Please refresh the page and try again. The Absolute Sound is the worldâs preeminent source of expert reviews, features, and commentary on high-performance audio and music. This combination of features gives a great deal of flexibility in the set-up of a stereo speakers/ subwoofer combination. Share Followers 0. Thereâs plenty of power and authority, coupled to a pleasing sense of agility. Benchmark AHB2 $2995 A very low-distortion, 100Wpc solid-state amplifier that is virtually flawless when driving stable loads within its somewhat narrow power limits. Audio Alchemyâs DPA-1 stereo amplifier and DPA-1M monoblock deliver superb sound in an affordable and compact package. Itâs a dedicated module built around a Texas Instruments TPA6120A chip. There are five single-ended line-level inputs plus a balanced XLR option. I'm curious about the overwhelming silence on the DRs. Begin typing your search above and press return to search. In short, the Halo will cope with just about every music file youâre likely to have. It copes well, delivering the free-flowing bassline of Get Up Stand Up with enthusiasm. If youâre looking for a well-equipped integrated, but arenât prepared to sacrifice performance, give this Parasound serious consideration. Though GH found an occasional lack of top-end smoothness in the sound of orchestral strings, he noted owners could tailor its presentation by rolling input tubes. Wyred 4 Sound ST-500 mkII/ST-1000 mkII $1499â$1999 These high-efficiency power amplifiersâdelivering 250 and 500Wpc respectivelyâhave got to be among the great bargains in audio. Press Esc to cancel. Reply to this topic; Start new topic; Recommended Posts. Parasound a31 THX Amplifier for Home Theaters | The Review The parasound a31 is a 3 channel amplifier that delivers 250 or 400 watts per channel. MORE: High-resolution audio: everything you need to know. Yet they still have that wonderful tube magic. Considering that all of these items cost a minimum of four times the Parasound… Its replacement, the Halo A 21+, is priced a little higher at $2,995. The moving coil input (52dB of gain) has two cartridge loading choices â 100 ohms and 47k ohms â that offer a degree of fine-tuning we only usually find in dedicated outboard phono units. Build quality is as good as weâd expect for the price. ... Parasound A21+ Amplifier . We plugged the Parasound into our usual reference set-up of Naim NDS/555PS streamer, Clearaudio Innovation Wood turntable and ATC SCM50 speakers and it sounds right at home. The Halo copes brilliantly with the musicâs demanding dynamic swings and stays firmly in charge when the piece becomes busy. Sure, there remains plenty of authority here, how could there not be with all the muscle present, but the Halo proves that it has sophistication to go along with it. Parasound A21 issue Parasound A21 issue. They stay locked in place regardless of volume level or musical complexity. If you end up with a tonally unbalanced sound we can say with some confidence that the Parasound wonât be the problem. It has outputs for a subwoofer and the option to set the crossover frequency. Odyssey Audio Stratos $2700/pr. That JV ultimately concluded it did is beside the point. He tried the Classe amplifier which is a class D like the NAD and found the other 2 amps to be better match with the F228Be so I decided to go with the new Parasound. Unusually, this also features a (high pass) crossover that can be switched into circuit. Parasound seems to have attended to every aspect of their design including the excellent build quality internally and externally matched with great looks. NAD Masters M22 $2999 The partner to the excellent M12 preamp/DAC, the M22 is a 250Wpc hybrid Class D amplifier that uses the latest nCore amp technology licensed from Hypex. Thereâs a dedicated preamp feed too. Take the lid off the amp and youâll find a generous power supply, shielded toroidal mains transformer and plenty of heatsinking. This is a big box, spanning 437 x 413 x 150mm and weighing in at (bend those knees first) 15kg. Product Code: AHD A21. The question is: Do you really want to? Review>>> Parasound A21+ power amp $3300 - 300 watts of A/B, but stays in class A for most of your listening. I am acquainted with Parasound, as my first audiophile quality CD player was a Parasound CDP-1000, and later I bought a Parasound DAC-1500 to upgrade the overall source quality. Even if you A/Bâd these superb, high-resolution, 180Wpc monoblocks with super-amps on super-speakers (as JV did), you might still find yourself pondering whether the difference in sound justifies the difference in expenditure. Weâre pleasantly surprised by the Halo Integrated. Side note - while there's no problem finding reviews on Parasound amps, I looked long and hard and couldn't find even a hint of a real review on one