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Parasound 1205A

Discussion in 'AV Pre-Amp/Processors & Power Amps' started by Daneel, Mar 27, 2004.

  1. Daneel

    Daneel
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    I just got this tonight and have spent around 2 hours listening. I'm running my fronts biamped through it. I've heard some say that for amps that don't use a monoblock design you are better not to do this so I will give it a go just using two channels later on.

    Initial impressions are very good. I was worried that it would sound almost identical to the Parasound A23 I home demoed a while back. That was great in a lot of areas but highs were just too sharp. This surprised me as Parasound are known for their smoothness.

    With the 1205A that smoothness is abound. It sits somewhere between with the Primare A30.5 and the A23, which is a very nice place to be. It is bold like the A23 but has the smooth musicallity of the Primare which is great. The cost is a little bit of detail but that is more than worth paying. With the A23 it was like a sharpening filter applied to many DVDs, it's impressive at first but in the end is not very desirable.

    The improvements I saw in the previous two amps are there, more focused soundstage, much better bass response and increased clarity. It also looks better than I expected. It's pretty big, particularly in depth and seems very well built with soild binding posts, quality inputs and a strong nicely finished casing. At 21kg it isn't exactly light either. Although I never had a chance to compare it to the Rotel 1075, it's biggest opposition, I don't think I've read an opinion of someone who had and prefered the Rotel, even though it also comes highly recommended.

    I can't wait to try it out in HT, it should give a significant boost, particularly for action films. It seems to have a lot of power which it delivers effortlessly.

    In summary , I'm very pleased. Even Natalie Imbruglia's White Lillies Island album doesn't sound nearly as harsh as normal and that is something I very rarely find.

    I'll post some more once I've had a better listen and tried some things out.

    :smashin:
     
  2. mutley

    mutley
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    awsome amp.:clap: :smashin: :thumbsup: :cool:
     
  3. Rad

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    good choice mate, I bought one a week or so ago and it sounds great to me.

    The neighbours weren't that impressed when I wanted to see how far it would go, but I did explain to him that it was a one off.

    :D
     
  4. Daneel

    Daneel
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    I was very worried there for a few minutes. I'd been messing around trying biamped, single amped and using my receiver's amps to hear the differences. I also attached my new banana plugs. My lord they make such switching sooo much easier! I decided that biamped with the Parasound was better than single amped and having re-run MCACC I sat down to enjoy some music.

    Although instruments were clear the well defined soundstage I described in my initial post was not evident. Shifting my head to the left or right I got a clear image from each indivdually, but together it was poor.

    I carried on listening to a few other tracks, thinking I was just imagining things but it soon became apparent that for lead vocals in particular the sound was just there, rather than coming from a point. It sounded like it was out of phase. I had a quick check on the back of the amp and immediately saw that the right tweeter was wired in the opposite phase to everything else.

    It's a small thing I know, but in a world where you can spend a fortune and not be sure that the differences you think you hear are not just in your head, it was nice to be able to tell instantly when something was wrong and my first guess be correct!

    This amp just begs to be turned up. The smoothness is wonderful!

    I'm going back to listen some more! :clap:
     
  5. Daneel

    Daneel
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  6. Rad

    Rad
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    What kind of banana plugs are those ?
     
  7. Daneel

    Daneel
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    These

    i got some more expesive better looking ones too, but they are in Scotland. For the price I think these ones are excellent.
     
  8. Parmenion

    Parmenion
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    And the phono plugs......got a link to those?

    regards

    Parmenion
     
  9. Daneel

    Daneel
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    The phono plugs are JVC, I got them from Dixons for about £9 each. I plan to make my own in future, just bought some cable, plugs and a soldering iron.
     
  10. rags

    rags
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    Daneel - welcome to the Parasound owners club. Good choice - that amp is simply excellent value for money.
     
  11. Daneel

    Daneel
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    Thanks rags.

    Now that the amp has removed the harshness from my system, the B&W 703s are back at the top of the list for new speakers. I wish I could demo them side by side with some JM Lab Electra 926s though.
     
  12. fraggle

    fraggle
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    Out of the 5 amps in the 5 channel amp, do you have the physical outer two amps channels driving the bass drivers in the speakers?

    It may make no difference due to the internal build of the amp, but I thought if all 5 channels are basically "mono blocks" internally then the air will be able to get to the far left and far right modules easier so they might run cooler, so connected these to the bass units in the speakers when I wired the 30.5 up.

    Something to think about?
     
  13. Daneel

    Daneel
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    Thanks for the idea fraggle but the Parasound isn't a monoblock design. It uses one big 1600 VA transformer with separate secondary windings (whatever that means). Heat isn't an issue at the moment, the amp barely gets warm even after hours of use. As you can see from the pics it is completely open though so that's not surprising. One thing I'm glad about is that all my equipment is now all but silent. I was afraid the power amp might buzz a little. The noise floor also seems to be very low.

    The thing that put me off the Primare was that the separate power supplies only had 160 VA each so I was worried about it's ability to drive difficult loads loud. That's not a worry I have with the Parasound. It may be my rose coloured memory but as much as I am impressed with the 1205A, I think the A30.5 sounded a little better on my system (My hi-fi dealer also put me off by saying it sounded too safe compared with a Parasound, different speakers though). Same price too....

    How are you liking the Primare? Are you using all 8 channels?
     
  14. Hawklord

    Hawklord
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    I recognise that cdp:)

    Have you managed to notice any difference between the Cd72T and your other player using the Parasound?
    How do the Dm602's sound bi-amped? I replaced mine with my Ninka's before I got the chance and it would be interesting to hear your thoughts compared to standard bi-wiring.
    As you know I've just bi-amped the ninka's with an addition of an Arcam P80 with excellent results (after my initial :blush: )
    Will you be replacing your speakers with anything else as I would hazard a guess they're your weakest link at the moment?

    nice pics:thumbsup:
     
  15. Daneel

    Daneel
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    Les, still can't heard a difference with the Arcam, but I haven't tried to much and the Marantz is now packed away.

    I've been biamping the 602s for some time (I can do that with my 2011) and I think it improves things. Not something I can comment on for sure though without a blind test. I never did biwire, didn't see the point.

    I will be replacing my speakers but I'm trying to decide what to go for next. A good sub is mighty tempting (B&W 750, SVS PC+, Ultra or PB2+). I'm still undecided on speakers. The B&W 703s are nice and I liked the JM Lab Electra 936 (would have to go for the 926 if buying new though). It's all up in the air for now.

    I was expecting to have some money coming in due to a tax rebate but that hasn't happened (damn Inland Revenue, fast as hell to take it off me but YEARS to give it back!). Without that my options are limited for the for the next couple of months.

    To be honest though, this is getting very expensive, my setup must be around £4k now (just audio, retail price) and with the Parasound in place the sound is very good. I might just chill out for a while. :)
     
  16. puddleduck

    puddleduck
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    Parasound don't seem to have much of a presense in the UK - Daneel can I ask who your supplied was?
     
  17. Daneel

    Daneel
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    It was a private sale from a guy who bought the amp from a dealer but due to a change in circumstances couldn't make use of it. It's brand new. :)
     
  18. Toekiller

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