View Full Version : Difference Parasound HCA-1200MKII and HCA-1500A

10-17-2010, 08:47 PM
Well... I bit the bullet on both of these amplifiers. I figured I could use one in my bedroom 2 channel system to drive my LSi9's and use the other to drive the LSi9's in my home theater. The specs seem to be VERY close on these 2 amplifiers. My question is, has anyone auditioned both of these amps? Which one do you think is going to work better with the LSi9's? I know they will be close, but I am just curious.


Here is the info I have...


Special Features

* THX Certified by LucusFilm LTD
* Massive 1kVA power transformer
* 60,000uf computer grade capacitors in power supply
* Multiple polystyrene film bypass capacitors in power supply
* Cascode Class A input stages with matched J-FET pairs
* Hand picked MOSFETs in high voltage driver stage
* 10 pairs of 50mHz, 15 ampere bipolar output transistors
* Output transistors direct couple to speakers without LRC Network
* DC servo direct couple audio circuits with 3Hz roll off
* Linear Tracking, instantaneous acting DC servos
* High Bias Class AB operation
* Gold plated metal structure RCA input jacks
* Multiple temperature sensors and silver cadmium relay protection
* FR-4 glass epoxy circuit boards, double sided for precision
* Proprietary quick setting bias circuit obviates warmup period


* Continuous Power Output - Stereo
205 watts RMS x 2, 20 Hz-20 kHz, 8 Ω
315 watts RMS x 2, 20 Hz-20 kHz, 4 Ω
* Continuous Power Output - Mono
625 watts RMS, 20 Hz-20 kHz, 8 Ω
* Current Capacity
40 amperes continuous
57 amperes peak
* Slew Rate
>130 V/µsecond
* Frequency Response
8 Hz-150 kHz, +0/-3 dB
* Total Harmonic Distortion
< 0.06% at full power
< 0.03% typical levels
* IM Distortion
< 0.04%
* Dynamic Headroom
> 2.0dB
* lnterchannel Crosstalk
> 80 dB at 1 kHz
> 63 dB at 20 kHz
* Input Impedance
42K Ω
* S/N Ratio
> 110 dB, input shorted, IHF A weighted
* Damping Factor
> 600 at 20 Hz
* Dimensions
19" wide x 5.5" high x 13" deep
* Weight
37 lbs. net
* AC Power Requirements
1000 watts



* Designed by John Curl
* THX certified by Lucasfilm Ltd.
* Independent power supplies for each channel
* Massive 1 kVA toroid power transformer
* 60,000 µF computer-grade capacitors in power supply
* Multiple polystyrene film bypass capacitors in power supply
* DC Trigger Auto On Feature
* Cascoded Class A input stages with matched J-FET pairs
* Handpicked complementary MOSFET transistors in high voltage driver stage
* 8 complementary pairs of 15 ampere 50 MHz output transistors
* Output transistors direct-coupled to speakers without LRC networks
* DC servo direct-coupled audio circuits with 0.8 Hz rolloff
* High-bias Class A/AB operation
* Gold-plated metal structure RCA input jacks
* Gold-plated looping output jacks
* Multiple temperature sensors and silver-cadmium relay protection
* Glass epoxy circuit boards, double-sided for precision
* Custom designed audiophile-grade AC power cord
* Multiple Protection Circuits


* Continuous Power Output - Stereo:
205 Watts RMS x 2, 20 Hz-20 kHz, 8 Ω, both channels driven
315 watts RMS x 2, 20 Hz - 20 kHz, 4 Ω, both channels driven
* Continuous Power Output - Mono:
630 watts RMS, 20 Hz - 20 kHz, 8 Ω
* Current Capacity:
60 amperes peak per channel
* Slew Rate:
> 130 V/µsecond
* Frequency Response:
5 Hz - 100 kHz, +0/-3 dB at 1 watt
* Total Harmonic Distortion:
< 0.03% at full power; < 0.01 % typical levels
* IM Distortion:
< 0.03 %
* TIM:
* Dynamic Headroom:
> 1.5 dB
* Interchannel Crosstalk:
> 80 dB at 1 kHz; > 60 dB at 20 kHz
* Input Impedance:
33 k Ω
* Input Sensitivity:
1 V for 28.28 V, THX Reference Level; 1.2 V for full output
* S/N Ratio:
> 110 dB, input shorted, IHF A-weighted
* Damping Factor:
> 800 at 20 Hz
* Power Consumption:
500 watts
* Dimensions:
w 19" x h 5 1/4" x d 16", h 5 7/8" with feet
* Net Weight:
40 lb

10-17-2010, 09:11 PM
Are those two different classes of amps? Odd how one only requires 500 watts and the other requires 1000 watts.

10-17-2010, 09:15 PM
I was wondering if that was a misprint actually :D I noticed the same thing. I don't know. I will have to wait until I get them and see the actual units to verify their power usage. From what I understand, the 1500A was the replacement for the 1200MKII. But I am not %100 on that...


10-17-2010, 10:51 PM
The most simple and obvious thing is that the 1500a is a newer design. It was the next generation for Parasound. It included more HT friendly features like level adjustment and 12v DC triggers. If you see the insides of both of these, the newer 1500A is much more cleanly laid out and looks to have a higher build quality. Bottom line, they are both good amps and would probably both work well with the LSi9.

One thing that might make a difference is the fact that the older 1200 seems to have an extra pair of output transistors per channel. Possibly that means it has greater current output, but in all likelihood, they are both limited by the size of their transformers and rectifier diodes.

10-18-2010, 04:49 PM
billbillw has it pegged. I used to have a 1200 mkII. It's a decent amp, especially for what you can pick one up for now. I'd expect both the 1200 and 1500 to sound almost identical. It is nice to have the trigger on the newer model though.

10-18-2010, 04:55 PM
The trigger isn't a big deal to me since I have everything on a sequencing power conditioner made by SurgeX. I guess I have the answer to my question which seems to be what I thought it was. They are basically the same amp :D I will have both and both will be used to drive LSi9's.

Now, one final question. I am running a Parasound 2205 in my home theater. Would I be better off running the 9's on it along with my LSiFX, and LSiC, and then run my LSi7's on one of these? Or keep my 9's on one of these amps and run the rest of the home theater on the 2205?

Basically, is the 2205 a better amp than either of these 2?



10-18-2010, 07:02 PM
Great thread, I looked at both of these models when looking for a used amp. The 1500 always was a bit more expensive and I ended up buying a used 1200mkii from a fellow polkster here. It's been a great little amp for the mains and will probably be moved to surround duty when I end up upgrading,(don't we all do that,lol.)Wow, that 2205 is A LOT of amp:) Maybe others who have a 2205 can chime in.