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Receivers, Amps, and Processors > Parasound Owners Thread
runnin''s Avatar runnin' 07:26 PM 06-20-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by beaveav View Post

Speaking of clumsy, read your own post. Even after edits, it's rather rough, wouldn't you say?

I worked for a company that designed, manufactured, and sold audio-video consumer electronics. I was responsible for designing and testing some of the circuitry, including the audio circuitry. Yes, I spent years doing audio parametric testing to validate my designs. It entails using an Audio Precision to test parametrics such as frequency response, THD, IMD, SNR, dynamic range, etc.

As for my comment about differences going away, I was implying that those differences exist in the head of the listener, either because of psychological biases (conscious or unconscious) or because of improper testing methodologies (not level-matching and not quick-switching).

Nice of you to back pedal since the audio testing for 15 years was obviously not realistic. People that need to mention their degrees and work/career are usually trying too hard to make a point. I may get clumsy, but I'm not educated like you and us simple folk try the best we can, hopefully you can stoop to grace us with more hilarity.

jima4a's Avatar jima4a 07:33 PM 06-20-2013
I can cite two specific instances where I believe the difference was amps. First in the early 90s at Sound Advice in Jacksonville Florida, room four (high end). Kef Reference 105/3 speakers, Krell amp, preamp and CD player. Krell amp 100 wpc class A behemoth. Played REM Murmurs, Radio Free Europe, serious chills at beginning.
A few weeks later they put together a high end theater system. 105/3 s as L & R, 200 wpc Adcom monoblocks and a Lexicon processor. Played same CD in stereo, no goosebumps. Same room, same speakers.
Second I had Emotiva UPA-1s with my Onkyo TX-NR1008 as front end with Kef XQ40s. Preferred the 1008 internal amps for two channel but HT the UPA-1s were an improvement. In both cases I could not say 100% that the amps were the difference as front end may have been responsible. However, I believe it was amps.
jima4a's Avatar jima4a 08:09 PM 06-20-2013
I also have read enough and have trusted sources to know that Parasound delivers. A source at Kef US indicates that the JC1s are the best value that truly controls the Blades. Bryston 28B sst2 and high end Chords can do slightly better but at much more money. Andrew Robinson kind of went extremes, from acheiving his dream of 800Ds speakers and then a move to best bang for buck. This included Crown class D amps but he went back to Parasound and Halo. I don't know of better amps for the money than the A21 or JC1s, just don't.
Torqdog's Avatar Torqdog 10:05 PM 06-20-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by exm View Post


Here we go again! smile.gif

And no - all amps do NOT sound the same. If they do - enjoy your (cheap) receiver my friend!
+1
rick_denv69's Avatar rick_denv69 10:54 PM 06-20-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kal Rubinson View Post

Some amps or some clowns?  rolleyes.gif
I almost spit out my scotch. Thankfully it was only Dewar's white label.
audiofan1's Avatar audiofan1 12:11 AM 06-21-2013
Double blind test are the dumbest of dumbest ideas for audio evaluations unless and I mean no offence visually impaired and are use to hearing in this manner. It's hard enough to 2 channels on the same amp in spec and sounding them same ( which is why some try for identical serial numbers on monoblocks) let alone another amp from another maker with different designs , topology's, different transistors, circuit boards, capacitors you name it, to say they all sound the same makes those of you who especially taut your degree's in EE or Audio engineering so like you don't really understand what its is that you do. I'm sure the makers of these various amps have very different idea's on the sound of there amps and would consider what your sort deduce there efforts to as insulting. eek.gif

I mean come on ! is it really that hard to just listen without assuming ,someone has to slip you something and send you into fairyland to hear a difference, I really feel sorry for these Audiophiles as this seems devoid of any room for improvement or changes to be had in assembling to your taste, that is capable of bringing happiness to ones soul wink.gif
Nima's Avatar Nima 02:35 AM 06-21-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by Solo man View Post

Thanks for the update, I will be patiently waiting, I am looking forward to the Asynchronous usb, dac and ht bypass. I read the pdf brochure from Parasound and it said summer 2013 so I now I know why and its good to see Parasound with high standards.

