How would you compare Ayre to Parasound?

Hi Y'all,
How would you compare the parasound halo 2ch to the Ayre 2ch amp and could you also let me know how you would compare the Ayre multi channel amp to the Halo A52 amp? I am looking for your opinion on sound, build, how the company's deal with any issues, and anything else you want to toss in too. I hope to be using Vandersteen 3a signature speakers. Currently I am using von schweikert vr-1's and the lcr 15 for the front and mb quarts in the rear. Thanks.

Joe in Mobile
I had the Ayre V5xe and also the Halo JC-1s. I think the JC-1s are better. They are more powerful and sound more relaxed and enjoyable. I didn't care so much for the Ayre amp, but I do love the Ayre K1x preamp. To sum it up I hear the JC-1s as being more relaxed sounding but at the same time more dynamic. They ought to be since it's 150 watts vs 400 with the JC-1s. I was comparing them on rather power hungry speakers but all in all the V5xe amp never really floated my boat, though I do love the other Ayre products and the company as a whole could not be better to deal with. Parasound I don't find particularly good to deal with compared with Ayre.
My experience was exactly opposite! I had the Parasound with 4 different speakers I was auditioning, and in all cases I felt like it was dull and unengaging. The Ayre is the finest non-tube SS amp I've had in my system, beyond the Odyssey Stratos dual mono and the Ref1000's - though I admit I haven't had any of the real expensive SS amps. To each his own I guess!
I've had the Parasound JC-1s and Ayre V-1XE amps in the same system. Both nice, but IMO, the Ayre was a better amp, and one of my favorite SS amps. Smoother and more texured. The Parasound was a little dry. I had multiple problems with the parasounds. I bought them new and both the dealer and parasound made good on each repair. I also had a wire come loose in the Ayre (which i also bought new) and they were quick to repair it. IMO the Ayre was a little more money, but worth it.
I've had a V-5xe in my system for about 5 years now and I too think the magic is missing (particularly in the lower region) however I'm reserving judgement until I can run in balanced mode. I've read in a few threads here that the Ayre should really be run in balanced mode to get the most out of it.
Before buying any Parasound product especially the JC1 amps read all the reviews about build issues ..Well documented in this forum.Given your short list..Ayre is a no brainer
Yes indeed missioncoonery...All Ayre equipment should be run balanced to hear what it is capable of. The single ended connection is only there for convenience. I also recommend you using balanced operation with phono into their preamp. Ayre amps are at the highest level of performance. Their service is impeccable should you need it. I have only used them for upgrades and Ayre stuff is bulletproof. If you are going to use Vandersteens, you should know that the vast majority of Vandersteen users have their speakers connected to Ayre amps.
There are high end manufacturers who equal the service and civility of Ayre, but no one exceeds it.

I have no experience with Parasound, but I have heard all of the Ayre amps and they are all excellent within their respective price ranges. And yes, they need to be run in balanced mode for best performance. Depending on your taste, there are other amps you may like better, e.g., I prefer pure class A amps to AB amps, hence I opted for the Lamm M1.2 hybrids, which run in pure Class A and have one 6922 tube each, over the Ayre MX-Rs.

But Ayre's preamps are among a very few that are the best available at any price. I have the K-1xe, which is great, and have listened several times to the KX-R, which may be the best of the best right now.
"vast majority of Vandersteen users have their speakers connected to Ayre amps. "

Baloney! :-) There are tens of thousands of Vandersteen speakers out there and Ayre's entire production wouldn't equal a small percentage of that total.

Ayre and Vandersteen are both great companies but your statement is simply hyperbole. :-)
>>have listened several times to the KX-R, which may be the best of the best right now.

Well, until there is a universal definition and understanding of "best", this is just silly rhetoric.

>>the vast majority of Vandersteen users have their speakers connected to Ayre amps.<<

More of stringbean's nonsense and inexperience comes to light.

Funny though.
A few years back, I bought a pair of JC1's for my Vandersteen 3A Sigs I had at the time. I was using a Aesthetix Calypso preamp in a all balanced system.
I did not like the Parasound sound with this combination. (I actually invited some knowledgable audio friends over and they agreed) No doubt, the JC1's are powerful but in a muscle car kind of way. They do not offer up the same kind of holographic imaging nor the soundstage depth. I switched to a Ayre V5Xe and the sound was definitely more to my liking. However, I found the Ayre a little light in the bottom. I then switched to a Theta Dreadnught I in a 2 channel configuration. It provided the same great mids but with a better bottom. Maybe not quite the beautiful imaging of the Ayre but wonderful overall.
I know the JC1's have received a lot of good press but I honestly believe if you want the absolute best out of Vandies, use a no feedback amp. (The JC1's have a moderate amount of negative feedback at about 28db.)
I'm now looking to purchase the Aesthetix Atlas amp which has built switchable 6 db filters required of the higher series Vandersteen's.
"I've had a V-5xe in my system for about 5 years now and I too think the magic is missing"

You mean you have suffered with "no magic" for 5 years.....and counting? What gives?