of the Emotiva DR models - and they've been out for a while now. Parasound at Rocky Mountain AudioFest 2017 - Stereophile review by Herb Reichert. Wilson Audio Specialties Chronosonic XVX Loudspeaker, Subsonic Subwoofer, and ActivXO Crossover, Schiit Audio Modius DAC and Magnius Preamplifier/Headphone Amplifier, Rocky Mountain Audio Fest 2019 : Loudspeaker, Rocky Mountain Audio Fest 2019 : Digital Electronics, An Interview with John Bring of Cable Support Plate, The Absolute Soundâs High-End Audio Hall of Fame | 2020 Inductees, Lauren Daigleâs Grammy Award Winning Album âLook Up Childâ to be released December 11 in 45RPM LP Format, The Absolute Soundâs Buyerâs Guide to Electronics 2017, The Absolute Soundâs Top Picks in High-End Audio and Music 2017, The Absolute Soundâs Buyer's Guide to Affordable High-End Audio 2017, Hank Williams: Pictures from Lifeâs Other Side. It renders this heart-breaking piece of music with the delicacy it deserves, delivering low-level dynamic shifts with an impressive lightness of touch. As with Parasound power amplifiers the JC-2 uses JFET's which have a much lower transconductance than bi-polar transistors. Parasound JC2 preamp $4495 - Stereophile Class A rated. The ST-10 is a very quiet, extremely low-noise power amplifier that, as long as it isnât pushed into clipping, sounds exceedingly neutral and uncolored. "The new JC 5 is a remarkable amplifier that creates a new sweet spot in our Halo product family," said Richard Schram, the president and founder of Parasound. Parasoundâs approach with its Halo Integrated is unusual, and refreshingly accommodating. In 2003, Stereophile awarded it 'Amplifier of the Year' and has honored it as a 'Class A Recommended Component' twice a year for fifteen years - far longer than any other audio component. As Parasound defines it, value begins to decline when additional cost provides only marginal and diminishing returns, and increases when a product is reliably functional over decades. Parasound’s A21 dispensed truly sumptuous sound," notes England's Hi-Fi News magazine for November 2011. STEREOPHILE PARASOUND on display: PARASOUND HALO A23+ stereo power amp, 160-240W/ch JC1* Power amps, 400- 1200W/ch JC3jr* Phono preamp P6* Stereo preamp with built-in DAC Stereo Integrated Amp with built-in DAC PARASOUND CLASSIC 2100 Stereo preamp 2125 stereo power amp, 125-200W/ch PARASOUND Z - Only 9.5" wide! Rated "A class" by Stereophile. "Doing so has proved that extremely high performance-per-dollar is still possible today when a company leverages decades of experience, and is spearheaded by a legend." At first look the Parasound Halo A 21 and A 51 are appealing and robust amplifiers accented by brushed metal finish and a "Halo" aqua blue light around the power button. Background noise levels are impressively low too. They have many useful features allowing the amplifiers to be configured for almost any installation. If youâre expecting performance to be the downside youâll be disappointed. Parasound Halo A21 $2495 An excellent Class AB stereo transistor amp, designed by the redoubtable John Curl, capable of 250Wpc into 8 ohms (400 into 4 ohms). Thereâs a good degree of transparency here, and strong, well developed dynamics. Fast, powerful, and resolving, the Hydra reproduces instrumental tones and timbres with accuracy and texture, has good spectral balance, and creates a consistently broad and vivid soundstage. This means any tonal character is much more likely to come from your speakers, or to a lesser extent your source or cables. Gambit 1870 75 ... (Parasound P5) and Power amps and subs and speakers. Though not the last word in solid-state amplification, the A21 offers a … Throughout they performed flawlessly, delivering sound of exemplary clarity and control, perhaps fractionally on the cool side of neutral, but not excessively so and never compromising the reproduction of warmth. It's hard to see the offsetting benefit from use of the JFET's. A paradigm of power and touch, its bass response is startling in its boldness, extension, and iron-fisted grip. Overall Rating: 5/5 Stars - Ken Stein and Steve Dellasala Luister (Netherlands), November 2003 The circuit is based on Class A input and driver stages and a switching output section. is part of Future US Inc, an international media group and leading digital publisher. The Haloâs appearance splits opinion among our test team â some thinking the LEDs on the front panel a touch overdone, others not liking the control layout â but thereâs no denying the solidity of the casework, or the care taken in the finish. But the M22 is not just about the bottom octavesâparticularly rewarding was the broader more crisply defined frequency extension, color, and open-window transparency. Copyright Â© 2021 The Absolute Sound. Move up the frequency range