Parasound p5 vs avr ???????

I just purchased a parasound a21 and was planning on letting my marantz 7008 do the preamp duty . How much better would the parasound p5 be ??? Is it light years better or just marginal ?
The P5 is 1/8th the Preamp the P7 is.

I owned a pair of A23's and currently own a P7.

I seriously wouldn’t even recommend the P5 be taken seriously, inside it shares almost nothing with it’s larger siblings, the P7 or JC2. It’s just a very simple design that shares the same outer case but inside is mostly air. You'd think at half the price, it would be about as good construction, with less channels as the P7 but that's not the case. The P7 may be double the price but the internal build quality and features are outstanding.

I would go with a used P7 and can’t comment on the Marantz, or look elsewhere. Perrota Consulting often has some for a good price.

The P7 is very very nice sounding, but in absolute terms is a little noisy and lacks the channel separation of the best units. It has a following for a reason though.  It's very neutral and transparent, but won't give you any tube like euphonics, and won't mellow or emphasize anything.


OH, right, forgot. I was having this same issue a couple of years ago and talked to Mr. Shram via e-mail. He gave me the impression that the DAC built into the P5 was just a utility, and that the DAC in the integrated was much better.  I ended up going with a P7 with an external DAC.

The P5 is really a basic performer. If that's what you want for the price, it will do just that. However you mentioned you were looking for improvement, so I wouldn't recommend it to be all that for you. 

If all you need is a DAC with volume, the Parasound VDAC V.2 is a better sounding package.  Around $400 right now, but it has no analog inputs.

For around $1,000 new (Direct only), the Mytek Stereo 192 DAC has 1 set of analog inputs and a very good DAC with DSD capabilities.

There are probably other more capable DAC/Pre's out there you should look at as well.


I was wanting a good preamp that would sound better than using my marantz 7008 and something that has bass control and h/t bypass . Do you think the marantz will fit the bill vs the p5 instead ?
Never heard the Marantz, so I can't tell you.  Loved their old remotes though. :)

But if the choice is a P5 or nothing, I'd say nothing. :) Keep your money in your pocket for something better.  P7's used show up for not much more.


Not sure where you're getting this info about the P5, Eric.  Are you basing it on your own experience with the P5?  

I've got the P7 myself and was debating the P5 when I found a used P7.  I did much research on the P5 and never heard or read anything critical of it for the price.  The Parasound Classic 2100 is the basic performer here, not the P5.  The 2100 is again quite nice sounding for the price, and the P5 is a good step up from that.  The P7, though quite good, employs op amps  and not discrete circuits.

I dont know abiut the clasxic, but just take a look inside.  ;)  im not saying its a terrible preamp, but that the p7 is a much better value.
Rightly or wrongly in this audio adventure, I finally decided that how it sounds is the bottom line for me.  That's why I sold the Oppo and various Emotiva gear and ended up with Parasound and some Nad pieces.

Anyway, as for this P5, it does look a little empty on the inside for sure(the Oppo 95 looked amazing on the inside but was bested by a Nad C565bee), but I've never heard one.  I do remember that the early ones had an issue with the volume pot, and Parasound had owners ship them back for warranty repair.  

If I was in the market for a $1100 pre today, I'd have the P5 on my short list, because I've come to trust Shram, it's a solid company that really does put audio first.  Still, I'm quite happy with the P7.

@213runnin Sound trumps all if you want to live with it. If you are going to resell it, that's another story. :)