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Waiting Arrival

 

Gold Member
Username: Magfan

USA

Post Number: 3119
Registered: Oct-07
I can hardly wait. New amps and pre should be here Monday. Give me a week to connect and do first pass sorting out before any 'report'.

I will be selling my PSAudio GCC250, an integrated 'd' amp and replacing it with a PAIR of Parsound A23 and the new P5 preamp.

Net loss of an insignificant amount of power, but net gain, since the new system will have tone controls (!) and bass management (!) along with a DAC section so I can plug in my small dish as well as any phone I may choose to torture myself with in the future.

Plans include IMMEDIATELY BiAmping my Maggies and I've already started research on a Passive line level crossover to be inserted between the preamp and amps. This is a very, very simple circuit and can be made to 'mimic' the stock crossover transfer function.

I have a double armload of Pool Noodles at home which are going to turn into a pair of back-wave diffusors FOR my panels.
 

Silver Member
Username: Edison

Glendale, CA US

Post Number: 965
Registered: Dec-03
parasounds have exciting sound that I love so much - enjoy them...
 

Gold Member
Username: Magfan

USA

Post Number: 3122
Registered: Oct-07
My stuff is IN and at the dealer. However, due to extensive FIRES, they were evacuated this afternoon before I could pick up my stuff.
Maybe tomorrow?
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 17901
Registered: May-04
.

Didn't know Parasound amps were prone to catching fire.






.
 

Gold Member
Username: Magfan

USA

Post Number: 3123
Registered: Oct-07
R-D-R-R, Jan.

As you are well aware, San Diego County is having QUITE the number of Early-Season FIRES. I can see, depending on wind direction, the smoke from 3 or 4 fires. The Marine Base to the North of me has at least 2 fires alone.

Sis-in-law, her 2 daughters, the BF AND the flippin' DOG are here until San Marcos quits burning. The flames came DOWN THE HILL right across the street from her casa. Evacuation was ordered. This fire is proving most intractable while other fires are as much as 60% contained.

I'm getting some pushback from my GUESTS about my taking my stereo / TV down tomorrow for a PM and install of the NEW gear.

Each panel gets a 200x2 amp and the P5 preamp will be the control center. I'll be able to decrease the bass to the mains, both saving amp power and reducing the duplication between mains and sub. These settings may (will) require some adjustments.

I've got some home-made diffusors out in the garage, under construction. Film at 11
 

Gold Member
Username: Magfan

USA

Post Number: 3124
Registered: Oct-07
My new stuff came in on the Wednesday of the BIg Fire days here in SD County. By the time I got home from work, taking the train from the city, my stereo store had been evacuated!
I made the trip next day, after confirming they were OK and traffic wasn't too awful.

Anyway, it took HOURS to do the new setup, which including stripping and cleaning / oiling the stereo cabinet and packing the GCC away�.hopefully for a sale sooner. After getting everything setup, I had to Re terminate my speaker wires, cutting them from single 8 foot lengths to a PAIR of 4-footers each.

Programmoing the Logitech was it's own problem, the new preamp was painless, but it got confused when I asked it to remember the small dish receiver! That took an hour of going thru helps and experimenting. But I got it fixed.

Sounds TERRIFIC. Much better HF extension and imaging than the 'd' amp I removed. I'll know more in maybe another 25 to 50 hours, as things settle in.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 16508
Registered: Feb-05
Very nice setup, Leo. Congrats.
 

Gold Member
Username: Magfan

USA

Post Number: 3125
Registered: Oct-07
Parasound is another of those lines which have a 'house sound'. The Halo line goes up to the Massive JC-1 monos which are very highly regarded.

Plans include 2 items remaining on the list. Speaker wires must be reterminated with spades. Finding a reasonable set and NOT spending 10$ per may be a challenge.
Second item will be the construction of a pair of amp stands. That will not only improve the visuals, but cut the amount of floor space taken up vs the shipping boxes now pressed into service as stands.

The iPod input is a kick. Front panel and easily selected, the sound from the 'pod's MP-3s is as expected, but fine for house chores.
The balanced ins used from the DAC also are Very Good with sound a step UP from the pod on the same music. Using a PS3 as CD source is only OK, but sound from movies really is dynamic and full.
A non-NAD/ Cambridge Audio CD player may be on the list for Christmas.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 16512
Registered: Feb-05
I owned a very nice Parasound pre amp and power amp way back in the day. They performed flawlessly.
 

Gold Member
Username: Magfan

USA

Post Number: 3127
Registered: Oct-07
I'm going to T.H.E. Newport on Saturday AND Sunday. Sunday will be to tend to the San Diego Audio Guild room as a watcher / referee.

On Saturday, I'll do a search for spade lugs NOT from WBT ($$$$$!) but from perhaps AQ or another vender. Reasonable gauge Silver plate over copper should not cost more than 5$ per, IMO. I'll be calling a few local electronics shops to check out the usage of a crimping tool.
Speaker leads, which I tinned, will be trimmed and the new ends installed.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 16515
Registered: Feb-05
Be sure to visit the Brooks Berdan room and hear the VPI Classic Direct.
 

