Parasound HCA-2205A or B&K 7250 - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 51 Old 10-07-2009, 04:54 PM - Thread Starter
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I am deciding which one to get between the two to drive my Lsi7, Lsic and LsiFX speakers. I am doing a 5.1 setup. I heard mix reviews regarding the two amps. Price wise, they are about the same. I wanted to hear more opinions from people who have own these amps and hopefully can help me decide on my decision. Both amps are pretty old though but wondering if they will still last a few years after I bought it.

Based on my reading in the forum, Parasound is more refined and clearer high but B&K has more bass when cranked up. What are your opinions? Please share your experience. THanks again!!
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post #2 of 51 Old 10-07-2009, 07:11 PM
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I doubt those people who've described one or the other being biased for highs or bass could actually pick one or the other consitently in a DBT.

Why not go new? The Emotiva XPA-5 has a 5 year fully transferable warranty and has no sound biases. And will probably cost you less than either of those amps used.

When all else fails - RTFM!

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post #3 of 51 Old 10-07-2009, 08:21 PM
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Hello,
The Emotiva is not a bad idea but, the Parasound has almost twice as big a toroidal transformer 1200VA vs 2000VA, and almost 3 times the secondary capacitance 60,000 vs 150,000.

The Parasound is a much more powerful amplifier. However, if your speakers are relatively efficient and your listening levels are not too crazy, the Emotiva might be a good idea.
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post #4 of 51 Old 10-07-2009, 08:37 PM - Thread Starter
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That is one of the pros that I almost consider getting an Emotiva XPA-5 but some people said it is not comparable to these 2 old amps I mentioned. They were saying the Parasound or B&K has more refined and warm sound compare to the XPA-5 but again they are mix reviews. I hope someone can chime in their opinion or experience with the two amps I mentioned.

Thanks!
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post #5 of 51 Old 10-07-2009, 08:44 PM
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Can you give the specs of the B&K?

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post #6 of 51 Old 10-07-2009, 08:58 PM - Thread Starter
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Reference 7250/7260 series II SPECIFICATIONS
Power rating: 8 ohms 200 watts @ 1 kHz
4 ohms 375 watts @ 1 kHz
Frequency response 5 Hz - 45 kHz
Input sensitivity 1.4 Volts
THD (S+N) 0.09 % @ 1 kHz
Input impedance 33.2 k ohms
Damping factor 450
Current (peak to peak) 75 Amps
Slew rate 14 V / usec
Dynamic headroom 1.2 dB
S/N (A-weighted) 95 dB
Voltage gain 28
Line voltage 120/220/240 VAC switchable
Dimensions (O.A.) 17"(w) X 19.25"(d) X 7.25"(h)
Weight 70 lb
Power consumption 1830 watts max
17.5 Amps max current draw
130 watts @ no input
Replacement fuses Line -15 Amp/250 Volt Slow Blow
Rails - 6 Amp/250 Volt Slow Blow
Speaker - 6 Amp/250 Volt Slow Blow
In-rush - 2 Amp/250 Volt Slow Blow
Control - .5 Amp/250 Volt Fast Blow
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post #7 of 51 Old 10-07-2009, 10:33 PM
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How much are you looking to spend? The Ada MPA-501 has better specs than both but hard to find. The downside is it has fans and 2 separate chassis, one power supply and the other 5 channel modules. It can power 2 ohm speakers easily. Any of them are great amps. There are other amps I would mention but what is the budget? BTW the Ada has a 2500VA power supply and 500,000 micro farads of capacitance. It had so much power reserves that it played a movie for 2 minutes after I turned it off.

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post #8 of 51 Old 10-08-2009, 11:54 AM - Thread Starter
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My budget is around $800. BTW, that ADA MPA-501 is really hard to find. There isn't any around that I could find for a used one. Where do you suggest I can find it and is there any thread that talks about this amp being paired with Lsi speakers?
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post #9 of 51 Old 10-08-2009, 12:23 PM
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I don't have experience with the 7250, but I did compare the B&K 200.5, Emotiva XPA-5, and Emotiva XPA-2 back to back in my house. The setup included a B&K Ref. 70 pre/pro and Paradigm Studio 100 v4 speakers.

