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Parasound amplifier died - looking for a receiver now
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September 15, 2016, 08:06:43 PM
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My 18 year old Parasound HCA-2205A amplifier decided to self destruct yesterday with loud explosions and heavy smoke. It's a 5 channel amp and channel 3 was dead for years and I really only used it for the front two channels. Now, it's completely dead; a 90 pound paperweight.  :(

I didn't open it up to see the carnage yet, but I think I'm just going to replace it with a 7.2 channel receiver since I watch more movies than listen to 2-channel music. Plus, my Parasound C2 preamp is limited to 96k/24bit audio and I would be nice to be able to play higher resolution audio like 192k/24bit and DSD in the living room. Plus, the C2 has component video and no HDMI video/audio inputs so it's time to bring my home theater into the 21st century.  ;)

I'm not looking for a really expensive receiver, somewhere between $500 ~ $700 is about it for now. The three brands I'm looking at is Pioneer Elite, Denon and Onkyo. Here's some of the features I'm looking for:

- 4K passthrough; upconversion a plus
- DSD 2.8Mhz audio playback, 5.6 a plus
- At least 100W per channel
- WIFI connectivity, wired network and bluetooth
- A decent Android app to control the receiver
- Auto calibration (distance/size/EQ)
- Burr Brown, CS or AK DAC's (No SABRE dac's)
- AM/FM radio a plus
- Internet radio a plus

I was wondering if anyone has experience with the sound quality between modern Onkyo and Denon receivers. I tend to prefer a warmer, fuller sound - that's why I shy away from components with a SABRE DAC which tend to sound hyper-realistic and etchy. My Paradigm Studio 100 speakers are VERY power hungry and have an average load of 6 Ohms, so the more current - the better.

Which receiver company would have the highest current and cleanest amplifier output? Which one would have the most 'analog' sound quality? Does Onkyo still have issues with LCPM audio and HDMI switching?

My Parasound amp was a beast and I miss it dearly. I might send it out for repair and upgrade my preamp at a later date, but for now, I'll settle for a 'cheap' receiver and see how it goes.

Any suggestions?
« Last Edit: September 24, 2016, 08:41:50 AM by BSD2000 »
Rega P25 Zyx Omega G Zyx R100H Audio Research PH5 Denon DP-52F Denon DL-103D Burson HA-160 Sennheiser HD-650 and HD-800


September 19, 2016, 11:12:24 AM
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Things just went from bad to worse. When the amp died, it sent a strong DC current through the right channel and fried the two woofers in one of my Studio 100 speakers. The two woofers are stiff and locked up. The voice coils must have fried and welded themselves to the center pole magnet. The tweeter and midbass drivers are OK; I didn't look at the crossover yet.

I did send an email to Paradigm to see if they still have woofers available for Studio 100's v2.
Rega P25 Zyx Omega G Zyx R100H Audio Research PH5 Denon DP-52F Denon DL-103D Burson HA-160 Sennheiser HD-650 and HD-800


September 20, 2016, 03:29:37 AM
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I received a quick reply back from Paradigm - they don't make the drivers anymore, nor do they have any 'old stock' lying around; but they can rebuild the drivers back to factory specifications if I send them in.  ;D

Here's a couple pictures of the disassembly of my speaker. The crossover looks fine - no exploded caps or burn marks on the inductor.
« Last Edit: September 20, 2016, 03:32:06 AM by BSD2000 »
Rega P25 Zyx Omega G Zyx R100H Audio Research PH5 Denon DP-52F Denon DL-103D Burson HA-160 Sennheiser HD-650 and HD-800


September 23, 2016, 03:54:59 PM
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sorry to hear about your amp and speaker.

let us know how the re-work turns out.
> Rega RP8 / Audio Technica AT440mla -> Exposure 3010 s2d.
> Dual CS5000 / Ortofon 2m blue -> AMC 3100 mkII.


