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post #3151 of 3605 Old 03-11-2014, 11:48 PM
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Originally Posted by jima4a View Post

So I am finally going to be a member of the Parasound club. Have been a fan for a long time and have had several amazing conversations with Richard. Waiting for my A31 to arrive, no ETA yet. Thanks to RichB for his input and valued insights. This will power my center and surrounds.

Congrats jima4a smile.gif Do try it on the mains & center as well wink.gif
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post #3152 of 3605 Old 03-12-2014, 07:39 AM
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Thanks! So have a question on cables. Neither my Bryston 4Bsst2 nor the A31 are fully balanced so for short runs I have heard that single ended interconnects can sound better than XLRs. Since I should be able to better match gains I was thinking of trying XLRs but not if that is true. It has been a couple years since I seen that, however. Any thoughts?

Main Kef: Reference 205/2 & 202/2c, Surrounds: Kef XQ40, Velodyne Optimum 12, Integra DHC 80.3, Oppo BDP-103, Bryston 4Bsst2, Parasound Halo A31. Second B&W: 685 (3), CCM618, Def Tech Powerfield 1500, Onkyo TX-NR1008, DBP 2010, Samsung BD-C7900, Zone 2 Klipsch AW650. Sitting still CCM616, Kef...
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post #3153 of 3605 Old 03-12-2014, 08:13 AM
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Originally Posted by jima4a View Post

Thanks! So have a question on cables. Neither my Bryston 4Bsst2 nor the A31 are fully balanced so for short runs I have heard that single ended interconnects can sound better than XLRs. Since I should be able to better match gains I was thinking of trying XLRs but not if that is true. It has been a couple years since I seen that, however. Any thoughts?

I went all balanced. They do not have to be expensive and I have had some reduction in hum.
The gain is larger but many amps account for that so the levels do not change.
Not sure about the A31 gain, but Parasound recommend XLR.
Also, the A31 has gain adjustments.

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post #3154 of 3605 Old 03-12-2014, 10:14 AM
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Originally Posted by RichB View Post

I went all balanced. They do not have to be expensive and I have had some reduction in hum.
The gain is larger but many amps account for that so the levels do not change.
Not sure about the A31 gain, but Parasound recommend XLR.
Also, the A31 has gain adjustments.

- Rich

The revised A31 seems to have signal boost to +6db. Is that a good idea?

Mine also all balanced from sources to pre to the amps and i cap those unused rca inputs and outputs with the rca noise caps and have no noises or what-so-ever. No regret wink.gif
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post #3155 of 3605 Old 03-12-2014, 10:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Hifi4Hobby View Post

The revised A31 seems to have signal boost to +6db. Is that a good idea?

Mine also all balanced from sources to pre to the amps and i cap those unused rca inputs and outputs with the rca noise caps and have no noises or what-so-ever. No regret wink.gif

Not a problem since the gain is adjustable.
Yep, these are great amps.

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post #3156 of 3605 Old 03-12-2014, 10:23 AM
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Originally Posted by jima4a View Post

Thanks! So have a question on cables. Neither my Bryston 4Bsst2 nor the A31 are fully balanced so for short runs I have heard that single ended interconnects can sound better than XLRs. Since I should be able to better match gains I was thinking of trying XLRs but not if that is true. It has been a couple years since I seen that, however. Any thoughts?

Do let us know how does the A31 compares to the infamous 4bsst2 from Bryston. Last i heard its quite a beast on its own. Always love the design with the heatsinks outside of the casing than inside. Seem to have much less problem in the longer term and over the year.
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post #3157 of 3605 Old 03-12-2014, 10:34 AM
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Okay, you can PM me as this is highly flammable topic. A good source of mine says you do not need to go crazy but with highly revealing speakers, he said you need to go above Monoprice for XLR. Recommendations and where to buy.

Main Kef: Reference 205/2 & 202/2c, Surrounds: Kef XQ40, Velodyne Optimum 12, Integra DHC 80.3, Oppo BDP-103, Bryston 4Bsst2, Parasound Halo A31. Second B&W: 685 (3), CCM618, Def Tech Powerfield 1500, Onkyo TX-NR1008, DBP 2010, Samsung BD-C7900, Zone 2 Klipsch AW650. Sitting still CCM616, Kef...
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post #3158 of 3605 Old 03-12-2014, 10:43 AM
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Originally Posted by jima4a View Post

Okay, you can PM me as this is highly flammable topic. A good source of mine says you do not need to go crazy but with highly revealing speakers, he said you need to go above Monoprice for XLR. Recommendations and where to buy.