Given those options, I'd eliminate the XPA-5. The XPA-5 sounds fine when you're not comparing it back to back with the others, especially on movie tracks. It's still a fantastic value.

Moving up there is a clear difference between the XPA-5 and the XPA-2. Soundstage feels larger, more dynamic, and there is a LOT more punch. I did feel that maybe it was a bit biased on the bass, but the Studio 100s are kind of bass happy anyways. With the XPA-2 music was more of an experience, you could feel the music hitting you in waves. I liked the XPA-2.

The thing that blew me away about the B&K 200.5 was incredibly low noise floor. With the Emotiva amps I always had just a tiny bit of hiss coming fromt he speakers. Not really enough to hear from a seated position. Even my current Denon POA-A1HD has just the tiniest bit of hiss. However the B&K had none- the speakers were absolultely dead silent. It my setup I felt that the B&K had a flatter tone curve than the XPA-2 and the sound felt maybe just slighly more refined. The bass kick was less than the XPA-2 but more than the XPA-5, but it felt appropriately balanced. It still presented lots of power when needed.

Ultimately however, I got rid of all of them and went with the Denon POA
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post #10 of 51 Old 10-08-2009, 05:44 PM
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Hello,
I absolutely love my Parasound HCA-2205AT. The Halo A51 is pretty much a restyled version of the 2205. The differences are amazingly minor, 2.2 kVA for the A51 vs 2 kVA for the 2205. 165,000 microfarads for the A51 compared to 150,000 for the 2205. Aside from styling and XLR's, the units are strikingly similar. Same number of output devices per channel, same designer, same Class A/B design with a Class A bias and same rated current (60 amps).
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post #11 of 51 Old 10-08-2009, 10:38 PM - Thread Starter
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Audiodork,
What kind of speakers did you run your Parasound with? How would you describe the sound quality and the sonic output? Have you heard B&K amp setup also?
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post #12 of 51 Old 10-09-2009, 09:37 AM
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Hello,
I am using my HCA-2205AT with all Martin Logan Electrostatic Speakers. The 2205 is driving Vantages, Stage, and Vista's. If you click on my sig, you can see my gear.

Electrostatic Speakers are some of the most difficult to drive. The the upper frequencies, the dip to 1 ohm and pose some nasty phase angle's.

Now, I do sometimes use my HCA-3500 to drive my Vantages, but for long stretches, I have used the 2205 to drive all 5 channels. I have never had a single issue. It truly is an excellent amplifier.
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post #13 of 51 Old 10-09-2009, 10:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deluxman View Post

My budget is around $800. BTW, that ADA MPA-501 is really hard to find. There isn't any around that I could find for a used one. Where do you suggest I can find it and is there any thread that talks about this amp being paired with Lsi speakers?

That is the problem, can't find it and very expensive new. What about a sunfire? What do people think about that amp?

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post #14 of 51 Old 10-09-2009, 10:29 AM
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Hello,
A large number of Martin Logan owners at Martin Logan Owner's Club swear by them. I myself prefer traditional Class A or A/B amplifiers with huge power transformers and soda can sized capacitors. Nonetheless, Carver's Tracking Downconverter has stood the test of time, is quite efficient, and drives difficult to drive speakers.
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post #15 of 51 Old 10-09-2009, 10:41 AM
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You then should take a look inside the Mpa-501. Class A/AB, capacitors are massive. Having said that, the Sunfire signature is twice as powerful(spec wise). The OP would look at the regular sunfire as that is in his price range.

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post #16 of 51 Old 10-09-2009, 10:51 AM
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I dont see how you can go wrong with a Parasound. If I wasnt using a Van ALstine to drive my Maggies, I would be using a Parasound.
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post #17 of 51 Old 10-09-2009, 12:44 PM
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Hello,
I honestly think Parasound offers an amazing price/performance ratio. I am a much bigger fan of their Halo and prior HCA Series than the New Classic.

In fact most of the Halo line are cosmetically upgraded HCA Series. The Halo A23 is almost identical to the HCA-1000a, the JC-1 Monoblocks share much of the same circuitry of the HCA-3500, and the A51 shares a great deal with the 2205. It is the addition of upgraded cosmetics and XLR connections which distinguish the Halo line.

