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Parasound A23

Discussion in 'AV Pre-Amp/Processors & Power Amps' started by Daneel, Feb 23, 2004.

  1. Daneel

    Daneel
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    I've just got this home (on demo) and have been listening for a couple of hours. Over my Pioneer, the bass response is extended and more controlled, there is more punch, everything is clearer and the highs are far more detailed.

    While these improvements are great there seems to be something missing that I got from the Primare A30.5 that I demoed (I wish I'd bought that now!). The A23 will set me back £500 and I have found a 1205A for under £1000....

    If the 1205A has a warmer sound than the A23 I may be tempted to go for that without a demo, I figure if I don't like it I can sell it on without losing too much. Anyone know how these amps compare?

    There is a Marantz M9000 on AV Land for £800, but I think it went for about £650 on HifiBitz a few months ago so that isn't as good a deal as I thought. I mainly care about the front two channels for stereo music but if a 5 channel power amp can be found for a good price, that is great too.

    What I would really like is the musicality of the Primare with the raw power of the Parasound.

    Any suggestions?
     
  2. mutley

    mutley
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    i got a Parasound 1205 this month and it's fabulous!
    Much better than the Rotel 1075 IMHO (more detailed)

    But the primare kit it's very appeling too. though i never heard it.
     
  3. Daneel

    Daneel
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    mutley, was that new or used, and if you don't mind saying, how much did you pay? I'm trying to work out if the 1205A is a bargain or not.

    The Primare kit has been sold to fraggle and unless he doesn't like it, the chance to buy that at a reasonable price is gone. The problem I had at the time was that the A30.5 was the first power amp I'd heard in my system. I liked what I heard but I had no idea if other amps would do better and although Guy offered me a good price, it is still a lot of money for me.
     
  4. Daneel

    Daneel
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    I forgot i had moved the speakers a bit. I just ran MCACC, having taken down the previous resluts. Things remained similar but there were a few alterations.

    I put on the first few tracks of Norah Jones's first album to try it out. The soundstage has definitely improved. Everything seemed uncoloured and with me in the room. Her voice sounded great and instruments, pianos and guitars in particular. come through with great clarity and dynamics.

    If I knew what studio monitors sounded like I would guess something similar to this. Therein lies the problem. For the first time I'm not sure that I want accurate sound. i can't blame the amp for this, it is just doing it's job, very well. The problem is that it lacks emotion. Unfortunately such a vague descripotion as that doesn't lend itself to working out exactly what is lacking.

    Still, I'm a lot happier with it than I was initially and it looks absolutely gorgeous. :)
     
  5. Daneel

    Daneel
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    I couldn't use a flash (blows out all the highlights) so the dim lighting makes the camera use a long exposure leading to a blurry image. If I was more of a photographer I might do a better job :)

    [​IMG]
     
  6. rags

    rags
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    Daneel,

    Your running it through the Pioneer as a pre amp is probably not helping the sound but the Parasound kit does have quite a warm laid back sound (not heard an A23 though). Having said that the A23 probably wont be at the top of my shopping list if I was looking for a stereo power amp for music - It's supposed to be very good but £750 may buy you better.

    Have you tried the A52 5 channel power amp ?
     
  7. Daneel

    Daneel
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    Rags, the A23 may be a little warm (not much) but it certainly isn't laid back. High hats sound amazing, but the highs are just too in focus, I can't listen to it for long and high volume is not nice. It's impressive at first but you quickly realise it isn't something you want to live with for long.

    The A52 is out of my price range atm, hence considering the 1205. Problem is I can't demo that and if it's the same sound I don't want it. I know the 2011 isn't the perfect preamp but paired with the Primare power amp it sounded great.

    I am very tired, maybe it's just my ears. I'll have another listen in the morning. I'm going to have a look at some B&W 7 NTs tomorrow....
     
  8. rags

    rags
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    Also Daneel - I used to own B&W 600 (S2) series speakers and I would certainly describe them as being slightly toppy. I have also listened to 603s3's running off an Arcam AV8/P7 and they sounded the same in a demo room (I preferred the Kef Q range) Different amps go with different speakers and maybe the Parasound doesnt go well with the 600 series - either way I think the amps you are considering are OTT for your speakers and the speaker change you are considering may be worthwhile.

    This is what I posted a while back after a long demo at my local dealer -

    "Rotel 1075 / 1066 combo - sounded excellent for the money. Lots of punchy bass and good well defined vocals. Liked it. Then swapped the Q5's for B&W DM603's and noticed the huge treble difference immediately. I know a lot of people on this forum have B&W's but I found them fatiguing when compared with the Q5's. I used to own old 603's myself but still didnt expect the treble to be so harsh. Got rid of the B&W's and put the Kef's back in"



    I suspect the A52 will sound much like the A23 though as may the 1205.
     
