NAD vs Parasound - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 46 Old 05-30-2007, 07:44 PM - Thread Starter
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hi - i'd like your input with regard to a possible purchase. i'm looking at upgrading my amp which is a NAD C320BEE. i'm considering NAD C272/C162 or Parasound A23/P3 or possibly the NAD C372. based on most comments i've read the amp/pre-amp system typically seems to be the better choice over an integrated amp??? i have Monitor Audio RS6 speakers and an Integra CDC 3.4 cd player. this system is only for music and is in a sperate room from the tv/ surround system.
i'd appreciate any comments as to the products i've noted; amp/pre-amp vs int. amp; or other suggested products.

thanks - tom
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post #2 of 46 Old 05-31-2007, 01:25 PM
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with your nad c320bee (1) replace the flimsy jumpers connecting pre out main in with interconnect cables and (2) replace the thinny power cord with thicker one

the pre section is mediocre but the power amp section is very good

suggest you consider the mods before you fork out hard earned money for another amp

cpu8088 - OLD and SLOW !!!
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post #3 of 46 Old 05-31-2007, 03:35 PM
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I have the NAD C162/C272 combo. It's definitely a "killer" combo, and the best way to go for high-quality 2-channel performance at the best price.
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post #4 of 46 Old 06-02-2007, 12:57 PM
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FWIW, I have the P3/A23/T3 setup and they are very good components. Look nice, too.
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post #5 of 46 Old 09-20-2007, 03:55 PM
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Do you think this option C162/C272 will sound better than a C325BEE as a pre amplified with the NAD C272?
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post #6 of 46 Old 09-21-2007, 01:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by obonillaf View Post

Do you think this option C162/C272 will sound better than a C325BEE as a pre amplified with the NAD C272?

See my post #3 on the thread you started on 9/19(Help me choose an NAD pre/amp combo).
Richard
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post #7 of 46 Old 09-24-2007, 11:20 PM
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Being a parasound dealer I personally have the A21 and absolutely love it. I have tested the A23 and loved it as well. I just personally needed more power so I went with the beefier A21. If you need anymore information shoot me a email I would love to help you out.
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post #8 of 46 Old 09-25-2007, 07:50 AM
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Quote:


Being a parasound dealer I personally have the A23 and absolutely love it. I have tested the A21 and loved it as well. I just personally needed more power so I went with the beefier A23. If you need anymore information or pricing shoot me a email I would love to help you out.

I would be careful in how you word your posts going forward. The by-laws of this forum prohibit dealers from using such language that might be interpreted as soliciting sales. The forum moderators will come down on you harshly. It's good that you identify yourself as a dealer, though. I think all dealers should and most do, which includes me.

Quote:


I have tested the A21 and loved it as well. I just personally needed more power so I went with the beefier A23

That statement is incorrect, the A21 is the "beefier" amp.

Quote:


i'd like your input with regard to a possible purchase. i'm looking at upgrading my amp which is a NAD C320BEE. i'm considering NAD C272/C162 or Parasound A23/P3 or possibly the NAD C372

In my personal opinion the Halo's are far superior to the NAD. I've had many experiences with both brands as a dealer. The Parasounds to me not only perform quite well, they look stunning, but most importantly they are rock solid in terms of quality and have the superior warranty. This is not to say the NAD's sound bad, but I'll be honest here and say that issues with quality and service over the years has soured any likes that I had for them. I certainly wouldn't fault someone for liking them, though. My experiences might be different from yours.

The P3/A23 is an excellent combo. Personally, I prefer the sound of the C2 processor over the P3, but it should sound better as its 4x the price. To me, there is no better 2 channel amp on the market that betters the performance of the A23 at it's price. This amp is very special and has the ability to drive difficult loads. You've all heard me preach this many times. Case in point: I have this little amp hooked up to our Dynaudio Contour S5.4 in the showroom. For those familiar with Dynaudios, they can be tough to drive. The A23 drives them quite well without clipping at insane volume levels. Most are amazed when I show them the amp driving the Dyn's.

It comes down to what sounds best to your ears. These are only opinions from others, but my opinions I stand by.

Good luck!

Tony G. Cordova, President
Showplace Oklahoma - Showplace Theater & Sound
"We put the SHOW in your PLACE."
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post #9 of 46 Old 09-25-2007, 12:01 PM
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Quote:




That statement is incorrect, the A21 is the "beefier" amp.





