debating...Should I buy this amp and preamp...need input please

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by Kevin_Breeze, Aug 12, 2004.

  1. Kevin_Breeze

    Kevin_Breeze Second Unit

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    Parasound HCA-1500A Amp (retails $1k) & pl/d 1100 preamp (retails $850) Both items were purchased new in March of 2001 from an authorized Parasound dealer and include original double boxes and manuals.

    Also included is:

    -1-meter Transparent Audio interconnect to connect the amp and pre-amp (cost $80)

    -2 sets of vibrapods (cost $48)

    Price for all is $625 not including shipping.

    Now, I think this is a good deal as this stuff is only 3 years old with an oiriginal retail of about $2k Also, I have seen many pictures of evrething which he emailed me and everything looks new. I also definitely trust the guy as he is very thorough and professional.

    Now here is my big concern - my big concern is that Parasounds warranties are not transferable which is a shame being these units have 7 years left in the warranty. Would I be better off getting something with a warranty or do you guys think its a great deal and I should go for it?

    I'd like to get back to the guy asap as I have first dibs at this point, i just don't want to make a mistake
     
  2. Dan Driscoll

    Dan Driscoll Supporting Actor

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    Is this the gear he's selling?

    The HCA-1500A is a very nice stereo amp, even at the retail price. I've never heard the preamp and don't know anyone who has one, so I can't comment on it. Assuming everything loooks OK, I'd say it is a pretty good deal.

    My major concern would be that the seller has no feedback. In itself that isn't a bad thing, everyone starts with zero feedback on Audiogon. But you might want to consider using an escrow service. You can ask if he will split the cost, but expect to pay it all yourself, since you are the one asking.
     
  3. Kevin_Breeze

    Kevin_Breeze Second Unit

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    Yeah thats it. I took in consideration the fact that he has no feedback yet but so far he has been about as solid as you can be over email. he also gave me his phone number and emailed me about 10 pictures of the units from all angles...

    Right now, I am trying to find out if he has the receipt...
     
  4. George Caronan

    George Caronan Stunt Coordinator

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    Kevin,

    I previously owned the Parasound HCA-1500A. They are excellent amps. At $625 for everything is a great deal. Good luck.
     
  5. Kevin_Breeze

    Kevin_Breeze Second Unit

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    Thanks for the input George,

    He just got back to me and he said he will include a copy of the reciept b/c he needs the original b/c other things are on it. Can I use a receipt copy or would I need the original for warranty service?

    PS- any more input on the deal is appreciated. To me it seems like a great deal, but I have only been shopping for about a week, and I don't know if there are a lot better deals that go on at Audiogon.. ( i don't have much dough so I try and stretch it as far as I can)
     
  6. Dan J S

    Dan J S Agent

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    Have you considered any integrated amps? There are plenty in the $600 range that would be worth considering (Creek, Audio Refinement, Arcam). Or maybe even one of the digital amps like the Panasonic one? The separate Parasound amp especially would be useful down the road if you plan on expanding into HT, but I can't help but feel the preamp will be the first to go if you do any upgrading. Also I wouldn't be too much in a rush to buy anything, there's always other options that will come up. Some of my best stereo decisions have been made by letting a certain piece go that I wasn't sure about.
     
  7. Dan Driscoll

    Dan Driscoll Supporting Actor

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    I don't think the Parasound warranty is transferable and my understanding is that they are fairly strict about it. So if there is a name on the sales receipt or some other way of idenitfying the original purchaser, it will be useless to you.

    From the Parasound warranty text:

    This warranty, and all rights provided hereunder, are limited to the original owner. In the event that the original owner transfers ownership of the Product prior to expiration of the applicable term stated in "Scope of Duration" above, this Warranty shall terminate in its entirety upon the date of such transfer.
     
  8. Kevin_Breeze

    Kevin_Breeze Second Unit

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    Dan J S,

    I would prefer not to get integrated b/c I would need to upgrade the whole thing. The beauty of an amp like this is you can keep it with you for 10,15,20 years as you upgrade for new formats. But I had the same thoughts that I don't know how long the preamp will stay with me. but I heard from several people that I won't benefit too much from the new amp if I am still running it through my receiver.

