I like simple. The Parasound Zphono XRM provides ample gain for both moving-magnet and moving-coil cartridges, as you can see for yourself from the tabulated results. Build quality of the Parasound A 21+ is mighty impressive and handsome enough to fit into most décors. Bridged 4 Ω operation is not recommended, *All Power measurement are at 120 VAC, RMS continuous power, full audio band (20 Hz – 20 kHz), 5 Hz – 100 kHz, +0/-3 dB By What Hi-Fi? Click here for more information about Australian Hi-Fi, including links to buy individual digital editions and details on how to subscribe. Distortion, as measured by Newport Test Labs, is shown in Graph 3 for a 1kHz test signal. As for the reason for adding yet another phono preamplifier to the Parasound product portfolio, Schram says it was the result of a thought exercise. If you want the very best, go with the Parasound Integrated, the HINT. Which would you choose and why? In general, the sonic attributes of the A23+ score highly in my scorecard. There is no headroom with the amp whatsoever, but it still does 200Wpc into 4 ohms, and the monoblocks close to 500Wpc. The Parasound ZAMP v.3 is proof that a good amp from many years ago is still a good amp today. If you’ve heard of it, you probably also know that the best-known exponent of it, at least in the Western world, is Suhail Yusuf Khan, who’s been in a trio with guitarist James Yorkston and double-bass player Jon Thorne for some years. While the basic circuit design and topology stays the same, the A23+ has a beefier transformer than its predecessor (1.1 kVA vs 1.0 kVA), which translates into more powerful amplification (160 Watts vs 125 Watts into 8Ω loads, or 240 Watts vs 225 Watts into 4Ω loads). It is a one-box solution that contains both the Halo P6 preamp ($1,499) and the Halo A23+ amplifier($1,499). He wanted the XRM to offer versatility and convenience and thought that the design should be informed by viewing it through the eyes of a vinyl enthusiast rather than an engineer. Room and speakers can handle either amp. Besides those and the main power switch near the power connector, the turn-on option switch as well as DC trigger input and output can be found on the left side of the back panel. At the right are three miniature toggle switches which are for (from left to right) mono/stereo switching, rumble filter switching, and input selection (MM or MC). The Halo HINT 6, retailing for $2,995, is Parasound’s flagship integrated amplifier. While the A23+ may not be the best in every respect, it can deliver well above average in all aspects of the sonic performance. It is on kind loan from a member. What Hi-Fi? 110-125 VAC 60 Hz or 220-250 VAC 50 Hz (set on rear panel), Parasound, Power Amplifier, Stereo, Amplifier, Parasound A23+ Stereo, Power Amplifier Review 2020. Soundstage is great, my Magico S3's disappear. The new Zphono XRM phono preamp is a co-design that involved Parasound’s owner and founder, Richard Schram, and two other engineers he’s worked with for some years. the deSIgn As one would hope with high quality electronics, a cursing UPS driver delivered the Parasound pair. As for that rumble filter, it’s probably mis-named, because in 2020, We’d sincerely hope that no self-respecting audiophile would be using a turntable that produced any audible ‘rumble’. Why a rotary control rather than DIP switches, as many other phono amplifier manufacturers do? But could the Parasound Zphono XRM handle total sonic mayhem? But we’ll get to that in a moment. The HALO A23+ stereo power amplifier that is reviewed here is the updated version of the HALO A23 amplifier. Sonos Amp review Sonos returns to its roots with a just-add-speakers music system Tested at £599 / $599. It’s the best-sounding Sonos yet, but the Amp isn’t the last word in hi-fi subtlety. Thank you for signing up to What Hi-Fi?. The result for the MM input bested Parasound’s own specification of 94dB, while Newport Test Labs’ measurement for the MC input was only a single dB below Parasound’s specification of 82dB. The actual gains through the Parasound Zphono XRM didn’t quite match up with the values stated on the switch settings, but were close enough as makes zero practical difference in operation, and the minuscule differences could be due to slight differences in loading during the measurements, or to production variances. An affordable integrated amplifier-DAC with substantial power, high-quality conversion, flexible inputs and outputs, and full-function remote. While their focus was clearly on sound and build quality rather than a long list of features, they’ve nonetheless provided enough flexibility to satisfy a variety of users. 