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  1. #1

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    Default Parasound HCA-2200II & LSI9 Combo

    Good Morning Everyone,

    I haven't logged in for almost a year since I bought my LSI9's this time last year and boy does time fly. I was running them on an older NAD 2-channel amp that has recently decided it would rather be a 1 channel amp. It wasn't that great when I bought it so repair is out and I feel the LSI9s deserve better.

    I want an amp to properly handle the low impedance 9's and came across a Parasound HCA-2200ii on craig's list locally. It is being sold with a pre-amp also for 1K but I think I just want the amp. I've seen it listed as low as $600 but do feel some hesitation in buying a decade + old amp (to replace my decade old dying amp).

    My questions are, 1.) is that amp overkill or rather too much vs. possibly a newer budget offering such as an Emotiva product. 2.) Do you think $600 is a reasonable offer on the Parasound.

    If Emotiva is an option, is the UPA-2 a good match or should one go up to the XPA-2 or 3?

    Thanks in advance everyone!
    -J

  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by jkrepner View Post
    My questions are, 1.) is that amp overkill or rather too much vs. possibly a newer budget offering such as an Emotiva product. 2.) Do you think $600 is a reasonable offer on the Parasound.
    1) It's not overkill. The lsi's will love it. That particular Parasound is a special amp, and it is superior to any emo product.

    2) 600 is reasonable. I've seen them go for more, but I wouldn't be offended if someone offered me 6 for mine.

    That HCA-2200ii is a special amp from Parasound. It and the HCA-3500 were the most true to John Curl'
    s designs as Parasound ever got. They are both very high current designs, more so than the even the new Halo A21. The 4 ohm lsi's will thrive on its current delivering capabilities.

    Mine has never been serviced and is running strong.
    2-Channel:

    Source 1: PC
    Source 2: Rega Apollo CDP
    USB > SPDIF Converter: Stello U3
    DAC: Audio GD NFB-7
    Preamp: Audio Research LS-15
    Power Amp: BAT VK-500
    Speakers: Magnepan 3.7's

    HT:

    Source 1: HTPC
    Source 2: Oppo 103
    Pre/Pro: Marantz av8003
    Power Amp: Rotel RMB-1095
    Fronts: LSiM-705's
    Center: LSiM-704c
    Surrounds: LSiM-702's
    Subs: Dual SVS PC12-NSD's

  3. #3

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    I don't think its 'overkill' at all, as you should already know the 9's love some power. The only sold bay listing was at 471, so I'd try to see if you can get for $500ish, you won't be out shipping, I also don't think 600.00 is *overpaying* if you plan on keeping it for a long time. Good luck, sorry to hear about the NAD.

  4. #4

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    I am running my LSI 9's with two MA500 monoblocks and have never been able to push them to their limit. I know lurking at AVS I have seen people happily run them with everything from Emotiva to Parasound to Crown etc... Most there seem to concur that regardless of the amp they run that the sound quality is with the speaker but that you should run them with an amp.
    So hot it burns twice

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    Ok, I contacted the seller so I'll see how this plays out. I do appreciate the nearly instantaneous replies from the Polk aficionados around here!

    I assume it is best to take advantage of the bi-wiring terminals on the amp, correct? I remember reading that bi-amping the 9's isn't really much of a benefit but bi-wiring is beneficial. They are currently bi-wired with two 12 gauge wires going into a single banana plug on the amp for each channel.

    -J

  6. #6

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    I have never seen anyone in a meaningful way demonstrate the ability to hear the improvement bi-wiring makes. I have always read that you need to simply get a heavy enough gauge of wire. I am using some 12AWG Monoprice.
    Last edited by Habanero Monk; 10-14-2011 at 10:48 AM.
    So hot it burns twice

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    I have seen people replace the jumpers with good speaker wire but bi-wiring I see no need.

    They should love that Parasound if you get it.
    Quote Originally Posted by Timothy Smith View Post
    WOW!

