If you've never heard a preamp that sounds completely natural, my guess is that you've never heard a Placette.
To my ears it's the most transparent pre I've heard, I've listened to mine for about five years now and still have not discerned any kind of sound/signature I can assign to it.
It's simply completely transparent, it has a way of just getting completely out of the way and letting the music come through untouched.
I've just tryed THE JC-2 for a week. Lean? No. Not by a long shot, I loved it one of the deepest tallest widest sound stages and amazing focus and pinpoint clarity. Also ran my subs very strong(2 klipsch RW-10d's) . Gave me the sense of endless power out of my mac amp WOW! no joke. but The price burns me. So I gave it back. I through one good party while it was here though. Hell yeah! It was running a pair of adcom 555's mono to usher v-602's (yeah I know)but most of the time it was on my Mcintosh mc7100.The ushers sound much richer on the mc7100 over 555.
If there was any leanness it was from the 555s at low volume but turned up with hard metal they were a force to be reckoned with. MY advice is if $2500-4000 is not an object to you pick one up it will treat you well, very well.
p.s. It does not have a phono stage so you'll have fun finding yet another $1000 in your pocket to shell out.
Thanks for sharing your time with the JC 2. Nice to hear it improved your system. Your experience is simular to other listeners who were thrilled the JC2's explosive dynamics, great bottom end and sound staging, everyone seems to agree on these strengths. The Stereophile review mentioned several times to be sure to match it up with a warm sounding amp, this creates doubt that it may lean out music.
My concern falls on the JC2’s ability to retain the musically & bloom of my source. Good solid state preamps can have plenty of harmonics and bloom, but none of what I’ve read on the JC 2 covered these specific topics. One of the best tests for any new component’s musicality is how painful it is to remove it from your system. It sounded great in your system so there must have been a bit of pain.
5560, as a Parasound Halo dealer I suggest that you find a dealer in your area willing to let you demo one at home if at all possible before purchase. The reviews speak for themselves, but hearing one in your system will enable you to determine its synergy. Please be aware that Parasound expressly forbids their dealers from selling by mail order or over the Internet; all deliveries are required to be face to face.
My close audio buddy has JC1s and Vandersteen 5as and I have listened to music on his system extensively. What makes a difference are the upstream sources, not these amps. They are neutral, powerful and have everything you could ask for. They will deliver to the speakers accurately that which they are fed. What determines the outcome is the preamp and most importantly the quality of the sources, room and software.
Essentialaudio--If Parasound requies face to face deliveries, how is Audio Advisor able to sell via phone, catalogue and Internet? Thanks
As above Audio Advisor sells them, more inaccurate info on the web.
And Essentialaudio,[Brian Walsh],is a Parasound dealer...
I'll help clear this up for you. Essentialaudio is correct with the exception that Audio Advisor is the ONLY authorized mail order vender for Parasound. They have the line because some people aren't anywhere near a dealer to be able to audition, and Parasound doesn't want to deny them access to their products. If a dealer is near you Parasound would prefer you purchase from them. A dealer is able to offer you benefits like auditions and product synergy recommendations, along with local warranty support and product tech support.
As for a response to the original question, I find the Halo JC-2 to be incredibly neutral, dynamic, and revealing with plenty of "bloom". I can honestly say that it was the single biggest improvement my system has ever seen when I got mine. It will reveal flaws in other equipment if there are any, and especially poor recordings because it is so resolving. It has tons of impact and bass is powerfull and articulate. It's like turning the volume on everything up eccept the noise. All that low level detail is now audible. Also, the channel seperation is so much better than anything else I've heard, it was like I upgraded to monoblocks. Not harsh, not analitical, just sweet! $4000 only seems expensive until you compare it with anything else that can be considered it's peer. In that case, it is a standout bargain!
Coyolxauhqui and Winger, my remarks were accurate, clarified by Audiobroke (thank you).
Audio_girl, you are correct, I am a Parasound Halo dealer, as mentioned in my post. However, I tried to stick to the facts and hope my post was helpful and not a pitch. If at any time you see things differently please contact me and I'll try to put myself in your shoes. Thanks.
5560 - I suggest that you read the review in the latest Absolute Sound (June/July). Jonathan Valin compares the JC-2 to the Audio Research REF 3. Good luck.
To anyone who has owned, heard, or compared both:
In what ways is the Parasound Halo JC-2 preamp sonically superior to the older top-of-the-line Parasound P/LD-2000 preamp?
Is it a subtle improvement, or a big improvement?
Are there any things at all that the P/LD-2000 does better?
Should I have my Parasound P/LD-2000 preamp modded, or find a used Parasound Halo JC-2 preamp for best sonics?