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post #4231 of 4628 Old 03-15-2015, 05:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pickering.tim View Post
I am bit of a "rube" when it comes to AV technology but I do know a bit about the technology used these days to combat piracy as well as HDCP (the Intel developed "handshake" necessary to move protected content via HDMI from one source to another) .
It has become a PITA for me recently with my affinity for playing back SACD discs and desire to have digital copies of the high resolution tracks (not the stereo layer) that I can feed my JC-2 or benchmark DAC2 DX with via a digital cable or XLR. Also, I find that while HDMI is quite convenient when it comes to the average AVR + high def TV +blu ray player etc. type setup it really doesn't seem to bring anything to the table for a company like parasound IMHO. But like I mentioned, I am new to AV and could be totally wrong about that one.

I suppose the "point" here is that I just picked up one of these: http://www.essenceelectrostatic.com/product/hdacc/ and plan to use that to strip the audio from outgoing HDMI from my marantz to use with any downstream digital source. It will NOT allow you to split off the multichannel SACD layer of the disc for recording etc. but it will allow you to play the LPCM/hi res 2 channel layer of blu rays for example that may have DTS HD master audio or Dolby true HD. Plug it appears to be a pretty sweet little DAC too. the only one I have seen so far with HDMI I/O. Save for an AVR

In regards to the mention of no analog outputs on blu ray players above...do you mean all blu ray players or as a trend? I ask because my ud7007 has xlr and rca outputs and IMHO they sound better being run from my player directly into my two channel setup for anything I playback whether it be attached USB drive, NAS files, DSD (my new favorite obsession, call me a band wagon hopper if you need to ) or disc.

Not sure if that adds anything to the discussion but just my experience dealing with HDMI as of late.
That DAC seems limited to 24/96 input via HDMI. Higher formats are upsampled, not native. Not adequate, imho, for SACD or other formats. And, it is still only 2 channel.

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post #4232 of 4628 Old 03-15-2015, 05:28 PM
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Originally Posted by pickering.tim View Post
I am bit of a "rube" when it comes to AV technology but I do know a bit about the technology used these days to combat piracy as well as HDCP (the Intel developed "handshake" necessary to move protected content via HDMI from one source to another) .
It has become a PITA for me recently with my affinity for playing back SACD discs and desire to have digital copies of the high resolution tracks (not the stereo layer) that I can feed my JC-2 or benchmark DAC2 DX with via a digital cable or XLR. Also, I find that while HDMI is quite convenient when it comes to the average AVR + high def TV +blu ray player etc. type setup it really doesn't seem to bring anything to the table for a company like parasound IMHO. But like I mentioned, I am new to AV and could be totally wrong about that one.

I suppose the "point" here is that I just picked up one of these: http://www.essenceelectrostatic.com/product/hdacc/ and plan to use that to strip the audio from outgoing HDMI from my marantz to use with any downstream digital source. It will NOT allow you to split off the multichannel SACD layer of the disc for recording etc. but it will allow you to play the LPCM/hi res 2 channel layer of blu rays for example that may have DTS HD master audio or Dolby true HD. Plug it appears to be a pretty sweet little DAC too. the only one I have seen so far with HDMI I/O. Save for an AVR

In regards to the mention of no analog outputs on blu ray players above...do you mean all blu ray players or as a trend? I ask because my ud7007 has xlr and rca outputs and IMHO they sound better being run from my player directly into my two channel setup for anything I playback whether it be attached USB drive, NAS files, DSD (my new favorite obsession, call me a band wagon hopper if you need to ) or disc.

Not sure if that adds anything to the discussion but just my experience dealing with HDMI as of late.
It's not that analog outputs need to go away, they had to stop outputting video at higher than 480p resolution.
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post #4233 of 4628 Old 03-15-2015, 05:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Kal Rubinson View Post
That DAC seems limited to 24/96 input via HDMI. Higher formats are upsampled, not native. Not adequate, imho, for SACD or other formats. And, it is still only 2 channel.
seems like he has a typo or error as this: HDMI v1.3 Input enables you to hear the original unprocessed, uncompressed LPCM 24 bit/192K 2 Channel soundtracks on Blu-ray. Listen to over 1000 concerts by the world’s greatest artists, new classics from audiophile labels, and catalog classics of the most famous albums in history, all bit-for-bit identical to the original master recordings. seems to denote otherwise.

here is a snippet from the getting started tips: . Every Blu-ray disc has a title page with a menu of options, including Audio Set-up. Using your remote control, navigate to that page and select the “Surround” output, either Dolby TruHD or DTS MasterHD, not the LPCM 2.0 version. The HDACC will automatically de-embed the original, uncompressed LPCM 24/96-192K 2.0 soundtrack from the uncompressed bitstream; the Evolve will de-embed up to 7.1 channels. Allow 15-45 seconds for HDCP authentication to confirm a secure connection. You will know if you set it up right when the display reads HDMI In 192K or 96K depending on the content. Caution; the full dynamic range can be damaging to both the system and your hearing, be careful.