Eager to see if the P5 can beat my current combination of 2100, Peachtree DAC-IT and Pro-ject Phonobox SE II. smile.gif
1nfinity's Avatar 1nfinity 04:43 AM 06-21-2013
Hey there fellow Parasound owners! Current owner of a Parasound 2250 and need some help with it. I started a thread stating the issue. http://rcartv.com/t/1478281/need-some-help-parasound-nc2250 Maybe you guys can help me out with your 2 pennies. Thanks in advance!

1~
Bill Mac's Avatar Bill Mac 06:02 AM 06-21-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nima View Post

Eager to see if the P5 can beat my current combination of 2100, Peachtree DAC-IT and Pro-ject Phonobox SE II. smile.gif

As a former 2100 owner I'm also interested in the P5 as well.

Bill
beaveav's Avatar beaveav 04:04 PM 06-21-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by 4DHD View Post

If I'm not mistaken, it has been shown that just changing a value of a given component in a circuit can produce a warmer sound from solid state circuit to sound more like a tube. I think it was Bob Carver who proved that in some of his designs.

Uhm, yeah, that's true. Of course it's true! But by doing so, the amp no longer measures flat. So he did nothing but purposely put a flaw in the amp design to make it sound more tube-like.
beaveav's Avatar beaveav 04:07 PM 06-21-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by runnin' View Post

Nice of you to back pedal since the audio testing for 15 years was obviously not realistic. People that need to mention their degrees and work/career are usually trying too hard to make a point. I may get clumsy, but I'm not educated like you and us simple folk try the best we can, hopefully you can stoop to grace us with more hilarity.

Not sure where you get the idea that I backpedaled? Reading comprehension troubles? Or is it just too complex for you to understand that when you design an audio circuit, it's wise to test that design before going into production?
beaveav's Avatar beaveav 04:10 PM 06-21-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by jima4a View Post

I can cite two specific instances where I believe the difference was amps. First in the early 90s at Sound Advice in Jacksonville Florida, room four (high end). Kef Reference 105/3 speakers, Krell amp, preamp and CD player. Krell amp 100 wpc class A behemoth. Played REM Murmurs, Radio Free Europe, serious chills at beginning.
A few weeks later they put together a high end theater system. 105/3 s as L & R, 200 wpc Adcom monoblocks and a Lexicon processor. Played same CD in stereo, no goosebumps. Same room, same speakers.
Second I had Emotiva UPA-1s with my Onkyo TX-NR1008 as front end with Kef XQ40s. Preferred the 1008 internal amps for two channel but HT the UPA-1s were an improvement. In both cases I could not say 100% that the amps were the difference as front end may have been responsible. However, I believe it was amps.

On the surface, your example 1 might sound like a good case for two amps sounding different. But you said the listening was done weeks apart. Same room, same speakers, but not the same levels, and weeks apart means that test was just as much - if not more - a test of your mood than it was of any amp sound.

Second example also not scientific, as there are multiple variables - including those you mention, plus the lack of level-matching - that can come into play.

As I said before, to truly test whether amps sound different, you have to do a properly controlled test.
beaveav's Avatar beaveav 04:13 PM 06-21-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by jima4a View Post

I also have read enough and have trusted sources to know that Parasound delivers. A source at Kef US indicates that the JC1s are the best value that truly controls the Blades. Bryston 28B sst2 and high end Chords can do slightly better but at much more money. Andrew Robinson kind of went extremes, from acheiving his dream of 800Ds speakers and then a move to best bang for buck. This included Crown class D amps but he went back to Parasound and Halo. I don't know of better amps for the money than the A21 or JC1s, just don't.

I don't disagree with this. Look, I'm in this thread because I like Parasound amps. I used one as my main amp for about 12 years, and I also owned another for a while. They're very capable, well-built, well-designed, and backed by a good company. They can power low-impedance loads to higher levels than most AVRs can, and they have their place.

But these claims that they sound better at low to moderate levels with run of the mill speakers (ie, speakers that don't dip below 4 Ohm in their impedance) are not validated.
beaveav's Avatar beaveav 04:15 PM 06-21-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by exm View Post


Here we go again! smile.gif

And no - all amps do NOT sound the same. If they do - enjoy your receiver my friend!

