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  1. #1

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    Default Two Parasound HCA-750a's or One Parasound HCA-1200mkii?

    Which would sound better? I have neither but was just thinking about it and it sparked some serious curiosity.

    The 750a's in bridged mode put out 250wpc at 8ohms while the 1200ii puts out 205wpc at 8ohms.

    I know there are other things to factor in but I honestly have no idea what they are or why they matter. I'd love an explanation! Thanks gents.

  2. #2

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    Bridged amps almost always sound worse than stereo amps, plus they see 1/2 the load. So if you are running 4 ohm speakers the amp actually see 2 ohms and may not like that. Also bridged amps can't be strapped so if you run SDA's you need to buy/build an AI-1 interhase and not all SDA's can use the AI-1 cable. Stick with "real" mono's if you must have mono's or get a nice stereo amp. Watts are very overrated unless you have a huge room or want to win some kind of SPL contest.

    H9
    "Appreciation of audio is a completely subjective human experience. Measurements can provide a measure of insight, but are no substitute for human judgment. Why are we looking to reduce a subjective experience to objective criteria anyway? The subtleties of music and audio reproduction are for those who appreciate it. Differentiation by numbers is for those who do not".--Nelson Pass

    Pass Aleph 30; Eastern Electric Mini Max; Adcom GDA600; MIT S3/Z Pc; SDA 1C; Squeezebox; Tubes add soul!

  3. #3

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    Dude, so I borrowed a couple of HCA-750a's from a fellow audiophile friend and ran them in bridged mode on the KEF Q300's (8 ohm speakers) and it freaking ROCKS. I love these Parasound amps. The sound is just so silky smooth. I cranked it quite a bit and it sounded like the speakers tensed up a bit at higher volume but all in all, I really dig the sound of the amps paired with the GFP-750.

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    Personally, I will never understand why people run bridged stereo amps. Either get real mono's or stick with the stereo version.

    If it floats tour boat, enjoy.

    H9
    "Appreciation of audio is a completely subjective human experience. Measurements can provide a measure of insight, but are no substitute for human judgment. Why are we looking to reduce a subjective experience to objective criteria anyway? The subtleties of music and audio reproduction are for those who appreciate it. Differentiation by numbers is for those who do not".--Nelson Pass

    Pass Aleph 30; Eastern Electric Mini Max; Adcom GDA600; MIT S3/Z Pc; SDA 1C; Squeezebox; Tubes add soul!

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by audiocr381ve View Post
    I cranked it quite a bit and it sounded like the speakers tensed up a bit at higher volume
    Glad your diggin' your amps bro, just be carefull. When your start to hear the music collapse, get congested at higher volumes, your hitting that line of overdriving the speakers and it's a sure sign to back off that volume knob. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure and all that. Enjoy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by heiney9 View Post
    Personally, I will never understand why people run bridged stereo amps. Either get real mono's or stick with the stereo version.

    If it floats tour boat, enjoy.

    H9
    It's pretty simple to understand... more power. Would you take the V6 mustang or the V8, Brock? Even if the V8 is a little risky, it's nice to know you have the power even if you'll never end up using it!

    Now WITH THAT SAID, I ran just one of the amps in stereo mode and it sounded absolutely fine! Love these little amps.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by tonyb View Post
    Glad your diggin' your amps bro, just be carefull. When your start to hear the music collapse, get congested at higher volumes, your hitting that line of overdriving the speakers and it's a sure sign to back off that volume knob. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure and all that. Enjoy.
    Great advice, thanks Tony.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by audiocr381ve View Post
    It's pretty simple to understand... more power. Would you take the V6 mustang or the V8, Brock? Even if the V8 is a little risky, it's nice to know you have the power even if you'll never end up using it!

    Now WITH THAT SAID, I ran just one of the amps in stereo mode and it sounded absolutely fine! Love these little amps.
    Poor analogy because the V8 is a different animal than the V6. Power and pure wattage ratings don't mean much and summing two channels of a stereo amp rarely is better than leaving it stereo. Bridging causes more distortion and the load can have an adverse effect. Just making a comment. Take the total money and buy a nice stereo amp or some real mono's like something from Monarchy. Don't take my comment personal as it's a general comment about bridged amps, not directed particularly right at you.

    H9
    "Appreciation of audio is a completely subjective human experience. Measurements can provide a measure of insight, but are no substitute for human judgment. Why are we looking to reduce a subjective experience to objective criteria anyway? The subtleties of music and audio reproduction are for those who appreciate it. Differentiation by numbers is for those who do not".--Nelson Pass

    Pass Aleph 30; Eastern Electric Mini Max; Adcom GDA600; MIT S3/Z Pc; SDA 1C; Squeezebox; Tubes add soul!