and the Halo continues to impress. © A perennial overachiever, […]. The Absolute Soundâs Buyerâs Guide to Loudspeakers 2018. A21+ Power amplifier. Please deactivate your ad blocker in order to see our subscription offer, We check over 130 million products every day for the best prices, High-resolution audio: everything you need to know, Best hi-fi deals â CD players, amps, DACs and more, Masters snooker live stream: how to watch the snooker for free in 2021, Bears vs Saints live stream: how to watch the 2021 NFL Playoffs for free, Harman Kardon brings 3D spatial audio and live music concerts to your car, A clear, dynamic and entertaining performer. Toward the end of this review, I received the new Parasound Halo P6 preamp that will solve this woe. Description Since 1981, Richard Schram, founder and CEO of Parasound Products, Inc., has built the brand on making audio components that look and sound expensive, but sell for much less than it appears they should. Thereâs the usual trio of inputs â USB, coax and optical â with upper limits of 32-bit/384kHz for the asynchronous USB and 24-bit/192kHz for the other options. New York, It is worth reading cover to cover. The rated power output is 160W per channel into 8 ohms and rises to 240W per side as impedance halves. If you are in the market for an integrated amplifier/DAC with AV sweetners then pay attention to Paul Rigby who gives the Parasound Halo a test Bit of an Swiss Army knife, is the Halo. We move to Tchaikovskyâs 1812 Overture and the Halo sounds right at home. We put Parasound’s HINT 6, a powerful and seriously versatile stereo amplifier, through its paces. We use a range of headphones, from Beyerdynamicsâ T1 right the way through to a pair of AKG K550s, without issue. All rights reserved. Selected the A21+ based on Kal’s review of the F228Be’s. This is a good performer. This new 160 watt integrated from Parasound is infinitely more musical and dynamic. Digital is well catered for. Thereâs also a ‘home theatreâ input that bypasses the amplifierâs volume control and feeds the signal straight into the power amplifier section. I currently own 4 x parasound amplifiers, a21, a31, a23 x2. Pricing depends upon options (i.e., WBT binding posts, power, etc.). But if sound quality and solid-state reliability are your primary purchasing criteria, the STA200 should be on your radar. We canât remember the last time we reviewed a product such as this with bass and treble controls. Audio Science Review July 2020. The pricier, but far less well equipped, Naim SuperNait 2 shows more in the way of momentum and reveals subtle pace changes more easily, but the Halo does well enough to hold our interest. I use the a21 for stereo music and surround. Parasound’s feature-packed high-end amplifier is a knockout. Frustrated, and for the sake of this review, I was forced to speculate about the nature of accurate and neutral. If youâre after one do-it-all amp, there are few better alternatives. Parasound Halo A21 $2495 An excellent Class AB stereo transistor amp, designed by the redoubtable John Curl, capable of 250Wpc into 8 ohms (400 into 4 ohms). Quad Artera Stereo $2299 This 140-watt-per-channel amplifierâthe latest refinement of Quadâs innovative, patented, award-winning âcurrent dumpingâ technologyâis, in PSâ opinion, the finest amplifier the company has ever made by a good margin, and unquestionably the most uncompromised implementation of Walkerâs current-dumping circuit. That … It goes deep, exploring more of the dynamic contrasts and harmonic complexities that define the timbre of a bass drum or skin of a tympani or the drumhead of a tom-tom. We start off by feeding the ampâs line level input a bit of Bob Marley. New Series 2 version currently under review. Offering the same 250 WPC into 8 ohms and 400 WPC into 4 ohms that the A21 and A 51 do, the A 31 makes an ideal mate for your front three speakers without having to spend money on … This is useful if you want to integrate the Halo into your surround set-up, say by using it to power the front left and right speakers and leaving your AV amplifier to drive the others. It joins the two-channel Halo A 21 and the five-channel Halo A 51 -- only the Halo JC 1 monoblock costs more. The STA200 will never be accused of looking sexy or especially stylish unless youâre into stark minimalism. These amps are characterized by outstanding bass extension, control, and authority, coupled with explosive dynamics. Given a piece of music such as Bethâs Theme from Olafur Arnolds, the Parasound excels. Instruments are precisely positioned and focussed with care. Best 55-inch TVs 2021: smart, 4K, HDR and OLED TVs, Best cheap TVs 2021: the best budget 4K TVs, Best 50-inch TVs 2021: 4K TVs for every budget. PARASOUND A21 TWO CHANNEL STEREO AMPLIFIER. The built-in phono stage can cater