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Parasound amps appreciation thread

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

  1. Dr. J.

    Dr. J. Audiophile wannabe

    Location:
    Memphis, TN
    One thing you could do, which would give you the best of both worlds, is to plug the Saga into the Bypass input of the P5. Most people would never think of this because it's an Home Theater Bypass, but one could put any preamp through it and continue to use your power amplifier. So when you want some of that tuby goodness, you have it at your fingertips without moving cables around. Just a thought.
     
    bever70 likes this.
  2. Dr. J.

    Dr. J. Audiophile wannabe

    Location:
    Memphis, TN
    I'm referring to the P5 specs I got from Parasound:
    • Burr-Brown PCM1798 DAC with USB, Optical and Coax inputs
    Model Halo P5 « Parasound
     
    Catcher10, vavan and bever70 like this.
  3. Rick58

    Rick58 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Eagle, ID, USA
    NOPE ... I shoulda recalled, anything with 100 ohms in parallel would be <100 ohms (or =100 ohms). Oh well, I did find a review using a 3.5mV cart, seems like THAT worked OK, but the 2mV of the Denon HOMCs is ... sheesh, my voltage dB vocabulary isn't too good either ... but maybe that's 5dB lower? SO thinking if the P 7 is only 35dB gain, may be time for a 2M Bronze or something!
     
    bever70 likes this.
  4. bever70

    bever70 It's all about the soundstage

    Location:
    Belgium
    Correct. @Catcher10 we were talking about the internal dac of my P5 with burr brown chip and different from later models (with ess sabre).

    @Dr. J. Could you elaborate a bit further on that bypass connection with the saga ? I have never used a bypass connection and it's all a bit vague to me. When I would use this, does it come down to the fact that I am in reality just using the Saga with the A21? Or will the P5 tone controls still influence the sound (which is what I would prefer) ? Not sure about this :help:....
     
  5. Rick58

    Rick58 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Eagle, ID, USA
    I did send Richard Schram and Joe at AudioAdvisor a question (Richard is out for a few days) about the P 7 gain. I saw the P 6 has 46dB gain, which is near-perfect for the 2mV cart output (per KAB calculator, which says 44dB). So IF the P 7 is the same ... WOOO!

    The P 7 is a strange/unique beast though, the designer is the Finnish engineer somewhat/possibly totally responsible for (Lyngdorf) RoomPerfect DSP correction (altho it's not in the P 7). Richard told me back in the day that the P 7 sounds better and has higher quality parts than the P 5 (which it should at a higher MSRP). The P 7 was designed before the P 6 though, and as stated, it's sort of a unique one-off beast. So ... ??? Gain of phono section? Who knows? :)
     
    bever70 likes this.
  6. Dr. J.

    Dr. J. Audiophile wannabe

    Location:
    Memphis, TN
    That's exactly right: in this configuration, it would be like having the Saga and A21 exactly as you had it before (and the P5 doesn't even need to be turned on according to p.8 of the manual). The signal coming into the Saga would be passed straight on to the A21 at full volume without crossover or tone or balance controls. Is it possible that there's a degradation in sound? Maybe, but no one to my knowledge has ever confirmed a HT bypass doing so. If you got space for it on your rack, it's certainly worth the try.

    I'm contemplating doing this myself so I can use my tube DAC/preamp straight into my A23 for an alternative to the onboard DAC in the P5 when the occasion fits.
     
    bever70 likes this.
  7. Audiofan1

    Audiofan1 Well-Known Member

    Location:
    States
    Are you using the Balanced outputs on the A21+ and which cables power etc.. ?
     
  8. Bill Mac

    Bill Mac Forum Resident

    Location:
    So. ME USA
    I eventually returned the Parasound 2125V2 to Safe and Sound and bought a used Yamaha A-S1000 integrated amp. I do prefer the SQ of the Yamaha to that of the 2125V2. Even after almost a month of break in the 2125V2 was a bit on the bright side. The A-S1000 is better balanced from the low to high end. I have a feeling that if the right deal comes along the Hint6 will be well worth trying.
     
    Rick58 likes this.
  9. bever70

    bever70 It's all about the soundstage

    Location:
    Belgium
    Thanks! But I really don't want the Saga back at the moment, the P5 (TC on) + A21 gives me all the sound(stage) I want. In fact it sounds more 'tubey' than the Saga+ ever did.
     