Gold Member
Username: Magfan

USA

Post Number: 3130
Registered: Oct-07
Art, NO TT is in MY future! I'm Cursed when it comes to handling vinyl and keeping them pristine. Like it when it works. Hate it when it doesn't.
I've still got some East Wind virginvinyl around here someplace that haven't been touched in near-30 years.

Saw some crazy TTs at T.H.E. Newport but heard some flawed stuff, too. clicks/pops was the least of it. Some mistracking, maybe, with edgy highs and general unpleasantness NOT caused by downstream electronics. Upload
 

Platinum Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 16517
Registered: Feb-05
That's a nice deck. I have a Well Tempered Simplex and VPI Traveler, both with Ortofon 2M series cartridges and they are both really easy to setup and keep right.

Hope you had a good time at THE Show...oh and you know where to send that vinyl if you get tired of looking at it!!
 

Gold Member
Username: Dakulis

Spokane, Washington United States

Post Number: 1345
Registered: May-05
Leo,

congrats on the new gear. Very exciting and your D class amp is going by the wayside. It's scary when we're so sympatico my friend. Rather than hijack your thread, I'll start a new one and wait to hear Art's comments. Let us know what you're hearing with the new set-up. Dave
 

Gold Member
Username: Magfan

USA

Post Number: 3134
Registered: Oct-07
'D' amp, a PSAudio GCC250 has already found a new home up in Orange County�.maybe LA county?
North, anyway.

New Parasound stuff is head and shoulders above the amp it replaced. And since I went Biamp with a PAIR of the 'lesser' A23, fitting a passive LineLevel crossover will be a SNAP.
And to make matters even EASIER, the amps have LEVEL CONTROLS for each channel, so if the bass is made a little hotter by the deletion of the 0.40ohms of the inductor, than I can simply turn it down a little.
I spent about 1 1/2 hours listening to XM yesterday and the difference between recordings�..quality wise�.is easily heard and ranges from differences in HF extension to 'size' of instruments and performers and the stage width, as well. Some recordings simply sounded like 'rechanneled mono' while others extended past the edges and enveloped withsound.
 

Gold Member
Username: Dakulis

Spokane, Washington United States

Post Number: 1347
Registered: May-05
Leo,

Keep up the listening and the review. I'm interested to know what you're hearing or not hearing in comparison to the PS Audio amp and I'm really interested in why you finally made the change. I know like me that you were generally satisfied with the D class amp sound so what led to the change. In my case, part boredom and part feeling like there was something even better out there without breaking the bank. Keep reporting my friend.

Dave
 

Gold Member
Username: Magfan

USA

Post Number: 3139
Registered: Oct-07
I took my speaker cables and a handful of silver over copper spades to my stereo store today and they gave me the 'really big crimping' tool for an hour. I sat on the floor and re-terminated what WERE the bare wire ends with the spades. Nice. The spades came with red or black 'boots', too, so I was able to do a pro-looking job. My automatic stripper doesn't even nick a single strand and the lugs worked perfect with 10ga stranded.
I had a spare PAIR of spades and boots which I left for the store to use. Never know when something as wacky as that could come in handy. I'm not likely to need more.
Is it my imagination or are the amps running cooler? Could the bare wire have been a bad connection? I need to confirm subwoof polarity with some well-bassed material, but otherwise I'm DONE.

continues to be an improvement over the 'D' amp I sold. I should have done this a while ago. CDs thru the DACMagic+ to the balanced inputs of the P5 is NICE. Very dynamic and NOW I can sort out the filter settings of the DAC.
 

Gold Member
Username: Dakulis

Spokane, Washington United States

Post Number: 1352
Registered: May-05
Leo,

Very happy for you and the improved sound. That's really the point of all this buying, listening and switching to reach audio nirvana, no?
 

Gold Member
Username: Dakulis

Spokane, Washington United States

Post Number: 1356
Registered: May-05
Now, back to your thread. You actually have a new amp so what are you hearing as it's burning in and improving in sound?
 

Gold Member
Username: Magfan

USA

Post Number: 3145
Registered: Oct-07
I'm not a big believer in electronic break in. What I DO notice is that once the caps form, you are the one getting used to IT rather than it changing.

That being said, I believe the imaging is improved over the 'd' amp. Higher frequencies are less�..'phasey' if thats a word. New Parasounds are extremely fast and rhythmicallly 'right'. Dynamic power is THERE. Also, Since I offloaded the lowest bass from the panels at the same time I installed the new stuff, I feel the bass is now MUCH more musical, tight and On Time. No sub matching problem with MY panels, as it is a legendary problem�.which I seem to have 'missed'.

