New Parasound JC 5 Power Amp

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Spitfire, Apr 14, 2018.

  1. kenbefound

    kenbefound Forum Resident

    Western Mass
    Agreed, would love to hear if anyone has auditioned or purchased the JC5?
  2. dougotte

    dougotte Vague Waste of Space-Time

    Washington, DC
    As everyone knows, the number "9" is copyrighted by the Beatles. ;)
    4011021 likes this.
  3. PhilCo

    PhilCo Well-Known Member

    san jose
    I have had the JC5 in my system, I was able to listen to it as compared to my JC1s. I almost all respects, I was quite surprised by the sound. It was cleaner, and vastly more specific in terms of instrument placement. sound stage widened and deepened. Overall, I think it is a very worthy replacement/addition to the Parasound line. I would suggest that you have a friend with you when you need to move it, it is a heavy sucker but very, very pretty sounding.
  4. Pythonman

    Pythonman Forum Resident

    Just saw a used JC2 preamp for half retail on the bay yesterday. I could see buying that one used for them kind of bucks.

    Glad to hear how the JC5 compares with the Jc1s. Cant go wrong with any of them from the A21 on up looks like.
  5. I've been kicking around the idea of trying a JC2 out...

    Anybody here on the thread want to give a plug (or not) for the JC2 that either own it or have heard it in their system?

    Yes, I know of its reputation and have done a lot of reading on the Curl design/execution--- just looking for feedback from actual users.

    EDIT: I'd be pairing it with an A21, already own the P5, it's not bad, of course left wondering how much audible improvement there would be... I know there are not many that can answer that question objectively with experience, but thought I'd try.
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2018
    GoldprintAudio and Pythonman like this.
  6. Pythonman

    Pythonman Forum Resident

    I’d be interested as well. I believe I have read from guys on other forums who own the A21 and the JC2. Killer combo by every account. I’m breaking in a JC3+ and as good as the phono section is on the P5, the JC3 simply brings so much more to the table sonically. I’d have never believed it. I would like to think the JC2 would have a similar advantage over the P5 preamp in sound if not functionality.
    TheVinylAddict likes this.
  7. mreeter

    mreeter Forum Resident

    Midwest, USA
    • I'd love to have a rack full of Halo gear. The JC2-JC5- JC3+ in Black:righton:
  8. Kristofa

    Kristofa I dream of wires

    Eugene, Oregon
    Me too!
    TheVinylAddict, mreeter and Pythonman like this.
  9. I've read the archives here, AK, many other places --- probably read every available post on the JC2 on the net in the last couple of days:) --- what was a little surprising there are not a lot of JC2 posts / information / discussion from users out there of any substance! Maybe it's the $4k+ price tag, other reasons... but of course you can't read too much into that, again sometimes price point automatically decreases number of feedbacks.

    I would have never doubted the JC3+ comparison to the on-board preamp on the P5... :). That's a fairly large leap... one that will only get better as you climb the speaker chain too!!!

    You made a smart move opting for the JC3+ over the Jr. --- gives you infinite growth path and something you can keep for life. My take on careful research, and listening to the Jr in my system against other preamps I have (LCR Silver, Tube, LCR / Copla, Adagio, Mani, Vincent) is that it is a good preamp, excellent in MM, but a little lacking in LOMC after trying multiple cartridges (I have seen similar feedback from others). But one peek under the hood, and it's clear the JC3+ is a big leap up from the Jr also, which I am sure was part of your decision.

    I've had two plus days with the Jr in my system (a friend bought one, and he likes good scotch, so I have the carrot to have him bring it over :)), and will soon have the JC3+ to compare... but I can already predict the result.

    But getting a little OT, sorry OP.
    Pythonman and mreeter like this.
  10. Me three!!!

    I am currently going through the painful decision process... of not just buying a JC2... but a JC3+ at the same time.

    Everything I've read, everyone I've talked to.... it's one of those things that I have to look at it as a lifetime type decision, buy once, buy right...