    Rick58 likes this.
  10. nyrjoe

    nyrjoe Active Member

    Location:
    New York
    Anyone here do a side by side of a Hint6 with a Musical Fidelity, M5 or M6SI and or Rega Elex, Elicit -R? The Hint 6 is on my shortlist with the others and while the Hints reviews and owner comments are generally good, I’m unsure as to the actual voicing and sound character of the Hint. Some pro reviews highlight its laidback nature and or rolled-off treble while others refer to its authoritative bass and expressive mids. Have also read the soundstage is not wide and rather closed in? Would be great to know it’s true sound signature especially compared to any of the others.
    Thanks
     
  11. Rick58

    Rick58 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Eagle, ID, USA
    I'm not 100% certain, but IIRC the HINTO was designed as a P 5 preamp and 'lite' version of the A 21 amp (or maybe a beefed-up A 23 amp) in a single chassis. Seems like reviews of the P 5 and A 21/23 should provide a good hint (ha ha) to the sonics. So is the Hint6 a P 6 + A 21/23? I don't know, maybe someone else can speculate, but seems ... reasonable to assume?

    The choices do seem excellent though, hard to choose! from reading alone. Sounds like bever70 loves the P 6 + A 21 ... as I love my P 7 + A 21, which might be very similar. Since this is a 'love Parasound' thread, guess I have to recommend the Hint 6!
     
  12. bever70

    bever70 It's all about the soundstage

    Location:
    Belgium
    Small correction : P5 (not P6) + A21 ;).
     
    Rick58 likes this.
  13. Rick58

    Rick58 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Eagle, ID, USA
    Sorry about that, Chief! Anyway, the P 5 seems designed from the start to be integrated into the HINTO (IIRC, from pix when they both came out). I haven’t seen nor looked for pix of the P 6 / Hint6 innards ... but seems reasonable that they’re similarly related.

    If I were buying now ... Hint6, BUT ... it doesn’t have remote balance, which I crave and like with the P 7. Note space between letter and number in all these names ... it may be a HALO thing :angel: :laugh:
     
    bever70 likes this.
  14. Rick58

    Rick58 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Eagle, ID, USA
    I sent an inquiry about the remote control, mine looks a little different than the one in the manual I had for the P 7, also asked about the gain. Got a response from both Phil Jackson and 'Bob' this morning:

    Hello Rick,

    The remote control included with your P 7 is the new version. The old version shown in the manual is no longer available.

    These are the phono specifications:
    Gain at 1 kHz :
    MM, 46dB; MC, 61 dB

    Input Sensitivity at 1 kHz :
    MM, 5 mV in for 1.1 V output
    MC, .9 mV in for 1.1 V output


    -Bob

    YES !!! so 46dB gain as in the P 6, maybe I'll have to goose the volume a little to use with my 2mV HOMC cart, but it should be OK. The A 21 manual shows a Sensitivity spec of "1 V per leg" yields "28.28V into 8 ohms" which is 226W. So if I have (ratio) 0.44V with my 2mV cart, that should yield 100W ... I guess max, but heck, I likely use <10W for my listening.
     
    bever70 likes this.
  15. GoldprintAudio

    GoldprintAudio Forum Resident

    Location:
    Lexington, NC
    I sell both Parasound and Rega here, so I'm familiar with those in regards to your question.

    I don't personally feel the HINT6 is closed in at all on the soundstage. With the speakers I keep here (mostly Joseph and DeVore), I think the soundstage is actually quite good.
     
    bever70 likes this.
  16. avanti1960

    avanti1960 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago metro, USA
    balanced, using van den hul cables, stock power.
    sounding a little more open lately. no hurry to swap out at the moment.
     
    bever70 likes this.
  17. Catcher10

    Catcher10 I like records, and Prog...duh

    I home trialed a M5si before buying the OHINT. I did like the M5si but found its sound just a bit too bold, not as refined as the Parasound house sound. The M5si low end was almost too hard, it was not detailed like the OHINT.....it was a loud amp that's for sure. Not many options on the back and the DAC only does 24bit, no DSD. And the M5si sample I had came from another home audition so it had enough hours on it to get a good flavor.

    I don't feel Parasound OHINT exhibits any of what you state, most of that is going to be your speakers, IMO..........YMMV
     
  18. Catcher10

    Catcher10 I like records, and Prog...duh

    Got it.....The P5 has Burr brown and only 24bit. The OHINT/HINT6 use ESS Sabre DAC up to 32bit and DSD support...
     
    bever70 likes this.
  19. bever70

    bever70 It's all about the soundstage

    Location:
    Belgium
    Nice, that they jumped up the gain on the MM section ! I tried out to the MC section last week with my Denon dl103....not good, not enough gain I felt and pretty flat sounding overall. I swiftly returned to my Arcam Rphono.

    As for the remote control of my P5, it's the ugly grey plastic thing and I much prefer the looks of their more recent rc's (black with background lighting) of the P6 and Hint....so I asked my dealer if those are backwards compatible with my older P5. Still waiting for an answer...anyone here knows if they are ?
     
    Rick58 likes this.
  20. bever70

    bever70 It's all about the soundstage

    Location:
    Belgium
    I also just learned to appreciate tone controls even more! Listening to Gil-Scott Heron 'Reflection' album on cd, which I always found too lean and edgy sounding and therefore hard to listen to...I just turned up the bass knob a notch et voilà, it just takes that edge off :). Too bad they don't have any markings on those knobs.
     
