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Parasound amps appreciation thread

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

  1. bever70

    bever70 It's all about the soundstage

    Location:
    Belgium
    It's what I did, using 12v out on p5 and input on a21 with switch down (12v). Yes, I also noticed the diagram in the manual is wrong.
    I had exactly the same idea as you, plugging in the stereo jack only halfway (as I remembered this gives me a mono signal with headphones as well) but I haven't tried it yet. Will do later on!
     
    Rick58 likes this.
  2. bever70

    bever70 It's all about the soundstage

    Location:
    Belgium
    Fwiw the newer remote of the hint/p6 which looks much nicer vs. the ugly dull grey plastic of the P5 works perfectly with P5 as well. My dealer just gave me a demo unit of the black remote (with blue backlights) to try out. All buttons work as they should, except obviously opt2 which the P5 doesn't have. So if price is reasonable (still waiting on that) I will probably get the newer, black remote.

    [​IMG]
     
    Matt Richardson and Rick58 like this.
  3. Rick58

    Rick58 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Eagle, ID, USA
    I ended up with the P 7 at 60 (65 for phono) with my 300B tube amps, so just adjusted the A 21 gain knobs to about 2 o’clock from their previous full up positions. Don’t want to inadvertently blast when changing amps/speakers.

    Too much hassle to go back and forth! But so far ... OK I’ll probably go back and forth a couple times (40, full up, and 60, 2 o’clock).

    Anyone else done this study? :winkgrin: I know full up is supposedly best (control out of circuit) and everything is subjective and matters! :sigh: :angel:
     
  4. Rick58

    Rick58 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Eagle, ID, USA
    OMG ... in resetting the A 21 gain controls to match my 300B amps’ gain, playing Josh Groban “Awake” CD.

    I’ve used this as one of my reference discs for a LONG time. I recently got all new Analysis Plus cables for the 300B/Titus chain (Pro Power Oval power cords, RCA unbalanced Oval-In ICs, and Oval 12 speaker cables). Basically their low-midrange products, I can’t spend >$400 on a cable ...

    OMG again. Can’t be 100% sure what is doing what (including >10 hours of breakin so far) but MAN !!! it’s INCREDIBLE how much deeper in the mix I can hear. Plus even more musicality/realism? I don’t know. The 300B amps are also now plugged into my modest Belkin power/filtering unit.

    Don’t know whether to start a new Analysis Plus appreciation thread (probably not!) but the mighty Parasound P 7 is letting all this delicious sound be heard and appreciated.

    Now ... can the P 7 / AP balanced IC / A 21 / Oval 9 / Silver 8 system match what I’m now hearing from the more modest chain?
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2020
  5. terzinator

    terzinator boots lost in transit

    Location:
    Minnesota
    Apologies... i pulled this quote from the Sugarcube thread -- but it's more relevant here.

    I listen to my HINT6 at around the same level as you (basically 70), through a pair of Harbeth P3ESR's. I find the volume "exuberant" but not overly loud. (And I don't like tbings too loud.)

    I'm a little surprised, as I would have assumed an amp with the amount of power the HINT6 has, that 7/10's the way up the dial would be crazy loud. (The harbeths aren't particularly efficient, tho, at 83.5dB. Maybe that's the reason for the higher volume level.)
     
    Rick58 likes this.
  6. Rick58

    Rick58 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Eagle, ID, USA
    There’s some SPL calculators online, plug in W, efficiency, distance ... I bet things make sense then. Peak SPL Calculator

    maybe not tho. 25W, 83dB, no room reinforcement, 9’ distance shows >90dB which is pretty loud.

    maybe the last 30% of the volume control has bigger steps, not unheard of.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2021
  7. Rick58

    Rick58 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Eagle, ID, USA
    Don’t know if this is “exactly” right but ... Parasound Halo P 6 2.1 Channel Preamplifier and DAC

    I forgot about audio taper pot function, seems like this is indeed the explanation.

    apparently Parasound provided the graph ...
     
    terzinator likes this.
  8. terzinator

    terzinator boots lost in transit

    Location:
    Minnesota
    Well, shoot, looks like you're right.

    And this quote from the article:

    "There is a slow increase in volume that becomes exponentially faster as the read-out passes 70 or so."

