I own the Adcom. I tried the Parasound when it came out. If that's their statement pre-amp, (I believe it was), the remote volume control ramped up way too fast. It was an unacceptable fault for me......
The Adcom ramps up too fast for low-level listening in "active" mode also (in my opinion). It's not as bad as the Parasound.
I've never seen a reviewer comment on this. Poor reviewing! And poor field testing on Parasound's part....
I've demoted my Adcom to video, now I use a Pass X One or Pass Aleph P for music....
Sorry, but I haven't heard the Parasound. FWIW, I owned the Adcom for over a year, then had it upgraded with Stan Warren's Black Gate cap upgrade. Very detailed, but somewhat bright with a propensity of becoming etched in the upper frequencies on some recordings. The black gates helped this, and generally smoothed things out a bit. Lots of options such as active/passive, HT pass through, and balanced/single ended. Dynamic in active mode, but kind of boring in passive mode (maybe careful system matching is in order). If you want to run passive, I believe there are better pre's out there such as Placette (one up now for $895) or Pass. It does ramp up fast in active mode as Danielk141 pointed out. My opinion is that with the options and features, and the detailed, dynamic sound, the Adcom is a bargin at the $600-$700 used price. However, I ultimately upgraded to a Muse 3 Signature, which I find to be a significant improvement.
I agree that the Parasound's volume control is a bit quick. However, I owned this preamp (though only for one month) and I thought it was very nice for the money. I moved up to a KRC after this; but if I hadn't, I would still own it. It was relatively accurate, with pretty nice bass. I liked the aesthetics as well. I cannot speak for the Adcom preamp, but I owned two 5400 amplifiers and they lacked the bass and dynamic range of any Parasound equipment I owned. All in all, if I had to choose, I would go with the Parasound. Also, I heard Adcom was bought out, and their service has been kind of poor.
Ive heard em both(Parasound only briefly). THe Adcom is a superior unit for transparanet signal transfer, the Parasound is far from that.
Stereophile actually got it right when they stated that the GFP-750 is probably one of the absolute best preamps at any price. Its a Nelson Pass design and uses superior components throughout.
No-Brainer: Adcom GFP-750. Parasound makes some great amps, but their preamps are nothing special.
Ritteri, the Parasound 2000 suffered from too many cooks spoiling the soup as nobody was in charge of voicing the unit, essentially a state of the art electrical design, close to the line amp in the Dennesen JC-80. It can be cleaned up and made to sing, but in stock form the Adcom will blow it away......We are in the talking stages of designing a new Parasound preamp which will be designed by CTC...
Rcrump: You affiliated with Parasound in any way?I just picked up my 3rd HCA3500 as a mod project. Maybe you can shoot me an email on some of the mods/parts needed to upgrade the SQ of the HCA3500. I heard Jcurl did some mods to an HCA3500 significantly improving its voicing and top end that eventually let to the JC-1's.
Hi Ritteri........Just a bit affiliated as Curl, Thompson and Crump, CTC Builders, designed the JC-1 monos for Parasound after we spent a couple years on the CTC BBQ, a highly modified HCA-3500.....I chose the parts, voiced the amp and was project manager of the JC-1 project, Curl did the changes to the circuit and Thompson designed the boards......We, CTC, also build a very expensive preamp known as the CTC Blowtorch and I own TG Audio that builds accessory wires......Lots of work to clean up the HCA-3500 as deleted about 200 parts, replaced them with about 80 and had to have new metalwork made for the top and front......The amp served me well for about three years and recently was replaced by the JC-1s which are just in a different league from the modified HCA-3500 due to Thompson's layouts.......Smoother, much faster and cleaner are the differences I hear here with the JC-1s over the CTC BBQ.......If you are still interested in modding the HCA-3500s then contact me, but think you will be better off saving for the JC-1s.......
Out of sheer curiousity, what the current opinion on a sonic comparison between the top dog Adcom and the top dog Parasound?
I, personally, don't want to comment on this comparison.
After owning 2 Parasound P/LD-2000's and atleast 4 Adcom GFP-750's, I still can't figure out which is sonically superior! They both have their own strengths and weaknesses.
Running a preamp and power amp from the same designer / manufacturer tends to colour the sound in one particular fashion too heavily in my experience. That's because all of the same design goals / circuit implimentation / sonic traits of the preamp are implimented all over again in the amp. Better to mix and match, unless one likes that specific sonic flavouring that "matched components" tend to generate.
With the above in mind, i've always thought that Curl's preamp designs had a lot more potential built into them and Pass's amps were nicer sounding. That's just my opinion based on the exposure that i have to both engineers previously available designs.
Bare in mind that unless the engineer / designer is the one that is actually manufacturing the product, what they design / engineer and how the manufacturer actually produces that product may be two different things. As such, the designer / engineer shouldn't necessarily be judged by another manufacturers product. In this specific case, Adcom and Parasound had the final say, not Curl or Pass. Sean
Very interesting and informative response!