Highly recommended. Sonic presentation seems well balanced across the audible frequency spectrum with extended treble and punchy bass. This is only a fairly recent set-up which came about when we discovered the huge number of great LPs that is available for sale at garage sales. I just ordered the HINT, Parasound's new integrated amplifier, have you seen the reviews on that piece, heck you probably won't even need the A-21, the new integrated is crushing all integrated amplifiers anywhere near it's price range, it's a monster as well. We can’t remember the last time we reviewed a product such as this with bass and treble controls. There are also A/B speaker terminals with individual on/off functions. Greater overall capacity with the monos, obviously. The Zphono XRM provides both unbalanced (via gold-plated RCA sockets) and balanced (via gold-plated XLRs) outputs. You will receive a verification email shortly. If Ortofon had specified  a value of 63Ω, this would not have been a problem if you owned a Zphono XRM, because you could have dialled in this exact value using the rear panel load impedance selector! Its build quality is overall particularly good. ), As luck would have it, we also had problems choosing which gain setting we should use – 50dB or 60dB – because the Ortofon Cadenza Blue’s output (which the specifications say is 0.5mV at 1kHz at a recorded velocity of 5 cm/sec) is right on the cusp of choices… at least it is according to Parasound, which recommends that you use the 60dB setting ‘for low output moving coil cartridges whose output is less than 0.5mV’ and the 50dB setting ‘for high output moving coil cartridges.’. They are both available in black and silver finishes, but the A23+ has gold-liner on the faceplate, which in my opinion, adds to the elegant look of the product. The Halo HINT 6, retailing for $2,995, is Parasound’s flagship integrated amplifier. Parasound's Halo P 6 preamplifier, priced at $1,595, is the successor to the company's wildly popular Halo P 5.The P 6 continues its predecessor's legacy by … We personally would have labelled it a ‘high-pass’ filter and suggested that it might be useful if your home is close to a busy road or highway – or railway line – in which case low-frequency vibrations might be causing your stylus to generate sub-audible signals that could adversely affect sound quality. Both channels are driven, with 150 watts-per-channel into 8 ohms. But its small size means there’s not a lot of real-estate available to fit connectors, so the rear panel is pretty busy. But for the record, Newport Test Labs measured the 40dB setting as delivering 40.19dB, the 50dB setting as delivering 49.72dB and the 60dB setting as delivering 57.5dB. This means that the minimum load impedance for the Cadenza has to be 50Ω. The RIAA-corrected frequency response of the Parasound Zphono XRM, as measured by Newport Test Labs, is shown in Graph 1 below. This amplifier is well built and looks stylish with its gold accent lines and lettering. These results make the Parasound Zphono XRM completely compatible with any MM or MC cartridge we’ve ever heard of. By honest, I mean, the A23+ would not add lushness to the vocals or smoothness to the midrange like how some other amplifiers would. This is a difficult album to reproduce because of the sheer dynamics, not to mention incredible low-end that’s counterpointed by the percussion on the one hand and the ethereal voice of Elizabeth Fraser on the other. You can see that if there is any second harmonic distortion, it’s buried down in the noise floor at -100dB (0.001% THD), and the same goes for any third harmonic component (-110dB/0.0003%) or fourth (-115dB/0.0001%). At high frequencies, you can see the response of the Zphono XRM rises to be +0.5dB at 13kHz, then +0.65dB at 20kHz and +0.75dB at 30kHz. Shares ... 63Ω, anyone whose phono pre-amp did not offer this exact value might seriously consider not buying the … I have it bridged @ 400w and it does the job. We ended up mostly using the 50dB setting because we thought the Zphono XRM was slightly quieter using this one, rather than the 60dB setting. It’s a question we put to Schram, who told us: “phono stages designed by engineers without consideration of real-world end users often use DIP switches on the bottom or inside the chassis because it’s easier and cheaper. It is a one-box solution that contains both the Halo P6 preamp ($1,499) and the Halo A23+ amplifier($1,499). Company Product Page: http://www.parasound.com/zamp-v3.php Which would you choose and why? The front appearance of the A23+ amplifier has some familiarity with the A23, albeit with some minor differences. The album we played (Everything Sacred) is a few years old now, but we still think it’s one of their best. Midrange presentation sounded natural and honest as exemplified by Melissa Manchester’s vocal in the track Claudia from her album You Gotta Love the Life (2015). DIP switches aren’t always desirable for passing audio signals and these locations make it a real nuisance for users. As you can see from the photograph of it, the Zphono XRM has a push-button power switch with a green LED alongside it at the left of the front panel. Last year, Parasound decided that the time had come to discontinue this popular product and replace it with this improved version. And because the Zphono XRM draws only 7.2-watts during operation, it’s not going to impact on your utility bill if you leave it on all the time, though we would still recommend you switch if off when you’re not using it. When set to the Manual position, the amplifier can only be turned on or off using the on-off button on the front panel. The Parasound Zphono XRM provides ample gain for both moving-magnet and moving-coil cartridges, as you can see for yourself from the tabulated results. Then there’s the fact that many LPs contain sub-audible – or in the case of many London Decca LPs, audible! 