Hegel Reference H590 amplifier/network DAC Sidebar

What's in a Watt?

Hegel makes no fanciful claims for the prodigious output of its H590, aside from describing it as ‘a beast’. In practice, however, the H590 really is in the top tier of the world’s most powerful integrated amplifiers. Into a standard 8ohm load, the H590 is bested by the Perreaux 255i at 435W/8ohm [HFN Apr ’18], Marantz’s 620W/8ohm PM-10 [HFN Aug ’17] and the 410W/8ohm MA9000 from McIntosh [HFN Sep ’18]. However if we judge the H590 by its tolerance of low impedance speaker loads then the tables are turned. Under dynamic, music-like, conditions Marantz’s PM-10 is limited to 170W/1ohm, for example, while the 255i gives more gas at 610W/1ohm (26.7A) followed by the MA9000 at 935W/1ohm (30.6A). What of other 300-watters? Musical Fidelity’s Nu-Vista 800 [HFN Nov ’14] delivered a very similar output to the H590 at 2x325W/8ohm and with a massive 2.2kW/1ohm (46.4A) under dynamic conditions. The H590 just edges ahead by the skin of its transistors at 2.285kW/1ohm (47.8A). Only the Krell S-550i [HFN Jul ’13] was marginally beefier at 2x336W/8ohm and 2.4kW/1ohm (49.4A). Judged by these standards the H590 will surely drive the least sensitive of loudspeakers, with the most demanding load impedances, ever likely to cross its path. PM

Hegel Music Systems AS
Oslo, Norway
Supplied by: Hegel Music Systems AS
+47 22 605660