Experience with Parasound P5?

I I have been looking at a pre upgrade for my main system of AcurusR11, McIntosh MC250 with upgrades/ATI 1502, Sony Sa5400cdp, Ohm Walsh 2-100S3, Squeezebox. I have never had a more modern pre with these amps and I have heard consistently that the pre is a weakness. I have a chance to get a NIB Parasound P5 for a really good price from a dealer on the Mainland so no chance to test it. Wanted to see if others have heard or bought this unit and their thoughts as to quality, impact or if anyone has used it it's a similar amp.

I listened to one in my system.  It's pretty good.  It has a lighter, slightly delicate character, but it spotlights the highs.  Creates decent space, and very good width, and it is very musical.

Hope that helps.

It wouldn't be my first choice, but its a lot better than what you have now. You'll hear a significant improvement in sound quality. If you were to take the P5 and compare it to what was current when your Acurus preamp was made, it would be the equivalent of a Krell or Levinson. Possibly better in some respects. 
I have been running the P5 and recently swapped in a McIntosh C39 preamp.  I notice the C39 has some sratchiness on the balance control knob and was convinced the left speaker would drop in volume at times.  I put the P5 back in my setup and am happy.  I will take the cover off the The MAC and try to clean the pot and see if that helps and compare the two.  In the mean time I'm happy with my P5.
Thx for all the input. I really like the sound of the amps I have and really want to see if I can improve this with a good pre. I used a Luminous audio passive for a while. It was good with the Mac but not the ATI. The Mac is really the main amp.As an old unit though it periodically needs maintenance. I would like to maintain two systems  with this as the vintage one. I need to get off the upgrade merry go round so if this doesn't work I may just end up buying a new integrated and getting rid of the separates. That would just start another search and end my vintage pursuit/obsession. That would make my wife happy.

Given your system, thats not a bad idea. Parasound makes a Halo integrated amp that has a built in DAC for $2500. I think it would look and sound better than what you have now.
I personally think the P5 is overpriced, but not sure how much you are being charged for it.

The P7 is a little pricier used (usually) but a much better pre.


I am interested in the P5 as well.  My biggest concern is the DAC.  Does anyone use this portion of the preamp to stream music?
I second the P7 recommend.  I own one, and at used prices, I think it's an upgrade from the P5.

Depending on what features you need and how much you're getting it for, it may or may not be the best option. I would get a Quick Silver basic pre if I were paying more than $700 for the P5.
@MTdunn I actually e-mailed Richard Schramm / CEO of Parasound about the DAC in the P5 vs. the integrated.

He said the DAC in the P5 was just a convenience, but the Integrated has a much more serious and better sounding DAC built in. I personally have not heard either.

I can tell you I've heard the ZDac v.2 and for the price, it is a very very good performer.


Well, got sick (back) and ended up missing out on the P5 so I am still looking at a new used preamp. I remembered recently that one of the best experiences I had was with an older CJ PV4 tube preamp. It was the old CJ sound but still had some warmth that beat my Acurus but without the detail. Made me wonder if a CJ tube preamp would make a good match. Ideally, one with a remote as my back has me living in a recliner more than I like (though it is a good excuse to play the stereo). I see some ET3 units for sale around $18-00-2000?  Are there other tube pres people recommend that have a remote, might be more in the $1k -1500 range and match the MC250?