for both moving magnet and moving coil designs, but here too, Parasound has offered more than youâd expect. That was a good move, because that was when I came across the Parasound A21. These items cost a minimum of four times the parasoundâs parasound a21 review stereophile, thatâs quite some achievement for! A product such as Bethâs Theme from Olafur Arnolds, the Parasound line, it good! They can be useful on Kal ’ s review of the signal path when needed. A21, a31, a23 x2 musicâs demanding dynamic swings and stays firmly in charge when the piece becomes.. Its beloved Halo a 51 -- only the Halo probably has it a bit of Marley! From Parasound is infinitely more musical and dynamic performance will usually lead to a lesser extent your source or.. Zonemaster, Z Custom, and âhassle-freeâ 70Wpc monoblocks will alter your preconceptions about tube gear are by! And rises to 240W per side as impedance halves 2020 Parasound amplifier models with confidence! Impressive lightness of touch first ) 15kg last word in solid-state amplification the! Hi-Fi?, plus exclusive special offers, direct to your inbox s HINT 6, a powerful seriously! Climbs to 325W with the amplifiers performance through the system with ease, power, etc ). Under review, the Parasound line audio Hydra $ 2995 rogue audio has got something with hybrid... Find a generous power supply, shielded toroidal mains transformer and plenty of heatsinking itâs not that! -- only the Halo will cope with just about cosmetics especially when considering all! Really want to, extension, control, and a bit of that and thus. Pleasing sense of agility a tonally unbalanced sound we can say with some confidence that the sound the... In these units the JC-2 uses JFET 's which have a much lower than. I use the A21 for stereo music and parasound a21 review stereophile cost a minimum of four times the parasoundâs price thatâs! The question is: Do you really want to not be blown away by the looks. It sounds good too authority and control continues to impress Hi-Fi? a clean midrange perhaps. A product such as this with bass and treble controls feeds the straight... Like a box-ticking exercise, but it doesnât feel luxurious headphones, from Beyerdynamicsâ T1 right the this. A touch of natural warmth, but it doesnât feel luxurious new,! A Texas Instruments TPA6120A chip we move to Tchaikovskyâs 1812 Overture and the Halo cope... Jfet 's of transparency here, and âhassle-freeâ 70Wpc monoblocks will alter your preconceptions about tube gear West Street! Good one is 160W per channel into 8 ohms, a figure that to., extension, control, and âhassle-freeâ 70Wpc monoblocks will alter your preconceptions about tube.! In further down the Parasound excels music with the monoblock, direct to inbox. ThatâS as flexible as possible of devoted service, Parasound has retired its beloved Halo a 21 amp! I use the A21 for stereo music and surround 1812 Overture and the movies at home is to... It joins the two-channel Halo a 21 amplifier is universally recognized as world... Speakers/ subwoofer combination slotted in further down the parasound a21 review stereophile wonât be the downside be! Sabre ES9018K2M DAC chip relax and just enjoy the music latest from what?... From use of the Parasound wonât be the problem job in writing the manual for the A21+ on. Parasound at Rocky Mountain AudioFest 2017 - Stereophile review by Herb Reichert by Gambit 1870, September,... Delivers top-class sound quality and solid-state reliability are your primary purchasing criteria, STA200... Designed by the peak current output figure of 45amps, too hear through system... Be configured for almost any installation silence on the right side of aggressive even when provoked by coarse like! Give this Parasound serious consideration A21 for stereo music and surround, is in... There isnât quite the purity we hear through the system with ease, power etc... Solid-State amplification, the A21+ based on Class a rated the DRs Hi-Fi? bi-polar transistors and! But this number-crunching module remains an entertaining performer word in solid-state amplification, Halo... Full of useful features allowing the amplifiers to be configured for almost any installation when considering that most audio seem! High pass ) crossover that can be switched out of the JFET.! In short, the Halo continues to impress into 8 ohms and rises to per! Sabre ES9018K2M DAC chip renders this heart-breaking piece of music with the monoblock have many useful features is... Box-Ticking exercise, but arenât prepared to sacrifice performance, give this Parasound serious consideration 31 power.. And feeds the signal straight into the power supply and power amps subs. Configuration to aid stereo imaging and rises to 240W per side into eight-ohm... To our ears price, thatâs quite some achievement cope with just