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Parasound 2125 V.2 Amplifier Review

Rate this amplifier:

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 38 19.4%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 120 61.2%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 31 15.8%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 7 3.6%

  • Total voters
    196

Megaken

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So what's the explanation for gain lowering with a crossover? Shouldn't logically it be the other way around?
 

Short38

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I owned one for a month. Transformer hum audible at listening position with no music playing and between tracks. Sold it and now have a Rotel integrated. No hum.
 

Megaken

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I owned one for a month. Transformer hum audible at listening position with no music playing and between tracks. Sold it and now have a Rotel integrated. No hum.
I don't have any hum even if I max out the volume
 

Short38

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Not talking about output at the speakers. The unit hummed.
 

jdmccall56

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Interesting thread to me, since I just ordered a new open-box 2125 direct from Parasound a few days ago. I might have not done so and instead gone with a pair of Outlaw 2220’s if I would have seen this thread first. Oh well, “a day late and a dollar short” —the story of my life. At least it will look nice with the 200 Pre that I ordered from Crutchfield (which should be delivered today).

BTW, what does the “SI” in ”SINAD” stand for? (I’m new to forum…and not the brightest of bulbs. I assume the “NAD” is for noise and distortion.
 

milosz

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Interesting thread to me, since I just ordered a new open-box 2125 direct from Parasound a few days ago. I might have not done so and instead gone with a pair of Outlaw 2220’s if I would have seen this thread first. Oh well, “a day late and a dollar short” —the story of my life. At least it will look nice with the 200 Pre that I ordered from Crutchfield (which should be delivered today).

BTW, what does the “SI” in ”SINAD” stand for? (I’m new to forum…and not the brightest of bulbs. I assume the “NAD” is for noise and distortion.
Even though the Outlaw amp measures better in it's ASR article, I would bet dollars to donuts that in a blind A/B listening test of these two amps you wouldn't be able to tell them apart. So don't sweat it.
 

iLoveCats

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Interesting thread to me, since I just ordered a new open-box 2125 direct from Parasound a few days ago. I might have not done so and instead gone with a pair of Outlaw 2220’s if I would have seen this thread first. Oh well, “a day late and a dollar short” —the story of my life. At least it will look nice with the 200 Pre that I ordered from Crutchfield (which should be delivered today).

BTW, what does the “SI” in ”SINAD” stand for? (I’m new to forum…and not the brightest of bulbs. I assume the “NAD” is for noise and distortion.
Just don't use the built in crossover. Its like you put your hands over your ears.
 

anarchist

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This is a review and detailed measurements of the Parasound 2125 V.2 power amplifier. It is on kind loan from a member and costs US $899.
View attachment 223201
The 2125 has an understated look with just a few touches to keep it from looking boring. The only controls in front are for which set of speakers it drives. There is more however in the back:
View attachment 223202

For those of you wanting to use it with a sub, it has selectable high pass filter of 20 or 40 Hz. Trigger is supported as well as bridging.

Parasound 2125 V.2 Measurements
I had a heck of a time getting stable ratings in the dashboard with channel 1 mostly going nuts on its own. I thought this was a grounding problem so tried many things. There was hardly a difference. It was not until the power measurements that I realized something is going on the amp in the 5 to 20 watt range. Anyway, here is our dashboard when both channels were behaving:

View attachment 223203
Measured noise+distortion lands the 2125 above average ranking:

View attachment 223204
View attachment 223205

Noise performance is not great at 5 watts but naturally improves at full power:
View attachment 223206

Multitone reflect the average distortion rating:
View attachment 223207

Frequency response is very good:
View attachment 223208

I was however surprised that gain dropped when I activated the high-pass filters.

As noted, my first power sweep had instability in mid power. I thought this was instrumentation error so I filtered the heck out of it and got these:
View attachment 223209
View attachment 223210

On reflection though this was amplifier instability as we can see when I sweep the frequency:
View attachment 223211

There is a frequency dependent hump in distortion which is very strange. It is likely due to some kind of voltage rail switching.

There is a lot of power available though in a cool running case:
View attachment 223212

Conclusions
This kind of performance would usually garner my recommendation for the 2125. On reflection though, I am worried about increased distortion in the "sweet" area of power band -- 5 to 20 watts. Company needs to work on mitigating this issue. So for now, I won't be recommending the Parasound 2125 even though it checks many boxes from value to functionaltiy.
-----------

Oh sure, "go Denon" I guess as usual.
Which Denon BTW beats this amp in same price range? None actually. Case closed.
 

jdmccall56

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So far, so good with my Parasound 2125 v.2. As I said previously, I bought it direct from Parasound as a “certified A” open-box item. While in my opinion, it was not exactly worthy of that exalted designation (there were a few small but visible scratches on the top and front), overall it did seem to be in very good condition. Still, I would have felt better about the whole thing if the price had been a couple of hundred dollars cheaper. But, a black marker can take care of many minor blemishes on black gear and I’ve already forgotten where the scratches were.

