Parasound Halo P3 Balanced Preamplifier Preamplifiers

4.13/5 (16 Reviews) MSRP : $799.95


Product Description



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Reviews 1 - 5 (16 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

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

Date Reviewed: June 17, 2009

Bottom Line:   
I bought this preamp about 2 weeks ago and used it every day.
I like it - no-nonsense preamp with balanced output (I needed that) 12v trigger, etc. features you usually find in 2k$+ preamps.

Strengths:
Sound
Price
Look

Weaknesses:
The led lights are too intense in the evening

Expand full review >>

Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   2009



Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:1
Submitted by dpl35 a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: May 23, 2008

Bottom Line:   
I read reviews when looking for a 2 channel pre-amp, and after reading the positive reviews for the P3, I purchased a demo unit. I was very disappointed with this preamp. In my case the sound felt constricted, bass was limited, and the sound was thin and flat.

In my opinion you could do much better in the $500-$800 range. I replaced the P3 with the Vincent Audio SA-31 hybrid preamp which sells for $500. In my opinion, this preamp is much better, better bass, better mids and great, open sound.

Associated equipment:
Rotel 1072 CD player
Silverline Prelude speakers
Emotiva BPA-1 amp (2) used as mono blocks

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Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2006

Price Paid:    $450.00

Purchased At:   AudioWaves



Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:1
Submitted by franxavier a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: March 9, 2007

Bottom Line:   
SOUND HARSH, LOST CONTROL WHEN LOUD VOLUME PLAYED CAN MAKE YOU WANNA GO TO HELL.. BAD ENTRY LEVEL FROM PARASOUND, I RATHER GO WITH THE KRELL KSL WITH SAME PRICE BUT WARMER SOUND_ TO SOME PEOPLE IT HAS THE NICE COLORFUL LOOK BUT FOR ME IT'S SCARY IN THE NIGHT! I DO'NT DARE TO TURN THE LIGHT OFF WHEN I'M ALONE WITH IT_ :(

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Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Price Paid:    $500.00

Purchased At:   eBay



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by sintz a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: September 16, 2005

Bottom Line:   
Purchased this preamp after much consideration of the Anthem TLP-1, AMC1100, as well as Adcom and B&K models. I decided on the Halo P3 because it had the features I needed (direct input/outputs, adjustable tone/contour, remote, and balance functions). Nothing more than I needed (except the ability to upgrade to XLR connections in the future), nothing less. I upgraded from a 5 year old Chase RLC-1 preamp based on a cheap automotive opamp design with almost no power filtering. I did modify the Chase RLC-1 by shorting the unused inputs to reduce noise.

Before I start the review, here is my current system:

JBL S310:
http://www.audioreview.com/mfr/jbl/floorstanding-speakers/PRD_123904_1594crx.aspx

Parasound P3 Halo Preamp:
http://www.audioreview.com/mfr/parasound/preamplifiers/PRD_136631_1591crx.aspx
AKSA 100 Audiophile Dual Mono Stereo Amplifier:
http://www.aksaonline.com/products/products_aksa100.html

Denon DCM-370 HDCD Player:
http://www.audioreview.com/mfr/denon/cd-players/PRD_116875_1586crx.aspx

IXOS Interconnects:
IXOS XHA516-100 1m Stereo Audio Cable
http://www.audioreview.com/mfr/ixos/speaker-cables/PRD_136085_1584crx.aspx

Kimber Cable 4TC Speaker Cable: (arriving next week - using Monster 12ga now).
http://www.audioreview.com/cat/cables/speaker-cables/kimber-kable/PRD_116461_1584crx.aspx


Connection:
I connected the Halo P3 to the Denon using single-ended 0.5M (RCA) IXOS interconnects and using the non-direct CD single-ended inputs. I connected the output of the P3 to the AKSA using the same IXOS (1M) cable.

Listening Room:
My room is approximately 12Wx18Lx7H.

First Impressions:
The sound was anemic, but this was very short-lived while my ears adjusted to not listening to a preamp with automatic loudness contour. Within a few seconds, I was already able to hear sublties never heard before. A few favorite albums had so many nuances revealed that it had a dramatic affect on the interpretation of the music. Some of the albums almost sounded unfamiliar.

Although the high end was ever-so-slightly layed back, it is well extended, detailed, and smooth. Well balanced with regards to the rest of the music.

The bass and mid-bass was tightened up considerably with the lowest octaves well extended.

Mids are by far the most amazing aspect of this preamp. I was able to listen to a variety of rock, jazz, and electronic genres at very considerable volume levels (95-100dB) for 3-4 hours w/o any listening fatigue. The most I could listen for using the RLC-1 was about 1 hour.

Soundstage:
Significantly improved over the RLC-1. The sound doesn't go beyond the sides of the speakers, but there is much better placement.

Dynamics:
Also better improved over the RLC-1. Attack is quicker across all frequencies.


Even after the first couple of tracks I listened to, I had a huge grin because I'd realized that I'd just renewed my whole CD collection. Two weeks later, I'm still antsy to get home to dig out albums I haven't listened to in years.

I have about 20 hours of use on the P3, and I have noticed some changes in the overal sound characteristics. The highs have smoothed out ever so slightly, the bass has become a little more extended, and the midrange seems to have smoothed out as well (with no loss of texture or dynamics).

I love it. Worth the cash if the rest of your system is up to it.

Expand full review >>

Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   2005

Price Paid:    $735.00

Purchased At:   Cameras, Etc - MA



Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by OldSchool a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: March 22, 2005

Bottom Line:   
I'm used to buying audio equipment sight-unseen based strictly on published specs and user reviews, and this product looked like a winner based on the other reviews here and my investigations on the Parasound web site. I've been using the pre-amp for a few days now and am happy enough with it to keep it. It is replacing an old Kenwood Basic C2 Pre-Amp that had the balance control go out on me. I hope to clean the Kenwood or bypass the part eventually, but it seemed time to go ahead and splurge on a replacement unit, even if just for the convenience of remote control capability (particularaly volume control). OK so that's a real expensive remote! I had considered other passive units, such as the Creek, but I need the wealth of input selection the Parasound has, and you have to admit the unit *is* sexy looking.

There is one thing I want to point out, to explain why I'm not giving 5 stars to this unit. That is that it does NOT have a dead quiet noise floor. Now, admittedly my speakers are quite sensitive (Jamo CBR 1704 is the model, I think they are over 90db sensitivity). The noise I confirmed is entirely due to the preamp and not due to source or amplifier. It is constant regardless of source selection (even if no source is hooked up) and will (mostly) mute when the mute button is pressed. So the noise is constant. However, I'm a lucky dog any my amplifier (Kenwood Basic M1A) has input volume controls (oh if it only had a source selector) so after testing what sorts of listening volumes are possible (i.e. I want to be able to get ear-splitting) I found I could put the amp gain down where I can't hear the pre-amp noise any more. Even at full gain, the noise isn't too bad - you have to stand near the speakers to hear it. So it is a fairly quiet amp, but not as quiet as my Kenwood Basic C2 was, which *was* dead quiet at full gain. I wonder if these days you can find any dead quiet pre-amps, so when I bought the unit I did realize I might be in for a let-down with the noise issue. But it ain't too bad.

Sound-wise, the pre-amp is powerful, detailed, and just a tad bright, but that's OK as I'm just starting the burn-in and the Jamo speakers are known for being a little on the bright side anyway. Recommended.

Expand full review >>

Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2003

Price Paid:    $799.00

Purchased At:   Audio Advisor




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