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I'm looking to upgrade my system, and would like to go w/ separate processor and amps. My bugdet is still on the low end in terms of separate components. I currently have paradigm reference speakers, and older (soon to be replaced) toshiba 3109 dvd and a denon 3801. The denon will pull processing duty for a while until I step up to a seperate processor.


Parasound amps look good both in specs, and in price, but are they a good choice, or is there a betty bang for my buck? BTW, I mostly interested in home theater performance, 2 ch music performance just has to be ok (granted I don't want it to suck any worse than my old college technics radio!)


Thanks for your help and recommendations.
 

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maneuen,


Parasound is a very good family of amps - and appear to offer excellent value for the money.


Dr. Gregory Greenman

Physicist
 

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Parasound amps come highly recommended. Never read a bad comment about them. Especially for the price of the older 5 channel 855a its hard to beat.
 

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I like there amps as well, but have decided to go for the ATI amps. They are built even better and have so many different models to chose from. I had the older amp under the name SAE and drove tough loads for 25 years before it gave way. In Widescreen magazine some years ago they did a comparison between a Parrasound 2205A, a ATI AT2500 and the very expensive Proceed HPA 3. The ATI was almost as good as the Proceed and much more powerful than the Parasound. Of course, if you dont need a 115 lb brute, they have a list of 150 watt models that can be gotten for a bargain. Try Elegant Audio website! I cant remember there exact web address but Google could find it for you. Plus, they are Paras..ound dealers as well. Either choice would be good, but ATI is clearly a cut above, esp. there AT2500 model, with its enormous power supply(a 3kVA toroidal transformer) This amp can be had for a little of $2,000 ! Good luck!
 

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I was able to compare ATI and Parasound 5-channel amps (both well broken-in demo units) in my own home over a weekend, primarily on jazz and female vocals music CDs.


Equipment for 2-channel stereo comparison:

Dynaudio Contour 2.8 tower Speakers (soft silk dome Esotar tweeters)

Parasound 1100D 2-channel preamp

Yamaha CDC765 CD player


My observations were as follows:


ATI model 1505:

1) Too harsh on the high frequencies

2) not particularly tight on the bass frequencies (muddy)


Parasound model 1205A:

1) Very smooth on the high frequencies (didn't lose any detail)

2) Very controlled and tight bass (could hear individual stand-up bass notes).


I certainly don't believe ATI are better built amps.


Parasound offers a 10 year warranty that ATI doesn't.
 

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Well, may I suggest you pick up a back issue of Widescreen , issue 33. As Richard Hardestry states in his review, "the Parasound overall construction quality is excellant, but NOT up to the standard of the ATI and Proceed products which are more elegant inside and out". His words , not mine. Other reviews from Home Theater and Stereophile Guide are similar. Its not that I dont like Parasound , I do. I feel they are over priced to the ATI models and I have a good history with these peole. I drove one of the most ineffcient speakers with an old SAE 4DM for over 25 years. This company builds products used by NASA for years and I can only tell you they are beyond any expectations I have had in a product. I still own one of there preamps and that speaker I refer to were OHM fs, rated with a sensitivity of under 80 and a 4ohm load. Ther were so few amps in the 70s that could drive these speakers, except SAE, now ATI. I have heard those comments about the amps being a little bright and, if that is the case , you should go with the Par. I dont find that to be the case for me, as I have driven both a M&K and B&W cdm series with a AT1506 and did not feel it was overly bright. But, whatever you think about construction of the two, I would love to read any review that states that a Parasound amp is superior in construction to a ATI. You cant! Why? Because it simply isnt so!
 

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I personally would not be concerned with the difference in the constuction between the two. They're both good amps. One costs more and is slightly better constructed. The other isn't constructed as well, but has a better warranty and costs less. It's win win no matter how you look at it. I would base your decision on the sound your after.
 