300 watts x 2, 4 Ω both channels driven, 500 watts x 1, 8 Ω No problems, the Parasound Zphono XRM can provide this. Because of this, we would have found it slightly more convenient if the gain switch had been on the front panel rather than on the rear. The amp's overall sound quality is excellent, with … The extra detail allows us to hang some dB variation figures on the response, and you can see that the Parasound Zphono XRM is 0.25dB down at 20Hz, 0.5dB down at 10Hz and 1.3Hz down at 5Hz. You get a switchable phono stage, a headphone output and even tone controls. And despite what the purists say, on occasion, for example when playing a poorly engineered recording, they can be useful. I like the features. This review will look at the more conventional, yet equally impressive, design from Parasound. You can see that the filter’s response starts deviating from that of the main response at around 400Hz, but there’s no disparity until 200Hz, after which it’s 5dB down at 38Hz, 10dB down at 28Hz and 20dB down at 18Hz. Listen to Knochentanz and you’ll hear first the sangari, but after some time (OK, after long time… it’s a long track) Khan himself starts singing and the effect, which is totally eerie, was delivered astoundingly well by the Parasound. The A23+ did a good job in this test, creating believable soundstage that extended beyond the plane between the speakers. PARASOUND A23+ STEREO POWER AMPLIFIER SPECIFICATIONS, © Copyright 2021 Secrets of Home Theater and High Fidelity /, Show Reports, Film Festivals and Concerts, McIntosh C2700 2-Channel Vacuum Tube Preamplifier and MC462 Power Amplifier Review, Bluesound Powernode 2i Wireless Streaming Amplifier and Pulse Flex 2i Wireless Streaming Speaker Review, PS Audio Stellar Strata Integrated Amplifier Review, McIntosh MX170 Surround Sound Processor and MC257 7-Channel Power Amplifier Review, Sonus Faber Electa Amator III Speaker Review, What We Are Watching Vol. Obviously, this approach also meant we could accommodate two turntables or a turntable with two tonearms.”. Parasound states that it is not advised to use both the balanced and unbalanced inputs at the same time, which is cumbersome in my system. Dandy Hydraulic LP Cleaning Apparatus MKII, PreSonus Eris E3.5 Powered Speakers Review, Still Blown Away After All These Years: JBL Launches 75th Anniversary Edition of L100 Loudspeaker, Solidly constructed and good-looking amplifier, Balanced sonic characteristics with good presentation of musical details, Composed sounding amplifier that does everything well, Stylish appearance and very good build quality, Sufficiently powerful amplifier to drive most speakers, Gain control and signal pass-through features. Parasound also redesigned the input board layout of the A23+ to improve the cross-channel crosstalk (70 dB vs 63 dB at 20 kHz). The Parasound ZAMP v.3 is proof that a good amp from many years ago is still a good amp today. While the basic circuit design and topology stays the same, the A23+ has a beefier transformer than its predecessor (1.1 kVA vs 1.0 kVA), which translates into more powerful amplification (160 Watts vs 125 Watts into 8Ω loads, or 240 Watts vs 225 Watts into 4Ω loads). You can see a big indent of the company name on the top cover of the unit. Sonos Amp review Sonos returns to its roots with a just-add-speakers music system Tested at £599 / $599. The amplifier seemed to present music in high definition with no blurred boundaries among its musical elements. Click here for more information about Australian Hi-Fi, including links to buy individual digital editions and details on how to subscribe. Life is already hard enough, so why make it harder with inconvenient switches, right?’. Distortion, as measured by Newport Test Labs, is shown in Graph 3 for a 1kHz test signal. Although Parasound makes various audio components, the anchor products have always been its amplifiers. The A23+ might look lean and rather petite in the power-amplifier world, but it showed no sign of struggle at all in navigating the Ultima Studio through the soft and loud musical passages in a dynamic track such as Hopper Dance by Empire Brass Quintet from their Passage: 138 B.C. It’s likely that another reason for the introduction of the Zphono XRM was to plug the yawning gap in the Parasound’s product line-up between its entry-level Zphono phono preamplifier and its award-winning Halo JC 3 Jr phono preamp. 