Parasound P/HP-850 Preamplifiers

4.52/5 (42 Reviews) MSRP : $395.00


Product Description

A uniquely cost-effective preamplifier that doesn't compromise your music. A massive power supply for deeper, cleaner bass and better dynamics. The fact that it's direct coupled for the cleanest possible signal and has five inputs-including a clean RIAA phono stage for your turntable-makes this a value that's hard to beat


Review Options:  Sorted by Latest Review | Sort by Best Rating

Reviews 1 - 5 (42 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

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

Date Reviewed: May 20, 2005

Bottom Line:   
It is so good, you can not imagine!
Fast, snappy, natural, dynamics, warm, musical, excellent bass, sound sounds louder like you have added to your system a poweramp.
It is as not as good as Krell or Levinson, but very close considering price paid.
Get one if you can, you will not be dissapointed. If you do not like it, sell it to me, if my breaks down because I am not switching it off!

And yes.......I am only interested in 2channel stereo sound and with this Preamp I haven't got 5 speakers in my room, but like 105 speakers.......sound is everywhere.......I could write a Bible about this Preamp because it is Godlike!
Thank you Parasound

Expand full review >>

Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   1999

Price Paid:    $200.00

Purchased At:   Ebay



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

Date Reviewed: January 15, 2005

Bottom Line:   
I am horrible at following instructions, yet the user manual instructions are essential to good sound from this pre-amplifier. I broke in my pre-amplifier for a week, and I ignored the remainder of the 3rd page of the manual. Under volume control, the 3rd page clearly states the amplifier should be adjusted such that the pre-amplifier volume control is turned to the noon (vertical) position at normal listening volume. Having just read all 40 reviews, I found no mention of this -- Rick of Boise, Idaho came closest by stating "volume gain seems to be weighted towards the lower end of the dial". I agree that the low end of the volume produces the greatest delta in audio output, and I add that this pre-amplifier sounds horrible at low volume. I can understand why people gave this pre-amplifier single-star ratings.

If you own a Parasound or other amplifier with an adjustable gain, this pre-amplifier is a very good value that can provide the listener hours of unfatiguing, crystal clear, detailed sound. I lowered the gain on my Parasound HCA-1205A, and changed what would have been a 1-star rating into a 5-star rating.

My system is as follows:

Definitive Technology BP 2002TL
Denon DVD-5900
Kimber Kable Power Cord
Parasound HCA-1205A
Parasound P/HP-850
Parasound TDQ-1600
Toshiba SD9200
Tributaries Cable

Expand full review >>

Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   2003

Price Paid:    $250.00

Purchased At:   Audio Advisor



Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:3
Submitted by rocket scientist a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: November 27, 2004

Bottom Line:   
Has what sounds like a poor phono section but otherwise good. I still play vinyl records so a good phono preamp is important to me. I already own a Parasound P/FET-900 preamp and the phono preamp section in that one sounds gorgeous to me so I was really looking forward to trying out the newer P/HP-850 with my turntable and records. Well when I first turned on the P/HP-850 and switched to phono there was a very noticeable background hiss at about half-volume. I always thought one of the hallmarks of a good phono preamp was quietness, but this thing really hisses. The P/FET-900 has just a trace of background hiss at full volume setting. I plugged in my turntable using a Shure V15VxMR moving magnet cartridge and was very disappointed with the sound. The sound was very grating to my ears as if there is some kind of distortion I can't put my finger on. The lows are rolled off as well as the highs. I really tried to like it but I just couldn't listen to it for more than about 10 minutes without turning it off. I don't know what Parasound did but they must have really cheapened the phono section on this one. I think it is supposed to be higher gain to accomodate both moving magnet and some higher-output moving coil cartridges. A bad compromise. Most high-quality phono preamps have a switchable input for either moving magnet or moving coil type cartridges to accomodate the different input levels with lowest background noise. I don't think they could have made the phono section sound worse on this one if they tried. Now if I ran the turntable into the Parasound P/FET-900 first and used it as a phono preamp and ran the line-level output to the P/HP-850 it sounded fine. The line-level inputs on the P/HP-850 sounded first class and would be fine for anyone needing a good clean preamp for a line-level source like a CD player. The sound was very crisp and clean and excellent. So if you are not using a turntable don't worry about it, the P/HP-850 should be a fine choice. But if you are buying one to use as a phono preamp I would not recommend it. You will still need to use or buy an external phono preamp for the best sound. It is as if they added the phono preamp section as an afterthought. Also I cannot understand why they used such teensy-tiny rotary controls on the front panel for base, treble and balance - really hard to get a decent grip on, plus they did away with a stepped volume control. All in all I think this is a cheapened preamp. If they were going to compromise the phono section so badly they should have just left it out. It is possible I may have gotten a unit with problems so if anyone else has auditioned the phono preamp section in the P/HP-850 I would like to hear from them.

Expand full review >>

Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2004

Price Paid:    $200.00

Purchased At:   Audiogon



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by deviant03 a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: November 7, 2004

Bottom Line:   
Spectacular sounding preamp for the price. I have it matched with a Parasound HCA-1000A amp. I found it just a tad foward initially but the more you listen and get used to the sound (burn in?) the smoother it gets - dynamic and fluid is how I would describe the P/HP-850. Price/performance is hard to beat.

Expand full review >>

Used product for:   1 to 3 months

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2004

Price Paid:    $250.00

Purchased At:   Audioadvisor.com



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

Date Reviewed: August 15, 2003

Bottom Line:   
This is a very good pre-amp, for the price new or used it is a steal. Can you find a pre-amp for $250. new that could compete? I don't think so. May not work well in every system but what component does?

Expand full review >>

Used product for:   3 Months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   2001

Price Paid:    $125.00

Purchased At:   online




Reviews 1 - 5 (42 Reviews Total) | Next 15

Review Options:  Sorted by Latest Review | Sort by Best Rating



High End:



BLG CP024: