Parasound A21

Hi Guys,

This is my first post so please accept my appologise for being not technical/ wrong!

I've a set up consisting of

CD Player Primare CD31
Speakers Paradigm S4
Parasound speaker stands
Subwoofer 2 x Rel T3
Preamp Parasound P3
Power amp Parasound A21
Belkin power purifier
Nordost Red Dawn interconnects XLR and RCA
Nordost Red Dawn biwire speaker cables

I'm pretty happy with my system but i still feel somehow it isn't completed! Hence, I've 2 questions which i'd like your advices/ comments on?

1. To me, the use of XLR on my system doesn't produce as good sound as RCA (interconnect between CD player and Preamp) due to RCA allows me to adjust the Treble and Bass on the Parasound P3. Will this story be completely opposite with say the Parasound JC2 preamp?

2. I'm tempting to obtain a used Parasound A21 to trial biamp or bridge mono setup. I do understand this is not a real biamp as i still have the passive cross overs in my speakers! (my gears are still under warranty). Hence, can you guys please give me some advices on whether i should biamp/ bridge mono? I love to have more of that airness sound come out of the speakers (not sure if i've explained correctly here!)

Thanking you all in advance for your advices
I had posted a reply earlier, but this thread got moved from reviews to Amps/Preamps.
Why do you feel your system is not complete? Is it sounding thin or unpleasant? Are you saying that XLR is not allowing you to adjust Bass and Treble? Can you explain that?
While I have the A21, I have not used the XLR. That is because my source does not have XLR. If I get a XLR source, I will go the XLR route - just for "trying" it out.
In the meanwhile why don't you try to bypass the Belkin and connect the A21 directly to wall outlet and see if you can get more airness that you have mentioned. Some surge protectors can have negative affects on amps. I am pretty happy with my A21. Mind you - if the A21 is fairly new, I suggest that you wait for at least 20-50 hours before you make a drastic change to your system.
If you can afford to replace the P-3 with a JC-2, you will hear a greater improvement than you will get from bi-amping or using your A-21 in mono with another one. You have plenty of power already.
Also be sure the switches on your components are set properly for balanced or unbalanced, whichever you are using.
The JC-2 does not have tone controls.
Have you changed the stock powercord? if not try the Ps Audio AC- 10 or AC-12. My A21 is fed from a Ps audio Soloist Premier via an AC-10 and is sheer bliss!
Milpai/ Macrojack,
The XLR doesn't allow me to use tones control. I feel the sound openess or clearness is better with the RCA (with the use of tone control). Hence, I'm quiet reluctant in swapping the P3 for JC2 (no tone control).
However, I'd like to know if the JC2 does live to its name and without the need for tone control!?
Are there any real differences in using the Belkin instead of PS Audio, Nordost, etc AC Conditioner?

I've replaced the stock power cord with Choseal power cord! They're cheaper as i'm not sure if the sound will improve through spending serious money into power cables. I do believe this is the case for interconnects and speaker cables!

Thank you all for your replies
Get the JC2, go with balanced and get yourself a good powercord, it will make a bigger difference then you could ever believe. Powercords are just as important as interconnects.
IMOP powercords will effect the sound far beyond sublte improvement just 6 months ago I went from all AC-3's a monster HTS 2500 and a 10awg and 12awg dedicated 20amp lines, to a Ps audio Quintet fed from a Ps audio Power Port Premier by a Statement Sc for my sources and 3 channel amp and sub all on the 12awg line and the A21 fed from a Soloist Premier via the AC-10 on the 10awg line some may feel putting the amp on a conditioner is a no no as i believed as well, before this up grade the A21 was plugged directly in the wall. that was until I read on another forum where a guy ran his JC1 mono blocks from the Soloist and reported precieved increase in volume. Couriosity got the best of me and ordered one with the rest of the ports and conditioners and low and behold peace of mind and great dynamics and black backgrounds. Point I'm trying to make here is this was the best upgrade I could have ever made and from this point on I will biuld from power on up. I got to keep my gear and it was all under $700.00.
Did you try the A21 without the Belkin? If the direct to wall sounded better, then you might need a non-MOV filter - like the Brickwall PW8R15AUD I have.
I have had o success with biamping. Now is a good time to audition various amps in your present set up. Most dealers will allow this.
I have had very good success in Bi-amping and mono blocks but it is also a good idea to try varius amps if you can. When you take some load off a single amp while bi-amping, alot of times you will create more head room. Some like to run one brand to the highs and mids and another to the woofers. I have not tried this myself but it sounded interesting anyways. I am also a firm believer that power cords and power in general are extremely important components as well. Take the power cord as serious as the IC's or speaker cables.
Thanks guys.
However, what will happen to the impedence mismatch when running difference brand power amp.
I've added on a Bryston LP2 (run in daisy chain) to feed signal into the 2 x Rel T3
I'm considering to replace the Parasound P3 with Moon P5 or JC2 preamp eventhough i'm a bit reluctant with the Moon due to the impendance issues. A bit confuse here!
Hi Guys,

I've just purchased the Parasound JC2 Pre from anotehr audiogon member - Soundlock and i's on its way to Australia. I also hope to win a Parasound A21 on ebay this Sun! I'll bridge mono 2 Parasound A21 with JC2 Pre, Primare CD31, 2 Rel T3 and all Nordost interconnect. I can't wait to hear a big sound improvement (day and night!) comparing to my current setup.
Any comment on my propose setup or expectation?