Thanks. I *am* enjoying my cheap receiver, the one I kept after I sold my Parasound HALO setup (I sold it after I did a level-matched comparison between it and the receiver and found no audible differences except at volume levels that would leave me deaf in no time).

smile.gif
beaveav's Avatar beaveav 04:18 PM 06-21-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by audiofan1 View Post

Double blind test are the dumbest of dumbest ideas for audio evaluations unless and I mean no offence visually impaired and are use to hearing in this manner. It's hard enough to 2 channels on the same amp in spec and sounding them same ( which is why some try for identical serial numbers on monoblocks) let alone another amp from another maker with different designs , topology's, different transistors, circuit boards, capacitors you name it, to say they all sound the same makes those of you who especially taut your degree's in EE or Audio engineering so like you don't really understand what its is that you do. I'm sure the makers of these various amps have very different idea's on the sound of there amps and would consider what your sort deduce there efforts to as insulting. eek.gif

I mean come on ! is it really that hard to just listen without assuming ,someone has to slip you something and send you into fairyland to hear a difference, I really feel sorry for these Audiophiles as this seems devoid of any room for improvement or changes to be had in assembling to your taste, that is capable of bringing happiness to ones soul wink.gif

Hopefully these companies have manufacturing quality control that is a little better than you describe.

Different topologies, transistors, circuit boards, etc all lead to tiny measurable differences in audio parametrics, but those differences - in a competent design - are well below the threshold of audibility. For example, say one amp has a frequency response of +/- .4dB, and another has a frequency repsonse of +/- .2 dB. Think that's audible in your room, where the room acoustics make peaks and dips of 10dB or more?
4DHD's Avatar 4DHD 04:54 PM 06-21-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by beaveav View Post

Uhm, yeah, that's true. Of course it's true! But by doing so, the amp no longer measures flat. So he did nothing but purposely put a flaw in the amp design to make it sound more tube-like.

Well, its been shown more than once, that a truly flat FR usually does not sound all that good. And that adding a house curve provides a big improvement.
And when it comes to amps, just b/c they may have the same FR curve, does not mean they sound the same.
jima4a's Avatar jima4a 05:02 PM 06-21-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by beaveav View Post

On the surface, your example 1 might sound like a good case for two amps sounding different. But you said the listening was done weeks apart. Same room, same speakers, but not the same levels, and weeks apart means that test was just as much - if not more - a test of your mood than it was of any amp sound.

Second example also not scientific, as there are multiple variables - including those you mention, plus the lack of level-matching - that can come into play.

As I said before, to truly test whether amps sound different, you have to do a properly controlled test.
First example there were two of us that made the same conclusions. On the second visit we had the controls and played with volume to try and recreate. Unable to.
Second example I had them for close to a month and when I thought they were not an improvement in two channel I had to swap configurations a couple times and have a SPL meter. I did not want to send them back, I am lazy in that way.
Sometimes you can tell a difference right away and one would hope that shows in a DBT. Other times (second example) you have to live with it a while for your brain to finally conclude there is something different. DBT would likely miss that.
beaveav's Avatar beaveav 05:12 PM 06-21-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by 4DHD View Post

Well, its been shown more than once, that a truly flat FR usually does not sound all that good. And that adding a house curve provides a big improvement.
And when it comes to amps, just b/c they may have the same FR curve, does not mean they sound the same.

A truly flat response in room is not preferred, that is true. But that's totally separate from the amp's frequency response. The preferred in room rolled off response comes from a rolled off power response from the loudspeakers. The amp should not be a tone control.

As for your second comment, that's true. That's why any real set of measurements also includes SNR, THD, IMD, source impedance, etc. When those are sufficiently good (and they are in nearly all modern day solid state amps), then the amps do sound the same, until they're pushed to their limits.
beaveav's Avatar beaveav 05:14 PM 06-21-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by jima4a View Post

First example there were two of us that made the same conclusions. On the second visit we had the controls and played with volume to try and recreate. Unable to.
Second example I had them for close to a month and when I thought they were not an improvement in two channel I had to swap configurations a couple times and have a SPL meter. I did not want to send them back, I am lazy in that way.
Sometimes you can tell a difference right away and one would hope that shows in a DBT. Other times (second example) you have to live with it a while for your brain to finally conclude there is something different. DBT would likely miss that.