    But I just saw this same preamp sell on Audiogon for $275, so I figure if I wanted, I could turn around and sell it for about $250 which means I get 3 year old amp 1500A for only $375, plus it includes $150 in extras....

    With all that said, I would still definitely be enticed by a quality integrated at the same price point if it included at least DD & DTS, if it were the same level of quality of the Parasound it would be a no brainer, but it seems most people think seperates usually have better Sound quality...

    Dan Driscoll,
    I'd be very surprised if it had his name on it. ANyone else have any input on that?
     
  9. George Caronan

    George Caronan Stunt Coordinator

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    Kevin,

    The 1500A for only $375 is a steal. It usually sells for $600 to $700. When you install it, make sure you have 6" to 8" of clearance above it as it has a tendency to get more than warm. Not overly hot to the touch, but it is not on the warm side either. Its power cord usually is a three prong variety with a ground plug. If it hums in use, get a two prong cheater plug at any hardware store or Radio Shack. I ran two of them to bi-amp my mains with a 1206 for the rest at 135 watts per channel. I loved the Parasounds but I had to off them since I needed to have equal power to my surrounds and center thus the Sunfire Cinema Grands. Amps can stay with you for the longest time unlike separates or receivers. In the future, you can get a nice two channel pre-amp to upgrade if you so desire. An Anthem TLP-1 or a Sunfire Reference Preamp come to mind. Hope all goes smoothly for you.
     
  10. BruceD

    BruceD Screenwriter

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    As I said in another post, I've owned the 1100D preamp and a 1205a 5-channel amp (not quite as powerful as the 2-channel 1500 amp) for the last 5 years.

    I bought the 1100D preamp used ($450), and the 1205a was a floor demo. I find the 1100D to have a silky smooth remote volume control and it seems to be of very high-quality. I like it's 12-volt trigger capability for amps, dual-mono design, and alps volume control.

    Your deal sounds quite reasonable. It could always be used for a music system in another room if you decide to change your HT gear later on.

    By the way, after looking at the ad, support for SACD and DVD-A needs to be qualified. The only SACD and DVD-A formats the 1100D preamp will support is the analog 2-channel output from a SACD or DVD-A player. Both formats and some players are capable of multichannel music (more than 2 channels) which won't be supported by the 1100D preamp.
     
  11. Kevin_Breeze

    Kevin_Breeze Second Unit

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    Bruce, thanks again, but i could care less about things liek the remote [​IMG]

    honestly, I am all about the sound. I LOVE music and it brings me great joy to hear it accurately reproduced. Words can't even desribe.. and I have been like this since a VERY young age, its a wonder I never got into playing instruments....too busy with sports I guess. Anyhow, how would you rate the sound quality of the two units together and do you have a lot to compare it too? Thanks,
    kevin

    PS- as fair as the deal, I wouldnt do it even it was only "reasonable" -my budget doesn't allow me to afford reasonable, I need awesome deal! lol. Seriously, I don't just want people to say yeah great deal to make me feel good about it, if any of you feel I can do much better please let me know...
     
  12. BruceD

    BruceD Screenwriter

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    Kevin,
    Music is my number one priority! 90%/10% music/HT.
    It is why I spent most of my money on main speakers.

    The Parasound preamp was the best sounding of those I auditoned that were not in the $1000+ range when I auditoned it (5 years ago). I bought the amp at the dealer and picked up the preamp used.

    I still have them, haven't changed, haven't wanted to, i.e. I'm extremely happy with the sound quality. Very good choices for me and no problems.
     
  13. Kevin_Breeze

    Kevin_Breeze Second Unit

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    so you still think its only a fair deal?
     
  14. BruceD

    BruceD Screenwriter

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    Look,

    Here's the deal. I paid $350 or $450 (can't remember) for the 1100D preamp by itself and thought it was a good deal (5 years ago).

