Bryston 7B SST vs. Parasound Halo JC 1 shootout...

Anyone had the pleasure of hearing both of these highly praised mono block amps?

They both seem to offer A LOT of bank-for-the-buck, are both "powerhouses" , and both reatil for $6k a pair.

Any feedback on how they compare to each other? Strength's minus's, plus's of each over the other?
Have you seen the revie of the JC-1 in Stereophile. It's a rave review.
I think Marty at Bound for Sound will be issuing a review also. I believe that he had the Pass X-250 and an Edge amp at the time for comparison. When I spoke with him, he told me that the Pass was holding its own and each amp offered a different sonic view.
Every review in Stereophile and every other mag for that matter is a rave review.

Your statement about Stereophile is not true. John Atkinson took a lot of criticism from his readers for giving a less than a sterling review of the new Thiel CS 1.6. Michael Fremer, the one who actually reviewed the Halo JC 1, has criticized the Harron monoblock amplifiers as being "too tidy." He felt that their soundstage was too small for the price, or something like that. When Michael reviewed the Ayre V1, he gave a mixed review, stating at the end of the article that both solid state and tube lovers alike may not like the sound of the Ayre. The impression that he gave was that the amp was too much of a comprise and MAY not appeal to either amplifier camp. And when Michael reviewed the Aerial 8, he used a Mark Levinson 335 as a test amplifier. He felt that the amp was a little too sterile for his tastes. He concluded that it was an amp that appealed to the head more than the heart, or something to that effect. Finally, Michael noted that when he reviewed the $32,000 Midi-Grand Kharma 1.0 loudspeaker, he felt that the bass was not tight and fast enough for his room and that the loudspeaker was not the last word in dynamics, despite the big soundstage it created.

So you can see that Stereophile, and especially Michael Fremer, do not give a rubber-stamp rave review with everything they test. Thus, the Halo JC 1 could very well be an amplifier worth listening to.
I certainly didn't mean to suggest the Halo was a bad amp, as I have never heard it for myself. It seems to me with all the reviews I have read lately, I finish the article by hearing the reviewer say if I didn't already own "this," I would concider "that" in my line up of gear to demo. There always seems to be some qualifying remark. I know everything works differently with different gear, but there also is gear out there that is just plain bad and it seems reviewers are afraid to say it.
My favorite is, "In conclusion after my glowing review, at x dollars, the jimmy-who component pales in comparison to my personal reference fling-flong component at 7x dollars or even the whoopdee-doo component at 3x dollars...but still it is really, really, really, really good. You should go buy one (although I wouldn't)"

I don't mean to "get on your case" about the Halo. I understand what you are saying about reviewers and their reviews. It causes me to spend a lot of time analyzing a review; sometimes I have to read it six or more times to really understand the hidden meaning, if any.

I can still remember John Atkenson's review of the Thiel CS 6. He praised the speaker. Having been a former Thiel CS 3 owner, I had high expectations. Well, I listened to the CS 6 with a Mark Levinson 335, Mark Levinson 380S, Meridian 507, and Transparent Audio Super cables and interconnects. The sound was disappointing and bland. So much for Atkenson's recommendation.

The Halo is on my short list of amps to audition and to be used with the Magnepan 3.6/R. The other amps include the Classe CAM 350, Pass X250, Bryston 7B SST, and BAT VK500, just to name a few. I am a little skeptical myself about the Halo. I have heard the Halo A23 and found it to be harmonically thin, polite, and somewhat reticent. Not a bad amp for $850, but the Adcom GFA 5500 is much better for a $150 more.

Even if the Halo JC 1 is a great amp, I don't think it will be a commercial success. At $6,000, one could always buy the Pass X250, and for a thousand more, there is the CAM 350. Most people willing to spend that much money on an amp will opt for the Krell FPB 300CX, Mark Levinson 335, Plinius SA 250 Mark IV, or VTL MB 450. In Northern California, the Halo is carried by The Good Guys, not exactly Sound by Singer if you know what I mean.

Happy listening!

JA was criticised for publishing a review remarking on poor sound when he wasn't even certain that the speaker (CS1.6) was broken-in yet. That was half-ass and there is no excuse for it.


