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  1. #1

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    Question Parasound Amps-> HCA vs. HALO

    Sorry for yet another amp thread.

    I called a local Parasound dealer to inquire about the HCA-1500A. When I told him I was planning to use primarily for two-channel stereo listening, he started trying to push me to HALO A23 at a hundred bucks less at $850. (HCA-1500A is $950 from this guy)

    Since no one is jumping on my 1C's, they are looking like they are gonna be mine for awhile longer, I'm (obviously) using them as my control speaker. We all know how power hungry the SDA's are.

    Is the gain in sound quality of the HALO gonna offset the power difference? 205W/ch for the HCA vs. 125W/ch for the HALO?

    Thanks!

    Wes

    P.S.--> I'm fully aware I can find these for less used. I don't want used, so don't bother mentioning it. Thanks.
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    Panasonic TH-42PHD8UK 42" HDTV | Polk Audio SDA-SRS's (w/RDO's & Vampire Posts) + SVS PC+ 25-31 | AudioQuest Granite (mids) + BWA Silver (highs) | Cary Audio CAD-200 | Signal Cable Silver Resolution XLR's | Wyred 4 Sound STP/SE Pre | Signal Cable Silver Resolution XLR's | Cambridge Audio azur 840C--Wadia 170i + iPod jammed w/ lossless audio--Oppo 970 | Pure|AV PF31d

  2. #2

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    Wes,

    Not to totally change the subject but where are the 1C's you are referring to ? I must have missed them.

    Never mind ... I see them ...
    Last edited by PolkWannabie; 03-02-2004 at 09:44 PM.

  3. #3

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    I would choose the HCA 1500A.

    The A23 will have a clearer high end. Both amplifiers are overbuilt. It's a toss up I guess, they are radically different in the aestetics department. I wouldn't neccesarily call the SDA's power hungry, but they do get better with more power. The LSi would be a power hungry speaker IMO.

  4. #4

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    Thanks, Mark. The dealer with these has a HCA-1000 he's gonna let me demo. I'm gonna pick it tomorrow afternoon. Hopefully it will give me a good idea "watt" I will get from the HCA-1500.

    Wes
    Link: http://polkarmy.com/forums

    Panasonic TH-42PHD8UK 42" HDTV | Polk Audio SDA-SRS's (w/RDO's & Vampire Posts) + SVS PC+ 25-31 | AudioQuest Granite (mids) + BWA Silver (highs) | Cary Audio CAD-200 | Signal Cable Silver Resolution XLR's | Wyred 4 Sound STP/SE Pre | Signal Cable Silver Resolution XLR's | Cambridge Audio azur 840C--Wadia 170i + iPod jammed w/ lossless audio--Oppo 970 | Pure|AV PF31d

  5. #5

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    Wes - That's cool, nothing like having gear to take home and try out eh? :D

  6. #6

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    if you are definitely going to buy new then you owe it to yourself to go demo the two side by side. Especially considering that they are from the same manufacturer.

    With that said, I would be interested to hear your impressions after an A-B test between the two.


    Watts shouldnt matter, it only equates to about 2 dB in headroom, so if you clip one amp you will probably clip the other as well. Just buy the one that sounds better, oh and it never hurts to ask for a 10% discount or something on that order

  7. #7

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    Valid statements by Cerulenace.

    I have demo'd the two side by side, and simply found that the Halo A23 had a more defined high end and less slam than the HCA-1500A.

    I checked out my friends Halo A21, and it's hardcore. He has 2 pairs of Mirage OM5's hooked up, and it doesn't break a sweat. That's a fairly demanding speaker to boot.

  8. #8

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    Question Parasound Help

    Okay,

    I got the HCA-1000A home and fired up. Ilike the sound so far. A definite improvement over the M1.0-t however...

    ...At moderate listening levels (~85db, about -24-26 on my AA DLC) the "current overload" lights are illuminating in rthym with the music! This doesn't seem to be quite right, at least based on the owner's manual:

    Current Overload LEDs
    The Current Overload LEDs for left and right channels will only illuminate if the unit is driven past its
    maximum current capacity. These LEDs are not clipping indicators, but rather are designed to signal
    you when you are exceeding the limits of your amplifier. If these LEDs light, itís usually a sign that your
    speaker impedance is too low, resulting in too much current draw from the amplifier's power supply. In
    virtually all imaginable listening situations with recommended loads, these LEDs should never
    illuminate.

    The sound seems fine, but I'm a pretty chicken to push this amp any harder based on the the owner's manual. Is this normal? I'm pretty confident it is the load and not a hard short. Should I e-mail Parasound and send them SDA info etc?

    THANKS!!!

