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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I am needing a new amplifier or receiver for my place and looking to move up. I found a Parasound HCA-1206 for $500 locally but after searching for reviews I found that this amp was originally sold in the mid 90s. Would I be better served by an amp containing newer technology? Or should I worry about new tech with the pre-pro/receiver and worry more about build quality and power with the amp?


I am powering a set of Infinity Primus 360s in the front with matching center, Energy bi-polars in the rear. That is for my home theater system. I also periodically throw dance partys playing a lot of electronic music at my house and am looking at powering an as of yet unchosen set of stereo speakers. I am figuring that with the 2 channels bridgeable to 350w, I will be able to just reconfigure my wiring as needed. Not sure what else I can find in that $400-600 range that would have similar power that would serve both purposes for me.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by tunaman /forum/post/19648975


So I am needing a new amplifier or receiver for my place and looking to move up. I found a Parasound HCA-1206 for $500 locally but after searching for reviews I found that this amp was originally sold in the mid 90s. Would I be better served by an amp containing newer technology? Or should I worry about new tech with the pre-pro/receiver and worry more about build quality and power with the amp?


I am powering a set of Infinity Primus 360s in the front with matching center, Energy bi-polars in the rear. That is for my home theater system. I also periodically throw dance partys playing a lot of electronic music at my house and am looking at powering an as of yet unchosen set of stereo speakers. I am figuring that with the 2 channels bridgeable to 350w, I will be able to just reconfigure my wiring as needed. Not sure what else I can find in that $400-600 range that would have similar power that would serve both purposes for me.

The technology hasn't changed much for amps, so you would be ok grabbing that parasound for your needs. That said, its an older amp and if it were me and my money, I'd purchase something a bit newer such as an offering from emotiva with a 5 year warranty.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The primary reason I am considering this amp is two fold. Parasound has an excellent reputation for a warmer sound which I really like. I am coming from an Onkyo receiver and while I have never compared it to a parasound, I have compared it side by side to an HK and I much preferred the sound of the HK vs the Onkyo and HKs have also been described as having a warmer sound. Second, the Parasound has 4 channels that can be bridged down to two channels. As I said before I have a dual purpose for my place, I figure I could use the 130w seperate channels for home theater work, and then when I need it I could use the two 350w bridged channels for electronic music work when I need it to drive much larger speakers at higher volumes.


What I am asking is primarily if my thinking on this is flawed. Maybe a Parasound amp might not be good for blasting out techno and house music? Maybe there is something else out there in the $500 range that can also serve both purposes. I checked out the Emotiva UPA-5 but none of its channels are bridgeable as far as I could find.
 

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As a long time HK owner who has made the switch to Onkyo preamping, rather than worrying about system synergy, I would be more concerned with things like capacitors and will they need replacing. This is one of the main bugaboos about older amps. That being said, I do still have a Parasound HCA 855A from the early 2000's still going strong and a Chiro C-300 from the mid/late 90's which has developed a hum and will probably need caps replaced.


Parasounds are built very well and the 1206 will likely last you another 10 years but the brand new Emotiva for a little more is the better option both short and long term IMO. But then again, with your stated goals you would likely be better served, with your dance music setup anyway, with pro amps which are often cheaper and can output ridiculous amounts of power. Many folks on these boards eschew traditional amps and use the pro setups exclusively. Their biggest drawback is usually the fan noise but these can be modified/replaced if an issue.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
If capacitors need to be replaced how much of a job is that usually? There is a parasound service center in my city. But if its an expensive job... The unit works right now and I demoed it at the guys house. Sounds great with no issues that I could detect on all 5 channels. Didnt try bridging though.
 

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Originally Posted by tunaman /forum/post/19651475


If capacitors need to be replaced how much of a job is that usually? There is a parasound service center in my city. But if its an expensive job... The unit works right now and I demoed it at the guys house. Sounds great with no issues that I could detect on all 5 channels. Didnt try bridging though.

You probably wouldn't care for the cost of those replacements. The parts are cheap, the labor however is expensive. Go for the Emotiva UPA5/7. 5 year warranty and an excellent buy at this time. It will compete with the Parasound IMO. You could get an ~ estimate for a job like this from that repair facility. Let them tell you their labor charges and what it is you may need to have done. I would think that the Emotiva would be the better choice after you get this info.
 

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If you did need to have it repaired, you wouldn't want to use a Parasound $ervice center. Any elctronics tech can replace caps.


That said, I have Parasound, Denon, Marantz, and Rotel power amps. They all have flat frequency response, and none of them are "warmer" sounding than the other. If one was, I would look at having it repaired.
 
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