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· Premium Member
599 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
a friend handed over his parasound Halo A23 - 2 channel amp recently. have it for a couple of weeks of enjoyment before handing it back (reluctantly).

with the short time as a hobbyist and the handful of posts under my belt on DHC, i'm humbled @ times with the amount of knowledge to tap verses my position along the curve. gain an understanding of the fundamentals i say, and your well on your way (so to speak). ..A positive step in the right direction.

my room doesn't allow for multichannel as intended, as best. i have done it, but with limitation. i have the resource (x4 Studio 20's V.1 with V.2 CC) .. and yes i may revert back @ times for further understanding. Oddest thing however .. I am now fully enjoying a 2.1 stero-HT hybrid setup ..

without opening the preverbial can of worms re: system, setup discussion, i introduce the Parasound Halo A23 THX certified 2 channel power amp.


Circuitry designed by legendary John Curl
Lucasfilm Home THX Ultra2 certified
High bias Class A/AB operation
Balanced inputs with discrete circuits and XLR connectors
Direct Coupled - no capacitors or inductors in signal path
Complementary MOSFET driver stage and JFET input stage
12 beta-matched 15 amp, 60 MHz bipolar output transistors
1 kVA encapsulated toroid power transformer with independent
secondary windings for each channel
48,000 µF power supply filter capacitance
DC Servo and relay protection circuits
AC present, channel status, high temperature displays
Heavy-duty 24k gold-plated 5-way speaker binding posts
Gold-plated RCA input jacks; loop output jacks
Auto turn-on by 12v trigger or audio signal
Rear mounted gain controls, ground lift switch
2u Chassis, carry handles, rack mountable with HRA2 (sold separately)
Parasound 5 year parts, 5 years labor warranty
(For USA and Canada purchases only)

(for the technical amongst us) to save thread space, here's the link to manufacturer's site for specification and other goody's

here's my setup

- Rega Apollo
- Yamaha HTR-6190
- Yamaha BD S2900
- Project RPM 4
- x2 Paradigm Studio 20's v.1 (no relation to parasound to my knowledge !)


- metallica black album
- pamela morgan & anita best - color of amber
- moist - mercedes 5 and dime
- gladiator blu-ray
- saving private ryan - blu-ray

my curiosity got the best of me regarding looping in a dedicated 2 channel amp to my AVR - and ultimately the end result. pre-out'ing this amp from my AVR is serving me very (very) well. if i can sum up in one word - outstanding. my first direct experience with 2 channel amps, great product for initial intro, and matches to my studios very well.

the detail musically and movies is something i haven't heard before (in my own listening setting). very commanding amp, strength and sublty. adds a new deminsion to movies is more 3D, enveloping. getting higher yields from gladiator's DTS-HD (MA) audio very worthwhile, vocal detail, sound effect ...soundtrack ambient very enjoyable. i do consider the S2900 a nice sounding player for hi-def audio as well (particularly paired with the 6190)

musically, very nice too. some female vocals were border line for me on anita's and pamela's CD release, yet i do find the higher pitch of female vocals do affect me @ times, for a couple of more forward songs (imo). maybe a result of my ears. however .. previous electronics i have demo'ed were smoother musically (tweeter affect). this is only an example (and result of my system's synergy perhaps) not to be constrained as a non-negiotable point of view of the amp's key behavior and character. so lets not throw ourselves over board here in reaction. .. ha ! david usher's CD (moist) was very good (to my ears).

prior to adding the amp, i was becoming tiredsome to audio processing - I am now wonderng if this contributed to my listening fatigue as i am now enjoying more often and for extended listening/viewing sessions - without the processing with this parasound amp. i am operating hi-def audio from the source and bypassing internal AVR rendering. basically audio forwarded uncompressed directly to my AVR's amps from my player (over analogue interconnects)

the Parasound takes it up a notch (or a few) ..from "tagging on" to the 6190's pure direct mode. very noticable difference. not critically, but i feel a worthwhile purchase (upgrade) verses what your getting in return. in some (most) of my experimenting, with some devices, changes have been notable and without serious justification.

for long term addition to setup, i would consider this amp. thankfully to in home demo's, it's best practise for evaluations. and mentioned by me in previous threads, specs and read reviews take you only partially there. hands-on is the route to take. considering retail (or less) i think this amp would make a noble addition to a dedicated 2 channel setup (with accompanying parasound P3 pre-amp) or as a stand alone external amp to a good AVR.

i see them used on US classified markets, good deals. if you don't like it as purchased used (a viable option) - i'll buy it from you (jokingly). excellant amp for HT and music.

sorry for the crappy images guys .. oh and the mess (getting kinda crazy over here)


· Registered
4,773 Posts
Although I have a 5.1 setup in my home theatre, I always listen to audio in 2.1. It's simply because it was intended to be listened to in stereo, I've always enjoyed the sound better in stereo.

I also run a power amp across my front channels (an Audio Refinement (YBA) Multi-3) and there's no question that a good power amp will produce a much better sound field than relying on most AVRs. My Denon AVR acts as a pre-pro for the front stage and only amplifies my rear speakers.

I've always been a Parasound fan and your impressions are not surprising. Had I not come across the Audio Refinement deal, the A23 or the 2125 were ones I was considering (but my preference was to find a three channel amp to manage the entire front stage for home theatre viewing).

· Premium Member
599 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
i agree.

a 3 channel amp is of serious interest to me. i would like to coherantly amplify my fronts (including CC)

add in a 2 channel for the rears, if needed, as opportunity presents and one can raise good points for 5 channels seperated, as opposed to housed in single casing. i have no direct experience with a 3 + 2 channel setup.

· Registered
1,426 Posts
Before my brother went fully McIntosh, I ran his Bryston 3b sst 2 ch amp with my fronts and it made a noticeable difference paired with my marantz 6003, especially with 2 ch music. The soundstage opened right up, especially with Muddy Waters on Mobile Fidelity gold cd and a surpisingly good first Big Sugar album. I almost bought it from him but the dynamics were too different for home theatre as it really brought a different tone to the fronts compared to the centre. Kinda wanted a 3 ch amp for the front soundstage, but with marantz coming out with a nice 5 and 2 setup for a decent price, I think I'm gonna check that out. At the least bring the 2 ch in to power the towers so as to match marantz with marantz.

And those studio 20 v.1's are awesome. They were my first taste of a truly amazing speaker and I still have them running as my back surrounds.

· Premium Member
599 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
gee .. i hadn't noticed your response until ...well... moments prior to this reply. = )

i enjoy the amp. however, to be honest it isn't growing on me - for whatever reason. i may fire up the NAD (5 ch.amp) again. been sitting idle since i have been on the 2 channel wagon.

thank you, yes - i enjoy these S20's. Actually, i hooked another set on CAM. so now i have x4 S20's v.1. will be interesting to test, as i have read here several times, an ideal configuration calls for the same speaker(s) for front and back.

i do have a used A/V pre-processor enroute as well. i couldn't pull the trigger on a new PP. maybe @ some point. upon getting settled away here, i will maneuver the living space for the plunge to a 5.1 again.
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