Anyone have HK PA2000 or Parasound 855 Power amps?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by DanaA, Jun 16, 2002.

  1. DanaA

    DanaA Screenwriter

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    I'm interested in either the Harman Kardon PA 2000 or Parasound 855 power amps. Anyone care to describe the sound quality and power of either of these. They would be hooked up to my Onkyo 696 receiver with the Parasound driving 5 channels or the Harman Kardon taking over 2 channels. As I'm new to the realm of power amps, I'm assuming they could thus be hooked up if my Onkyo has preamp outs. I'd especially be interested in those that feel they would improve the current sound/power. They would be used with my Klipsh RB-5 speakers in my bedroom setup.
     
  2. Vlad D

    Vlad D Screenwriter

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    Dana,
    I just bought a Parasound 855. I should be receiving it today (UPS tried to deliver it on Friday but no one was home). Anyway, in a few days I'll be able to tell you how it sounds. [​IMG] I'm also "new to the realm of power amps," but it is my understanding that you connect it to the preamp outs.
    BTW, check out Ubid. They have the 855. I picked up mine for $309 lus shipping.
     
  3. Justin Lane

    Justin Lane Cinematographer

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    I just picked up a Parasound 885 off of Ubib for 269 plus shipping. Originally I was not going to grab one, but for less then 300 bucks before shipping for a 5 channel amp, I could not pass.

    Currently I am using a Pioneer Elite 35TX and have not been crazy about it's internal amps nor the power they provide. I already use a Parasound amp to power my two EX/ES channels so another Parasound made sense to me, especially at this price.

    Hook up involves just running the Pre-amp outs from the receiver to the amp, setting the gains on the amp to max, and using the receiver to level match.

    J
     
  4. DanaA

    DanaA Screenwriter

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    Thanks Vlad D and Justin. Wow, UBid seems to be a great place for the Parasound. Despite the power ratings on the Onkyo (100 watts/channel vs. 85 for the Parasound), I'd be willing to bet the Parasound puts out more clean power, especially when all five channels are being driven at once. I think I'll go over to UBid and see what I can find.
     
  5. Chas_T

    Chas_T Supporting Actor

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    Dana.. I purchased the 855a off of ubid and I like the amp a lot for my application. I was using a Yamaha receiver rated at 85 per channel and the difference is night and day.

    I am driving two Paradigm Studio 20's bi-amped on my PC using a Parasound P/HP 850 Stereo Preamp and it sings very well on a 2.1 system.

    For my ears, not overly bright, more then enough power, not dry, real nice soundstage, detailed and for $550 dollars which included the pre-amp, it rocks.

    You will need to use the preouts on the Onkyo to do the connections. Good luck.

    Charles
     
  6. Dalton

    Dalton Screenwriter

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  7. Greg Haynes

    Greg Haynes Supporting Actor

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    Parasound's have been known to rate their wattage very conservative and in fact it is usually higher than they state.
    I remember reading awhile back how low Onkyo's actual rated power was something like 35x5 actual power with the receiver stating that it was 100x5.
    Right now the 855 is selling like crazy over at Ubid and even Ebay. The price simply is amazing. You could probably keep the amp for a couple of years and if you wanted to upgrade to a more powerful amp you could easily sell it and make all your money back. I was looking at getting the 855, but I found a really good deal on the 1205A at Ubid that I couldn't pass up. I should have my new amp by the end of the week.
    I recommend getting the 855 [​IMG]
     
  8. DanaA

    DanaA Screenwriter

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    Thanks for all the feedback. I've been looking to buy. I'm now considering the 1205A as well Greg. I've also got wife and oldest daughter preapproval, so it looks like a go.
     
  9. Greg Haynes

    Greg Haynes Supporting Actor

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    If your considering the 1205A keep a close eye over at Ubid since their an authorized Parasound dealer. You'll get the 10yr warranty. Another site you can check out is www.audigon.com. I see alot of 1205A's pop up there. The only thing is that is mostly used amps, so if you want new I recommend staying at Ubid. Anywhere else it's just too expensive. Good Luck [​IMG]
     
  10. DanaA

    DanaA Screenwriter

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    Just placed my bid for the 1205A over at Ubid. I've scoured the internet. There was no price remotely close that I could find. The 850 probably would provide more than ample power, especially with my Klipsch Reference speakers and given the fact that this is for my bedroom, but I want to be prepared for anything down the line as much as possible. Now, the neighbors can really complain, cause I do like to turn it up a couple of notches. Now, I'm going to keep me eyes open for a dedicated preamp, perhaps even a tube.

    You guys can't believe how excited I am. This is probably the best piece of audio electronics I've ever had!!!
     
  11. Steve Young

    Steve Young Stunt Coordinator

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    Can anyone tell me what the 855 would be like compared to my Carver 705x? The Carver is rated @ 125W/ch and is THX certified. One of my channels is no good so I was thinking about replacing it with another 5 ch amp, or maybe keeping it and getting either a 2 or 3 ch amp.

