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Aragon vs. Parasound to power Martin Logans


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#1 of 26 OFFLINE   Steven Phipps

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Posted January 02 2002 - 02:35 PM

I somewhat find myself in a predicament, I am in upgrade mode, but am not feeling too rich these days. I am on the market for a new amp to power my Martin Logan Aerius Speakers and my only 2 choices right now are an Aragon 2004 (100W/ch @ 8 ohms, 200W/ch @ 4 ohms), or a Parasound HCA-1500A (205W/ch @ 8 ohms, 315W/ch @ 4 ohms)I guess it is the 4 ohm rating that is more important as my ML's are rated at 4 ohms. This is my first step into seperates, and I am in dire need of advice from impartial and experienced people as yourselves, I am not able to audition both amps, just the Aragon maybe. I am currently using a Pioneer Elite VSX-29TX (120W/ch @ 6 ohms, n/r @ 4 ohms) to power these, as I just upgraded from PSB Stratus Silvers to the Aerius. I will be using the Pioneer for a while as a pre/pro. Both the Aragon and the Parasound are used and pretty much the same price. I keep hearing I will notice a vast improvement over my Pioneer Elite with a good amp, but just can't imagine it, I guess we'll see! I would appreciate any input, thank you!

#2 of 26 OFFLINE   Vinny Petronio

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Posted January 02 2002 - 04:15 PM

You will see a vast difference with a broader sound stage clearer more defined highs and lows less distortion at higher listening levels I currently own a parasound amp it's the 1205a went to separates 2 months ago and the amp made such a big difference.The amps build quality is one of the best out there for the money thx certified 10 year warrenty 140 watts x5 @8ohms 200 watts x5 @4ohms these are conservitive numbers this amp really proforms I am pushing CDM7Nt full range speakers front and rear it never gets hot I run it all the time my system is in the living room and the amp is always on with the TV or music and DVD, this is one amp you will never be sorry buying. I purchased it for undr $1000.00 its worth every penny Posted Image
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#3 of 26 OFFLINE   dougW

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Posted January 02 2002 - 04:48 PM

The Aragon is perfect for you, and the Parasound for me. Posted Image Seriously, I could use it to power a couple of DIY subs that will be built, so if you decide against it, and have a lead on it, lemme know. I already own 1.

I just think the Aragon will be more detailed at the top. If it's got the guts to handle the ML.

Goodluck,
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#4 of 26 OFFLINE   Vinny Petronio

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Posted January 02 2002 - 05:00 PM

The parasound has all the guts you will need and will not clip at high levels if you can stand playing it that loud Posted Image
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#5 of 26 OFFLINE   Donald Shrum

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Posted January 02 2002 - 08:03 PM

OK, don't know much about the parasound but I do know what the arius's will sound like with the Aragon. I have been trying a few different amps these last few days and have made a few conclusions on what I really like in stereo that is. I have tried my Aragon, Adcom 2 channel amp, a set on Marantz Gold mono amps, Acurus 2 channel amp, Denon 5700 receiver and creek 2 channel amp. With the Arius's the sound would change with every amp. I am running my EAD signature processor, EAD CD transport using the AT&T tosslink cable and Kimber select speaker cable and interconnects.
With the Denon 5700 the sound stage was really narrow, almost no depth and the highs where to "tin-ny" or bright and the Bass was really sloppy and uncontrolled.
With the Adcom, it was just a little better than the Denon but I did notice the sound stage was a little larger but the bass was still sloppy and the highs where just to bright.
Then I tried the Creek Amp, What an awesome amp for the money. Its extremely small, great sound stage, Good tight bass good imaging good depth. It did however have its bad side. It just didn't have enough power to play loud, it would start to clip at higher levels.
The same goes for the Marantz mono amps. The marantz amps didn't have the soundstage that the creek had but, not bad at all. Still didn't play to well loud. Just not enough power.
The Acurus was, well great. The bass was tight, the imaging was accurate, the depth was great the highs really were crisp and smooth. Overall a good sounding amp.
Then I tried the Aragon. Let me tell ya, this amp sounds, SO much better. It becomes a completely different speaker. Bass is fast and tight, vocals are smooth and accurate, depth is amazing and imaging and soundstage is large and accurate. Such a good sounding amp. I did this test because a friend that just bought a Denon 5700 said “you can't get better sound than this Denon. An amp is only so good and you can only hear so much" Proved him wrong and then some. Posted Image

