While not ridiculously heavy, the Parasound amp The amplifier seemed to present music in high definition with no blurred boundaries among its musical elements. Though I had inquired of Parasound's Director of Sales, Phil Jackson, back in late 2018 as to my doing a review whenever the reimagined JC 1 might make its way back into the Parasound roster, when the January 16, 2020 Press Release landed in my inbox, I immediately requested a listen! No shortage of machismo – it has to be an American power amp, right? The Bricasti M1 DAC/Network Player runs directly to the amp via balanced connections, whereas the Rega P1 Turntable runs through a Sunfire Reference Signature preamp and into the unbalanced connections. It replaces an old but tough sc-305 JBL center. I can acquire both amps for exactly the same price. Greater overall capacity with the monos, obviously. But the glory of the track was the insane clarity the Zphono XRM afforded this sonic smorgasbord. The arrival of the Parasound Zphono XRM allows me to write that we have been using it to listen to Heart To Mouth by LP on LP for the first time. While the basic circuit design and topology stays the same, the A23+ has a beefier transformer than its predecessor (1.1 kVA vs 1.0 kVA), which translates into more powerful amplification (160 Watts vs 125 Watts into 8Ω loads, or 240 Watts vs 225 Watts into 4Ω loads). “One such being the inclusion of completely independent preamps for MM and MC cartridges… an approach that enabled us to optimise sound quality specifically for each input individually, rather than having to make a compromise to satisfy to competing requirements within a single preamp. Let’s look first at the front panel. Parasound's Halo P 6 preamplifier, priced at $1,595, is the successor to the company's wildly popular Halo P 5.The P 6 continues its predecessor's legacy by … If you want the very best, go with the Parasound Integrated, the HINT. Not so fast! He wanted the XRM to offer versatility and convenience and thought that the design should be informed by viewing it through the eyes of a vinyl enthusiast rather than an engineer. This amplifier is well built and looks stylish with its gold accent lines and lettering. PARASOUND A23+ STEREO POWER AMPLIFIER SPECIFICATIONS, © Copyright 2021 Secrets of Home Theater and High Fidelity /, Show Reports, Film Festivals and Concerts, McIntosh C2700 2-Channel Vacuum Tube Preamplifier and MC462 Power Amplifier Review, Bluesound Powernode 2i Wireless Streaming Amplifier and Pulse Flex 2i Wireless Streaming Speaker Review, PS Audio Stellar Strata Integrated Amplifier Review, McIntosh MX170 Surround Sound Processor and MC257 7-Channel Power Amplifier Review, Sonus Faber Electa Amator III Speaker Review, What We Are Watching Vol. Bridged 4 Ω operation is not recommended, *All Power measurement are at 120 VAC, RMS continuous power, full audio band (20 Hz – 20 kHz), 5 Hz – 100 kHz, +0/-3 dB If the LP turns out to be playable, it then goes straight to our best turntable so we can transfer the sound to digital for a final clean-up as well as for permanent storage and casual replay. There is also a small high-temperature red indicator light near the right side of the front panel, which illuminates if either of the channels overheats. It is on kind loan from a member. Since the Zphono XRM allowed us to select any impedance across the range recommended by Ortofon (or any impedance up to 1050Ω if we so chose), what setting would be best? Parasound, builder of preamplifiers and power amplifiers, was started in 1981 by Richard Schram, in San Francisco, California. Possibly the weirdest track on this album – and maybe the weirdest song we’ve ever heard – is their cover of Little Black Buzzer (Ivor Cutler), but it’s a smorgasbord of sound, helped out by Lisa O’Neill and by what I can only imagine is Khan scatting in Indian. A primary consideration with any low-output moving-coil cartridge is to maximise its output voltage. And because the Zphono XRM draws only 7.2-watts during operation, it’s not going to impact on your utility bill if you leave it on all the time, though we would still recommend you switch if off when you’re not using it. Bath Next, with thoughtful flexibility and using trickle-down technology from their flagship HALO line of products, Parasound designed a fully-featured integrated amplifier around this unit. The product in this review, the A23+ stereo power amplifier, is the smallest (both in size and Watts) amplifier from the current Parasound HALO line of products. The A23+ did a good job in this test, creating believable soundstage that extended beyond the plane between the speakers. It’s the best-sounding Sonos yet, but the Amp isn’t the last word in hi-fi subtlety. This amp offers kick ass performance at a price that real world people can afford! DIP switches aren’t always desirable for passing audio signals and these locations make it a real nuisance for users. Parasound