I am familiar with the Bryston amps, since I own one and have auditioned the 7B-ST at home for a week. The 7B-SST is a fine amp but I wouldn't put it up against the JC-1 and I haven't even heard the JC-1. I base that solely on the reputations of Crump and Curl and the specs they have published on their website.
Even if the Halo JC 1 is a great amp, I don't think it will be a commercial success. At $6,000, one could always buy the Pass X250, and for a thousand more, there is the CAM 350. Most people willing to spend that much money on an amp will opt for the Krell FPB 300CX, Mark Levinson 335, Plinius SA 250 Mark IV, or VTL MB 450. In Northern California, the Halo is carried by The Good Guys, not exactly Sound by Singer if you know what I mean.

If I'll be allowed to put on my dealer hat for a moment (I can see all of you cringing), I strongly disagree. I've heard JC 1s up against Pass X600s, Atma-Sphere MA-2s, and Rowland Model 6s. Do I have to tell you which was better than all of these by a significant margin? But don't take my word for it - go check them out for yourself. You're in for a nice surprise. You can pay a lot more and not get performance as good.

I bought them as a consumer, having auditioned them extensively with my Sound Labs, and then I was very fortunate to become a dealer for them. I'm not Good Guys, in fact I only sell a very few products I own and believe in, Sound Lab being one of them, out of my home. The Parasound JC 1s deserve to be paired with the finest speakers and associated components yet show their capabilities with a wide range of equipment. Fremer and Atkinson's review was thorough and spot on. They don't dare say to skip those tall monoliths and go with the JC 1s, though.

Brian Walsh
Essential Audio
Barrington, IL
The Good Guys decided not to carry the JC-1 due to pricing......This is the reason Essential Audio is now a dealer as is Audio Kinesis in New Orleans (Duke Lejeune) as this is the very first of the high end products from Halo which will be sold by small high end dealers that do more than sell boxes....The unit is already a commercial success as they ordered another hundred of them which will be built this month........I did the best I could with the sound of the unit and expect others will like it as well....It is the best we could do in a very high powered amplifier that was to be machine made......The pricing is about 1/3 what they would cost if built by hand here due to automated manufacture in Taiwan........Glad you didn't mention the other sacred cows layed to waste Brian as this sort of thing is not for a message board when you have a commerical interest.....Fine for hobbyists, but not for dealers.....
Mr.Crump- for some who was "paid a flat amount as consultants to Parasound," you seem to be doing a lot of stumping for this product.

The report I got from my friend who heard your set-up at CES was not inspiring. You should have used your Rockports
for the demo.

Mr.Walsh- Fremer's endorsement is worthless.
Mr. Atkinson routinely measures equipment with poor performance/problems and still allows it to be rated Class A. Please don't hang your hat on these industry shills.

Wonder how many pairs Audioadvisor has sold. I'll wait until they go on sale in three months.

A hui hou aku.
I'll defer your comments about the show exhibit to Bob Crump. When did your friend hear the system?

As for Fremer's review, take it as you will. I think a lot of people put more credibility in his opinions than others. Atkinson's measurements are out in the open for all to see. Parasound doesn't have anything to hide.

Buy your amps wherever you wish. I'm not a box mover, I take the time for demonstrations and for people who just want to stop by for a listen. If you are in the Chicago area or just passing through, please feel free to visit and relax over a cold one or a cup of coffee. My time is yours.

