Hegel H90 , compare to Naim : how about sound character?

@flame_rose , apologies, I made an assumption which was bad, regarding your ability to take advantage of home or even store demonstrations. Having to rely on other peoples opinions regarding equipment is far from ideal but I understand it is your only option.
I wish you the best in getting the system you want in difficult circumstances.
Please keep us updated with how your mission goes, Im sure it will end up well.
Apologies again to you.


how about the presentation of Hegel H90, is the voice character also “live” like Naim?


I would imagine the sound of Hegel will be different to the Naim. As to the ‘live’ sound it depends what you consider a ‘live’ sound is; for some they love the Naim sound as it sounds lively, realistic in timber and fast pace while other may consider the Naim sound a bit put on with this vigour and may prefer a more balanced sound to suit not only bands but other genres of music such a classical music with large orchestras, maybe the Hegel will suit this approach. Years ago I was auditioning a Naim Amp (entry or second from entry level amp) and was playing Herbie Hancock’s Hang Up Your Hang Ups on Cd via Naim CD my god that track was like a chemical Litmus Test playing it via the Naim Amp everything was exaggerated in tempo (or is it pace?) which made me laugh out loud (song is sort of beat Jazz) which sort of highlighted for me the effect of the Naim sound, maybe more advanced Naim Amps further up the chain have more subtle approach. However I can imagine how people love the Naim sound as it seems it has rhythmic meat to the sound and some musicians I read like the sound as it sort of reflects live sounds (eg of the band). Me personally I am looking for an amp which reflects the recording without any extras and reading between the lines it seems ATC amp maybe the one…

1 Like

Hmmm interesting

But I have to disagree

Naim amplifier does not exaggerate the pace or rhythm or indeed add anything to the music that was not already there

How could it ?

Slow songs sound slow and fast songs sound… fast

1 Like

I might be biased now because I now use entry level Naim kit so treat my comments with a grain of salt….

I auditioned some Naim and Hegel kit in various rooms. Describing in just one word, I’d say Naim was more Dynamic, while Hegel was more Refined. In the end I preferred the Naim.

A friend of mine likewise commented (listening with the exact same set up and rooms) that Naim was more Punchy, while Hegel was more Relaxing. He preferred the Hegel.

At the end of the day, it all comes down to personal preference.


Yeah there are characters, but the Naim doesn’t play it faster

To me, Naim equipment just makes music sound real. I go to loads of live shows and it’s nice to have that ready comparison. It’s not about fast or slow, dynamic or refined, but natural and real. Solo violin or piano should sound like it sounds in real life, and an aggressive rock band should sound aggressive. I don’t want music to be refined, I want it to sound believable and real. Not everyone wants this, they like things to be airbrushed. There are products out there to match all tastes.


Yes, I totally agree with you

Naim is not from the world most audiophilers like, but Naim is more honest and candid. Neither added nor subtracted. Yes, that’s the quality of our recordings, the music played and the vocals sung by the singers.

I have several audiophiler friends and they generally have different tastes in sound and according to their own wishes, not because of the music that comes out of a recording like that, for example, there is a tendency for the sound to be detailed, warm, etc. But Naim didn’t.

That’s why I started using Naim since 2 years ago.

Hegel to me is a name I’ve heard of, but I haven’t auditioned any further. If I heard last week, his voice tends to be polite and gentle, audiophilers really like this, of course, but lack enthusiasm…do my friends here feel the same way as me?

1 Like

Being in the “other side” of the HIFI camp for over 3 decades it’s really funny how much audiophile jargon we have come to say. Not to be taken literally of course, but creating adjectives close enough to describe the “house sound” of a particular brand.

“Hey, that brand sounds glassy…” hahaha

Then we agree to disagree… :yum:

Not sure what you heard or what you perceive to have heard

Doesn’t matter in the end though…

First time I read that Naim has not accurate Prat, too fast.
Absolutely not my experience, and I love Herbie Hancock jazz funk too.

Naim more more honest and candid? neither added or subtracted? Seriously?:innocent:

I actually think Naim is less neutral and is warmer, flabbier than Hegel (if any generalisation is to be made at all) - and I have heard both. Doesn’t change a thing, I just happen to prefer a Naim amp to a Hegel one, easily, no anxiety whatsoever. Just like I prefer my type of music and someone else’s is just as good.

It’s OK to stick with what you like or prefer. It’s OK to like Naim! No need to make others look like anything they are not, or Naim what it isn’t.

Don’t know what you heard or perceive to have heard in whatever circumstances

As someone who came from a 282/SC/300 system to Hegel, the 590, I can add a bit. The Hegel oozes power, visceral refinement and clarity. I don’t recognise much of what’s written but then I am biased. As soon as I heard it I knew it was for me, although I was changing setups for practical reasons and wanted the best I could afford in one box. The Hegel is pure emotion and really gets to the character of whatever recording one is listening to. Everything just popped out the Neat’s perfectly - as in, exactly as I like to hear it. There’s nothing about the Naim stack I miss, and I had it for many years. I was really taken with the SN3, but it just didn’t chuck sonic youth out the speakers with the same control over the distortion. There wasn’t a great deal in it though, and the SN is a stonking amplifier if you want something in one box and want it to be from Naim.

1 Like

So you joined 8 October and you say you owned a 252/300 ?


It was a 282. As I said. I have no axe to grind, and didn’t create this thread. Your posts - this one and prior - are quite choleric. I read the forum for a long time before joining. Tiresome sarcasm aside, it’s posts like yours which remind me why I was a casual observer before. I like Naim. Respect differences brother.


Just ignore him — most here show more respect!


I heard a Hegel integrated driving some Titan 606’s last year when auditioning some cartridges at a dealer.

I thought it was absolutely fine, I suppose I would describe the presentation as ‘neat’. Which could be interpreted as ‘dry’ or ‘uncoloured’, depending on your preference. I would add that while perfectly OK, it didn’t make me think…’Wow, I need to get me one of those!’