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  1. #1

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    Default need pre amp recommendation for Parasound HCA 1200

    I just picked up a Parasound HCA 1200 power amp and now need to get a good pre amp for it.
    Please let me know what would be a good matching pre amp for the Parasound HCA 1200.

    I am new to the world of separates so please do not asssume I have any knowledge of separates, haaa.

    I do have a turntable so the pre should have a phone stage.

    Thank you. I am excited to soon be entering a whole new universe...

  2. #2

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    I forgot to add that this will be strictly for 2-channel. It will be used to power a pair of Polk SDA 2B TL speakers (and perhaps, separately, a pair of Dahlquist DQ 10s at some point), a Rotel CD player, and a Yamaha YP-701 turntable.

    I'd like to get a quality pre amp now rather than getting something cheaper and having to upgrade later.
    But my budget is probably around $200-$300 so I do not know if that is posssible.

    Please let me know your ideas and suggestions.

    Thank you!

  3. #3

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    I recently went separates myself. I did a lot of reading and a little bit of auditioning. Unfortunately, although ideal, it's tough to audition used gear with your own equipment so I found myself relying heavily on reviews.

    The following recommendations are off my research, not necessarily having heard all the units.

    Parasound Classic 2100 - Has phono and used for around $300-350
    Adcom 565 - Has a nice phono stage according to reviews but an older unit for around $200
    Parasound Halo P3 - Very nice sounding pre, has a phono (which I havn't tried) for around $500

    A few people here have the 2100 and really seem to like it. That might be your best bet within your budget.
    2-channel
    Sources: Pro-ject 2.9 wood Grado Gold cartridge; Squeezebox Duet; Oppo BDP-83
    Amps: PS Audio GCPH; PS Audio DLIII(Cullen mods IV); Parasound Halo P3; B & K Reference 200.2
    Speakers: Polk - LSi15's(db sub mod)


    HT
    Amps: Sony - STR-DG1000; Outlaw 200 Mono; Speakers: Polk - CS2, Monitor 70's, RC80i's; Video: Optoma HD20; FAVI HD-100


    Man Cave (In Progress)
    Sources: Sony PS-LX410, Denon 3910; Amps: Dared sl2000a, HK 3490, Simaudio Moon LP3; Speakers: Polk - SDA 2A's

  4. #4

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    yeah, the Adcom 565 has a really good TT setup, along with the fact it's just a good pre amp.

    But...i'm not sure you can get one in good shape for 200 bucks. Used in good shape is more to 300-350 at this point.

  5. #5

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    Patience pays off, I new you would find one sooner or later. I also got into seperates thanks to all that recomended them on this fine forum, and now I own two amps and pre amps for my SDA's yours are already upgraded so your pretty much set once you find a preamp to your liking. I want to TL either my 2B's, or my CRS+s just unsure which one to do the Holy Grail upgrade to? Congratulations on your find.

  6. #6

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    Thats a great amp! (see sig.) ive had mine for several years now and i love it! Ive been using a dared tube pre that was fantastic with the 1200! just recently switched it out for a class A pre. Also fantastic! A little more than your original budget though. Congrate on the 1200 btw, you will love it.
    Main Rig:
    Krell KAV 250a
    McIntosh MC 2120 bi-amped
    Into JBL L123 drivers
    Rane external crossover.
    MIT exp 1 ic's
    Perreaux SA33 class A preamp
    AQ kingcobra ic's
    ADCOM GDA 700 DAC ( MODDED)
    YAMMY CDC-665
    Marantz 6100 tt w/pickering XV-15/625E cart.
    Monster HTS 3600 power conditioner
    POLK RTA-12C'S W/ RDO194 TWEETS, clarity ESA caps mills risistors (full mod)
    MIT exps2 speaker cable

  7. #7

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    I have SDA 1C's....I also have an Adcom 400 pre...now "stereophile" mag seems to think the Adcom 565 has the best Phono section, but they also like my 400. The problem is you have to buy this stuff to try it out...LOL
    The 565 is at least 3 bills on ebay or close to it. Not thats it's better..but stereophile seems to think the phono section is better then most....