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. It runs quite warm when it is running, so it will come up to a stable operating temperature almost immediately after you switch it on. The AD4.320 amplifier is also unique, in my experience, in using a conventional, but very heavy-duty analog power supply with dual 30-amp transformers to power the output modules. We assume it’s at the rear to keep signal paths as short as possible, so it’s hard to be critical about something that’s giving you better sound at the expense of a modicum of inconvenience. The JC 1 was powerful, at 400 watts RMS into 8 Ohms. This amplifier should be on the audition list for someone who is in the market for sub $2000 stereo amplifier. The good news is that you can do all this with the Parasound Zphono XRM. While not ridiculously heavy, the Parasound amp Parasound at Rocky Mountain AudioFest 2017 - Stereophile review by Herb Reichert. England and Wales company registration number 2008885. As I said at the beginning of this review, now is a good time to be an audiophile. Best Wishes for a Peaceful and Safe Holiday, JBL Synthesis SDP-55 & SDR-35 Q&A Nick Clarke – Senior Director of Global Engineering, Thank You To All of Our SECRETS Fans and Supporters, RIAA Vinyl Sales Q&A with McIntosh Group CEO Jeff Poggi. It was of no surprise that the A23+ amplifier could drive the Revel Ultima Studio speakers with ease. And of course if your cartridge falls firmly into one or the other of the ‘high output’ or ‘low output’ camps, you won’t need to give this issue a second thought. Parasound provides great value in the Halo A 23+ power amplifier. Typical to Parasound amplifiers, the amplification gain for each channel can be adjusted using the gain-level knobs provided. Parasound’s amplifiers are well known and established products, which is of no surprise considering the legendary amplifier designer, John Curl, has been involved in the company’s amplifier product development since its early years. Thorne’s continuo bass playing is like a warm reassurance that all is right with the world, while the interplay between Yorkston’s guitar and Khan’s vocals is aurally mesmerising. (And why is it that so many singers with unusual voices seem to gravitate to the uke? The Halo Integrated 2.1 combines a preamplifier with a power amp, phono preamp, DAC, and built-in adjustable crossover to make a device that can handle any current-format … If it stays red and does not change to blue, it indicates that the amplifier is in protection mode. The Parasound Zphono XRM does everything you could possibly want a phono preamplifier to do – both sonically and electronically – magnificently well. The Parasound 2100 preamplifier and 2250 power amplifier offer sound quality across the board so good I would have thought you'd have to pay at least $3,000 to get them. And if MA is a bit too house for you, play what I followed up with… anything by Coldplay… or, preferably, everything by Coldplay. If you’ve heard of it, you probably also know that the best-known exponent of it, at least in the Western world, is Suhail Yusuf Khan, who’s been in a trio with guitarist James Yorkston and double-bass player Jon Thorne for some years. Review By Clarke Robinson Click here to e-mail reviewer S an Francisco-based Parasound was founded in 1981 by Richard Schram, with the mission of creating high-quality, audiophile-approved audio components without the stratospheric price tags typically found in the high-end, which is a raison d'être that I have a big soft spot for in my heart. The Parasound Zamp V3 is not the kind of product you might expect to see on a Head-Fi review. To do this, the load impedance must be 10 times the cartridge’s internal d.c. resistance. How Much Amplifier Power Does your Home Theater Need? Very nice. To improve signal path and consistency over time, the A23+ also utilizes updated heavy-duty speaker terminals and internal gold-on-gold audio connections. The Parasound 2100 and 2250 are much more widely available. Why a rotary control rather than DIP switches, as many other phono amplifier manufacturers do? Though I had inquired of Parasound's Director of Sales, Phil Jackson, back in late 2018 as to my doing a review whenever the reimagined JC 1 might make its way back into the Parasound roster, when the January 16, 2020 Press Release landed in my inbox, I immediately requested a listen! Nice. The bass of this track as played through the A23+ sounded full and tuneful and the treble was airy and detailed. Parasound maintains the overall style of the previous HALO products in the current product line. I bought it on sale which helped my decision. Given that famous amplifier designer John Curl does so much work for Parasound, we mistakenly assumed he must have been responsible for the company’s latest phono preamplifier, the Zphono XRM. We would recommend you use the balanced outputs if possible, but if you have to use the unbalanced outputs, be warned that the MM input’s RCA terminals are so close to the RCA output terminals that there may not be room for them to co-exist if the plugs on the RCA leads are unusually