    Wes

    Edited to add: I am using my SDA-1C's (6ohms) and not the RT55i's. Also, I'm concerned about my speaker wire terminations. On the amp end, all I have are some thin, sold pieces. Should I re-terminate to some spades? I can wiggle the wires at the amp, but I can't pull them out. Could the wires be heating up?
    Last edited by I-SIG; 03-04-2004 at 02:53 AM.
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    Panasonic TH-42PHD8UK 42" HDTV | Polk Audio SDA-SRS's (w/RDO's & Vampire Posts) + SVS PC+ 25-31 | AudioQuest Granite (mids) + BWA Silver (highs) | Cary Audio CAD-200 | Signal Cable Silver Resolution XLR's | Wyred 4 Sound STP/SE Pre | Signal Cable Silver Resolution XLR's | Cambridge Audio azur 840C--Wadia 170i + iPod jammed w/ lossless audio--Oppo 970 | Pure|AV PF31d

  9. #9

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    You should have a solid connection period, no wiggling. The HCA1000 is not the amplifier for you.

    I wanted you to do what you wanted, but knew that it would be underpowered. The HCA series can handle low ohm loads, and will warn you of loads that exceed their capability. You have accomplished that fact, obviously your listening needs are above that model.

    If you clip a HCA-1500A, you let me know. I have a work associate that runs 4 Mirage OM5's off one Halo A21....they have balls.

  10. #10

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    Thanks, Mark. Luckily this is just the demo. I haven't plopped down any cash yet! Would it be worth the effort to put a little curl on the terminations and hook them around the post, rather than through the hole? Or am I wasting my time and money to eve reterminate them? :p

    Just looking at the specs on the 1000 vs. the 1500, the 15 has 50% more capacitance (40k vs. 60k micro Farads), 33% higher peak current rating (45A vs. 60A) but only a 27% larger transformer, (0.785kVA vs. a 1.0kVA) for over a 50% gain in rated power (125W/ch vs. 205W/ch 8ohms). Hmmm...

    Perhaps an e-mail to Parasound is in order...

    Thanks!

    Wes
    Link: http://polkarmy.com/forums

    Panasonic TH-42PHD8UK 42" HDTV | Polk Audio SDA-SRS's (w/RDO's & Vampire Posts) + SVS PC+ 25-31 | AudioQuest Granite (mids) + BWA Silver (highs) | Cary Audio CAD-200 | Signal Cable Silver Resolution XLR's | Wyred 4 Sound STP/SE Pre | Signal Cable Silver Resolution XLR's | Cambridge Audio azur 840C--Wadia 170i + iPod jammed w/ lossless audio--Oppo 970 | Pure|AV PF31d

  11. #11

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    Wes - Don't stress the details of spec's....the HCA-1500 is twice the performer of the HCA-1000, I know it. The performance levels should be night and day to your listening levels. I drive my gear HARD, and nothing I have owned has left me short.

    I tin all my loose ends, but I havn't gone DIY in quite some time. As long as you "curl" the same way of the post, you will get a more secure connection, IMO. I would suggest getting some terminators...spades or bananas.
    Last edited by dorokusai; 03-04-2004 at 03:48 AM.

  12. #12

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    Given that those speakers will take what 500 ? wpc I'd just demo the 1500 or above if possible.

    What had you previously been driving them with ?

  13. #13

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    Doesn't it look like "something" is wrong here? 85db and he is getting the distortion lights to flicker, there has to be a problem with the amp, at 85db the amp is pushing around a whopping 1 wpc.

    Wes did you try the 55's and get the same or similar result?
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    Where is the remote? Where is the $%#$% remote!

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  14. #14

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    Unfortunately, I can't demo the HCA-1500 as they have to order it up. That's why I was hoping the 1000 would give me an idea of the sound quality.

    I haven't hooked them up to the my 55i's yet, but I'm gonna try it this weekend.

    Wes
    Link: http://polkarmy.com/forums

    Panasonic TH-42PHD8UK 42" HDTV | Polk Audio SDA-SRS's (w/RDO's & Vampire Posts) + SVS PC+ 25-31 | AudioQuest Granite (mids) + BWA Silver (highs) | Cary Audio CAD-200 | Signal Cable Silver Resolution XLR's | Wyred 4 Sound STP/SE Pre | Signal Cable Silver Resolution XLR's | Cambridge Audio azur 840C--Wadia 170i + iPod jammed w/ lossless audio--Oppo 970 | Pure|AV PF31d

  15. #15

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    I agree with hoosier, it seems like something is wrong, it sounds like the connections are shorting at some point causing an overload. I would check all connections very carefully and see what happens

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