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    Thanks to all. I am excited and can't wait to hear what the amp sounds like. But I'll have to be patient and check out all of the pres you mentioned. I guess I could always run it off of my Yamaha CR 2020 receiver's pre-out for now, correct?

    I have 2 questions:

    (1) I noticed that the amp has somewhat of a tobacco odor which I do not care for much but I will have to live with that. I wish the seller had told me the prior owner was a smoker. Is there a way to get rid of that smell? And do you think smoke would affect the electronics?

    (2) The other question is that, on the back of the amp, the switch labeled "bridge bi amp mono/stereo" (or something like that) is pushed all of the way in. It is set to "stereo" but I am not sure why it is pushed in like that and is not sticking it. Is that an issue for concern?

    Thanks again for all of your input. It is much appreciated!

  9. #9

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    Leave it in stereo. If the switch is bad im sure it can be had from parasound. A good pro cleaning can rid the smell. Alsi if you want to mod (oh boy) my tech can help and well worth the investment. What he did to mine was incredible.
    Main Rig:
    Krell KAV 250a
    McIntosh MC 2120 bi-amped
    Into JBL L123 drivers
    Rane external crossover.
    MIT exp 1 ic's
    Perreaux SA33 class A preamp
    AQ kingcobra ic's
    ADCOM GDA 700 DAC ( MODDED)
    YAMMY CDC-665
    Marantz 6100 tt w/pickering XV-15/625E cart.
    Monster HTS 3600 power conditioner
    POLK RTA-12C'S W/ RDO194 TWEETS, clarity ESA caps mills risistors (full mod)
    MIT exps2 speaker cable

  10. #10

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    i have a Parasound 1200 mkII, and have both an NAD 116 and an Acurus RL11 I have been going back and forth with... they both pair well with my amp and have separate pro/cons. And, part of the process is that i am going back and forth woth a Peachtree DAC-IT and a Schiit Bifrost, and got a new Grover Hoffman digital cable.
    The NAD is a smidge warmer, which plays well with the Parasound. It also has a very nice soundstage, and just a bit beefier low end.
    The Acurus' strengths are all about detail, accuracy, and punch.
    One of them is going to be leaving very soon.
    Polk RTA 11T ....new Xovers( Gen1 + Mundorf MOX), rewired, damped, Armacell, rings, spikes, RDO-194....
    B&K Ref. 200.2
    NAD 116
    Peachtree DAC-IT
    Morrow, Huffman cables
    AMD 8350 @ 4.8 Ghz.

  11. #11

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    If you do not need a phono stage then the parasound pl/d 1100 line drive pre is a nice match. Remote with a 12v trigger. Also has a direct mode. Should be able to get one for 200 or less

  12. #12

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    I'm sure condition does play a factor on the Adcom gfp-565. I was just going off completed sales on the bay. 4 of them in 'good' condition have sold shipped for $200 or less in the last month. Some in better condition did sell higher, though.
    2-channel
    Sources: Pro-ject 2.9 wood Grado Gold cartridge; Squeezebox Duet; Oppo BDP-83
    Amps: PS Audio GCPH; PS Audio DLIII(Cullen mods IV); Parasound Halo P3; B & K Reference 200.2
    Speakers: Polk - LSi15's(db sub mod)


    HT
    Amps: Sony - STR-DG1000; Outlaw 200 Mono; Speakers: Polk - CS2, Monitor 70's, RC80i's; Video: Optoma HD20; FAVI HD-100


    Man Cave (In Progress)
    Sources: Sony PS-LX410, Denon 3910; Amps: Dared sl2000a, HK 3490, Simaudio Moon LP3; Speakers: Polk - SDA 2A's

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by deronb1 View Post
    If you do not need a phono stage then the parasound pl/d 1100 line drive pre is a nice match. Remote with a 12v trigger. Also has a direct mode. Should be able to get one for 200 or less
    Just saw you wanted a phono stage. There are some pretty decent inexpensive stand alone phono pre amps out there. I wouldn't discount a good deal on a nice pre without phono stage if you come across one.
    "My wife likes my rig......HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!"