Thanks for the heads up. I didn't realize I had my models flipped around. Glad to see another dealer with some taste on here
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post #10 of 46 Old 09-25-2007, 07:04 PM
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Quote:


Glad to see another dealer with some taste on here

I do my best.

There are certainly other options, but I personally feel the Parasound Halo's are best in their class. Just a phenominal product.

Tony G. Cordova, President
Showplace Oklahoma - Showplace Theater & Sound
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post #11 of 46 Old 09-25-2007, 07:31 PM
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Tony you like the halo so much, let me guess out have Halo3 right?
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post #12 of 46 Old 09-26-2007, 08:14 PM
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Quote:


Tony you like the halo so much, let me guess out have Halo3 right?

Not sure I understand, I'm slow, though. You talking about the video game?

Tony G. Cordova, President
Showplace Oklahoma - Showplace Theater & Sound
"We put the SHOW in your PLACE."
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post #13 of 46 Old 09-26-2007, 10:32 PM
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Yeah just messing with you. By the way i hope to be in touch with you soon as long as a hurricane does not hit and blow the island away.
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post #14 of 46 Old 09-29-2007, 04:05 PM
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I looked at both the NAD stuff and the Parasound stuff when I was building my system.

I was never able to do an A/B comparison between the two, but both brands seem to produce good quality gear.

I personally ended up going with the Parasound separates because I preferred the looks of the Parasound gear (all of the NAD stuff is so bland looking--except for the Master series, of course).
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post #15 of 46 Old 09-14-2009, 11:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robonaut View Post

I looked at both the NAD stuff and the Parasound stuff when I was building my system.

I was never able to do an A/B comparison between the two, but both brands seem to produce good quality gear.

I personally ended up going with the Parasound separates because I preferred the looks of the Parasound gear (all of the NAD stuff is so bland looking--except for the Master series, of course).

Reviving an old thread here.
I want to replace my NAD C352 amp with a power amp and the A21 is what I am looking at. Yes, there is a lot of crap on the net about NAD. But I love the NAD house sound and don't want to loose it when I upgrade. Is the Parasound cool sounding like the Rotel or warm like the NAD? I would probably term NAD as neutral (in it's price range). It does not bring the music forward. Has a laid back sound that I love. I believe the Parasound A21 will go well with a TVC (passive preamp) as it has a good (would have licked higher though) sensitivity. How I wish I could afford a pair of JC1 momo-blocks
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post #16 of 46 Old 09-15-2009, 10:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by milpai View Post

Reviving an old thread here.
I want to replace my NAD C352 amp with a power amp and the A21 is what I am looking at. Yes, there is a lot of crap on the net about NAD. But I love the NAD house sound and don't want to loose it when I upgrade. Is the Parasound cool sounding like the Rotel or warm like the NAD? I would probably term NAD as neutral (in it's price range). It does not bring the music forward. Has a laid back sound that I love. I believe the Parasound A21 will go well with a TVC (passive preamp) as it has a good (would have licked higher though) sensitivity. How I wish I could afford a pair of JC1 momo-blocks

In the price range of the A21, I don't think there is a better amplifier available. I use 2 of them in my setup. I also have a pair of JC-1 Monoblocks. And when I had to send one of the JC-1's in for some minor warranty work, I used one of the A21's in their place, and my system never skipped a beat.

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post #17 of 46 Old 09-15-2009, 11:26 AM
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Rutgar, can I come to your house and listen to music?
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post #18 of 46 Old 09-15-2009, 01:46 PM
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Rutrag,
Thanks for the info. Just curious - what does the A21 loose on the JC1? I know it is a lot of price difference, but that weakness did you find in A21 when compared to the JC1? How do you define the sound of A21 as? Is it forward sounding or bright or warm?
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post #19 of 46 Old 09-15-2009, 01:47 PM
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Rutgar,
I am so sorry, I misspelled your name in my last post
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post #20 of 46 Old 09-15-2009, 02:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by milpai View Post

Reviving an old thread here.
I want to replace my NAD C352 amp with a power amp and the A21 is what I am looking at. Yes, there is a lot of crap on the net about NAD. But I love the NAD house sound and don't want to loose it when I upgrade. Is the Parasound cool sounding like the Rotel or warm like the NAD? I would probably term NAD as neutral (in it's price range). It does not bring the music forward. Has a laid back sound that I love. I believe the Parasound A21 will go well with a TVC (passive preamp) as it has a good (would have licked higher though) sensitivity. How I wish I could afford a pair of JC1 momo-blocks


Roughly 8 months ago, I posted this on AVS; i.e. A21 (stereo 60 lbs) vs a recent (used) Sherwood Newcastle A-965 (125x7 70 lbs):

I've used the A21 for a month now (9 months now) and am very happy with it.

