Integrated for Dynaudio Contour 30 Speakers

To Philip Beaudette,

I just read your Simaudio Moon 600i integrated amp review. [The 600i] seems nothing short of amazing.

I would like your professional advice. I am actively looking for an integrated amp for my Dynaudio Contour 30s. I like music a little loud, from classical to techno -- I listen to everything.

This amp seems a little out of my price range, even used, but I would like your recommendations, say under $5000 retail. My first choice was Anthem’s STR Integrated, but I’ve read a lot of bashing of this amp at Stereonet; many have stated that by looking at this component’s insides, it is impossible to be [capable of] 400Wpc at 4 ohms. I love the STR’s cosmetics: very clean and modern looking -- that display looks really cool.

The Hegel H190 is another under consideration. It also has rave reviews.

Any input will be greatly appreciated.

S. Kim
United States

I’ve never heard either the Anthem STR Integrated or the Hegel H190, so that makes a solid recommendation impossible. However, I will tell you that I have reviewed integrated amplifiers from both of these companies (the 225 from Anthem and the H360 from Hegel) and, based on the performance of these products, I think it’s a pretty safe bet that both of the models you are considering could be excellent choices to partner with your Dynaudio Contour 30s. I realize your speakers have a 4-ohm impedance, so you’ll need an amplifier comfortable with that load. Both of the products you're considering come from companies that build powerful amplification; they aren’t known to exaggerate their specifications so they look better on paper than they perform in real life. I realize you have some concern about the Anthem STR based on things you’ve read online, but if I can offer one piece of advice it’s simply that you should ignore what you’ve read and do the research yourself.

Ideally, you’ll be able to listen to each of them in person to determine which one you like better, preferably using your own system. I do think you’ve made two excellent choices, so I hope you will pursue investigating further. I doubt you could make a mistake with either, but when you do make a decision, write back and let me know what you have learned -- and maybe even bought.

Please let me know if you have any more questions. . . . .Philip Beaudette