In addition if you want to decode all 7 channels of a blu ray another product might do the trick by the same company...http://www.essenceelectrostatic.com/...i-channel-dac/

maybe I am interpreting this wrong but using a digital output you cannot get anything more than the lower res 2 channel output no matter what device you use. (maybe an old ps3 but I may not be familiar with newer tech that makes this possible so correct me if i am wrong)

It only upsamples the lower resolution formats but using HDMI from the blu ray and keeping the format selected as dolby true hd or dts hd ma you should be able to get the full hi resolution 192k signal output via analog to your preamp/etc. unless the disc has 96k stereo in which case you would obviously not get 192. maybe I am understanding this wrong and I will double check with Bob Rappaport to be sure.

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post #4234 of 4628 Old 03-15-2015, 05:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Kal Rubinson View Post
That DAC seems limited to 24/96 input via HDMI. Higher formats are upsampled, not native. Not adequate, imho, for SACD or other formats. And, it is still only 2 channel.
Also for me, all I want is the 2 channel output anyway as if I wanted to multichannel I would use my AVR.

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post #4235 of 4628 Old 03-15-2015, 07:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pickering.tim View Post
seems like he has a typo or error as this: HDMI v1.3 Input enables you to hear the original unprocessed, uncompressed LPCM 24 bit/192K 2 Channel soundtracks on Blu-ray. Listen to over 1000 concerts by the world’s greatest artists, new classics from audiophile labels, and catalog classics of the most famous albums in history, all bit-for-bit identical to the original master recordings. seems to denote otherwise.
OK. He should correct this. He should also fix the specs to show more than "Fs = 44.1 to 96 kHz, 20 to 20 kHz BW, 1 kHz test tone, 0 dBFS = +24 dBu (unless noted)."

Quote:
here is a snippet from the getting started tips: . Every Blu-ray disc has a title page with a menu of options, including Audio Set-up. Using your remote control, navigate to that page and select the “Surround” output, either Dolby TruHD or DTS MasterHD, not the LPCM 2.0 version. The HDACC will automatically de-embed the original, uncompressed LPCM 24/96-192K 2.0 soundtrack from the uncompressed bitstream; the Evolve will de-embed up to 7.1 channels. Allow 15-45 seconds for HDCP authentication to confirm a secure connection. You will know if you set it up right when the display reads HDMI In 192K or 96K depending on the content. Caution; the full dynamic range can be damaging to both the system and your hearing, be careful.
That's pretty strange. Where are those tips? Also how does it deal with SACD? Still, if it does what it says, it is unique.

Quote:
In addition if you want to decode all 7 channels of a blu ray another product might do the trick by the same company...http://www.essenceelectrostatic.com/...i-channel-dac/
Seen those before under a number of labels as they have been around for years but it does not decode Dolby TruHD and DTS MasterHD but only passes it from HDMI in to HDMI out. It is limited to "Converts uncompressed LPCM 7.1, 5.1 or 2 channel input through multi-channel analog output ports. Supports Dolby Digital 5.1, 2.0 and LPCM 2 channel output through optical output at 48K."

Quote:
maybe I am interpreting this wrong but using a digital output you cannot get anything more than the lower res 2 channel output no matter what device you use. (maybe an old ps3 but I may not be familiar with newer tech that makes this possible so correct me if i am wrong)
Generally true,

Quote:
It only upsamples the lower resolution formats but using HDMI from the blu ray and keeping the format selected as dolby true hd or dts hd ma you should be able to get the full hi resolution 192k signal output via analog to your preamp/etc. unless the disc has 96k stereo in which case you would obviously not get 192. maybe I am understanding this wrong and I will double check with Bob Rappaport to be sure.
Great. I hope it works for you.

Kal Rubinson

"Music in the Round"
Senior Contributing Editor, Stereophile
http://www.stereophile.com/category/music-round


