What Hi-Fi? 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%). The bass that the amplifier produced through the Ultima Studio might not be the most extended that I have ever listened to, but it sounded punchy with sufficient impact. Easy to find used; cheap. 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! The HALO A23+ stereo power amplifier that is reviewed here is the updated version of the HALO A23 amplifier. By What Hi-Fi? Sonos Amp review Sonos returns to its roots with a just-add-speakers music system Tested at £599 / $599. 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. The image presentation of the singer was neutral portraying an intimate overall soundstage. 160 watts x 2, 8 Ω both channels driven Nice. One or both indicator lights will not light up if there is fault in the system. The RIAA-corrected frequency response of the Parasound Zphono XRM, as measured by Newport Test Labs, is shown in Graph 1 below. Two small indicator lights in the lower middle of the faceplate will also illuminate blue when the amplifier is in normal operation. 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. But, at … Natural, effortless, quick, accurate, honest sound. By Australian Hi-Fi 23 October 2020. This review and test originally appeared in Australian Hi-Fi magazine, one of What Hi-Fi?’s sister titles from Down Under. Thanks to the use of a rotary potentiometer, the impedance of the moving-coil input is continuously variable between 50Ω and 1050Ω with each 100Ω increment identified by labels, and each 20Ω increment by a small line. – A.D. 1611 (2007) album. 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. 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. The A23+ has improved components and can deliver 28% more power than its predecessor. Newport Test Labs measured the signal-to-noise ratios of the Zphono XRM using that input voltage which resulted in a 2V output on the highest gain settings for both MM and MC inputs and, as you can see, the Zphono delivered outstanding S/N results of 95dB A-weighted for its MM input and 81dB A-weighted for its MC input. DIP switches aren’t always desirable for passing audio signals and these locations make it a real nuisance for users. 240 watts x 2, 4 Ω both channels driven, 210 watts x 2, 8 Ω both channels driven He was a member of the SECRETS Team in the early years, before moving to Singapore for a number of years. They celebrate their 40 th year, next year, in 2021. Parasound Zphono XRM review A compact phono preamp with powerful performance Tested at £699 / $599 / AU$1249. These voltages (which we’ve rounded for use here in the text) were measured at the unbalanced outputs – the voltages at the balanced outputs were 2-volts and 6-volts respectively (again rounded). It is reasonably priced too at $1595. So, when the opportunity to review a Parasound product was presented to me, I immediately accepted it as I was quite interested to check out whether the company’s tradition of offering high quality and high value products continues. 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. 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. I have owned Parasound products myself in the past and I can attest for the two attributes mentioned above. The portrayal of the instruments in the track as to their own locations in the musical stage were clear and unambiguous. Rather frustratingly, Ortofon’s load impedance recommendation is disappointingly wide, at ‘50-200Ω’. We were wrong. “This exercise led to the design heading off in some directions I hadn’t considered,” he said. Although Parasound makes various audio components, the anchor products have always been its amplifiers. Parasound also redesigned the input board layout of the A23+ to improve the cross-channel crosstalk (70 dB vs 63 dB at 20 kHz). 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. As I said at the beginning of this review, now is a good time to be an audiophile. There is some noise at low frequencies, but it’s mostly more than 60dB down. I like simple. The amp does put out exponentially greater distortion in 4, 2 or 1 ohms (vs 8 ohms), the fact that it is well under .01% still (vs. 0005%) makes it a non-issue. The front appearance of the A23+ amplifier has some familiarity with the A23, albeit with some minor differences. Highly recommended. The new Zphono XRM phono preamp is a co-design that involved Parasound’s owner and founder, Richard Schram, and two other engineers he’s worked with for some years. Parasound’s Halo A 31 might get overlooked because it’s a three-channel amplifier designed primarily for use in multichannel home-theater systems -- or because, at $3295, it costs more than a budget multichannel amplifier, if less than what many audiophiles would pay for a two-channel amp. Why a rotary control rather than DIP switches, as many other phono amplifier manufacturers do? Let’s look first at the front panel. 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. Simple works. 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. I considered this amp vs. the Emotiva BasX 150 watt rms amp. Heard Parasound hooked up to Wilsons at AXPONA and was sold. 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. These results make the Parasound Zphono XRM completely compatible with any MM or MC cartridge we’ve ever heard of. Future Publishing Limited Quay House, The Ambury, the deSIgn As one would hope with high quality electronics, a cursing UPS driver delivered the Parasound pair. 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'. 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 … 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. No shortage of machismo – it has to be an American power amp, right? Then, as the effects pile on as the track progresses, the artificial was kept in a separate acoustic space from the real. Simple is good. 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. When turned on, it will glow red for a few seconds before turning blue in steady operation. 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. Company Product Page: http://www.parasound.com/zamp-v3.php Unlike what it’s relatively low height profile might suggest, the A23+ amplifier feels heavier than it looks. 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). To re-state the obvious, both these are outstanding results for a phono preamplifier. The image depth was good, although it was not as deep as I was accustomed to during my listening evaluation. It didn’t take very long with Massive Attack’s classic Mezzanine to prove that it could. This means that the minimum load impedance for the Cadenza has to be 50Ω. Just in case you own an Ortofon Cadenza Blue and you’re looking for a load recommendation, we thought ours sounded best with the Zphono XRM’s input impedance knob set to just a tad over 150Ω. With all due respect to Schram, we can’t quite see what’s so hard about extracting four screws, removing a lid, setting a DIP switch (or two) and then replacing both lid and screws, because for most audiophiles, this would be a one-time only process, so once it was done, it would stay done and never need to be done again. Room and speakers can handle either amp. 7: December 2020, A COLLECTION OF NEW VINYL FOR THE AUDIOPHILE: DECEMBER 2020, What We’re Listening To. 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. Gone also from the front panel of the A23+ is the THX certification stamp. 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. Two sets of five-way speaker binding posts are available for speaker connection. Parasound may have been thinking along these lines when they engaged the well-known amplifier designer John Curl to create their new five-channel amp, the Halo A 52+ ($2,995). 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. Both single-ended and balanced inputs are provided together with toggles to select which inputs are being used. Then there’s the way it handled the driving bass on Girls Go Wild, once again compartmentalising the various instruments while at the same time not separating them out from the mix, but integrating them into the whole. Amazing performances by all concerned. Does this new amplifier offer the quality and value in line with Parasound’s reputation? 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. Our Verdict. 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! AmplifierFeaturedParasoundParasound A23+ Stereopower amplifierPower Amplifier Review 2020Stereo. Get the latest from What Hi-Fi?, plus exclusive special offers, to! 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