Parasound Halo JC-1 -VS- Bryston 7B-ST?

I have been reading alot of rave reviews on the older Bryston 7B-ST monoblocks.
Has anyone ever owned, heard, or compared both the Bryston 7B-ST monoblocks and the Parasound Halo JC-1 monoblocks?
If so which was superior and in what ways?
Please describe the sonic differences between the two in detail.
Thanks for all of your information!
Of all the audiophile gear available, the Bryston amps offer the most risk-free opportunity to buy-and-try. That's what I'd suggest. Buy some used 7B-ST monos. Listen to them in your own system, and let your ears be your guide. If you don't like them , you'll be able to re-sell them with virtually no dollars lost on the experiment.

Having said that, I owned a 4B-SST and 14B-SST. They were dead silent. Black as night. Nice controlled bass that could shake the foundation, and nice top end extension. Great imaging. I never heard an ST series amp, but the SST series are supposed to have more refined high frequency reproduction.

Agree with Tvad.I had the 4B and 4BST and they are just fine soundwise and easy to sell if need be.Good luck,Bob
Don't even tell me your getting bored with the JC1's???
No I am not bored with the JC-1's.
I was just curious on how the Bryston 7B-ST's sound.
I have never heard a Bryston amp before.
I have a friend with 14B-ST. The JC-1's are better, even stock.

Steve N.
What is better depends a lot on the rest of the system. My buddy had a pair of well worn in JC-1 amps into a pair of Dunlavy speakers fronted by a Sony SACD player and a Sim P-5 preamp (if memory serves me right). He wasn't happy with the sound finding it thin. Dealer advised that the units were used by a good client of his and that break-in should no longer be an issue. Still there was no real life to them. My friend asked me to bring over my 4B-SST and the Bryston was a much better match. Nothing against the JC-1 amps - they are much lauded by many people but to say that even stock they are better is a blanket statement that pertains to one man's opinion. Steve, this is not a knock against you personally but your statement. As I also have heard both manufacturer's amps and came to a very different conclusion. Synergy is the key...
I have not heard the 7B-ST however have recently heard at home the 7B-SST and JC-1's. Bass was similar, probably the JC-1's more powerful but both excellent bass. I found the Bryston a little more musical and a little more lifelike in the upper frequencies. They were used in both balanced and se mode.
Overall the Bryston was in my system better enough for me to cross the JC-1's off the short list. The JC-1's just sounded boring in my system.
please note the JC-1's had not done their 1400 minimum break in time, only 4-500 hours.
Downunder, at 4-500 hours the JC-1s will sound as you about 1000 hours things dramatically improve, becoming quite lively and involving, at 1200 hours even more so.

By the way, I looked at your system. Have you checked which is the left speaker and which is right? Judging by the photo captions you have them reversed. Violins should be on your left :)
I just want to concur with Essentialaudio that at 500 hours the JC1-1's are quite boring. I had been "piece mealing" the break-in time and keeping track of the hours. I knew about the long break-in time, but was becoming impatient. So I wrote to Crump and told him of my concerns and he talked me into leaving these bad boys powered-up 24/7 with signal. I didn't want to do it, but I promised myself that I wouldn't prematurely cut my loses and sell these amps until they were fully broken-in. Also. I wasn't looking forward to the power bill, but at least it wasn't summer (Arizona) and it wasn't that bad after all. My amps now have well over 2000 hours and they continue to blow my mind. And they took another quantum leap forward after I put aftermarket pc's on them. This may seem like an extreme and an exorbitant amount of time to break in a pair of amps, and perhaps it is. But the returns are well worth it. But I could totally understand someone taking a pass on JC1's for this reason. Also, I'm convinced that many people prematurely sell these amps, unsatisfied with their sound, prior to being fully broken-in. I posted to this thread because I also had 7b-sst mono's on my shortlist of amps at the time. I couldn't audition either amp, so I did a lot of research and homework. Which included talking to owners of both amps and speaking to people in the industry. Also one of the things that really bugged me about the sst's were that they didn't have dual binding posts, something I just can't understand in today's market. So, in the end, I ordered a brand new pair of JC1's and have never looked back (well, at least after the break-in:).
Brian. thanks for noticing my typo :). I will blame Elvis! Yes speaker is now left and right is right.