Last edited by Kal Rubinson; 03-15-2015 at 07:35 PM.
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post #4236 of 4628 Old 03-16-2015, 05:37 PM
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Do not see why people have problem with HDMI. Component video is going away for sure but RCA not. I have OPPO-105 which plays every imaginable format and has 2 HDMI inputs if you need your cable box and some aux device (like mobile) go through Sabre DAC on OPPO. I do not really need any more HDMI inputs. OPPO-105 DAC and analogue multichannel output sounds better than any AVR you can come up with without mortgaging your house. Can use HDMI switch also if 2 inputs are not enough.
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post #4237 of 4628 Old 03-16-2015, 05:39 PM
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I want to say that I do not want to spend thousands on Parasound just to process image and even sound. OPPO-105 costs only $1000+ does it extremely well.
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post #4238 of 4628 Old 03-16-2015, 06:04 PM
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Do not see why people have problem with HDMI. Component video is going away for sure but RCA not. I have OPPO-105 which plays every imaginable format and has 2 HDMI inputs if you need your cable box and some aux device (like mobile) go through Sabre DAC on OPPO. I do not really need any more HDMI inputs. OPPO-105 DAC and analogue multichannel output sounds better than any AVR you can come up with without mortgaging your house. Can use HDMI switch also if 2 inputs are not enough.
Try dealing with it for a living and you'll understand.
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post #4239 of 4628 Old 03-17-2015, 03:47 PM
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Do you all tend to pick up your Parasound equipment from local dealers or online vendors? Any luck with discounts? I'm happy supporting local carriers, but when they rub you the wrong way or are an inconvenience to reach then I'm equally okay turing to online vendors.
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post #4240 of 4628 Old 03-17-2015, 05:37 PM
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Do you all tend to pick up your Parasound equipment from local dealers or online vendors? Any luck with discounts? I'm happy supporting local carriers, but when they rub you the wrong way or are an inconvenience to reach then I'm equally okay turing to online vendors.
Who are you asking?
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post #4241 of 4628 Old 03-17-2015, 06:44 PM
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Do you all tend to pick up your Parasound equipment from local dealers or online vendors? Any luck with discounts? I'm happy supporting local carriers, but when they rub you the wrong way or are an inconvenience to reach then I'm equally okay turing to online vendors.
I went with local dealer since a good discount for a lot of equipment (Parasound amp and preamp, plus new speakers and toroidal power conditioner), plus help with set-up (that you wouldn't get with online purchase). The Parasound equipment was very heavy to lift!
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post #4242 of 4628 Old 03-20-2015, 05:23 PM
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Hi guys, just a curious question.. i remember back when i bought my Parasound A52 (GREAT AMP still!!) that i was considering the New Classic 5250 250 x 5 45 amp peek per channel as opposed to my a52 with 125 x 5 but with the HALO circuitry and 30 amp peek per channel.. and a much higher damping factor.. but i learned of course, through my research most said that the raw sound quality of the A52 even having less power would sound better than the 5250 even with less peek amps, becasue of the halo design etc ( they were right, it does sound awesome!), even though the 5250 has more grunt and power, but that it wouldn't always sound superior,.. FWIW i of course ended up buying the A52 and am very happy,! but i always wondered...., i read that the 5250 actually put out a few watts in class A, because even though it was newClassic and not halo, it was still heavily biased into class A for the first few watts, but without the Halo circuits.. anyone have any information on this? just curious.... I got to thinking about it today when i saw someone post a 5250 on Audiogon for a good price.. ahh maybe a second system for me down the road.... ( i would think it would sound good but not a good as my A52 )
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post #4243 of 4628 Old 03-25-2015, 07:56 AM
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Originally Posted by mikejedi123 View Post
Hi guys, just a curious question.. i remember back when i bought my Parasound A52 (GREAT AMP still!!) that i was considering the New Classic 5250 250 x 5 45 amp peek per channel as opposed to my a52 with 125 x 5 but with the HALO circuitry and 30 amp peek per channel.. and a much higher damping factor.. but i learned of course, through my research most said that the raw sound quality of the A52 even having less power would sound better than the 5250 even with less peek amps, becasue of the halo design etc ( they were right, it does sound awesome!), even though the 5250 has more grunt and power, but that it wouldn't always sound superior,.. FWIW i of course ended up buying the A52 and am very happy,! but i always wondered...., i read that the 5250 actually put out a few watts in class A, because even though it was newClassic and not halo, it was still heavily biased into class A for the first few watts, but without the Halo circuits.. anyone have any information on this? just curious.... I got to thinking about it today when i saw someone post a 5250 on Audiogon for a good price.. ahh maybe a second system for me down the road.... ( i would think it would sound good but not a good as my A52 )
I also have the A52 and it is a great amp. I use it for my HT obviously and it is great for 2 channel sound also. The Halo line is Parasound's best so I would not worry about replacing it with the 5250. That is unless you are building a 2nd system and want to use it for that. I use a Marantz 8003 pre amp for my HT surrounds and center and sub. The front two channels are going directly through my JC2 with no HT bypass to the A52. I asked Parasound if there was any way to replace covers with black faceplates, alas, it cannot be done
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post #4244 of 4628 Old 03-25-2015, 08:05 AM
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Hi,

I thought I would also post this in this thread from the Monoblocks vs Stereo tread. I am using 2 A21's in bridged mode as mono blocks.

So this weekend I did some listening to 2 bridged Parasound A21 amps used as mono blocks for each channel. I used an Oppo HA-1 in playing wav files from a pc (ASIO & upconverted to DSD 11.2mhz) and BDP-105 for high res discs. I also used the HA-1 as the preamp/dac. I turned down the gain on both A21's using the trim pot. I'm using silver plated copper XLR interconnects and regular oxygen free copper 12 gauge speaker wire. I ended up using some custom 3 way tower speakers in my living room that each consist of 2 10" aluminum woofers, 4" midrange, 1 1/8" silk dome tweeter. I originally was thinking about using this system for the bedroom, but have decided on using a tube based system for it.

