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Parasound 2125 V.2 Amplifier Review

Rate this amplifier:

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 37 20.3%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 114 62.6%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 28 15.4%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 3 1.6%

  • Total voters
    182

Jimster480

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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
So then it doesn't meet the THX standard. It just has some THX badge on the front.

It is a shame to see these older brands just trading on name. Maybe we need a brand like Topping to get into everything to get these other companies to wake up and care.
 

Spkrdctr

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2125 V2;
e134408201105e322351568f06686d81.jpg


JSmith
I see what the problem is with this amp. It jumps out to a professional like me, even though most people here on ASR will not see why it did not perform better.
It has sand cast resistors in it, no tube connectors and no upgraded wiring. It was staring you all in the face! :facepalm:
 

Spkrdctr

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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
Good catch Adam! If it is not on the list then it is not THX certified. The THX designation still means a lot. But most companies do not want to fool with it as they have to have a decent design and tweak it to perform as THX requires. That rules out almost everyone that wants to take the money and run. Sadly we have to rely on Class D to meet all the THX standards with room to spare. Heavy ball busting class A/B is on its way out.
 

Fahzz

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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.
I'm in the same boat - paid $599 and I use it to power mains though an AVR. Thanks for the review - at least the panther has a head. LOL
 

Cars-N-Cans

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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.
I would say if I could get it for less it would be a reasonable amp as otherwise the design is rather basic but seems solid. I have an AVR-1312 and it has audible and measurable IMD in both channels at higher frequencies. Not sure if there are similar issues with other AVRs they have made (or if its age for that matter), but some of these do measure rather poorly.
 

pablolie

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I remember getting a Parasound power amp... and sending it back, despite having high hopes for it. It didn't seem to be a resolving amp unless you played it very loud (and everything sounds good when you play it loud, because that kills any subtlety).
 

AdamG247

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So then it doesn't meet the THX standard. It just has some THX badge on the front.

It is a shame to see these older brands just trading on name. Maybe we need a brand like Topping to get into everything to get these other companies to wake up and care.
I certainly don’t know anything for certain. Just reporting what I found. I guess it is possible that this amp was Certified in previous years. Looking at Parasounds web page for this amp. These are the provided Specs: (See first bullet on left “THX Ultra2 Certified”

Parasound 2125V2 Amp Specifications

And here is the Search Result on the THX Website for the term “THX Ultra2 Certified”:

Search results for THX Ultra2 Certified. Nada! Not that this is completely conclusive and THX may have changed their standards recently. While this Amp was certified under previous guidelines and standards that no longer apply.
 
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jam

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Nice that someone sent you a Parasound amp to review Amir. Thanks for the review. As the owner of three Parasound amps (A21, A23 & HCA-1203A) in my multi-channel setup, I was hoping that the 2125 V.2 would perform better in the measurements. I hope that someone sends you an A21 or A21+ some day for testing although perhaps your back won't like that too much.
 

TonyJZX

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Yeah slightly disappointing performance however I would imagine they're trading on their name.

I dont know why this company even bothers with THX cert. since its now owned by Creative Labs (???) and they'll let you slap it on anything that makes noise.... even in its day THX didnt mean all that much except that it passed a few arcane benchmarks as approved by Lucas. I'm guessing they got a lifetime subscription and just keep auto renewing lol.

I think Parasound is just too top heavy now... need to pay all the execs in California and Taiwan isnt a low cost production country.

I too have a Parasound amp that is older than quite a few people here and it never disappointed and has matched up to quite a few preamps... but I'm certain it wouldnt measure all that well today.
 

AaronJ

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Parasound have drastically increased their prices over the past year. 1 year ago this amp was…I think about $725? Then up to $899 and now $1099. I had a 275V2 that I purchased open box for $425 (when it was $575 retail) but now it’s shot up to $899 and makes zero sense at that price relative to the competition. I recently sold it.
 

Orion76

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Yeah, I've noticed that. Bought my Parasound NewClassic 2250 v.2 over 7 years ago and it was a lot of power for $999. Today it is selling for $1800.
 

Barter

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The high pass filters look more like 40Hz and 80Hz to me.
Convention is that the cutoff frequency of a filter is it’s -3dB point, which on this graph is correct. Someone else can probably explain the math behind that, as it’s not, as I understand it, based on audibility threshold.
 

KMO

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Convention is that the cutoff frequency of a filter is it’s -3dB point, which on this graph is correct. Someone else can probably explain the math behind that, as it’s not, as I understand it, based on audibility threshold.
Sometimes it's the -6dB point - depends on the type of filter.

I'm sure there is a firm mathematical basis, but there's also a clear practical reason.

As far as I'm aware, the point chosen is where you'd intersect the opposite filter to make a crossover. So an 80Hz crossover is made out of an 80Hz LPF and an 80Hz HPF, with each of them being -3dB or -6dB down at 80Hz.

Much simpler than choosing some other point to describe a filter and then saying you needed a 40Hz LPF and 160Hz HPF to make an 80Hz crossover.
 

astr0b0y

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Convention is that the cutoff frequency of a filter is it’s -3dB point, which on this graph is correct. Someone else can probably explain the math behind that, as it’s not, as I understand it, based on audibility threshold.
Looking more closely I can see you're correct. I made a mistake with the scale and didn't read the y-axis properly.
I also though it was strange to have 20 & 40Hz LPFs, these seem very low values to me and I would have expected 60 - 120Hz.
 

KMO

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I also though it was strange to have 20 & 40Hz LPFs, these seem very low values to me and I would have expected 60 - 120Hz.
They strike me as being intended for speaker protection rather than being intended to support subwoofer crossover.

It's not uncommon for smaller professional speakers, particularly wall-mounted ones, to require some sort of HPF protection. Mmy "zone 2+3" speakers out in the porch have an HPF set in my AVR's config for that reason.

Could also be to avoid unnecessary amp load? Don't bother trying to push low frequencies to speakers that you know won't do anything worthwhile with them?
 

peng

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Nice that someone sent you a Parasound amp to review Amir. Thanks for the review. As the owner of three Parasound amps (A21, A23 & HCA-1203A) in my multi-channel setup, I was hoping that the 2125 V.2 would perform better in the measurements. I hope that someone sends you an A21 or A21+ some day for testing although perhaps your back won't like that too much.

If you compare it's THD+N vs output only, the 2125 V.2 seems as good as the A21+ based on Stereophile's:
At rated output, distortions appeared to be a tie, at 5 W, the 2125 V2 was slightly better, at 100 mW, they were again, practically the same.
I bet the design of the two are very similar but the A21+ naturally would have a larger/better power supply.

For practical value, the 2125 V2 seems like a much better value (less than half the price).

220Para21fig5.jpg
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Fig.5 Parasound A21+, distortion (%) vs 1kHz continuous output power into 4 ohms.
 
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