What about Parasound?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by John Dolby, Jan 14, 2002.

  1. John Dolby

    John Dolby Auditioning

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    HI All
    I'am new to this forum, but have been an enthusiast all my life. I am thinking about upgrading my home theatre to seperates and ran across http://www.parasound.com as an option.
    Anyone heard of have any experience with the AVC-2500u pre and HCA2205a amp? and the CSE 6.1 surround processor?
    Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.
    THanks
    John
     
  2. BruceD

    BruceD Screenwriter

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    John,

    I can recommend Parasound equipment very highly. I own their stereo preamp, a 5 channel amp, and a CD player. High quality and reliable, as well as a great warranty. They have a great reputation around this forum.

    I can't comment on their pre-pros though, as I don't own one, but I would expect the same quality.

    Boy that last name sure must be an Albatross around your HT neck!
     
  3. Jim_C

    Jim_C Cinematographer

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    I haven't listened to Parasound but as the previous post says, they're pretty popular around here. If you have a chance you should demo one to see if Parasound's sonic signature meets with your tastes.
     
  4. Jay H

    Jay H Producer

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    I have a Parasound preamp/processor (an old PSP-1500/PDD 1500 combo) and it's nice and rather than rehash what I said in an earlier thread, look for my response on it at this thread.
    I'm not sure if the 2500 has auto-input detection (PCM vrs Bitsream) on it's digital input but if it does and you plan on using them for a CD player, I'd look into it. I contacted Parasound on if they could change their software to a manual switch, but that really didn't have a snowball's chance in hell of being done... so I eventually upgraded my CD player and that was that...
    Jay
     
  5. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

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    I have looked at Parasound too.
    Just info, but I was surprised that the scores on the AVC-2500u on www.audioreview.com weren't higher compared to the Marantz AV9000 and B&K Ref 30...
    Be interesting to see what their next iteration is. I always liked the auto speaker level *and* distance thing they do with an included mike.
     
  6. John Dolby

    John Dolby Auditioning

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    Thanks Guys for the Push!

    Just got home with the 2500u & 2205. Kids have taken over the HT right now, so unless I start a riot, I'll have to wait for their bedtime to hook everything up.

    Jay - auto-input detection (PCM vrs Bitsream) on 8 digital inputs.

    Kevin - the 2500 didn't have bass management, that probably is the result over at audioreview.com. The 2500u is the upgrade that adds it w/ some other improvements.

    (my dealer told me this today)

    Hey Bruce- "Boy that last name sure must be an Albatross around your HT neck!"

    Yeah, all the time, and yes Ray is a distant cousin.

    Never met the man.

    Well guys got to eat and read the manual.

    LATER

    John
     
  7. John Dolby

    John Dolby Auditioning

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    HI all
    Well it's all hooked up and sounds fantastic. Blows away my Sony de975. I haven't tweeked yet, too busy listening to the SOUND. Watched Pearl Harbor again and WOW. The wife and the kids love it. (except TURN IT DOWN! during the explosin scenes.) I smile reaching for the remote.
    I have more questions.
    The Parasound Center Surround Processor (for THX EX and dts ES matrix processing)
    - CSE 6.1.
    Does anyone have this?
    Is this true 7.1 surround prosessor?
    http://www.parasound.com/products/preamps/cse61.html
    Dealer didn't have one.
    Should I get this or wait for the next best thing?
    Thanks
    John
     
  8. Vinny Petronio

    Vinny Petronio Stunt Coordinator

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    I own both the 2500u with the 1205a and have been very pleased with this combo both with music and movies you will get a lot of pleasure from this system I am getting ready to up grade to the 2205a and 6.1 soon. I added the board for 5.1 analog for dvd-a and it is awsome my speakers are cdm7nt's front and rear with the matching center and the velodyne fsx12 wait to you calibrate this system it will totaly blow you away with its sound stage on music I feel it is one of the best.You will also love their bass management it will take a little getting used to programing this preamp when it comes to putting things in memory but you will get the hang of it Read the manual!!![​IMG]
     
  9. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

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    John- The Parasound CSE 6.1 *adds* (THX) DD EX/DTS-ES matrix decoding to what you already have. More or less just a Dolby Pro Logic decoder (using Circle Surround instead of true DPL) to extract the rear center channel from the 2 L + R surrounds.

    You might try a search on it on this forum, and also "DIY", "homebrew", etc. for adding 6.1 capability to a 5.1 system. Not much different from what I and others have done in terms of adding an external DPL processor or receiver to get 6.1 capability.

    Be careful of pricing though. The Parasound unit is not cheap, but there is a box from Smart Home Theater Systems (the CS-3X Jr or something) that does exactly the same thing and is cheaper.

    Not true 7.1 decoding by the way. As far as I know, that is reserved *only* for the brand new THX Ultra2 boxes.

    (Although a lot of people like Logic 7 too.)
     
  10. John Dolby

    John Dolby Auditioning

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    Kevin

    "Smart Home Theater Systems (the CS-3X Jr or something) that does exactly the same thing and is cheaper."

    What's the URL? Could't find on Google.

    Parasound says on their site that 6.1 & 7.1 is the same,

    and that circle surround is their version of this.

