Parasound Owners Thread - Page 148 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #4411 of 4656 Old 06-10-2015, 01:54 PM
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Did anyone ever compare how A23 sounds compared to A21 given everything is the same? Initially A23 sounded fantastic but now I feel that sound is not quite natural and thinking about buying another A23 and bridging them or spending more and buying A21. Or both amps sound the same and it is just waste of money which could be better spend on better speakers. Is there any difference between JC1s and A21? I know class A and stuff but I mean real life difference not on paper. I am talking about SQ at regular volumes. I listen mostly classical music or jazz. Meaning mostly human voices and acoustic instruments. There is a theory that all Halo amps sound the same. I suspect is not true but schematically them are very similar.

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post #4412 of 4656 Old 06-10-2015, 05:39 PM
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Originally Posted by highfigh View Post
OK, light and dark gray?

What color do they appear, to you?
Depends primarily on the saturation. Often they are indistinguishable.

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post #4413 of 4656 Old 06-11-2015, 09:12 AM
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Originally Posted by highfigh View Post
FYI- the input level controls are ALWAYS in the signal path.
As stated in the manual - "When the gain knobs are turned fully clockwise, the actual gain controls are essentially out of the circuit. "

To me this means that the resistive part of the pot is out of the circuit and there is no resistance other than the contact resistance of the 0hm section of the pot. Your thoughts?
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post #4414 of 4656 Old 06-11-2015, 09:44 AM
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Originally Posted by STIGUY2014 View Post
As stated in the manual - "When the gain knobs are turned fully clockwise, the actual gain controls are essentially out of the circuit. "

To me this means that the resistive part of the pot is out of the circuit and there is no resistance other than the contact resistance of the 0hm section of the pot. Your thoughts?
This is the problem when the common thinking is that when a control or other component is in the poition of being able to do the least possible, that it's not affecting the circuit in any way. While it may not be a noticeable effect, it's still possible for it to affect it in some way. Musicians are told that "true bypass' is the best way to build an effect pedal but they aren't told that the connections on all of the cable shields need to be as close to perfect as possible. They're told that one pedal in the loop will suck the tone out of the instrument's sound if it's not true bypass, yet that use the crappiest cables they can find, un-modified guitars from the '50s and 60s and amplifiers that were made before any of this BS mattered.

Setting the input level controls wide open is only for THX and will result is lower S/N ratio than if they're set to what's actually needed. If you want less noise, back off on these controls- it's in the manual.
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post #4415 of 4656 Old 06-11-2015, 10:42 AM
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Parasound Owners Thread

Halo P5 by USB support Wasapi or ASIO?

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post #4416 of 4656 Old 06-11-2015, 12:39 PM
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Halo P5 by USB support Wasapi or ASIO?
While your asking, find out about Kernel Streaming...


- Rich

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post #4417 of 4656 Old 06-11-2015, 01:53 PM
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While your asking, find out about Kernel Streaming...


- Rich
Could you elaborate on the question about kernel streaming? I am pretty sure the P5 does not use ASIO.

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post #4418 of 4656 Old 06-11-2015, 03:50 PM
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Originally Posted by WAFWarrior View Post
Could you elaborate on the question about kernel streaming? I am pretty sure the P5 does not use ASIO.

Windows media control software like J River and Foobar2000 allow driver support for USB streaming mode that bypass the Direct Sound mixer.
These drivers are required for event mode where the DAC is in control of the data stream.


Windows requires drivers and they commonly support ASIO, WASAPI, and Kernel Streaming.


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post #4419 of 4656 Old 06-12-2015, 11:27 AM
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Originally Posted by highfigh View Post
This is the problem when the common thinking is that when a control or other component is in the poition of being able to do the least possible, that it's not affecting the circuit in any way. While it may not be a noticeable effect, it's still possible for it to affect it in some way. Musicians are told that "true bypass' is the best way to build an effect pedal but they aren't told that the connections on all of the cable shields need to be as close to perfect as possible. They're told that one pedal in the loop will suck the tone out of the instrument's sound if it's not true bypass, yet that use the crappiest cables they can find, un-modified guitars from the '50s and 60s and amplifiers that were made before any of this BS mattered.

