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post #5641 of 5667 Old 08-03-2017, 04:51 PM
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Parasound Halo Integrated or Naim Uniti Atom

Amigos,
I just got recommended to Parasound by Bluewizard. I'd heard about them in the passing but don't know much about them. Anyone here heard both Naim and Parasound? Which one would you recommend?
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post #5642 of 5667 Old 08-03-2017, 06:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Rosenelson View Post
Amigos,
I just got recommended to Parasound by Bluewizard. I'd heard about them in the passing but don't know much about them. Anyone here heard both Naim and Parasound? Which one would you recommend?
I've heard both and preferred Parasound over Naim, however you should really listen to them both for yourself and make up your own mind. After all, you are the one that has to live with your decision...
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post #5643 of 5667 Old 08-05-2017, 09:29 AM
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I love Parasound amps and used an older HCA 800II for 20+ years. Curious as I was looking into the A21; but that Amp has been out since early 2000s; has it ever been updated? And also any rumors out there of pending replacement?? Thanks

Primary set-up 5.1.4; Yamaha A2050, Parsound P5 w/Emotiva XPA-2 (Gen 3)
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post #5644 of 5667 Old 08-14-2017, 05:13 AM
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Why update the A21. It works. Well. Very, very well.
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post #5645 of 5667 Old 08-14-2017, 10:14 AM
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thanks.. great to hear. Just bought a new A21 online, in transit later this week

Primary set-up 5.1.4; Yamaha A2050, Parsound P5 w/Emotiva XPA-2 (Gen 3)
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post #5646 of 5667 Old 08-14-2017, 03:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yanks1 View Post
I love Parasound amps and used an older HCA 800II for 20+ years. Curious as I was looking into the A21; but that Amp has been out since early 2000s; has it ever been updated? And also any rumors out there of pending replacement?? Thanks

Nothing in the pipes to replace the A21 and no need really. It has been a very reliable product and did not require any major changes over the years.

Chris
Parasound Products Inc.
2250 Mckinnon Ave.
San Francisco CA 94124
415-397-7100
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post #5647 of 5667 Old 08-14-2017, 09:35 PM
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Nothing in the pipes to replace the A21 and no need really. It has been a very reliable product and did not require any major changes over the years.
Hi Chris.

What changes, if any, have the A51's seen since original release? It seems that the older ones run a bit hotter and make some interesting sounds during power up that the new ones do not. Of course my sampling is very small, but I'm curious.

HT: B&W 802 D2 - Martin Logan Focus - DefTech XTR-20BP - Dual SVS SB16 Ultra - Parasound Halo A21 and A23 (2)- Anthem AVM 60 - Samsung UN65JS8500

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post #5648 of 5667 Old 08-14-2017, 10:39 PM
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Halo integrated vs P5 + A21?

I was 95% set to get the Halo Integrated but my local dealer is suggesting me getting the P5+A21. Here's what he said.

P5/A21 is at least twice as good…for one third more money. The combination gives you smoother highs (less bright than the Integrated) and yet still more clear at the same time. So, for a modest amount of money you can do a big upgrade on the sound by going from the HALO INT. to the P5 and A21 for only & 1,095.00 more (plus tax and a good pair of XLR cables).

The PARASOUND A21 two channel amp with 250 watts per channel peak reserve power and 13 watts of pure-Class-A-operation. <this is actually tempting to me as I mostly don't play music too loud>

The “Sound” of the A21 is very similar to a pair of JC1 Mono amps….effortless, smooth, but also lively and dynamic. Never harsh or too bright (which the Integrated kind of is)


So according to him the A21 sounds closer to the JC1 than it sounds to the Integrated/A23. And his comments of the Integrated being a bit on the bright side is a little concerning to me.

Is he correct? The Integrated has a better DAC than the P5 and saves the trouble of wiring. But if the A21 is really that good then I'm willing to reconsider.

