Parasound HCA-855A Amplifiers

4.55/5 (22 Reviews) MSRP : $995.00


Product Description

85 watts RMS x 5 at 8 ohms 125 watts RMS x 5 a 4 ohms 5 Hz-100 kHz, +0/-3 dB at 1 watt 115 dB, full power, IHF A-weighted 41 pounds


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Reviews 1 - 5 (22 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by theseeker61 a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: February 16, 2006

Bottom Line:   
I picked up this unit on ebay for 426 including shipping. I waited a couple weeks of listening prior to this post. I agree with much of what has been posted by the folks before me. I am running a Denon 3803 as a preamp/processor and was slightly concerned dropping from the Denon's rated 110 watts per channel to the Parasound's 85 watts. I've verified what I had suspected: The power rating is largely moot. I could crank up the Denon to levels I could barely stand to be in the room, but the smooth high end of the Parasound makes listening at high volume a joy; volumes where the Denon was terribly fatiguing. This may not be a high fidelity amp by audiophile standards, about which I could care less. I notice the clean sound, the smoothness and richness of music. High end, Midrange and Bass are all noticibly better than the Denon. I'm not an expert on "vertical and horizontal" soundstage, but I know great sounding audio reproduction when I hear it. To the point: If you have some excellent speakers and a receiver you paid less than a grand for - maybe even 2 grand - you will HEAR an AMAZING difference if you pick up a really good power amplifier - and make no mistake, this "little" 85 watt per channel amplifier is a GREAT amplifier. I would suggest that, if you listen often at HIGH concert level volumes AND have inefficient speakers, you may want to see if you can find a HCA 1205A. It'll likely cost twice as much used so think hard about it. I find this amp is a perfect match for my Klipsch speaker system, which is very efficient at around 98dB @ 1watt/1meter. The Klipsches are very bright by nature, so the smoothness of the Parasound high end allows me to run my bass and treble setting flat compared to the Denon, which I was running at -4db treble and +2db bass. But I've learned settings are not the answer, they're just a tweak, and have little bearing on the depth and richness, the "soul" of your system's sound: Upstream from the speakers, that soul is largely in the character of the amplification, and the Parasound has great character - arguably unbeatable for the money. Conclusions? I'd gladly trade several hundred watts of amplification with the (pretty darn good) characteristics of my Denon receiver for the sweet midrange, clear subtle highs and beefy bass I'm getting from 85 watts of Parasound. There's just no contest. BTW, if you have a Denon receiver with a 12V trigger, it takes a 1/8" mono mini jack (phone plug) available at radio shack. It's nowhere in the Denon manual (which is abysmal). The center connection is the 12V trigger signal and the outer sheath crimp/connector is GND. One last thing - if you want phenominal power (for almost any efficiency speaker) and sound from your fronts, you might consider consider bi-amping them with one of these puppies, if you can find one: you may end up with more net power for less $ than buying a higher power Parasound amp, which tend to go for more coin.

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Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2002

Price Paid:    $405.00

Purchased At:   ebay



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by CLM811 a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: July 5, 2004

Bottom Line:   
Using the 855A for over 3 years, driven by a Denon3300 as pre/pro. I'm astounded by how good the system sounds on SACD/DVDA since I upgraded the power amp. With my 5.5 system five MTM"satellites", plus five 12" powered subs, movies such as L.O.T.R. and A.I. sound incredible, and the effects can be shocking! If you can find one(even used)- BUY IT!

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2001

Price Paid:    $400.00



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Lyle Poulin a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: January 14, 2004

Bottom Line:   
IAm posting this review to state that my previous rating is incorrect. This product rocks, and it it deserves the best quality rating that any audiofile wannabe's want to hear and read. My sound system is incredble to listen to since adding this key piece of power to my home theater set up. The bass will stir up yesterdays lunch, the treble will tickle your ears without harshness and the midrange will blow you away. This is a superior power amplifier that will make your system sound powerfull.

I A'm currently running A Denon AVR2800 reciever-
-Parasound HCA-885A high current amplifier
-Paradigm 11SE Fronts
-Paradigm LCR350 center
-Paradigm Mini monitors for rears
-Paradigm PS1000 Subwoofer
I want to upgrade to a Denon Avr3800 but that will take some time and cash and possibly the turfing of my old lady. Lately she has proven herself to be, Well less importent than my drive to a great system. She hates this thing and I love it. Iv'e got $10,000 Canadian into this thing and I'm not stopping here.

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Used product for:   3 Months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   2002

Price Paid:    $1000.00

Purchased At:   best buy



Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Lyle Poulin a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: October 14, 2003

Bottom Line:   
This amplifier really kicks major ass.

I'm currently running a Denon AVR2800 reciever that at first I was very happy with. But over a period of time it seemed to lack the midrange and definition that I wanted. I tweaked my system by adding a Monster HTS2500 power conditioner and that improved the sound. I BI-Wired my Paradigm speakers and that improved it even more. I built speaker (sand filled and on spikes) stands and that tightened the bass right up. I positioned the speakers according to the manufacturers specs and that made a difference. But my ears were not satisfied. I bought the best sheilded cables that I could afford and that improved it even more, but it still wasn't right.

I was stumped at what else I could do that would not cost a fortune to appease my selective hearing. I was in a quandry as to what other recourse to take. After many months of searching on the net and inquiries at my local Denon dealer I was introduced to a Parasound Amplifier that was touted to be the best for my current system. I had read reveiws on this site that the Parasound amplifiers were the best bang for your dollar.

My Denon dealer offered the HCA-855A to me at $1000.00 Canadian taxes in. But Troy, the owner said that I could take the unit home and try it out first before I bought it. Well I have to say that unit is now a major part of my set up. This amplifier has completed my lust(I think)for excellent sound. I still have a slant towards the denon AVR3803, and that will probably happen.

The parasound amplifier is absolutely the best thing that I ever could have added. The bass is tightenend right up to a point that it sets you back in your chair. The detail and midrange is astounding. I'm hearing things that I had never heard before on DVD"S that I have played before. This Amplifier is the sweetest thing that I ever could have purchased. The sound is so amazing that it has truly put my home theater into a class of it's own.

The fact that it is 85 watts all channels driven is truly remarkable. Parasound has has a true edge over high end and much more expensive amplifiers.

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Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2001

Price Paid:    $650.00

Purchased At:   Best Buy Electronics



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

Date Reviewed: August 21, 2003

Bottom Line:   
My room is not huge, my speakers are quite efficient, and my listening habits do not include ear bleeding levels. I use an amplified sub for the deep bass. What I am getting at is that this "85 X 5" amp has ALL the power I need! I have never pushed it beyond its limits, and we listen to our movies loud. I know for a fact that "85 X 5" Parasound power in this amp will blow away Receivers that claim "140 X 5" power ratings. Detail is fantastic. Bass is powerful and well controlled, and strain at high listening levels is non-existant. I am very happy with this amp!

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2001

Price Paid:    $450.00

Purchased At:   dealer




Reviews 1 - 5 (22 Reviews Total) | Next 15

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