bulky. Vol.12 – December 2020, “The Future of Audio Shows” Cartoon by Carlo Lo Raso, Setting Up a Bryston BDA-3.14 Streaming DAC and Qobuz Streaming Service – A How-to Series, Part 2, Setting Up an AURALiC ARIES G1 Streamer and Qobuz Streaming Service – A How-to Series, Part 1, DCI-P3 Color – What It Means in Today’s Ultra HD World, AVR-Audio Video Reciever-Build Quality: Part V. Does Your Projector Display Accurate Color, and Why Is That Important? The A 21 amplifier is loaded with usable features above and beyond most other amplifiers. Have the P5 pre and the sound is sweet. Starke Sound claims that the AD4.320 combines the high efficiency of Class D circuitry with the warmer and more accurate sound of Class AB designs. Amazing performances by all concerned. The A23+ also has 35% more filter capacitance (54,400 µF vs 40,000 µF), which is said to improve the dynamics and short-term power. is part of Future plc, an international media group and leading digital publisher. Parasound’s Zphono XRM certainly wrought its magic throughout this album and the more we listened the more impressed we became. Rather frustratingly, Ortofon’s load impedance recommendation is disappointingly wide, at ‘50-200Ω’. At the right are three miniature toggle switches which are for (from left to right) mono/stereo switching, rumble filter switching, and input selection (MM or MC). Besides the cosmetic differences, Parasound invokes several upgrades in the A23+ as compared to the A23. In the case of the Ortofon Cadenza, its internal d.c. resistance is 5Ω. Overall, the Parasound NewClassic 200 integrated amplifier is a good looking product. Easy to find used; cheap. The result for the MM input bested Parasound’s own specification of 94dB, while Newport Test Labs’ measurement for the MC input was only a single dB below Parasound’s specification of 82dB. Please deactivate your ad blocker in order to see our subscription offer, We check over 130 million products every day for the best prices, (Image credit: Australian Hi-Fi magazine), The best phono preamps available: budget to high-end, We've compared the best record players on offer, Harman Kardon brings 3D spatial audio and live music concerts to your car, Sony launches new 360 Reality Audio wireless speakers and video streaming service, Mercedes MBUX Hyperscreen is a giant 56-inch OLED 'in-car cinema'. > 107 dB, input shorted, unweighted, 17-1/4″ (437 mm) W x 15″-1/4″ (388 mm) D x 4-1/8″ (105 mm) H (with feet), 800 Watts If Ortofon had been specific and recommended a load impedance of, say, 63Ω, anyone whose phono pre-amp did not offer this exact value might seriously consider not buying the cartridge. Build quality of the Parasound A 21+ is mighty impressive and handsome enough to fit into most décors. BA1 1UA. < 0.03 % at typical listening levels, Input Sensitivity for 28.28 V Out (8 Ω Load), > 112 dB, input shorted, IHF A-weighted While their focus was clearly on sound and build quality rather than a long list of features, they’ve nonetheless provided enough flexibility to satisfy a variety of users. All the way through the album, the Zphono XRM stayed a constant at revealing the complex timbres of LP’s unique voice and kept up with the different vocal stylings she uses from cut to cut. It can also be bridged to generate a mono amplifier rated at 500 W into an 8-ohm load. While the A23+ may not be the best in every respect, it can deliver well above average in all aspects of the sonic performance. The overall amplifier’s presentation through the Ultima Studio was neutral with a crisp sonic character and excellent details. Simple works. The musical portrayal through the A23+ had a sense of vividness that defined the edges of the musical elements in space with such clarity and without being analytical. The success that Parasound has achieved since it was founded in 1981 is driven by the customers’ appreciation of the value of its products. Interchannel phase errors, as you can see from the tabulated results, were also low across the audio band. The component under review, the $2000 Halo A 21 stereo amp, is slotted in further down the Parasound line. Empire Brass Quintet’s Passage “138 B.C. 28 April 2020. Although we have been a Laura Pergolizzi fan for some time now, we have previously listened to her only via CDs (they being somewhat less expensive), but we decided to bite the bullet with the arrival of Heart to Mouth, because we think it’s her best full album of work yet (though some individual songs on her earlier albums are stronger, the most obvious one being Lost on You from her album of the same name) and we thought the more introspective, meditative sound of Heart To Mouth would work better on LP than on CD. A primary consideration with any low-output moving-coil cartridge is to maximise its output voltage. The A23+ is the recent iteration of the highly popular A23 amplifier, which had been a continuous presence in the company’s line for about 17 years. Both single-ended and balanced inputs are provided together with toggles to select which inputs are being used. A good result. Parasound’s Zphono XRM is physically quite small, at 260mm deep, 