Setting the input level controls wide open is only for THX and will result is lower S/N ratio than if they're set to what's actually needed. If you want less noise, back off on these controls- it's in the manual.
I have to concur with stiguy. Not because I'm using some kind of common thinking, but because of what Parasound specifically says in their manual(at least the A21 manual) on the gain control knobs. They say nothing like what you're indicating in the last sentence of your post. Stiguy has quoted the manual accurately, and I suspect that Parasound is going to give accurate information on how to best operate their equipment.

It says in the manual that when the gain controls are turned fully clockwise that they are essentially out of the circuit. I haven't opened up my A21, but perhaps they've taken a different design approach and or are using different components than what is typically employed. Whatever the reason, if Richard Schram wants it said in the manual as above for best performance, then it's for good reason. I really doubt he's going to say the gain control is essentially out of the circuit if it's not.
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post #4420 of 4656 Old 06-12-2015, 02:24 PM
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In direct communication with Richard Schram about using an A23 in mono-mode for the center channel with a pair of JC-1s, he suggested setting the gain of the A23 fully on at the THX setting. The JC-1s drive a pair of KEF Reference 107/2s; the A23 drives a KEF R600C. For stereo, the preamp is a JC-2 BP; for mch I use a Cary Cinema 12 with stereo passed through the JC-2 BP.

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post #4421 of 4656 Old 06-14-2015, 04:41 PM
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So I got new speaker cables with locking bananas so I reorganized my rack to allow me to compare my Bryston 4Bsst2 to my A31 Halo. I have not completed the comparison as I need to spend several hours and take notes as I can not do instant switching. I am using my Oppo 103's analog outs (yes I know need to step up here) to my Ayre preamp to the amps via AQ XLRs. Just as I was afraid, preliminary results are the A31 sounds better. I went after some songs that can be harsh and the A31 was more musical. Oh wait, this is AV Science so all amps should sound the same within design constraints so I must be wrong. More to come once I finish the evaluation but an A21 may be in my future.
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post #4422 of 4656 Old 06-14-2015, 05:04 PM
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Yep they all sound the same!! Smh!! Btw I love my A21
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post #4423 of 4656 Old 06-14-2015, 08:06 PM
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I previously used a Proceed HPA 3 to drive LCR, a pair of KEF Reference 107/2s and a KEF R600C, and the match across the speakers was quite good, as the KEF tech said it would be. Now I'm using a pair of JC-1s to drive the 107/2s and an A23 in mono-more to drive the R600C; the match is not so good. The JC-1s seem superior to the amps in the HPA 3 (3 Levinson amps in an industrial case), but the A23 is decidedly inferior to the amps in the HPA 3. We're talking a huge difference in MSRPs, so that might not come as a surprise. I've decided to look for another JC-1 for the center and use the two A23s to drive the surround and rear speakers.

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post #4424 of 4656 Old 06-16-2015, 07:29 AM
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My P7 just arrived yesterday! Quick question, but first my setup with it.


I am using a Yamaha CX-A5000 preamp for movies, A21 amp for Fronts and an additional 7 ch Outlaw amp for surrounds, center, and Zone speakers.


I ran the preouts of the Yamaha into the multi ch input of the P7 for HT Bypass etc. My question is this, when switching channels via Directv, as the station changes (and loses signal momentarily) I get a audible click/pop from the P7 through the speakers. My configuration/wiring is virtually identical from when My parasound P5 was in the same setup.


If you watch the display on the Yamaha it loses the Dobly digital signal momentarily and when it regains it when the channel displays, this is when the sound ocurrs. This never happened with the P5.


