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post #1921 of 3344
Fairly new to this hobby, but not new to expensive pastimes. I'm a guitar player and have bought and sold hundreds of guitars and amps during the last 40 years in search of tone heaven. I have a pretty good idea how an amplified instrument should sound. I've always wanted a top-notch sound system and since I'm approaching 60, I decided to significantly upgrade my system. Sure, I could have done with audio equipment as I've done with guitar/amplifier equipment and that is buy what interests me, use it a bit, sell what doesn't work and keep what does. Unfortunately, it's a time consuming process and a very, very expensive process...I probably don't have another forty years to get it right. I decided that I was going to buy my ideal system right off the bat instead of flipping gear all of the time. I did my due diligence and in auditioning amplifiers I learned that John Curl designed the high end Parasound products. That was enough for me. In my youth I was a total Grateful Dead fanatic and I remember their Wall of Sound, built by the guys at Alembic, including John Curl. If I could get that type of sound in my living room I'd never have to replace anything. So after much research and many auditions I pulled the trigger on the following:

Parasound A21 to drive my front two speakers (Paradigm Signature S6's)
Parasound A31 to drive my center speaker (Paradigm Signature C3) and my surrounds (Vienna Acoustics Grand Waltz)
Parasound A23 to drive my rear speakers (Vienna Acoustics Grand Waltz)
Parasound P7 analog preamp with HT bypass
Anthem AVM 20 to route the HT through it's balanced input/output
Oppo BDP-105 from which the media is played and into which the music on my computer is played
Panasonic Viera VT50 plasma

My music sounds incredible and HT is not too shabby either. It's much easier for me to hear the guitar parts when I'm figuring out songs. I'm a huge fan of tube amplifiers for guitars and I like the Parasound equipment because it sounds somewhat tube-like, especially the rendition of bass frequencies and I trace that back to John Curl. I also like uncluttered neutral sound that is not colored and the Parasound delivers that in spades. I can't imagine a better sounding amplifier, especially for the price.
post #1922 of 3344
That's a great system! I've got an A21 running Paradigm S6's too with an Oppo 95 as source and I concur on your assessment of the sound.
post #1923 of 3344
Quote:
Originally Posted by stratoholic View Post

Fairly new to this hobby, but not new to expensive pastimes. I'm a guitar player and have bought and sold hundreds of guitars and amps during the last 40 years in search of tone heaven. I have a pretty good idea how an amplified instrument should sound. I've always wanted a top-notch sound system and since I'm approaching 60, I decided to significantly upgrade my system. Sure, I could have done with audio equipment as I've done with guitar/amplifier equipment and that is buy what interests me, use it a bit, sell what doesn't work and keep what does. Unfortunately, it's a time consuming process and a very, very expensive process...I probably don't have another forty years to get it right. I decided that I was going to buy my ideal system right off the bat instead of flipping gear all of the time. I did my due diligence and in auditioning amplifiers I learned that John Curl designed the high end Parasound products. That was enough for me. In my youth I was a total Grateful Dead fanatic and I remember their Wall of Sound, built by the guys at Alembic, including John Curl. If I could get that type of sound in my living room I'd never have to replace anything. So after much research and many auditions I pulled the trigger on the following:

Parasound A21 to drive my front two speakers (Paradigm Signature S6's)
Parasound A31 to drive my center speaker (Paradigm Signature C3) and my surrounds (Vienna Acoustics Grand Waltz)
Parasound A23 to drive my rear speakers (Vienna Acoustics Grand Waltz)
Parasound P7 analog preamp with HT bypass
Anthem AVM 20 to route the HT through it's balanced input/output
Oppo BDP-105 from which the media is played and into which the music on my computer is played
Panasonic Viera VT50 plasma

My music sounds incredible and HT is not too shabby either. It's much easier for me to hear the guitar parts when I'm figuring out songs. I'm a huge fan of tube amplifiers for guitars and I like the Parasound equipment because it sounds somewhat tube-like, especially the rendition of bass frequencies and I trace that back to John Curl. I also like uncluttered neutral sound that is not colored and the Parasound delivers that in spades. I can't imagine a better sounding amplifier, especially for the price.

Congratulation, nice system

post #1924 of 3344
Quote:
Originally Posted by stratoholic View Post


My music sounds incredible and HT is not too shabby either. It's much easier for me to hear the guitar parts when I'm figuring out songs. I'm a huge fan of tube amplifiers for guitars and I like the Parasound equipment because it sounds somewhat tube-like, especially the rendition of bass frequencies and I trace that back to John Curl. I also like uncluttered neutral sound that is not colored and the Parasound delivers that in spades. I can't imagine a better sounding amplifier, especially for the price.

