Parasound amps appreciation thread

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by pdxway, May 31, 2019.

  1. avanti1960

    avanti1960 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago metro, USA
    so true, thank you.
     
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  2. Rick58

    Rick58 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Dublin, CA, USA
    Kind of funny, many folks like tube pre and SS power, I've been running the 'opposite' for several years (after running 'all tube' for a few years) and do like it. I guess I only have had tube pre and SS power for a short while when I borrowed a friend's SS amp. I did like the increased power and I think a little more clarity, but not enough to make a permanent change. It was an Acurus A250.

    I did read elsewhere a long time ago, someone recommended SS pre (especially head amps) for lowest noise on the smallest signals then tube power amp for the 'tube magic'. I wasn't really thinking about that per se but my system evolved to that. Now I'm going to explore all SS, P 7 pre into A 21 amp. When I can get to Idaho that is ... sigh.
     
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  3. BLAKE1

    BLAKE1 Well-Known Member

    Location:
    IOWA
    Finished up the Parasound Zamp 3 setup tonight. It sounds just OK. Hard to tell how much of the sound is the amp vs other components. My guess in the speakers could be improved. Also not fair to compare when playing tracks through Roon on A21+ and Zamp at same time. Should work for a bedroom though.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2020
  4. jloweinmo

    jloweinmo Forum Resident

    Location:
    Kansas City
    I was following this thread as I am narrowing my power amp search to the A21+. I use a Rogue RP5 which is probably pretty similar to your RH5. Anyway, as of your last post it sounds like you were still on the fence on the A21+. Where are you now?
     
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  5. StockStiff

    StockStiff New Member

    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    The demo A21+ came home with me Thursday evening. While listening to music at a low to moderate level with wife, a distinct "pop" emanated from the right speaker and the sound went dead. I discovered one of the two speaker fuses blew (1.6A). I replaced the fuse and resumed playing music only to find buzzing from the right-speaker tweeter at low volumes. Then the sound level decreased and increased at random in that channel. I swapped left/right speaker channels and left/right source to ensure sound was from the amp.

    I am concerned about the robustness and ultimate longevity of this product, given that something went wrong the first night. The dealer ordered another unit from Parasound but can't get a reply on shipping details or ETA from Parasound. As I wait, my confidence wanes. I might return the unit for a refund and look elsewhere.
     
  6. avanti1960

    avanti1960 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago metro, USA
    The rogue / a21+ make for an excellent match. do not hesitate- buy it.
    After ~ 70 hours of listening the a21+ is one of the nicest sounding solid state amplifiers I have heard. No small complement. In a head to head match with the last (4) power amps I have had in my system it is the winner. Clear, smooth, detailed (more detailed and clearer than the a21) and a nice sounding treble that has a signature yet it is an excellent one. Clean high volume listening. Micro dynamics are good but not best in class, gives the sound a touch of delicacy. . Ultra refined without losing resolution. Better than class A luxmans I have heard.
     
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  7. avanti1960

    avanti1960 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago metro, USA
    which is why i try not buy demo units. mine direct from the factory has 70+ hours and has been perfect. the sound is a clear cut above others in this class and makes it worth another chance IMHO. shipping took about a week and a half FYI. good luck.
     
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  8. pdxway

    pdxway Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Oregon, USA
    Glad to hear it is even better than a21.

    I did a couple changes last week. So, not 100% sure which change helps the most. I am too lazy to switch around to compare. :)

    I moved from single amp via RCA connection to xlr connections to two a23. I only use single channel from each a23 amp to avoid interchannel cross talk. I am trying to do cheaper version of dual JC1.

    I listened for a few days and can definitely sense more micro details and cleaner bass lines. The highs also not as harsh for many songs. Maybe my Marantz AV8801 is better at xlr output than RCA output. So the benefits could be combination of preamp and amps. Definitely happy with my latest changes.
     
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  9. mreeter

    mreeter Forum Resident

    Location:
    Midwest, USA
    This is quite a compliment to the A21+, as I know you have been around the Audio block more than once. Bravo:righton:
     
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  10. avanti1960

    avanti1960 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago metro, USA
    yes and i'm tired of all that walkin !
     
  11. Ilusndweller

    Ilusndweller S.H.M.F.=>Reely kewl.

    Location:
    Columbus, Ohio
    Nice! What speakers are you using? Thanks.
     
  12. Glmoneydawg

    Glmoneydawg Forum Resident

    Location:
    Ontario Canada
    Congrats bud...glad it worked out for you.Nothing quite like unlimited power...with grace:)
     
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  13. mreeter

    mreeter Forum Resident

    Location:
    Midwest, USA
    LOL, I've been around the block a time or two myself, I know what you mean:winkgrin:
     
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  14. StockStiff

    StockStiff New Member

    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    Dealer received replacement A21+ in one week and I took delivery of it the same day. New, double boxed from factory, black A21+. I switched from silver to black to match my other components but I found the silver color striking (of the returned amp).