Thoughts?
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post #4425 of 4656 Old 06-17-2015, 08:25 AM
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Hello all,

Total noob here when it comes to "separate" amps, never owned any, never hooked any up, never really seen any in person either, so forgive all my ignorance and questions when I post here.
Starting to read all the banter back and forth here and on Facebook groups about the use of separate amps vs. stand alone AVRs etc, wondering what is on the other side of where I live (just an AVR).

I understand the Halo A31 and A21 would push sound for a 5.1 surround system, but I don't understand how they work in conjunction with the system as a whole, does it connect to the AVR? What other equipment is needed if I were to want to add these to my current system of just a single AVR etc? I don't really know if I need more "power" with what I have or if I'd tell a difference (though most of you would disagree) and I probably would hear a difference. I'm just kind of needing an introduction into this world and hope you all don't mind explaining it all to me?

The only reason I used the A31 and A21 was because I saw someone's photo of a system they built for a client of theirs, I asked what those were and why he had to use two etc...he felt it was best practice to use those two vs. the A51. I understand in bigger systems that these amps can play a vital role with sound all over the place. I just have a humble 5.1 system, its in a dedicated room upstairs, but its not treated for sound or designed for a HT, its just a bonus room the builder built and he did prewire in wall and in ceiling cables for speakers and the TV wall mount area has cables as well. So it was meant to be a media room of sorts.

So I'm just investigating on where I can spend more money, lol, and if adding these amps to my system will be worth it for me. I should probably go some place local and listen to a system that has some amps hooked up and hear that system and try to compare to one that doesn't.

Where are you all gaining benefit from these? Probably the dumbest question, but tell me why you have them etc.

Stupid questions like these I'm hoping you'll tolerate and enlighten me with your knowledge and experience.

Thanks.

Last edited by ChrisMc73; 06-17-2015 at 08:29 AM.
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post #4426 of 4656 Old 06-17-2015, 11:27 AM
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Has anyone compared the A21 and the JC1? I am thinking on either buying another A21 and bi-amp my B&W 803 diamonds, or buy a pair of JC1s to power them? Is it really worth the change of the A21s to the JC1s? I want to use them primarily for movies.

Thanks,

Chris. My DVD and Blu Ray collection
Sony VPL HW55ES, ST 100 (100"), B&W 803D2s mains, B&W HTM2D2 center channel, B&W 805D2 surrounds, B&W CCMM682s in-ceiling speakers (4), B&W DB1 subwoofer, Marantz AV8802A, Parasound Halo A51+(2xA21)+(2xA23), Oppo BDP 103D.
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post #4427 of 4656 Old 06-17-2015, 11:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisMc73 View Post
Hello all,

Total noob here when it comes to "separate" amps, never owned any, never hooked any up, never really seen any in person either, so forgive all my ignorance and questions when I post here.
Starting to read all the banter back and forth here and on Facebook groups about the use of separate amps vs. stand alone AVRs etc, wondering what is on the other side of where I live (just an AVR).

I understand the Halo A31 and A21 would push sound for a 5.1 surround system, but I don't understand how they work in conjunction with the system as a whole, does it connect to the AVR? What other equipment is needed if I were to want to add these to my current system of just a single AVR etc? I don't really know if I need more "power" with what I have or if I'd tell a difference (though most of you would disagree) and I probably would hear a difference. I'm just kind of needing an introduction into this world and hope you all don't mind explaining it all to me?

The only reason I used the A31 and A21 was because I saw someone's photo of a system they built for a client of theirs, I asked what those were and why he had to use two etc...he felt it was best practice to use those two vs. the A51. I understand in bigger systems that these amps can play a vital role with sound all over the place. I just have a humble 5.1 system, its in a dedicated room upstairs, but its not treated for sound or designed for a HT, its just a bonus room the builder built and he did prewire in wall and in ceiling cables for speakers and the TV wall mount area has cables as well. So it was meant to be a media room of sorts.