Brian Walsh
Essential Audio
Kan813, advise your friend not to waste his time coming by our CES room in 2004 as it will be pretty much the same uninspiring set-up....About the only thing we will do differently next year is get there earlier as the digital system and AC filter take a couple days to behave and the speakers don't image at all until they have been plugged in for two to three days.....I was pleased with the sound from Friday night through the remainder of the show and it inspired me enough to want to do it again with Sound Lab.....No they don't have the "pop" of the Rockports, but they are cleaner with better low level detail and are extremely coherent.....
Kana813 - It seems to me the proof is always in the listening. For what it's worth, I'm simply a consumer who owns the previous product which was designed completely by CTC (Curl, Thompson, and Crump): the Blowtorch preamp. You don't need to take my word for it, of course, but it is truly a fabulous preamp. Knowing from this what CTC can do, I am excited to hear the JC-1s. My guess is that people who think these amps are just another Parasound product will be in for an extremely big surprise.
Just to clarify what I *think* Bob was saying (so there is no confusion on the forum). I believe he was talking about the Rockport Syzygys (no longer made) vis a vis the Sound Labs. As a former owner of the Syzygys, I have found the Rockport Antares I now own also to be considerably cleaner; and to have a lot better low level detail as well. Bob: if I am mistaken, I hope you will correct me - and my apologies.
Mr. Walsh- Mahalo for your kind offer. I would love to hear your system. Unfortunately, it's long way from Maui to Chicago. Good luck with the Halo line.

Jfz- Agree that "the proof is always in the listening." Wish there was a hiend dealer like Mr.Walsh with the JC-1s here in HI. And I agree, that with CTC's track record they're worth checking out.

I think All Ears is helping me with what I am trying to say...

"If I'll be allowed to put on my dealer hat for a moment (I can see all of you cringing), I strongly disagree. I've heard JC 1s up against Pass X600s, Atma-Sphere MA-2s, and Rowland Model 6s. Do I have to tell you which was better than all of these by a significant margin? But don't take my word for it - go check them out for yourself. You're in for a nice surprise. You can pay a lot more and not get performance as good."

As a dealer or reviewer, what are some of these pieces that I "can pay a lot more and not get performance as good?" Please by all means list some examples rather than make the statement so I as a consumer can get a feel for what your standards are and what your tastes lean towards. Are 98% of all items reviewed that good and only 2% of gear sucks?

Artarl: I by no means think you are "getting on my case;" in fact I love a good debate:)
My Standards are Krell FPB 350 MC/KTC line stage, VTL MB 750/VAC Renaissance, and Mark Levinson 335/380S. I will judge the Halo JC 1 against these units and I will tell you if it has a prayer.

Keep in mind that John Curl is the designer and Mr Thompson and Mr Crump have voiced the amp. It's my understanding they were contracted to help create the Halo JC 1, but they are not Parasound; they have little control over what Parasound might do to the design in the months ahead. If Parasound wants to use cheaper parts, will they consult CTC? And if one were to buy the Halo, it's not going to CTC if it needs repairing.

Parasound trails the leading edge of the high-end. Most audiophiles dreaming about the perfect amp or preamp don't conjure up Parasound products as their ideal. I certainly don't. I lust after equipment I can't possibly afford, and settle for equipment, while not sounding bad, that's cheaper. This equipment won't give most people a sonic epiphany.

I have heard the other Halo equipment. It is nicely made, attractive, and reasonably priced. When coupled with Monster Cable, the Veritas 2.4 loudspeaker, and a Sony SACD player, I was underwhelmed by the sound. The sonics were detailed and transparent with fairly good clarity, but the midrange lacked body, three-dimensional layering, and texture. The combination only produced average dynamics. What bothered me the most was the polite and reticent portrayal of the upper midrange and treble. It seemed to give, at best, a mid-hall perspective. This perspective might be fine for some, but for those wishing a more involving and exciting presentation, one that has greater immediacy, they will have to look elsewhere. Maybe it was the Veritas loudspeaker? It's hard to say. But I do know that I much prefer the Adcom GFA 5500/Conrad Johnson PV14LS combination, which can be had used for about $2,000. If the JC 1 sounds anything like its small amplifier counterpart, it won't do well in the long run.
Hi Rcrump,

Let me get this straight, The Good Guys has decided not to take the Halo JC 1 because of price? Well, that means those of us who live in Northern California won't be able to hear the JC 1, unless there's another dealer. Wow, that's ironic seeing how Parasound's headquarters is in San Francisco.

Will the head office have amps on loan so those of us in California can hear the JC 1? I think this situation supports my contention that the JC 1 will not be commercially successful.

And I advise anyone interested in this amp, or any amp, you must see it and hear it before buying. Don't buy online based on a single review. You will regret it!

