Originally Posted by Deckard71
But Hegel H20 is a power amp. What did you use as preamp?
Oh sorry, I thought KoNpHuSeD was looking for either power amps or integrated's, as he's doing 95% movies and had both in his short list. I'm kind of in a similar situation, I'm probably more like 50 / 50 movies and music, but been considering integrated's as well just to have more choices.
When hearing the Hegel, I had it being driven by the receiver in my system, an Arcam AVR550 (I use the Arcam's built-in amps to power the center and surrounds, and the front channel pre-out's to the Hegel). I tried some outboard DAC's previously too, for music listening, like the Wavelength Brick, but have been pretty happy with the Arcam's built-in DAC, so used that for evaluating the Hegel. At this point, I don't really feel like the Arcam has been a weak point in the system.
When I auditioned the Sopra's and became sold on them, the integrated I heard them with was the Line Magnetic LM-518IA. It's a tube amp, but had no problem driving the Sopra's. At home, I tried out both the LM and the Hegel back-to-back, a few days each, and while there's definitely something special about the LM (and would be my first pick if I needed an integrated), my initial conclusion was that the Hegel and Sopra's were the better combination. I'd want to spend more time with them both though, before buying, at this point I'm still undecided. But if you can, I'd definitely try out the Hegel, I was not expecting much and was really pleasantly surprised (I mainly tried it out just because I wanted to hear something solid state and that wasn't an integrated, as a comparison point to the LM).