#6 of 26 OFFLINE   Steven Phipps

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Posted January 03 2002 - 02:02 AM

If my Pioneer is 120 watts into 6 ohms, then how much better can an amp with the same power be sooo much better? I can understand, a subtle difference because of the power supply, but a huge difference? I was under the impression that my "top of the line" reciever (at the time 3 yrs. ago), would have really good amps (MOSFET). So has anyone upgraded from a very good ioneer reciever lately? I am also wondering if it would be more beneficial to get the Parasound over the Aragon because of the headroom in wattage (315 vs. 200 @4 ohms). One thing I do notice about the Aragon is that it completely doubles in wattage from 8 to 4 ohms, whereas the Parasound jumps approx. 50%. Should I get more Power or what? Sorry for going on and on, but this is sort of on a time sensitive basis, and I am so used to buying higher end receivers that going into separates is totally new to me. I feel that the Pioneer pushes the ML's just fine, but I also haven't experienced anything other than what I have, and keep on hearing about the big difference that it makes. So I am putting my faith into you guys, I value your opinions!!!

#7 of 26 OFFLINE   Robert A. Willis Jr.

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Posted January 03 2002 - 02:56 AM

Martin Logan's are minimally rated at 4 ohms. But they can present impediances of 2 or so ohms at the high end. Look for an amp that doubles power from 8 to 4 to 2 ohms. The Aragon 2004 - Martin Logan Quest and Stylos pairing is a very good match. I did that for a number of years with a pair of 2004's and later a pair of 8002's.

I can't speak to the Aerius or Parasound equipment. I would be leary of the inability of the Parasound to double real world power and the impedance halves. Call Parasound most smaller manufacturers are pretty honest about their equipment matches with.

rw

#8 of 26 OFFLINE   Steven Phipps

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Posted January 03 2002 - 06:49 AM

Sorry, but what do you mean by Stylos pairing?

#9 of 26 OFFLINE   Miles_W

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Posted January 03 2002 - 07:55 AM

Steven, the Stylos was an older pair of Martin Logan Speakers that mounted directly on the wall or on a small stand It has a similar panel size to the Aerius but a 6.5" woofer vs an 8" woofer. If I were to choose between the Parasound and the Aragon, I would very probably go for the Aragon... Slightly better pedigree IMHO...

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#10 of 26 OFFLINE   Marc H

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Posted January 03 2002 - 08:04 AM

Between the two, my vote would be for the Aragon.
Better sonic match to the M/L musically.
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#11 of 26 OFFLINE   Alex Prosak

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Posted January 03 2002 - 08:57 AM

Personally, I'm not familiar with Parasound equipment but I have had experience with Aragon. I've heard them play the heck out of Apogees and Carver Amazing Loudspeakers, neither of which are easy speakers to drive. The Aragon IMHO is a very solid, extremely well built, musical amplifier. In terms of power output, I think they are conservatively rated. You also get most of the performance of a Krell or Levinson for a fraction of the price. Go for it!

#12 of 26 OFFLINE   Steven Phipps

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Posted January 03 2002 - 09:55 AM

So I guess nobody here has upgraded from Pioneer Elite to seperate amps recently...or used Parasound amps with Martin Logan speakers? I am leaning towards the Aragon more and more, but cannot get over the extra 115W/ch on the Parasound. I guess I am concerned that I may need another Aragon later just to measure up to the extra headroom that the Parasound will supply. The other thing I like about the Parasound is that it is about 21-2 years old as opposed to the at least 6 year old Aragon. Any opinions?

#13 of 26 OFFLINE   AjayM

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Posted January 03 2002 - 10:57 AM

Quote:
So I guess nobody here has upgraded from Pioneer Elite to seperate amps recently...or used Parasound amps with Martin Logan speakers? I am leaning towards the Aragon more and more, but cannot get over the extra 115W/ch on the Parasound. I guess I am concerned that I may need another Aragon later just to measure up to the extra headroom that the Parasound will supply. The other thing I like about the Parasound is that it is about 21-2 years old as opposed to the at least 6 year old Aragon. Any opinions?