    Catcher10 likes this.
  21. Rick58

    Rick58 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Eagle, ID, USA
    Man, too bad about the MC on the P 5, possibly it needs a few hours on it to open up? But if the gain seems too low, can't do much about that. I did see something about using higher loads on the 103, some folks said at 100 ohms it sounded flat ... one guy said 330 was great, another 1000, another "anything >1000". So MAYBE try the 47kohm setting? Someone else seemed to imply that even that sounded good (something about anything above 1000 sounded pretty similar). Seems like a long shot but maybe worth a try. Altho, the rPhono looks like a high performance unit, probably does and should sound better than the one built into the P 5.

    Any questions, send an email to service@parasound.com and sales@parasound.com, you'll get a response very quickly.

    I also have no qualms about using tone controls. At least so far in my new setup, I goose the bass 3 or 4 'bars' on the display and the treble one or two. Turning the tone on and off (via remote) seems to not change any other aspects of the sound. Sorry, I have to admit the P 7 is amazing, everything including balance is remote controllable. Hopefully the phono will be as great with the 2mV DL-160 as I anticipate.

    Driving up today and tomorrow, over the holidays I hope to get in many many hours of listening. But there's a lot of work to be done too (putting away >20 boxes of records, CDs, etc.) and cleaning up the mess. So I need to do that before serious listening (including phono, all my records are still in the boxes). I put things together a few weeks ago when I was up there, dug out a few CDs, and just got to spend spent a couple of hours listening in my office chair. I had a nice couch delivered in the meantime, so will have more of a proper listening environment now.

    Happy Holidays to everyone, and good listening! :cheers:
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2020
    bever70 likes this.
  22. bever70

    bever70 It's all about the soundstage

    Location:
    Belgium
    I have 2 proper external phono stages, didn't buy the P5 for its' phono stage so no worries ;).

    My dealer's idea on the Tone Control circuit was that it might add a few db's which could make the sound more transparent. My idea was that the extra circuit might add some 'colouration' or some extra 'deformation' just like tubes would do, which is why I hear such a big difference between TC on and off. The Saga tube also added something to the sound but it was pretty minimal compared to the effect of the tone circuit in the P5. Funny that parasound mentions you should turn it off for best sound in the manual while I just find it completely uninvolving and flat (soundstagewise) when turned off. Just goes to show you always need to listen for yourself :cheers:!
     
    Rick58 likes this.
  23. bever70

    bever70 It's all about the soundstage

    Location:
    Belgium
    Question regarding the switch on of an A21 through the preamp using a 12v signal.

    Does this cable used between P5 and A21 has to be a mono cable or does it work just as good with a stereo (headphone) cable ? I tried the stereo cable, 3.5mm at preamp end and 2.5mm at A21 end...but no luck...can anyone walk me through the settings on the back ? I have the manuals of both but can't seem to get it to work properly.
    What I'd like is to turn on the preamp so that the A21 follows automatically (or the other way round).
     
    Rick58 likes this.
  24. Rick58

    Rick58 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Eagle, ID, USA
    So finally fired up the Thorens TD-145 and Denon DL160 last night with my Xmas present CCR Greatest Hits multicolored vinyl. Strange present, not sure why my lovely wife chose this one ... but the first song is Susie Q ... which I’ve never heard on a good stereo before ... and which is in hard left-right “stereo” which totally freaked me out! o_O :eek: After the initial shock and a quick Google search ... all is well!

    A couple other cuts are mono which helped show things are perfectly balanced, they had a nice narrow central image.

    The best thing is I only had to goose the volume 5 steps (40 to 45 out of 100) to get normal volume. Yes!

    Interested now to compare vinyl with CD versions (I have a few titles with both formats) using the P 7. My impressions with my previous McIntosh C220 were that my vinyl rig and CD were virtually indistinguishable, only surface noise differentiated them. I hope for at least the same result with the P 7. If the phono is even better now of course I won’t complain!
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2020
  25. Rick58

    Rick58 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Eagle, ID, USA
    Probably no help, but make sure the switch is in the correct position (down) and the cable is plugged into the trigger ‘input’ jack on the A 21 and the ‘12V Out’ jack on the P 5. The diagram in the A 21 manual seems to be incorrect, shows the preamp jack labeled ‘input’ which doesn’t make sense to me.

    I haven’t done this, don’t know if I have a cable or if my P 7 is compatible with any cable I might have.

    For whatever reason maybe the L/R connections in the cable jacks are reversed? So there’s either a polarity or connection issue. Maybe it does have to be a mono cable, the jack/contacts may not connect properly using a stereo cable. Maybe ... try pulling the jack out partway on one or the other end (one at a time, then both?). If it works, seems like the contact points in the female end are positioned “incorrectly” for a stereo male jack.
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2020

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