Opinion on Hegel 390 vs. BHK Pre + 250

Hello everyone,

Looking for some opinion on Hegel 390 (currently own) vs. BHK Pre + 250 Power amp. A good deal on PS Audio has shown up.

I plan to use it PMC 20 26 and then eventually with Dynaudio Heritage Special. Room is tiny 3.5 vs 4.5 metres.

Appreciate if you could share some opinion on this comparison. Thanks

The Hegel is a very fine integrated amp, but with the BHK Pre you get the flexibility of tube rolling to tailor it to your “ears”. The BHK250 will drive pretty much anything out there. Here’s the other benefit… you can always swap just the pre amp or just the amp if you want to change something in the future. Lots of flexibility.

Plus, the sound from the BHK pairing is spectacular!

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“pretty much anything out there”

Well, there was the long thread here on the forum about the BHK 250 not being able to drive the Magnepan LRS speakers adequately, even after PSA serviced the BHK, and Dynaudio speakers are notoriously not the easiest to drive either, so I think OP probably would want to dig a little deeper to satisfy himself that BHK250 actually could drive whatever speakers he intends to get (Dynaudio or otherwise), because “pretty much anything” isn’t quite true for this amp based on owner experience reported here on the forum.

Admittedly, that is the only instance I’m aware of and it was kind of a frankenstein pairing anyway to pair a sub-$1000 speaker with a $10k amp/pre combo, but nevertheless the BHK wasn’t able to adequately drive that speaker, at least to the owner’s satisfaction.

In terms of BHK vs. Hegel 390, I would hope the BHK would win that matchup based on msrp difference. I’ve heard Hegel and it has a clean, crisp sound. Would expect it to pair well with Dynaudio synergy wise. Haven’t heard BHK. Hegel H590 would be a more fair comparison price-wise to the BHK pair.

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Well, the OP in that thread had the amp sent back to PSA and after that it seemed to work just fine. I don’t think we should assume that the BHK can’t drive lower impedance loads (such as the LRS).

I do agree with you that the 590 is probably a more fair comparison. When I listened to the 390, it was nice, but it always seemed to present somehow. With a full BHK setup, they just got out of the way of the music.

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Not so. Even when it was returned it did not work sufficiently for that OP and he had to ditch the speakers and get Maggie 1.7 instead of LRS. BHK250 worked for 1.7 Maggies but not LRS. I don’t think we should assume that BHK250 can’t drive any low impedance speakers, as you say, but I think it is very fair to question whether BHK250 can drive LRS, based on that extensive thread and the OP’s detailed discussions about it. And since Dynaudio is about as notorious as Magnepan for needing high current amps, it’s worth mentioning here for this OP if he is considering Dynaudio. Not implying it won’t work, and it probably will, but just go in eyes open.

Not intending to argue but those were the facts of that thread. Again, not sure why anyone would pair BHK with Maggie LRS, but also not sure why BHK could not drive that speaker - should have been able to but for whatever reason, could not, according to that owner. And for the record PSA never really disputed that it could not, which would have been easy to do by purchasing the speaker for $600, testing it, and refuting that OP if that OP had been mistaken.

If I had to guess I think BHK250 would probably work fine with most Dynaudio and there are probably users doing just that with those exact speakers, I just wanted to correct the suggestion that BHK250 can drive “pretty much anything out there”

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No argument at all. Healthy discussion! :slight_smile:

I agree, at least the OP can go in open eyes and make an educated decision.

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The BHK pre does not have a streamer (as in Hegel 390 & 590), but it is the finest preamp I ever owned. Looking at Dynaudio Heritage Special, I would think Dynaudio Contour 20 is a better match for BHK 250.

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I am the person they are talking about regarding the BHK250 and the LRS. I still had problems with the BHK250 after it was sent back from PSAUDIO and I did change my LRS for 1.7’s which the BHK250’s drive without any problem. Sometimes I thought that maybe the LRS pair I had might have had some problems but we will never know… I paired them with a pair of Stellar M1200’s which drove them without any problems and sounded amazingly good.

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interested in what you decide to do, and if you ever get the chance to compare the two.

I just LOVE the clean look of that Hegel, and once they get their Roon-ready saga sorted (it’s been TWO YEARS!), it’ll be a sweet one-box solution with a streamer and dac and brilliant amplifier.

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One more point: Hegel uses bipolar transistors. These burn less energy and produce less heat than MOSFETs.

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thank you all for the inputs. Finally made up my mind to give the call and found out it’s sold. Hope there will be another opportunity to get PS Audio soon

Ok i missed the deal on BHK a few weeks ago - but made it a mission to build a full stack PS Audio. I wanted to inform today is the day I have recieved by first piece of PS Audio stack - Stellar Phono.

It’s replacing Rega Aria phono and the sound is “sweeeeeet”.
P.S good to have something from Boulder given my wife was born there also :smile:

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