Hafler vs Parasound


hey all, looking for some advice regarding power amps

for context I'm in my 20s and i've built a system from ebay and classifieds.. with a lot of luck. I'm all about bang for the buck performance and at this point I've got around 600 to play with

right now my system is as follows
speakers- NHT 3.3, Infinity Kappa 6.1
preamp- Integra research RDC7.1
source- PC lossless feeding usb to spdif, digital coax to the IR RDC7.1 apogee clock/burr brown dacs

I've been bi amping the NHT/Kappas using balanced from my IR pre/pro using a hafler 9505 250wpc for mids/highs and a beefy hafler p7000 350wpc for lows

I'm aware these power amps are 15+ years old, and I bought them used from a studio where they were used frequently, leading me to want to upgrade the capacitors as well as some other mods via musical concepts, for a pretty penny, and I want to explore my options

I've seen some parasound HCA1000a local to me on craigslist, 2 of them for a great price. these offer 125wpc @8 ohm, and 400w bridged. I see a lot of love for the parasounds especially in the bang/buck department. I would run these as mono blocks.

they are the john curl design, and I know there are good references for DIY upgrading and modding these units.

I would be completely overhauling both, I was just wondering which do you think would give me the better power amp performance

or maybe is it worth saving up for a bryston or other power amp? my goal was to spend around 500 to upgrade the older amps

I know the hafler amps are great, im just skeptical that upon upgrading I will not be happy with the results due to their pro audio roots compared to the parasound design for sound quality. thanks
nyhifihead
anyone with experiences with musical concepts hafler upgrades? 
Hi nyhifihead, I think you need to take a deep breath and step back a minute. You didn't mention your room dimensions, etc.

It's easy to get caught up in equipment upgrades initially, but when you get back down to earth, what is really more important is how the music reacts to your room.

If I were you, I'd research room acoustics. There are several informative sites. I know from experience that this is not what you want to hear right now. Trust me, this will be the best (free) upgrade you'll ever make! You may find, that what you have will be very satisfying!

Happy listening!!
By the way,... I just wish that I'd had this forum to refer to when I was at the stage you are now. Good luck!

(You made a very smart choice by posting here for help.)
Agree with slaw.

Not sure if you're using both sets of speakers on the front at the same time and if so... Why? Also don't think they require that much power to start with.

Pro amps for home use are harsh sounding. I'd stay clear. Musical Concept mods do help Hafler's. I've heard a ton of Hafler preamps and amps and really never understood those who mod the heck out of them. They were ok back in their days but they don't compete with newer designs even modded.

I remember and have heard the NHT 3.3s and they are a pretty good speaker honestly. Recall Corey Greenberg of Stereophile loved them back in the day. I'd look at selling the Infintys and your Hafler's and using that money to buy an Aragon 4004 and spend the money you were going to spend on mods buying a nice little turntable. Greenberg used that amp on his 3.3s and I've heard the combo as well; it will rock and play plenty loud.

In your 20's? Don't fry your ears playing too loud as when you're older in your fifties you'll want to still enjoy you have good hearing. You buy a better quality amp with a little less power you'll find you won't need to listen as loud. You're system sounds too complex unless I'm just not understanding how you have it set up. Get a single 4004 and you won't need to bother with bi-amping and etc. 

Good luck


thanks for responses.

@slaw yea I have the equipment upgrade bug.. I just know that my power amps are the weak link in my system

right now my listening space is a 26x20x10 part of an unfinished basement. its a WIP, I will have double 5/8 sheetrock with green glue ceilings next week, and the walls should be finished within the month

@adg101 sorry for confusion, the NHT 3.3s are my primary speakers, but I do listen to the Infinitys some times to listen.. i love that polydome mid

When I was deciding on power amps.. I did a bunch of research, I know pro amps can be considered harsh, but from what I found in research and my tests is that the MOSFET class AB hafler actually has a touch of warmth and doesn’t have that typical pro amp sound, much like bryston. the hafler transnovas were designed by jim strickland, of acoustat. From what I’ve read these haflers are like brystons, just a little less refined.

Everywhere I looked regarding the NHT 3.3 was that they benefit the most from active bi amping, and a LOT of power, 200wpc+

right now i’m halfway there, I have the bi amp setup. 9505 for mids/highs, p7000 for lows. But I am still using the passive xovers in the towers, which isn’t bad considering the low pass is 100hz.

my idea is to replace the 9505 with a more detailed/resolving 100-200wpc amp for the mids/highs of the NHT 3.3s, since upgrading the hafler doesn’t make sense. I will look more into the 4004, thanks for the recommendation

the p7000 350wpc @ 8 ohm really tames the 12" drivers in the 3.3, I dont think I would need a replacement for the sub 100hz section of the speakers

I also surprisingly don’t listen to music loud at all, I just like it to be full & complete. If anyone has any other comments or recommendations on my system its appreciated!