Happy Listening!
Good to know. Let us know about the improvements in your system.

Congrats on your new preamp. If you are going to biamp, I will suggest you do horizontal biamping insted of bridging the amps. Bridging the amplifier, you will lose some resolution plus the amp will see half of the load, so if your speakers are 4 ohms, the amp is seeing 2 ohms, or you can sell you A21 and get a pair of JC1's.
Thanks Ellyjr

The JC 2 pre is on its way to me. I didn't win another Parasound A21. I only have 1 Parasound A21. Hence, i still have the freedom in pruchasing another Power Amp for biamping!
I've the Paradigm S4 and they aren't strong in producing bass. Should i use the current Parasound A21 for mid and woofer and purchase say the smaller Parasound A23 to power the tweeter?
I'm opened for suggestions on how to biamp and the amp brand(s)

I would suggest trying another preamp than the P3. My setup consist of a Plinius SA-100MKII, a pass DIY preamp and JM Lab Electra 926 speakers. I had the P3 for over two years. I was happy with the sound but felt an improvement could benefit. I swapped the preamp with a Pass DIY and there was a huge difference. Sound was more defined and lot smoother in the hi's. Could be because of a better matching synergy components, but I felt the P3 was not the top preamp for the price. The A21 is a damn good amplifier.
Thanks Ned2865.
Yes, i've purchased the Parasound JC2 preamp from Soundlock and waiting for it to arrive.
I really hope the sound will improve dramatically!
The A21 and P3 are not truely balanced...therefore you will not benefit from running balanced...that's why single ended sounds better in your system...the JC2 IS truely balanced but you would need to have a truely balanced source and amp to gain all of the benefits...and yes it is better than single'll gain 6db in volume with a lower noise floor...goodluck
Thanks Ribdll
Does it mean i won't fully benefit with my JC2 and A21 setup? However, do you think i'll notice a clear improvement with this setup?

Has any anyone out there also have this setup JC2 + A21? What do you think by comparing with P3 + A21? I'm also very temping the JC1s...
No...I don't think you'll fully benefit...but...the JC2 is a bad ass piece and there will be improvements. Not even the JC1's are fully balanced...but I have many hours listening to the JC1's with the would not be disappointed!
Hi Guys,
Has anyone pair the Parasound JC2 pre + Parasound A21 with Kef 205/2?
I've Primare CD31 CD player
Ok...I've purchased the Kef Ref 205/2. My system now consists of
Primare Cd31, Parasound A21/ JC2, Kef 205/2, Nordost Red Dawn interconnects/ speaker/ power cables and Belkin computer servers surge protector!
And the and night improvement! The Kef Ref. goes very well with the Parasound gears.
This also proved that i was wrong in saying unbalance system sounds better then a proper balance system! A proper balance system with high end speakers sounds incredible

Great Listening!
Does your CDP have Balanced outs? My CDP does not, but my preamp is "truly balanced". So I wonder if having a "balanced" connection between my preamp and A21 will make any difference at all in my system. Thanks for letting us know about the improvements in your system. And enjoy your music :-)

Primare CD31 does have balance/ XLR outputs. I run XLRs through out my entire system. However, the big improvement achieved through adding the Parasound JC2. However, i still have a weak link in my system! and it's the Parasound A21. The JC2 was made to be used with JC1's

What's your setup?
With the new speakers you have the A21 may be the weak link and you are right there. In my system the A21 is awesome and the JC1s would have been an overkill. I have read a review on the A21 where the professional reviewer does mention that the A21 was a different beast with XLRs. I fail to understand that part, as the A21 is not truly balanced.
I guess the A21 with 250w/ channel is about enough for my Kef 205/2. However, beside being almost fully balance, the JC1s also have a lots more current then A21 - 60 vs 135 amperes and current = control
I guess JC1s will be my next upgrade!

Has anyone pair the JC1s with JC2? Do they sound much better than A21 with JC2?

I'm intrested in hearing if anyone noticed improvements with XLR's. I've tried AQ columbia ,King Cobra and now Morrows MA2 all RCA. The MA2 has made my A21 sound like it cost twice the price with strong sweeps and powerful cresendo's with a super sweet top end and not to mention the PS audio AC-10 powercable, this combo is unreal!
IMO, If you have a close to fully balance system, good cables and ref. type speakers then i'd say XLR's will do better. RCA's tend to give more artificial sound and narrower sound stage
so can someone reiterate or help clarify again, why is the A21 not fully balanced? I'm not understanding this...
Hi All,

Can you please let me know if anyone has run the Parasound JC2 preamp with McIntosh MC402 or MC602 or MC501 pair?

I've upgraded my speakers to Kef 205/2 and they seem to go well with McIntosh. However, I don't want to change my Parasound Preamp JC2 to McIntosh preamp.

Do you also know who can help me to convert the McIntosh from input AC 115V to AC 240V for Australia?

I've posted a new thread on the Sander Sound System Magtech stereo amp and Magtech power amp. Has anyone been using one of these? What's your opinion in stacking them agaisnt the JC1s or Byrston 7BSST?