Parasound Halo A23 paired with Peachtree Nova 125

I recently acquired a used Halo A23 from a local buyer. I also have a fairly new Peachtree Nova 125. As I mentioned in another thread, I recently bought B&W CM10s and found the Peachtree to be a bit too bright and lacking just a bit on the bass (the CM10s have an additional base driver). However, I really love the DAC in the Peachtree and am quite satisfied with the overall clarity and detail.

So the question is if its worth spending $$$ to buy a Parasound P5 preamp or use the Peachtree as the preamp/DAC in combination with the A23. I mostly listen via a digital source (iTunes via Airplay/Apple TV) and don't really need phono or other features of a typical preamp.

Problem is that no dealers in my area actually have the P5 in stock, so there's no way to do an audition. Of couture, I can buy it from Audio Advisor which has a decent return policy. But I don't want to go through the hassle of shipping it back if it doesn't work out.

Trying to figure out if the improvement in sound will be noticeably better if I get the P5.

Any advice will greatly appreciated.
Well Arafiq, now I know you haven't heard the A23 yet, I agree with Runnin. Connect that A23 first and you may find the Peachtree as a preamp is all you need.

Let us know how everything sounds as you move forward. Good luck!
I hooked up the A23 to the Peachtree a few days ago. I was a little disappointed that the A23 seemed lifeless and not much power. I had to crank up the volume quite a bit to make it sound even halfway decent. I just couldn't believe that it could sound this bad with the Peachtree.

Then I found out that there were level controls in the back of the A23 marked 'THX Reference'. As per the manual, I had to turn them to their maximum clockwise position. Once I did that we were back in business.

In short, the improvement is NOT subtle in any way, it's night and day. Overall, a very balanced and natural sound, with controlled and punchy base. I realized that with the Peachtree, the upper frequencies were favored at the expense of base. This is no longer the case. The A23, at least in my system, sounds amazing. One thing I really love about it is the way it handles the lower frequencies. The base doesn't necessarily sound louder than the Peachtree, but I can feel it in my chest. I'm not sure how to explain it, but it's good in a very satisfying way. Lastly, the brightness has been tamed. I listened to my music for a good 3 hours yesterday and absolutely no fatigue whatsoever.

About the only criticism I can come up with is that the amp seems to struggle a bit at higher than moderate volume. There were times when I was expecting the amp to pick up steam but it didn't, at least to the level I was expecting. Don't know, maybe there's an A21 in my future? ;)

Anyways, I was so impressed with the Parasound Halo sound that I sold my Peachtree at a very good price. A new P5 is on its way now, should be getting it sometime next week. A really cool feature that I was missing on the Peachtree is HT Bypass as well as balanced connections. I am hoping for even better synergy between the P5 and A23 compared to the Peachtree combo.

So all in all, this little experiment proved to me that not all watts are the same. Spec-wise, both the Peachtree and A23 give you 125 watts per channel. But the authority and ease with which the A23 is driving my CM10s sets them apart by a considerable distance. I can only imagine how sweet an A21 would sound in this mix.
Those gain knobs are usually supposed to be at full so the volume can be controlled by a preamp. I think you'll be really happy with the marriage of the P5 and A23, plus you get a DAC built in too.
Looks like you found an amp that is making your CM10's happy. And your ears too!

Congrats on selling the Peachtree so quickly and ordering a new P5. Sounds like your going to have a very nice, well balanced system for years to come. Until the urge for an A21 comes along. Dreaded upgrade spiral!
This all due to the wonderful advice I got here. You guys are awesome!

I'm still waiting for the P5 to arrive. Will post my impressions once I get it and hook it up.

As for the urge for an A21, I'm trying to keep it at bay ... at least for now. I did see a couple of listings here @ Agon. But a bit surprised to see how they've been priced. I can get a brand new A21 for maybe $150 more than what the sellers are asking, once you take paypal and shipping fee into account. Not sure if $150-200 in savings is worth buying a used piece of gear.