218mm wide and 50mm high, yet it has a power supply built in, rather than being powered externally. Graph 2 shows the same response as Graph 1, but with a magnified vertical graph scale, so you can see the frequency response of the Zphono XRM in more detail (though we lose the response of the filter because of the scale magnification). Sign up below to get the latest from What Hi-Fi?, plus exclusive special offers, direct to your inbox! This review and test originally appeared in Australian Hi-Fi magazine, one of What Hi-Fi?’s sister titles from Down Under. Halo is our premier line with a reputation for going head-to-head with the most expensive equipment on the market, while costing a fraction of the price. Offering products in the sweet spot of quality-to-cost ratio is always the company’s mission. Possibly the weirdest track on this album – and maybe the weirdest song we’ve ever heard – is their cover of Little Black Buzzer (Ivor Cutler), but it’s a smorgasbord of sound, helped out by Lisa O’Neill and by what I can only imagine is Khan scatting in Indian. Overall, the A23+ was no slouch in conveying the sense of space, imaging, and soundstage. Melissa Manchester “You Gotta Love the Life”. This result might be room dependent and influenced by the speakers that the amp was paired with. Besides those and the main power switch near the power connector, the turn-on option switch as well as DC trigger input and output can be found on the left side of the back panel. There wasn’t too much difference though, so we agonised throughout the review, and ended up switching back and forth quite often and, with some LPs, actually preferred the 60dB setting. Gold-plated RCA input jacks ensure quality sound playback. I think one should be able to make adjustments “on the fly” without turning off the phono preamp. As for that rumble filter, it’s probably mis-named, because in 2020, We’d sincerely hope that no self-respecting audiophile would be using a turntable that produced any audible ‘rumble’. to them first. On the back panel, one can find more features than just the usual input-output connectivity found in typical power amplifiers. Parasound’s expertise gained from years of building much-admired amps and preamps shows here. It is on kind loan from a member. The actual gains through the Parasound Zphono XRM didn’t quite match up with the values stated on the switch settings, but were close enough as makes zero practical difference in operation, and the minuscule differences could be due to slight differences in loading during the measurements, or to production variances. The track Black Tears from the album Life Love Flesh Blood (2017) by Imelda May has been my favorite of late to evaluate the sense of space, imaging, and soundstage. Not so fast! There is no headroom with the amp whatsoever, but it still does 200Wpc into 4 ohms, and the monoblocks close to 500Wpc. The portrayal of the instruments in the track as to their own locations in the musical stage were clear and unambiguous. It’s the best-sounding Sonos yet, but the Amp isn’t the last word in hi-fi subtlety. By What Hi-Fi? It replaces an old but tough sc-305 JBL center. The rhythm and pace as well as the relaxed atmosphere of the song were conveyed nicely, which made me feel like swaying with the music. This amp offers kick ass performance at a price that real world people can afford! We suspect that Ortofon is being deliberately vague so that audiophiles whose phono preamps have either a fixed load impedance – or only a limited range of load impedances to apply – will have at least one setting that falls within this range. Channel separation at 1kHz was measured by Newport Test Labs as being 85.4dB, which is an outstanding result for a phono preamplifier. Parasound products are known to be well built and bring a lot of bang for the buck. This amp delivers dynamic sound quality and you can tell the difference at low volumes. The HALO A23+ stereo power amplifier that is reviewed here is the updated version of the HALO A23 amplifier. You’d think that setting the load impedance for the Ortofon would have been easy, because all we’d have to do would be to dial in the load recommended by Ortofon. I like simple. “One such being the inclusion of completely independent preamps for MM and MC cartridges… an approach that enabled us to optimise sound quality specifically for each input individually, rather than having to make a compromise to satisfy to competing requirements within a single preamp. Kick ass performance at a picture with clear lines around the borders of the A23+ has components! Fills the hole that was left in 2012 standard for sound and style – both and. Sound Lab mates its M-1s with Parasound ’ s ability to nimbly navigate the!, giving a slightly clearer sound generate a mono amplifier rated at 500 W into an 8-ohm load prove it! On your taste with twice the minimum load impedance for the AUDIOPHILE: 2020! Xrm certainly wrought its magic throughout this album and the monoblocks close 500Wpc. Long after he has returned to the various transients and textures in the music are! 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