Nice system. I agree.
The Halo amps are wonderful sounding amps.
I was listening to the Dire Staits Brother in Arms SACD and it is absolute fantasic with the analog out of the BDP-105 and Halo A51 amp.

Enjoy,

- Rich
post #1925 of 3344
Quote:
Originally Posted by stratoholic View Post

My music sounds incredible and HT is not too shabby either. It's much easier for me to hear the guitar parts when I'm figuring out songs. I'm a huge fan of tube amplifiers for guitars and I like the Parasound equipment because it sounds somewhat tube-like, especially the rendition of bass frequencies and I trace that back to John Curl. I also like uncluttered neutral sound that is not colored and the Parasound delivers that in spades. I can't imagine a better sounding amplifier, especially for the price.
Welcome to the club. Parasound is definitely as you described, neutral and uncolored.

I do have a question for you.........why didn't you use the A-31 to power your 3 front speakers and use the A-21 for the surrounds?
post #1926 of 3344
Quote:
Originally Posted by Torqdog View Post

Welcome to the club. Parasound is definitely as you described, neutral and uncolored.

I do have a question for you.........why didn't you use the A-31 to power your 3 front speakers and use the A-21 for the surrounds?

you're kidding right! eek.gif
post #1927 of 3344
My HCA 2205-A finally died this weekend. Got a good 10 years or more out of it. It's been running almost continuously for the last 7 since the trigger died. I think it must be the power supply, all channels not working. Luckily my AVR(Anthem) has built in amps, that although only 90 W/channel, seem to be working ok. I think if I replace it, I'll get a W4S or D-sonic 3 channel amp, I'm getting too old to be lugging a 70# monster up to the shelf it sat on and I don't need any heat producing items if I can avoid them. I guess I'll check to make sure it's not just a fuse before I relegate it to the scrap heap. If anyone in the San Antonio area wants it, let me know.
post #1928 of 3344
Quote:
Originally Posted by stratoholic View Post

Fairly new to this hobby, but not new to expensive pastimes. I'm a guitar player and have bought and sold hundreds of guitars and amps during the last 40 years in search of tone heaven. I have a pretty good idea how an amplified instrument should sound. I've always wanted a top-notch sound system and since I'm approaching 60, I decided to significantly upgrade my system. Sure, I could have done with audio equipment as I've done with guitar/amplifier equipment and that is buy what interests me, use it a bit, sell what doesn't work and keep what does. Unfortunately, it's a time consuming process and a very, very expensive process...I probably don't have another forty years to get it right. I decided that I was going to buy my ideal system right off the bat instead of flipping gear all of the time. I did my due diligence and in auditioning amplifiers I learned that John Curl designed the high end Parasound products. That was enough for me. In my youth I was a total Grateful Dead fanatic and I remember their Wall of Sound, built by the guys at Alembic, including John Curl. If I could get that type of sound in my living room I'd never have to replace anything. So after much research and many auditions I pulled the trigger on the following:

Parasound A21 to drive my front two speakers (Paradigm Signature S6's)
Parasound A31 to drive my center speaker (Paradigm Signature C3) and my surrounds (Vienna Acoustics Grand Waltz)
Parasound A23 to drive my rear speakers (Vienna Acoustics Grand Waltz)
Parasound P7 analog preamp with HT bypass
Anthem AVM 20 to route the HT through it's balanced input/output
Oppo BDP-105 from which the media is played and into which the music on my computer is played
Panasonic Viera VT50 plasma

My music sounds incredible and HT is not too shabby either. It's much easier for me to hear the guitar parts when I'm figuring out songs. I'm a huge fan of tube amplifiers for guitars and I like the Parasound equipment because it sounds somewhat tube-like, especially the rendition of bass frequencies and I trace that back to John Curl. I also like uncluttered neutral sound that is not colored and the Parasound delivers that in spades. I can't imagine a better sounding amplifier, especially for the price.

That sounds great,but I don't understand why you don't run your HT from the 105 straight through your P7, using the analog outs on the Oppo.

You should at least try it and compare. I ran my HT that way with a Marantz UD9004 for about 2-3 years, and it was terrific.

If you try it, let us know how it compares.
post #1929 of 3344
Quote:
Originally Posted by Torqdog View Post



I do have a question for you.........why didn't you use the A-31 to power your 3 front speakers and use the A-21 for the surrounds?