Have any of you on this board been to The Good Guys? It's almost as bad as buying your electronics at Sears.
Very nicely written review...honest and up front. I also lust after the stuff I can't afford, knowing that it will get me the next 10-20% of the way there. 'Til then I will have to 'settle' on what I can afford, knowing I'm 80-90% of the way there...and climbing...slowly...very slowly these days and i am better off knowing what categories I should be choosing from at this particular point I am in in this perpetual upgrade hell.
Very nicely written review...honest and up front. I also lust after the stuff I can't afford, knowing that it will get me the next 10-20% of the way there. 'Til then I will have to 'settle' on what I can afford, knowing I'm 80-90% of the way there...and climbing...slowly...very slowly these days and i am better off knowing what categories I should be choosing from at this particular point I am in in this perpetual upgrade hell.
Sorry Artar but my standards are much higher than yours. However; Wayne Donnelly has the VTL750s and will be comparing them to the JC-1s in a review on in the near future.....You are incorrect as Mr. Curl does work for Parasound and ANY changes in parts or design is discussed along with samples provided for testing before they are approved for production......Thompson and I are paid hourly as consultants now that the JC-1s are in production.....The design is frozen until approved by all is my point.....

The JC-1 is the best we can do in a high powered amplifier that is machine made....It is a honey of an amplifier and bears little resemblance to anything Parasound has ever done in terms of design or parts quality....I expect it will be able to keep up with anything on the market regardless of technology employed....
let me just chime in on this.

i own the amp that was the precursor to the JC1: CTC's BBQ. now for those of you who know who CTC is, the blowtorch is the last preamp you'll ever need. it is the reference by which others compare. and i do mean all others. and at $15k, it should be (but there's more expensive pre's that can't keep up).

the BBQ is the stereo version of the JC1: the JC1 being monoblocks, w/ increased capacitance, another 20w of class A, more heatsinks, shorter signal paths. the BBQ (which is essentially a hot-rodded parasound 3500) is a dream amp in my system (merlin vsm-ms as the mains, w/ G&D UTP1 > entec 2.2>G&D custom preamp in the front). the BBQ just ate up my belles 350a, and it is very much the last amp i'll own (at least, until it breaks, at which point either parasound will repair, or i'll get the JC1s). neither tubey nor solid state, its powerful, fast, musical, articulate, and clean.

the JC1s are the culmination of three legendary minds---parasound is just the company that put the intellectual capital to work in the design. as it stands, i've heard the JC1s in rcrumps system and they're wonderful uber-amps. it'd be hard to fault them.

i think parasound can be looked at in a new light with this product (but then again, i wouldn't own a parasound product UNLESS it was conceived by CTC and built according to their specs; parasound still makes lots of mid-fi products, but the JC1 isn't one of them). the JC1s are a different direction for the company. maybe they're trying to build the halo brand by introducing it with the rolls royce of amplifiers, i don't know. what i do know is parasound does cover the warranty (5 yrs i think, and much faster turnaround than asking curl or crump to do it ;-). likewise, parasound would be out of business quickly if they started using cheap parts in production units instead of the exact product that was reviewed (akin to deceptive business practices, and possibly fraud).

btw, the CTC BBQ retailed for $7k b/c it was hand built. now if they hand built monos, figure it'd go for at least $14k, and that's w/ no dealers (just direct from mfg). so w/ dealer markup, if CTC built the JC1s and put them through dealers, it'd approach @ $20k.

and from the reports i've heard, it beats amps in that league (per brian and others). for $6k, its a bargain.

Artar 1, you seem to find the strangest things to complain about You complain that the Good Guys won't carry it, but they are like buying from Sears anyway :) Parasound is setting up high end dealers and I'm sure they will have someone in your area shortly. Check with Parasound at for a dealer in your area.....I don't think you caught my post as the unit is already successful and another hundred will be completed this month.
Oh please! So my musical tastes are pedantic, now? Well did I tell you of the system I just heard this weekend that had the Wisdom Audio Infinite Grande ($600,000) in a specially treated room (35'x 50' x15' @ $250,000) running a Burmester CD 969 Transport, a Burmester 970 SRC D/A Converter (about $69,000 combo), a Boulder 2010 preamplifier, and 24 Krell Master Reference amplifiers ($120,000 each) using specially designed Nordost Valhalla interconnects and speaker cables? The system price was about 4.5 million including tax and installation. I'm sure the JC 1 can trump that combination without breaking a sweat!