Unfortunately the dealer and I could not wait the 1200 hours for the JC's to sound good. In fact they rate the SIM amps a lot more than the parasounds. Way too much of a risk down in Sydney where re-sale is more difficult. That is why I added the disclaimer.

I am more than happy with the cj prem350 and I got it cheaper than the JC-1's which was a bonus. One advantage of buying from the distributor rather than distributor / dealer network
I dont know about the ST's, but the SST's are solid performers. That would be a tough choice.

For about the same price you could try a Pass Labs X250.5. It's a fantastic amp and could very well cure the "curiosities." Well, at least for a while anyway.
I agree. A friend of mine has had the JC-1's for a year and had a problem with one of the monoblocks. Parasound refused to repair it under warranty and call him an idiot during a phone call with a technician. Even Richard Schram, the president of the company, was belligerent. You won't have these problems with Bryston. I own the 4Bsst's.
Rukavina, I don't know what ax you have to grind with Parasound, but judging from your feedback it is obvious you are doing a lot of buying and selling...are you in the business? As for your friend, Parasound honors the warranty for the original purchaser only, as is the case with many audio manufacturers.

Based upon your apparently deliberate effort to slam Parasound without providing substantive information, I'd say there's more to the story than you are giving... Richard Schram is an honorable gentleman and runs a tight ship. Parasound reserves the right to refuse to service products that have been modified or otherwise tampered with, so I suggest you check your facts and present them the next time you choose to post such negative remarks...

Yes, I am a Parasound Halo dealer, in case you wondered, and none of my customers have experienced anything but prompt, courteous service from Parasound. In fact, if I heard of anything other than that, I'd be all over Parasound to clean up their act or I'd be done with them, as I choose to do business with only the best and the most professional and stake my reputation on it. I take my customers and this business very seriously, and I am proud to be associated with Mr. Schram and his staff.

Brian Walsh
Essential Audio
Barrington, Illinois
I owned 7BSTs and a 4BST powering Thiel CS7s. Very fine amps, the 7BST clearly have more current capacity for difficult loads. I also owned a Parasound 1200 amp and then 750A powering Paradigm Studio 100s (1st iteration). Very fine amps.

A close audio friend has the JC1s and I have extensively listened to these powering Vandersteen 5As. Very fine amps.

There is no such thing as best. It is a combination of features and attributes sought by the individual listener in his/her system and room. Both Parasound and Bryston offer high value solid state designs and should be considered. But final application depends on the system, the goals of the listener and a small but significant dose of what "floats one's boat," that intangible sense of ownnership that lets one know, "this is the gear for me."
Walsh. Conveying a friend's experience with customer service is not slamming Parsound technology. I have owned 5 Parasound amplifiers over the last 10 years and have been seriously considering purchasing an amp in the Halo line. Of course as you are a dealer, objectivity and bias are usually confounded. As I understand, Parasound was purchased by another company that is not known for manufacturing high end, quality equipment. Pressures to keep costs down can very easily translate into poor customer service, including warranty repairs or a lack thereof. I weigh many factors before spending $6,000.00 for an amplifier, and I also am very aware that companies that have been leading edge in technology and quality can easily begin a downward spiral in a competitive environment, e.g. Sony. Audiogon is an open forum where one can aquire a wealth of information before embarking on an expensive purchase of any product. For me, customer service rankds third, only to the performance of the product, and the consensus of quality of the product. If all three are not met I do not make a purchase. I would rather learn vicariosly than through experience.
FWIW - I purchased used JC1s from a member here that I will not name. The amps were advertised as having no problems. Unfortunately this was not the case. The lights on both amps would change from red to purple but never blue. One mono started running extra hot. I sent them in to Parasound and I believe they performed the repairs the day they recieved the amps. I was without the amps for a total of 10 days. I dont think the repairs could have been done any faster and Im not even the original owner. It was not cheap but they are perfect now and I have nothing but good things to say about Parasound.
I am a current though not future customer of Parasound (I am choosing to go a different direction with my amps). From my experiences, Parasound offers outstanding customer service. I have dealt directly with Richard S. and Paul B. They went out of their way to first get me an in house demo unit of the A21 amp then did everything they could to give me a new replacement unit after I expressed concern about havin to wait for a repair.

