Disclaimer: I'm a dealer, so get out your grains of salt...
My experience is primarily with the amps (and speakers) that I sell, and I don't sell Levinson gear. I can't say that I've heard Levinson amps in a familiar enough environment to make a fair and reliable assessment, but my impression has been that a Levinson amp of comparable power has a bit richer presentation, while the big Parasounds are a bit more lively and maybe a wee bit more articulate. I would say the Levinsons sound more like you're towards the middle or back third of the hall, while the Parasounds are more like the front third of the hall (I'm not talking about depth of image, but about overall "feel"). I can easily seem some speakers or listeners prefering one amp, and some the other. I have reasonable familiarity with several solid state amplifiers that are roughly two and a half times the price of the Parasound, and I think the Parasound is at home amongst them. Again, it's hard to speculate which amp might be the better choice without knowing either the speakers or ears involved.
I know from reading your other posts (which are always articulate and well-reasoned) that you're very familiar with Clayton amps. How do compare the M-100s to the JC-1s? My speakers are a 4 ohm load and are ~93 dB.
Thanks for any input.
Thanks for your kind words.
I'd have to say that, between the Clayton M-100 and Parasound JC-1, it would probably depend on the voicing of the speaker.
The only such direct comparison I've made was on a pair of Gradient Revolutions, which are ballpark 85 dB sensitive (4 ohm load) . I'd thought the Claytons were a pretty good match, but the Parasounds made the Revolutions considerably more lively sounding. The owner sold his Claytons and bought a pair of Parasounds.
Now with 93 dB efficient speakers, I'm not sure the extra power of the Parasounds is going to make a significant difference. What speakers do you have? How would you characterize their voicing, and in what area would you like a little improvement?
Thanks for your response. My speakers are made by Rick Reimer (Reimer Speaker Systems) in Cody, Wy. They are the Wind River GS model which have a ribbon tweeter and a second order series crossover. I love them! I could spew out all sorts of subjective superlatives but the important thing is that I am very, very happy with them. As far as characteristics - they are fast, accurate and revealing. As far as improvements - right now I'm using a Stan Warren-modded Adcom 5400 and I think that the Reimers could make me even happier with "better" amplification. I have a First Sound pre-amp and a Stan Waren-modded Pioneer CD/DVD player as my source (which is also destined for upgrade.)
Again, thanks for your advice.
I'm completely unfamiliar with your speakers, and didn't find much about that particular model at the Reimer website. So I can't predict whether they'd work better with the Claytons or Parasounds or some other amp in the same general price ballpark. If they are a bit on the forward or bright side, I'd say the Claytons would make more sense. If they are neutral to a bit laid-back, the Parasounds would be a better bet.
Just curious - this has nothing to do with amplifier choice - how do they sound at very low volume levels?
I used the prototype to the JC-1s at the CES two years ago with the Wind River's bigger brother, the Tetons as showed with Rick Reimer.....We called the amp the CTC BBQ and it worked pretty well, but think we had a bit too much damping factor for the port Rick had used with the Tetons......He had the port set for the tube amps and the small Claytons he uses there so the bass was a bit too tight for my tastes......I would shoot Rick an email to get his thoughts before you plunk down any money on a set of Levinsons, Claytons or Parasounds.....I drove the CES system to Wyoming so Rick could hear it before the show and we both were pretty pleased with the result.......
Duke - thanks for taking the time to check the website (it's easy to understand why your input is so valued.) Using my newly acquired Radio Shack SPL meter, for my ears, up to 70 dB the Reimers image and soundstage very well but the music lacks life (no toe-tapping) however, at 70 dB things really come together. I did the measurements using a Cantus (men's chorus,)Charlie Hunter (jazz quintet - he plays an 8-string guitar and is well worth a listen. I've heard him live here in Philly a couple of times and recommend him highly,) and Pink Floyd (Dark Side of the Moon.) Since I live in an apartment in Philly I tend to listen at lower levels. I hope that answers your question. If you want more info, I'll be happy to provide it.
Bob - can you explain more about the port being set for tube amps. I know he uses either a Welbourne Laurel IIx or a Clayton S-40 for his listening. Other than the bass being too tight, what were your impressions of the Tetons? Have you had a chance to hear the new versions with the ribbon tweeter?
Garbage, as anything else that can came from that crew. Although, if you are in ML domain then it would be your amp.
Romy the Cat
If you need an amp with 400+ watts, check out the Spectron
MII. It will drive anything and wouldn't heat up your listening room like the amps discussed above.
Thanks Romy, your extensive analysis is greatly appreciated.
Talk to Rick Reimer is the best bet rather than folks with little or no experience with the speakers you have.....The Tetons we used had Morel tweeters BTW....
why do you think this place deserves mu extensive analysis. It is not about analysis or about a collaboration on Reality of Audio. This is all BS for the BS subscribers. If I name to you the very specific threads with very specific information on subject that were deleted form this site only during the last week only because they went to the directions that the products distributors did not like then will you put the things into a perspective?
This is all just a freaking waste of time.
Romy the Cat
Heard a pair of these broken in vs. a pair of Aragon Palladiums and Bryston 7B ST's on some demo Studios through a Levinson CD transport. They all sounded great, but the Aragon's had better dynamics, top end was also smoother yet more detailed. The Bryston's also had better dynamics, but I was surprised by the Aragons. I thought they had the best dynamics of them all. At 4 ohms doesnt the Bryston buy out about 900 watts? At 4 ohms the Palladium's quote 600 watts rms, but if someone told me the specs were switched I would have believed them. Either way it was a tough choice between all 3, but I ended up going with the Palladium 1k's, especially at $3000 for BOTH monoblocks(vs. $5000-$6000), a complete steal with better performance overall in my book.
Romy, what was the nature of those deleted discussions. I'm also looking to cut though the BS, especially when it involves expensive amps that don't earn their keep. Was it about the parasound Mono's?