Pros for the A21:
1. The A21 is more detailed than my 7 channel Sherwood Newcastle A-965. Point for the A21.
2. The A21 is not fatiguing even with many hours of listening, which is a real accomplishment for an amp that has detail. But still a tie, as no fatigue is perhaps the best feature of the A-965.
3. The A21 has somewhat less speaker bass "bloat" than the A-965. Point for the A21.
4. The A21 is very well behaved. No bad behavior of any kind. No pops or ticks or hum of the unit or speakers, while running. No bizarre on/off behavior. A tie, as the A-965 is also well behaved.
5. The A21 has wonderful options on the back panel, the A-965 has none. Point for the A21.
6. The A21 is 60 lbs, vs. 70 lbs for the A-965. Point for the A21.
7. The A21 front panel lights provide more unit status and fault status.
Point for the A21. Perhaps a small point, until it is needed.

Cons for the A21:
1. The A21 does give off maybe twice the heat that the A-965 does, due to it's high bias A/AB operation; perhaps "warm" but not hot, gives a better sense of it. To me this is close, but half a point to a full point against the A21.

- - - - -

There are likely other more subtle issues that also favor the A21, but the above are enough to make me very happy with having gotten the A21.

- - - - -

At this point (8 months later), I can also add that my stereo A21 amp lets changes that I make (with either the pre or the player) come through. Meaning that the A21 is a very neutral SS amp.

Cheers

The best is the enemy of the good. Voltaire (1694-1778)

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post #21 of 46 Old 09-15-2009, 03:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by milpai View Post

Rutrag,
Thanks for the info. Just curious - what does the A21 loose on the JC1? I know it is a lot of price difference, but that weakness did you find in A21 when compared to the JC1? How do you define the sound of A21 as? Is it forward sounding or bright or warm?

As I indicated in my previous post, I was quite surprised at how well the A21 handled my mains when I had one of the JC-1's off for repair. In fact, if I didn't already have the JC-1's, I might have very seriously considered just going with another A21 instead of the JC-1's. But on the same token, since I already have the JC-1's, I wouldn't consider replacing them with an A21. My point is, is that if you can't afford a pair of JC-1's, you won't be dissapointed with the performance of the A21. Also the the A21 has a cool little feature that the JC-1's don't have, which is a pair of pre-amp level outputs. These can offer all kinds of veristilty with line-level powered subwoofer options, etc.

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post #22 of 46 Old 09-15-2009, 04:26 PM
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Like, Zoiks!! I just got the latest integra DTR 50.1 receiver with 160 watts/channel. I currently have a mirage unispeaker (Left,Center, Right) in one, a NHT 12 subwoofer, and some generic rear in wall speakers that was built with the house. Should I upgrade and get rid of the unispeaker and get tower speakers for the front or keep the unispeaker?
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post #23 of 46 Old 09-17-2009, 11:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OtherSongs View Post

3. The A21 has somewhat less speaker bass "bloat" than the A-965. Point for the A21.

What do you mean "bass bloat"???

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post #24 of 46 Old 09-19-2009, 09:45 PM
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Othersongs,
Good to know that the A21 is neutral. My TVC is a chameleon and can easily show the components in the chain. Thanks for your analysis.

Rutgar,
Thanks for your feed back. I am glad that the A21 is very much comparable to the JC-1. I will wait till the Rock Mountain fest and see if some new amp shows on the market and then finalize my purchase.

Milpai
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post #25 of 46 Old 10-03-2009, 07:48 AM
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Nowadays, integrated amp is the way to go. Pre/amp setup costs too much to justify the difference (I didn't say better) in sound. I've even started buying only integrated amps that have digital inputs as newer gears stream to your amp.
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post #26 of 46 Old 01-30-2010, 08:16 PM
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I got the Parasound A21 exactly 2 weeks back and have been impressed with it's music making quality. I auditioned the amp with my current amp (NAD C352 used as power amp) at a local dealer for about 1-1 1/2 hours. His system did not sound as good as mine. But I found that the A21 bettered my amp - though not much. But once I put that amp in my system, I must say that the A21 is awesome. Again, this is only after the initial 20 hours of burn-in. If anyone tries to judge the amp when it is cold or not had the burn-in, they will not at all be impressed.

