The p7 is 7.1 vs the p3 is 2 channel.
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I was interested in either a P3 or P7 a while ago but ended up going with an integrated instead. While I was interested I called Parasound in SF and talked to the head guy there (can't remember his name). He was very helpful and detailed in his description of the differences between the two and by the end of the conversation I was sure the P7 would be the one I would choose. In a nutshell, the P7 has better parts and a different design, not just a P3 with more features. Call them up. He was so friendly and enthusiastic I wanted to buy his product but decided to downsize my system instead of staying with separates.
I haven’t directly compared the two sound-wise, but I can tell you that looking inside the two appear to be completely different class of construction. The real questions isn’t whether the P7 is worth $1150 over the P3, it should be why the P3 costs as much as it does. Based on build quality, the P3 is over priced. The P7 is not.
Again, never heard the P3. I have the P7 now but I’m concerned it’s noisy and doesn’t throw the image I want. I’m not sure the imaging issue is the P7’s fault though.
Also, the P7’s bass management has very useful features, if not as complicated or as many options as you’d get from a HT receiver. The tone controls are iffy though. They are tilting rather than shelving.
I use an Oppo BluRay player as my 7.1 channel source, with an outboard DAC for 2 channel, and this preamp does everything I need well. I finally broke down and got an outboard miniDSP to handle room compensation for the sub woofer. I'm still much happier with this setup than most receivers and cheap processors. Gods I miss my Theta Casanova. :)