Aragon! Wouldn't be a doubt in my mind about that decision. First, don't worry about how old the designs are, amps aren't like processors that go out of date. A 6 yr old amp design is as good today as it was 6 yrs ago. Second, power output wise...to go from 200 and change (your ML's are 4Ohms and sometimes lower, meaning more power) to 315w is going to be about less than a 2db difference in volume (remeber that you need to double the power to get a 3db increase). And lastly, weren't the Aragon amps designed by good ol Dan D’Agostino (who is now CEO/Founder of Kell)? I'd say he knows a little bit about designing a good amp.

As to making a difference, you'll notice a big difference in driving those Martin Logan's. Those things aren't easy to drive, especially on a reciever's amp section (your Pioneer doesn't have a 2-Ohm power rating), when you have all channels going and you get one of those wonderful surrounding explosions you are just tapping out the power of that thing. Take a look at some reviews from the magazines that measure power output with all channels driven, unless you got some very high end stuff you aren't even getting what's advertised.

Andrew

#14 of 26 OFFLINE   Miles_W

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Posted January 03 2002 - 11:02 AM

Steven,

I was in a similar situation last year when I was running an older onkyo tx 919 receiver powering a pair of Sequel II's. a logos centre and a pair of Aerius as surrounds. I was happy with the sound but felt I perhaps was missing some of the systems potential. I got a good deal on a sunfire cinema grand and the difference was night and day in terms of dymanics and bass slam. Although the Onkyo could drive the Logans they were unable to make them "sing". I am also not a member of the Watts is Watts crowd. The Parasound is great product but I think that the 2004 is a better product. There is alot to be said for unmeasureables and the synergy between aragon and panel speakers has been mentioned already in this thread...

If you get a chance see if you can audition the amp at home perhaps you will not hear the difference...

either way good luck! one thing I can assure you, your speakers will sound better with either amp than just with your receiver...

Miles
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#15 of 26 OFFLINE   Mike Burke

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Posted January 03 2002 - 12:46 PM

I think Aragon is the Rodney Dangerfield of amps NO RESPECT!..I have heard the 8008ST on several occassions and besides the M.L. No 436's they are my favorite amps!! I am saving my $$$ for a full Revel Performa setup and Aragon WILL be the amps I use unless I find some deal on a Theta Dreadnaught that I can't pass up! Posted Image. The only thing to be careful is when it comes to Aragon is they can run hot and need proper ventilation!!

Happy Hunting!
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#16 of 26 OFFLINE   Andrew Pratt

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Posted January 03 2002 - 01:07 PM

I'd have to agree with the majority here that the Aragon's are very solid amps. As for your Pioneer to be honest if there's a weak area of nearly all Pioneer's its there amps. Since that Aragon can double its wattage into 4 ohms it must mean its got an amazing power supply so it can provide the current required (no easy feat)...that makes an ideal amp for your very demanding speakers. Forget about wattage it means little in the real world when those ML's demand current and lots of itPosted Image FYI I went from a Denon 3300 (105 watts) to a HK 5800 (85 watts) to a Musical Fidelity Class A/AB amp (125 watts) and in each case the differences were stagering...its all about current

#17 of 26 OFFLINE   Vinny Petronio

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Posted January 03 2002 - 06:00 PM

Check out the parasound 2205a at their web site features and specs,reviews and make your own conclusions as to which is the better of the bunch.
Thie amp will be everything you will need and more for music and home theaterand drive your ML like you never heard them play before.
Vinny

#18 of 26 OFFLINE   Steven Phipps

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Posted January 04 2002 - 03:48 AM

Well I finally crumbled!!! I bought the Aragon 2004...I hooked it up kind of late last night, so I couldn't check it out like I would have liked yet. One thing though, out of curiosity, should an amp warm up before full quality from it is expected? It seemed to me as though about 20 minutes after it was powered up, the volume seemed a bit higher, and the sound a little fuller. Could be different music on the cd though (it was a compilation).

#19 of 26 OFFLINE   Donald Shrum

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Posted January 04 2002 - 04:15 AM

The Aragon definately needs to be warmed upbefore you get full sound out of it. It just gets more detailed. Good choice.

#20 of 26 OFFLINE   Miles_W

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Posted January 04 2002 - 05:22 AM

Congratulations Steven,

Let us know your impressions after you have had a bit more chance to listen!

Miles
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