Parasound HCA-1200 Amplifiers

4.27/5 (11 Reviews) MSRP : $845.00


Product Description

200 Watt Power Amplifier - Bridgeable (1990-1993)


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Reviews 1 - 5 (11 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Byron4 a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: August 27, 2010

Bottom Line:   
I purchased this product new in 1993 and have used this product for about 17 years driving both my Acarian Alon 1's and my Magnepan MMG's. First of all the the reliability of Parasound products are great. I have also purchased their PHP-850 preamp and HCA-600 power amps about 13 years ago which one of my kids and my wife are now using. These products are indestructible and just keep on working with absolutely no problems despite constant use.

One of the problems with my Acarian speakers is they are very sensitive to the amplifiers driving them. About 15 years ago, I was at a high end shop where Acarian speakers were being driven with an Aragon amp that must have cost twice as much as my Parasound and the speakers sounded awful. Light weight bass and a shrill harsh sound that made me thankful I had bought my Parasound amplifier. I have also listened to Acarian speakers being driven by Krell electronics and that combination sounded wonderful. Obviously certain speakers such as Acarian (or now Nola) need enough current to get the most out of your speakers and amplifiers like Parasound are definitely up for the job. In addition these speakers will pass through whatever bad sound your amplifier makes.

My Parasound also had no trouble driving my Magnepans. Magnepans are another current hungry product, however, my Parasound never ran out of steam. These are now in a home office and I could listen to them all day and not wish I had something better.

Parasound makes a wide range of products and I am not familiar with their upscale Halo line but I would find it hard to improve on their Classic line which would be the comparable models to Parasound products I have purchased. If you want a great sounding product that will last a long time this would be the products to buy. Since these products are low maintenance you may never need to replace them.

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   Pre 1995



Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:5
Submitted by stoneeh a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: August 9, 2010

Bottom Line:   
Picked this up recently for 350€ on Ebay.

I've used quite a few amps so I have some comparison here.

Concerning kick and tightness of the deep bass, this is one of the best amps I've heard so far. It has its flaws in the bass too, for example it's a bit harsh and won't carve out details as refinedly as some more expensive amps to. However, these are complaints at a very high level.

Concerning mids and highs, this isn't even bad. It tends to be on the harsh side in the upper mids, and if you crank up the volume this gets worse. But this amp has an authentic sound to it. Music comes through clear and straight.

Overall, I wouldn't prefer it to some more HiFi type of amplifiers, like the great Sony TA-F808 ES or the Denon PMA S10 II which I currently use, but still, I was pleasently surprised, and I think it can make a great bass amp in many systems.

Those Parasound amps are sometimes mentioned in the same breath as the Yamaha AX-1050/1070/1090, or the Denon POA 4400/6600. Don't let yourself be fooled. This Parasound has better sound in all spectrums than these amplifiers, and can hold its own in terms of power too.

Overall great bang for the buck!

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Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   Pre 1995



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Daniel Naveen a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: October 3, 2007

Bottom Line:   
I just bought one of these from the used market (for 11,000INR) and its one amazing amp, at the price i paid for it i've heard nothing that even comes close. This is very good value for money and i actually prefer this over the 1200mkII. The sound isn't silken smooth at the top but neither is it as bright and clinical as a NAD 216(still a good amp).

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Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   Pre 1995

Price Paid:    $280.00

Purchased At:   Local Seller



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Daniel a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: November 15, 2002

Bottom Line:   
I'm not willing to take out a loan to purchase my audio system in one fell swoop, so I've instead run the strategy of purchasing components as I can afford them. My quest started four years ago when I wondered into a local audio boutique named "Audio Labs", where a very good salesman took the time to explain to me the difference between consumer audio and audiophile equipment. The argument was supported by cut-out views of the inside of a Bose speaker and the inside of a Paradigm Monitor Series speaker. Suffice to say, alot of what is mentioned in the Bose FAQ (try a search on google) is absolutely right, and applicable to most of the mainstream manufacturers. Three months after my first visit to "Audio Labs" I had saved up $600 and purchased a pair of Paradigm Monitor 7's. These were hooked up to an old Kenwood amp and ca. 1984 Sony CD player.