    Since I have no DVD's that are encoded in 6.1 0r 7.1 I don't

    know if this is a smart purchase yet. Emulation is Ok, but I think I would prefer 7 discrete channels.

    I guess more research is applicable here on my part.

    Or wait for a true 7.1 upgrade solution without ditching all my new gear that sounds so perfect.

    Sorry for the rant.

    (PS: found a used CSE 6.1 for $200)

    John
     
  11. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

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    John- Here it is:
    http://www.smartdev.com/cs3xjr.html
    $200 for a CSE 6.1 is a pretty good price! (Might want to ask why they're getting rid of it.)
    I am *fairly* sure that Smart actually makes the innerds for the Parasound unit.
     
  12. Taya

    Taya Extra

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    I now have the 2205 amp so I can comment myself as well. Id o not have it for long enough to post a review on the audioreview.com so am waiting and hopefully this amp will get 4 stars and not the 3 I am willing to give it now.

    I have a pretty descent system which is fully tweaked. Sony 9000ES pre amp together with the matching P9000 for analoge.

    B&W's CDM-9NT, 1NT and CNT sets. AQ Bedrock speakers cables bi-wire.

    As for this amp,

    Well, amny people commented on this amp for its great design, what do I care about the interanl design? anyway!. I care about the ergonomics to get my speakers cable connected and the overall sound (not to mention relaibility). This amp sounds very nice indeed, I used to have on my system the ATI1505 (I did not like the ATI2505). The ATI1505 and the Prasound shrare the same power to reserve. If the Parasound is rated 220W/Ch than the ATI is very conservative and vise aversa... AS for sounding, the Parasound is warmer amp with very nice low ends, o.k. mids and possible some lievel of harsh at the high end. (at high volumes). The ATI to compare has o.k. low ends, very good mids, and same harsh in the high end (maybe even slight more than the Parasound). The ATI has more punch!.

    For 2 channel the Prasound is a very nice amp, for HT use, I would rather have my ATI as my HGS15 complete the low end anyway.

    So overall, as for sounding, the Parasound is a very good one, price performance I think there are some better amps out there (even considering the Parasound is being sold at around $1600-1700 now). But the speakers binding posts on the back which are like poor quality and extremely challenge to work with made me very angry about it.

    A good amp design for me is the ease of hook it up, and sound performance. on the latter the Parasound is a winner but on the first, the Parasound is a darn looser.

    I just hope it is not going to break down on me.

    This comment is post 2 weeks working with the HCA-2205AT amp.

    Note also that this amp has a fairly huge depth...
     
  13. Will

    Will Guest

    I've heard Parasound will have new pre/pro's later this year that support DPL II.
     
  14. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

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    AVC-3500? (I don't know. Just guessin'!)
     
  15. Larry Chanin

    Larry Chanin Stunt Coordinator

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  16. Will

    Will Guest

    Does anyone have more info on the upcoming Parasound pre/pro's with DPL II?
     
  17. John Dolby

    John Dolby Auditioning

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    Thanks guys

    The CSE 6.1 is on it's way.

    Another ?

    Would you rather hook 2 subs to the pre or add a 2nd sub to the CSE 6.1? I have a 20-39 SVS. Thinking about getting another. 24'X 28'X 8' room.

    Larry,

    Off topic: How do you like those buttkickers?

    Do you feel that ~sub rumble through the soda?

    Thanks

    John
     
  18. Larry Chanin

    Larry Chanin Stunt Coordinator

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    John:
    I hooked a second subwoofer to my center surround decoder for two reasons:
    First, I needed to upgrade my LFE subwoofer because it wouldn't go much lower than my mains. Second, I wanted to reuse it to help out my surround speakers.
    What I was trying to achieve was a set-up in which I could hear bass panning from the front to rear and back during movie action sequences. As we know deep bass can't be localized, but movies put out a lot of bass in a variety of frequencies that can be localized. My old subwoofer wasn't doing its job as an LFE subwoofer, but placed in the rear of the room and working off the surround channels, it certainly can go lower than my surrounds.
    Your situation may be different since your SVS subwoofer is certainly more capable than my old subwoofer. However, your room is fairly large and a second LFE subwoofer might come in handy even if you don't use it a for your surround channels. You can always experiment to determine which you prefer.
    Regarding your question about the Buttkicker, if you really want infrasonic, deep bass, tactile transducers are the way to go! The Buttkicker tactile transducers' natural frequency is 9 Hz and they can go down to 5 Hz, lower than any subwoofer that I'm familiar with. As you can see from the photo they are quite large and they are hooked-up to a 2,000 watt professional amplifier so they are quite capable of moving a lot of mass. During passages of movies with aggresive bass both loveseats, with their occupants, vibrate violently. The reaction of unsuspecting guests is very entertaining. [​IMG]
    Larry
     
  19. BruceD

    BruceD Screenwriter

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    Larry,

    I expect what you are hearing for the bass pans you describe is really just bass harmonics above the frequency of the intended bass notes caused by room mode peaks and multiple subs. You can't really hear bass pans below 80Hz.

    As long as it pleases you, thats what really counts.
     
  20. Larry Chanin

    Larry Chanin Stunt Coordinator

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    Bruce:

    Thanks for the response, but I wasn't saying I could hear bass pans below 80 Hz.

     

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