Well, in the interest of fun, I swapped out my pair of Parasound Halo A23s for my friend's pair of Emotiva XPA-1s. The Emotiva gear wiped the floor with the Parasound gear. So much so, that I'm not even going to waste my time writing a detailed comparison. Thank god, I bought the Halos used for $800, which is the cost of only a single XPA-1. That being said, when new, the Halo A23s are about the same price.
All in all, the Parasounds were not as exciting, detailed or able to throw as a big a stage as the Emotivas.
Now for a reality check, the specs of the Emotiva seem to be way better than the A23. In fact, the real comparison to the A23 should probably be the XPA-2. And, the JC1 is the better comparison to the XPA-1 if we go by specs and not price.
So . . . anyone want to lend me their JC1s for a comparison? I'd be willing to bet the JC1s would adeptly outperform the XPA-1s in all categories, but you of course will pay several thousand more.
Disclaimer: I don't like products made in China, but you gotta give it to an American company who can toss this much goodness into such an affordable package. This really challenges my opinion of what high end must be. IT seems the consensus on the forum is that Emotiva is midfi gear, which is probably true for much of their lower stuff. But, I think the XPA-1s skim the high end on many levels because they are producing some fantastic sound. IF this is midfi, then I can't wait to buy me some JC1s to really hear what I'm missing.
PS: Please don't start a war. This is a genuine review.