Torn! Simaudio or Hegel Music Systems?

To Doug Schneider,

I read your review of the [Simaudio Moon] Neo 350P and [Erich] Wetzel's review of the Hegel [Music Systems] P20 preamp. Both seem great and cost about the same.

Which should I buy and which is better in terms of sound quality? I mean transparency, resolution, speed, etc.? I am torn between these two. I have a Bryston 4B SST2 power amp.

Your advice is badly needed.


You’re right, they are both great. As a result, I’m not surprised that you’re torn.

Frankly, I don’t think that you can go wrong with either, but if your criteria lean mostly to things like transparency, resolution, and speed, that probably tips things in the Hegel’s favor. Everyone I know who has listened to a Hegel amplifier, preamplifier, or integrated amplifier has praised the incisive and quick sound. In fact, I have an H30 power amp and H80 integrated amp here and have noticed the same. So if that’s what floats your boat, the P20 might be the better choice. That said, Simaudio’s products, while not as incisive sounding as Hegel’s, also tend to be exceptionally transparent and, in general, are known for performing in a very musically engaging way -- Erich Wetzel, who, you pointed out, reviewed the P20, just reviewed the Simaudio Moon Neo 340i integrated on this site and absolutely loved it. As I said, neither choice is a bad one. . . . Doug Schneider