20 Hz – 20 kHz, +0/-0.25 dB, < 0.06 % at full power This indicates that the A23 amplifier was well designed and stayed relevant for so long in the audio world, which is impressive! One or both indicator lights will not light up if there is fault in the system. Parasound at Rocky Mountain AudioFest 2017 - Stereophile review by Herb Reichert. (Remember, however, that your tonearm/turntable leads will also affect the so-called ‘best’ setting of this control. Simple is good. So, when the opportunity to review a Parasound product was presented to me, I immediately accepted it as I was quite interested to check out whether the company’s tradition of offering high quality and high value products continues. You can see a big indent of the company name on the top cover of the unit. He was a member of the SECRETS Team in the early years, before moving to Singapore for a number of years. You can see that if there is any second harmonic distortion, it’s buried down in the noise floor at -100dB (0.001% THD), and the same goes for any third harmonic component (-110dB/0.0003%) or fourth (-115dB/0.0001%). However the switch can be used when you play stereo LPs because although the sound will end up mono, it can help reduce surface noise and, weirdly enough, eliminate the weird ‘phasing’ effects that can sometimes occur when you’re playing well-worn LPs. 240 watts x 2, 4 Ω both channels driven, 210 watts x 2, 8 Ω both channels driven It runs quite warm when it is running, so it will come up to a stable operating temperature almost immediately after you switch it on. The component under review, the $2000 Halo A 21 stereo amp, is slotted in further down the Parasound line. The built-in power supply is pretty good, too, with a shielded power transformer, a high-quality bridge diode and filter capacitors. During the review, I got the sense that the Parasound A23+ was always in control of the music played through it. Overall, the A23+ amplifier brings a lot of value to the table that easily justifies its $1595 price tag. How Much Amplifier Power Does your Home Theater Need? I think one should be able to make adjustments “on the fly” without turning off the phono preamp. The Zphono XRM provides both unbalanced (via gold-plated RCA sockets) and balanced (via gold-plated XLRs) outputs. There wasn’t too much difference though, so we agonised throughout the review, and ended up switching back and forth quite often and, with some LPs, actually preferred the 60dB setting. Halo is our premier line with a reputation for going head-to-head with the most expensive equipment on the market, while costing a fraction of the price. The overall tonal balance of the A23+ was particularly good with no obvious emphasis on certain frequency ranges. The front appearance of the A23+ amplifier has some familiarity with the A23, albeit with some minor differences. But of all the songs on Everything Sacred, it’s probably Sufi Song that we like the best. The A23+ is the recent iteration of the highly popular A23 amplifier, which had been a continuous presence in the company’s line for about 17 years. During the review, I got the sense that the Parasound A23+ was always in control of the music played through it. Amazing performances by all concerned. Then, later on, those hand-claps sounded so real via the Zphono XRM. The amp is very solid, hefty 27 pounds and is built like a tank. The ‘best’ turntable is fitted with an Ortofon Cadenza Blue moving-coil cartridge (which does not have a removable stylus) while the ‘second-best’ is fitted with a middling-quality Audio-Technica moving-magnet cartridge (which does). Parasound does not seek THX certification for the A23+, which is not a big deal and not something that I would care about when shopping for an audio amplifier. Going around to that busy back panel, we find completely separate moving-coil (MC) and moving-magnet inputs, both with gold-plated RCA input sockets. Two small indicator lights in the lower middle of the faceplate will also illuminate blue when the amplifier is in normal operation. Parasound 2125v2 150 Watt Stereo Power Amplifier The Parasound 2125v2 is a two-channel THX Ultra2 Certified power amplifier. Listen to Knochentanz and you’ll hear first the sangari, but after some time (OK, after long time… it’s a long track) Khan himself starts singing and the effect, which is totally eerie, was delivered astoundingly well by the Parasound. If Ortofon had been specific