So I'm just investigating on where I can spend more money, lol, and if adding these amps to my system will be worth it for me. I should probably go some place local and listen to a system that has some amps hooked up and hear that system and try to compare to one that doesn't.

Where are you all gaining benefit from these? Probably the dumbest question, but tell me why you have them etc.

Stupid questions like these I'm hoping you'll tolerate and enlighten me with your knowledge and experience.

Thanks.
You need an av processor, in other words either a preamplifier or an av receiver. In both cases you may want to connect them by using the balance connections.

Your speakers should be connected to the amps and amps to the av processor. Your sources such as cable box, blu ray player should be connected to your processor. Also, you may want to connect your tv or projector to the processor.

Chris. My DVD and Blu Ray collection
Sony VPL HW55ES, ST 100 (100"), B&W 803D2s mains, B&W HTM2D2 center channel, B&W 805D2 surrounds, B&W CCMM682s in-ceiling speakers (4), B&W DB1 subwoofer, Marantz AV8802A, Parasound Halo A51+(2xA21)+(2xA23), Oppo BDP 103D.
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post #4428 of 4656 Old 06-17-2015, 11:34 AM
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It depends on the speakers, whether is worth it or not...if you use relative cheap speakers then just get a receiver and be done with it...i

Chris. My DVD and Blu Ray collection
Sony VPL HW55ES, ST 100 (100"), B&W 803D2s mains, B&W HTM2D2 center channel, B&W 805D2 surrounds, B&W CCMM682s in-ceiling speakers (4), B&W DB1 subwoofer, Marantz AV8802A, Parasound Halo A51+(2xA21)+(2xA23), Oppo BDP 103D.
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post #4429 of 4656 Old 06-17-2015, 12:02 PM
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Originally Posted by gonzalc3 View Post
It depends on the speakers, whether is worth it or not...if you use relative cheap speakers then just get a receiver and be done with it...i
I don't know if mine are considered cheap, or relatively cheap they are Klipsch RF3-II's, they are 10 years old, so I'm considering an upgrade to something newer.
Kind of interested in maybe some Sonus Faber Venere 2.5 or 3s?

Regardless of my speakers, trying to understand the amps, what does going with like the A31/A21+A23 combo have over just a P7? Or whatever combo of separate amps vs the all in one amp etc.
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post #4430 of 4656 Old 06-17-2015, 12:10 PM
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The main difference is the power to drive the speakers. Having an amp will allow to improve the dynamics, bass, soundstage, etc...

Chris. My DVD and Blu Ray collection
Sony VPL HW55ES, ST 100 (100"), B&W 803D2s mains, B&W HTM2D2 center channel, B&W 805D2 surrounds, B&W CCMM682s in-ceiling speakers (4), B&W DB1 subwoofer, Marantz AV8802A, Parasound Halo A51+(2xA21)+(2xA23), Oppo BDP 103D.
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post #4431 of 4656 Old 06-17-2015, 01:24 PM
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Originally Posted by gonzalc3 View Post
Has anyone compared the A21 and the JC1? I am thinking on either buying another A21 and bi-amp my B&W 803 diamonds, or buy a pair of JC1s to power them? Is it really worth the change of the A21s to the JC1s? I want to use them primarily for movies.

Thanks,

I use the A21 bi-amped for a "poor-man's" mono-blocks driving my Revel Salons.
If you pick up 1 set of these stacking banana plugs:


http://www.parts-express.com/angled-...insu--091-3608


You can compare 1 speaker bi-amped versus single amped by plugging one-set into the other.
You will also need a XLR or RCA Y cable. For this test, I do not recommend using AVR bi-amp settings because it may use the DSPs to duplicate the signal.


For about $30, you can try it. I found the sound cleaner at modest levels. The assumption is that separating the crossovers reduced interference.
I get a lot of guff about it but after a few single-blind tests I felt that bi-amping provided additional clarity.