Every company has their share of happy customer and unhappy customers. With forums such as these, news travels pretty fast so companies will not be able to to survive if they continue to offer poor customer service. My feeling is that Parasound is one of the good guys.
Braro, I think one of my JC1's had something similarly wrong; however, mine just stuck on red. That said, the amps played fine, but my nervosa got the better of me and I sent it back to Parasound to fix. It was a simple voltage clamp that was undersized...they charged me nothing except return shipping and I had it back in less than 10 days. I would say from my experience that the customer service was outstanding...and I'm the 2nd owner.

On the subject of this thread, unfortunately I have never heard a Bryston amp so can't offer any insight there. I have heard the Magnepan MG3.6's driven by both the JC1's, the Pass X600, and the McCormack DNA2 with Rev A mods. In my opinion, the X-600 was a large step down from either the JC1's or the McCormack...I really did not like the sound of the X-600...veiled, thin, and despite the power rating, it sounded less powerful (keep in mind these are relative statements and may not apply in a totally different system). The McCormack and JC1's were much closer, though of a different flavor. The JC1's are extraordinarily transparent and I feel extended on the highs. The McCormack was a little better in the low frequency weight (not by alot), had a slightly better "bloom" in the midrange, but also sounded darker or more closed in on the top. Both are fantastic amps...I preferred the JC1's in my system.
I have had simply OUTSTANDING customer service on a used Parasound JC-1 power amp that I purchased here on Audiogon.
I accidently blew it up the first time by dropping the end of an interconnect that was hooked to my CD player onto one of the speaker cable ends.
I had to pay for this repair, of course, [no warranty].
Well, about a month later the amp was playing at a normal volume level and just "blew up" again???
This time I sent it to Parasound again.
They fixed it, and even sent me another replacement driver board all for FREE!
They even paid the return shipping!
I have had no further problems at all with either of these amps and its going on 9 months now.
All the folks there treated me with the utmost respect and kindness, including Richard and Tony.
I wish more companies were as outstanding at customer service as Parasound and Pass Labs!
I would have No Hesitation at all in using their customer service dept, or in purchasing a new product from either of them.
Again, great job Parasound and thanks.
Just my 2 cents.
I called Parasound and I AM an idiot!

Normally I don't like contributing to these types of exchanges but I am from the restaurant industry and you know the old motto: do something good for someone and they'll tell two people. Do something bad and they'll tell two hundred.

I don't know the gent who felt compelled to pass along second-hand victriolic comments about Parasound and I am sure that there are people out there who've had bad experiences with Parasound or with their bank or with an IRS audit. Yet it says something that many are responding with good things about Parasound and I am one of them. Here is MY story and (to repeat) I am an idiot in this case and no one at Parasound pointed out this obvious fact:

Up until recently I had a pair of the great (no matter what the snobs might say) JC-1s. On two seprate occasions I called tech support to find out if I had the latest versions, if I could get upgrades, if I could have them inspected, etc., etc. You know these calls: I was wasting the tech's time. Yet the person at the other end (whose name I can't remember, unfortunately) was patient, polite and very knowledgable. For kicks I sent Richard Shram an Email and the poor guy answered back in detail at 11 PM the next night. We exchanged a few more Emails and I let the poor man be.

A while back I was moving amps around and moved a delay switch on one of the amps. When I couldn't get the amp to fire up I panicked and dialed Halo-911. It took the tech but two minutes to diagnose the problem (since his first question was "Have you recently moved the amps?"). He stayed on the line while I made sure everything is OK and we even chatted a bit about the (apparently now cancelled) JC-2 preamp and other things.

