Parasound HCA 855A opinions

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Eduardo Martinez, Dec 5, 2001.

  1. Eduardo Martinez

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    I am looking for a way to improve the sound of my system. I have a Denon AVR 3300 receiver and Paradigm speakers (Mini Monitor, CC-350 and Atom). Also I have a SVS 25-31CS. Will I hear a difference (improvement) if I use it as a pre-pro and add Parasound HCA 855A? The Denon is rated at 105 wpc and the Parasound at 85 wpc. Anyone has this combination?

    Thanks,

    Eduardo
     
  2. Eduardo Martinez

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    Come on , guys! I know that you can help me.

    Eduardo
     
  3. Zbigniew

    Zbigniew Stunt Coordinator

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    Eduardo,

    I have Denon-3300. I was using it by itself and with bigger brother of Parasound 855 - with 1500A, rated at 207 per channel/ Speakers in my case were Monitor 9, trying to fill a huge space.

    IMHO, you won't get as much from this upgrade as you would like. Minis are nice, fast and small speakers - and since you do have a very good sub, most likely you are running speakers as small. Then your Denon is not straining - it is happily churming along.

    If you want to hear the difference, put your money away, and either look at Studio 20/40 + matching speakers; then you will need external amps for it - or look into room treatment, and tuning together whole setup. This will give you more fun and improvement than Parasound.

    BTW - I do have a Parasound, and consider picking a used 2205 just to have it handy if I will start moving things around. They made great amps - but your Denon is very good, and in your setup I would suspect that after you take care of room, positioning, equalization, upgrading speakers would be best.

    Enjoy,

    _zjt
     
  4. Eduardo Martinez

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    Zbigniew:

    Thanks for your response. Now I agree with you. Better speakers can produce better sound in this particular case than better amplification.

    Anyone has another point of view?

    Eduardo
     
  5. RobertW

    RobertW Supporting Actor

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    i too, am using a parasound 1500a with my paradigm studio 20 speakers and denon 3300 as pre-pro. that's all i have at the moment, as i will be adding to the system in the future.

    while denon and parasound sound sonically alike, warmer and smooth, i found that adding the amp allowed the sound to open up, breathe, greater separation between voices, and instruments, and a cleaner, more detailed sound throughout. now, how much of this was a result of the extra power reserves of the 1500, or just the quality of the amp in general, i can't say.

    the 1500 is built a bit better than the 855, being a john curl design, and using his blend of jfets and mosfets. the 855, while adhering to the same basic design, does take a few shortcuts in parts used. but i've heard an 855, and i believe it sounds pretty close to the higher end parasound stuff.

    i'd say take a shot with it. or, if you're a music first guy, try the hca 1000a, or if you can find one, a 1500, to use in stereo, and let the denon power the rest. i think you'll see enough of an improvement in clarity alone to be pleased. although upgrading to the reference studio line of speakers is also a great way to go. AND THEN go for the big power amp.

    parasound and paradigms work really well together.
     

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