I was more worried because I use a TVC in my system. But the A21 is indeed a great match for passive preamps. I was also worried because somewhere someone mentioned that the A21 was "very detailed". But this detail is indeed the detail that my previous amp missed - and a great lot of the details in bass and treble (extreme frequency ends). In fact I am surprised that I have lost the digital glare - that I never thought existed in my system. The A21 sounds so natural that it is unbelievable. The mid-range is also so natural. I never thought that there would be so much difference between my NAD and another amp. But the Parasound is a total different league.

But the NAD was a good amp for the money I paid. And it got picked up on Audiogon in approximately 15 mins after I placed the ad. I lost just about $260 (of purchase price) on the NAD amp after using it for 4 1/2 years. So, the NAD is a great value for money and the Parasound is an altogether different league. If NAD is schooling, then Parasound is MS (not just college).

This is my take on the original NAD VS Parasound thread - from a person who has experienced both.
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post #27 of 46 Old 01-30-2010, 09:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by milpai View Post

If anyone tries to judge the amp when it is cold or not had the burn-in, they will not at all be impressed.

I too own an A21. I phoned Parasound customer service to ask if I should leave the amp powered on at all times or turn it on in the morning and off at night, I listen to my system almost everyday. I spoke with Richard Shram, he shared that the amp is built to warm up in 10 seconds. He said the amp will sound the same at 11 seconds as it will at 11 hours. He recommends turning the A21 off when not in use.

He went on to explain his idea of "burn-in". Richard Shram the president and founder of Parasound does not believe his products burn-in. There is no language in any Parasound manual that addresses burn-in.
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post #28 of 46 Old 01-30-2010, 10:09 PM
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I have owned the C320BEE and compared it to a Parasound HCA-800, Bryston 2B, 3B, Proceed AMP2, YBA YA 201 and a Krell KAV 300iL. I kept the Krell. It is like PB&J with my Dynaudios.

The worst amp with my Dyn 1.3 SEs was the Parasound. though YMMV. I agree with a previous poster that the weak link of the NAD is the lousy pre amp section. I owned an Arcam FMJ A 22 and I thought that it was very nice sounding, not quite as good as the Krell but good enough to sell to my beloved brother (so no slouch)!

If you buy the NAD amp be prepared to buy a good preamp, ohterwise go on Audiogon and buy a really nice integrated amp. Find an amp that when paired with your speakers brings a smile to your face every time you turn it on.
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post #29 of 46 Old 01-31-2010, 06:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by math-geek View Post

I have owned the C320BEE and compared it to a Parasound HCA-800.

I agree with a previous poster that the weak link of the NAD is the lousy pre amp section.

The Halo series compared to the HCA series from Parasound is comparing apples to oranges, very different products.

I owned an NAD C372 integrated amp. The NAD drove speakers well but I agree the preamp section was the weak link of the NAD I owned.
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post #30 of 46 Old 01-31-2010, 07:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by K Shep View Post

I too own an A21. I phoned Parasound customer service to ask if I should leave the amp powered on at all times or turn it on in the morning and off at night, I listen to my system almost everyday. I spoke with Richard Shram, he shared that the amp is built to warm up in 10 seconds. He said the amp will sound the same at 11 seconds as it will at 11 hours. He recommends turning the A21 off when not in use.

He went on to explain his idea of "burn-in". Richard Shram the president and founder of Parasound does not believe his products burn-in. There is no language in any Parasound manual that addresses burn-in.

KShep,
It is my experience and not belief. I am putting on the thread what I experience - not what Parasound says. If you do not experience it in your system, then I have no say - it is YOUR system. Like I mentioned earlier, I was not that thrilled by my dealer's system. But in my system the A21 sounded awesome - only after the initial 20 hours. My system is very revealing. And I am pretty happy with it.

Firms have their opinions and most will claim that their product are the best on the market. It is for us users to experience and decide which products are good, great, ok, bad, etc. Yes, I will not let the amp powered up all the time. But I do power it up at least 30 mins (with background music) before critical listening - based on MY EXPERIENCE in MY SYSTEM.

I would rather like to read about YOUR opinion - not some one else's. One thing I guess we both agree is that this amp is AWESOME.
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