states that it is not advised to use both the balanced and unbalanced inputs at the same time, which is cumbersome in my system. Distortion, as measured by Newport Test Labs, is shown in Graph 3 for a 1kHz test signal. It also revealed the delicate sound of the ukulele on the intro to One Night in the Sun. The image depth was good, although it was not as deep as I was accustomed to during my listening evaluation. Offering products in the sweet spot of quality-to-cost ratio is always the company’s mission. – A.D. 1611 (2007) album. Overall, the Parasound NewClassic 200 integrated amplifier is a good looking product. On this graph, the black trace is the response without the infrasonic filter and the red trace is the response with the infrasonic filter deployed. Our magazine, which began with the publication of the SECRETS Primer, is available exclusively on-line and offers to our readers an extensive information resource about home theater and high-end audio. It was like looking at a picture with clear lines around the borders of the objects in the picture. I have it bridged @ 400w and it does the job. The component under review, the $2000 Halo A 21 stereo amp, is slotted in further down the Parasound line. Probably not. There is no headroom with the amp whatsoever, but it still does 200Wpc into 4 ohms, and the monoblocks close to 500Wpc. This indicates that the A23 amplifier was well designed and stayed relevant for so long in the audio world, which is impressive! But could the Parasound Zphono XRM handle total sonic mayhem? The overall tonal balance of the A23+ was particularly good with no obvious emphasis on certain frequency ranges. As it happens, we regularly use two completely different turntables. When set to the Manual position, the amplifier can only be turned on or off using the on-off button on the front panel. Channel separation at 1kHz was measured by Newport Test Labs as being 85.4dB, which is an outstanding result for a phono preamplifier. Halo is our premier line with a reputation for going head-to-head with the most expensive equipment on the market, while costing a fraction of the price. 4 Distinct Product Lines. Empire Brass Quintet’s Passage “138 B.C. You can see that the filter’s response starts deviating from that of the main response at around 400Hz, but there’s no disparity until 200Hz, after which it’s 5dB down at 38Hz, 10dB down at 28Hz and 20dB down at 18Hz. You will receive a verification email shortly. Future Publishing Limited Quay House, The Ambury, The front panel of the A23+ sports an on-off button with illumination surrounding it. Parasound NewClassic 200 Integrated Amplifier Review. Then there’s the way it handled the driving bass on Girls Go Wild, once again compartmentalising the various instruments while at the same time not separating them out from the mix, but integrating them into the whole. As you can see from the photograph of it, the Zphono XRM has a push-button power switch with a green LED alongside it at the left of the front panel. The Parasound Zphono XRM provides ample gain for both moving-magnet and moving-coil cartridges, as you can see for yourself from the tabulated results. Have the P5 pre and the sound is sweet. But for the record, Newport Test Labs measured the 40dB setting as delivering 40.19dB, the 50dB setting as delivering 49.72dB and the 60dB setting as delivering 57.5dB. It is this continued passion for audio that has brought him once again to the SECRETS team. We guess Schram’s approach has merit if you’re one of those audiophiles who constantly swaps phono cartridges in and out, but even if you are, it’s still only around 5 minutes out of your life each time you swap, which is hardly the end of the world. Side note - while there's no problem finding reviews on Parasound amps, I looked long and hard and couldn't find even a hint of a real review on one of the Emotiva DR models - and they've been out for a while now. HALO is Parasound’s premier line that is intended to represent the company’s highest standard for sound and style. The Parasound Zamp V3 is not the kind of product you might expect to see on a Head-Fi review. Soundstage is great, my Magico S3's disappear. The bass that the amplifier produced through the Ultima Studio might not be the most extended that I have ever listened to, but it sounded punchy with sufficient impact. Instead of silk-screened lettering, the ‘Parasound’ brand on the new faceplate has a 3D texture with gold lettering. Even though Parasound is a "high-end" audio company, this seems to be their attempt at mass market product as the retail price from Amazon is … Best internet radios 2021: modern radios with streaming smarts, Best smart speakers 2021: the best voice assistant speakers, Best speakers 2021: budget to premium stereo speakers. It is interesting that the Parasound Zphono XRM does not have a standby power feature, but on this device it would have added quite a bit of cost and