    B&W CDM 1NT; B&W CDM CNT; Infinity us 1; Velodyne DEQ-8 x2; Pio Elite VSX-23; Sony SCD-CE595 SACD, Denon DP11-F TT[/COLOR]

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by deronb1 View Post
    Just saw you wanted a phono stage. There are some pretty decent inexpensive stand alone phono pre amps out there. I wouldn't discount a good deal on a nice pre without phono stage if you come across one.
    This is a good idea as you can upgrade each sepporatly as your budget and taste change ( and they will CHANGE ie the " rabbit hole").
    Main Rig:
    Krell KAV 250a
    McIntosh MC 2120 bi-amped
    Into JBL L123 drivers
    Rane external crossover.
    MIT exp 1 ic's
    Perreaux SA33 class A preamp
    AQ kingcobra ic's
    ADCOM GDA 700 DAC ( MODDED)
    YAMMY CDC-665
    Marantz 6100 tt w/pickering XV-15/625E cart.
    Monster HTS 3600 power conditioner
    POLK RTA-12C'S W/ RDO194 TWEETS, clarity ESA caps mills risistors (full mod)
    MIT exps2 speaker cable

  15. #15

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    pglbook-congrats on your score

    What sources will you be running?

    There is a much better selection of pre's in the $400-800 range that would probably be worth saving your money for

    There is a parasound 2100 pre on A'gon for $435
    Home Theater:Samsung8000-55LED,Pioneer SC35, Pioneer DV-79AVi, Sunfire TGA7201, LSi25, LCi RTSc, LC80i
    2chnl system:Melody 101 tube pre, Pass XA30.5 amp, Usher MD2 speakers, W4S Dac, MG Audio Planus2 speaker cables
    Office rig: Modwright KWI-200 Integrated, Dynaudio C1-II Signatures

  16. #16

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    Thanks again for all of the great advice and recommendations. I will be patient and hopefully the right pre amp will find me. It looks like I may have to increase my budget a little but that is ok. Upgraditis will always exist in this great hobby but I'd rather save up, increase my budget some, be patient, and get a really quality pre amp now rather than get something I might not be happy with or would want to upgrade right away. I have heard really good things about that Parasound 2100 and wonder if it is better to brand match both power amp and pre amp. The Adcom 565 also seems like it might be worth a look. Keep the suggestions coming - the fun is not only in the listening but also in the learning. Thanks again to all. Have a great Saturday.

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by pglbook View Post
    Thanks again for all of the great advice and recommendations. I will be patient and hopefully the right pre amp will find me. It looks like I may have to increase my budget a little but that is ok. Upgraditis will always exist in this great hobby but I'd rather save up, increase my budget some, be patient, and get a really quality pre amp now rather than get something I might not be happy with or would want to upgrade right away. I have heard really good things about that Parasound 2100 and wonder if it is better to brand match both power amp and pre amp. The Adcom 565 also seems like it might be worth a look. Keep the suggestions co

    ming - the fun is not only in the listening but also in the learning. Thanks again to all. Have a great Saturday.

    Thats smart, i went through many pre's (lesser units) and was never happy until i got my dared and now the perreaux. In the 400+ budget you have much better choices and values! I found that out!!!
    In yhar range you can even think "TUBES" and the 1200 sounds incredable with tubes.
    Last edited by soundfreak1; 04-06-2013 at 02:51 PM.
    Main Rig:
    Krell KAV 250a
    McIntosh MC 2120 bi-amped
    Into JBL L123 drivers
    Rane external crossover.
    MIT exp 1 ic's
    Perreaux SA33 class A preamp
    AQ kingcobra ic's
    ADCOM GDA 700 DAC ( MODDED)
    YAMMY CDC-665
    Marantz 6100 tt w/pickering XV-15/625E cart.
    Monster HTS 3600 power conditioner
    POLK RTA-12C'S W/ RDO194 TWEETS, clarity ESA caps mills risistors (full mod)
    MIT exps2 speaker cable

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