Positive reviews by both leading audio reviewers and customers alike 2. I added the Parasound Halo A23 to boost the potential of my PSB Image towers and I am in love all over again. This is why discussions about the "sound quality" of amps are absurd. 17 October 2016. The output / power supply circuit board copper traces are doubled in thickness, and all internal audio signal path connectors are gold-plated. Toshiba had the process knocked, and produced them by the freight car load. Amplifier Review Parasound JC3+ phono amplifier, a dual mono design Posted on 14th April 2016. Neither are necessarily drop-in replacements for "obsolete" devices, so some redesign effort could well be required to convert to their use. The Parasound Halo JC 1+ power amplifier, in black or silver finish, will be available from authorized Parasound dealers in Q1, 2020, with a … Linear Systems presently makes some low-noise JFETs and Sanken makes some transistors for audio driver applications. Having let the Parasound monoblocks warm up, I started listening. As the JC 1+ operates in class-A up to 25W into 8 ohms when its bias is set to Normal, it runs hot. When Parasound announced it was releasing a line of products with legendary designer John Curl under the moniker Halo, the press release alone was spank material. And while treble is delicately detailed, pleasantly resolute, open, and teeming with good sparkle and shimmer, it is somewhat wanting of the full measure of effortlessness and extension that today's absolute best (read, much more expensive) amplifiers deliver. Parasound Zamp V.3 Zone Amplifier . That total capacitance figure of 22,400 on page 1 sure seems low. Click & Collect. 1. When Leif Swanson was here setting up the ULTRA 9’s, he spent some time looking for loading issues with no success and just kept shaking his head at how well this room works. an exemplary review.when shall we see its like again? An XL-600 would clip at about 370W, 680W and 900W into 8Ω, 4Ω and 2Ω, respectively. Doing so has proved that extremely high performance-per-dollar is still possible today when a company leverages decades of experience, and is spearheaded by a legend… Maybe the companies for which these "great/legendary amp designers" work don't have a sustaining engineering department whose function includes the redesign of existing products when certain components become "obsolete". In their pursuit to achieve the best possible electrical design, layout, and to use the best parts, John designed the circuits, Carl handled board layout and design (having done the circuit boards for the Vendetta Research phono stage, and the Parasound JC 1, JC 2 BP, JC 3+ and JC 3 Jr), while Bob selected the actual constituent parts, hookup wire, connectors, and terminals that populated Carl's boards, voicing the final result. The JC 5 is a 400-watt per channel stereo amplifier designed by John Curl that combines design elements of two top-of-the-line Halo JC 1 monoblock power amplifiers into a single chassis the same size as one JC 1. On the Vimbergs powered by the Parasounds, this atmospheric track sounded way better than my almost-four-decades-old memory would have predicted. Fundamental tonality and color from guitar, piano, violin, the human voice, et. And despite what the purists say, on occasion, for example when playing a poorly engineered recording, they can be useful. ... quite adequate, unless you want to specify a particular boutique brand of capacitor in order to help validate your creation or lend it a certain cachet in the marketplace. The JC1 features one of the largest power transformers I’ve seen in recent memory and is largely the reason for the JC1’s 60-plus pounds of weight. If you’re looking for a well-equipped integrated, but aren’t prepared to sacrifice performance, give this Parasound serious consideration. Shares. Not if Class-D and the environment has anything to do with it. His layouts were as much art as engineering. This result was a spectacular amplifier that yielded 400 watts into 8 ohms, 800 watts into 4 ohms, and 1200 watts into 2 ohms, with no observable compromise! 