  9. Daneel

    Daneel
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    I have that feeling about the 1205 too. I'm really annoyed at myself for not buying that Primare when I had the chance. The power amp is in anticipation of better speakers but having said that, it really does make a big difference to the sound even on my cheap-ass 602s :)

    I'm really not sure about the 7 NT tomorrow. Of the speakers I've demoed so far I like the 703/4 the best. The problem is I can't afford to get a power amp and new fronts together so I thought I might get a power amp and the 7 NTs now, then move the 7 NTs to the rear when I grab some 703s or similar for the fronts. They won't cost me anymore than the 705s I was going to use for rears anyway.

    I just need to find a suitable power amp to pair them with. I suppose I could just go for a Rotel 1075, but 2nd hand appeals to me for the bang per £ factor.
     
  10. mick23

    mick23
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    danieel
    i tend to agree with rags

    i have denon 3802 i did have cdm1nts , i also had for a while the 602s3 , found cdms to be sweeter in the treble region, i am only talking 2 channel sterio rather than av always found the cdms a bit clinical sounding , and seemed to lack any warmth to the sound,

    not heard a pioneer amp but have been told they are a bit bright sounding, using with b&WS also bright/detailed ,

    i had rotel 895 power the sound was very brittle sounding with cdms especially when amp was cold,

    so differant front speakers or add integrated amp might suite more than powers for 2 channel anyway
     
  11. mutley

    mutley
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    i had the 2011.

    the 1205 cost 850£ from crtprojectors - NEW. It's paired with the B&W 602 S3, LCR 600.

    Great Sound.
     
  12. grey torq

    grey torq
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    Daneel,

    Sorry to drop in on this thread so late in the day, but I am considering a parasound A23 as an upgrade for my stereo with possible future options for AV.

    I really don't think you should underestimate how poor mid range receivers are as preamps for hifi stereo CD listening.

    My trusty Marantz CD63mk2KIsig CD player, Monitor audio speakers and Audiolab 8000A amp have served me well for nearly 10 years but in order to upgrade to seamless 7.1 for DVD, I am considering the Parasound as a poweramp for the 8000A with future upgradability of adding the 5 channel amp and a quality processor.

    Currently I have a DENON 3803 as my AV receiver and I have tried it as a preamp and an amp with my Marantz cd and frankly it's a joke, the difference is major.

    So I think assessing the parasound as you have done is a little unfair, you would have heard a huge improvement from a £500 integrated amp purchase which you could also have used for AV as the front L/R channel and then upgraded with a poweramp later if you wanted to.
     
  13. cameronl

    cameronl
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    hi there all, I have an A52 which I believe sounds the same as an A23. As a poweramp it is amazing :)

    anyways, using a yamaha 630 as the processor and the A52 as the poweramp did improve the sound but no where near as much as when I used my arcam A32 (as a preamp) into the A52.

    I guess it all depends on the processer/preamp side of the amp when it is going into the poweramp. In any event the yamaha is now gone....

    CaM
     
  14. mick23

    mick23
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    hi all

    grey torki have the a23 and use 3802,with either nad540 cd player or arcam cd73t, and dynaudio audience floorstanders.
    i do not really do that much av these days, i do find the a23 if say using pl2 a benifit over the 3802 on its own but not by a big enough margin to really warrent keeping it.

    in sterio my main concern i find the a23+3802+dyns just too bright unless its a really top notch more mellow recording.

    eg mark knopflers golden heart cd a descent recording ,3802 playing this ok,using with a23 just gets that bit more fatiging after a while, its not by a big margin but its there.

    trying my bw600s3 used as surrounds in place of dyns find the dyns slightly brighter than bws, do feel the dyns +3802+a23 all adding up to a slightly bright sound.

    did try a valve preamp with just a23 this made a differance certainly noticible when just using dvd player for cd replay.

    also had mf 3.2 integrated to try prior to a23 felt this was far more noticible over the 3802 for sterio but still would have prefered a smoother top end


    grey tork i have the a23 advertised in the classifieds im in watford and if convenient you could dem ,this was purchased from crt.

    thanks all
     
  15. cameronl

    cameronl
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    how about keeping the A23 and replacing the 3802 :)

    CaM
     
  16. mick23

    mick23
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    cameron have often considered selling 3802 ,as for using a23+pre more or less tried this with valve preamp , still feel in some ways the dyns are just a bit to detailed /bright with 2 chanel rather than av use, they are slightly smoother with just 3802 rather than with a23, in fact though i do not know if the 3802 is consider a bright amp in its own right , only ever heard avr200 with a differant set up in 2 channel .
     

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