    I have thought of tubes, dipped my toe in, used to run them years ago.... then said nah, too much maintenance, potential rabbit holes... and I like the low maintenance these days of SS.

    I am going to also do some experimenting with vintage amps / restores over time, like a B-2 / C-2x Yammy, but that is a project and for fun. I need something that's an anchor... no I just have to pull the trigger... my finger feels like it has a busted ligament. :)
    Kristofa likes this.
  11. mreeter

    mreeter Forum Resident

    Midwest, USA
  12. mreeter

    mreeter Forum Resident

    Midwest, USA
    The JC 2 has been around for a while, maybe Parasound is getting ready to introduce a new Pre with a similar feature set?
  13. Possibly. We've seen the P5 --> P6, others.

    Then again, it costs a LOT to produce one of these, and they clearly don't sell like hotcakes. The true Curl designs (A21, JC2, JC1, JC5) all have been around for a while, and usually forecasted sales / margin and new features is the motivation for moving on with the line. I am not sure what other features they'd add --- they added HT BP to the JC2 a couple of years back, that was smart -- but the whole JC2 objective is "straight line" and no tone controls, buttons, switches, etc --- so what would they "improve" and what would be the new features that would be the selling point? I would go on a limb and say it would be hard to improve the current design / architecture.

    After talking a few times to Tim at AA (he's very responsive btw) they had a special run of the JC2 produced, had a number of units made at once... hence the economies of scale of making many allowed for a price cut --- they are trying to spark interest apparently and get the line selling. I don't think it was selling like hotcakes at $4500... but could be wrong.
  14. mreeter

    mreeter Forum Resident

    Midwest, USA
    TheVinylAddict likes this.
  15. Since you are now making the buying decisions for me too, PM me your credit card info too, and I'll get right on it!! :D:angel:

    I promise to ONLY buy the JC2, and not lump the JC3+ on top of it!!

    Seriously, it's still a tough decision. I am not wealthy.... :)
    mreeter likes this.
  16. BayouTiger

    BayouTiger Forum Resident

    New Orleans
    FWIW, I have found the local dealer very happy to negotiate on Parasound. Not sur3 if that extends to the Halo stuff, but I got a great deal on my P5/A23. I can also say that I also had the 2100 and 2250 and they were a decent value, but I was less than impressed with their SQ.

    As to the JC2, I understand the straight wire concept, but it would be nice to have the subwoofer controls that the P5 had. I wonder how the P6 compares to the HINT6 as a preamp. It sure looks like they have been brought in line on this generation.
    TheVinylAddict likes this.
  17. mreeter

    mreeter Forum Resident

    Midwest, USA
    LOL, It's fun to play the Enabler. And I hear you, I'm retired and on a budget as well:mad:

    But, I can't think of anything much Sexier than a stack of Black Halo gear...well maybe a couple of things:D
    Kristofa and TheVinylAddict like this.
  18. No worries, all in good fun, and keep it coming! :)

    I am not on a fixed income yet, but at 55 my day is coming... that's why I gotta stock up now!!! I have two 18 year olds that started college about 6 weeks ago (started late) so again, get the gear before the money disappears!

    Cheers, and thanks for the inputs.

    EDIT: oh, and I agree.... Black for me please... my A21, all my components in my rack are black. (hey, wasn't that an AC DC song?)
    Pythonman and mreeter like this.
  19. mreeter

    mreeter Forum Resident

    Midwest, USA
    My youngest just finished Grad School and has landed a good job, so mom and dad just received a nice raise!

    And yes, Black is in my Rack as well. 'Fade to Black' is also a good tune by Knophler and the boys.
    TheVinylAddict likes this.
  20. I own the 2125 in addition to my other Parasounds, and in line with your assessment, mine now serves amp duty in my woodshop.... it no longer makes the cut in the main listening room! That's their lower end stuff made to a different price point -- still good gear, just not Curl designed quality.