Yesterday I heard what may be a box speaker guys worst nightmare. A Pair of the New Janszen ZA2.1 electrostatic. These are NICE and I've heard 'em 3 times now. First at a meeting of the San Diego audio guys. Nice, but LACKING. It may have been the Bryston Power Pack amps. NOBODY (except one guy) was impressed. Fast forward to THE Newport 2014. The Janszen room sounded terrific. Even the guy baby sitting the room admitted the SD Demo was 'poor' and the boss, Son of the original inventor, was 'disappointed'.
So, When I had a chance to hear them in a Proper setup I jumped and sat there for 2+ hours. Nice experience, with the quality of sound solely at the mercy of the recording. Poor in / poor OUT. And the amps? Well that's the neat part. A PAIR of the JC-1 monoblocs. These 80 or 90 lb monsters put out like 400 a side and are stable down to 2 ohms. The 'Stats could not POSSIBLY make use of even 25% of the max output. But I could hear the Parasound. Quick, accurate and a good match for the Janszens. The new Janszen owner is the ONE person at the SD demo who must have seen some 'potential' in these speakers, since he took the Demos HOME and later bought a NEW set.

OH! One other thing. I think I helped things along by putting on the speaker end/ spades. I went to my local stereo store, sat on the FLOOR with the crimpers and my diagonal cutters and stripper and crimped the new silver over copper connectors along with the supplied 'boots'. I had an extra PAIR of connectors and boots which I DONATED to the shops junk drawer, since 'You Never Know'. My silly contribution was gracefully accepted and I cleaned up ALL my mess and took it with me.
 

Gold Member
Username: Dakulis

Spokane, Washington United States

Post Number: 1358
Registered: May-05
Leo,

I hate you. I got nothing in Spokane to listen to, except Best Buy and One Call.
 

Gold Member
Username: Magfan

USA

Post Number: 3154
Registered: Oct-07
I turned it 'up' pretty good yesterday, for the 1st time.
I was playing PinkFloyd DSOM, the early CD release. Very good bass, and all the rest. It is even a pretty well mastered recording.

One thing I noted was that I can't get the VC past about 'noon'. I'd like to EVENLY turn the amp gain DOWN a little so I can get into the 'sweet spot' of the VC.

My goal / best case, would be a STEPPED attenuator. Looking at photos of the interior of the amp, I think there's room for 'em, too. But I'd have to run wires to the circuit board, since the current attenuators are hard-wired into the boards.

And YES, such MONO attenuators are made, not just ganged for stereo or multi channel.
 

Gold Member
Username: Dakulis

Spokane, Washington United States

Post Number: 1372
Registered: May-05
Leo,

Keep enjoying the new stuff. I'm back to the old stuff but that still sounds pretty dang good.
 

Gold Member
Username: Magfan

USA

Post Number: 3157
Registered: Oct-07
Connected the iPod Touch thru the front panel 3.5mm input and WOW, never heard MP3s (160) sound so good. I may make a special 'lossless' playlist and try THAT next.

Now, my few user beefs with the new stuff. First, the Preamp has a lot of 'clicky' relays. When changing inputs, or even turning the tone controls on/off, you must wait a sec for the relays to catch up. LOUD. Even the amps wait about 5 minutes after signal removal before THEY shut down! First time I heard that, at 0100, it made me jump a little.

The OTHER minor problem is that the GAIN is a little high for the entire system. If my VC is at noon, that is LOUD. And I mean REALLY loud. Now, don't forget the amps have built-in attenuators! A single source (line-level) system theoretically doesn't even NEED a pre or source switching. Wire direct and use the back panel VCs for level.

I ran my stepped attenuator idea past Richard Schramm. I now know the attenuator value (100k ohms) and that it directly wires into the input board. Also, Richard said there was NO ROOM for what I contemplated. However, he had a Plan 'b' suggestion which is fine. Basically, he said to replace the pot with a pair of resistors. I'd use 1% (or better) parts of at least the Vishay/Dale level.

My strategy would be to turn the amps way down. Turn the preamp VC to about 2pm. That would leave some 'headroom' for lower output sources. Than, turn the amps UP to as loud as��or simply the onset of distortion. Measure ALL 4 potentiometers. Get a reasonable average and acquire the resistors.
Richard went so far as to say (paraphrase) that the amp may sound better as a result. This is a simple mod and would make a fine 'kit' for both the A21 and A23.
 

Gold Member
Username: Magfan

USA

Post Number: 3292
Registered: Oct-07
I was never able to satisfy myself that a PLLXO was both easy enough and 'right' enough for my system.
As for the ACTIVE version? I never found one I could afford and that I could duplicate the speaker crossover, which is a 12db lo-pass and a 6db hi-pass. NOthing exotic or 'weird'.

I finally found MiniDSP which would appear to offer incredible flexibility and computer configurations. This Maybe where I end up since the cost is actually quite modest. The model called the 2x8 is both single ended AND balanced I/O so certain advantages can be had with an all balanced approach.

More later when I find out more.
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