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Parasound HCA-1205A vs 855A

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by Daniel Mai, Mar 27, 2004.

  1. Daniel Mai

    Daniel Mai Stunt Coordinator

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    I wanted to get one of these amp to use in my bedroom system. I was wondering if there are any differences between the two other than the output wattage. Thanks!
     
  2. Ricky T

    Ricky T Supporting Actor

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    Daniel,

    I think you are right: these two designs are similiar, and the only difference is output.

    btw, I will be selling my Parasound 806 80x6 very soon.
     
  3. Daniel Mai

    Daniel Mai Stunt Coordinator

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    How does the 806 compare (sonically) to some of the other Parasound amps you've had in your system?
     
  4. Ricky T

    Ricky T Supporting Actor

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    Parasound/Halo amps rated at 220 wpc or higher are better than the others. The big 2200II and 3500 are the best classic Parasound amps....IMO, only behind the Halo JC1 monos and the A21 (replacement of 2200II).

    The 806 should sound close to the 1205A 125x5, 800II 100x2, and 1500A 205x2. If you use the 50lb 806 as a 5 channel amp, it should do ~ 100x5.
     
  5. BruceD

    BruceD Screenwriter

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    Ricky,

    Not a big deal, but I think the 1205A is 140x5 @8 Ohms.
     
  6. Daneel

    Daneel Stunt Coordinator

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    Yes it is, I just bought one. I do feel that there can be big differences between the amps in the Parasound range. I home demoed the A23 and found it to have very clear highs with a touch of brightness but became sharp very quickly. It wasn't the characteristic smooth Parasound sound [​IMG]

    The 1205A is much more in line with what I was expecting. It's not as impressive as the A23, there is less detail, but it makes you want to turn the volume up rather than down. I'm very pleased with the amp, until I get the Money together for a Bryston 4B or similar [​IMG] Speakers are next in line though!
     
  7. Bill Polley

    Bill Polley Second Unit

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    Parasound has told me that the way they build their amps, running an 806 using only 5 channels will NOT produce more WPC. Its power supply puts out ample current to fully keep each channel at its max. My 855 will put out about 93 watts per channel with all channels driven...no matter if it is powering a stereo pair or 5 channels. The reason many receivers will be better in stereo is because their power supply is not capable of supplying full power to every channel all at once. In such an instance, yes, the receiver will deliver more watts into each of 4 channels than it will into 5 channels fully driven.
     
  8. Ricky T

    Ricky T Supporting Actor

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    Bill,

    That S&V review that tested the 855 at 93x5, did it have tested power with just one or two channels driven?

    Also, more wattage with open channels is common to many power amps, not just receivers. Some power amp brands "steer" less than others (HK & Parasound come to mind).
     
  9. Bill Polley

    Bill Polley Second Unit

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    Not an S&V review of the 855. All channels driven into 8 ohm loads MY 855 puts out about 93 watts. It puts out between 135 and 140 watts into each channel with a 4 ohm load - all channels driven at once. Dynamic short term output is about 2db higher before clipping begins. I had it tested in front of me on a test bench at an authorized dealer.
     
  10. MichaelOD

    MichaelOD Stunt Coordinator

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    when you say steer rickyt, what do you mean?

    i have an hk pa5800 [5 channel amp], that i run into 3 channels [6ohm]. i'm assuming based on what you mentioned earlier is that whatever the power output is on each channel; thats what it is regardless of whether you are only using 2 or all 5?

    does that make sense?
     
  11. Bill Polley

    Bill Polley Second Unit

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    I have never seen an amp that could "steer" its output. If an amp puts out more power into fewer channels than it does into all channels, it is because of one of two reasons. Either A:channels are being mechanically and electrically bridged into a single channel, or B:the power supply is not capable of supplying full power to all channels at once. When the power supply is cheapened to cut costs, a 100X5 rated amp will be able to send 100 watts to any given channel, or maybe to 3 or even 4 channels, but not to all 5 at once. It can get away with the rating simply by NOT stating "all channels driven".
     
  12. CurtisC

    CurtisC Second Unit

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    I had a Carver amp w/power steering,very effective,an 80x5 could send up to 130 watts to any ch that required it in HT.
     
  13. Ricky T

    Ricky T Supporting Actor

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    Bill,

    When your authorized dealer did this test with 5 channels driven, did he also test with just 1 or 2 channels driven?

    I believe one of the magazines also tested a Parasound 855 at 93x5 (or 92x5). And the 1205A was tested at ~155x5, with ~175 watts with one channel driven.

    "Steering" is just semantics. All my comments on more power with open channels has nothing to do with "specs" or "cheapening". I am talking about test results with a certain number of channels driven. When a multi-channel amp has one power transformer, the lesser amount of channels driven will result in more watts per channel. Show me a lab test of a multichannel amp that contradicts this. In other words, show me an amp that clips at 100x5, then also clips at exactly 100x1.
     
  14. Bill Polley

    Bill Polley Second Unit

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    My 855 did not put out appreciably more power into 1 channel...it wasn't written down but it was only a few watts. In the case of my 855, the power supply was ample to drive all channels at once, but the power was limited by the rest of the components in each individual channel's path.

    After the testing was done (I asked them to perform the tests after my brand new amp had a blown channel...it was a floor demo) I called Parasound direct, and their customer service guy basically told me the same thing.
     
  15. MichaelOD

    MichaelOD Stunt Coordinator

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    ok...i see what you mean by steer. i had assumed that with one power transformer, if all channels were not being driven @ the same time,then what ever channels were hooked up [to the power amp] would have the gains inherent to the lack of channels being used.
     

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