Sure do but i thought you're still waiting for the A31 ETA? Do drop us a line here when you have gotten the A31 and i will PM you on the two comparison. For the XLRs, its very much depends on one taste and hearing but i went for Signal Cable XLRs instead. For me i felt sources are more critical than exotic cabling and where i can heard most differences so that is where i would put my bets.
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post #3159 of 3605 Old 03-12-2014, 02:11 PM
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I've also read that if your signal chain doesn't contain fully balanced components (differential topologies) then it's better to just go RCA. So for example, from source (CD player) to preamp to power amp, all of these elements must be fully balanced designs. If not, constantly converting between balanced and unbalanced (balanced cables to unbalanced circuits) is actually detrimental, though probably not audibly perceivable. Maybe someone can elaborate but i'd say if you're not doing especially long cable runs, RCA is the way to go.
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post #3160 of 3605 Old 03-12-2014, 05:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jima4a View Post

Okay, you can PM me as this is highly flammable topic. A good source of mine says you do not need to go crazy but with highly revealing speakers, he said you need to go above Monoprice for XLR. Recommendations and where to buy.

I can tell you I stuck a 35' pair of balanced Monoprice cables between my P7 and A21. The sound glared initially, but 48 hours later it was quite neutral. Maybe it was just a good balance with the rest of my cabling which is Cardas.

See ya. Dave

"High Fidelity audio has been like a dog chasing his tail. High Fidelity in my marriage has been much more rewarding cause she knows where I sleep."
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post #3161 of 3605 Old 03-12-2014, 05:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Kal Rubinson View PostSure, there is.  I keep the front channel amps up front with the front channel speakers while I keep the rear channel amps in the rack close to the rear channel speakers.

I do exactly the same on my main system short speaker cables long XLR cables

 

Three 800 Diamond powered by three CA-M600 :)

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post #3162 of 3605 Old 03-12-2014, 05:48 PM
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Originally Posted by jima4a View PostOkay, you can PM me as this is highly flammable topic. A good source of mine says you do not need to go crazy but with highly revealing speakers, he said you need to go above Monoprice for XLR. Recommendations and where to buy.

 

Mogami 2534 XLR Male to XLR Female Audio Cables Featuring Neutrik Connectors, used in all major recording studios :)

 

http://www.markertek.com/Cables/Audio-Cables/XLR-to-XLR-Cables/TecNec/MSC1-5XXJ.xhtml

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post #3163 of 3605 Old 03-12-2014, 05:55 PM
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I went with BJC XLRs. Well made, inexpensive and they too come with the Neutrik connectors. They definitely eliminated my hum problem.

He (or she) who dies with the most HT gear doesn't win anything. They're DEAD!
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post #3164 of 3605 Old 03-12-2014, 06:42 PM
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I use Morrow Audio MA4 XLR's wink.gif
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post #3165 of 3605 Old 03-12-2014, 07:38 PM
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I would encourage you to experiment with putting the amp closer to the P7.  

 

My experience with Monoprice has revealed QC issues in cables, also banana plugs.  I would suggest if we are willing to spend thousands of dollars on Parasound gear it's an option to be willing to spend a little more than the bottom of the bargain bin(Monoprice) for cables.  Just my opinion.

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post #3166 of 3605 Old 03-12-2014, 07:43 PM
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Originally Posted by audio4life View Post

I would encourage you to experiment with putting the amp closer to the P7.  

My experience with Monoprice has revealed QC issues in cables, also banana plugs.  I would suggest if we are willing to spend thousands of dollars on Parasound gear it's an option to be willing to spend a little more than the bottom of the bargain bin(Monoprice) for cables.  Just my opinion.

What cables are you using now?

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post #3167 of 3605 Old 03-12-2014, 08:32 PM
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I'm using Audioquest speaker cables and Morrow Audio for interconnects.

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post #3168 of 3605 Old 03-12-2014, 08:40 PM
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I'm using Audioquest speaker cables and Morrow Audio for interconnects.

I'm using Morrow SP3 Biwire on my mains and MA3 XLR's from the Oppo 105 to my 8801 , I also use Mikes MAP 2 power cable on the Marantz, they replaced a lot of AQ but when AQ was in the chain they did play well together wink.gif
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post #3169 of 3605 Old 03-12-2014, 08:47 PM
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Just get MOGAMI, CANAREE OR BELDEN And all will be well these are the three main brands used in all the recording studios worldwide smile.gif
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Just get MOGAMI, CANAREE OR BELDEN And all will be well these are the three main brands used in all the recording studios worldwide smile.gif
BJC uses Belden wire.