    I'm currently using a Harman Kardon PT2500 preamp but plan to switch in a Proton 1100 preamp later today. The A21+ drives Infinity Reference Standard II speakers with strength to spare but does warm up a bit on an open platform. I'm glad to finally own an amp that will drive these speakers without fail (lesser amps have failed). I really like the sound produced by this setup but am curious what sonic differences I might find with other preamps. For now, I plan to test with what I have in-house such as the Proton 1100, and pre-amp sections of Carver CM1090 and vintage Marantz receivers (2385 or 2285B).

    Are these vintage preamps holding back the A21+? Recommendations anyone?
     
  15. avanti1960

    avanti1960 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago metro, USA
    I have awesome synergy with my Rogue Audio tube preamp. Highly recommended.
     
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  16. pdxway

    pdxway Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Oregon, USA
    My own experience is that my preamp sounds better with xlr out than RCA out. So, preamp quality can make a difference.

    My suggestion is to try all your vintage preamps first, then try compare (demo at home if possible) a Parasound P6 via rca and xlr out.
     
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  17. StockStiff

    StockStiff New Member

    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    Yeah, I've got my eye on the P6, however, I'm hesitant to buy a preamp with built-in DAC since DAC technology advances quickly. I'll be using RCA connectors until I save enough for an XLR preamp.

    Thanks for the feedback!
     
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  18. avanti1960

    avanti1960 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago metro, USA
    here is my rogue audio rh-5 preamp driving the a21+.
    XLR connections do sound the best- beefy, hard driving dynamic and fast. i love the sound of tubes- the RH5 only has one set of 12AU7s, a very easy, reasonable and convenient way to change the sound with tube rolling. i cannot picture having amplification without some amount of tubes in the chain.

    [​IMG]
     
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  19. Kristofa

    Kristofa Car Scratch Melt Repeat

    Location:
    Eugene, Oregon
    My HINTO has a scratchy volume pot that I still haven’t addressed. I should do it before the nice warranty expires! :)
     
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  20. BLAKE1

    BLAKE1 Well-Known Member

    Location:
    IOWA
    Q audio 3010i. Heard good things about these little guys and more importantly in the bedroom they look good enough for the wife. Definitely not high end by any means, but sound pretty good for the price. I believe they are affiliated with QED.
     
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  21. BLAKE1

    BLAKE1 Well-Known Member

    Location:
    IOWA
    I purchased the P6 a few months ago and like it a lot. However, I kinda wish it had a streamer built in like the Cambridge units have. I have a separate unit for that, but just more components. I do like the P6 is 2.1 so I can run my sub too (and via balanced connection). The HT bypass makes things easy for kids to still use everything as well.
     
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  22. Wenthrope

    Wenthrope Active Member

    Hi all, I’m pretty excited about my A21+ coming next week. Since upgrading my speakers to KEF Ref 1s, I’ve explored various amp path (PS Audio, Anthem, Arcam, etc.) before finally deciding on the A21+. Now that I’ve decided to go with separates, I’m trying to determine what preamp to go with. For me, I listen to 80% streaming (including files on local network) and 20% CDs. I know it sounds blasphemous on this forum, but I don’t want to go down the vinyl rabbit hole!

    Previously, I was using an Oppo UDP-205 double as the source as well as the preamp. However, with the used priced for the Oppo, I decided to part ways. Now I’m thinking about a couple of options, thus I would love to get your feedback and input:

    1. NAD c658 for streaming as well as preamp
    2. Bluesound Node into PS Audio Gain Cell DAC Preamp

    I’m leaning towards the c658 for the one box convenience. BTE, I have an old Oppo BDP-103 that I will use for the occasional CD / SACD usage.

    Thanks in advance!
     
  23. BLAKE1

    BLAKE1 Well-Known Member

    Location:
    IOWA
    I’m using a Parasound P6 with a Node 2. It sounds pretty good. Cambridge makes a digital pre amp with streaming built in for around $1k. I like the P6 with the sub output and phono output. Lots of options this just fit my needs without having all kinds of different boxes. I hooked up my Raspberry Pi to the P6 and it sounded pretty good too if you want to just start with a preamp/dac. I use the P6 dac rather than the one on the Node.
     
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  24. Wenthrope

    Wenthrope Active Member

    Thanks Blake1! I’ll take a look at the Cambridge as well.
     
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  25. terzinator

    terzinator boots lost in transit

    Location:
    Minnesota
    Feel kinda weird asking this question, but how high on the numeric volume dial do you play your HINT6 integrated?

    I have mine at 70 and that's kind of normal, spirited volume. Not really "loud" in my opinion. Either playing records or through my mac mini running roon via USB or a chromecast into the optical input.

    I had Magnepans in the room and I thought, well, gotta turn it up because the Maggies are power hogs. But I put in my Harbeth P3ESR's and it's similar. I know the Harbeths aren't the most efficient speakers, but I was kind of surprised that volume 70% of the way to the top really didn't seem that loud.

    I know it's not like one wants full volume at 1/4 of the dial, but I found it curious with as much power as the Parasound claims to have. I moved my Maggies to a different room with a different integrated (Myryad 120w/ch) and it can get MUUUUCH louder than the HINT6.

    My concern started as I was experimenting with a Raspberry Pi streamer, and playing through the Parasound's USB. The volume on that device is super low. Even at 99 it's not very loud. On other amps, the Raspberry Pi is fine. Only through the Parasound is it soft.

    Things that make you go "hmmmm."
     

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