I thought about that but because 90% of my use is for two channel music I didn't see the use of having one channel on the A31 idle but "on" most of the time.
post #1930 of 3344
Quote:
Originally Posted by Torqdog View Post



I do have a question for you.........why didn't you use the A-31 to power your 3 front speakers and use the A-21 for the surrounds?

I thought about that but because 90% of my use is for two channel music I didn't see the use of having one channel on the A31 idle but "on" most of the time.
post #1931 of 3344
Quote:
Originally Posted by moonhawk View Post

That sounds great,but I don't understand why you don't run your HT from the 105 straight through your P7, using the analog outs on the Oppo.

I thought about that too. But, I didn't like controlling the volume of multi channel with the Oppo, it seems to work a little better with the Anthem in the pathway. Of course, there's tradeoffs with the longer signal path and I may eventually bypass the Anthem altogether. I'll just have to test, test, and test to see what works best.
post #1932 of 3344
Quote:
Originally Posted by stratoholic View Post

Parasound A21 to drive my front two speakers (Paradigm Signature S6's)
Parasound A31 to drive my center speaker (Paradigm Signature C3) and my surrounds (Vienna Acoustics Grand Waltz)
Parasound A23 to drive my rear speakers (Vienna Acoustics Grand Waltz)
Parasound P7 analog preamp with HT bypass
Anthem AVM 20 to route the HT through it's balanced input/output
Oppo BDP-105 from which the media is played and into which the music on my computer is played
Panasonic Viera VT50 plasma
If you're here for bragging rights, you've come to the right place!
post #1933 of 3344
Quote:
Originally Posted by Torqdog View Post

No! Why? ........it's how I have mine hooked up. A-31 runs the L/C/R and the, in my case A-51 runs the surrounds.

Am I doing it wrong?

Not at all! in your setup I would go the same route as you have , but add the A21 to the mix and a love for 2/ch and its the A21 all day long on the mains wink.gif
post #1934 of 3344
Quote:
Originally Posted by saeyedoc View Post

My HCA 2205-A finally died this weekend. Got a good 10 years or more out of it. It's been running almost continuously for the last 7 since the trigger died. I think it must be the power supply, all channels not working. Luckily my AVR(Anthem) has built in amps, that although only 90 W/channel, seem to be working ok. I think if I replace it, I'll get a W4S or D-sonic 3 channel amp, I'm getting too old to be lugging a 70# monster up to the shelf it sat on and I don't need any heat producing items if I can avoid them. I guess I'll check to make sure it's not just a fuse before I relegate it to the scrap heap. If anyone in the San Antonio area wants it, let me know.

It seems that my HCA2205A actually runs a bit cooler than my HK AVR3600, which is only 85w. and my 2205 is 11 years old now, seems I remember buying it in '02.
post #1935 of 3344
Quote:
Originally Posted by stratoholic View Post

I thought about that but because 90% of my use is for two channel music I didn't see the use of having one channel on the A31 idle but "on" most of the time.
Ahhhhh, that makes perfect sense when the fact that you have two separate 2 channel amps is taken into consideration.
post #1936 of 3344
Quote:
Originally Posted by audiofan1 View Post

Not at all! in your setup I would go the same route as you have , but add the A21 to the mix and a love for 2/ch and its the A21 all day long on the mains wink.gif
Yep! +1
post #1937 of 3344
Quote:
Originally Posted by stratoholic View Post

I thought about that too. But, I didn't like controlling the volume of multi channel with the Oppo, it seems to work a little better with the Anthem in the pathway. Of course, there's tradeoffs with the longer signal path and I may eventually bypass the Anthem altogether. I'll just have to test, test, and test to see what works best.

You can control the volume with the P7, and run an all analog path. Anyway, like you said, keep experimenting. smile.gif
post #1938 of 3344
Quote:
Originally Posted by audiofan1 View Post

Not at all! in your setup I would go the same route as you have , but add the A21 to the mix and a love for 2/ch and its the A21 all day long on the mains wink.gif

Do you think the A21 actually sounds better, or just trying to save energy?