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Donnie: Actually it does cost more. A comparable Par. amp is more than a ATI. when you compare on a similar models. And one has a 10 year warrenty and the other a 7 year. But, lets look closer. The Parasound is assembled in Taiwan with parts coming from Many sources. The ATI is built in good ol USA. It parts, even its transformer are made within its own plants and they have been doing this for nearly 4 decades. I too agree with you that a decision should be made by how a product sounds to you, the buyer. But, the longevity of a product and its constrction and engineering is viatally important to me. But, in the long run, a person has to make his, or hers decision based on there own priorities. I am just a little concerned with those mass assembly programs over seas. What ATI represents, and others like them, mean alot to my consumer confidence..
 

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I have the Parasound 1205A and love the thing. It's nicely warm, dynamic, and smooth. It's probably the best audio purchase I've ever made. I haven't heard the ATI, but also have heard good things about it. Donnie's probably right. Both are very nice amps. It would probably depend on your ears and your system.
 

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I used to own the Parasound 2205 and I still have the 3500 and a 1500

You won't go wrong with Parasound. Never had a single problem with

any of them. The 2205 seemed more powerful than its rating and

I could never get it to run out of steam , it just cruised along no

matter what I did to it. I did compare a ATI to one of my Parasounds

and I thought the ATI was brite and etchy compared to the Parasound

but had more detail. Just depends on what you prefer and you should

listen to them before you decide with the speakers you plan to use

with them.
 

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I found that just as different receivers make the same speakers sound totally different, I've found the same with amps. My Parasound amp brings out the best out of my Energy Veritas but a similar priced Sherwood sounded a little too hash for me.


Audition audition audition. :D
 

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FYI - There are new Parasound Halo multi-channel amps coming out in the next month. Here is a clip from an e-mail I received yesterday from Parasound.


"All of the Halo line of amplifiers have balanced inputs with discrete circuits and XLR connectors. All of the amps are Lucasfilm THX Ultra 2 Certified. All of the amps have optional rack mount kits available. The 5 channel amplifiers will be introduced in January. the model #'s and power ratings are: A51 - 250 watts RMS x 5 and the A52 - 125 watts RMS x 5 . These will be posted on the HALO side of the website shortly."
 

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ATI amps are very neutral sounding, very well built (except for the binding posts), and under-rated in power and performance. Give them a listen as they are a good product at an affordable price and built entirely in SoCal.
 

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I've owned as many as 5 Parasound amps (3 2200II, 1206, 1200II) When I bought my first 2200II I selected it over equal models from ATI, Adcom and Carver. ATI was and still is a good amp but the Parasounds just sounded better in my system. YMMV. I still have the 1200II and it is doing fine after 4 years of use as a bridged sub amp.
 

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fishman,


You said,

Quote:
A comparable Par. amp is more than a ATI.
The facts actually prove you wrong. You should check before passing out false information as fact.


From each vendor's own web-site:


MSRP $1199 Parasound 1205A

MSRP $1695 ATI 1505


MSRP $1999 Parasound 2505A

MSRP $2695 ATI 2505
 

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Wrong again Bruce! YOU need to get your facts straight! As I have said before, the ATI AT1505 can be had for around $1200 from Elegant Audio. This IS a more powerful amp over the Par 1205. with a huge power supply of 2kVA transformer while the AT2505 is MUCH MORE POWERFUL than the 2205. IT has more watts and a 3kVA power supply instead of the 2kVa parasound model. This amp is only $2039 from EA as well. And these amps are not mass assembled in Taiwan but constructed in good Ole USA. So, lets be civil about this and not take it so personally because you dont care for ATI. Thats your privledge. But, dont tell me I am giving out false infomation. Keep in mind, that both ATI amps here are more powerful, of higher construction(only the misinformed would think otherwise). Would you like me to provide you with, say, 6 or more, reviews on there product to support my claim. As a matter ot FACT, I still have 2 of there products, under the SAE name that still operate today, a 4dm amp and a 1b preamp , which I purchased in the early 70s. So, I have some history with this group and I would NEVER take a Parasound amp over a ATI. , A Proceed , Krell, and other high end amps YES. A Parasound , NO! But, its your business what you prefer!
 

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fishman,


Sorry if you just can't reconcile the fact that you are still wrong, but it's true.


Both MSRP and Street Prices for Parasound amps are cheaper than ATI.


