Reviews of Attainable Hi-Fi & Home-Theater Equipment

Reviews of Attainable Hi-Fi & Home-Theater Equipment

To Hans Wetzel,

I enjoyed your review of the Hegel H300 integrated amplifier, and its comparison to the new Musical Fidelity M6 500i. I own Amphion Argon2 and Argon3L speakers, and am looking for a second integrated in addition to my Musical Fidelity A5, whose sound I like very much with both sets of speakers.

Do you know how the above two amps would do with my Amphions? Do you know how the Musical Fidelity M6i or the M6 separates would compare? I care about both large orchestrations -- like Mahler -- which tend to challenge amps under 200Wpc, and human vocals, both singer-songwriters and classical (never mind my Louis Armstrong and other jazz).

Thank you in advance,

It's funny that you mention Amphion, as I am due to review one of their products in the coming months. As for the two integrated amplifiers that you mention, I really enjoyed my time with both, though they are rather different. You sound fond of your current Musical Fidelity A5 integrated. I briefly heard that model a few years ago, and I would imagine you'd be very happy with something like the M6 500i. It looks like it is around $1000 more than the M6PRX and M6PRE separates that Musical Fidelity offers, and that money buys you an integrated chassis, almost double the power, and no need for a pair of interconnects. It also looks like the M6 500i is built to a higher standard than the "regular" M6 line. $6999 is certainly a lot of money to spend, but I can almost guarantee your satisfaction with the British "Super Integrated," as Musical Fidelity calls them.

However, if you have a Hegel dealer within driving distance, I highly suggest making the drive to listen to the H300. It's $1500 less, includes a terrific DAC, and, to my ears, is the slightly more resolving of the two amps. I actually purchased one myself in the last few days, to use as my reference for the near future. It offers a different sound than the Musical Fidelity, for sure, as it's not quite as sweet or warm sounding. It also has half the power rating and a less robust chassis. But remember that doubling power only earns you an extra 3dB of headroom as you crank up the volume. Unless you like listening at deafening levels, the 250Wpc that the H300 provides should more than suffice.

Bottom line, you can't go wrong either way. They're both terrific products. But do try to listen to the Hegel, and let me know in  what direction you wind up going. . . . Hans Wetzel