    If I was in the market, that price for both would do it for me no problem. I'm not so sure you can do any better.
     
  15. James W. Johnson

    James W. Johnson Screenwriter

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    Kevin, it sounds to me like you are concerned about the warranty.

    If you plan on keeping the amp for 5+ years then just buy a new one, you'll sleep better at night knowing your amp is covered for 10 years.

    Audio Advisor will get more B stock units in at some point.
     
  16. James W. Johnson

    James W. Johnson Screenwriter

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    There is an HCA-2200 on Audiogon now for $550 , 8/10 condition..this is a good deal! Hurry up because it wont last long.
     
  17. Kevin_Breeze

    Kevin_Breeze Second Unit

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    James, I emailed you this regarding that 2200 but I will post it here as well in case anyone else has some feedback...

    thats just a regular 2 channel amp like the HCA-1500A, The 2200 is 220 wpc
    and the 1500A is 205 wpc. The difference is that 2200 is a very old model
    (pre-1995) and when i checked it out I found out the early model 2200's had
    some problems and got a poor review in stereophile magazine. than they cam
    out with the 2200II, which fixed the problems. This 1500A I am looking at is
    the newer "A" series which are even better, plus it was bought new in 2001
    which is very young for an amp, plus it includes the $850 preamp, an $80
    interconnect and $50 worth of vibrapods, so I'd have to think they one I am
    looking at is a much better deal. Now if you find me a 2205A for $550 than I
    am jumpin all over it!, lol. Seriosuly though I very much appreciate you
    trying to help,I am just explaining why i don't think its that great of a
    deal...
     
  18. James W. Johnson

    James W. Johnson Screenwriter

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    The 2200 uses 2 2100va transformers verses the 1500 single 1000va. Quite a difference. 60lbs for a 2 channel amp is quite abit!

    I dont know if these older models had issues or not but they Audiogon seller has some excellent feedback and rates it 8/10 on Audiogon's rating system.
    Condition os more important than age , amps can last forever if taken care of.

    Furthermore Parasound will service it, so you do have a means of getting it repaired.

    Offer the guy $450 shipped and see if he shoots back with a $500 shipped or something like that.

    Someone else here may know more about the older 2200....I know I have a 2003 and not the newer 2003A and it exactly the same amp except for a 12V trigger and a different looking face plate.
     
  19. Kevin_Breeze

    Kevin_Breeze Second Unit

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    He says it has upgraded power capacitors?
     
  20. Kevin_Breeze

    Kevin_Breeze Second Unit

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    This is taken from a review of the HCA-2200II which I found online and they talk about it in comparison to the original 2200...

    "When Robert Harley reviewed the original Parasound HCA-2200 (Vol.15 No.4, p.203), his usual disgustingly thorough review had a somewhat Damon Runyonesque edge to it. To paraphrase RH, the HCA-2200 had prodigious bass, but was a wee bit on the fat side - reminiscent of an underdamped loudspeaker." Pitch articulations "weren't up to the standards set by other solid-state units" he'd auditioned at that time. Mids had "a slight grain overlaying the midrange textures," and voices in particular "had an edge not heard through the VTLs, McCormack DNA-I, and Boulder 500AE." He found the treble to be "a bit more hard than the McCormack, with a trace of grain." Soundstaging was "flat and congested." The portrayal of acoustic space was "smaller and narrower than the VTLs or the [McCormack] DNA-1." On the positive side, he found that the HCA-2200 had "a sense of unlimited power and effortlessness." RH wrote that he never really warmed up to the HCA-2200's sound: "The amplifier didn't involve me in the music, especially in comparison to the McCormack DNA-1"

    RH's wasn't exactly the sort of review that would make another reviewer want to rush out and listen to the Parasound HCA-2200 - unless he had a few stiff drinks under his belt. But instead of letting it get the better of him, Richard Schram, president of Parasound, checked in with John Curl, the HCA-2200's designer to see what could be done to improve it.

    The result was the HCA-2200". According to Parasound's ads, the HCA-2200" was improved in 30 different ways - sort of like Wonder Bread squared."
     

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