The New Classic, while still quite good, was not designed by John Curl and does not offer near the same amount of current or amps per channel even though the rated power is similar. In addition, the New Classic's are not biased into Class A operation the way the Halo and HCA series are.
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post #18 of 51 Old 10-09-2009, 12:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_f View Post

...Moving up there is a clear difference between the XPA-5 and the XPA-2. Soundstage feels larger, more dynamic, and there is a LOT more punch. I did feel that maybe it was a bit biased on the bass, but the Studio 100s are kind of bass happy anyways. With the XPA-2 music was more of an experience, you could feel the music hitting you in waves. I liked the XPA-2...

...It my setup I felt that the B&K had a flatter tone curve than the XPA-2 and the sound felt maybe just slighly more refined. The bass kick was less than the XPA-2 but more than the XPA-5, but it felt appropriately balanced. It still presented lots of power when needed.

Ultimately however, I got rid of all of them and went with the Denon POA

This is just plain babble. Unless you are driving those amps to levels beyond what they were manufactured for (way into clipping) there is just no evidence to support any of these claims. And before any of you go off on me they way you do with most on us who share this point of view. I'll repost once again what I have posted in other threads:

Lets both put up $10K into escrow. Get whatever amps you want. I'll provide the ABX equipment. We will level match the amps and using the same source material we will perform the test. If you can reliably tell the difference between those two amps (should be EASY after all one will provide waves of music) you keep the $20K. If you can't I do. So rather than just start attacking, why don't one of you, just one, PLEASE, take me up on my offer? I am serious.
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post #19 of 51 Old 10-09-2009, 04:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lhasa-lover View Post

This is just plain babble. Unless you are driving those amps to levels beyond what they were manufactured for (way into clipping) there is just no evidence to support any of these claims. And before any of you go off on me they way you do with most on us who share this point of view. I'll repost once again what I have posted in other threads:

Lets both put up $10K into escrow. Get whatever amps you want. I'll provide the ABX equipment. We will level match the amps and using the same source material we will perform the test. If you can reliably tell the difference between those two amps (should be EASY after all one will provide waves of music) you keep the $20K. If you can't I do. So rather than just start attacking, why don't one of you, just one, PLEASE, take me up on my offer? I am serious.

The thing is the XPA-2 has the same size power transformer as a 2 channel amplifier as the XPA-5. Furthermore, they share close to the same amount of capacitance.

With this being the case, the XPA-2 is a far more powerful amplifier. While perhaps if level matched, amplifiers are indistinguishable, a more powerful amplifier can make a difference in the way a speaker sounds.
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post #20 of 51 Old 10-09-2009, 06:43 PM - Thread Starter
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After hearing much of the consensus regarding Parasound amp for their HCA series, I feel more confidence in making my purchase here. However, can anyone share their opinion as to how long can I benefit from a 10 year old amp before it starts giving me problem. Also can anyone tell me what is comparable or the next step higher for a little more price than the HCA-2205. Any input is again appreciated.

Is Sunfire Signature series better than the Parasound?
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post #21 of 51 Old 10-09-2009, 06:57 PM
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Hello,
Parasound's have a 10 year warranty and are built to last. As I mentioned before, the Halo A51 is a gussied up version of the 2205. The problem is it sells for around 2500 Dollars used. 2205's are selling for 1250 on Audiogon currently. Occasionally, you might find a 2205 for under a grand.

Otherwise, there are no other Parasounds that offer that much power. The A52 is conservatively rated at 125 WPC and utilizes a 1.4 kVA toroidal transformer and 100,000uf power supply filter capacitance. The Parasound HCA-1205A is the analog to the A52 and too is quite similar. This is in comparison to the 2.2 kVA and 164,000uf in the A51 and 2 kVA and 150,000uf
in the A51 and 2205 respectively.

All the same, you might not need that much power and current reserves. My Martin Logan's practically demand it. With more efficient, less demanding speakers, that much power is not necessarily needed.