I'm currently running 5.1 with an A51, but thinking of going to 7.1. I will probably add an A21 and would most likely run the mains with it, but mainly to save energy. If I thought it would sound better in 2ch either way, I would run it that way.
post #1939 of 3344
I have the A51 and bundled 3 A23's with it for an 11.1 setup. The A23's are keeping up with the big brother. So far totally happy, I was worried about them not having enough power.... they do. biggrin.gif
post #1940 of 3344
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr_Mark View Post

I have the A51 and bundled 3 A23's with it for an 11.1 setup. The A23's are keeping up with the big brother. So far totally happy, I was worried about them not having enough power.... they do. biggrin.gif
To run out of power with most any amp, a couple of conditions have to exist. Say, having a really large, dead room and very inefficient speakers.
Some speakers are well known to be power hungry, like Revel Salon2. But with most speakers rated 91~95db, a very low watt amp would have to be used before running out of power.
I actually had such an amp 6 years ago. A Denon 80w stereo receiver, which I had to run at 0~+5db to even begin to sound right.
I think the main problem with that receiver was the phono pre-amp it had. B/C changing to a Citation 100w power and pre-amp made a huge difference.
post #1941 of 3344
Quote:
Originally Posted by moonhawk View Post

You can control the volume with the P7, and run an all analog path. Anyway, like you said, keep experimenting. smile.gif

Are you sure about that? Here's the blurb from the P7 manual: "WARNING: Do not select Bypass "Yes" for a input which is connected to a source component such as a DVD player (in this case Oppo). Since the P7 Theater Bypass mode provides no volume control, the sound level would be very high and could damage your speakers. The Theater Bypass mode is suitable only for source components which have their own volume controls!"

Am I misreading or misunderstanding something?

Thanks for your help. This stuff is pretty new to me.
post #1942 of 3344
Quote:
Originally Posted by stratoholic View Post

Are you sure about that? Here's the blurb from the P7 manual: "WARNING: Do not select Bypass "Yes" for a input which is connected to a source component such as a DVD player (in this case Oppo). Since the P7 Theater Bypass mode provides no volume control, the sound level would be very high and could damage your speakers. The Theater Bypass mode is suitable only for source components which have their own volume controls!"

Am I misreading or misunderstanding something?

Thanks for your help. This stuff is pretty new to me.

Apparently, according to the manual I can decide not to use the Theater Bypass option so the P7 can be used to control volume, tone, and balance. If I do that will there be unity gain between 2 channel and multi channel modes on the P7? Or, will I always need to adjust the volume of multi channel because it may be too loud compared to the 2 channel inputs?
post #1943 of 3344
Quote:
Originally Posted by stratoholic View Post

Are you sure about that? Here's the blurb from the P7 manual: "WARNING: Do not select Bypass "Yes" for a input which is connected to a source component such as a DVD player (in this case Oppo). Since the P7 Theater Bypass mode provides no volume control, the sound level would be very high and could damage your speakers. The Theater Bypass mode is suitable only for source components which have their own volume controls!"

Am I misreading or misunderstanding something?

Thanks for your help. This stuff is pretty new to me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by stratoholic View Post

Apparently, according to the manual I can decide not to use the Theater Bypass option so the P7 can be used to control volume, tone, and balance. If I do that will there be unity gain between 2 channel and multi channel modes on the P7? Or, will I always need to adjust the volume of multi channel because it may be too loud compared to the 2 channel inputs?

The Theater by-pass is separate from DVD analogue. That is why there are two 5.1 analogue inputs; one for DVD-A out, the second for AVR pre-outs. I have the TBP on input 9 and DVD player on input 10.

The P7 controls the volume from ALL inputs, except the one you set to by-pass. If you choose to watch a DVD or BD through the P7 analogue out, the player is decoding the Dolby or DTS soundtrack, and the P7 controls the volume.

If you use the TBP input from the AVR, then the AVR is controlling the volume and doing the decoding.
Edited by 4DHD - 6/4/13 at 9:15am
post #1944 of 3344
Quote:
Originally Posted by 4DHD View Post


The Theater by-pass is separate from DVD analogue. That is why there are two 5.1 analogue inputs; one for DVD-A out, the second for AVR pre-outs. I have the TBP on input 9 and DVD player on input 10.

The P7 controls the volume from ALL inputs, except the one you set to by-pass. If you choose to watch a DVD or BD through the P7 analogue out, the player is decoding the Dolby or DTS soundtrack, and the P7 controls the volume.

If you use the TBP input from the AVR, then the AVR is controlling the volume and doing the decoding.

Thanks!
post #1945 of 3344
Quote:
Originally Posted by 4DHD View Post


The Theater by-pass is separate from DVD analogue. That is why there are two 5.1 analogue inputs; one for DVD-A out, the second for AVR pre-outs. I have the TBP on input 9 and DVD player on input 10.

The P7 controls the volume from ALL inputs, except the one you set to by-pass. If you choose to watch a DVD or BD through the P7 analogue out, the player is decoding the Dolby or DTS soundtrack, and the P7 controls the volume.

If you use the TBP input from the AVR, then the AVR is controlling the volume and doing the decoding.