    That's like working your way through Katie Perry in order to get to Rosie O'Donnell.

  8. #8

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    Thanks, I'll keep you posted.

  9. #9

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    Have to agree. 600 is not bad for that Parasound and those amps are really nice with LSIs! I like NAD as well but those 9s need a lot more power than my 7s. I'm listening to my LSI-7s and NAD at the moment and that is one 'sweet' combo but I do think that Parasound build quality is one up from NAD which does skimp on some components. I just had mine recapped and it's only 5 years old? [Having said that, the new caps are 'marvelous'--better quality than the originals].

    cnh
    Onkyo TX-SR 805 System #1 HT AVR
    Office Two Channel: LSi-7s (Nakamichi CA-5, NAD 214, Pioneer BDP51fd)
    Vintage Polks: Polk Monitor 5As, Monitor 7Bs [HK 730], Monitor 10As [Marantz 2265], SDA-2Bs [Jolida JD-303, Jolida MV-MK4]
    Headphones: HD600, Q701, ATH-M50s etc. Bravo Audio Ocean amp., Onkyo P-304, Adcom GFA-555, Technics Direct Drive TT

  10. #10

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    They got sold to someone else, so I'll regroup. It does sound like that is great machine though.

  11. #11

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    I've used Emo UPA-1's, Carver M1.5t, & Rotel RB-980BX, with my LSi9's.
    My personal preference:
    1) Carver
    2) Emo
    3) Rotel
    The diff between the Carver & Emo's is noticeable, but not huge.
    The diff between the Rotel & the the Emo's is surprisingly noticeably...
    I got the Rotel for my LSi7's & they sound great with it. Not sure why it doesn't seem to sound as good with the 9's, other than maybe the power difference???

    I'm using the Emo's currently (w/ the 9's), because my gf's 901's sound best with the Carver.
    All of my experiences have been with using my Denon as the preamp, but that will change soon!
    HT
    Onkyo TX-NR1008 | Magnepan 1.7 | Polk LSiC | Polk VM20 | Polk DSW microPro 2000 | Parasound HCA-2205A | Oppo BDP-93

    2-Ch
    Cary SLP 30 Tube Preamp | Polk LSi7 | Carver M1.5t | Audio-gd Digital Interface | W4S DAC-2 | MAC Mini | Denon DP300f & Pro-Ject Debut III TT's

  12. #12

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    Thanks IRLRaceFan. As a stop-gap measure I'm going to try a $200 Berihnger A-500 amp that will more than likely be on outside patio speaker duty as soon as another amp comes along. Currently the patio speakers are driven with a receiver that shuts off because it is rated for 8ohm and the patio speakers are 4 ohm plus there is long wiring and external volume control must be pretty hard to drive. I figure it's fall so I can live with it for now, but lining up a proper patio amp for next year could be a smart move that buys me time and keeps me from making a knee-jerk decision now.

    This review and the Amazon reviews seem like this pro amp should sound okay and probably better than the NAD amp that died. One Amazon reviewer had the same NAD amp I have and said the A-500 beats it. Then again, people say all sorts of stuff for online reviews since it isn't really unbiased in any fashion. The only thing I read is to turn the volume knobs on the front all the way up since that essentially passes the signal through at full strength rather than attenuating it on the amp's input stage. When this becomes a patio amp, those knobs will really help to dial in the proper outside volume, so it will go from being a negative thing to a positive thing.

    http://theaudiocritic.com/plog/index...Id=22&blogId=1
    http://www.amazon.com/Behringer-A500...owViewpoints=1

    Not sure how I went from buying an amp that retailed for $2000 to one that retails for $200 to power $1000 speakers but who knows it might work for now. I'll keep everyone posted. My plan is to listen to the amp with my current setting in place, then re-run MCACC (Pioneers speaker and room auto-EQ thingy) and save to a different preset and listen to how things sound.

    -J

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