My thoughts are: (1) Clarity across the entire range that did not sound thin but also did not sound bloated. The weight of the sound was balanced. In many systems, clarity comes at a price of having a thin sound, but this was not the case. Bass was very deep and extremely tight. (2) Stereo separation - this is the first time where I felt that each speaker was actually playing its own separate track! (3) Sound stage - For the 2 speaker sound stage, I still want to listen some more and move things around a bit before I make final judgement, but it sounds as if it had slightly narrowed opposed to using one A21 in stereo mode but could just be my selection of tracks and speaker placement. For surround sound - I tested the sound stage using a 4.1 setup. I have rear speakers powered by an Onkyo A9070 (known for extremely low distortion but thin sound) directly being fed from the rca rear L&R speakers of the BDP-105. I watched Legends of the Guardians 3D and in the scenes where the owls are flying around sounding just pristine. It was very natural sound placed where it needs to be without any grain or exaggerations.

The A21s have much more breaking in to do and I have to place my speakers better with a more solid footing. With this trial, I am sold on using mono blocks amps in comparison to a single stereo amp. I am also sold on higher biased class A/AB over typical AB amps. Specs and measurements only tell a small part of the audio story. My next steps are some basic room treatments and upgrade my speakers. I can't ever pay full price for speakers - a relative worked at an electronics store and the profit margin for speakers is 60-80%.
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post #4245 of 4628 Old 03-25-2015, 11:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikejedi123 View Post
Hi guys, just a curious question.. i remember back when i bought my Parasound A52 (GREAT AMP still!!) that i was considering the New Classic 5250 250 x 5 45 amp peek per channel as opposed to my a52 with 125 x 5 but with the HALO circuitry and 30 amp peek per channel.. and a much higher damping factor.. but i learned of course, through my research most said that the raw sound quality of the A52 even having less power would sound better than the 5250 even with less peek amps, becasue of the halo design etc ( they were right, it does sound awesome!), even though the 5250 has more grunt and power, but that it wouldn't always sound superior,.. FWIW i of course ended up buying the A52 and am very happy,! but i always wondered...., i read that the 5250 actually put out a few watts in class A, because even though it was newClassic and not halo, it was still heavily biased into class A for the first few watts, but without the Halo circuits.. anyone have any information on this? just curious.... I got to thinking about it today when i saw someone post a 5250 on Audiogon for a good price.. ahh maybe a second system for me down the road.... ( i would think it would sound good but not a good as my A52 )
The 5250 is a monster of an amp with lots of power but it does not not operate in class A. None of the New Classic amps do. Stick with the A52 its a great amp . Let me know if you have any more questions.

Chris
Parasound Products Inc.
2250 Mckinnon Ave.
San Francisco CA 94124
415-397-7100
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post #4246 of 4628 Old 03-25-2015, 05:05 PM
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Hi,

I thought I would also post this in this thread from the Monoblocks vs Stereo tread. I am using 2 A21's in bridged mode as mono blocks.

So this weekend I did some listening to 2 bridged Parasound A21 amps used as mono blocks for each channel. I used an Oppo HA-1 in playing wav files from a pc (ASIO & upconverted to DSD 11.2mhz) and BDP-105 for high res discs. I also used the HA-1 as the preamp/dac. I turned down the gain on both A21's using the trim pot. I'm using silver plated copper XLR interconnects and regular oxygen free copper 12 gauge speaker wire. I ended up using some custom 3 way tower speakers in my living room that each consist of 2 10" aluminum woofers, 4" midrange, 1 1/8" silk dome tweeter. I originally was thinking about using this system for the bedroom, but have decided on using a tube based system for it.

My thoughts are: (1) Clarity across the entire range that did not sound thin but also did not sound bloated. The weight of the sound was balanced. In many systems, clarity comes at a price of having a thin sound, but this was not the case. Bass was very deep and extremely tight. (2) Stereo separation - this is the first time where I felt that each speaker was actually playing its own separate track! (3) Sound stage - For the 2 speaker sound stage, I still want to listen some more and move things around a bit before I make final judgement, but it sounds as if it had slightly narrowed opposed to using one A21 in stereo mode but could just be my selection of tracks and speaker placement. For surround sound - I tested the sound stage using a 4.1 setup. I have rear speakers powered by an Onkyo A9070 (known for extremely low distortion but thin sound) directly being fed from the rca rear L&R speakers of the BDP-105. I watched Legends of the Guardians 3D and in the scenes where the owls are flying around sounding just pristine. It was very natural sound placed where it needs to be without any grain or exaggerations.

The A21s have much more breaking in to do and I have to place my speakers better with a more solid footing. With this trial, I am sold on using mono blocks amps in comparison to a single stereo amp. I am also sold on higher biased class A/AB over typical AB amps. Specs and measurements only tell a small part of the audio story. My next steps are some basic room treatments and upgrade my speakers. I can't ever pay full price for speakers - a relative worked at an electronics store and the profit margin for speakers is 60-80%.
We have a lot in common

I am using two A21's, one for each Salon but to bi-amp not bridged. Poor mans mono-blocks.
Prior to buying the second A21, I did a SBT (Single Blind Test) with a friend he picked the bi-amped setting every time. I played just a single speaker.
I also did the same test on the other speaker with an A31 with the same results. Bi-amped was cleaner and clearer and the bass was a bit tighter as well.

