Parasound AVC-1800 A/V Preamplifier

AVC-1800

AM/FM tuner, preamp, Dolby Pro Logic, Dolby Digital, and DTS processor

User Reviews (48)

Showing 1-10 of 48  
Fernando   Audio Enthusiast [Nov 10, 2012]

He tenido muchos previos y el del 1800 me ha dejado impresionado, parece increible los bajos y los agudos que se logran, aun no me lo puedo creer y eso que he tenido más de 30 preamplificadores, desde 250 a 2500 euros y encima tiene sintonizador de radio. Lo aconsejo si puede hacerse con uno.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Richard   Audio Enthusiast [Aug 27, 2003]
Strength:

Build quality is better than just about anyone at this price. The unit is quite reliable, just wish it had a bit more musicality for 2 channel.

Weakness:

Digital locking could be faster, like some other Parasounds, this unit sometimes misses the first note of a song while locking on to the signal. For Movies, no impact.

I've had this unit for several years as a replacement to my PSP1500 with outboard DVD with built-in surround decoder. It's a solid unit, I've had no problems with it, the sound is very good especially with DTS (a requirement I now have for DVDs).

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
Bronica   Audio Enthusiast [Jul 09, 2003]
Strength:

Sound Quality, 5.1 inputs, the 3 24 bit Burr Brown D/A converters, great tuner, Value, great support from Parasound

Weakness:

not 6.1, or 7.1, the tuner dispaly is always on. and of course the DD, DTS hum if you have it.

I have had this Pre-Pro for about 6 months now. I started out very disappointed with my purchase. It suffered from a hum in DD and DTS. I tried everything I could think of. New cables, power cords, line conditioner, moving the amp, different circuits in the house, etc. nothing worked. So I E-mailed tech support at Parasound they said it might need an updated E-prom chip. They were nice enough to send it for free even though the unit was no longer under warrantee. No difference, then I was told a defective "DSP" board. Again they were nice enough to sell me one at dealer cost $175.00. Installed it the hum was still there but much improved. Only noticed it when cranked and on the quietest of passages. Finally I decided to buy a new DVD player. Partly because I hoped it would solve the problem and partly because the old one was a POS Samsung DVD-711. Which has skipped and over heated since almost day one but that’s another story. I hooked the new player up and guess what no hum! Gone bye bye I was blown away. Granted the AVC-1800 should have never had a hum with any player but as they say garbage in garbage out. Now I am very happy with the sound quality of 2 channel and DD, DTS very clean. Silky smooth sound, and excellent D/A converters. It also so far doesn't seem to have any problems with DTS/es, DD/ex, DTS 96/24 soundtracks but your mileage may vary. All in all the months of pain and suffering with this unit were worth it, especially for the price I paid. I have champagne tastes on a cheap beer budget. When it has no hum it is a great Pre Pro. My Modest System: Parasound Avc-1800 B&K AV-6.5.4, 6 channel amp Velodyne F-1500, sub Mirage OM-10, BI-Wired, mains Mirage MC-4, center Design Acoustics PS-10, rears Panamax Max-1000 line conditioner Sony CX88ES 200 disc CD, used as transport HK FL-8350, Modified, used as transport Sony DVP-NS755v dvd, SCAD Yamaha KX-230 tape deck Canare 4S11 Speaker cable, Signet banana's Canare GS-6, Neutrik, hand made RCA’s Canare, Heartland Cable, digital coax "Finest Glass Toslink" Hand made power cords, Carol, Marinco, Hubbell

Similar Products Used: B&K, PS-Audio, Onkyo, Sony ES, Denon, Yamaha
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
Bink   Audio Enthusiast [Nov 22, 2002]
Strength:

Usability - Easy to setup and use on a daily basis Build - No plastic components here... this is a solid pre-amp Remote - Easy to use Sound - Solid stereo and surround processor Price - I can't think of another pre-amp in this price range that covers all the bases like this one

Weakness:

Bass Management - if your setup is not all Large, or all Small, but some mixture, this pre-amp does not handle the variations very well. Tuner Display - it is always on

The AVC-1800 is about the best AV Pre-amp that I have listened to at its price point. It certainly performs all the functions that someone new to separates would need. It doesn't have a ton of bells and whistles to distract you, but is a solid performer on the basics: Dolby Pro Logic, Dolby Digital, DTS and Stereo. If you currently use the previous generation pre/pro from Parasound (the PSP-1500 and PDD-1500), then this is a logical upgrade since you get basically a single chasis design, an upgraded chipset, and DTS decoding that the previous generation did not have. I compared this unit to the previous generation in several A/B tests and could not tell the difference. Compared to other AV pre-amps like the AVC-2500, Proceed AVP or ADA Cinema Reference, the AVC-1800 certainly does not rise and challenge them, but does put up a good fight. Overall, this preamp is squarely aimed at the entry-level separates fan, and from my experience should satisfy their needs. I have had no issues with the unit, though it comes with a 10 year warranty.. about the best in the business.