First example: Doesn't matter if 100 people said the same thing. The test is completely invalid. Mass psychology could easily play a role here.

In a DBT test, the listener can switch back and forth as long as he/she wants, and listen as long as he/she wants. No time limits need apply. Want to go back and forth for a month? Feel free. Just don't look at which amp is which.
Nethawk's Avatar Nethawk 05:44 PM 06-21-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by runnin' View Post

6 posts in a row on one thread? Are you sure that's enough to alleviate your compensating needs? Better do a few more, it's the only way to be sure.

I thought you tucked tail and ran to audiokarma, where people 'think' like you do? You know, the folks who talked you into spending $10k? Still trying to justify the purchase I see. biggrin.gif
jima4a's Avatar jima4a 05:51 PM 06-21-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by beaveav View Post

First example: Doesn't matter if 100 people said the same thing. The test is completely invalid. Mass psychology could easily play a role here.

In a DBT test, the listener can switch back and forth as long as he/she wants, and listen as long as he/she wants. No time limits need apply. Want to go back and forth for a month? Feel free. Just don't look at which amp is which.
Understand the mass psychology but I am going to tell the Emperor he has no cloths to a fault - that is a social fault I have. We also formed our opinions before stating them. At this point I doubt we will agree so I will end this here, I do agree in most cases the difference is inaudible.
Nethawk's Avatar Nethawk 06:00 PM 06-21-2013
I'd like an answer to a very simple question. How can one amp sound different from another? Forget DBT, forget brand loyalty - just tell me how, based upon the purpose of an amplifier, A can sound different than B.
beaveav's Avatar beaveav 06:14 PM 06-21-2013
^One amp could have a significant frequency response variation into even a pure resistive load. Easily measured.

One amp could have a high output impedance, meaning its frequency response - even if flat into a resistive load - might not be flat when driving a real-world, complex impedance speaker (this is the case with tube amps). This too can be measured.

One amp could have a high SNR, or a noise spur(s) at a certain frequency (such as hum). Easily measured as well.

One amp could have high THD or IMD. THD vs Freq and THD vs level are standard measurements. There are also standard IMD measurements.

One amp could run out of current into a low impedance load, like a 2 Ohm load, at only modest volume levels. This is where most amplifier sound differences are real - but this is where the amps are being clipped, so that's why the clause 'when not being clipped or when running in their linear range is added to the 'all solid-state amps sound the same..

None of these should be an issue with a properly functioning solid-state amp, except the last one, which depends on speakers and listening levels. Parasound amps are quite good at being able to drive tough speaker loads to levels that would make AVRs crumble. So there is a place for these amps, in those circumstances.
4DHD's Avatar 4DHD 07:48 PM 06-21-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Mac View Post

It doesn't matter to me what your thoughts on amps are as well. I just think this has always been a great thread without the need for name calling. Because once that starts a thread like this goes down hill real fast. Yes I wished I hadn't sold my 2100. The 4311 sounds just fine but thanks for asking wink.gif. I'm not sure what that has to do with amps sounding or not sounding the same. I'm sure just about anyone in this hobby has sold a component that they wished thay hadn't smile.gif.

Bill
Actually, I never have sold off a piece of gear I really liked. Sold off a couple of turkeys, complete duds. And gave some gear/speakers to my kids.
Same with speakers, used the same pair from '79~'02. Then I built upgraded LCRs, to make a matched 5.2 system.

As for the 'clown' statement, I was not referring to anyone one this thread. Most, if not all, Parasound posters have pretty much the same opinion I do when it comes to Parasound amps. Better than most, and a whole lot cheaper than ones that are better.
4DHD's Avatar 4DHD 08:12 PM 06-21-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nethawk View Post

I'd like an answer to a very simple question. How can one amp sound different from another? Forget DBT, forget brand loyalty - just tell me how, based upon the purpose of an amplifier, A can sound different than B.