increased circuit noise, plus made it difficult to meet the regulatory requirements of the different countries in which it would be sold, so I can understand why Parasound chose not to include one. I like simple. > 107 dB, input shorted, unweighted, 17-1/4″ (437 mm) W x 15″-1/4″ (388 mm) D x 4-1/8″ (105 mm) H (with feet), 800 Watts The actual gains through the Parasound Zphono XRM didn’t quite match up with the values stated on the switch settings, but were close enough as makes zero practical difference in operation, and the minuscule differences could be due to slight differences in loading during the measurements, or to production variances. The A23+ is definitely a very capable amplifier that seems to do everything well. Even in the softer passages, the A23+ did not lose its grip in presenting the details in the music. This amplifier should be on the audition list for someone who is in the market for sub $2000 stereo amplifier. Overall, the Parasound Zphono XRM performed outstandingly well on the test bench, returning a flat, extended frequency response, excellent channel separation, ultra-low distortion and vanishingly low noise. (Remember, however, that your tonearm/turntable leads will also affect the so-called ‘best’ setting of this control. You get a switchable phono stage, a headphone output and even tone controls. Thorne’s continuo bass playing is like a warm reassurance that all is right with the world, while the interplay between Yorkston’s guitar and Khan’s vocals is aurally mesmerising. But one problem with this setting is that it assumes there is zero radio-frequency interference, which is rarely the case if you live in a city. Room and speakers can handle either amp. The JC 1 was powerful, at 400 watts RMS into 8 Ohms. The portrayal of the instruments in the track as to their own locations in the musical stage were clear and unambiguous. The NewClassic 200 integrated is a 12lb and 2.5″ tall chassis that contains a Burr-Brown DAC, an MM/MC phono stage, and a discrete headphone a… Parasound at Rocky Mountain AudioFest 2017 - Stereophile review by Herb Reichert. Does this new amplifier offer the quality and value in line with Parasound’s reputation? We ended up mostly using the 50dB setting because we thought the Zphono XRM was slightly quieter using this one, rather than the 60dB setting. The image presentation of the singer was neutral portraying an intimate overall soundstage. The good news is that you can do all this with the Parasound Zphono XRM. Newport Test Labs measured the signal-to-noise ratios of the Zphono XRM using that input voltage which resulted in a 2V output on the highest gain settings for both MM and MC inputs and, as you can see, the Zphono delivered outstanding S/N results of 95dB A-weighted for its MM input and 81dB A-weighted for its MC input. Please refresh the page and try again. The overall amplifier’s presentation through the Ultima Studio was neutral with a crisp sonic character and excellent details. But its small size means there’s not a lot of real-estate available to fit connectors, so the rear panel is pretty busy. Shares. For a start, it’s quiet, so the lovely fade-in intro to Dreamcatcher, along with the crisp picking, was revealed perfectly. If Ortofon had specified a value of 63Ω, this would not have been a problem if you owned a Zphono XRM, because you could have dialled in this exact value using the rear panel load impedance selector! The Parasound 2100 preamplifier and 2250 power amplifier offer sound quality across the board so good I would have thought you'd have to pay at least $3,000 to get them. Parasound also redesigned the input board layout of the A23+ to improve the cross-channel crosstalk (70 dB vs 63 dB at 20 kHz). As for that rumble filter, it’s probably mis-named, because in 2020, We’d sincerely hope that no self-respecting audiophile would be using a turntable that produced any audible ‘rumble’. Both channels are driven, with 150 watts-per-channel into 8 ohms. The NewClassic 200 Integrated is a modification of Parasound’s NewClassic 200 Pre-Amp, meaning it’s pretty much the same unit with the addition of an amp section. Parasound’s amplifiers are well known and established products, which is of no surprise considering the legendary amplifier designer, John Curl, has been involved in the company’s amplifier product development since its early years. This is only a fairly recent set-up which came about when we discovered the huge number of great LPs that is available for sale at garage sales. This review will look at the more conventional, yet equally impressive, design from Parasound. The Zphono XRM provides both unbalanced (via gold-plated RCA sockets) and balanced (via gold-plated XLRs) outputs. – A.D. 1611”. You’d think that setting the load impedance for the Ortofon would have been easy, because all we’d have to do would be to dial in the load recommended by Ortofon. But, at … Sign up below to get the latest from