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post #3171 of 3605 Old 03-12-2014, 11:04 PM
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Originally Posted by jima4a View Post

Thanks! So have a question on cables. Neither my Bryston 4Bsst2 nor the A31 are fully balanced so for short runs I have heard that single ended interconnects can sound better than XLRs. Since I should be able to better match gains I was thinking of trying XLRs but not if that is true. It has been a couple years since I seen that, however. Any thoughts?

I haven't looked at the schematic for the A31, but I can assure you that the Bryston 4BSST2 is a true differential balanced design. I'm not sure what you mean by "fully balanced" - you may be talking about mirror image / separate paths for each side of the balanced signal. Yes, some components use completely separate signal paths for each side, but that is not the ideal implementation of a balanced signal - because there is no cancelation of the differential noise. That design doesn't reject the noise and actually amplifies it and passes it down the signal chain.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Balanced_audio#Interference_reduction

I also once thought that an independent signal path for each side of the balanced signal was the ideal implementation, but the more I read about it the more I was convinced that a DIFFERENTIAL design which rejects the noise is the correct design. The balanced cable has the two conductors - one in-phase and one out-of-phase for a reason - so that a differential circuit can very easily cancel any induced noise. This is Bryston's reasoning - read it and see if you don't agree:

http://bryston.com/PDF/newsletters/Bryston_Newsletter_V3_1.pdf

I have a disc player, a preamp, a crossover, and an amp all using balanced outputs to differential inputs and it is an amazingly quiet system - i can play an all zero test track on a test disc with the volume at max and dead quiet - amazing. Go balanced if you can, you won't be disappointed, the only noise you will hear will be from the original source recording.

As for cables, they are much less important in a balanced system. I just went for quality construction and high quality connectors - I like the Neutrik connectors the best. None of my cables were over $100 - I bought some Mogami, Blue Jeans Cable, close out Audioquest and Cardas. Would I like to have high end cables? Sure, but I know they wouldn't sound any better and I can save my money for other things that will make a difference in the sound.

2-Ch (HT L/R): Oppo BDP-105 BD, Adcom GFP-750 pre, Bryston 10B Sub Xover, Bryston 4BSST2, Paradigm Signature S4 v.2, (2) SVS SB12-NSD subs, AQ & Cardas XLR
Home Theater: Bryston 4BSST2 amp / Paradigm CC-590 (C), Outlaw 7700 amp / (4) Def Tech UIW-RSSII (LS/RS/LB/RB), Samsung 46” 3D LCD
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post #3172 of 3605 Old 03-13-2014, 05:56 AM
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I am not a EE and many that I know of in Audio recommend a full balanced amps.
However, my understanding is that they do not reduce odd order harmonics. No doubt, Bryston are great amps.

I have a friend who is a musician and I tell him all this stuff and he listens and after a while, he says:

"How does it sound?"

And I say, "it sounds great."

And he says, "then what are you worried about?" tongue.gifsmile.gif

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post #3173 of 3605 Old 03-13-2014, 06:05 AM
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There are amps out there with extreme low distortion such as Soulution (mega bucks), but whether that makes an audible difference on your particular speakers is doubtful ...

Most multichannel receivers are not "fully balanced". Gotta go 2 channel mostly to find fully balanced offerings. In either case common mode noise rejection is mostly for long runs of xlr cables.

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post #3174 of 3605 Old 03-13-2014, 06:33 AM
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Originally Posted by RichB View Post

I am not a EE and many that I know of in Audio recommend a full balanced amps.

I am an EE and I am familar with the ins and outs of the issues related to this.

I'll bet that you actually don't know many people who are gung ho on balanced amps compared to the number of people with relevant expertise in this area, you're just reading while papers by noisy minority with something to sell.

Not long after the beginning most amps were inherently balanced because they were push-pull and transformer coupled. Tubes were inefficient and production volumes were low enough that this expensive form of construction was justified.

Today we have solid state amplifier hybrid chips with 3 100+ wpc amps that sell for like $12 in small quantifies and measure like this:



I look at this and think "The best case audibility of THD is 0.05%, the rise above that at low outputs is noise not distortion, and what is all of the shouting about power amps about anyway?". This my friend is why "All good amps sound the same".

this is the schematic of a 100% balanced power amp that could easily apply to a PA amplifier:



Where's the beef? ;-)
Quote:
However, my understanding is that they do not reduce odd order harmonics.