    So that must be it.

    danke
     
    drgn95 and Rick58 like this.
  9. Jim0830

    Jim0830 Forum Resident

    You guys appear to have figured it out already, but I'll just add that my results are in the same ballpark as yours. My SVS Ultra Towers have a rated sensitivity of 88db, so not super efficient. I had replaced a Yamaha Aventage 1070 receiver due to listener fatigue issues and I had found the levels needed to cause this weren't particularly loud. The Parasound was used for 2 channel listening and for the L & R channels using the Home Theater Bypass switch for 7.2 surround sound. I noticed an immediate difference.

    When I first noticed listener fatigue, I used a Radio Shack SPL meter to test the sound levels from my listening position. I wanted to see what levels I was listening at and make sure it was damaging my hearing, I also ran an experiment to see what volume settings in the home theater room corresponded to what volume levels in the Bedroom. Better to keep my wife happy. She surprised me and has never asked me to put it down when she goes to bed. In fact she sometimes knocks on the wall and says: "Hey where's the music?"

    I rarely get above a volume setting of 72 on the Hint 6, which corresponds to an SPL of about 83db average with peaks of about 93-95db. This is more than enough volume for me and actually seemed like more volume than I would have expected for that reading. I think the loudest I have set it to was 76. I have the "Turn On Volume" set to 50, and "Favorite Volume Setting" to 72. I could listen to the HINT 6 all day at the volume. I actually have with the lockdown. I would find myself turning a similar volume level down on the Yamaha after 30-45 minutes. Just shows what the inclusion of all those extra channels using a smaller sized power supply plus the inclusion of all the latest CODECS and Networking protocol buzzwords all for 60% of the price do to the sound quality.
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2021
  10. NordInCo

    NordInCo Active Member

    Hello Everyone,

    I'm currently running a Parasound New Classic 2250 v2 as my power amplifier with a Cambridge Audio Azur 851N acting as my preamp. My speakers are Dynaudio Excite X44 towers. I've had the system for about 6 months and am generally pretty happy with the performance. However, the Azur 851N features a balanced output circuit and I can't help wondering if I'm giving up some performance running to a single ended circuit in the 2250 v2...
    Have any of you owned both the New Classic 2250 v2 and the Halo 21+? Would upgrading to the A21+ and balanced XLR interconnects make a substantial performance difference (in terms of detail resolution, dynamics at lowers volumes, sound staging) over my current setup?

    Thanks in advance!
     
    Wenthrope likes this.
  11. Rick58

    Rick58 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Eagle, ID, USA
    I don't have experience with the 2250 but that won't stop me !!! I can only guess of course but going from the 2250 to A 21+ seems like it "should" result in better everything. Your speakers and source seem pretty top-notch and are more $$$ than the 2250. I would highly recommend high quality ICs and power cords (and speaker cable) too ... maybe AFTER upgrading and listening for 100 hours or so. Then you can try new ICs and power cord(s) and speaker cables on the gear to see what happens.

    I recently upgraded power cords to Analysis Plus Power One Oval Mk II (their least expensive line) ... sorry, that was my tube amps, for the P 7 and A 21 I'm using Shunyata Venom power cords. Also using Analysis Plus Copper Oval-In Micro Interconnect balanced ICs between my pre and new A 21 (not + version) amp. And, AP Oval 9 speaker cable to the speakers.

    I can't say for sure what affected what, it's been a few weeks since I did all this. The A 21 is driving my MA Silver 8 speakers for the first time, I previously had them in a surround setup driven by a Marantz AVR. But the resolution is incredible ... for THAT system I used the Shunyata and AP ICs/speaker cables from the get-go. For my alternate 300B/Titus monitor system, I started with generic power cords, ICs, and speaker cables. Upgraded to AP for all of them, and the increase in detail/resolution was quite noticeable. I can hear 'further into the mix' (seemingly lower noise floor?) ... cymbals sound more like cymbals, etc. etc., so 'musicality' took a step up as well. Can't say for sure exactly what did what (I changed things one at a time but didn't give a long time between upgrading the next 'thing'. Gotta run, but I'd say go for it!

    The A 23(+) might be OK power wise, but ... I had a choice and went with the A 21, read that it sounded better and figured I'd always wonder. Bought a factory refurb (or was it open box?) A 21 from Safe and Sound for $2150 delivered, no tax and free shipping.
     
