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Amplifiers - Parasound A51
A bit of history:

I have been looking for an amplifier able to easily drive my APOGEE DIVAs for years. The DIVAs are known to be current hungry ! All the amplifiers tht have been able to deliver a correct result belong to the most famous brands of amplifiers: KRELL, MARK LEVINSON, THRESHOLD, JADIS,...
Even the APOGEE user manual says "The DIVAs require a 100W/4ohms amplifier" , the reality is very different: I have used many class B  amplifiers supposed to deliver 300W or even 600W without getting good results.
The first to produce good result was the "small" KRELL KSA 50-mkII, that I have been using for more than five years.


And the news:

As I am always looking for improvement, I have got in touch with the future French importer of PARASOUND. We know that the famous designer John CURL had work on the top range of the Parasound amplifiers; very often branded with the HALO name. I expected to review the JC1 monoblocks, but the importer told me that they were not available at the time. Instead, he proposed me to review the A51 amplifier, an home-cinema product supposed to deliver 5x250W...
You certainly already know that I was not very enthusiastic to review an home-cinema product... but on this monday, the French importer came to my home with an heavy parcel in his car... Inside the parcel, there was this device:

 
a51_angle_577.jpg
Vue of the Parasound A 51 (angle)
 
a51_front_577.jpg

Front vue of the Parasound A 51
a51_rear_577.jpg

This device is beautiful, presents a high manufacturing quality, but the layout of the rear connectors is not correct: with all the inputs on one side and the the outputs on the other side, it is not very handy...


The PARASOUND A51 listening sessions.

The amplifier has been turned on 30mn before listening.
The bass section is a little bit "heavy" at the beginning but becomes better after a while. It is one of the major characteristic of this power amp: it is a "robust and powerful" amp... After the moments, I came "into" the music and what as happy as a kid with a new toy...
My Reference system #2 is already at an excellent level and I did not believe that I could get such an improvement. I recently understood my mistake: although I have used very powerful class A amplifiers, they did not have a big enough power supply to cope with the current hungry Divas.
This PARASOUND A51 hosts a 2.2kVA transformer (!) and a total of 164.000µF capacitance. The result is incredible, the European importer has no voice, and the KRELL is disposed...

I remember me thinking: yes, the DIVAs produced that amount of bass !... The mystery is quickly solved: this amplifier is able to deliver 60A of current. So the happy few APOGEE owners should know that there is not only KRELL or THRESHOLD able to correctly drive their speakers...

This amplifier is a miracle for those needing high current capabilities. My KRELL is outperformed in this configuration using the APOGEE DIVAs.

Pros:
  • This amplifier is a king in the transistors amplifiers arena
  • Beautiful aspect
  • Beautiful mid frequencies
  • Very high power
  • No fan, operating temperature is OK
  • Design by John Curl...
  • 250W providing the feeling of a 500W amp
  • A 2.2kVA transformer and 164.000µF capacitors make a really serious power supply for a stereo only configuration
  • Provides serious bass on the APOGEE DIVAs

Cons:
  • Must be placed on the floor, due to its size and weight
  • No handles on the front plate despite the weight of the device
  • The connectors location is not good

We have opened a dedicated topic on our Forum here: http://www.thresholdlovers.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=431
 

TL_5stateart.jpg
This article has been written by Florent (provence13 on our Forum).

Creation date : 07/09/2010 @ 13:58
Last update : 12/01/2016 @ 17:49
Category : Amplifiers
Page read 100 times


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Reactions to this article


Reaction #2 

by provence13 21/08/2011 @ 09:38

Hi Soundsmith,
Parasound is a great brand that you can find all over Europe and also of course in the states. Here is the link : http://www.parasound.com/dealers/#more_info
Hope it helps.

Reaction #1 

by soundsmith 15/08/2011 @ 05:20

You have basically sold me on this amp as being the one that best fits what I'm looking for.  I'm not concerned about its size and weight since it will be on the floor.  If those are the only real negatives with it then I'm thinking this may be my future amplifier!  So where would I be able to find this for sale?  Is it one of those that's only available on the manufacturer's website or would it be available for purchase at a retail store such as hhgregg?
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