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Parasound 2125 V.2 Amplifier Review

Rate this amplifier:

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 37 20.7%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 113 63.1%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 27 15.1%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 2 1.1%

  • Total voters
    179

Kevinfc

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Parasound, an interesting brand. Started off as sort of a low end brand then moved into the low to middle end audiophile category is the 90’s. We had a very early model at my fraternity in the mid 80’s, we abused the hell out of it, cheap and very loud.
 

KMO

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Does not make it to it's own power output specification.
Looks like it does to me. The usual industry/advertising convention, although not stated in those specs, is for manufacturers to quote maximum power at <=1% distortion, which is -40dB.

Amir's much more conservative convention on those plots is to mark the elbow where the distortion starts to climb. (Some have suggested this penalises amps with better distortion - at say 200W, an amp Amir rated at 190W might do better than an amp Amir rated at 240W - the 190W amp's distortion is rising, but could still be better than the 240W amp...)

So you want to be reading off where the trace crosses the -40dB gridline. Very close to the specced 225W for 4 ohm, and comfortably above 150W for 8 ohm. I'd say it met its specification.
 

Cars-N-Cans

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Amir's much more conservative convention on those plots is to mark the elbow where the distortion starts to climb. (Some have suggested this penalises amps with better distortion - at say 200W, an amp Amir rated at 190W might do better than an amp Amir rated at 240W - the 190W amp's distortion is rising, but could still be better than the 240W amp...)
With amps that have a more gradual distortion profile I would definitely agree. At least for me amps that have a fairly steep knee where the distortion takes off his measurements are reasonable since there's usually not much more juice to squeeze beyond that point under steady conditions. Although one thing it has in its favor is the unregulated supply which can cope with brief transients better. With switching stuff even the most impulsive music changes at a glacial pace compared to the speed the electronics usually run at (edit: Not to mention they are also regulated), so no joy there. But given how powerful some of the class D amps are, it doesn't matter unless you really intend to run the thing flat-out.
 
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milosz

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I have what I think is an older version of this amp, the HCA-1000. Well maybe not specifically an older version of the amp, possibly an ancestor in some way. It's a John Curl design, for what that's worth- he's, well, let's say he's "colorful."

I bought it used for $200.00 six years ago. For that money, it's a pretty good amp. I use it to drive woofers in bi-amp or tri-amp projects I am fooling around with. It seems really reliable. I've never used it to drive "full range" speakers, just for the low end in systems with MiniDSP crossovers.
 
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tonycollinet

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Though I am scratching my head. Parasound lists 2x225W @ 4ohm. My past experience with Parasound was listing RMS power per channel. Based on the results…might be a little bit of marketing here.
Max power is typically specified at 1% distortion. If you follow the power curve up the line, it will get to around 220 or so at 40db (1%)
 

DSJR

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By domestic audiophool standards, it's still worthy!

All you SINAD chasing youngsters will obviously feel different though, such is the sluggish rate of progress in mainstream domestic mid to high end audio. Parasound never really made huge inroads over here I recall and if they did, I suspect it was home theatre and custom install - fit, set the gains on the back and forget with the unit hidden in a cupboard...
 

Lbstyling

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Only three things changed…amp swap + use XLR now (versus RCA) and rerun Anthem Room Correction. So rewatching the same scenes at the same volume dialog and environmental sounds are much more noticeable and clear. Maybe it is placebo. But I really prefer the sound of the Hypex amps over this traditional A/B unit. Lacking these objective measurements…that’s what we are down to opinions and perception.

But you play a piece of music on a cheap boom box…then play the same piece on a $25,000 2 channel set up. Probably can hear more clarity and depth right? To my ears I hear more depth and clarity in the class D. Best I can tell ya.
I had the parasound halo A51 for 3 or 4 years. Absolute beast. 2 person lift.

Didnt touch my Hypex ncore amps for clarity for some reason.

'Wooly' bass, mid and treble is the best description I can give.
 

iLoveCats

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I had this amp and an outlaw 5000 (very similar performance numbers) at the same time and swapped them between the same electronics and speakers and this parasound 2125v2 always sounded blah to me even though I wanted to keep the parasound and sell the outlaw. The high pass filter on the parasound, when you turn it on, is like putting your hands over your ears.
 

Rottmannash

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2125 V2;
e134408201105e322351568f06686d81.jpg


JSmith
Looks an awful lot like the internals of my old Rotel 6 channel amp-same binding posts as well.
 

mctron

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Another legacy brand trading on name? Would be interesting to see their high end products measured as the middle/low tier seems to be not great
 

CDMC

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The design on these dates back to the early 90s with only minor changes. A fair value then, not so good now. An opportunity for those who want a vintage amp with a new warranty.
 

AdamG247

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The performance here seems to cheapen the THX Certification Badging. I thought THX had high performance standards as that is a large amount of distortion permitted. Curious results from a company with fairly high reputation. Thanks Amir and @Highmodulus for sending in the unit.

On edit: interestly this Amp does not show up on the certified Amp/AV separates list. Only 5 Parasound Amps appear Certified by THX at any level.

THX Certified Parasound Amps
 
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ebslo

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Does not make it to it's own power output specification.
View attachment 223219
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IMO, it meets their spec (click the "Specs" tab on the product page for the actual specifications.) They specify THD "at full rated output" to be 0.25%, which by my eyeballing of the measurements, it meets at rated power. They do skirt the FTC rule by specifying two THD ratings, but at least it's clear.
 

pseudoid

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I am confused what this means:
202208_ParasoundFRessential.jpg

I voted NFG, only because this is 2022 and not 2002!
 

perdido34

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It beats its specifications in terms of distortion and is subjectively transparent, but the performance is more in line with older class B designs from the 80’s. If its the kind of design that is durable and puts up with abuse, I could potentially see it being useful, but at close to $1k and only having moderate amounts of power, it’s not the best value.
I bought one on sale for $599 probably a year ago, and it is a noticeable improvement over the amp section of my Denon x4400h AVR--more headroom and clarity. And I am not playing it that loud with my B&W 704 speakers. So for $599, I'm happy with it.
 

oldmanhifi

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I bought one earlier this year for $599 (open box) and I too am happy with it. I wasn't thrilled with the reduced gain when the high pass filter was engaged, but I don't have a need for it either.
 
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