  12. MikeJedi

    MikeJedi Forum Resident

    Location:
    Las Vegas
    Proud owner of a regular old Parasound A52 silver that has been an absolute workhorse over the years. Powering my Def Tech 7002 CLR 2500 and video surround system. Along with Infinity rears. And Def Tech Trinity Sub. (Yamaha cx-a5200 AVP) Seriously thinking of replacing the Def Techs
    with GoldenEae Reference.One pair and GE Ref SuperCenter XXL.
    I would think that my A52 would still have no problem powering the Ref.Ones and center to really nice levels. (moving to a new home in April) the new downstairs living room is a little bit bigger than what I have now at 17 x 13. Same ceiling height 9 feet. Never ran out of power or felt strained in the Def Techs. I would assume even tho the GE might dip into the 4 ohms a bit that the A52 should still have no problems. Anyone have any experience with GE Ref.One and regular old A52 ? Thanks. Just thinking about this as a possible upgrade. I always felt over the years if I was to upgrade from my DefTechs it would be the high end GEs as I feel they sound great and are the only speaks that I have heard for home theater and music that are a true update of my old 7002. I have heard the newer DefTechs and have not been impressed. It makes sense that the flagship GEs sound as good as they do because of their designer who also made my old ones. I am not sure yet but just wanted to get a feel. Thanks fellow Parasound peeps. :)
     
    Rick58 likes this.
  13. NordInCo

    NordInCo Active Member

    Hi Rick58,
    Thanks for weighing in. I'm currently using AudioQuest Big Sur RCA interconnects from the Auzr 851N to the NC 2250 v2. I am thinking I may try upgrading the speaker cables in the near term. It's surprisingly hard to find speaker wire/cables with published impedance or conductivity measurements.
    My gut feeling is that although I have very good sound now, that my speakers are capable of more. That makes me curious how much potential could be unlocked by pairing the balanced circuit 851N to a more premium Power Amp like the A21/A21+ which is also a balanced circuit design...
    Love the Parasound clarity and balanced frequency response!
     
    MikeJedi, Wenthrope and Rick58 like this.
  14. Wenthrope

    Wenthrope Well-Known Member

    Hi NordinCo,

    I have not had the 2250, but I am currently running 851N into A21+ with KEF Ref 1 speakers. I am using the balanced connection between the 851N and A21+. I’ve had this for about 4 months now and I’m quite happy with it. Eventually, I will look to add a “real” preamp. Unfortunately, I have not compared the RCA vs balanced connection.

    As for the A21+, I upgraded from an Outlaw RR2150. The difference was significantly noticeable across all dimensions. Furthermore, even with less than efficient speakers like the Ref 1s, there always seem to be plenty of surplus power. I’ll be using the A21+ for a long time.

     
  15. Rick58

    Rick58 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Eagle, ID, USA
    I would think AQ Big Sur would do the trick !!! Yes, I'd suspect the amp is a limiting factor at the moment. Of course, POSSIBLY balanced from 851N to amp MIGHT sound better I really don't know. I believe John Curl is a big proponent of balanced connections ...

    Speaker cable, impedance/conductivity/other measurements ... IMHO these aren't a huge concern for good high end cables (AQ, Analysis Plus (my fav), Cardas, etc.) ... AP publishes several white papers on their products, I don't know if those things are reported/analyzed per se, but I believe their cables certainly have impedance/conductivity and any other specs that would or should satisfy the measurements/specs crowd. You can still get Oval 12 or Oval 9 at 'reasonable' prices to me anyway. I got my Oval 9 12' pair for $400 many years ago, now it's a new version and 2x the price or more. So I got Oval 12 for my 300B/Titus system, figured 12ga was (more than) sufficient.

    I'd think IF you're using generic zip cord (or similar) now, that a good AQ, AP, Cardas, Wireworld, or whatever would make a difference. What the 'flavor' might be, I don't know. I do believe Analysis Plus will 'let you know what your components sound like' (according to Alan at AudioWaves who sold me an Audio Analogue Puccini SE, the Tituses, and the AP Oval 9s many years ago) ... I think he's right.

    BEST of 'luck' with your audio quest (no pun intended!). I'd say as others have, the A 21 / 21+ is a serious high end amp, of course they also have more $$$ amps if you're wanting more. But I DO think the A 21+ would be a good, discernibly better amp than the 2250. I could be wrong of course! but I HOPE so at 5x the price!
     
