Good speakers for Parasound Halo JC1

I have all Parasound Halo electronics — JC1 amps, JC2 BP preamp, JC3 Phono amp, and CD1 CD player — and love them all.  Wonderful detail but plenty of bottom end.

My speakers are Usher MD2 — nice sound, respectable speakers but I’m ready to take the plunge and move up.

I’m headed to AXPONA in a few weeks and want to audition potential replacement speakers. I’d be interested to hear what speakers you’ve heard that are awesome matches for the JC1s. My room is mid-size that will accommodate decent size but not huge boxes. 

Thanks all.


128x128Ag insider logo xs@2xmikempls

Sorry, should have mentioned that. I’d planned to spend $12-15k ($17k if I’ve had a couple of beers with my buddies the night before!) 

ideally I’d be able to get a matching center channel from the same manufacturer. That’s in addition to the above budget. 

@mikempls , I am very familiar with the JC1. It is arguably one of the finest amps on the planet. If you factor in the price, it is the finest amp on the planet. It will drive ANYTHING. It is one of the best amps to drive Magneplanars and Sound Labs ESLs. Of these speakers the Magnepan 3.7i is the best value. The 20.7 is a better speaker but twice the money. If you are a heavy metal person they are not the right speaker for you. ESLs are a whole other bag of worms but the Sound Labs 645s are the sweet spot in terms of value. If you are a classical person they can not be beat. If you are a rocker you will need a subwoofer system.  For dynamic speakers IMHO Magico makes the best but a value they are not. For bookshelf speakers on stands you can not beat Harbeths. For value Golden Ear Tritons. For beautiful woodwork Sonus Faber. If you are a heavy metal person Klipsch Cornwalls will rip your head off.  

Thanks, Mijostyn, this is very helpful. I know Maggies well; I live in Minneapolis-St Paul where they’re made. I’ve been intrigued with them since I was 18 — just  concerned my room isn’t a good match. Perhaps I should reconsider.  I’m not familiar I with Sounds Labs ESLs so I’ll check those out.

I forgot to mention that I already have 2 REL S510 subwoofers so I should have that covered. 

Have listened to Magico speakers at the audio shows — very nice and very expensive. 

Anyone familiar with AudioVector?

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Magnepan 20s if you are a serious audiophile. Pass if you think you can put them where you want them. My brother had 3.6s with JC1s, they were very good but the 20s are push-pull and a big step up. 

When I spoke to Richard Schram of Parasound and asked what speakers to use with my new parasound amp he said they use KEF at the shows to demo and he really liked them. Maybe the Blades would be a good match?

Room size is 22’ long X 15 1/2’ wide

Interesting thought on the Blades — I’ve always thought they were sweet.

@mijostyn I love heavy metal and Maggies do metal just fine. The bass isn't as thick as some other speakers but I think that is not necessarily true. It's different but not deficient in my opinion. 

Soix beat me to it....I would for sure check out the Joseph Perspective2s. They are a nice match with JC1s.

If you want to try The Coherent 15s you would stay in your budget and 

have power to spare. That would give you a "Bigger" sound than KEFs

or JA Perspectives. But some loss of detail. Lotta listening before you buy.

Fritz Speakers, scheduled to be at AXPONA Booth 512, are worth investigating. 

You might also want to look into Legacy audio Legacy Focus SE for around 12K made in the U.S. and great sounding plus very efficient 95dB sensitivity and can handle any amps power with ease.


best you describe, best you can, what you want to improve sonically over your ushers

parasound jc1’s will drive pretty much anything well so that isn’t a screen for what speakers will work well for you

short of you finding the best way possible to describe what you value musically, what you listen to in terms of music, and what you think are shortcomings sonically, you will get random splatter of advice... may as well consult stereophile or tas recommended list of speakers at x price point


big maggies

magicos sonus fabers focals revels

big harbeths proacs devores

egglestons von schwiekerts avalons


all make music differently, excel at different things, make different demands on room and placement etc etc


While I have only read about Parasound equipment,  I do have experience with KEF speakers.  They have several lines that come with matching center channels. I can tell you the Reference line is very good, although probably out of your budget,  the R series might be something to check out. I believe they have two different matching center channel speakers.