With all do respects, Rcrump, the equipment I have heard in the recent past, careful auditions that went for hours I might add, was equipment that I might be able to afford if I were to come into some type of financial windfall. The Krell Master Reference or the Mark Levinson No. 33 are simply too extravagant even if I had a net worth of ten million. I use, as my standards, components I have heard and that have been widely recognized as excellent audio devices that one might be able to afford. How many people you know are rushing out to write a check for the Infinite Grandes, especially in this recession?

Yes, The Good Guys are not better than Sears. Not a complaint, simply my observation. It's too bad they won't pick up the JC 1. If they had, I could have drug my audio junk to their store to give the JC 1 a fair audition. Well, now that's impossible, isn't? I was serious about your headquarters having loaner amps. How do you expect me to hear you new amp, get on an airplane and fly some distant place because you got one good review and your amplifier has good specs? I don't think so. If you want my business, you will have to make your product available. Your channel network for the Halo line leaves much to be desired in California, the home of your corporate headquarters. And I will not buy your product, or anyone else's, based on a magazine review and a lot of Internet hype.

The Halo JC 1 offers a promise to people like me: a music enthusiast who is willing to spend more than one might on an Adcom or a Bryston, but who is unable to buy the big Krells, VTLs, Audio Research, or Mark Levinson amps, the ones you think the JC 1 will bury in head-to-head competition. Those are big words, and maybe your right? But do keep in mind that Krell's cheapest class A amp produces 300 watts in class A with Plateau Biasing, while the JC 1 produces a mere 25 class A watts. Am I supposed to be impressed by that?

If I do get a chance to hear the now famous JC 1, I will be comparing it against the Classe CAM 350, Pass X250, Bryston 7B SST, and BAT VK500 with the Batpack option. I'm sorry in advance if you think this gear is beneath yours, but something tells me you have a lot of competition. Also on my list are other garbage amps like the Classe CA 301, PS Audio Classic 250, Belles 350A, Theta Dreadnaught II, BAT VK6200, Proceed HPA3, and McIntosh MC 352 all to be used with the Magnepan MG 3.6/R, a budget speaker to be sure, and a decent tubed preamp, which wouldn't meet your approval.
In my previous comments, I meant to say that my audio standards are pedestrian, not pedantic, which they very well might be as well. I also noticed at least one or two typos. So it's clear that I can't spell.

The point of this discussion was to compare two amps: the JC 1 and the Bryston 7B SST.

Going on my past experience of the Bryston amps, I would expect the 7B to have a powerful bass, articulated mid-bass, prominent midrange with a touch of brightness and sparkle toward the yang side, and a crystal-clear top end. Sound about right? One can balance this sonic perspective with choice of preamplifier and cabling. I would choose a tube preamp and cables that might be considered slightly warm, but not rolled off. My front end of choice would be a turntable to add more life to the sound, and my speakers of choice would, indeed, be the Maggies.

After talking with Jim Whiney of Magnepan, he told me that he uses a pair of bridged Bryston 4B ST amps to power his MG 20s. Well, he'll have to throw them out to buy the JC 1s, won't he?

For the JC 1, something I have never heard, and may never be able to hear, I would guess that the midrange, compared to the Bryston, would be more relaxed, better focused, maybe more detailed, but more reticent and less exciting. The top end of the unit should be smooth, but maybe a little polite. The soundstage might be a little smaller and have a mid-hall perspective. I would match the JC 1 with an Audio Research LS25 Mark II preamp to increase dynamics and I would use more dynamic sounding loudspeakers, such as the Von Schweikert VR4 Gen III Special Editions. The JC 1's power would be overkill for the VR4s but I think it might be a good match. And for cabling, well there's Acoustic Zen or maybe Nordost. For my front end I might try a SACD player from Sony or Classe.