September 29, 2016, 10:03:09 PM
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Well, good news - the speakers were shipped out today.  :)  They say it could take four to six weeks to rebuild the speakers and ship them back. In the meantime, I plan on calling Parasound to discuss what they can do to help me get the HCA-2205 amp back up and running. The amp weighs almost 90 pounds, so shipping it out for repair is going to cost quite a bit of money.   :(

I'm debating whether to put both repaired drivers in one speaker, or split them up - one original and one repaired driver per speaker to even out the possible audible difference (if any). What do you guys think?
Rega P25 Zyx Omega G Zyx R100H Audio Research PH5 Denon DP-52F Denon DL-103D Burson HA-160 Sennheiser HD-650 and HD-800


October 26, 2016, 08:17:46 AM
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More good news! Paradigm called yesterday, the driver rebuilds are done. Final cost is $300 + $22.50 for return shipping. Looks like I'm about a week away from getting my speaker back together - I can't wait! I absolutely love my Studio 100's, they have a warm, full sound that's hard to find nowadays - and to me, they're irreplaceable.

Next will be to get the Parasound amp going again; or go back to my original plan and just get a decent receiver.
Rega P25 Zyx Omega G Zyx R100H Audio Research PH5 Denon DP-52F Denon DL-103D Burson HA-160 Sennheiser HD-650 and HD-800


October 28, 2016, 02:35:52 PM
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good to hear that the speakers will soon work again.

sorry, i can't be of much help regarding the multichannel amp, but your old Parasound unit looks like it packs quite some bunch. Depending on the repair cost it might be worth saving.
> Rega RP8 / Audio Technica AT440mla -> Exposure 3010 s2d.
> Dual CS5000 / Ortofon 2m blue -> AMC 3100 mkII.


October 29, 2016, 01:41:20 AM
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Package came today!  ;D

My Paradigm speakers are back together and sound fantastic! I'm still debating whether to split the drivers up between the speakers, one new and one old per side. I'm guessing it's probably the most logical thing to do. Hmmm...

Thanks again to the technicians at Paradigm - they offer amazing sounding speakers and back them up with world-class support!
Rega P25 Zyx Omega G Zyx R100H Audio Research PH5 Denon DP-52F Denon DL-103D Burson HA-160 Sennheiser HD-650 and HD-800


March 25, 2017, 12:15:13 PM
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I ended up getting a refurbished Denon AVR-X4200W from Accessories4Less.com for $749.  :)

It has almost everything I was looking for - a decent amount of power (125W/ch @ 0.05% THD, 4ohm stable), 4K Ultra HD upscaling on all analog inputs, HDMI 2.0a with HDCP 2.2, DTS-HD Master Audio, Dolby True HD, Dolby Atmos and DTS:X, DSD audio playback (2.8Mhz), network playback with DLNA support, front USB port, audio preamp outputs, dual band WIFI, phono input (I might move my Denon turntable in the living room), Audyssey Platinum DSP Suite (MultEQ XT32) and AL24 plus processing. The only thing it's missing is 128x 5.6Mhz DSD playback, but the only files I have in that format are a few I recorded with my Korg MR-2000S.

<a href="http://www.vinylaudio.net/pdf/AVR-X4200W_v4.pdf" target="_blank">http://www.vinylaudio.net/pdf/AVR-X4200W_v4.pdf</a>

I called Parasound and the closest authorized repair shop is only about 35 miles away - so in the coming months I plan on dropping off my HCA-2205A so they can check it out. I have no idea how many channels burned out, but it's at least two. I'm afraid to plug it in and test it for fear of destroying what's left of it. Actually, it's been a 'problem child' from the beginning with the center channel cutting out within a few years of owning it (which was fixed under the 10 year warranty); then conveniently burning out again after the warranty expired. If they can repair it at a reasonable cost, I'll end up using the Denon as a preamp with the Parasound since I'm sure the Parasound is a much better sounding amp (when it works).  ::)

To help fund the amp repair I'll probably end up selling my Parasound Halo C2 preamp/processor. I paid a staggering $3,200 for it; and as far as sound quality goes, it was worth every penny. Nowadays it's only worth about $450 on eBay, but if you don't need all the latest and greatest audio formats or streaming capabilities - it's still a fantastic 5.1 DD/DTS processor, high-end 96k/24bit DAC and amazing audio preamp with XLR analog outputs. The DAC in it is amazing and sweet - the best I ever heard; even better than my Audio-GD NFB-12.1 DAC. I know once I sell it I'll end up missing it. The Denon uses Asahi Kasei Microdevices (AKM) AK4458 DACs, which is the same brand used in my Halo C2 (AK4393), so I'm hoping it sounds just as good.  :)
Rega P25 Zyx Omega G Zyx R100H Audio Research PH5 Denon DP-52F Denon DL-103D Burson HA-160 Sennheiser HD-650 and HD-800


 

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