I've seen the Parasound 1205A for $995, and Parasound 2205 for $1699 recently from local electronics stores here in CA, and I know people who actually bought for those prices.


And since I have been intimately involved with manufacturing sophisticated networking products in Taiwan, your assumption that they are automatically inferior is hogwash.


Again , many in this link prefer parasound to ATI, so get over your superior attitude.


If you haven't actually used both amps in your listening room and compared them in your system, you actually don't have a leg to stand on in this discussion.


You are free to have an opinion just like me, but when you state those opinions as "misleading facts", it is just plain wrong.
 

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This is one of the threads I've been following because I'm going to be adding an amplifier to my system in the near future.


I currently have an Integra receiver driving the center channel, two surrounds, and one rear surround. The front left & right are driven by a Bryston 4B-ST (300 watts per channel). This has been good, but my ultimate objective is to replace the Integra with a processor, leaving 4 or 5 (if I add a second rear surround) channels needing an amplifier.


I've been thinking of the Bryston 9B-SST, but it is twice the price and a bit more than half the power of, say, the Parasound 2205. Specifications are very difficult to compare for me because I don't know what is really important, and I'm reluctant to leave it to a simple comparison of 220 wpc (Parasound) vs. 125 wpc (Bryston).


What would I be getting by spending the large additional sum of money? or what would I be losing by going with the lower power levels?
 

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I just had to chime in about the "made in Taiwan" vs. "made in USA" comments over here. My father does a good deal of manufacturing and research and developing for display devices both in Taiwan and the USA. He owns a consulting company for optical glass research and a manufacturing company for LCD display polarizer film.


As I am one of the secondary overseers for quality control of production, I have to say that by far and away the Taiwanese production line (although they produce different materials, USA is for machinery, Taiwan is plastics/glass) is far more streamline and knowledgeable in their specific areas, and the workmanship is often superior in Taiwan than at the States. It's quite disappointing to see how many grassroot americans demand that their products be made in the United States.


From an economical standpoint I can easily understand why people would prefer American products over imported goods, but with respects to inferior quality and workmanship this is definitely NOT the case.
 

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BRUCE: YOU ARE REALLY OFF YOUR ROCK! Of course more people are chiming in there support for Parasound since the thread is PARASOUND AMPS! Duh!!!!!!!!!!!!! And yes, I have heard several Parasound amps on many occassions! And ATI is still more bang for the buck for specific reasons I mentioned, unlike the rhetoric you give. In fact, for example, we should be comparing the AT1505 vs. the big bad Parasound 2205 to make it fair as the AT2505 is way out of its range and more comparable to, say a Proceed Amp 5. As a matter of fact, if you understand this word. The AT1505 has the same power supply as the Par. 2205, or a 2kVA transformer. Since its so conservatively rated, it can be misleading.In a issue of Audio magazine they tested the AT1505 and reportated that this amp achieve power of 248 watts in dynamic power at 1k , all channels driven into 8 ohms and 351 into 4ohms. God! I dont even what to tell you what its bigger brother can do. Its not even a fair comparison. Before you continue to assault my opinion and the facts I present, I suggest that you do some investigation. Try to get some back issues of, say, Widescreen mag(issue 33).Audio(March 98'), Stereophile Guide to Home Theater(Feb 98" andSept 98") and Home theater(Nov 99') and see if any of those reviewers agree with you. And, by the way, like Parasound , ATI has a new line just out. I really dont enjoy this sort of debate, but when a stranger tells me to get my facts straight, when ALL I have presented are the facts/ from transformer size to facilities , everything, I DO TAKE OFFENCE! And dont buy in to this garbage about Tawain superier assembling of electronics. DO you REALLY think those people on those lines really care about building you the best amp vs,. a company who has been doing this under there on roof for 4 decades . The thought of comparing the two are absolutly ludicrous! I live in the bay area and I can tell you , you can buy Parasound amps at mass retailers for heavens sake. ATI is very picky about there dealers. In much the same way as B&W, which I also have in my den setup. But, you probably wouldnt like these either as you sound like a BOSE Man to me!!! Good bye!!!!!!!!!!!
 
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