The difference between the 7's and the previous Radio Shack speakers were immediate. Much better representation of sound, across the entire spectrum. But I didn't really get any of the "imaging", etc, etc. that a lot of audiophiles seem to rave about. And I found I was getting headaches after listening at moderate volume for more than an hour (also known as listening fatigue).

Two years later I drove down to Kansas City to review the NAD T550 DVD player. I'd read a couple of reviews on NAD's website and here on Audioreview.com, and decided to give it an audition. I returned to Des Moines with a T550 in hand and $800 less in my pocket, but the purchase was well worth it. That DVD player was designed primarily with audio in mind. Go and check out NAD's website, you'll see what I mean from reading the reviews. Once again the sound in my (then) apartment was greatly improved, both for CD's and movies.

The next set of upgrades would be a Parasound preamp and amp, because whenever I visited "Audio Labs", that is what I listened to, and every time I got that *tingle*, the feeling that I was actually in the same room as whatever performer I was listening to. I should mention I try to attend as much free live music (country, blues, jazz, choral, orchestra, church) as I can, which the midwest is good at providing.

This past summer I got the money together to purchase the $850 Parasound AVC 1800 home theater preamp from "Audio Labs" (It was on clearance). It sat in the box until I purchased the Parasound HCA 1200 on ebay. I intend to purchase a Parasound HCA 855A or 1205A, but do not currently have the money to purchase them retail (support you local outlet or else they'll go away!), and decided upon the 1200 as a two channel stopgap. The nice thing about the 1200 is it can be bridged, and I intend to run it on my homemade subwoofer (8 cubic feet internal volume, 18" cone, double 3/4" mdf sheets for the front baffle) once I make my final amp upgrade.

The 1200 is awesome. The bass control is tight and low. The prior Kenwood amp (rated at 100 wpc) just could not get the Monitor 7's to produce any low frequency waves, which I knew should be possible from visiting the dealer. With the Parasound replacements, I can hear the subtle whump whump of Sully's footsteps in Monster's Inc. The top end is also much improved; I can walk around the room I'm playing music in and be working on something and still hear stereo separation! The headaches are a thing of the past. Lastly, the 1200 will play a LOT louder, and does a good job of not distorting the sound when doing so. Suffice to say I'm very happy with this purchase. I do believe, though, that the HCA 1500 is a slight improvement over the older 1200, but the 1500 will run you quite a few more $$$. I would not consider the HCA 1000, it's just to small physically, and a good portion of having spent the money is having eqiupment which weighs 40lbs shipping weight!

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Used product for:   1 to 3 months

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   Pre 1995

Price Paid:    $400.00

Purchased At:   Ebay



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Stevie Z a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: September 23, 2002

Bottom Line:   
I have been a mobile DJ for over 12 years now. Started at a bowling alley in 1990 doing a Friday Night 4 hour Rock-N-Bowl. This was my first amp that I had for my DJ business and have used it for over 12 years now. It continues to impress me day in and night out. I knew that it wasn't a commercial type of amplifier but it was all I could afford back in 1990 when I was first starting my business. It is truly and undoubtedly one of the most dependable and powerful amps that I've come across. I also have a Peavy CS 1000X that I don't even use because I feel the Parasound is the far better amp. It has not even breathed hard and I have driven it for as long as 10 hours straight at very high volumes, no kidding!! This amp doesn't even have a cooling fan. It has never gotten hot, never clipped. It's like the energizer bunny***keeps going and going. I will continue to use it until it croaks and I honestly believe it never will. I drive a pair of 12" and 15" 2 way JBL PA speakers with this amp at the same time. It will also drive a twin 15" subwoofer (4 ohms at 600 watts with no problem. The amp is so crystal clear and extremely powerful to drive most any speaker out there. It's been a true winner for me and I highly recommend it!!

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   Pre 1995

Price Paid:    $900.00

Purchased At:   New York Stereo Stor




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