When I got the second A21, I did not like the sound and discovered that I had the amp in bridged mode. It sounded flat.
My speakers dip into the 3 ohm territory so that is to be expected. If your speakers are bi-ampable. I listening to one channel of a stereo source and compare the two.
If you can get a friend to switch the wires, that is even better.

I also have the HA-1 used as a Preamp/DAC and have found that it is particular about which ports I use, cables, and driver configuration.
Leaving cables out of it. I find that the USB2 ports sound better on my PC.

I have played with driver software configuration as well with J River and prefer Kernel Streaming (24 bits in a 32-bit package).
I set the Oppo Driver to the "Relaxed" setting.

I suspect much of this is system specific so YMMV.

- Rich
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post #4247 of 4628 Old 03-25-2015, 06:28 PM
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My next steps are some basic room treatments and upgrade my speakers.
You're introducing a lot of variables in a short time, considering you're trying to find the best way to amplify your system. Now, you're not even using the same speakers and will need to move them & break in the amps, as well as treat the room. It's best to make one change at a time and make the determination before moving to the next change.

Re: " I can't ever pay full price for speakers - a relative worked at an electronics store and the profit margin for speakers is 60-80%."

I don't know where your relative worked, but that's not the profit margin for any brand I have ever heard of and I have sold a lot of brands of speakers. If they were a house brand, that could explain the huge margin. Been selling for almost 40 years and that margin is wrong. I'd like to know where they worked and what brand(s) they were referring to.
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post #4248 of 4628 Old 03-26-2015, 08:53 AM
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We have a lot in common

I am using two A21's, one for each Salon but to bi-amp not bridged. Poor mans mono-blocks.
Prior to buying the second A21, I did a SBT (Single Blind Test) with a friend he picked the bi-amped setting every time. I played just a single speaker.
I also did the same test on the other speaker with an A31 with the same results. Bi-amped was cleaner and clearer and the bass was a bit tighter as well.

When I got the second A21, I did not like the sound and discovered that I had the amp in bridged mode. It sounded flat.
My speakers dip into the 3 ohm territory so that is to be expected. If your speakers are bi-ampable. I listening to one channel of a stereo source and compare the two.
If you can get a friend to switch the wires, that is even better.

I also have the HA-1 used as a Preamp/DAC and have found that it is particular about which ports I use, cables, and driver configuration.
Leaving cables out of it. I find that the USB2 ports sound better on my PC.

I have played with driver software configuration as well with J River and prefer Kernel Streaming (24 bits in a 32-bit package).
I set the Oppo Driver to the "Relaxed" setting.

I suspect much of this is system specific so YMMV.

- Rich
Cool!! My speakers are not capable of being bi-amped, however I do wish at some time soon to modify them so that they are. I think I may be having the same problem that you had about the A21 sounding a bit flat in bridged mode because the sound stage has gotten smaller than the normal stereo operation. I may have to use a single channel of the A21 until I convert the speakers. I am using Foobar with ASIO out and the DSD plugin to up convert to 11.2Mhz.
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post #4249 of 4628 Old 03-26-2015, 09:06 AM
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You're introducing a lot of variables in a short time, considering you're trying to find the best way to amplify your system. Now, you're not even using the same speakers and will need to move them & break in the amps, as well as treat the room. It's best to make one change at a time and make the determination before moving to the next change.

Re: " I can't ever pay full price for speakers - a relative worked at an electronics store and the profit margin for speakers is 60-80%."

I don't know where your relative worked, but that's not the profit margin for any brand I have ever heard of and I have sold a lot of brands of speakers. If they were a house brand, that could explain the huge margin. Been selling for almost 40 years and that margin is wrong. I'd like to know where they worked and what brand(s) they were referring to.
You are correct, I have made many changes in a short period of time. I am slowing down now because I have spent too much money in the last 2 months. I also have a big interest in portable systems and my buying mode has ended. It will be small changes over time from now on. You know how it is sometimes. One goes out and spends a lot of money on equipment and then are set for many years before the next big purchase.

The store was a big box retailer and the speakers were common mass produced brands that included Klipsch and Velodyne. Through the family member, I had access to what the company paid for the speakers and it was disgusting to see the markup. That is why on many speakers especially when a new model comes out you will see clearance sales 40% to 60% off msrp but these are usually the mass produced ones. I understand the need for the markup to sustain the store. Items such as laptops and tv's have very little or no markup or even sold at a loss but the store makes up by selling accessories and extended warranties.