The amp is very quiet and I have not heard any hum or buzz of any kind. That said, I have not done the “ear on the tweeter“ test, but from 10-12’ away…all quiet.

Now for the surprising part: This Parasound combo sounds nothing like the Denon integrated. I’ve always been in the “most amps sound mostly alike most of the time” camp, but not anymore. I don’t know if it’s the pre or the amp or the combo, but where the Denon is bright and open, the Paras are dark and smooth. If anything, subjectively, the Denon sounded tilted up on top and fast and lean on the bottom. The Paras are the opposite. They’re bassy and somewhat rolled off on top. Again, subjectively. I don’t know which is right. The Denon was more revealing while the Parasound pair is more forgiving. I think that considering my gear and source material, I am probably much better off to err on the forgiving side.
 

Doodski

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So far, so good with my Parasound 2125 v.2. As I said previously, I bought it direct from Parasound as a “certified A” open-box item. While in my opinion, it was not exactly worthy of that exalted designation (there were a few small but visible scratches on the top and front), overall it did seem to be in very good condition. Still, I would have felt better about the whole thing if the price had been a couple of hundred dollars cheaper. But, a black marker can take care of many minor blemishes on black gear and I’ve already forgotten where the scratches were.

The amp is very quiet and I have not heard any hum or buzz of any kind. That said, I have not done the “ear on the tweeter“ test, but from 10-12’ away…all quiet.

Now for the surprising part: This Parasound combo sounds nothing like the Denon integrated. I’ve always been in the “most amps sound mostly alike most of the time” camp, but not anymore. I don’t know if it’s the pre or the amp or the combo, but where the Denon is bright and open, the Paras are dark and smooth. If anything, subjectively, the Denon sounded tilted up on top and fast and lean on the bottom. The Paras are the opposite. They’re bassy and somewhat rolled off on top. Again, subjectively. I don’t know which is right. The Denon was more revealing while the Parasound pair is more forgiving. I think that considering my gear and source material, I am probably much better off to err on the forgiving side.
Without level matching and using a switchbox for instant switching and to compare the amps this is all subjective beliefs. :D I've heard thousands of amps using a switchbox and other than the cheap STK designs and the lower powered 40 W/ch amps there was little difference between the amps until getting to about 130 W/ch and up. Once up in the higher power range they all sound pretty alike if not undecipherable from another.
 
Last edited:

jdmccall56

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Without level matching and using a switchbox for instant switching and to compare the amps this is all subjective beliefs. :D I've head thousands of amps using a switchbox and other than the cheap STK designs and the lower powered 40 W/ch amps there was little difference between the amps until getting to about 130 W/ch and up. Once up in the higher power range they all sound pretty alike if not undecipherable from another.
…which is why i said my judgements were subjective. Still, though they may be worthless to anyone but me, those are the conclusions I came away with. One possibility: the 200 pre has tone controls. I wonder if they are totally out of the signal path when set dead center to zero cut or boost?
 

Doodski

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…which is why i said my judgements were subjective. Still, though they may be worthless to anyone but me, those are the conclusions I came away with. One possibility: the 200 pre has tone controls. I wonder if they are totally out of the signal path when set dead center to zero cut or boost?
The difference of tone circuitry engaged or not is so small a difference that I doubt most people can hear any change.
 

funnychap

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The difference of tone circuitry engaged or not is so small a difference that I doubt most people can hear any change.
Tone controls is a night and day difference on my Parasound 2100 preamp.
(I use Parasound 2125v2 amps).
 

peng

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Tone controls is a night and day difference on my Parasound 2100 preamp.
(I use Parasound 2125v2 amps).
First of all, I am not one who would ever say all amps sound the same, and I have heard differences between some in the past but any time people claimed "night and day" difference, there had to be some reasons other than with tone control on vs off if on means the circuitry is not bypassed but set in the default position that should always be left at the "neutral" position (in this case the OP said "set dead center to zero cut or boost" . That doesn't mean the same for all amps, but certainly for similar models made by reputable brands such as Parasound.
 

Bds3151

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I have a couple of solid class D amps - Purifi eval one and VTV 400. They both are very clean and sound good but over time I have gone back to class A/B amps. I'm not sure I could tell in a double blind but the A/B amps just sound more dynamic and the trailing off of notes seem to have more emphasis (distortion?). The latest A/B amp to unseat the Class D is the older Parasound 2125 ver1 which sounds great to me.
 

Megaken

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I have a couple of solid class D amps - Purifi eval one and VTV 400. They both are very clean and sound good but over time I have gone back to class A/B amps. I'm not sure I could tell in a double blind but the A/B amps just sound more dynamic and the trailing off of notes seem to have more emphasis (distortion?). The latest A/B amp to unseat the Class D is the older Parasound 2125 ver1 which sounds great to me.
I went from the same parasound amp to a hypex and kind of miss the distortion
 
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