5 fuses/amplier. The front panel design not only matches the updated Halo family appearance, but also complements the inner beauty of the JC1+. The original JC 1 had additional secondary windings on its power transformer to feed the input and driver stage. The amp's distortion is completely masked by the much greater speaker distortion. Features, Features, Features . The first word that comes to mind while they were in play driving my VSA VR-55 Aktives was natural. Musicians from any number of genres of music, from Salsa to Rock ‘n' Roll to Classical, have actually wept after or during a listening session. Technical Editor, Stereophile. The reader may be somewhat surprised at finding a Parasound product reviewed in Superior Audio.This San Francisco-based company has for years offered well made, good-value products that compete principally with other value-priced marques such as Adcom, B&K and Rotel. https://content.kemet.com/datasheets/KEM_A4029_ALC10S.pdf Consider Parasound's Halo JC 1 monoblock power amplifier, designed by legendary engineer John Curl and originally reviewed by Michael Fremer in February 2003. They can be switched out of the signal path when not needed, giving a slightly clearer sound. Treble is very well focused and detailed, nearly effortlessly smooth, and in all my time with then, never even hinting at any etched sterility. This is the force that has been linked to Parasound's Halo C1 pre/pro ever since its trade-show debut a few years back, and it has only gained momentum with each successive instance of display without delivery. If you are unfamiliar with the name John Curl, you clearly haven't been around the audio industry long. While they were an undeniably "affordable" and exceptional option for someone looking for a powerful, performance amplifier, they had long occupied that "gateway" or "tweener" position between considerably more affordable options from well-respected manufactures like Rotel (just acquired by Sumiko on May 5th, 2020) or NAD, and those much more costly entrants pushing state-of-the-art performance. He did business as TG Audio Labs (reputedly standing for "Tough Gristle"), and was revered almost as a legend for both his ability to clearly hear and identify the sonic differences between materials and brands of audio parts as well as for his own TG branded cables and products. My new music room occupies the north end of the west half of my basement, in a room that is 45' X 13' x 7' 2". A kit was available to rackmount the chassis pair side-by-side, and it notably eschewed the engraved faceplates and lavish casework common to many of its competitors' products from that era. Parasound's new $2995 JC3+ is a significantly upgraded version of the already high performance original JC3 phono preamplifier, though outwardly it looks identical to the handsome original. £195.00. :-). In that time, Parasound has established itself as a quality manufacturer. While Richard Schram notes in a print interview from May of 2015 that the original Parasound Halo JC-1 amplifier was officially introduced to the world in March of 2003, I have photos of the late Bob Crump from the January 2002 CES using four of them, driving a pair of Wisdom Audio M-50 loudspeakers. Listening I can tell you that if I were shopping for a pair of monoblocks under $25,000, the Parasound Halo JC 1+ would be my first choice. Hopefully I will at some point in the reasonably near future. Textures and details that are glossed over in the A21 as one fat note. To deal with the increased current, the copper traces on the amplifier's main circuit board and the output-stage circuit boards are twice as thick as on the JC 1. This is especially true for P-channel devices, which are harder to make with low noise properties. The JC 1+ has a separate R-core power transformer that supplies ±89V to high-speed, soft-recovery bridge diodes and Nichicon filter capacitors totaling 22,400µF. While the new amplifier still has single-ended RCA and balanced XLR input jacks, along with a switch to optimize the input circuitry for each, there are now pass-through output jacks. They celebrate their 40th year, next year, in 2021. Quite honestly, if I were some of those competitors, I'd be more than a little concerned! Again, while not as precise in this regard as today's finest offerings, particularly in depth, absolute image sizing, and their interrelationships, instrumental locations are dimensionally solid and stable and image sizes are unquestionably realistic, neither bloated nor diminished. Internal differences It should be noted that at its introduction, the JC 1s were $3,000 each. Kronos Sparta turntable, Helena 10-inch solid-carbon-fiber tonearm, SSCPS Power Supply, Etsuro Gold MC Cartridge, Air Tight PC-1 MC Cartridge, Transfiguration Temper V MC Cartridge, Clearaudio Virtuoso Mk II MM Cartridge, Denon 103-D (with vdHul Mods) MC Cartridge, others. What will happen when they decide to retire? Today's JC 1+ offers 450 watts into 8 ohms, 850 watts into 4 ohms, and 1300 watts into 2 ohms! Von Schweikert Audio ULTRA 9, Von Schweikert Audio Vortex VR-33, B&W Matrix 1, with rare factory upgrade to van den Hul internal wire, Audience The ONE V3 Personal Reference Monitors. 