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by heiney9 View Post
    Poor analogy because the V8 is a different animal than the V6. Power and pure wattage ratings don't mean much and summing two channels of a stereo amp rarely is better than leaving it stereo. Bridging causes more distortion and the load can have an adverse effect. Just making a comment. Take the total money and buy a nice stereo amp or some real mono's like something from Monarchy. Don't take my comment personal as it's a general comment about bridged amps, not directed particularly right at you.

    H9
    I respect that. The HCA-750a's are fine with a 4 ohm load from what I've read. I don't like distortion either. I'm going to keep experimenting both ways and see what I like better.

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    Also remember you can't use those with SDA's so no swapping speakers in and out. You could build an AI-1 if your 2B's are the production run that can use the AI-1. Just something else to think about.

    H9
    "Appreciation of audio is a completely subjective human experience. Measurements can provide a measure of insight, but are no substitute for human judgment. Why are we looking to reduce a subjective experience to objective criteria anyway? The subtleties of music and audio reproduction are for those who appreciate it. Differentiation by numbers is for those who do not".--Nelson Pass

    Pass Aleph 30; Eastern Electric Mini Max; Adcom GDA600; MIT S3/Z Pc; SDA 1C; Squeezebox; Tubes add soul!

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    Quote Originally Posted by heiney9 View Post
    Bridging causes more distortion.....
    Not necessarily ,it depends upon the specific amplifier.If the two channels are very close gain wise (preferably within a fraction of a db )then differences in distortion vs stereo mode can be negligable.In fact given excellent gain matching between the channels running them balanced / differentially can result in a further reduction of even order distortion (think Pass Supersym).
    and the load can have an adverse effect.
    Sure if the heat sinking isn't isn't up to the task of dealing with the extra disipation thermal issues can arise.

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    The 750 amps are ok, but they're really the ruts of that line. The 1200 is a better amp in spades and should outperform even two of those 750s

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    Quote Originally Posted by FTGV View Post
    Not necessarily ,it depends upon the specific amplifier.If the two channels are very close gain wise (preferably within a fraction of a db )then differences in distortion vs stereo mode can be negligable.In fact given excellent gain matching between the channels running them balanced / differentially can result in a further reduction of even order distortion (think Pass Supersym).Sure if the heat sinking isn't isn't up to the task of dealing with the extra disipation thermal issues can arise.
    Considering the 750's are pretty average I doubt the distortion is lower (ala Pass). Also looking at the meager heat sinks I would bet he might have thermal issues with anything less than 8 ohms before he reached max output, thus not really gaining much in the end.

    Quote Originally Posted by AsSiMiLaTeD View Post
    The 750 amps are ok, but they're really the ruts of that line. The 1200 is a better amp in spades and should outperform even two of those 750s
    Exactly my point of taking the money spent for (2) 750's and buying a better (nicer) stereo amp.

    But, if they float your boat no one here can tell you not to do it. But, you did ask so that's why I responded

    H9
    "Appreciation of audio is a completely subjective human experience. Measurements can provide a measure of insight, but are no substitute for human judgment. Why are we looking to reduce a subjective experience to objective criteria anyway? The subtleties of music and audio reproduction are for those who appreciate it. Differentiation by numbers is for those who do not".--Nelson Pass

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  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by AsSiMiLaTeD View Post
    The 750 amps are ok, but they're really the ruts of that line. The 1200 is a better amp in spades and should outperform even two of those 750s
    Really? That sucks. I was thinking they would at least sonically match the 1200ii's but with less power.

    They sound light years better than the old Marantz 1150 integrated amp I was running.

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    Quote Originally Posted by heiney9 View Post
    Considering the 750's are pretty average I doubt the distortion is lower (ala Pass). Also looking at the meager heat sinks I would bet he might have thermal issues with anything less than 8 ohms before he reached max output, thus not really gaining much in the end.



    Exactly my point of taking the money spent for (2) 750's and buying a better (nicer) stereo amp.

    But, if they float your boat no one here can tell you not to do it. But, you did ask so that's why I responded

    H9
    Nah that's good stuff. I was under the assumption that the HCA line had the same sonic characteristics.

  16. #16

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    http://www.parasound.com/vintage/hca750a.php

    Parasound doesn't recommend running a 4 ohm speaker in bridged mode . I thought of going the twin 1000 bridged mono rout when looking for an amp for the lsi9's. I went with the 1200mkii .. much better current flow also ..

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by fossy View Post
    http://www.parasound.com/vintage/hca750a.php

    Parasound doesn't recommend running a 4 ohm speaker in bridged mode . I thought of going the twin 1000 bridged mono rout when looking for an amp for the lsi9's. I went with the 1200mkii .. much better current flow also ..
    Not to derail this thread, but what spec indicates current flow? It's been suggested to my that I power my Dynaudio Contour 3.4s with an amp with high current. Am I looking for the amperes?