Build an amp with higher quality components, that have tighter tolerances. Design a higher quality circuit, such as John Curl has done over the years.
But, imo, the biggest differences can be found in pre-amps and phono stage pre-amps, more so than power amps.

The only amp or receiver I ever had that I had to drive to max output to even come close to how I thought it should sound was a Denon stereo receiver. And I am quite certain the weak link was its phono stage. B/C when I switched to a Citation pre-amp/power amp combo, which the power amp was only 20w more than the Denon, the quality of the sound was superior, even though the Citation pre-amp was at -20db.
And in the real world, a difference of only 20w between power amps is nothing. And should make no difference as to how much output is generated. To increase the Denon's output by 3db would have required its power to double to 160w. And although HK amps were always known to be under rated, its 100w would have only been around 120~130w compared to other brands, not 160w.
jima4a's Avatar jima4a 08:24 PM 06-21-2013
I have always believed that current capability is one key. The 250 wpc Halos have more current capability then the New Classic 250 wpc. So if they have the same watts, they should sound the same, correct??
Edit: don't mean to imply the New Classics are not very good, on the contrary they are. Just that the Halo is the next step.
TheFactor's Avatar TheFactor 01:54 AM 06-22-2013
I noticed a huge difference in sound between my A21 and A52 . The A21 made my RF7s sound so much better and the same with my Dyns . I agree the better power supply with the A21 contributed greatly .
Nethawk's Avatar Nethawk 06:38 AM 06-22-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by 4DHD View Post

Build an amp with higher quality components, that have tighter tolerances. Design a higher quality circuit, such as John Curl has done over the years.
But, imo, the biggest differences can be found in pre-amps and phono stage pre-amps, more so than power amps.

The only amp or receiver I ever had that I had to drive to max output to even come close to how I thought it should sound was a Denon stereo receiver. And I am quite certain the weak link was its phono stage. B/C when I switched to a Citation pre-amp/power amp combo, which the power amp was only 20w more than the Denon, the quality of the sound was superior, even though the Citation pre-amp was at -20db.
And in the real world, a difference of only 20w between power amps is nothing. And should make no difference as to how much output is generated. To increase the Denon's output by 3db would have required its power to double to 160w. And although HK amps were always known to be under rated, its 100w would have only been around 120~130w compared to other brands, not 160w.

I've had Krell monoblocks (about $8k used), Anthem ($400 used) and my Denon 4311, I couldn't tell the difference between any of them. The same goes for the Anthem, my Denon 2313 and Crown XLS1500. Since the Crown is the cheapest and most efficient by far, this is the amp line I will be turning to for future needs.
4DHD's Avatar 4DHD 07:02 AM 06-22-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nethawk View Post

I've had Krell monoblocks (about $8k used), Anthem ($400 used) and my Denon 4311, I couldn't tell the difference between any of them. The same goes for the Anthem, my Denon 2313 and Crown XLS1500. Since the Crown is the cheapest and most efficient by far, this is the amp line I will be turning to for future needs.
I had a Crown K2 amp driving my passive subs for a few years. It was very good. But then I decided to replace it with a pair of BASH plate amps, which produced even higher output.
But as I mentioned yesterday, I believe there is likely to be more differences between pre-amps and most certainly phono stage amps. I do hear difference between using the P7, compared to the HK AVR3600, or the HK3390. And the difference for LP playback between P7~3390 would be the P7's phono stage, I would easily say the best I've ever owned.
And for all sources, the P7 just seems to bring more in depth of the sound, more involving.
jima4a's Avatar jima4a 07:17 AM 06-22-2013
Good point! Differences in amps are typically subtle at best and often only if the rest of the system is revealing enough. My weak link, I believe, is my prepro and it is pretty good. There is a lot of music I like that I can not listen to on my main system as it is not recorded well enough. However it is a bit more forgiving on our system in the great room but still there are a fair bit of music that the recording is obvious. The outdoor Yamaha speakers don't care much at all and I can play everything.
Tags: Parasound , Parasound Products Inc , Parasound Classic 2100 Stereo Pre Amp
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