Parasound JC-2 BP vs Mcintosh C49


Hi,  

I've been thinking about upgrading my system by purchasing a dedicated 2 channel stereo preamp.  I've been using my Marantz 8802A surround sound prepropresssor in 'Pure Direct' mode for music.   I only run a 3 channel home theater and have a Parasound A31 3 channel power amps.  I recently upgraded my front speakers to B&W 804D3.  I would say I'm using my system 90% of the time for music.

The 2 preamps I've been thinking about is Parasound JC-2 BP or the Macintosh C49.    Just curious if anyone had experience with comparing these 2 preamps?   I would like your thoughts on these 2 preamps.

Thanks very much.
xcool
I think incorporating a stere pre is a great idea.  I did this for years until I got a dedicated listening room, and I think you’ll really be happy with the results.  What aspects of sound reproduction and system performance are most important to you, and what improvements would you really like to achieve with the stereo pre?
Just looking for overall improvement in sound quality. Particularly better imaging, sound stage, and more (punchy) bass.

I don’t think my current setup is bringing out the full potential of my new speakers. Thanks.
I have both the Marantz 8802 and the Parasound JC2-BP. While the 8802 is an excellent home theater processor, the Parasound provides more detail and much better imaging - deeper, broader and more 3-dimensional sound stage. The Marantz sound flat in comparison. For music, it's a worthwhile upgrade. 

I haven't heard the McIntosh.
OK. Thanks.  Good to know about your JC-2 experience.  
need some help oh wise ones.....just bought jc2 bp [already own jc1 monos] I have a nad  m51 dac ……. when the m51 is conn. to the jc2 via xlr slight muffled sounding…...when using rca the sound improves.???
I had a Pass pre and a Music Fidelity pre the JC2 is the best pre amp ever heard it makes my old shitty cds sound great
I have a Marantz 7703 and added a Parasound p6. Helped a lot. 
Hi,  thanks for all the replies.    I actually was able to audition both the Parasound JC-2 and the McIntosh C49 at home last month,  and I thought I would post an update.

I ended up keeping the JC-2.  I find it to have a quieter background, and more open soundstage with good separation between instruments.   Bass production is OK, it is fast and tight, but wouldn't mind it being a little more prominent.   There's a bit of a roll off at the top end which works well with my B&W Diamond speakers.    Overall, it's a more relaxing sound and I feel I can listen to it for hours without fatigue.

As with the C49, it couldn't be more different than the JC-2.   JC-2 is the bare minimum 'straight wire with gain' design with zero bells and whistles.  Whereas C49 has a ton of features including phono stage, headphone stage, defeatable tone control, upgradable DAC.   Sound wise, the C49 is not bad.  More prominent in the bass but maybe a little less tight than the JC-2.   The treble is a little too bright at times for my speakers.   I found myself wanting to dial down the treble via tone control quite often.   The background is pretty quiet, but not as quiet as the JC-2.   Sound stage is not as open as the JC-2.  Overall, the C49 is more forward sounding with a little more prominent bass.

I wanted so much to like the McIntosh.   It's hard not to like that classic McIntosh look.  Maybe also because it is such an iconic brand.   There seems to be wide spread thinking that McIntosh matches well with B&W speakers.  But in the end,  I chose the JC-2 because it just sounds better to my ear, and I love that low noise floor.

Hope this helps.  Cheers!