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by heiney9 View Post
    Considering the 750's are pretty average I doubt the distortion is lower (ala Pass). Also looking at the meager heat sinks I would bet he might have thermal issues with anything less than 8 ohms before he reached max output, thus not really gaining much in the end.
    Mine was a general statement in response to your general statement "bridging causes more distortion"not the Parasound specifically.
    Last edited by FTGV; 04-30-2012 at 05:29 PM.

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by fossy View Post
    http://www.parasound.com/vintage/hca750a.php

    Parasound doesn't recommend running a 4 ohm speaker in bridged mode . I thought of going the twin 1000 bridged mono rout when looking for an amp for the lsi9's. I went with the 1200mkii .. much better current flow also ..
    Good thing I'm running them on the 8ohm KEF Q300's ;)

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    I'd rather buy new amps. It's hard to find an older amp that will stay quiet. When choosing audio equipment, especially amps, I always go with the ones that are as quiet as possible.
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  21. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by DMara View Post
    I'd rather buy new amps. It's hard to find an older amp that will stay quiet. When choosing audio equipment, especially amps, I always go with the ones that are as quiet as possible.
    These m' effers are quiet and run cool.

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    I asked a similar question of Parasound, but was asking about 2 HCA-1000's vs 1 HCA-1500A. For maximum sound quality, Parasound told me to go with 1 HCA-1500A due to the superior JFET front end. FWIW.

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  23. #23

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    I am running a HCA750A and the speakers are far more power hungry than those Q300 - totally dont need two of them, just saying ;)
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    Quote Originally Posted by VR3 View Post
    I am running a HCA750A and the speakers are far more power hungry than those Q300 - totally dont need two of them, just saying ;)
    How are you liking the amp? I know you've had some serious gear come through the rig. I'd love to know how it stacks up.

    I really like what I'm hearing so far.

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    I am a huge Parasound fan at this point - the HCA line up is the best amp I have heard for the dollar - much better than NAD or Adcom to me...

    Obviously the line does not compare anywhere in the world of the Halo line or the Odyssey Stratos - but for the dollar, tough to beat for sure!

    Very smooth sounding amps.
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    Through all my upgrades over the last 8 years, I've never found any reason to replace my HCA-1500A.

    Transport: Oppo BDP-103/USB HDD (flac)
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  27. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by VR3 View Post
    I am a huge Parasound fan at this point - the HCA line up is the best amp I have heard for the dollar - much better than NAD or Adcom to me...

    Obviously the line does not compare anywhere in the world of the Halo line or the Odyssey Stratos - but for the dollar, tough to beat for sure!



    Very smooth sounding amps.

    To the OP, I personally ran a pair of HCA 750 bridged to my RTI12's when I first got the 12's. It was okay but then I was able to get a HCA1500A for a steal on CL. You can follow my past threads.That being said, the HCA1500 clearly opened up my RTi12's and I could tell a definate improvement. I sold one of the 750's and still have the other if I ever want to go to 7 channel. I have been dealing with Parasound amps for 7 years now and am a huge fan. The older HCA line just rocks. Smooth detailed wide soundfield. I now have a Parasound 5150 5 channel(new line series) which though sounds nice does not have the same sound as my HCA1500. I had that HCA1500 for sale here a while back and I had not takers. That being said, I can personally tell you from experience to go with a good two channel amp. Though I have never heard the HCA1200 I am sure it is similar to the HCA1500. These are high current A/B amps. If I could afford a Halo A51 or maybe find a HCA 2205at I would consider selling my 5150. I am a big fan of designer John Curl and his older high powered amp such as the 1500 and 2205 are some of the best values around in my opinion.

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    Total agreed, I sold my HCA 2205 to fund for pair of B&K 200.1 S2 mono blocks. I am not saying B&K is a bad amp, but to me, Parasound is a nod over B&K. I missed the warm sound of Parasound so much that I had to get the Halo A21 to replace the B&K.


    Quote Originally Posted by VR3 View Post
    I am a huge Parasound fan at this point - the HCA line up is the best amp I have heard for the dollar - much better than NAD or Adcom to me...

    Obviously the line does not compare anywhere in the world of the Halo line or the Odyssey Stratos - but for the dollar, tough to beat for sure!

    Very smooth sounding amps.

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    the hca 1200 parasound amp is as quiet an amp as i heard. right around 50+ ampers peak.dont sweat distorton havent been able to clip this amp on a 4ohm load, and its stable below 2ohms. i agree with h9. plus you should be able to get a 1200 for the price of 2 lesser models. go the 1200. then use a tube pre!!! they like tubes.
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