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  1. #1

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    Default Parasound amps - what is difference btween 1200 and 1500A?

    I am about to take the big leap into the world of power amps (previously I always have had vintage receivers like the Yamaha CR 2020 and CR 2040) and, after lots of research and lots of great advice from the nice folks at this forum, I have decided to get a Parasound 2 channel amp.

    The Parasound HCA 1200 or 1500A look like they will fit my needs and budget.

    What is the difference between the 1200 and 1500A? Is one preferable to the other?

    Also, what should I expect to pay for one of those models in nice condition?

    My budget is around $300, give or take.

    There was a nice HCA 1200 for sale here recently but unfortunately I was not ready at that time...I was still learning about amps and also saving up some money again after a recent purchase of a pair of Polk SDA 2B tl speakers.

    I'd appreciate any info on the Parasound amps. I willl strictly use the amp to power my speakers and a CD player.

    Thanks!
    Last edited by pglbook; 02-04-2013 at 09:44 PM. Reason: typo

  2. #2

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    What will you be using for a preamp? You will need more than 300 if you don't have one, that 1200 came with a preamp for $600 I believe the seller still has them for sale, I've read good things about that Parasound 1200. Good luck searching.

  3. #3

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    Thanks, gudnoyez. I also will need to get a pre amp but that will be the next thing I'll research...one thing at a time.

    I thought the Seller had recently sold the Parasound HCA 1200. If not, I'd be interested if it is in my price range.

    Thanks for the tip. I'll contact the Seller and see if he still has the HCA 1200 for sale.

    Thanks again.

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    gudnoyez, I went back to the original fs post for the Parasound HCA 1200 (jmwest) and, just as I thought, it sold on January 25.
    Sorry I missed that one becuase it was a good deal and I probably would have bought both the pre amp and amp together.

    So I am still looking for a Parasound amp - either the HCA 1200 or HCA 1500A, although I am still trying to figure out the differnce between those 2 models and if one is better or more preferable than the other.

    Thanks.

  5. #5

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    As far as I know they are very similar. The 1500a replaced the 1200, so you know 1200s are older. The 1500a also has a 12v trigger which the 1200 does not.

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    Thanks. adb3da Sorry for the ignorance but what is a 12v trigger and what does it do?

    Thanks again.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pglbook View Post
    Thanks. adb3da Sorry for the ignorance but what is a 12v trigger and what does it do?

    Thanks again.
    12v trigger will turn on the amp when another source that it is hooked up to is turned on, eg. AVR, pre amp.
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    Thanks, appreciate it.

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    Not a model you mentioned, but... http://www.polkaudio.com/forums/show...-HCA-1000A-Amp
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    Thanks, Psovlsk. I had seen that model as well but was looking for a 200+ watt amp. The HCA 1000A is rated at 125 watts @ 8 OHMs, which is the same as my Yamaha CR 2040 receiver. I was looking for something a bit more powerful to make my speakers (Polk SDA 2B TL and Dahlquist DQ 10) sing. The Dahlquists need lots of power.

    Thanks for the suggestion, however. I appreciate it.

  11. #11

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    The HCA-1500A is 60amp capable, I'm not sure if the 1200 is....

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    steveinaz, what do you mean by "60amp capable?" I guees I need that in layman's terms, haaa.
    Thanks.

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    Both amps appear to use a similar power supply. The power supply in the 1200 has a peak current capability of around 57 amps. The 1500 has a peak current capability of around 60 amps. The 1500 has a slightly higher rated power output (watts) than the 1200 and a much higher damping factor (700 vs. 120) indicating that there were some signifcant changes in the amps from one model to the next. The 1500 wasn't simply a renaming and repackaging from the 1200. If were my choice, I'd go for the 1500, even if if costs a little more.

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    emlyn, thanks for the detailed information and recommendation. That helps a lot. I appreciate it.

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    Both amps come up frequently on Ebay now. I'd just bide your time until either one in great condition comes available for a good price. Both are good choices, I just think the 1500 is a bit more refined amp but a little more expensive.

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    emlyn, one more question, if you do not mind. What about the Parasound HCA 1200 MK II.
    Do you know anything about that model and how that one might compare to the HCA 1200 or HCA 1500A?

    There are currently a couple of Parasound HCA 1200s on ebay and also a HCA 1500A for sale there, although I'd prefer to deal with Polkies on this site since one knows one is getting quality equipment from great people.

    I do not know if I'll be able to get one within my budget (about $300, give or take) but I will be patient and keep on looking to try to find a nice one for a decent price. I am just trying to determine which model is the one I should get (HCA 1200, HCA 1200 MK II, or HCA 1500A).

    Thanks again.

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    I'm not sure about specific differences, but Parasound's MK II amps back then used to just be a minor revision, like adding a 12 volt trigger capability, relocating switches, changing the cosmetics a little, and maybe updating some internal parts.

    I think you're on the right track, as I wouldn't settle on an amp below 200 watts with what speakers you'll be running.

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    On eBay it seems the going rate for the 1500A is a bit higher, around $400-$450.

    You should keep a close eye on craigslist. I picked up a 1500a for $350 about 3 months ago. There are some people who are unwilling to deal with eBay so you might be surprised at how much quality gear shows up on craigslist. There's no buyer protection so you must keep that in mind.

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    The 1200 mk. II is THX certified and moved the volume controls to the backside.

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    The mk. II is also 205 w and 60 amp peak. I like mine just fine.
    Here is an archived thread on the mk. II and the 1500.
    http://www.polkaudio.com/forums/arch.../t-108036.html

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    11steve, what does "THX ceritified" mean and is there an advantage to that?

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    Quote Originally Posted by pglbook View Post
    11steve, what does "THX ceritified" mean and is there an advantage to that?
    basically it means the amp meets THX standards for playback.

    http://www.thx.com/consumer/home-ent...ied-receivers/
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    Cant speak to the 1500 as ive not listened to it, however the 1200 is a fantastic amp and lends itself to some nice mods available for futher upgrades. (see signiture)
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  24. #24

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    Thanks to all for the info and for sharing your thoughts. Much appreciated. As I will only be using a power amp for 2 channel audio and not for a home theater system, it seems like the HCA 1200 or 1200 MK II is the way to go for me. Thanks again. Now the search is on!!!!

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