoA

Well-known member
Feb 11, 2021
189
85
170
There have been a few comparisons I vaguely remember and they seem to loosely go like this;

New 590 owners sing praise of the larger amplifier after upgrading ... .

Existing 390 owners saying the upgrade is not value for money in comparison after hearing both. Nearly £10k is not small change but still little in ultimate high end terms.

Fazit (for me), if you have the money go for it. Nothing revolutionary in this. You'll get some of the best the company has to offer.

If money is tight you still have an awesome amplifier imho.

I very much like Hegel products, having owned a couple of their lower end amplifiers.
 
By selling on the H390 at that price you have essentially lost £1200, you need to add this amount to the additional cost of the 590 (let's say £9300) and ask yourself seriously is the 590 really £5300 better than the 390.
I think I know what my answer would be.
If you have money to burn them a bigger upgrade may be obtained by upgrading source or speakers
 
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bartrik

Active member
Jun 4, 2021
12
7
25
By selling on the H390 at that price you have essentially lost £1200, you need to add this amount to the additional cost of the 590 (let's say £9300) and ask yourself seriously is the 590 really £5300 better than the 390.
I think I know what my answer would be.
If you have money to burn them a bigger upgrade may be obtained by upgrading source or speakers
Sound advice (pun intended)!
The H590 is a little bit better, and more powerful, but that is only important when your speakers' impedance dips very low (the H590 doubles more or less down to 1 Ohm, while the H390 does this down to 2 Ohm).
The H390 DAC is truly excellent, but the pre-amp and power amp sections are even better and can handle a better source and DAC. So you might benefit more from adding a 5K external DAC, than from going the H590 route.
As always, demo in your own system!
Good luck.
 
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MUSICRAFT

Well-known member
Hi, I’ve currently got a Hegel H390 which I’ve been very impressed with and have for the last few months been considering upgrading to the H590. Does anyone have any experience or insights between the two? My slight concern is the H390 is so good I’m not going to see a huge difference if I take the fairly significant cost upgrade to get to a H590. I’m using it with Kef Reference 3 speakers (Foundry Edition) and Chord Epic speaker cable. Looks like the H390 Would sell for between £3600 and £3800 on the used market as it’s still in new condition so would need to probably put close to the same again to get to a H590 depending on discount etc.

Many thanks, appreciate any views on this.
Are you using any other components with the H390?

What area/s of improvement are you looking for?
 

nopiano

Well-known member
Feb 15, 2009
856
532
19,770
The H590 was reviewed in Hifi News and they clearly felt the H390 was essentially everything the more expensive model was in the real world, but lots cheaper. They just reviewed the Rotel Michi X5 and found it no better then the smaller and cheaper X3. There was a similar conclusion with the newest Copland range too. Sometimes the flagship models aren’t necessarily all you’d imagine, but other times the lesser models are distinctly less good.
Unless you’re trying to fill the largest room with rock stadium levels, I’d think the money could be better spent elsewhere.
 
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The H590 was reviewed in Hifi News and they clearly felt the H390 was essentially everything the more expensive model was in the real world, but lots cheaper. They just reviewed the Rotel Michi X5 and found it no better then the smaller and cheaper X3. There was a similar conclusion with the newest Copland range too. Sometimes the flagship models aren’t necessarily all you’d imagine, but other times the lesser models are distinctly less good.
Unless you’re trying to fill the largest room with rock stadium levels, I’d think the money could be better spent elsewhere.
I would agree in general. Often the flagship models are there to show what they can do for those with unlimited funds that simply must have the best for prestige sake alone. The best bangs for your bucks are often to be found in the next model down the range.
 

Vortex

Active member
Jun 6, 2021
2
3
25
Thanks for all the replies so far, some good advice. So currently I‘m using a Roksan M2 CD player and the amp is also connected optically to my Television. Planning on using the streamer but not got around to it yet as I’ve been busy completing other things around the house.

one option is to buy a nearly new H590 which will mean the price to change will be around £2000. They seem to come up every few weeks used. I’d be looking for an as new 2020 model or something. I’m a bit fussy so not keen on anything that doesn’t look factory new / unmarked. To sell my H390 and buy a new H590 seems too much for too little potential improvement. I’m really quite happy with it as is, one restriction I do have is I’m limited to integrated amplifier options as my wife thinks the speakers are too large as it is and is not keen any additional large black boxes. The set up I’ve gone for is the best sound quality I can possibly get without the lounge looking like a Hi-Fi shop.
 

Markmaguire

Well-known member
Mar 8, 2012
37
4
18,545
There is a theory in marketing about having three product levels in a range. If you look at a lot of technical products, Hi-Fi, cameras, phones etc there will usually be three products per release. Psychologically you aspire to the best (most expensive) model in the range but you can’t afford it, so you look one step down. The mid price model has a lot of the benefits and features of the flagship one but at a lower cost - you convince yourself you don’t need the extra features so you have a bargain. The cheapest model in the range is there so you can assure yourself that “at least I didn’t buy the worst one” and you can look down on those who did and still feel smug that your mid price product is better.

However, the H390 is by all accounts a cracking product and better performance per pound than the H590.
 

12th Monkey

Well-known member
Aug 31, 2015
1,077
707
12,070
From what I've read, the psychology behind three is that the high price attached to the top one makes the pricing of the middle one more palatable, so more people choose that rather than the entry level (which they may well have bought without the most expensive option being offered). It's a form of what's called anchoring.
 
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