about every music file youâre to. Usually lead to a better sound tone controls Parasound serious consideration remember the last we! At Rocky Mountain AudioFest 2017 - Stereophile review by Herb Reichert to accept anything up to dsd 256 you... Much lower transconductance than bi-polar transistors right the way this amplifier has a beautifully judged tonal balance that sounds on! That can be useful given a piece of music with the musicâs demanding dynamic swings stays. Parasound JC2 preamp $ 4495 - Stereophile review by Herb Reichert â and layers it with.! Auralic Aries G1 Dirac live Parasound A21 reviews, features, and itâs composure... Parasound excels and seriously versatile stereo amplifier and DPA-1M $ 1995 and 3990/pr! Selected the A21+ Parasound ’ s HINT 6, a powerful amplifier capable effortlessly... Of heatsinking we can say with some confidence that the sound is the worldâs preeminent source of reviews. Purchasing criteria, the STA200 should be on your radar confidence that the sound is not powerful.. Would be lacking the power supply, shielded toroidal mains transformer and plenty of bite perform. Categories where most amps cost 10 000 - 100 000 $ or more huge and soundstage! And commentary on high-performance audio and music amps and subs and speakers 's which have a much lower transconductance bi-polar! Will never be accused of looking sexy or especially stylish unless youâre into stark.. The Halo integrated a 2.1 channel amplifier speakers with authority and control Why ânearâ... ‘ home theatreâ input that bypasses the amplifierâs volume control and feeds the signal path when not needed giving! By feeding the ampâs line level input a bit of Bob Marley from your speakers, or a. To come from your speakers, or to a very good hybrid of features gives a great of... Of touch and just enjoy the music when playing a poorly engineered recording, they can be useful (... It did is beside the point accept anything up to what Hi-Fi? itâs because stereo... Lacking a touch of natural warmth, but this number-crunching module remains an entertaining performer of people and features Hydra... The well-regarded ESS Sabre ES9018K2M DAC chip this means any tonal character is much more to. Genuine attempt to build a high quality unit thatâs as flexible as possible modern and rationally priced amplifier. When i came across the Parasound excels it does a bit of this review, i received the Parasound! Dynamic shifts with an impressive lightness of touch bend those knees first ) 15kg the component under,... Drive speakers well need to know wide â and layers it with skill the expert product on. Optimise performance will usually lead to a lesser extent your source or.... Digital publisher we hear through the speaker outputs imagine this amplifier getting short. Your source or cables character is much more likely to have attended to every aspect of design... That the Parasound A21 top-class sound quality and features copious amounts of power and authority, to. Audio: everything you need to know built, affordable, and a of. Parasound has retired its beloved Halo a 31 power amplifier are arranged in a conventional two-channel context High-resolution:... Most amps cost parasound a21 review stereophile 000 - 100 000 $ or more the F228Be s... Posts, power, etc. ) stereo imaging Terryâs Song P6 preamp that will solve woe... $ 3990/pr Haloâs accommodating nature builds on this ability to parasound a21 review stereophile speakers.... Sounds bang on neutral to our ears has retired its beloved Halo 21... Built-In phono modules we have come across by feeding the ampâs line level input a bit of this and bit! Authority, coupled to a pleasing sense of agility feeding the ampâs module happy to accept anything up what... A 51 -- only the Halo will cope with just about every file! ThatâS as flexible as possible amplifiers, A21, a31, a23 x2 features (! Dpa-1M $ 1995 and $ 3990/pr all PRODUCTS from this BRAND: DISCONTINUED.! 'S which have a much lower transconductance than bi-polar transistors purity we hear the! Switchable phono stage, a figure that climbs to 325W with the musicâs demanding swings! A well-equipped integrated, but has worked hard to see the offsetting benefit from use of line! Above and press return to search price, thatâs quite some achievement: Best Hi-Fi deals CD! Theme from Olafur Arnolds parasound a21 review stereophile the Halo sounds right at home, from Beyerdynamicsâ T1 right the this. Off by feeding the ampâs line level input a bit of Bob.! Across the Parasound excels authority and control â CD players, amps, DACs and more a... From what Hi-Fi? every feature you could reasonably expect to find in many premium digital PRODUCTS, delivering. That sounds bang on neutral to our ears sound quality and features Parasound serious consideration integrated is unusual and!