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  16. Rick58

    Rick58 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Eagle, ID, USA
    Oh yeah, I would think the A 52 would be great with the GEs. Assuming their impedance etc. isn't super low (I saw maybe not the same exact speaker on Stereophile, it went to about 3.5 ohms). Seems like the A 52 is pretty dang close to the A 21 etc. ... I don't see an issue. :righton: :cheers:
     
    MikeJedi likes this.
  17. Rick58

    Rick58 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Eagle, ID, USA
    I have the 840C CD player, I think aside a software upgrade (maybe a newer version of the Anagram chip) it's very similar to the 851N. 'Upsamples' to "24/384" etc., same exact dual DACs. ANYHOW, this into the P 7 and then the A 21 sounds great. I'd think a P 6 would be ... as good? as the P 7, which is sort of an odd beast, but I love it. Probably this chain will do me for the rest of my days ...

    I can't say whether adding a pre in between would be better ... if you're using the 851N as a pre, and it does everything you like, seems like that's good enough! I do like and won't do without the remote tone, balance, sub controls, etc. the P 7 gives me though.
     
    Wenthrope likes this.
  18. MikeJedi

    MikeJedi Forum Resident

    Location:
    Las Vegas

    Cool. Thanks!!. I think you confirmed my thinking as the sensitivity is like 93 dB and the review I was Reading said on SoundStage HIfi
    “The impedance is “compatible with 8 ohms,” dropping to a little below 4 ohms at about 200Hz -- a pretty typical load for most amps. “. I think it should be just fine. I actually think even tho the specs say 125 watt/ch it is a bit more powerful to these ears than that. My Def Techs are 92 dB and I never have an issue. I was just slightly worried about them going to way under 3 ohm or something weird but they don’t thankfully according to everything I am reading :)
     
    Rick58 likes this.
  19. Pythonman

    Pythonman Forum Resident

    Location:
    Florida
    Just strapped my A21 back into the system yesterday. I’d ran it for about a year and a half from when I bought it new with my old Athena speakers. Then I got a good deal on my Pass X250 and have listened to that ever since, for the *last* year and a half.

    I upgraded my speakers last July or August to a new pair of Focal Aria 948s and they seem pretty well broken in now. So, yesterday I decided it was time to fire up the Parasound amp again to see how it sounds with the new speakers. I plan on leaving the A21 running for a week before critical listening but from a cold startup she sounded promising! Finally I can hear and feel the low bass that I never could with the Athenas. Beyond that the amp sounded cool and constrained.
    From past experience with the A21 I know it needs a couple of days from cold to work it’s magic and afterwards being on standby is sufficient to have it ready to play.
     
  20. bever70

    bever70 It's all about the soundstage

    Location:
    Belgium
    Personally I wouldn't bother using the balanced inputs/outputs! I prefer the single ended rca's between my parasound A21 and P5. I have both tried wireworld oasis rca/xlr's.
    I also had the new classic 2250 in my system for a week before I decided on an A23. Hearing how the A21 compares to the A23, there will be no match between a 2250 and an A21+. Balanced or not doesn't even matter.
     
    NordInCo likes this.
  21. MikeJedi

    MikeJedi Forum Resident

    Location:
    Las Vegas
    Need some help felllow Parasound peeps ..

    Ok I have had my wonderful sounding Halo A52 since 2012 with no issues. It is a Demo or I believe a refurbished unit from AAdvisor. In the last 4 or 5 months I thought I started hearing something I might have heard before and when I heard it before it was very infrequent if at all. (Maybe the last year or so) a slight popping sound inside the amp. I thought something was off cause I heard it more frequently recently but what tipped me off is my system has started sounding more “muddy” .. do I have leaky caps ? Or am I going nuts ? I mean it still sounds good but I noticed it’s muddy sounding like almost like too much bass and the clarity not quite as good or something. And that is affecting the sound ? What do you guys think ? Can leaky caps cause that if that’s in fact what is going on ? I might need to contact Parasound. I am sure they will help me out. I just want to make sure I am diagnosing this right. Thanks peeps In fact even in standby mode it is Popping every one in awhile I am noticing as well (maybe I didn’t notice it before ) I unplugged it for the night.

    thanks all
     
  22. bhazen

    bhazen Apple Bonker

    Location:
    Newcastle, WA
    What's the "entry level" Parasound integrated amp model?
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2021
  23. MikeJedi

    MikeJedi Forum Resident

    Location:
    Las Vegas
    Probably the 2125 or the Zamp
     
    bhazen likes this.
  24. bhazen

    bhazen Apple Bonker

    Location:
    Newcastle, WA
    Oops, I forgot to specify integrated amp. Thank you, though!
     
  25. MikeJedi

    MikeJedi Forum Resident

    Location:
    Las Vegas
    Parasound NewClassic integrated 200. :)
     
    bhazen likes this.

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