- Rich

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post #4432 of 4656 Old 06-17-2015, 02:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisMc73 View Post
Regardless of my speakers, trying to understand the amps, what does going with like the A31/A21+A23 combo have over just a P7? Or whatever combo of separate amps vs the all in one amp etc.
The P7 is a preamp, not an amp. But generally speaking, going from a single amp with multiple channels (such as the 5 channel A51) to an amp with fewer channels (such as the 2 channel A21 or the JC-1 mono blocks) gets you slightly better quality because the power supply and other components don't need to be shared with a bunch of channels. The downside is that you need more room to power the same number of channels, the total cost goes up somewhat dramatically, and you end up paying for some things, such as the chassis multiple times. But if you want the very best end result, buying amps that have fewer channels in a single chassis will generally get you better amps, at least when looking in the same product line or comparing across amps from different companies, but in comparable price ranges.
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post #4433 of 4656 Old 06-17-2015, 03:23 PM
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Originally Posted by gsr View Post
The P7 is a preamp, not an amp. But generally speaking, going from a single amp with multiple channels (such as the 5 channel A51) to an amp with fewer channels (such as the 2 channel A21 or the JC-1 mono blocks) gets you slightly better quality because the power supply and other components don't need to be shared with a bunch of channels. The downside is that you need more room to power the same number of channels, the total cost goes up somewhat dramatically, and you end up paying for some things, such as the chassis multiple times. But if you want the very best end result, buying amps that have fewer channels in a single chassis will generally get you better amps, at least when looking in the same product line or comparing across amps from different companies, but in comparable price ranges.
Oh ok, that kind of makes sense then. So if money were no object, and you had your heart set on Parasound, would you not go with say, 7 x JC-1's to power a 7.1 system?
That would split all 7 channels to their own powered amp right? Would that be one of the most ideal ways to go, or am I still thinking wrong?

Also do most usually power the sub too, or are most brands powered already or you let the AVR power it?

Also, since you introduced PREAMPS is that the same as a PREOUT on an AVR just without the AVR? When or what situation would you want to use the PREAMP vs an AVR and AMPS? Or do you need a Preamp with Amps or no Amps at all just a Preamp? I guess I need to just visualize and see how these all work together. Any chance there is a site where this is drawn out?

Last edited by ChrisMc73; 06-17-2015 at 03:31 PM.
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post #4434 of 4656 Old 06-17-2015, 03:31 PM
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Oh ok, that kind of makes sense then. So if money were no object, and you had your heart set on Parasound, would you not go with say, 7 JC-1's to power a 7.1 system?
That would split all 7 channels to their own powered amp right? Would that be one of the most ideal ways to go, or am I still thinking wrong?

Also do most usually power the sub too, or are most brands powered already or you let the AVR power it?

Also, since you introduced PREAMPS is that the same as a PREOUT on an AVR just without the AVR? When or what situation would you want to use the PREAMP vs an AVR and AMPS?
Another consideration is heat. 7 JC-1's would tend to generate a lot of heat, which might be a problem in many rooms. But yes, theoretically, going with 7 JC-1's might be "ideal".

An AVR is essentially everything in 1 box, including the functions of a preamp, AM/FM tuner, and amps.


A preamp gives you the inputs to connect your source devices (tuner, phono preamp, CD player, etc.) to, the ability to switch between them, and volume control.


The amp takes the output from the preamp and AMPlifies it to drive your speakers.
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post #4435 of 4656 Old 06-17-2015, 03:35 PM
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Originally Posted by gsr View Post
Another consideration is heat. 7 JC-1's would tend to generate a lot of heat, which might be a problem in many rooms. But yes, theoretically, going with 7 JC-1's might be "ideal".

An AVR is essentially everything in 1 box, including the functions of a preamp, AM/FM tuner, and amps.


A preamp gives you the inputs to connect your source devices (tuner, phono preamp, CD player, etc.) to, the ability to switch between them, and volume control.