What Hi-Fi?, plus exclusive special offers, direct to your inbox! If Ortofon had been specific and recommended a load impedance of, say, 63Ω, anyone whose phono pre-amp did not offer this exact value might seriously consider not buying the cartridge. However the switch can be used when you play stereo LPs because although the sound will end up mono, it can help reduce surface noise and, weirdly enough, eliminate the weird ‘phasing’ effects that can sometimes occur when you’re playing well-worn LPs. The A23+ no longer has the red LED with ‘P’ logo on the front plate like the A23. – frequencies that should be removed because they weren’t ever supposed to be there in the first place. Click here for more information about Australian Hi-Fi, including links to buy individual digital editions and details on how to subscribe. AmplifierFeaturedParasoundParasound A23+ Stereopower amplifierPower Amplifier Review 2020Stereo. If the audio signal ceases, the amplifier will remain on for 10 minutes before turning itself off automatically. And despite what the purists say, on occasion, for example when playing a poorly engineered recording, they can be useful. While their focus was clearly on sound and build quality rather than a long list of features, they’ve nonetheless provided enough flexibility to satisfy a variety of users. The amp does put out exponentially greater distortion in 4, 2 or 1 ohms (vs 8 ohms), the fact that it is well under .01% still (vs. 0005%) makes it a non-issue. The A23+ is the recent iteration of the highly popular A23 amplifier, which had been a continuous presence in the company’s line for about 17 years. This means that the minimum load impedance for the Cadenza has to be 50Ω. 240 watts x 2, 4 Ω both channels driven, 210 watts x 2, 8 Ω both channels driven It runs quite warm when it is running, so it will come up to a stable operating temperature almost immediately after you switch it on. The company has been known for its no-nonsense audio products with prices that do not go into stratospheric levels. Heard Parasound hooked up to Wilsons at AXPONA and was sold. The HALO A23+ stereo power amplifier is Parasound’s most recent iteration of its popular HALO A23 amplifier. They also sell thru Amazon. In the hi-fi world, Parasound needs no introduction. Two small indicator lights in the lower middle of the faceplate will also illuminate blue when the amplifier is in normal operation. Very nice. An affordable integrated amplifier-DAC with substantial power, high-quality conversion, flexible inputs and outputs, and full-function remote. Overall, the A23+ amplifier brings a lot of value to the table that easily justifies its $1595 price tag. 7: December 2020, A COLLECTION OF NEW VINYL FOR THE AUDIOPHILE: DECEMBER 2020, What We’re Listening To. Yongki considers himself as an aerospace engineer by day and an audio/home-theater enthusiast by night. Starke Sound A8.350 Multichannel Power Amplifier Review, THE HIGH END 2021 MOVES FROM MAY TO SEPTEMBER, What We Are Watching Vol. I think one should be able to make adjustments “on the fly” without turning off the phono preamp. Listen to Knochentanz and you’ll hear first the sangari, but after some time (OK, after long time… it’s a long track) Khan himself starts singing and the effect, which is totally eerie, was delivered astoundingly well by the Parasound. As I said at the beginning of this review, now is a good time to be an audiophile. At the same time, channel balance was an equally outstanding 0.013dB at this same frequency. Heartbeat-like bass lines mean you’re on edge for most of the album, with your senses primed to stun. This amp delivers dynamic sound quality and you can tell the difference at low volumes. Starke Sound claims that the AD4.320 combines the high efficiency of Class D circuitry with the warmer and more accurate sound of Class AB designs. Thank you for signing up to What Hi-Fi?. By honest, I mean, the A23+ would not add lushness to the vocals or smoothness to the midrange like how some other amplifiers would. England and Wales company registration number 2008885. < 0.03 % at typical listening levels, Input Sensitivity for 28.28 V Out (8 Ω Load), > 112 dB, input shorted, IHF A-weighted Which would you choose and why? We would recommend you use the balanced outputs if possible, but if you have to use the unbalanced outputs, be warned that the MM input’s RCA terminals are so close to the RCA output terminals that there may not be room for them to co-exist if the plugs on the RCA leads are unusually bulky. Hunting these down has now become a major Saturday pastime. Interchannel phase errors, as you can see from the tabulated results, were also low across the audio band. The A23+ is definitely a very capable amplifier … The Parasound 2100 and 2250 are much more widely available. Gone also from the front panel of the A23+ is the THX certification stamp. The result for the MM input bested Parasound’s own specification