you can still get a 1500 for $400-500, and they show up on the 'bay every now and then. You'll have to wait patiently, though.
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I’d like to get an amplifier that sounds like the Parasound HCA-1500I believe they were BJT (bi-polar) output stage, not Mosfet, for higher current delivery. May have been Mosfet for input and driver stage only.
Great amp, designed by one of the audio gods, John Curl, up there with Nelson Pass Dan Ago and others.
With $400, your not going to get much of a choice, if you want used and still JC design HCA-1000, HCA1205A, HCA2200MkII, and HCA3500.
Or the much later Parasound Halo integrated or the JC1 monoblocks, but these are far dearer.
The parasound hca 1500 uses a three stage gain topology,
which is common to many of parasound amps.
Cascoded Class A input stages with matched J-FET pairs
Handpicked complementary MOSFET transistors in high voltage driver stage
8 complementary pairs of 15 ampere 50 MHz output transistors
The output transistors are most definitely bi-polar and not mosfets for this amps high current output capability.
Best of luck to you,
You know what? I knew that, once. J-FET. Thanks for pointing that out. Yeah, my old HCA-1500 made me a fan of Mr. Curl and I miss it.
I'm curious whether Rotels, which have sounded similar to me, use a similar technology. Very black background. Adcoms always seemed a bit noisier.
I'm also curious about NAD. I've been very impressed with some that I've heard. Are there models in the $400-500 dollar range, used which stand out?
This is basically a budget used amp search, I guess. I'd like to upgrade eventually, but I'll need something to tide me over for a bit. And I'll probably have to spend $500.
the 990, 1080 rotels are also premium amps for bargain prices, if you liked the hca-1500's qualities. they used (the 990 anyway) what are essentially dnm slit foil main power supply capacitors. These were not cheap. I'd rate them in the same category of quality as the better nichicon muse power supply capacitors.
a quick mind and finger (on ebay or whatnot) can net you a 1080 or 990 for under $500. Broadly similar sound quality as the 1500.