Quote:
Originally Posted by stratoholic View Post

Apparently, according to the manual I can decide not to use the Theater Bypass option so the P7 can be used to control volume, tone, and balance. If I do that will there be unity gain between 2 channel and multi channel modes on the P7? Or, will I always need to adjust the volume of multi channel because it may be too loud compared to the 2 channel inputs?

Bypass is generally for using a separate 2 channel setup in a multi-channel system, You should use the P7 as your primary pre-amd for everythin else.

Connect the 7.1 analog outs from your Oppo to one of the 7.1 inputs on the P7 and you're good to go. I bet it sounds better than the Anthem, but YMMV.
post #1946 of 3344
Quote:
Originally Posted by moonhawk View Post


Bypass is generally for using a separate 2 channel setup in a multi-channel system, You should use the P7 as your primary pre-amd for everythin else.

Connect the 7.1 analog outs from your Oppo to one of the 7.1 inputs on the P7 and you're good to go. I bet it sounds better than the Anthem, but YMMV.

You are right in that the P7 is the primary pre-amp in the system....but the by-pass is reverse of your statement.
When watching a movie via the AVR or pre/pro, the sound is sent from the AVR, through the P7 untouched to the power amp(s). Thus the term: Theater by-pass.
When listening to any stereo source, the P7/power amp are used, and the AVR is off and not in the circuit.
The only time the AVR is in the circuit is when the by-pass input is selected on the P7.
post #1947 of 3344
Quote:
Originally Posted by 4DHD View Post

You are right in that the P7 is the primary pre-amp in the system....but the by-pass is reverse of your statement.
When watching a movie via the AVR or pre/pro, the sound is sent from the AVR, through the P7 untouched to the power amp(s). Thus the term: Theater by-pass.
When listening to any stereo source, the P7/power amp are used, and the AVR is off and not in the circuit.
The only time the AVR is in the circuit is when the by-pass input is selected on the P7.

You're right...It's been a while since I had the P7 so my memory is a little hazy. Thanks for the correction. smile.gif

I had a second AVR with digital inputs so I could hook up my Dish Network DVR. I ran that through the P7 and used the volume on the first one, with the P7 set to bypass.

I sold the P7 because I wanted to have just one pre-pro in the system.

Point I was trying to make is stratoholic should use the Oppo directly to the P7 and not use bypass, and see how that sounds compared to his Anthem.
post #1948 of 3344
Quote:
Originally Posted by moonhawk View Post

You're right...It's been a while since I had the P7 so my memory is a little hazy. Thanks for the correction. smile.gif

I had a second AVR with digital inputs so I could hook up my Dish Network DVR. I ran that through the P7 and used the volume on the first one, with the P7 set to bypass.

I sold the P7 because I wanted to have just one pre-pro in the system.

Point I was trying to make is stratoholic should use the Oppo directly to the P7 and not use bypass, and see how that sounds compared to his Anthem.


I certainly understood that point you were making.

Although, I don't quite understand about the two AVR situation. Or the need to sell off the P7.
I see you used digital connections from the Dish Net DVR to one AVR. But then you had the P7 connected to that AVR or the other one?
post #1949 of 3344
Quote:
Originally Posted by moonhawk View Post

Do you think the A21 actually sounds better, or just trying to save energy?

I'm currently running 5.1 with an A51, but thinking of going to 7.1. I will probably add an A21 and would most likely run the mains with it, but mainly to save energy. If I thought it would sound better in 2ch either way, I would run it that way.

The A21 like the JC1 are the direct offspring of John Curl and the spec's should give you a clue as to will happen when its applied to sound wink.gif does it sound better ? depends on your listening habits ! I listen to a lot of 2/ch and if not going JC1's for that last bit of separation its the reason the A21 exist in the lineup and is more of a purist amp with all the guts and design geared for such, including running higher is class A !
post #1950 of 3344
Quote:
Originally Posted by audiofan1 View Post

The A21 like the JC1 are the direct offspring of John Curl and the spec's should give you a clue as to will happen when its applied to sound wink.gif does it sound better ? depends on your listening habits ! I listen to a lot of 2/ch and if not going JC1's for that last bit of separation its the reason the A21 exist in the lineup and is more of a purist amp with all the guts and design geared for such, including running higher is class A !

There is a bit more than just better separation of dual JC1s over the A21...400w > 8Ω compared to 250w > 8Ω.
One can bridge the A21 for 750w > 8Ω, but can not use bridge mode for 4Ω load.
But with either, they are fine amps.
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