But alas, I will never get to hear the JC 1 because of where I live, which happens to be only the fourth largest urban center in the country.
$4.5 million? Why? Where's the turntable? I could do better for a tiny fraction of that. Oh well, at least maybe now Dan D. will buy some shoes to go with his outfit.

You might try reading fewer ads. Lighten up a little, come to Chicago for a listen if you'd like, and relax to the music.

Brian Walsh
Expensive does not equate to good sound....That 4.5MM system is an obvious case of money falling into the wrong hands :)

Rather than continue this pissing match and your thoughts on the sound of the JC-1 without hearing it I suggest you reread my post and contact the head of Parasound, Richard Schram, for the closest dealer in your area who can lend you some amps for a listen...
The 4.5 million dollar system was a joke. However, all of the equipment listed does exist.

I am in luck, Rcump. I checked your web sit again, and the Music Lovers in Berkeley is now listed as a dealer.

And when I do get a chance to hear your amp, you had better believe I will give it a review, a fair one of course! Also don't be surprised if I buy it. Remember, the amp is targeted at people like me, not the wealthy or the down and out. If I like the amp and I buy it and it's not a commercial success, it won't matter to me personally because I will have my unit. How's that for being selfish? Don't get me wrong: I don't want you guys to go out of business. I just think you are going to have a tough up-hill battle. Krell and the others are not going to throw in the towel just yet.
Artar 1, time will tell if the JC-1 is a huge commercial success, but I suspect it will do fine as it is a very powerful nice sounding amp.....Our intention was to build the best amp we could and have it built overseas in an automated factory at a price that is astoundingly low considering the quality of parts and assembly.....It would have been an easier sell if the unit was made here by hand and cost 18K or so? I don't think so and those that have traded in much more expensive amps have had not only better sound, but money left over after the purchase....These are good things that precision machine manufacturing can bring to the table.....
The amp will do fine commercially, er, relatively speaking (Did you get that one, Bob?). There are alwys some Maggie/Soundlab guys looking for good current at a reasonable price, and the like. Good rep on designers, with the dearth of such components and then many reviews, and off you go.