    They are all willing to negotiate... :) in addition, I have two Parasound components I bought from Safe and Sound as B Stock (the 2125 was one) and frankly, couldn't tell the difference from new. That's one way to save money. There is talk on the net that B-stock sometimes is new, they put the label on it sometimes to offer some buyers a discount to move gear.... no kidding... now, officially nobody will admit that. (actually it's more than just talk on the net... ) But either way, I typically don't buy B stock, 99.99% of my purchases, if not gently used and got a great deal, is new. If I do go B stock / refurb on the rare occasion I usually ask a lot of questions, and even then have doubts.... that's just me though, I know a lot of people are very comfortable with refurb / b stock to save money and do it all the time without any problem.

    As far as "negotiating" the JC2 though --- the JC2 is already $1000 off on sale, don't think their coming down any further.... :cool: and I always considering A Stock there... and $1K off really sweetens the deal.

    First, as you know, there are no tone controls, sub management on the JC2 because it is supposed to be a "purists" type preamp. Then, there are still many options to integrate subs. First, they added HT Bypass a couple of years ago, which is a cool, non-invasive feature and doesn't violate the "straight wire" concept since it is really just a pass through. The HT bypass was a smart move, as many are thinking that way these days, and one of the big selling features of the P5. But on the JC2, the HT bypass out of the box is intended to be for the mains only.... BUT.... stated, there are still many ways to integrate the Subs for both HT and 2-channel sharing if that's your MO here are the options of sub management with the JC2 / A21 setup:

    1) Go subless for 2-channel, manage the subs from the AVR for HT. That's the purist approach, and I may do that. I have NS-2000's with 13" woofers, so I am not lacking low end :) Many people integrate subs these days because "modern" floorstanders have 6.5" woofers and call that the "low end." (ah, the days of yore and the giant woofers)

    2) Use balanced connections JC2 --> A21. Then, that frees up the two JC2 L/R RCA pre-outs for subs - one to the left sub, one to the right using LFE. Then, if you only have one sub, you could use two L/R RCA cables to one sub L/R.

    3) Use balanced OR RCA connections again JC2--> A21. Then, use the "loop out" ports on the A21 to the subs. That works too.

    I've researched all options, talked with Parasound, AA and supposedly they all work. How well, and how do they compare? Don't know, but it's not like you CAN'T do sub management, in fact I bet in the end the SQ is better on subs than with the P5.... at least one would hope. Plus, to be 100% honest, I haven't been all that impressed with the sub management capability of the P5. It's a mono 2 channel design, and to me is not all that great. Other feedback to the similar... but YMMV. I just don't like it all that much.

    What's nicest about the JC2 and buying new from AA.... "if for any reason you are not satisfied, please feel free to bring it back!" Discount Tire... oh wait, wrong slogan... but you get it. One of the bonus points to buying new.... and from an authorized dealer.
    mreeter, Kristofa and BayouTiger like this.
  21. SandAndGlass

    SandAndGlass Twilight Forum Resident

    Remind me not to purchase any clocks which are made in China.
    Bananas&blow likes this.
  22. Pythonman

    Pythonman Forum Resident

    “ I see a Halo and I want to paint it black”!
    New JC2s for $3000 is too much of a temptation. Dang. I love the P5 but I would probably sell it and my BrioR to help fund the reference preamp. I’d even mix black with my silver components if I have to for them savings.
    TheVinylAddict and BayouTiger like this.
  23. BayouTiger

    BayouTiger Forum Resident

    New Orleans
    Actually, nearly any sub worth having fo audio works best with a speaker level input. My REL and Sumiko are better that way and I am sure my SVS would be as well, but it's running off the RCA from the LS50W's.
  24. SandAndGlass

    SandAndGlass Twilight Forum Resident

    One way, you are getting the sound signature from the power amp and one way you are getting the sound signature from the preamp.

    Neither is better or worse than the other, just different.

Share This Page