PS: Just found out that the A21 has been out for over a decade? That's a long time in electronics advancement...
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post #5649 of 5667 Old 08-15-2017, 12:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Shangri-La View Post
I was 95% set to get the Halo Integrated but my local dealer is suggesting me getting the P5+A21. Here's what he said.

P5/A21 is at least twice as good…for one third more money. The combination gives you smoother highs (less bright than the Integrated) and yet still more clear at the same time. So, for a modest amount of money you can do a big upgrade on the sound by going from the HALO INT. to the P5 and A21 for only & 1,095.00 more (plus tax and a good pair of XLR cables).

The PARASOUND A21 two channel amp with 250 watts per channel peak reserve power and 13 watts of pure-Class-A-operation. <this is actually tempting to me as I mostly don't play music too loud>

The “Sound” of the A21 is very similar to a pair of JC1 Mono amps….effortless, smooth, but also lively and dynamic. Never harsh or too bright (which the Integrated kind of is)


So according to him the A21 sounds closer to the JC1 than it sounds to the Integrated/A23. And his comments of the Integrated being a bit on the bright side is a little concerning to me.

Is he correct? The Integrated has a better DAC than the P5 and saves the trouble of wiring. But if the A21 is really that good then I'm willing to reconsider.

PS: Just found out that the A21 has been out for over a decade? That's a long time in electronic advancement...
The A21 and JC1 monoblocks are John Curl designs which should really be enough reason as to why they have enjoyed such staying power. They are designed really well to begin with and in many ways its taken surrounding gear about this long to really tap such things as its wide bandwidth, pour over its specs and compare is all one need do. The only change I'm aware of were the caps around 2006 other than that nada! It's a sweet amp and just excels at music.

I vote your dealer option
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post #5650 of 5667 Old 08-15-2017, 04:54 AM
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Am I the only one who gets REALLY annoyed when a dealer says something is "at least twice as good"?

The integrated seems to have received excellent reviews so far and the DAC is a newer design than what's in the P5. Aren't all the amps in the A line pretty much the same basic design, meaning that other than the obvious power output differences there shouldn't be a huge difference between A21, Integrated, and A23? @Shangri-La - what do you have for speakers? If they're relatively difficult to drive, that would strengthen the argument for going with the A21 / P5 combo.

Ideally, you should give each option a try in the same environment (preferably at home with the rest of your gear) and decide for yourself.
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post #5651 of 5667 Old 08-15-2017, 05:28 AM
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Nice to see some good discussion in this forum, usually very quiet.

I have A21 on its way to pair with my recently purchased 1 owner P5; love 2.1 music, using HT bypass to partner with my Yamaha A2050 for Atmos set-up
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post #5652 of 5667 Old 08-15-2017, 08:01 AM
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As an owner of a HINT for quite a while now, I am not finding it harsh or bright at all! Maybe I got one of the good ones...

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post #5653 of 5667 Old 08-15-2017, 10:55 AM
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Originally Posted by adrummingdude View Post
Hi Chris.

What changes, if any, have the A51's seen since original release? It seems that the older ones run a bit hotter and make some interesting sounds during power up that the new ones do not. Of course my sampling is very small, but I'm curious.
I am not aware of any major changes to the A51 over the years. Once in a while we will have to switch to a different part supplier because the original manufacturer stopped making something. small caps connectors etc. The difference in temperature might be a slight variation in how the bias was set when it was produced. Small differences in Temp should not make any difference sonically or otherwise.

I think you have mentioned start up noises coming from the chassis when it heats up. Is this what you are referring to?

Chris
Parasound Products Inc.
2250 Mckinnon Ave.
San Francisco CA 94124
415-397-7100
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post #5654 of 5667 Old 08-15-2017, 11:13 AM
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Originally Posted by gsr View Post
Am I the only one who gets REALLY annoyed when a dealer says something is "at least twice as good"?

