Hegel H390 Integrated Amplifier/Network DAC Lab Report

Lab Report

Its quartet of substantial feet lift the H390 sufficiently off the deck that the meatiest of audiophile hands can still reach the on/off rocker switch located beneath. Discount those pins and the H390 is uncommonly svelte for what is a hugely capable design. In practice, it delivers in excess of its 250W/8ohm rated output to the tune of 2x270W/8ohm and 2x490W/4ohm with 279W, 544W, 1.04kW and 1.16kW available at <1% THD under dynamic conditions into 8, 4, 2 and 1ohm loads [see Graph 1, below]. This power is delivered through a low 0.014-0.048ohm source impedance and a response that's flat to within –1dB from 6Hz-75kHz (–1.6dB/100kHz). Noise is very low too, the H390 matching the H590's sensibly 'low' +32.6dB gain (balanced inputs) and contributing to a generous 90dB A-wtd S/N ratio (re. 0dBW). Distortion is equally low and climbs only gently with increasing output from 0.0022%/1W to 0.003%/10W, 0.008%/100W and 0.015%/200W through bass and midrange. Versus frequency, THD increases beyond 5kHz although it still only reaches 0.02%/20kHz at 10W/8ohm.

The digital board, based on the H590, features the same AKM AK4490 DAC with its minimum phase/fast roll-off filter. Distortion is just 0.0004-0.0028% (20Hz-20kHz, 0dBFs), with a minimum of 0.0001% [see Graph 2, below] and with response limits of +0.1dB/20kHz, +0.3dB/45kHz and +0.5dB/55kHz (to –1.7dB/90kHz) with 48kHz, 96kHz and 192kHz media, respectively. The fixed preamp offers 2.43V from a high 951ohm source impedance, but the 106dB A-wtd S/N ratio is creditable. With all digital inputs routed through via the USB DSP section here, jitter is fabulously low at <10psec with all sample rates. PM


Dynamic power output versus distortion into 8ohm (black trace), 4ohm (red), 2ohm (blue) and 1ohm (green) speaker loads. Max. current is 34.1A


Distortion versus 24-bit digital signal level over a 120dB range at 1kHz (black) and 20kHz (blue)

Continuous power (<1% THD, 8/4ohm) 270W / 490W
Dynamic power (<1% THD, 8/4/2/1ohm) 279W / 544W / 1.04kW / 1.16kW
Output impedance (20Hz–20kHz) 0.014–0.048ohm (951ohm, pre)
Freq. resp. (20Hz–20kHz/100kHz) +0.0 to –0.15dB/–1.6dB
Digital jitter (S/PDIF at 48kHz/96kHz) 10psec / 5psec
A-wtd S/N ratio (re. 0dBW/0dBFs) 90.5dB (Analogue) / 105.6dB (Dig)
Dist. (20Hz-20kHz; 0dBW/–20dBFs) 0.0025–0.01%/0.0001–0.0005%
Power consumption (idle/rated o/p) 67W / 830W (27W 'Eco' mode)
Dimensions (WHD) / Weight 430x150x380mm / 22kg
Price £4900

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