New to amps; will Parasound 2003 work for me? plus general amp power questions

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Dave Lyons, May 16, 2002.

  1. Dave Lyons

    Dave Lyons Stunt Coordinator

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    I currently have Paradigm Studio 100s as my main speakers, with a Paradigm 450 as a center channel. I have JBL surrounds, and I'm driving everything with a Denon 3200.

    I'm hoping to see a huge difference by upgrading to the Parasound 2003 to drive the front 3 channels. Here are my questions (bear with a newbie, I have no experience with separates).

    1. Do you think this is a worthwhile upgrade (e.g. I'll notice a big difference), and a good amp for my setup?

    2. Does anyone know a good place to buy this and what would a fair price be? I'm thinking I may have get it at EBay or Audiogon. It looks like Parasound doesn't have a 3 channel amp in their current line ...

    3. I hope this quest ion isn't too dumb ... but can I plug this into a standard wall outlet, or do I need some sort of upgraded power outlet? Also I have a Panamax 1000 surge protector, would that be able to get involved at all?

    Thanks a lot for any help!!
     
  2. Kevin Deacon

    Kevin Deacon Second Unit

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    I have a Parasound 2003A which I use for my mains and center. I noticed a big difference when I replaced my old Kenwood Pro-Logic 100x5 receiver. The lower frequencies were more pronounced and the sound seemed more rich.

    I purchased this amp used on Ebay and probably paid too much as it was a popular auction.

    I plug my amp straight into the wall outlet along with a Parasound 2200II and have no problems except for a huge ground loop hum problem. I'm currently using cheater plugs until I can get the cable company out to supply a ground.

    This amplifier is very well built and has an abundant amount of headroom for my system. I am running DIY mains and center channel. The mains have a sensitivity of 90dB/w/m, and the nominal impedance is measured at 4 Ohms (Audax A652 kit). The center is the Audax center kit and the sensitivity is 87.5 dB at 2.83v/1m, and impedance is 7.5 ohms throughout most of the frequency range. I am able to get to reference level very easily with no amp clipping.

    Also, many people are concerned with how hot a particular amp may run, and I can tell you that the 2003A runs very cool. Compared to my 2200II, which runs very hot (I can barely keep my hand on the heat sinks), the 2003A is only warm to the touch.
     
  3. JoelM

    JoelM Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm going this route too. I just received my Para855 for my 4 surrounds, and I'm ordering a Para2003 for the front stage. I have a Denon2802, I would suggest the upgrade, it would be worthwhile. Cleaner more powerful power is always a bonus.
     
  4. Dave Lyons

    Dave Lyons Stunt Coordinator

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    Thank you both for the info!
    One other question, is the 2003 "always on" or can it be controlled by my Pronto, or does it sense when there is a signal like a sub and come on?
    Kevin, nice to hear from someone local [​IMG] I wonder if I would have the hum issue as well? My house was just built 2 years ago, so I'd hope everything is already properly grounded, but who knows ...
    Joel, can I ask where you are ordering your 2003 from?
     
  5. JoelM

    JoelM Stunt Coordinator

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    Well order was the wrong term. Ebay is more like it. I think there's one up as I type, there is one on audiogon too. You will love the output of this beast. I'm just waiting for my Diva package to really take advantage of it.
     
  6. Frank Carter

    Frank Carter Screenwriter

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    Don't know how much the Parasound you're looking at costs but I just picked up two Parasound HCA-855a'a for a little under $800 shipped at www.ubid.com. You could bi-amp your mains and center, power your surrounds and have 2 channels left over. Ubid is also an authorized dealer.
    I already have one of the HCA-855's and I saw a world of difference going from my Yamaha receiver's amp(RX-V995). I just love how dynamic my HT and music is now. I was scared at first but because of the 85 watt power rating, but it blew my Yamaha away. If you get two and bi-amp, well you can do the math. I highly recommend the upgrade!
     
  7. Steve Morgan

    Steve Morgan Second Unit

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    I used the 2003a to drive Studio 100's and a CC450. The 2205a drove the ADP450's and the Active 20's had their own amps.These amps were the best I found to mate with the Paradigms in that price range. I tried the Citation 7.1 and a few Carver amps plus Receivers, DSP-A1 and the RV-X1(?)The Parasounds are now driving Von Schweikert Audio speakers all around with great results!The 2003a will more than drive the 100's!

    Cheers,

    Steve M.
     
  8. Kevin Deacon

    Kevin Deacon Second Unit

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    Dave, you asked "One other question, is the 2003 "always on" or can it be controlled by my Pronto, or does it sense when there is a signal like a sub and come on?"

    The 2003A can be always on if you want to leave the power switch on, but I wouldn't recommed this since it uses power while not in use. It won't come on when sensing a signal like some subs do.

    The 2003A does have a 12 volt connection to power up when it is triggered. I tried to use a universal adapter plugged into the back of my pre/pro, so when the pre/pro was turned on it would power on the amp. Well, my pre/pro only has unswitched outlets so the amp won't trigger correctly. The trigger connection on the amp does work though.

    I kind of enjoy hearing the powerful click/thump when the switch is toggled while manually turning this amp on and off.

    Dave, I don't know if you are aware but there is a 2003 and a 2003A model. The 2003A model is newer and I believe the face plates are different. My 2003A has a little clear window which shows the state of the amp kind of similar to the 2205 5 channel amp.
     
  9. Dave Lyons

    Dave Lyons Stunt Coordinator

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    I guess the thump isn't all that dramatic or you would probably be concerned about your speakers [​IMG] The 12 volt connection sounds good, hopefully I'd be able to do something with that.
    Thanks for pointing out the 2003/2003A scenario. There are currently 2 Ebay auctions for the 2003, and none for the 2003A -- and there is nothing on UBid for this model either [​IMG]
    Does anyone have a suggestion as to where I might find one of these beasts?
     

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