Bob C, question, if you can say: what is Donnelly running with the amps - pre, wire, spkrs, etc.?
Haven't sold any to Maggie owners yet.....Bulk of them have gone to Sound Lab owners with a sprinkling of Wisdom Audio, Vandersteens and Rockports....Saw Wayne at the CES and he was running Eggleston speakers and a Thor preamp....
On Donnelly, sounds like a good context for a review. Good luck!
Were any comprimises made to the JC-1 in meeting the THX spec's?
Nealhood, we didn't have any trouble other than setting the gain and keeping the CMRR high at the same time as I recall...Doing this from memory as I wasn't directly involved in the acrobatics in this iterative values setting....I recall that folks got all caught up in CMRR and got it right and missed the THX spec by enough that resistor values had to be changed a touch....Now CE was tougher as the amp draws so much at turn-on....A change in surgisters (bypassed by relay after turn-on surge) and an LC filter in the IEC were necessary......
Interesting thread, for all the pseudo-drama. My $.02, as someone who has no plans to audition the JC-1's much less purchase them, is that the design and manufacture concept is promising, and has apparently succeeded with the sonics, but I wonder about the marketing. Not only from the standpoint of the Parasound name, a company which hasn't exactly been steadfast in its pursuit of the quasi-upmarket, but also in the styling. I'm wondering what, if any, input CTC had here, because the amps, while seeming handsome enough in the pictures, do not really look like high end styling. It might be a silly nit to pick, but to me the look is too soft, rounded, demurely tasteful, and well, just plain *fashionable*, in the feminine sense of dream-kitchen design, to make many knees tremble in anticipation of duking it out with the big boys. 'Halo', the name I'm sure was carefully deliberated upon to set apart the new products from the old Parasound connotations, is not featured prominently on the front panel as it ought to be - instead, the familiar old logo from products costing far less remains large and in charge. What's the percentage in creating a new brand that's not given top billing? Indeed, to me 'Parasound' should only have appeared on the rear. The color choice in particular - again, very classy in its own right - seems quite out of step with the intended market as I understand it. Of course sonics should rule, but just from an industrial design perspective, I'm curious as to what the thinking could have been here. High WAF? Doesn't seem like the right hammer with which to crack this nut. Parasound seem to have gone for a decorator approach, something more at home in the HT setup that I imagine greets one inside The Sharper Image, than seriously bold audio-chic combat raiment. The overall effect looks oddly mid-fi for what's supposed to be on the inside, and although I'm sure that in the flesh sheer bulk would counter some of that impression, from here the total statement does appear a bit incongruous...
Janice Raczynski of Control Alt Design, Ltd in Arlington Heights, Illinois designed the front panels for the Halo line......
Strangely enough I find the appearance of the JC-1's both attractive and sophisticated in a European vein. The attention to detail and styling is reminiscent of Goldmund or Lindemann. I guess that I failed to realize that "high end" products were required to be ugly or perhaps merely utilitarian.
Fcrowder, I don't like the appearance of components that are 'ugly' any more than you, but my comments were more directed toward the marketing and brand image angles than they were reflective of my own personal taste (if not my opinions, of course). I'd be curious what other audio products Ms. Raczynski has designed...
Go to and take a look.....
Speaking of that Stereophile review; they mention that the JC-1 uses a 10 amp transformer - what is that equivalent to in VA? Wondering because putting out 4.2kW into 1 ohm (short term) is pretty impressive. If I remember correctly the Krell FPB-600 put out about 6kW into that load - serious company.
Well, if 10 amps is the rated input current then the transformer VA rating would likely be 10 X 120 = 1200 VA. The actual short term amplifier output will be significantly greater at 1 ohm, limited to a large extent by the storage charge in the bus capacitor bank. I think these peak power figures at 1 ohm begin to get a little academic since there are few speakers with impedance dips to 1 ohm and, even then one would have to be driving the amp relatively hard to run into trouble. Also remember that if you are using the classical solid state amplifier, or any amplifier using global feedback, you may not obtain even the rated output power in areas where, and if, your speaker has an impedance peak (most do to some extent). Amplifier output power ratings are not so impressive at 15 or 20 ohms so manufacturers generally never publish this figure. Amplifier manufacturers such as Innersound have capitalized on this to some extent by offering high output current capability as well as high rail voltages. This allows the amplifier to maintain its rated output power over a wider spectrum of speaker types and their associated impedance demands.

Again, a lot of this is academic so don't read too much into it. The 4 or 8 ohm rating is still the most important.
Don't let the JC-1's attractive appearance fool you into thinking they're mid-fi. What's under the hood is a polished design by the members of the CTC team, and the sonic results speak for themselves. I find my JC-1s drive my Sound Labs a lot better than my previous OTL tube amps. Of course YMMV, and yes I'm a dealer, but I don't see myself changing to anything else for a long time.

Brian Walsh
Well, I've not audtioned the JC-1, but I own the A21, which I understand is a notch (or several) below the JC-1. Before buying the A21, I was using a Pioneer Elite VSX-49TXi to drive my Dunlavy SC-1a/v speakers. I decided that external amplification might benefit my two channel music listening and thought I'd give the A21 a try, having read the favorable reviews of the JC1 and also a very favorable review of the A51 in DVD, Etc. All I can say is that the A21 absolutely blew me away. I realize that it may not be fair to compare a receiver (even one as superb as the VSX-49TXi) with a dedicated 250Wpc stereo amplifier, but I can say that there is no comparison, the A21 smokes the VSX 49Txi. Now I just have to save up to buy three JC-1s to use for my three front channels and let the A21 drive my surround channels and I will be in 5.1 heaven.
You got to put the CLasse CAM 350's or even the 200's in there!!
I just audition the JC-1s recently and believe me, it's one great amp. Very very smooth and a bit on the warm side but without losing detail, just draws you into the music. This is comparing it to Pass Labs X-600 monos that I "was" using and ML 436, ML 33, Krell MCX 450, Rowland Model 10 that I audition at shops. It's an unbelieveable amp for it's price. Everyone should just stop debating about the JC-1 and find your nearest dealer, listen and you'll see.
hey- I just came upon this thread- any further results? Any opinions on the Bryston 7B SST?