I can confirm that.
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No doubt, Bryston are great amps.

But not audibly different from QSC or Crown.
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I have a friend who is a musician and I tell him all this stuff and he listens and after a while, he says:

"How does it sound?"

And I say, "it sounds great."

And he says, "then what are you worried about?" tongue.gifsmile.gif

You must have found one of the sane musicans. Congratuatlions! ;-)
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post #3175 of 3605 Old 03-13-2014, 06:47 AM
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Obviously haven't read the whole thread but I just put in an order to join the Parasound club. I have a Klipsch Reference home theater with an Onkyo TX-NR818 and use an AppleTV as my primary source. Wanted to have a higher end front end for stereo as I quickly discovered that Pure Audio mode on the AVR provided vastly better sound but that precludes the use of a subwoofer and also just sort of highlighted the general lack of focus on audio quality in most mass market AVRs. Given my setup HT bypass was a requirement so my research began and ended rather quickly when I started looking at Parasound. I ended up with a P5 and A23. My Klipsch RF-82II are 98dB sensitive so I didn't feel I needed a ton of power and it gives me an upgrade path of buying a second A23 in the future and running them each mono bridged.

On a side note, does anyone know what the typical lead time when a dealer orders from Parasound?
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post #3176 of 3605 Old 03-13-2014, 07:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Charles J P View Post

Obviously haven't read the whole thread but I just put in an order to join the Parasound club. I have a Klipsch Reference home theater with an Onkyo TX-NR818 and use an AppleTV as my primary source. Wanted to have a higher end front end for stereo as I quickly discovered that Pure Audio mode on the AVR provided vastly better sound but that precludes the use of a subwoofer and also just sort of highlighted the general lack of focus on audio quality in most mass market AVRs. Given my setup HT bypass was a requirement so my research began and ended rather quickly when I started looking at Parasound. I ended up with a P5 and A23. My Klipsch RF-82II are 98dB sensitive so I didn't feel I needed a ton of power and it gives me an upgrade path of buying a second A23 in the future and running them each mono bridged.

On a side note, does anyone know what the typical lead time when a dealer orders from Parasound?

Congratulations.

Bridging limits the recommend impedance to 8 ohms.
You should see if there are measurements of your speakers impedance and phase angles over the full frequency range.
Some Klipsch speakers dip to 4 ohms and there and can be challenging phase angles.
Some are very efficient so you may not need to bridge them.

I am 100% with you on Pure Direct, DSPs I have heard in Onkyo, Marantz, and Yamaha flatten the sound.
There are many frequency sweeps showing little degradation so something else must be going on.
Perhaps it is data clocking, phase issues, or something else, but it would be nice if reviewers would at least check phase in 2 channel mode.


- Rich
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post #3177 of 3605 Old 03-13-2014, 07:06 AM
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Not looking to upgrade amps before I even have it in my hot little hands, but I appreciate the recommendation to check my speakers overall impedance curve. They are nominally 8 ohms but that doesn't tell the whole story. Regarding critical listening through the AVR, my guess is that in the case of most modern mid-fi and up AVRs, its the EQing that is getting in the way. I turned the EQ off and it made a big positive difference in Stereo mode (which still does bass management but who knows what else it does) but still didn't sound as good as pure mode.
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post #3178 of 3605 Old 03-13-2014, 10:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Charles J P View Post

Not looking to upgrade amps before I even have it in my hot little hands, but I appreciate the recommendation to check my speakers overall impedance curve. They are nominally 8 ohms but that doesn't tell the whole story. Regarding critical listening through the AVR, my guess is that in the case of most modern mid-fi and up AVRs, its the EQing that is getting in the way. I turned the EQ off and it made a big positive difference in Stereo mode (which still does bass management but who knows what else it does) but still didn't sound as good as pure mode.

I have had the same experience. I use Pure Direct on the AV8801 exclusively.

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post #3179 of 3605 Old 03-13-2014, 10:17 AM
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I don't know if the specifics were posted so here are the April 1'st price increase details...:

http://www.parasound.com/pdfs/us-price-increases.pdf

- Rich

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post #3180 of 3605 Old 03-13-2014, 10:29 AM
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I don't know if the specifics were posted so here are the April 1'st price increase details...:

http://www.parasound.com/pdfs/us-price-increases.pdf

- Rich

Thanks maybe that will entice me to get an A31 or A51 I am not sure the surround speakers need all that power KEF LS50 all around
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