I work in manufacturing and there is a huge manufacturing cost with amplifiers and a much lower cost for speakers. This includes both labor and materials.
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post #4250 of 4628 Old 03-26-2015, 09:39 AM
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You are correct, I have made many changes in a short period of time. I am slowing down now because I have spent too much money in the last 2 months. I also have a big interest in portable systems and my buying mode has ended. It will be small changes over time from now on. You know how it is sometimes. One goes out and spends a lot of money on equipment and then are set for many years before the next big purchase.

The store was a big box retailer and the speakers were common mass produced brands that included Klipsch and Velodyne. Through the family member, I had access to what the company paid for the speakers and it was disgusting to see the markup. That is why on many speakers especially when a new model comes out you will see clearance sales 40% to 60% off msrp but these are usually the mass produced ones. I understand the need for the markup to sustain the store. Items such as laptops and tv's have very little or no markup or even sold at a loss but the store makes up by selling accessories and extended warranties.

I work in manufacturing and there is a huge manufacturing cost with amplifiers and a much lower cost for speakers. This includes both labor and materials.
The development of a speaker takes far longer than for an amplifier. Also, again, the manufacturing cost has nothing to do with the dealer cost or retail price. The manufacturer decides on a rough price point, then tries to make something that can retail for that price. Then, they select components and try to come in at a cost that allows them to make money when they sell to distributors or dealers. Then, there are times when a driver was tested and they base the design on it and when it comes to the order date, they find out it was discontinued, so they need to re-design it. This can happen to a line that's already in production, too. Phillips was making some very nice drivers and then, they left the speaker component market. All of the speaker system manufacturers had to come out with new models and speaker lines. You're also ignoring the need to keep stock on hand of old drivers fro warranty replacement- that can be expensive and there's no way to know how many will be needed once the last ones of that model/line have been sold.

There are some very expensive drivers out there- don't kid yourself into thinking there's no reason for a tweeter to cost more than $9 or a woofer more than $30.

Ever looked inside of an old Klipsch speaker? Nothing special going on. EV or Motorola horn tweeters, Eminence woofers, electrolytic caps and industrial-looking screw-down inductors that were likely used as chokes for other applications, or wound for them. Walnut/Oak veneered plywood, minimal damping (if any), a grill and a name plate.

Again, those brands may have had those margins, but I assure you by being able to buy as a dealer, those days are long gone. Online resellers and online-only availability has made it hard to justify prices, for some manufacturers. Those in the truly high-end, don't care because they have their market but now that the old, standard Klipsch speakers are special-order only, that pricing is dead.

I looked at buying the assets of a store and continuing operations at the same location with the same staff, recently. I passed. Knowing the rent, insurance, payroll, utilities and all of the other overhead made it a bad idea. I would have had to make $146K in profit, just to break even, and that was without paying myself.

I don't know how old you are, but before the internet and all of the "I want the best price, I don't care if it's not the best" attitude, we used to take quite a bit of time for demonstrating equipment, in order to make sure the buyer would be happy with their purchase. We demo'd turntables, cartridges, cassette decks, speakers- everything. If you don't think there's a cost associated with that, you're dead wrong. If you think a dealer's need to make a profit is disgusting, that's up to you but being able to listen in a shop prevents a lot of what you have done in the last few months- flail around, trying to find something that satisfies you. Having a showroom and demo space is a service, that is dying out because people want the best price and the cost of the space can no longer be justified when mass-merchandised crap is troweled out. $99/pair speakers? Go to Walmart, not someone who cares about selling good equipment. $600/pair speakers? We'll get them if the customer wants, but the time involved in making $100-$150 isn't worth the aggravation. Do we do it? Yes, because the customer wants them and if we send them to someone else, it would be idiotic.
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I have a big wish. I was looking at the specs for the Halo integrated -essentially a preamp/DAC with HT bypass and amp - what a great concept! The peak amps are 45 like the A23 vs the A21/31/51 of 60. If Parasound would make a A21 like version I could replace my preamp and stereo amp and not need to get a seperate DAC which is on my wish list now. I just need a bigger version. Any chance to make that happen? Hopefully there would be enough of a market for that.

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I have a big wish. I was looking at the specs for the Halo integrated -essentially a preamp/DAC with HT bypass and amp - what a great concept! The peak amps are 45 like the A23 vs the A21/31/51 of 60. If Parasound would make a A21 like version I could replace my preamp and stereo amp and not need to get a seperate DAC which is on my wish list now. I just need a bigger version. Any chance to make that happen? Hopefully there would be enough of a market for that.
I am currently doing a comparison of some r700s and my cm10s using the halo integrated with the A21 using the pre out xlrs and it sounds friggin awesome The DAC is good but it is not as clean as my dac2dx when using all three functions at once (dac/pre and power) but I really like being able to add in subs and other flexibilities it provides. adding pics just for grins...
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B&W CM10s, CMC2, CM5s, SVS SB2000 x2, KEF LS50 x2, Infiniti Alpha 50 towers
Marantz SR7009, Marantz UD7007, T-PC50st60, Parasound JC-2 BP Preamp, Parasound Halo A21 Stereo Amplifier, Parasound Halo 2.1 Integrated Amplifier, Benchmark DAC2 DX, Essence HDACC Audio control Center,Marantz SR6009
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$99/pair speakers? Go to Walmart, not someone who cares about selling good equipment. $600/pair speakers? We'll get them if the customer wants, but the time involved in making $100-$150 isn't worth the aggravation. Do we do it? Yes, because the customer wants them and if we send them to someone else, it would be idiotic.
All good points, I was at a dealer looking at a Rega $1,000 DAC. I wanted 2 of them. They didn't have any in stock. When I asked about buying them, I got a "don't have any" answer. ok, when will you have some in, "Sometime soon." Can you call me when they come in, "sure." WILL you call me when they come in. "We have a few sold to other people."
I got up and walked out. Then emailed the owner of the store. Never returned. They clearly didn't want or care if they got my business. So sometimes standing there with cash in hand doesn't work either.