The integrated seems to have received excellent reviews so far and the DAC is a newer design than what's in the P5. Aren't all the amps in the A line pretty much the same basic design, meaning that other than the obvious power output differences there shouldn't be a huge difference between A21, Integrated, and A23? @Shangri-La - what do you have for speakers? If they're relatively difficult to drive, that would strengthen the argument for going with the A21 / P5 combo.

Ideally, you should give each option a try in the same environment (preferably at home with the rest of your gear) and decide for yourself.
Yeah that's a huge "I'm trying to make a sale here response" and usually when my ears stop hearing after that. I will say there's merit to the A21 as it's a true John Curl design ground up and not just applied to another product. I like to think of amp designers as I do the likes of say Carroll Shelby and simply put there's no mistaking his work. As you can tell I DO NOT THINK ALL AMPS SOUND THE SAME opinion aside the don't only in function. I do agree he should get both in his own home and listen for himself seeing he has dealer access as these days I'm on the looking for the simplest way to get it done
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post #5655 of 5667 Old 08-15-2017, 11:36 AM
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Originally Posted by WAFWarrior View Post
I am not aware of any major changes to the A51 over the years. Once in a while we will have to switch to a different part supplier because the original manufacturer stopped making something. small caps connectors etc. The difference in temperature might be a slight variation in how the bias was set when it was produced. Small differences in Temp should not make any difference sonically or otherwise.

I think you have mentioned start up noises coming from the chassis when it heats up. Is this what you are referring to?
Stand-by power consumption was reduced from 25 watts to less than a watt (I think) but the manual has not been updated.

- Rich

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post #5656 of 5667 Old 08-15-2017, 02:01 PM
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Originally Posted by WAFWarrior View Post
I am not aware of any major changes to the A51 over the years. Once in a while we will have to switch to a different part supplier because the original manufacturer stopped making something. small caps connectors etc. The difference in temperature might be a slight variation in how the bias was set when it was produced. Small differences in Temp should not make any difference sonically or otherwise.

I think you have mentioned start up noises coming from the chassis when it heats up. Is this what you are referring to?
Thanks.

Yes, start up noises, regardless of temperature are different between an older and newer one I've played with, the newer behaving more like my A21 and A23's. I did have you guys rebias the older one (since I'm local), and it ran much cooler after that.

As I'm considering the A51 again, or an A31, I'm trying to weigh my options between those models, which includes new vs used. Understanding the generational tweaks could be useful.

Regarding the A31, I believe this is the newest Halo amp, correct? Is it no more/no less than a 3 channel A51, or are there differences (other than a different transformer) that would make it subjectively better or more modern?

HT: B&W 802 D2 - Martin Logan Focus - DefTech XTR-20BP - Dual SVS SB16 Ultra - Parasound Halo A21 and A23 (2)- Anthem AVM 60 - Samsung UN65JS8500

2CH: Sonus Faber Cremona Auditor M - NAD M22 - Bluesound Node 2 - Defunct office chair

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post #5657 of 5667 Old 08-15-2017, 02:52 PM
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Originally Posted by adrummingdude View Post
Thanks.

Yes, start up noises, regardless of temperature are different between an older and newer one I've played with, the newer behaving more like my A21 and A23's. I did have you guys rebias the older one (since I'm local), and it ran much cooler after that.

As I'm considering the A51 again, or an A31, I'm trying to weigh my options between those models, which includes new vs used. Understanding the generational tweaks could be useful.

