Parasound Halo Integrated vs Yamaha AS2100

I'm looking at buying a new amp and I have a line to get either of these amps at a large discount from retail. I will be pairing them with Martin Logan Motion 40 tower speakers and the main music source will be vinyl. Looking for feedback or info to help me make a decision. Also and welcome to better suited options of integrated amps in the under 3k range. 


I have the Soloist 1 and think it's terrific. The two Belles dealers on another thread differed over preference for Soloist or Aria, though the Aria is much cheaper and has a phono stage...
That's a tough call, they will be different sounding.  The Yamaha house sound is somewhat more forward/bright than Parasound.  I'm not sure what the characteristics of your speakers are, but they are 4 ohms speakers which is not an easy load.  But since the sensitivity is 92db, they'll get really loud quickly with the volume knob.  

You say you will use mostly vinyl, and both units can apparently handle both MM and MC phono inputs.  The Parasound may go louder with its higher wattage ratings, but that may not be an issue, depending on how big your listening space is.

I'd say you can't go wrong with either amp.  For some reason I'm leaning towards the Yamaha, but I can't say why...
New Yamaha's are great and built like a tank .
If economy tanks, which it will , which company will still be here ?
My listening space is a fairly large room and I do not plan to incorporate a subwoofer at this time so I need to get some good low end out of them, which the parasound output power would produce I believe but the Yamaha has a decent amount of power as well. I have a MM cartridge turntable at the moment. MC is definitely something I plan to upgrade to in the future tho. I am having a hard time making a decision which way to go. And I'm gonna be able to get into either unit for the same money.  Tough decision 
The Parasound has a nice DAC built in.

Haven't heard it but I am a big fan of the Halo amps in general. Powerful, grain, glare and noise free.


" The Yamaha house sound is somewhat more forward/bright than Parasound. "

Though this may be the case with some Yamaha of the not so far past, my understanding with these newer Yamaha integrateds(A-S1100, A-S2100, A-S3000) with mosfet transistors, lean more toward the "warmer" side of neutral than the bipolar integrateds(A-S1000, A-S2000).  I have my A-S1000 paired up with Klipsch Reference with titanium tweeters and though a bit forward, not edgy or bright.

" For some reason I'm leaning towards the Yamaha, but I can't say why... "

Maybe because it is a beast and those meters sure look cool.


The thing that impresses me about the Yamaha is it is 51 pounds.  The Parasound is only 33.  I know that doesn't really prove anything, but still, I'd expect that the Yamaha is built to higher specs WRT current and heat demands.

As general rule I've always thought the heavier the amp The better. And the wattage on them at 4 ohms are fairly close. The Yamaha look is pretty retro and inviting. I like the built in DAC on the parasound. I do listen to some digital audio so that has been a reason for my liking the parasound. But there is just something about the Yamaha that makes me think it might be the better choice. The warmth aspect for the vinyl definitely makes me lean towards the Yamaha. Not that I've made my mind up on the ML Motion 40 I'd like for what I get to be a good pair for them if I decide to go that direction on the speakers. Also like paradigm monitor series and monitor audio bronze or silver series. So many good choices out there. Overwhelming at times. 
I heard the A-S 3000 driving a pair of KEF Blades in Berlin , all I would ever need on Acoustic Music !

It doesn't have digital inputs for streaming devices etc for when not using vinyl. 
the Yamaha does not have a DAC but is an amp and preamp, the Parasound also includes a DAC
I have a Parasound Halo Integrated in my second system.  It replaced a Rogue Cronus Magnum tube integrated and I couldn't be happier.  I am driving Golden Ear Triton 2 speakers with it.  I listen to this setup at least 6 hours a day, every day and I never, ever get listener fatigue.  The built in dac is an excellent ESS dac and the amp is dead quiet.  It also has tone controls which I feel is a great feature.  I am a very happy camper.  I never liked the sound of Yamaha which I had back in the 90's although I have not heard the newer ones.
I own the Halo Integrated driving a pair of Kef LS50s. Powerwise, the Halo is a beast. It will drive pretty much any speaker with plenty of authority. I cannot go past quarter volume without getting a dirty look from the wife. The DAC is second to none in my opinion. I have my TV connected to its optical input and the Auralic Aries Mini connected to its USB input.

One minor complaint I have is about the headphone output. When I plug my Beyerdynamic DT-1350s I can hear a very present constant buzz during low volume and quiet song passages. I isolated any type of ground loop and DC offset. My local technician told me that the integrated headphone amp was simply a "courtesy" and not to be taken seriously especially as the signal was delivered by a mini jack. On the other hand he was truly impressed with the internal components and thought that the Halo cost double of what the retail price actually was. To Parasound's defense, the DT-1350s are the most revealing headphones I've ever heard.

I still wouldn't hesitate to buy the Halo Integrated again. It just takes the guesswork of trying to match DAC/amp/preamp. As my main system, it left me left me looking nowhere else.
+1 for the Halo, just because John Curl (bow to the gods of hifi) designed it Up there with Nelson Pass.
Both look as mad as each other.

Think of Einstein and Professor Julius Sumner-Miller

 the Yamaha was designed by ??????????

Cheers George
I have extensive experience with the Yamaha A-S1100 and own the Parasound Halo integrated. Both amps were extensively compared in my system with the same components and recordings.

My conclusion was that both are very good. The Yamaha is slightly more natural sounding with strings and piano. It also has a leaner tonal balance. The Halo gives more "body" and heft to the music, but is very neutral. They are equal in detail retrieval and soundstage, but the Halo doesn't make an exhibition of its detail capability, its "sneaky." The Yamaha has a lower noise floor but it also strains more easily, and in some recordings, the  Yamaha's treble can be slightly grainy. This is also the case with the much cheaper A-S500.