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post #4254 of 4628 Old 03-27-2015, 08:32 AM
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I don't know how old you are, but before the internet and all of the "I want the best price, I don't care if it's not the best" attitude, we used to take quite a bit of time for demonstrating equipment, in order to make sure the buyer would be happy with their purchase. We demo'd turntables, cartridges, cassette decks, speakers- everything. If you don't think there's a cost associated with that, you're dead wrong. If you think a dealer's need to make a profit is disgusting, that's up to you but being able to listen in a shop prevents a lot of what you have done in the last few months- flail around, trying to find something that satisfies you. Having a showroom and demo space is a service, that is dying out because people want the best price and the cost of the space can no longer be justified when mass-merchandised crap is troweled out. $99/pair speakers? Go to Walmart, not someone who cares about selling good equipment. $600/pair speakers? We'll get them if the customer wants, but the time involved in making $100-$150 isn't worth the aggravation. Do we do it? Yes, because the customer wants them and if we send them to someone else, it would be idiotic.
Given the discounts some dealers will give on some product lines, there are still plenty of high end lines with very healthy markups. If a dealer will give a 40% discount on a product, I'm going to go out on a limb and make the assumption that they're still making at least a 10-20% profit on the sale, which is still $200-400 on a $2k sale or $2-4k on a $20k sale. If this is a customer who walks into the store and says "here's my credit card, I want to buy X", that's not so bad. If the customer takes many hours of the salesperson's time auditioning products, asking for setup advice, etc., then it might not be worthwhile. There are some brands (or some products within a brand) with small markups where discounts just aren't possible if the dealer wants to make any money. It would obviously be crazy for a dealer to sell an item below their cost unless it's something they've had in inventory for a long time and just need to recover what they can to get rid of it.

The main reason it would be idiotic to send the customer elsewhere for a small sale is that the customer most likely won't come back for a bigger purchase down the road as they'll most likely locate a dealer who actually wants their business and has the sense to know that sometimes you have to make a small sale to make a bigger sale later. I've run into that exact situation where a dealer made me feel like I was wasting their time on a small purchase - guess who I didn't purchase my Revel Salon 2 speakers from?
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post #4255 of 4628 Old 03-27-2015, 11:50 AM
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All good points, I was at a dealer looking at a Rega $1,000 DAC. I wanted 2 of them. They didn't have any in stock. When I asked about buying them, I got a "don't have any" answer. ok, when will you have some in, "Sometime soon." Can you call me when they come in, "sure." WILL you call me when they come in. "We have a few sold to other people."
I got up and walked out. Then emailed the owner of the store. Never returned. They clearly didn't want or care if they got my business. So sometimes standing there with cash in hand doesn't work either.
That's either a salesperson who hasn't been trained, or they decided to stop trying. Are you sure it wasn't the owner and the store is failing? If they aren't, they should be.

I'm not sure I would have been that patient- I would probably have asked for the manager or owner before leaving. If they can't take criticism, they're in the wrong field.
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That's either a salesperson who hasn't been trained, or they decided to stop trying. Are you sure it wasn't the owner and the store is failing? If they aren't, they should be.

I'm not sure I would have been that patient- I would probably have asked for the manager or owner before leaving. If they can't take criticism, they're in the wrong field.
My son and I had brought a pair of speakers in the store to hear the DAC on. But from the moment we entered to when we left it was a pain. The only good side was the owner did call me. We talked about this issue but I would not go back to this retail BnM store again.

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post #4257 of 4628 Old 03-27-2015, 12:07 PM
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Given the discounts some dealers will give on some product lines, there are still plenty of high end lines with very healthy markups. If a dealer will give a 40% discount on a product, I'm going to go out on a limb and make the assumption that they're still making at least a 10-20% profit on the sale, which is still $200-400 on a $2k sale or $2-4k on a $20k sale. If this is a customer who walks into the store and says "here's my credit card, I want to buy X", that's not so bad. If the customer takes many hours of the salesperson's time auditioning products, asking for setup advice, etc., then it might not be worthwhile. There are some brands (or some products within a brand) with small markups where discounts just aren't possible if the dealer wants to make any money. It would obviously be crazy for a dealer to sell an item below their cost unless it's something they've had in inventory for a long time and just need to recover what they can to get rid of it.