Similar Products Used: Parasound PSP-1500 / PDD-1500 Parasound AVC-2500 Proceed PAV & AVP ADA Cinema Reference
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
Jens   AudioPhile [Feb 02, 2002]
Strength:

Clean dynamic sound in stereo and 5.1, good internal dacs, no frills ,solid performance , great value, great remote.

Weakness:

Display, bass management, only two coax digital inputs.

I traded my Parasound PLD 1100 2 channel Pre-amp and Parasound''s 1600 Dac for this unit, and noticed an immediate improvement in detail, resolution, dynamics and soundstage. Yes, that''s right, this unit replaced seperates that once retailed for twice it''s price. It was like a vail was lifted from my speakers. This unit drove a Pass Labs Aleph 3 pure class A amp with Totem Model One Signatures. All cables and interconnects are by Totem as well. All components are properly set up on Golden Sound Jumbo Cones and Pads. I have had no problems with my unit as some people did. No hum or buzz, plenty of volume control etc. As an Audiohpile forced by marriage to return to earth, I feel I have sacificed little and gained a lot by having a nifty hometheater set up now. Two channel is a very anti-social hobby, you know. The only bone I have to pick is the aweful display. I don''t care about video switching, since a direct path is always best, and most modern TV''s have plenty of inputs anyway. Besides, high frequency video noise is what''s probably causing everyone these problems. Why introduce it into your component. Keep it out. That actually goes for tuners as well, and I''d much rather have a seperate unit. Anyway, I therefore rely on the Processor''s display, and wished it was larger and only indicated the current input and mode, instead of displaying the frequency at all times. I would also like to see more coax digital inputs. I feel it is superior to Toslink. The dacs in the 1800 are of excellent quality, and I run my Sony 7700 as a CD transport only, using Monster''s 1000 Silver digital cable. The only other negative side is the bass management. I don''t mind the toggle switches or the fixed crossover, however, if you select small for the mains, and large for the center and/or rears, your mains automatically go to large when switching to stereo. I guess the processor redirects the bass from the center to the mains when the center is not activated. So I am forced to run my whole set up on small, so that all of the bass is redirected to the sub. With the crossover in the signal path, I do loose a certain degree of transparency. With a lesser revealing system this may not pose a problem though.

Similar Products Used: Pro logic Receivers of the late 80''s.
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
Paul Maison   Audio Enthusiast [Feb 15, 2000]
Strength:

DTS/AC-3 at an affordable price. Great sonics. Above average DAC.

Weakness:

Audible click at turn-on. No Component inputs/outputs.

I purchased this product about a month ago. I was interested in the Rotel RSP-985 and even took a look at Denon's AVR-3300 (good receiver, BTW.) I happened to visit a store that was selling out hit Hi-end equipment and was offering $650 for a Parasound P/Sp-1500. The 1500 was rated very highly in the audio/video enthusiast world, so I bought it feeling I saved some money, with an obvious compromise, not having DTS processing. It replaced an Adcom GFP-555 II. I immediately heard a difference ( positive difference) in sound. At that point I got more curious as to what the newer AVC-1800 would do. I figured there must be in improvment in sound quality, since advances have been made in DAC technology. I returned the 1500 and got a matching center channel speaker (Von Schweikert LCR-20) for my VR-2000 and ordered the Parasound AVC-1800 from www.hometheatervideo.com for $1,050 + S+H.

This preamp/processor is heads & shoulders better than it's predecessor (which it should be). The soundstage opened up, the noise floor dropped, imaging was vastly improved. My brother, an audiophile himself, and I listened to familiar CD's and watched favorite DVD movies for hours. I never got tired or bored with the sound. something I can't say for the Adcom it replaced. To demonstrate the clarity of this preamp, we turned it up, REALLY, and the sound never got piercing. It got louder but not fatiguingly loud. The Parasound AVC-1800 also allows your to adjust the input signal level; meaning you have the ability to eliminate over-driving the input stage!! Very smart!! There's also the ability to automatically detect DTS or DD signals via it's digital inputs and a wonderful learning remote that IMO is very ergonomic.

The only caveat is the lack of the Component ins/outs. That being said, this is a great pre/pro IMO so far.

Audition for yourself.