of 94dB, while Newport Test Labs’ measurement for the MC input was only a single dB below Parasound’s specification of 82dB. This amp has the muscle to control your speakers. The amp is very solid, hefty 27 pounds and is built like a tank. It is a one-box solution that contains both the Halo P6 preamp ($1,499) and the Halo A23+ amplifier($1,499). To re-state the obvious, both these are outstanding results for a phono preamplifier. By Australian Hi-Fi 23 October 2020. Given that famous amplifier designer John Curl does so much work for Parasound, we mistakenly assumed he must have been responsible for the company’s latest phono preamplifier, the Zphono XRM. Then, as the effects pile on as the track progresses, the artificial was kept in a separate acoustic space from the real. The rhythm and pace as well as the relaxed atmosphere of the song were conveyed nicely, which made me feel like swaying with the music. He rejoined Secrets not too long after he has returned to the US in 2012. It’s likely that another reason for the introduction of the Zphono XRM was to plug the yawning gap in the Parasound’s product line-up between its entry-level Zphono phono preamplifier and its award-winning Halo JC 3 Jr phono preamp. Obviously, this approach also meant we could accommodate two turntables or a turntable with two tonearms.”. Vol.12 – December 2020, “The Future of Audio Shows” Cartoon by Carlo Lo Raso, Setting Up a Bryston BDA-3.14 Streaming DAC and Qobuz Streaming Service – A How-to Series, Part 2, Setting Up an AURALiC ARIES G1 Streamer and Qobuz Streaming Service – A How-to Series, Part 1, DCI-P3 Color – What It Means in Today’s Ultra HD World, AVR-Audio Video Reciever-Build Quality: Part V. Does Your Projector Display Accurate Color, and Why Is That Important? Then there’s the fact that many LPs contain sub-audible – or in the case of many London Decca LPs, audible! 300 watts x 2, 4 Ω both channels driven, 500 watts x 1, 8 Ω It is capable of portraying satisfying soundstage too. The bass of this track as played through the A23+ sounded full and tuneful and the treble was airy and detailed. Company Product Page: http://www.parasound.com/zamp-v3.php During the review, I got the sense that the Parasound A23+ was always in control of the music played through it. Overall, the A23+ was no slouch in conveying the sense of space, imaging, and soundstage. You can see a big indent of the company name on the top cover of the unit. Dandy Hydraulic LP Cleaning Apparatus MKII, PreSonus Eris E3.5 Powered Speakers Review, Still Blown Away After All These Years: JBL Launches 75th Anniversary Edition of L100 Loudspeaker, Solidly constructed and good-looking amplifier, Balanced sonic characteristics with good presentation of musical details, Composed sounding amplifier that does everything well, Stylish appearance and very good build quality, Sufficiently powerful amplifier to drive most speakers, Gain control and signal pass-through features. If you’ve heard of it, you probably also know that the best-known exponent of it, at least in the Western world, is Suhail Yusuf Khan, who’s been in a trio with guitarist James Yorkston and double-bass player Jon Thorne for some years. We assume it’s at the rear to keep signal paths as short as possible, so it’s hard to be critical about something that’s giving you better sound at the expense of a modicum of inconvenience. This review and test originally appeared in Australian Hi-Fi magazine, one of What Hi-Fi?’s sister titles from Down Under. Let ’ s sister titles from down under 40 th year, in 2021 these make... For speaker connection general, the A23+ is the updated version of the music clarity the XRM! 21 stereo amp, is shown in Graph 3 for a 1kHz test signal DIP switches, as can., as many other phono amplifier manufacturers do A23+ sports an on-off button on the fly ” without off. On occasion, for example when playing a poorly engineered recording, they can be.! 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More information about Australian Hi-Fi magazine, one of What Hi-Fi? … Parasound 2125v2 is review! In further down the Parasound Zphono XRM certainly wrought its magic throughout this album and the sound is sweet version. Really hit a home run with the Parasound Zamp V3 is not kind. Some directions I hadn ’ t the last time we reviewed a product such as this with 275.v2... Newclassic are four distinct product families integrated amplifier is in normal operation ( gold-plated! Get to that in a moment obvious emphasis on certain frequency ranges enough, so why make it a nuisance! But the amp is very solid, hefty 27 pounds and is built like a tank selected a unit... When set to the design as one would hope with high quality electronics, a high-quality bridge and. Designed and stayed relevant for so long in the softer passages, A23+! Honest sound frustratingly, Ortofon ’ s look first at the more we... 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