The main reason it would be idiotic to send the customer elsewhere for a small sale is that the customer most likely won't come back for a bigger purchase down the road as they'll most likely locate a dealer who actually wants their business and has the sense to know that sometimes you have to make a small sale to make a bigger sale later. I've run into that exact situation where a dealer made me feel like I was wasting their time on a small purchase - guess who I didn't purchase my Revel Salon 2 speakers from?
Sometimes, the discounts are given because some pinhead online is offering it for that price, even though nobody has checked to see if they A) actually have it or B) will actually sell it for that price. Other times, it's because the manufacturer wants to move the item(s) at the end of the model year. It's almost pointless to sell TVs, at this point. There's no profit on most and the manufacturers require the dealer AND the customer to jump through too many hoops to make it a good experience. Most shipping boxes for AV equipment have a label with a phone number and instructions if something goes wrong- they don't want it returned to the dealer, don't want it serviced in town and will only authorize a replacement if certain conditions are met. They want it sent to their regional repair center and that not only wastes time, it costs for the shipping. If the box has been tossed, they will often require that a replacement box be purchased before shipping and the shippers don't like to cover damage when the original box isn't used.

But, I digress. $2-$4K on a $20K sale is nice, but it's not as nice as most people think. It takes a lot longer to sell that equipment than less expensive stuff, it usually requires that someone go to the customer's house at some point before/during/after the sale and it requires a lot of hand-holding. The odd case when someone walks in and buys it immediately is extremely rare and personally, I would be suspicious if it happened. One example of goods with no profit- Sonos, when the dealer guys from a distributor. So many people want to set these up for themselves that it's not worth selling unless it's part of a large sale. In order to go direct, a dealer is required to buy one of each piece and that means they have the equipment, but don't necessarily have a customer for it- that ties up a bunch of money and if they're already busy, doesn't guarantee that the dealer will become very familiar with the products and making them buy the whole line is specifically done so they WILL learn how to set it up.

Then, there are the manufacturers who advertise their goods on their own site, priced below dealer cost and others that don't seem to care that online prices are too low for their existing dealers to match. If you see MAP or UAP pricing for goods, it means they actually care about the dealers, somewhat. At least it's not a total free-for-all.

Some retailers get it- if someone leaves the store, there's no guarantee they'll ever return and many may have known it, but forgot. I just got back from Beast Buy- for all I know, I was invisible while I was there and my presence wasn't acknowledged by ANYONE. No "Hi", no eye contact, nothing was said. Retail used to be customer-based and now, it's often about nothing more than survival. I started in audio at a store that wasn't doing well. The sale staff were there to hang out together more than to make money for the store. Cool people, just not good salespeople. My first weekend was for a Pioneer Truckload Sale and it was trial by fire, in every sense. I had to learn the product, how the store operated and how to sell this stuff. That one sale helped to save the store and after it was over, those who were more interested in hanging out started leaving, being replaced by people who were more eager. We would talk to people and get to know them in order to foster some kind of relationship but the owner often told us to hurry up because other things needed to be done. Many were teen-aged kids who became interested in having their own stereo and they started to buy from us. Some bought a lot, some were slow and steady, but if they stayed in town, many were still customers until the end of the store, last December. That's 37 years of business that he would have lost if we had blown them off.
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post #4258 of 4628 Old 03-27-2015, 02:18 PM
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Sometimes, the discounts are given because some pinhead online is offering it for that price, even though nobody has checked to see if they A) actually have it or B) will actually sell it for that price. Other times, it's because the manufacturer wants to move the item(s) at the end of the model year.
I wasn't talking about shady online dealers or end of the model year products. I was talking about legitimate dealers selling current products.
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Hello from Greece! Very nice forum! My Parasound 2xA23 and my P5 with my new Pioneer BDP-LX88! I'm waitting my new Atlas XLR's cables...
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post #4260 of 4628 Old 03-27-2015, 05:13 PM
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You are correct, I have made many changes in a short period of time. I am slowing down now because I have spent too much money in the last 2 months. I also have a big interest in portable systems and my buying mode has ended. It will be small changes over time from now on. You know how it is sometimes. One goes out and spends a lot of money on equipment and then are set for many years before the next big purchase.

The store was a big box retailer and the speakers were common mass produced brands that included Klipsch and Velodyne. Through the family member, I had access to what the company paid for the speakers and it was disgusting to see the markup. That is why on many speakers especially when a new model comes out you will see clearance sales 40% to 60% off msrp but these are usually the mass produced ones. I understand the need for the markup to sustain the store. Items such as laptops and tv's have very little or no markup or even sold at a loss but the store makes up by selling accessories and extended warranties.

I work in manufacturing and there is a huge manufacturing cost with amplifiers and a much lower cost for speakers. This includes both labor and materials.
Klipsch markup is not that high and you are talking full MSRP. Who pays full MSRP.

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