All the best.

Be sure to visit the Rockport speakers room even though they are a bit above your budget. Outstanding speaker. Enjoy Axpona ! 

@bubba12 , you can listen to anything on Maggies but they are volume limited and they do not do low bass well. Subwoofers can take care of that problem but the other problem is if you have one of the speakers that has Maggies wonderful ribbon tweeter (best tweeter in the world) you risk blowing it if you push too hard. Magneplanar has a tweeter replacement program. They sent you a new one and you send the old core back which they re-manufacture. 

I have set up lord knows how many Maggies over the years. I owned Tympany 3s for two years. They are not a speaker I would recommend to a hard rocker. 

I've got two Parasound Halo integrated units. One up, one downstairs.

They pair beautifully with my two sets of Dali speakers. Helikons, and Euphonia ms5's.


below is a link to a photo of the speakers. The Euphonia's can be tri-wired.   

Thanks very much — everyone’s comments are very helpful.

My preferences lean to a very detailed sound, with clear highs and deep lows and a large soundstage. I listen to literally all types of music including jazz, classical, male and female vocals, folk, rock n roll, international/new age, and yes, even, hard rock from time to time. With my desire for clarity, I’m especially intrigued with ribbon style tweeters.

My Ushers have been very good speakers — I’m just wanting a more full and large sound.

Years ago, I was enamored with Wilsons — especially the Sophia and then the Sabrina. But after listening to more options, my conclusion was that I could find great sound for less money.

Here’s my list for the upcoming AXPONA show:

PS Audio FR30 and FR20 Aspens

Audio Vector (the R# and R6 Arrete look awesome but would likely have to settle for the QR7)

Monitor Audio Platinum 200 3G (My last audition of these was very positive.)

Revel F328Be (spend an afternoon with the dealer listening to these — very good)

Canton - Reference line (if these are as good as they look, they appear to be a remarkable value. Anyone spent time with these.)

Dali Epicon 6 or 8

Anyone who’s had experience with any of these? Would love to hear your thoughts.

Thanks again.


I’m not a big horn guy but the SalkSound speakers look very interesting. Have not heard of so I’ll do some checking. 

Forgot to add ProAc speakers — they’ve been very good when I’ve auditioned them.

Hi @mikempls 

I toured PS Audio and listened to the FR 30s in their listening room. They played clean even at high volume but the bass wasn’t there and the soundstage wasn’t as big as I would like. Maybe it was the room but I think you can do better at that price point. As per my earlier post give the Rockport room a listen. I think you will be glad you did. 


mike, I owned Duntech Princess speakers for 19 years.  Over that time I tried several amps, tube and SS.  The best match which I ended up with was a pair of JC-1s.  Duntechs have not been imported to the US for many years but the hint from those were their Dynaudio woofers and tweeters.  Current Dynaudio could be candidates.

As others suggested, the JC-1s will drive almost any speakers, so they are not the limiting factor.  Instead I would look for the speaker model which most appealed to me and go with that.

One caution with that suggestion.  A later speaker I ended up with was the Janszen zA2.1 (currently the Valentina P8).  They never sounded better with any other amp, but were recommended not to exceed 200 wpc while the JC-1 is rated at 800 wpc into 4 ohms.  I never had a problem but was always cautious about the combination.  With a different system I blew out the woofers with an accidental DC pulse so that made me more careful.  So I would look for speakers that can accept the power of the Parasounds.

Thanks, Ron. I’ve added Rockports to my list to audition at AXPONA. I’ve read about them before and they get rave reviews. Thanks again — appreciate your comments on the FR30s too.

@mikempls There will be multiple rooms with rockport speakers this year. i think at least two with the atria II and one with Cygnus. i owned the Atria II for two years and loved them.  I paired them with 2 jl f100v2 subs to great results. i just upgraded to the Cygnus my endgame speaker. My room is only 17 x15 but they sound great in the room. 

OP since you didn't mention what your cabling and PLC are...? I replaced mine  about 6 months ago and was shocked at the improvement over pretty expensive Wire World series 8 speaker cables and interconnects

I replaced them with Odin 2 knockoffs from DIY HiFi Store in China at a fraction the the cost of the WW s