1 mono pair. https://www.analog.com/cpsearch/crossreferencesearch.aspx You are certainly entitled to your opinion on this. Primary loudspeakers were the floorstanding Vimberg Minos that I reviewed in April 2020, though I also used my KEF LS50 minimonitors for some of the auditioning. In black or silver finish, the Halo JC 1+ will be available from authorized Parasound dealers in Q1 2020, … Parasound’s new JC 1+ uses the same 15-amp, 60HzMz Sanken bipolar output transistors as the original JC 1, but whereas the JC 1 had only 18 of them, the new JC 1+ has 24. Aesthetically, Parasound says the front panel not only matches the updated Halo family appearance, but also complements “the inner beauty” of the JC1+. Starting to distinguish himself in the late 1960s, he developed the four-quadrant symmetry balanced bridge amplifier for the Ampex Corporation. Parasound's mission is to put great sound into stunning packages, priced magnitudes lower than any competitor. Footnote 2: J. Gordon Holt and I visited John Curl in 1987 and witnessed him hand-matching small-signal FETs for use in the Vendetta phono preamplifier. Collection in person. DSA Phono II phono preamplifier, ModWright PH-150 tube phono preamplifier, Channel Islands Audio PEQ●1 MKII Phonostage. I own both this amplifiers and is A McIntosh Mc152 VS Parasound 2250v2. Power to components in the listening room is fully dedicated, with a pair of 20 amp runs for amplification, and another pair of 15 amp runs for all sources. The XL-600 sold for $1,200 - or about $2,800 as adjusted for inflation today. Also, there is far less of a selection of low noise, low distortion resistors in surface mount packages. “Let our rigorous testing and reviews be your guidelines to A/V equipment – not marketing slogans” Price and availability. Consider Parasound's Halo JC 1 monoblock power amplifier, designed by legendary engineer John Curl and originally reviewed by Michael Fremer in February 2003. No other amp delivered as much musical enjoyment as the JC1s with either speaker. In order to be able to use my PS Audio DirectStream D/A processor's volume control set sufficiently high so that its resolution would be preserved, I set the gain switches of the JC 1+ monoblocks to Low. It employs Harris hyper-fast, soft-recovery bridge diode rectifiers, REL & Nichicon Muse capacitors, as well as DC servo and relay protection circuits. Bridged AHB2s cost less than Pass XA60.8 or JC1+ :-) ........ yes a lot less, I was thinking of the JC5. Vinyl Cleaning/Care: Audio Desk Systeme Vinyl Cleaner Pro Ultrasonic LP Cleaner, AnalogMagik All in One Cartridge Alignment Software, the full gamut of LAST record care products, Disc Dr. Shakti Hallographs, CornerTunes. Parasound tries to create extremely solid designs that last for years as opposed to updates and tweaks every year. Parasound Halo JC 1 Monoblock Amplifier High value at a low(ish) price! One of its principal strengths was that it was biased to deliver its first 25 watts of output in class A! With the right recording, this system whisks you back to the venue or hall of the original performance for a spooky-real recreation of that event in the here and now. However, Parasound's Richard Schram announced in the summer of 2018 that a revised version of the Halo JC 1, with significant reworkings by John Curl of the circuit and parts, was coming down the 'pike. This wasn’t, by any means, inexpensive and given their history of building high performance-to-price equipment – we were very intrigued. Likewise, for resistors, unless perhaps you're in the business of building test equipment. Marantz's Ken Ishiwata used to comment on the matter of staying on top of device obsolescence and identifying acceptable replacements, while performing redesigns, as needed. https://www.stereophile.com/content/gramophone-dreams-26-nelson-pass-harmonic-distortion. Any thoughts about how the SQ compares to your Pass Labs XA60.8 amps? This is evident by the JC 1 mono amplifier serving as a base and inspiration for the JC 5. Audio Desk Vinyl Cleaner Pro Ultrasonic LP Cleaner, The Kronos Sparta 'table, Helena arm, with the Air Tight