Similar Products Used: Denon AVR-3300, Rotel RSP-985
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
Bill   Audio Enthusiast [Nov 11, 2000]

This is in response to TinCanFury's review. I just wanted to comment as I am fairly certain that I will purchase one of these units, and these reviews are good information for me.

In regards to your problem of switching to "small" in the front after having the unit on for a while - this seems like it might be some sort of "safety delay". If it only happens when the unit is "warm", then I would be concerned. A preamp, even an A/V preamp with tuner, should never get more than "lukewarm" in a normal temperature room. If you're unit is getting much warmer than that and is not near one of your amps or other heat generating unit - I would take it to the dealer to have it checked. It could be that there is some defect in the unit that is causing heat buildup in a certain part of the circuit. Hell, if that turns out to be your problem with the switching to "small" and maybe your "popping" problem, then you will be in heaven with the unit!

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Mike Kulfan   Audio Enthusiast [Mar 29, 2000]
Strength:

Price VS. Value. Simple design and function

Weakness:

Remote control does not support Parasound CD players as stated in manual.

I've read the reviews previously submitted and find some of the statements at least disturbing if not misleading. With regards to noise of the AVC 1800 my unit is extremely quiet. With the volume control full up there is no discernible hiss, hum or other noise. It is very quiet. I have no problems with tuner operation even though I am in an area of high interference due to mountains and the proximity of television and radio broadcast antennas. With regards to the TRIM feature for adjusting channel balance why would anyone want a universal adjustment for all channels (its called a volume control)? The idea of the TRIM is to be able to adjust the channels independently for the particular source material. Usually I am adjusting the center channel for dialog on some movies and the surrounds for effects on others without effecting my calibrated settings. With regards to the lack of component switching. What do you expect at this price? Many quality units at twice the price do no offer this feature. The AVC 2500 at $3,250.00 was, I believe the first to offer this feature. Overall the sound performance over my previous system is significantly better and I feel I would have had to spend another $1,000 minimum to receive this performance from another manufacturer.

Similar Products Used: Parasound PSP1500 & PDD1500
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
Val C.   Audiophile [Aug 27, 2001]
Strength:

Sound in two channel, Steering in DD DTS
No nonsense bare bones product at a very difficult price point for separates

Weakness:

Radio station display, not loud eneough at max volume.

I would like to update my previous post with a little quirk I have discovered by using the product for about five months.

It's NOT LOUD ENOUGH at max volume. I'm using it with Parasound's Monster AMPZILLA (2205AT) and at +6 it's only putting out 90 db thru B&W CDM 9Nt speakers.
I've called Parasound and asked them what the max output Voltage is and they - check this out: "Didn't Know".... It's also not listed in the manual, and this spec is usually listed (Max output Voltage is generally 2.0V). I had a receiver used as a preamp only and it did better for sheer loudness on the same amp/speaker combo...

I would not normally post on such a little thing, but it really puts a cork in it if the DVD is authored very low, but I feel that, as a SEPARATE it should at least provide the DD standard for max spl of 115 db with a 220 Watt/ ch amp

Other than that it sound good , clean and uncompressed even at 90 db. I also still think you can't find anything in this price range (or up to $2000)that will outdo this pre-pro.

Btw -I'm not a head banger

Similar Products Used: Rotel, Denon receivers, Sony ES receivers
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Brock   Audio Enthusiast [Mar 06, 2001]
Strength:

Great tuner when talking about picking up far away stations, but not vey good with closer to home stations.

Weakness:

I have to say I cannot stand this unit. I have swapped it out 6, yes that's correct! SIX!!!!, times!!!! parasound has informed our store that there was a bad batch of these made yet I cannot seem to find a good one. When I switch digital sources, I sometimes get a static sound and have to change the inputs real quick. Turn your volume all the way down.....then turn the knob down some more....guess what?????? click, click, click. That is NOT supposed to be there folks! Ummm what else.......clicking sound when turning volume up and down.........turn volume up or down and the numbers on the display go the ooposite way. I do not recommend this preamp. And yes I have tested all the defective ones on 2 other complete home theater systems.

my system consists of the following:
Mitsubishi ws65907 projection
parasound hca2205at amp
parasound avc1800 preamp
sony es dvps9000es dvd player
monster power mphts5000
all monster cable z2 cable and speaker wire
Energy veritas 2.3 fr
" " 2.0 center
" " 2.0 rears
Energy Microstar sub
Mitsubishi sd500 hd box
all bello' racks

Similar Products Used: Yamaha dspa~1 and RXV1
OVERALL
RATING
1
VALUE
RATING
1
Showing 1-10 of 48  

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