I am also a huge fan of Aragon's 8008 Series. Though these too are older amplifiers, they are truly built to last. The earlier 4004 Series is excellent as well and was designed by Dan D'Agostino of Krell fame. There are 8008x5's out there, but are exceedingly rare. Killer amp though.
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post #22 of 51 Old 10-09-2009, 07:26 PM - Thread Starter
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Audiodork, I am buying a used HCA-2205 here from someone under $1000. My concern is how long will it last before it starts to give me problems. I am not talking buying a new amp here.
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post #23 of 51 Old 10-09-2009, 07:34 PM
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Which model Parasound has a 10 year warranty? I have a HCA2205AT and its warranty was 2 years. The year after the warranty went out so did the Right Front channel. I was using it for 3 channel use because it was cost prohibitive to repair. Not worth the repair bill. When it worked it was a good amp. It was a good amp in 3 channel use. But not $2100 worth of good for 3 years of 5 channel use. The Onkyo 876 I'm using now sounds just as good if not better due to Audessey and has more than enough power for my setup.
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post #24 of 51 Old 10-09-2009, 07:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deluxman View Post

Audiodork, I am buying a used HCA-2205 here from someone under $1000. My concern is how long will it last before it starts to give me problems. I am not talking buying a new amp here.

Go get a brand new Emotiva XPA5 for that same money and it has a 5 year warranty. Why buy someone elses used when you can get new for the same money. You wouldn't be able to tell the difference between the two anyway.
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post #25 of 51 Old 10-09-2009, 07:44 PM
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For as long as I can remember, Parasound has been 5 years labor, 10 years parts.
http://www.parasound.com/warranty.php#
It seems the older pre 1997 gear is as you described.

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post #26 of 51 Old 10-09-2009, 07:51 PM - Thread Starter
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So guys, you don't think it's worth buying a 10 years old amp...in this case since chances of breaking is kinda high. Speaking of Emotiva XPA-5, that was my original plan to buy but my decision got altered after hearing advice from audiophile people that Emotiva amp isn't as refined and musical as the Parasound. So they recommended me to get a used Parasound or B&K amp instead, which got me thinking into the risk also of buying a used amp here. I know repair cost might be costly especially those amp are freaking heavy. Dilemma, dilemma,
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post #27 of 51 Old 10-09-2009, 07:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phantom52 View Post

Go get a brand new Emotiva XPA5 for that same money and it has a 5 year warranty. Why buy someone elses used when you can get new for the same money. You wouldn't be able to tell the difference between the two anyway.

If you have efficient speakers, have a relatively small listening space, and do not listen at super high volume, you might be right.

All the same, the XPA-5 has way less current and power than the 2205.

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post #28 of 51 Old 10-09-2009, 07:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phantom52 View Post

Which model Parasound has a 10 year warranty? I have a HCA2205AT and its warranty was 2 years. The year after the warranty went out so did the Right Front channel. I was using it for 3 channel use because it was cost prohibitive to repair. Not worth the repair bill. When it worked it was a good amp. It was a good amp in 3 channel use. But not $2100 worth of good for 3 years of 5 channel use. The Onkyo 876 I'm using now sounds just as good if not better due to Audessey and has more than enough power for my setup.

If you have an AT, it is definitely still under warranty. The 2205AT was introduced in 2000 and ended production in 2004.

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post #29 of 51 Old 10-09-2009, 09:21 PM - Thread Starter
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Unfortunately, it is the A model which was manufactured between 1998-1999.
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post #30 of 51 Old 10-09-2009, 10:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Audiodork View Post

If you have an AT, it is definitely still under warranty. The 2205AT was introduced in 2000 and ended production in 2004.

Straight from the owners manual. I wish you were correct.


Parasound Limited Warranty (USA only)
Your Parasound amplifier is covered by a limited warranty against defects in materials and
workmanship for a period of two years from date of purchase. This warranty is provided by the
Parasound dealer where the unit was purchased. Warranty repair will be performed only when your
purchase receipt is presented to validate your ownership, date of purchase and authorized status of
the selling dealer. Defective parts will be repaired or replaced without charge by your authorized
dealer's store or the location designated by your dealer that is authorized to service Parasound
equipment. Additional information is available by calling or writing to the Service Manager,
Parasound Products, Inc. at the address below. Charges for unauthorized service and transportation


Their new Halo's are 5 years for parts and labor. That does not include shipping if needed.
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