Prior to the Halos, I had the baby Halo setup: P3/T3/A23. I sold the P3 on Audiogon and for some reason the buyer received the preamp DOA. He returned it to me and I sent it to Parasound. Three days later I had a new P3. I called to find out why they hadn't just repaired my original one and the tech said "hey, don't worry about it. We'll get to yours. We gave you a new one so you wouldn't be without a component." Was that the truth? Was he reading from a script while Richard Shram had his finger on the button connected to electrodes attached to the tech's body? Who knows, who cares. THEY FREAKIN' SENT ME A BRAND NEW PREAMP!!!!!

And I have similar great (but not a manganemous) stories about my dealings with Pass Labs, Magnum Dynalab and Martin Logan.

My point is this: more often than not you get back what you put out in the universe. It takes A LOT to get a company executive and/or employee to call a customer "idiot" unless, of course, said customer is exhibiting all the classical symptoms of being a total a**hole. I know this from experience when I've baited people to see how much crap they'll take from me before they show me the door.

All of us have horror stories. Mine concerns Sound Lab. I have a story that will make the hair on your heads stand on end, and not because of the sonic bliss of their speakers. But if I were to post it I bet I'd have a hundred rebuttals. Of course, if I didn't that would be very telling.

Sure, it's a public forum and we can all say what we want but maybe we should stop to first think about the implications. Getting on these forums and saying "my friend's third cousin called Unlimited Extreme Super Audio Technologies to complain about something and the next night people showed up at his house, very bad people" doesn't really benefit anyone but it sure gets the blood boilin' I'll lell you what ....
Daltonlanny's comment is particularly apropos, in that accidents do occur, and that crossing speaker terminals accidently is very easy to do: plastic terminal caps that are only hand tightened, jumpers that come loose from bass vibration,et. But shouldn't these high end amps be able to shut down before circuit damage is done? My Yamaha RX-Z1 Home theater amp has had it's terminals crossed by me many many times due to the weight and quantity of speaker cables. The amp simply shuts down and a mesage appears on the screen "check speaker cables". The same with my McIntosh mc501's.It is virtually impossible to fry them. I had and still have some of the older Parasound amps, and if an event occurred, surge, terminals crossed, etc. the worst that would happen is I would simply blow a fuse. I never blew a circuit.I am not an electrical engineer but it seems with today's technology that protecting circuits should not be that difficult. I don't know.
Ruka, I think you are partially right. There are many run of the mill amps out there that don't get damaged from crossed terminals. They just shut down. Turn 'em on, they work fine. High power amps have more current movin' thru, so more potential for damage. That said, if an amp is properly designed it should be protected against self destruction. A good designer should know how to design the protection circuits to prevent this. I knew several tech guys who played around with amp modding and designs. One of their pet peeves was high style designers who thought they knew it all but these guys would show me the weaknesses in their designs. Couple years ago I borrowed some JC amps from an audio friend. I thought the toggle switches were cheesy as were the binding posts. They sounded good, but they had some veiling and grain. Yeah,I know all the talk about thousands of hours of burn in, but this guy had them on playing music like 24-7, so they had lots of hours already. After borrowing them, i didn't think they lived up to the hype. One day he called me to tell me one blew up. I looked at it, and there was burned up stuff on the boards. He said it just happened while they were on playin' tunes. I had wished my techie friends were around to take a peak, but they all moved and I moved....
Accidently ground a binding post on a JC1 to the chassis and all it does is blow the two 12amp fuses, F7 and F8, on the main circuit board. How do I know this? 'Cause I'm a "techie." I've been wrenching on electronics for 18 years. There's nothing "cheesy" about the "low voltage" toggle switches and the Vampire binding posts are just fine. The problem with the power switches changing color does NOT, in any way, effect the amps performance. They made a change to the D6 zener diode on the ac/protect board and front panel blue power LED which fixes this problem. Anyone who says these amps are veiled and grainy either hasn't gone thru the full 1400 (yes, 1400) hour break-in or has "issues" elsewhere in their system.