The amp takes the output from the preamp and AMPlifies it to drive your speakers.
Ahhhh!! Lightbulb turned on!! OK nice explanation, I get that now! Thank you!

So then, some people do choose to go the route of preamp and amps and no AVR and some choose to go AVR and amps and lastly some choose just AVR?
Are those the basic setup choices?
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post #4436 of 4656 Old 06-17-2015, 03:43 PM
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And so if you did have lots of space, say a dedicated equipment rack and room, the 7 JC-1's would work, and lots of money too.
But since a lot of people don't have this, they choose to split the Fronts, Backs, Sides, Tops with their own amp sets.

So in a 7.1 setup you might do this?

Front Speakers (Left, Center, Right) powered by A31
Rear Speakers (Left, Right) powered by A21
Side/Top Speakers (Left, Right) powered by A21

Then what do you do with the subwoofer?
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post #4437 of 4656 Old 06-17-2015, 05:37 PM
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Originally Posted by ChrisMc73 View Post
And so if you did have lots of space, say a dedicated equipment rack and room, the 7 JC-1's would work, and lots of money too.
But since a lot of people don't have this, they choose to split the Fronts, Backs, Sides, Tops with their own amp sets.

So in a 7.1 setup you might do this?

Front Speakers (Left, Center, Right) powered by A31
Rear Speakers (Left, Right) powered by A21
Side/Top Speakers (Left, Right) powered by A21

Then what do you do with the subwoofer?
Most subwoofers are active, which means they have an amplifier built in.
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post #4438 of 4656 Old 06-17-2015, 06:06 PM
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Originally Posted by merrymaid520 View Post
My P7 just arrived yesterday! Quick question, but first my setup with it.


I am using a Yamaha CX-A5000 preamp for movies, A21 amp for Fronts and an additional 7 ch Outlaw amp for surrounds, center, and Zone speakers.


I ran the preouts of the Yamaha into the multi ch input of the P7 for HT Bypass etc. My question is this, when switching channels via Directv, as the station changes (and loses signal momentarily) I get a audible click/pop from the P7 through the speakers. My configuration/wiring is virtually identical from when My parasound P5 was in the same setup.


If you watch the display on the Yamaha it loses the Dobly digital signal momentarily and when it regains it when the channel displays, this is when the sound ocurrs. This never happened with the P5.


Thoughts?
Brandon,

Does the P7 have to be powered up to use HT Bypass? Did the P5 need to be powered up? The issue you're having is odd in that I can't understand why you'd be getting the clicks/pops with the P7 in your system. I would suggest giving Parasound a call. Good luck !

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post #4439 of 4656 Old 06-17-2015, 07:16 PM
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Originally Posted by gsr View Post
Another consideration is heat. 7 JC-1's would tend to generate a lot of heat, which might be a problem in many rooms.
I've read this in a number of reviews and posts. It may be because my speakers are rated as 90 dB sensitive or because I listen at more moderate levels, but my JC-1 pair is barely warm to the touch even after hours of use. I bought a third JC-1 for my center channel that I hope to install next week. The sound with the JC-1 amps and JC-2 BP preamp is superb. The speakers are a pair of KEF Reference 107/2s. The center is an R600C.

db
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post #4440 of 4656 Old 06-17-2015, 07:33 PM
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Originally Posted by ChrisMc73 View Post
And so if you did have lots of space, say a dedicated equipment rack and room, the 7 JC-1's would work, and lots of money too.
But since a lot of people don't have this, they choose to split the Fronts, Backs, Sides, Tops with their own amp sets.

So in a 7.1 setup you might do this?

Front Speakers (Left, Center, Right) powered by A31
Rear Speakers (Left, Right) powered by A21
Side/Top Speakers (Left, Right) powered by A21

Then what do you do with the subwoofer?
The A21 is a slightly better amp than the A31 or A51 so for 7.1 I'd recommend an A21 for L&R and an A51 for center and the four surrounds. That is assuming that you need more than an A23 for the surrounds (each pair).
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