and recommended a load impedance of, say, 63Ω, anyone whose phono pre-amp did not offer this exact value might seriously consider not buying the cartridge. Since the Zphono XRM allowed us to select any impedance across the range recommended by Ortofon (or any impedance up to 1050Ω if we so chose), what setting would be best? Parasound’s expertise gained from years of building much-admired amps and preamps shows here. Starke Sound claims that the AD4.320 combines the high efficiency of Class D circuitry with the warmer and more accurate sound of Class AB designs. At high frequencies, you can see the response of the Zphono XRM rises to be +0.5dB at 13kHz, then +0.65dB at 20kHz and +0.75dB at 30kHz. – A.D. 1611 (2007) album. If the audio signal ceases, the amplifier will remain on for 10 minutes before turning itself off automatically. This amplifier should be on the audition list for someone who is in the market for sub $2000 stereo amplifier. 6: November 2020, Starke Sound AD4.320 Power Amplifier Review, Parasound JC 1+ Monoblock Power Amplifier Product Review, Legacy Powerbloc2 Stereo Amplifier Review, Audio Research VT80SE Tube Power Amplifier Review, Anthem STR Preamplifier and Power Amplifier Review, Emotiva PA-1 Balanced Class-D Power Amplifier Review, Black Ice Fusion F11 Vacuum Tube Integrated Amplifier PREVIEW, JBL Synthesis Expands Award-winning SCL Loudspeaker Range With Four New Advanced Architectural Models, JBL Synthesis Caps Major Product Expansion by Introducing Flagship SCL-1 Loudspeaker and SSW-1 Subwoofer, Still Blown Away After All These Years: JBL Launches 75, The MediaLight Flex Mk2 6500K LED Bias Lighting System, G.E.M. The product in this review, the A23+ stereo power amplifier, is the smallest (both in size and Watts) amplifier from the current Parasound HALO line of products. Highly recommended. To re-state the obvious, both these are outstanding results for a phono preamplifier. Parasound Halo, ZoneMaster, Z Custom, and NewClassic are four distinct product families. Both single-ended and balanced inputs are provided together with toggles to select which inputs are being used. The Halo Integrated 2.1 combines a preamplifier with a power amp, phono preamp, DAC, and built-in adjustable crossover to make a device that can handle any current-format … Parasound’s Zphono XRM is physically quite small, at 260mm deep, 218mm wide and 50mm high, yet it has a power supply built in, rather than being powered externally. Sign up below to get the latest from What Hi-Fi?, plus exclusive special offers, direct to your inbox! We guess Schram’s approach has merit if you’re one of those audiophiles who constantly swaps phono cartridges in and out, but even if you are, it’s still only around 5 minutes out of your life each time you swap, which is hardly the end of the world. Gone also from the front panel of the A23+ is the THX certification stamp. AmplifierFeaturedParasoundParasound A23+ Stereopower amplifierPower Amplifier Review 2020Stereo. As you can see from the photograph of it, the Zphono XRM has a push-button power switch with a green LED alongside it at the left of the front panel. The front panel of the A23+ sports an on-off button with illumination surrounding it. (By the way, DO NOT attempt to measure the d.c. resistance of any phono cartridge with any type of multimeter… you will destroy the cartridge.). The success that Parasound has achieved since it was founded in 1981 is driven by the customers’ appreciation of the value of its products. Midrange presentation sounded natural and honest as exemplified by Melissa Manchester’s vocal in the track Claudia from her album You Gotta Love the Life (2015). They are both available in black and silver finishes, but the A23+ has gold-liner on the faceplate, which in my opinion, adds to the elegant look of the product. We suspect that Ortofon is being deliberately vague so that audiophiles whose phono preamps have either a fixed load impedance – or only a limited range of load impedances to apply – will have at least one setting that falls within this range. It is this continued passion for audio that has brought him once again to the SECRETS team. No problems, the Parasound Zphono XRM can provide this. The gain of the moving-coil input can be switched between 50 and 60dB, and that of the moving-magnet input between 40 and 50dB, both via miniature toggle switches. HALO is Parasound’s premier line that is intended to represent the company’s highest standard for sound and style. 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