Regarding the A31, I believe this is the newest Halo amp, correct? Is it no more/no less than a 3 channel A51, or are there differences (other than a different transformer) that would make it subjectively better or more modern?
The A 31 uses the same Amp modules that the A51 uses. So same power and specs. The A31 runs a little cooler because of more heat sink surface area.The A31 does use a different Audio trigger circuit, has channel level controls and allows for 6 dB higher gain. None of the generational changes would make either the A51 or A31 sound or perform differently.
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post #5658 of 5667 Old 08-15-2017, 05:00 PM
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Nothing in the pipes to replace the A21 and no need really. It has been a very reliable product and did not require any major changes over the years.
And it sounds great too!
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See ya. Dave

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post #5659 of 5667 Old 08-15-2017, 10:39 PM
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The A21 and JC1 monoblocks are John Curl designs which should really be enough reason as to why they have enjoyed such staying power. They are designed really well to begin with and in many ways its taken surrounding gear about this long to really tap such things as its wide bandwidth, pour over its specs and compare is all one need do. The only change I'm aware of were the caps around 2006 other than that nada! It's a sweet amp and just excels at music.

I vote your dealer option
Quote:
Originally Posted by gsr View Post
Am I the only one who gets REALLY annoyed when a dealer says something is "at least twice as good"?

The integrated seems to have received excellent reviews so far and the DAC is a newer design than what's in the P5. Aren't all the amps in the A line pretty much the same basic design, meaning that other than the obvious power output differences there shouldn't be a huge difference between A21, Integrated, and A23? @Shangri-La - what do you have for speakers? If they're relatively difficult to drive, that would strengthen the argument for going with the A21 / P5 combo.

Ideally, you should give each option a try in the same environment (preferably at home with the rest of your gear) and decide for yourself.
Quote:
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Yeah that's a huge "I'm trying to make a sale here response" and usually when my ears stop hearing after that. I will say there's merit to the A21 as it's a true John Curl design ground up and not just applied to another product. I like to think of amp designers as I do the likes of say Carroll Shelby and simply put there's no mistaking his work. As you can tell I DO NOT THINK ALL AMPS SOUND THE SAME opinion aside the don't only in function. I do agree he should get both in his own home and listen for himself seeing he has dealer access as these days I'm on the looking for the simplest way to get it done
Thanks for the comments guys. Yeah the 'twice as good sound' was a pretty bad sales pitch. I'm not sure whether he genuinely believes investing in electronics gives better overall sound quality than investing in better speakers, but he was persuading me into buying better amps.

I'm in the process of auditioning speakers and the Sonus Faber Venere S (90dB 4 ohm) was a nice surprise that day. I'm also considering the Golden Ear Reference (even more sensitive). The Focal Electra 1028 BE plus Halo Integrated combo was a bit too bright for me but I wasn't sure whether it was the Integrated (which I doubt) or the Focal - he said both were on the bright side. Is the Integrated really generally regarded as a bright amp?
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post #5660 of 5667 Old 08-15-2017, 11:04 PM
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Originally Posted by gsr View Post
Aren't all the amps in the A line pretty much the same basic design, meaning that other than the obvious power output differences there shouldn't be a huge difference between A21, Integrated, and A23?
I own both A21 and A23. With the same source (Tidal over Bluesound Node 2) driving the same speakers (B&W 802 Diamond) there is a HUGE difference in bottom end articulation, even at modest volumes. The A21 is cleaner, tighter, and more effortless. The A23, by comparison, seems a little bit more mid-bassy and less controlled.

BTW, one of my go-to tracks for comparisons like this is the title track from Dragon Age Inquisition. Its a big orchestral video game score with lots of low brass, low strings, and loud percussion, all at a quick tempo. It can be a real hot mess with the wrong gear, and is great for comparing the men to the boys with amps and speakers.
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HT: B&W 802 D2 - Martin Logan Focus - DefTech XTR-20BP - Dual SVS SB16 Ultra - Parasound Halo A21 and A23 (2)- Anthem AVM 60 - Samsung UN65JS8500

2CH: Sonus Faber Cremona Auditor M - NAD M22 - Bluesound Node 2 - Defunct office chair

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post #5661 of 5667 Old 08-16-2017, 07:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Shangri-La View Post
Thanks for the comments guys. Yeah the 'twice as good sound' was a pretty bad sales pitch. I'm not sure whether he genuinely believes investing in electronics gives better overall sound quality than investing in better speakers, but he was persuading me into buying better amps.

