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  McCormack DNA-1 compared to Parasound HCA-1500A
I know this may seem like a ridiculous comparison to some of you, but I want to understand the real differences between mid-fi and hi-fi amps (other than cost). I know the DNA-1 can drive 2 ohm loads, but aside from that, what audible differences exist? I know that specs aren't the be-all-end-all, but they're all I have to go by. I own the Parasound and I'm happy with the sound, but I plan to biamp, which begs the question whether I should upgrade. I haven't heard the DNA-1, but I've read stellar reviews about McCormack amps and it's piqued my interest. Ideally, I want my system to disappear and create a natural soundstage with a tight bottom end. I'm currently driving a pair of Dahlquist DQ-20i's. They may be the weakest link in my system, but I like their sound and I can't afford to upgrade right now. A biamp arrangement will benefit any future speaker I bring in. Associated equipment: Anthem Pre-2L, Rega Planet 2000, Rega P3, Denon DL-103, Musical Fidelity X-LPS.

Insights and suggestions are warmly welcomed.

Many thanks in advance. -Mark

Parasound HCA-1500A

- Continuous power output: 205 wpc 8 ohms; 315 wpc 4 ohms
- Current capacity: 60 amperes peak per channel
- Slew rate: > 130 V/second
- Frequency response: 5 Hz - 100 kHz, +0/-3 dB at 1 watt
- Dynamic headroom: > 1.5 dB
- Interchannel crosstalk: > 80 dB at 1 kHz; > 60 dB at 20 kHz
- Input impedance: 33 k ohms
- S/N ratio: > 110 dB, input shorted, IHF A-weighted
- Damping factor: > 800 at 20 Hz
- Price: $995 new, roughly $450 used

McCormack Power Drive DNA-1

- Rated power output: 150Wpc RMS into 8 ohms (21.8dBW), 300Wpc RMS into 4 ohms (21.8dBW), 500Wpc RMS into 2 ohms (21.0dBW)
- Output current: 50A peak per channel
- Input impedance: 100k ohms
- Frequency response: -3dB at 0.5Hz and 250kHz
- Rise time: ▒2Ás
- Slew rate: 50V/Ás
- S/N ratio: 88dB, "A" weighted
- Damping factor: >100 (1kHz, 8 ohm load)
- Output impedance: ▒0.1 ohm
- Signal polarity: non-inverting
- Price: $1995 new, roughly $800-900 used
Mingles  (System | Threads | Answers | This Thread)

  Responses (1-16 of 16)
Click title to read one, or click date to read all below it.

01-02-07: Ozzy62
I assure you the McCormack is a much better sounding amplifier. Years ago I replaced a Parasound HCA 2200 II with a standard DNA-1 and this was quite an improvement. The McCormack is more refined and balanced sounding with a slightly warm midrange that is not unlike tubes. My advice is to make the switch.


Ozzy62  (Threads | Answers | This Thread)

01-02-07   Your speakers are great...the mccormick will drive them just ...   Jaybo

01-06-07   Thanks oz and jaybo, i appreciate the feedback. can you reco ...   Mingles

01-06-07: Kacz
I picked up the McCormack Micro drive amp a bit ago. It's the model right below the DNA-1. It's an absolutely amazing amp. I can't believe how huge the soundstage is and how powerful it sounds. 100 percent dissapears (and this one is only 50 watts!). It seems very underpriced for when it came out! I serverely doubt the parasound will even be close to the same league as the DNA-1.
Kacz  (Threads | Answers | This Thread)

01-07-07   I'm no ss expert, being a tube guy. but all mccormack amps h ...   Ozzy62

01-10-07   Its really difficult to critize the mccormacks. these are ju ...   Nolitan

01-11-07   Thanks folks. i appreciate your input. i had no doubt mccorm ...   Mingles

01-11-07   Any thoughts on the channel island d-200?   Mingles

01-11-07   I've had my fair share of bryston amps. while they are more ...   Nolitan

01-11-07   Buy a bryston if you want hi-fi sound, buy a mccormack if yo ...   Ozzy62

01-11-07   Mingles wrote- "any thoughts on the channel island d-20 ...   Ecruz

01-11-07   Another option for you to consider if you are looking at dig ...   Nolitan

01-12-07: Phd
All McCormack amps are head & shoulders above Parasound especially the ones with revisions.
Phd  (Threads | Answers | This Thread)

01-12-07   Thanks folks! i appreciate all the input. mccormack seems li ...   Mingles

01-12-07   Obviously i'd say "go with the 9.02". but i think ...   Ecruz

02-11-07: Mingles
I thought I should follow up with this post. I ended up buying a pair of NuForce 8.02b's. I've had them for about month now and I'm pleased with the sound. I definitely notice a new clarity. I'm biamping with the NuForce running the HF and the Parasound to the LF. When I get antsy in the future, I'll look for a used McCormack. If there had been one available at the time, I would have preferred to go that route, but I'm impressed with the NuForce. It's amazing how small they are and how cool they run. It's easy to the appeal for home theater. The 8 series are selling for dirt cheap right now.

Anyway, thanks to everyone for the suggestions and advice. I appreciate it.

Mingles  (System | Threads | Answers | This Thread)

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