Can you clarify something? B&W models are often confused because of the stupid way in which the company named them. I believe the 803D (which has a diamond tweeter) came on the market around 2005 whereas the 803 Diamond (the current model which also has a diamond tweeter) came on the market around 2010. Unfortunately, it is common for people to refer to both models as 803D. Which model do you have, the first generation diamond tweeter model which is the 803D or the second generation diamond tweeter model which is the 803 Diamond?
Your problem is simple you have a way too expensive speaker on cheap but good amplifiers, the general rule in audio is that the electronics cost the same to twice the cost of the speakers. So if you are using a $9k speaker you need way better electronics then what you are using.
Now then I have to ask what is the rest of your gear, if it is of a similar level of quality why did you invest so heavily in the speakers without realizing that it is the quality of the electronics and the resolution of the source which makes the speakers sound good, you can take a cheapie pair of speakers and play them on really expensive electronics and you will be impressed, but the opposite does not hold true.
A tube preamp and a W4S amp would be a better combo. Then too, how the speakers are set up for bass balance and toe in can make a huge difference as well.
They are the prior version,not the latest Diamond series. I am looking at the possibility of power cables as a potential, the only thing I have not looked at.
Done with cheep speakers,etc..I had a pair of Infinity SM150's which were good rock & roll speakers and took a serious pounding from the Parasound equipment over the years. I decided to upgrade being that I listen to jass and auditioned several speakers...The 803's are well worth the money if you have the right equipment driving them. I just have a hard time believing that Parasound is solely the sorce of my problem.
when i first got my 804S they were connected to a pioneer elite receiver and the sound was very harsh... i did a separate amp with the pre outs from my receiver and the harness went away...
i do not know about the parasound first hand, but i do believe there is a point to an amp making the difference..... but not to the extreme of crazy amounts of money for an amp.
Not sure if your 803s are new or relatively new. I've read a number of comments from those who claimed these speakers sounded harsh/bright when new or relatively new, but once burned in this impression went away, and the sound became very listenable and satisfying. Otherwise, I did have the opportunity to audition several of my classical "test" lps on the current 803 Diamonds in an audio salon and found the entire experience extremely enjoyable. I heard absolutely no stridency or brightness whatsoever. I would be somewhat surprised if the tweeter in your 803 model(preceding the Diamond tweeter) sounded harsh after being broken in. Incidentally, the electronics used in my audition were by Ayre.
The Parasound 2250's are good at there price but no where near what the 803D's need. The Halo line from Parasound is a much better match specifically the JC1's. Of course you will probably need to update the rest of your system as well. The 801D's are a very revealing speaker, which means they will let you hear a lot more of what is going on in your system either good or bad.
It's best to remember your system is a chain and you will o be only as good as your weekest link!
Also it may not be all of the 2250's problem. What is the rest of your system? I have installed lots of Parsounds and most of there sin's are of ommision.
So if you are going to upgrade one piece at a time IMO it is best to track down the weekest link and change it first.
I have a demo Rogue pre-amp in place of my 2100 and the tube does sound warm and possibly a bit sweeter but is still not what i experienced when auditioning several 803's in the past... absolutely no stridency or brightness whatsoever would also be my experience... I contacted B&W and they told me to take a look at the resistor in the high freq cross over and measure the values as they suspect this could be the problem...Stay tuned....
B&W 803D have rather complex phase impedance behaivor demanding use of highly powered amplifier(s) which can produce high peak voltage and peak current without too many distortions.
I am not familiar with your current Parasound power amplifiers and thus cannot comment
All The Best
To make a long story short...nothing wrong with my combination of equipment or the equipment it's self, only the acoustic environment which I listen in. I cant begin to stress what can be gained by room treatments..I spent about 300.00 and the time to make the panels and my equipment now sounds more like 30K worth.
What exactly did you do with the room treatments? I am very curious.
The 800 series sound especially sweet w/ tubes.
First identify your first reflection points on your right and left walls as viewed from your seated position, for my situation these and the corners about the middle of the wall were the worst. I made bass traps about 4ft tall for the same wall the speakers are on and have two acoustic ceiling tiles in back to try to defuse rather than dampen reflections to the rear. I also hung two ceiling clouds at the reflections points above... Still working to refine things but WOW IT SOUNDS GOOD!