    Thanks
    Steve
     
  12. Greg Haynes

    Greg Haynes Supporting Actor

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    Steve,
    Dalton just posted on another topic his opinion on the Carver 705x & Parasound 855. Here is what he wrote:
    QUOTE FROM DALTON
    Greg,Phil,
    I'd be happy to give a comparison. Bare with me, I will do the best i can.
    First here is my 7.1 setup:
    Onkyo 797
    Carver A705x
    Klipsch RF3 II's(mains)
    Klipsch KLF C7 (center)
    Klipsch KSF 8.5's (side surrounds)
    Klipsch Quintets (back surrounds)
    Dual SVS 25-31's w/isd and Samson s700
    I had the 855 for about 6 months before picking up the Carver. I kept both for about 2 weeks and did some comparisons. First off, I offer nothing but praise for the 855, anyone who gets one of these for the prices they have been going for lately is getting a GREAT deal. Well worth the investment. I loved the imaging the 855 offered, i'd even go so far as to say it had the edge on the Carver slightly in that area. The 855 has plenty of power in reserve, dynamic range is excellent. Stereo sound is very good on the 855, better than you will find in most receivers. I would say it is on the warm side, not harsh or bright. My main listening consists of 80/20 HT/Music. For movies the 855 did everything you could ask of it, no complaints here. You are probably wondering by now why i even picked up the Carver.
    Well, two reasons:
    1. Was opening up my HT room and was concerned that the 855 wouldn't have enough power.
    2. Just wanted a new toy to play with!
    On to the 705. I setup the 705 to bi-amp my mains and run the center channel when i first hooked it up. The 855 ran the back speakers. I immediately noticed an improvement in details as far as movies were concerned. I swear i could hear every little sound in a movie no matter how minor or insignificant it seemed. The clarity is amazing. Also, the 705 seems to have the edge in bass also. The 8" woofs in my RF3's were pounding hard! The 855 couldn't make them hit that hard. As far as stereo listening, the Carver is very neutral. IMO, it presents the sound uncolored and does it well. It doesn't quite have the imaging the 855 has, but it is not far behind and certainly not far enough to be a concern IMO. Another thing that attracted me to the 705 is the fact that it has "power steering", the ability to deliver 200 watts of power to any 1 channel that needs it the most at a given time. The Secrets of HT and High Fidelity site has a review of the 705 in it's archives. In hind sight i feel i should have kept the 855 to use in the future when i move to a dedicated pre/pro. Now i will need to pick up at least a 2 ch. amp to use when i do get a new pre/pro. The Parasound HCA 1000A will be high on my list. I hope this reply wasn't to long winded Greg. I just wanted to
    try to give you my impressions as you requested. I hope you guys got something useful out of it.
     
  13. Steve Young

    Steve Young Stunt Coordinator

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    I wish I could buy from U-Bid, but they don't ship to Canada, otherwise I would go for a 1205 too[​IMG]
    Steve
     
  14. Greg Haynes

    Greg Haynes Supporting Actor

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  15. DanaA

    DanaA Screenwriter

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    Hi Greg,

    Yes, I won, but had to pay $40 more than you did. Congratulations!!! I didn't really care that much about the extra money. I'm dripping with excitement over getting the amp. No matter what, we both got a great deal. I just couldn't live with the lack of power of my receiver and in doing all my internet research on the Parasounds, it really makes me feel that we will be in heaven once we hook them up, which I'm still unsure of how to do given I've never had a separate amp before. We have to remember that top of the line receivers cost in excess of $3000 frequently, so what we paid was fantastic.
     
  16. Vlad D

    Vlad D Screenwriter

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    Congratulations Dana, you got an great deal. I'm jealous!

    I'm sure it's going to sound awesome, because my Parasound 855 is a killer!

     
  17. BrianDD

    BrianDD Agent

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    I just happen to have both of these amps so I'll tell you what I found. Here is my setup:

    Pioneer Elite VSX-24TX
    Panasonic RP-56 DVD
    Toshiba 57HX81 RPTV
    Parasound 855
    HK PA2000
    Klipsch RP-5,RC-3,RS-3
    Polk RT/FX (second set of side surrounds)
    Nakamichi Pro-Logic receiver(for DD EX, DTS ES Matrix) powering two small bookshelf speakers for center surround

    I originally used the Parasound to run all of my Klipsch and was amazed at the improvement over my reciever. It was not only louder but had more detail and better imaging. I was browsing Ubid and found a deal on the 2000 that I just couldn't pass up. I am now using it to run my front RP-5s (same as RB-5 except includes a powered 12 in each tower) and am happier still. For movies the Parasound is great but I found that the HK matched my Klipsch much better when it came to music. Although I may be losing at little detail, it has a smoother sound to it and is very pleasing to listen to. Especially over a long period of time. This is just my opinion. I'm sure you will be happy with 855.

    By the way, I picked up an Onkyo 797 from CC to try it out. I ended up returning it because IMO it wasn't enough of an improvement for the price. Anyway, the point is I found that the 855 was a big improvement over the internal amps so it should be for yours also.
     
  18. DanaA

    DanaA Screenwriter

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    Thanks Brian, I ended up buying the Parasound 1205A. And....Welcome to the Home Theater Forum.
     

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