PC-1 moving coil cartridge. Sticker shock, and a lot of good reviews online and from friends with their amps, led me to Emotiva. Maybe that trend is spreading into the solid-state "realm"? All material within this site is copyrighted and can not be reprinted or used in any form without our express written permission. The Parasound Halo JC 5 certainly lives up to the buzz. Their ability to put out the first 10 or 25 watts pure class A makes them very resolving and natural sounding. Parasound’s range of products is quite broad, running from entry level to reasonably high end: the higher priced HALO range has an enviable reputation and has garnered good reviews internationally, but what we have here are two components from the New Classic range. Parasound has a great rep and is as you say "old school". "No-longer-manufactured" means "obsolete" in every engineering "realm" I've been associated with for the past 40 years. The amplifier is amazingly quiet, tonally balanced with an ability to deliver detail and layering in a price bracket just a notch below some of it’s bigger brothers. Parasound Halo JC 1 Monoblock Amplifier High value at a low(ish) price! Their effect while powering my reference system was one of affording an overall sense of relaxation, of a warm invitation to listen, allowing me to drop all presumptive concerns about listening to a complex reconstruction engine, a conglomeration of electro-mechanical devices, and simply bask in the musical gestalt of the recordings I played. All circuits in the room were set up for proper ground and polarity. External differences an often prolonged series of retaliatory, vengeful, or hostile acts, or exchange of such acts. The SCP-2 was a four-box solid-state phono stage, with separate left and right channel audio circuits, and separate left and right channel power supplies. ! Funny how the tube amp makers all seemed to manage when resistors were mostly of the carbon composition type. Dell Optiplex 990 Windows 10 computer (core i5, 12 GB RAM, 256GB SSD) dedicated as a music server running JRiver Media Center 26, 64-Bit, Roon, and Fidelizer Pro v8.5. However, unlike most coveted pieces of audiophilia, the JC1 was hugely affordable at $6,000 per pair, which meant that many audiophiles could actually own a piece of audio history, as opposed to just reading about it. The original JC 1 cost $6000/pair in 2003, and by the end of its production life the price was $8990/pair. All other devices in that room (lights, printers, computers, etc.) Saying it’s a great value is a bit of a disservice. Linear Systems has really done yeoman's work in providing JFETs for specialized industries. Why do "so many great/legendary amp designer's stockpile these JFETs (and other extra-ordinary parts)?" Combining both surface mount and through hole components on the same printed circuit board assemblies can certainly be done, but it costs more. Parasound JC-1 power amplifiers. Aside from the need to create new circuit board layouts and have SMT/SMD assembly capability, certain audio companies would have us believe that leaded/through-hole parts are "good" and that surface-mount parts are "bad". While it may always get second billing in the parade of human emotions, don't forget about anticipation's potent influence. The Parasound Halo JC 1+ power amplifier, in black or silver finish, will be available from authorized Parasound dealers in Q1, 2020, with a … After 16 years of legendary reviews from their JC1 amplifier, Parasound has finally given consumers exactly what they want: Two top-of-the-line Halo JC 1 monoblock power amplifiers integrated into a single chassis that is the same size as one JC 1. The output-stage circuit boards are now mounted vertically rather than horizontally, which should result in more effective heat dissipation. New to the Plus iteration is the use of FR-408 circuit board material, an R-core power transformer on the input stages, and extensively augmented input board shielding, all implemented to improve high-frequency performance and overall signal integrity. Would you find the phrases "not for new design" or "end of life" less offensive? All the other differences reside inside the chassis. You get a switchable phono stage, a headphone output and even tone controls. In their eyes, that’s just a bad and rushed design. I await them eagerly. Positive Feedback, A Premier High-End Audio Magazine – articles and reviews of loudspeakers, amplifiers, streamers, servers, headphones, DACs, preamplifiers, cables, tweaks, CD/SACD