 It takes a lot to strain the Halo and it's very clean under demanding loads. I must admit the Halo DAC and phono stage are overrated. Both are competent but nothing to write home about. For me, the Halo was the better all around amp, especially when factoring in the ~$2100 street price. 
I think the Yamaha was designed by,
Nakamichi Yamamoto Nippon musashino.

But seriously I would go for a parasound product over a Yamaha any day,much warmer,balanced glare and grain free sound then a Yamaha.

But seriously I would go for a parasound product over a Yamaha any day,much warmer,balanced glare and grain free sound then a Yamaha.
Yeah you can bet JC designed the Halo with the lowest distortion he could get without negative feedback, then just applied a little to clean it up. This gives big clean sound.
Too much feedback sterilises too much and makes thing lean. Not to mention the Class-A bias, bet the Halo has twice as much as the Yammie.

Cheers George   
I wouldn't sell the Yamaha short. It can easily come down to personal preference and whether you need the DAC in the Halo. If someone is using Maggies, then the Halo is a no-brainer. The build quality of the Yamaha is better in terms of casework, binding posts, and input jacks. If I listened to mostly strings, piano, light jazz and such, the Yamaha would be my preference.
The 2100 sounds way better than previous Yamaha's...few of the responders have actually listened to if Parasound had used the actual parts John Curl designed for it...
I listen to mainly classic rock to newer alternative rock and blues style music. Love acoustic style music and prefer for a very clear and precise sounds. Want the sound to be warm and inviting. 
The Parasound is the warmer amp, at least compared to the A-S1100 (A-S2100 sans balanced inputs?) 
I don't believe you can get anything better than the Parasound Integrated under 3k. Getting back to the original post either of the 2 options would be able to drive the the Motion 40s. The Parasound would definitely have an edge as it has almost double the power and lots of current. When I first auditioned mine, the store had it connected to a standing Monitor Audio  (similar specs to the ML). The Halo Integrated drove those speakers with such authority. Safe & Sound's owner Mike let me listen for about 2 hours. After that I had to have it! The amp still puts a smile on my face, especially the other day when I played the new CSN MQA remaster of "Suite: Judy Blue Eyes". I can't recommend this amp enough. It actually got me curious about what the halo JC separate components are capable of. 

If you decide to broaden your options, I strongly recommend to consider Vincent Audio SV-237 tube/hybrid integrated amp. It sounds incredibly detailed and smooth and completely free of any graininess even at very high listening levels.
The New Record Day guy has reviewed both and claims the Yamaha is a better amp, but I think he was likely going off memory of the Parasound. I personally find back to back comparisons yield a more accurate comparison. I compared the A-S1100 to the Halo back to back, listening to each amp in the system for a whole day before switching. I did this for a week. The A-S2100 might be considerably better than the A-S1100, but i doubt that. I wanted to like the Yamaha more due to its aesthetics, but in the end, the Parasound had "more meat on the bones" without sacrifice to clarity, dynamics or soundstage.
I have own both of them and I prefer the as2100 over the halo ,the Yamaha is better in sound and build quality but you can’t go wrong with either one of them !
I ended up with an A-S1100 after all. I noticed I was suffering fatigue anytime I listened to Halo for about an hour or more, which never happened with my A-S500. So I bought another 1100 and all has been well. Now that the amp has broke-in, I couldn’t be more satisfied. The second time I compared it to the Halo, i did notice a larger soundstage and greater instrument separation with the Yamaha. The Halo still had a meatier sound, only slightly, but was still fatiguing for whatever reason - maybe something drifted out of spec.
The fatigue is puzzling. I had the Halo playing Maggie 1.7I for hours always sounded great, even my classically trained musician friend would listen and express amazement at how good it sounded.
The fatigue is puzzling. I had the Halo playing Maggie 1.7I for hours always sounded great, even my classically trained musician friend would listen and express amazement at how good it sounded.
Very puzzling. It made no sense because the Halo is really quite a smooth amp, even smoother than the Yamaha. I also had Maggie 1.7is with the Halo for a while. 

I can only guess it may have had something to do with the noise floor - it always produced a low-level buzz through the speakers, something the Yamaha doesn't suffer from. I believe they claim to have lowered the noise floor with the Hint 6. 
@helomech Smooth does not mean fatigue free. I've never been able to listen to "smooth" DACs for any period of time for example. Something is just off and my brain tires. Give me any of the Chord DACs that many people find bright, but I find the timing is just right. "Smooth" DACs and amps mess with timing and wear me out.
On the other hand, I never found either my Yamaha A-S2110 or Parasound A51 to be particularly smooth. They both seem to reproduce whatever you feed them fairly neutrally with Yamaha having a tiny edge on overall detail.
You guys don’t know your audio ,the Newer 2100 series Mosfets amps are for sure warmer then the parasound halo integrated and more natural 8 hav3 head both with the same equipment, as far as build quality yamaha night and day better just look at the reviews pictures ,the Yamaha has  90% Nichicon gold tube
capacitors parts , dual 20 amp Sanken Mosfets per channel. 

You guys don’t know your audio ,the Newer 2100 series Mosfets amps are for sure warmer then the parasound halo integrated and more natural

I actually agree with you (at least the 1100 vs Halo integrated) but my experience was that the Yamahas are not warmer in the obvious sense, only that they're less fatiguing during extended listening. Yamahas have a saturated tonal palette compared to Parasound, not unlike comparing a Wharfedale speaker to a Focal, but in this analogy the Wharfedale (the Yamaha) produces more detail. 

Parasound is a meatier sound though.