NAD C165 vs Parasound 2100 vs Emotiva USP-1

I was looking at a pre-amp and wondering if I could get some opinions on the following.

- Emotiva USP-1
- Parasound 2100 new Classic
- Pasasound Halo P3
- NAD C165 BEE
They are all different so comes down to your needs really. I've owned all of them except the NAD but I have an NAD integrated I use for a bedroom system. The Emo with what I had was bright but I do recall that both it and the Para 2100 have HT pass through as well the ability to easily add a sub a 2 channel system.

The 2100 does have a phono section and the Emo does as well but neither are mind blowing but the 2100 IMO was a better phono section. The P3 also has a phono section which is better than the 2100.

Personally I think it will also come down to the other parts of your system. IMO the P3 would have the best SQ, with the NAD probably sounding nice as well, normally warmer in SQ, the emo I feel is a bit bright and the parasound 2100 is a nice all around unit that is not too hard on the wallet.

So the list for me
1. P3
2. 2100
3. NAD
4. Emo
Thanks. I have Quad 22L speakers (british somewhat laid back) and outlaw amps. I am a bit worried that the NAD will be too boomy with the Quad speakers.

The reputation of NAD is on the warmer side but I have also hear that some models are more neutral.

any thoughts on that BigHead63

anyone have direct experience with the NAD C165 BEE?
The most recent NAD classic models have a more neutral presentation than their predecessors. The c165bee is a nice pre-amp and should hold it's own or eclipse the Halo. Emotiva is more focused on blue lights and aesthetics in my opinion.

do you include the C 165 BEE in the "most recent classic models".

"do you include the C 165 BEE in the "most recent classic models".

Yes I do, the c165bee is the current classic pre-amp. It has (from what I have read) a good headphone amp and phono stage. I did not use those features, but in it's other duties is was quite good.

That is important info. If the NAD is neutral it has a lot of features I would like.

It looks like it is down to the parasound P3 and the NAD C 165. For me. I was also looking at a adcom 750 but it lacks an important feature or two. So unless I hear that the adcom way outclasses the nad and parasound I will probably go with one of the latters.

The major problem with the EMOTIVA stuff, from an audiophile point of view, is that it does not cost enough!
So if they doubled the price it would double the performance ?
if they tripled the price they wouldn't be able to keep them is stock. performance has nothing to do with it.
Well then they are missing an opportunity by not tripling the price.
I have no problem with value priced hardware. My concern is more that I have seem feedback from several sources that the emotiva USP-1 is bright. I only care about the sound quality and build quality.

Any comments on those factors?
james lipski, you reinforce every stereotype (pun secondarily intended) of a blowhard fauxdiophile. You must be so proud.
I am proud to arouse the wit and wisdom of someone on your level....
I've been using the Emotiva USP-1 & XDA-1 with a McCormack DNA-1 and Hales Revelation 3 loudspeakers. Cables are Analysis Plus Oval Nine, Lat AC-2mkII, and Discovery Essence. This setup really allows this fantastic little preamp show it's stuff. The phono stage in the USP-1 is very good compared to the many outboard phono stages that I've heard. Using it allows me to take a pair of interconnects and another power supply out of the mix. I use it with a modded Systemdek IIX 900, Incognito wired RB-250, and Ortofon M20fl with really excellent results. Also, the Wadia 170i sounds amazing with this setup, very impressive sound. This is definitely a preamp that I could live with for awhile, without getting the itch to upgrade. Heck, one would have to spend alot more $$ to better it. If I had to pick out something bad about the USP-1? When controlling the volume with the remote, the volume goes up or down in rather large increments. Could be much smoother. I occasionally have to get up and adjust the volume control manually to get the sound just right. This is picky, because the price is low and the sound is big, beautiful, and extremely lifelike to my ears. To sum up, I think the USP-1 is one of the great audio bargains of my time. No, I'm not affiliated with Emotiva Audio in anyway.
I have been researching pre-amps myself in this price range(under 1000) and have looked into these models. The Parasound P3 is now discontinued. I've read the impressions of several owners that were underwhelmed with it. The 2100 was apparently an attempt to get the sound of the P7 at a lower price. It seems to be fairly well received with the one caveat that the phono section is entry level, for those needing a good one.

The Emotiva USP-1 is good for the price, but concerns on this one is the brighter sound. If you have warmer speakers it might be fine, but then the volume control is odd. Small turns of the knob seem to give larger than usual increases, and owners have mentioned this. An entry level price, so compromises are made.

The one I'm most interested in is the NAD C165 BEE. It has a better phono section with unique options, better specs and Class A circuitry. Not as much feedback online yet, I think it's newer. I asked an online dealer what he'd recommend(he carries several brands including NAD and Parasound) and for SQ he recommended the NAD. Not sure if he has sales quota to meet, but he seemed genuine.

I'll update when I made the upgrade. Right now I have a Parasound A21, Oppo 95 connected directly to the amp, and Paradigm Signature S6.