I'm in the process of auditioning speakers and the Sonus Faber Venere S (90dB 4 ohm) was a nice surprise that day. I'm also considering the Golden Ear Reference (even more sensitive). The Focal Electra 1028 BE plus Halo Integrated combo was a bit too bright for me but I wasn't sure whether it was the Integrated (which I doubt) or the Focal - he said both were on the bright side. Is the Integrated really generally regarded as a bright amp?
Before committing yourself to the electronics, it would probably be best to settle on your speaker choice as that will be a factor in what you need for an amp. Just as an example, Klipsch speakers tend to be efficient and won't need as big an amp while Revel Ultima series and B&W speakers tend to be less efficient and will need bigger amps. I haven't heard the Parasound integrated, but I wouldn't generally consider their amps bright.
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post #5662 of 5667 Old 08-16-2017, 08:29 AM
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Before committing yourself to the electronics, it would probably be best to settle on your speaker choice as that will be a factor in what you need for an amp. Just as an example, Klipsch speakers tend to be efficient and won't need as big an amp while Revel Ultima series and B&W speakers tend to be less efficient and will need bigger amps. I haven't heard the Parasound integrated, but I wouldn't generally consider their amps bright.
I would not describe the HINT as bright at all, at least in my configuration. I am running it with a Thorens TD160/Dynavector 20x2L cart, Parasound JC3+ phono preamp, and Sonus Faber Venere 2.5 speakers. Not bright or harsh at all here. Sounds incredible. That said, I have not auditioned these other amps.

I think it depends a lot on your other needs...I wanted the 2.1 bass management and the home theater bypass (with my Marantz SR7008). I have since moved away from the HINT's phono preamp...

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post #5663 of 5667 Old 08-16-2017, 12:56 PM
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I haven't heard the Parasound integrated, but I wouldn't generally consider their amps bright.
Nor would I. "Laid back" or even "rolled off" is how I would describe every Parasound amp I've heard or owned. It works well for me as I like to listen to a lot of modern music, which almost universally comes with nasty compression artifacts. Parasound amps mellow this nicely.

HT: B&W 802 D2 - Martin Logan Focus - DefTech XTR-20BP - Dual SVS SB16 Ultra - Parasound Halo A21 and A23 (2)- Anthem AVM 60 - Samsung UN65JS8500

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post #5664 of 5667 Old 08-16-2017, 01:46 PM
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Nor would I. "Laid back" or even "rolled off" is how I would describe every Parasound amp I've heard or owned. It works well for me as I like to listen to a lot of modern music, which almost universally comes with nasty compression artifacts. Parasound amps mellow this nicely.
Coming from an Parasound HCA 2003a of which I found the opposite as you with the highs getting a tad harsh at times bass and lower mids it excelled at. Enter the A21 and it was top to bottom coherence and I'm willing to bet given a few more hours, it will begin to open up up top with pristine quality revealing just as much as the Emotiva up high and a taste of that elusive "air"

Let it settle in and enjoy

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post #5665 of 5667 Old 08-16-2017, 05:24 PM
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I would call the A21 very neutral. As it should be.
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post #5666 of 5667 Old 08-19-2017, 04:52 AM
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Despite setting the sensitivity to the lowest level, my A23 shuts off if we turn the AVR below -45 db.

If I change over to the 12V trigger connect with the Marantz receiver instead, will that allow us to play at lower volume without shutting off?


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post #5667 of 5667 Old 08-19-2017, 06:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Superman07 View Post
Despite setting the sensitivity to the lowest level, my A23 shuts off if we turn the AVR below -45 db.

If I change over to the 12V trigger connect with the Marantz receiver instead, will that allow us to play at lower volume without shutting off?


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yes
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