players, turntables, cartridges, tubes, music, and more! I have had a few Parasound products over the years and currently own a P6 paired with a JC 5 power amp. In the near-er future, I would like to upgrade to either one of the following two amplification choices:-choice #1: a (new) Parasound JC5, or-choice #2: a (used pair of) Parasound JC1 monoblocks Maybe the Technics SE-R1 had a shot? And while the original JC 1 used nine pair of output transistors, the 1+ now employs 24 beta-matched 15A, 230V, Sanken 60 MHz bipolar output transistors in twelve compliments. That inferiority is not "alleged".. If you (JA2) do a follow-up review of JC1+, may be you could also do a review of the Parasound top model, JC2 BP pre-amp ($4,500) :-) ....... Kal Rubinson reviewed the Halo JC2 BP in 2011. are on an entirely separate, isolated circuit. (Bruce Hofer, who certainly can be considered an expert on the topic, has written about this.) 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! Apparently the semiconductor fabs no longer manufacture high-performance but low-profit, complementary, small-signal J-FETS that get anywhere close to the performance of those used by Parasound, Ayre, and others. At the top of the product line sat the JC1 monaural amplifier, named after the man responsible for bringing it into existence, John Curl. However, open, detailed, and layered soundstaging, combined with realistically sized and spatially accurate images, are every bit as important to me as truthful timbre and musical bloom. Upgraded and enhanced, Parasound has added more than ‘go-faster’ stripes onto its new phono amplifier. :-) .......... Regrettably, I haven't had the opportunity to hear the JC 1+. Parasound has chosen to take a staple core product that has remained an exceptional value for over fifteen years, the Halo A21 amplifier, and re-spin it into the Halo A21+. My initial impressions reminded me of the first time I heard a Krell class-A amplifier, in the early 1980s: low-frequency authority combined with superbly precise stereo imaging and a deep, stable soundstage. After 16 years of legendary reviews from their JC1 amplifier, Parasound has finally given consumers exactly what they want: Two top-of-the-line Halo JC 1 monoblock power amplifiers integrated into a single chassis that is the same size as one JC 1. Parasound-designed CHK Infinium speaker terminals handle spade lugs up to 16mm wide, banana plugs, and 5-AWG bare speaker wire. ... totally stymied if a favorite component becomes "unobtanium"? None of the companies I've worked for would tolerate such a situation. I utilized the low bias setting for background music and hi bias for active listening. Audionet PRE G2, Dynamic Sounds Associates Pre I, ModWright SL 100 Tube linestage (rolled out with a vintage f32 Mullard GZ34 and a matched pair of 6SN7GT CBS/Hytron dual triodes), Channel Islands Audio PLC●1 MkII passive preamplifier with VAC●1 power supply. Parasound Halo A23 Stereo Amplifier Review In light of our slow shift toward two channel audio (no, we are not abandoning personal audio), I decided it would be a good idea to start with something basic, like a stereo amplifier. By this time, John was profoundly disappointed to see that components bearing his name were being released in iterations that fell considerably short of the full measure of their capabilities. Add to Compare . Their ability to render the sense of air and space around and between highly individualized voices throughout a complex and congested stage is remarkable. or Best Offer. I am not sure why Parasound advertise 25W of class A. To my knowledge, no one has ever stepped up to challenge that claim. Parasound Halo, ZoneMaster, Z Custom, and NewClassic are four distinct product families. That system made my Best of CES show report that year. Parasound Halo A23 Stereo Amplifier Review In light of our slow shift toward two channel audio (no, we are not abandoning personal audio), I decided it would be a good idea to start with something basic, like a stereo amplifier. In the days of CRT-type HDTV sets, Sanyo and Panasonic produced high-voltage transistors, with very low collector output capacitance, that were well suited for use in the driver stage of an audio power amp. That doesn't include the audiophile product business. To add insult to injury, John was not being paid what he had originally been promised. It employees 22,400 uF of input stage power supply filter