Parasound HCA-1201A Amplifiers

3.12/5 (17 Reviews) MSRP : $250.00


Product Description

High current mono amplifier. THX Ultra certified. Balanced and unbalanced inputs. 150W @ 8ohms/240W @ 4ohms. Remote turn on.


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Reviews 1 - 5 (17 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by high-def-pro a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: May 29, 2010

Bottom Line:   
I have a pair of these blocks and they have worked flawlessly for eight years every day. They are very clean, straightforward, no frills sounding amps. They are very flat with no color, they will not make a speaker sound better but you will hear everything in the mix if your monitors can deliver the play back. They are very detailed, the low end is quick and tight, and the top end is very controlled and articulate with no breakup. The top end is not smooth but that does not equal bad, as I said they are true and may not be a good match with bright small speakers. They have a decent sound stage, and like every other amp they are only as good as your speakers are. I use them in a professional studio everyday and they deliver all the time. I use the balanced inputs and clean monster power to power them. I think if you have a bad setup or misuse them you’re going to get negative results. As for built quality, I think they are beautiful everything lines up; the front panel finish is perfect with a clean high grade brush black face. There are well vented and also pretty heavy too for their size. Who cares about the THX logo, but it is certified and I don’t think Lucas is pretty lax about passing that badge around. These mono blocks are not super high end amps, but they are definitely far superior to a lot of amps in this price range. In fact I don’t think you could find better in this price range. Don’t listen to the hype, these are well made amps and they are from a very reputable company in amplification. By using the balanced inputs and good clean power they will deliver good solid performance. Anybody can blow an amp.

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   2003



Overall Rating:2
Value Rating:2
Submitted by Alan D a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: March 24, 2002

Bottom Line:   
Not what they claim to be. Nearly all Parasound amps are very solidly built, John Curl designs. However the HCA-1201A is no more than an offshore design that was originally built for Sound Design. One look at the internals and comparing it to a Parasound HCA-1000A's internals, and you immediately know they didn't spring from the same source. Parasound amps are built with very high quality parts and mil-spec silicon boards. The HCA-1201A is run of the mill parts.

The sound is passable in a mid-quality system. I would be very concerned about long-term reliability.

I had originally hoped that these would be excellent in a multi-channel system, starting first with 2 and then building up to 5, 6, or 7. A pure monoblock, true Parasound amp system would be a great foundation for a Home Theater system. However at $1500-$1750 for 7 channels, these are not a bargain, especially given the quality. This is in the same price range as the 7 channel, 200wpc Outlaw amp and the Outlaw is far better built.

It's a shame these aren't what one would hope they would be, but, as in most things, you get what you pay for. And $250 for a high quality, John Curl monoblock turned out to be too good to be true.

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Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   2001



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Phil a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: February 10, 2002

Bottom Line:   
Tried these in lieu of Roksan Caspian. What a bargain, I can't say how these stack up to other monoblocks but noticed dramatic difference going to these. For the price I bought these I could possibly bi-amp my speakers for the price I paid for the Caspian. Much better imaging, more 3-d soundstage, dynamics improved which I figure gave my music more rhythm. Hard for me to imagine a better buy right now.

As for transformer hum, I think the guy below is mistaken about lots of causes - the hum is a ground loop. Get a three to two prong adapter at walmart for 50 cents for one of your amps and the hum was gone throughout my system.

My only beef is that the power cord is supposed to be 14awg... i don't think it's thick enough to be 14awg, more like 16awg.

Pray I won't have problems with these. At least Parasound gives them a 10-year warranty.

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Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2001

Price Paid:    $450.00



Overall Rating:2
Value Rating:3
Submitted by jjohannsen a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: February 8, 2002

Bottom Line:   
Good design but poor quality parts and assembly. These are no more than Soundstream amps with a new face plate and the power swith moved to the front panel. My set had turn on problems. Then they made a loud snapping sound when they finally powered up. The MA500 and MA700 amps sound better and cost about the same. The ST140M blow these away (they should, they are 4X as expensive). I sent mine back to Audio Advisor and got my money back minus shipping. I am going to buy the ST140M instead.

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Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Price Paid:    $230.00

Purchased At:   Audio Advisor



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

Date Reviewed: February 6, 2002

Bottom Line:   
I have asses like the last guy who posted that review, (he paid $95 at ebay, but bought them from audioadvisor?) Besides, start driving most any amplifier to its max and you'll blow it out. Who complains about an amplifier blowing out after they drive it to the max? What did they expect to happen?

For the price they are great amplifiers. Balanced inputs and a detachable AC cord lets you tinker with upgrades. Lots of things contribute to transformer hum, especially what that power cord is plugged into - these amps suck in a lot of power so be warned. I think you can get better quality but for this price, you expect overseas production, and you expect better sound than you'll get from cheap integrateds and receivers. Plus you get the 10year warranty. With that in mind, these were a great buy at $500.

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Used product for:   3 Months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2001




Reviews 1 - 5 (17 Reviews Total) | Next 15

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