capacitance, independent of the main output stage power supply, which has also been increased by half again, from 132,000 uF to 198,000 uF, using six 33,000 uF Nichicon Gold Tune filter capacitors. When I discussed the subject with the late Charley Hansen some years ago, the problem is that there weren't any replacement parts. Many of you asked for my impressions of the JC5, so here they are. Spoiler alert: This review continues that tradition of praise. See www.stereophile.com/content/music-round-47-page-3. ALL B-stock items are all professionally inspected by Parasound technicians and, most importantly, ALL B-Stock products contain the exact same FULL Parasound manufacturer’s warranty. And while falling somewhat short of accomplishing that sense of graceful effortlessness, of unfettered extension that allows the listener to subliminally perceive the air around the instruments, they still do an ample job regenerating trailing ambiance and decay. I owned a pair from about 2006 to 2019 and used them with two different highly regarded speaker systems. Obsolete parts are only to be inventoried for use as service spares, not for current production units. The new amplifier's printed circuit boards were designed by Carl Thompson, who was responsible for the boards in John Curl's Vendetta Research phono stage, as well as for the JC 1 and other Parasound products. Midrange, while clearly not as utterly compelling as is rendered by today's benchmark-setting amplifiers such as the VAC Statement 450i iQ Integrated ($150,000) or the Statement 452iQ Musicblocs ($150,000/pr. There just isn't the ready availability of film caps in the varieties found with through hole components. However, as exceptional as this pairing initially proved to be, it wasn't long into the first Reagan administration when underlying issues became problematic at the Levinson company. At first look the Parasound Halo A 51 is an appealing and robust amplifier accented by brushed metal finish. You really don’t see the output stage capacitance specified very often. Actual time spent with the Parasound products in my own system (NC2250 and NC5250) and a friends system (Halo JC1 , A51, A21, ZoneMaster 650) 4. If they are, indeed, truly "great/legendary", shouldn't it be well within their capability to develop an alternate design that uses more readily available devices? Additionally, Parasound's A21 just won an … Great amps for the money. It features a newly designed cascode circuit driver stage that integrates with Bybee Music Rails™, active high-frequency noise filters from Bybee Technologies. The availability of surface-mount film capacitors is ... bridged AHB2s would also be a very helpful comp, Great rap JA for a great amp, you get the good ones to review. I’m sure that a 22,400uf rating is impressive, but I’m more interested in comparing apples to apples. B-Stock gives audiophile enthusiasts the opportunity to purchase Parasound products at a discounted price. http://www.supertech-elec.com.tw/electronic/ECAPS/Audio-4TTN.htm. The $995 price is right for budding audiophiles in the … Actual time spent with the Parasound products in my own system (NC2250 and NC5250) and a friends system (Halo JC1 , A51, A21, ZoneMaster 650) 4. www.stereophile.com/content/music-round-47-page-3. Their ability to convey bass weight and slam, to render concussive impact while remaining extremely detailed and articulate was exceptional. In addition, the JC 1+ uses a pair of Bybee Music Rails, which are patented active, high-frequency noise filters. Meanwhile, I'll have to make do with the M2s I have here at the moment. In this regard, they best or clearly equal many other more costly contenders, such as the Pass Labs XA160.8 or Constellation Inspiration 1.0 series of amplifiers…and the Halo JC 1+ monos are roughly two-thirds of their price. Founded in 1981, Parasound Products, Inc., is a privately-owned U.S. company that specializes in providing affordable audio components to the critical listener. Parasound Halo HINT 6 Integrated Amplifier . This amplifier needs to be well-ventilated, though if space is at a premium the output-stage bias can be lowered with the rear-panel switch, which reduces the class-A power to 10W into 8 ohms. Room taming is achieved with the use of RoomTunes Corner Tunes, two Echo Tunes (one each at the tweeter's primary reflection points on the ceiling), and the stunningly effective Shakti Innovations Hallographs.
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