Parasound AVC-2500 A/V Preamplifier

AVC-2500

AUDIO VIDEO CONTROLLER

User Reviews (35)

Showing 1-10 of 35  
armando contreras   Audio Enthusiast [Nov 24, 2012]

Soo good

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
lwaoc   Audio Enthusiast [Dec 18, 2002]
Strength:

Built like a brick crapshack Lots of modularity for future upgrades. Many promise this, so few deliver like Parasound Un-ending inputs and outputs, very hard to outgrow. Excellent audio quality. If you go from something in the <$1000 Denon class, you won't believe what you have been missing Intuitive interface once you learn intial setup

Weakness:

Funky manual, though it's probably been revised since my version. AC-3 decoder for laserdisc is an external option

After over 1 year of use, I still really like this unit. I'm posting this review in case anyone is out there considering buying one (at this point on the secondary market), or a 2500u new. It's a killer buy on audiogon or Ebay if you can find a reputable seller. I'm a 2 channel audio fan, so adjusting to this as my only preamp has been some work. The lack of tone controls was overcome with placement and EQing. The 2500 sounds fine to me, but sounded much better after I EQ'd my theater at the suggestion of a number of theater consultants. I'm astounded at the difference EQing made. Parasound is built well, and their upgradability means I don't have to keep running out and dropping 3.5K every 2 years to get the latest dig. The downside is there's always a module or bolt on to get. So far I have the external 6.1 rear channel processor, the phono preamp, add on bass management module, and the outboard AC-3 laserdisc decoder. I'm looking into the latest send-in upgrades for HDTV pass through and especially 5.1 external processor volume control. It stinks not being able to control volume on SACD and DVD-Audio material, however I'm glad there's an upgrade path. I find the menus and setup very intuitive, initial setup means going through the quirky manual. If you glance the manual cover to cover before messing with initial setup, you will be a MUCH happier entertainment recipient.

Similar Products Used: Sherwood Newcastle R-945 (not THAT similar)
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
3
Bink   Audio Enthusiast [Nov 22, 2002]
Strength:

Build, Surround Sound, Setup, Price

In my humble opinion this pre/pro has to be at the top of the list... even still given the AVC-2500 has been out for several years now. Parasound has been great at rolling out upgrades... first additional Bass Management, then 5.1 volume control, and now the HDTV component input/output upgrade. I have used this processor and compared to 2 other heavy hitters: Proceed AVP and the ADA Cinema Reference. Here are my thoughts: Setup - I had this unit connected and setup within an hour. The automatic calibration routine is fantastic... no meter required! If there is an easier to setup pre/pro, I have not seen it. Inputs - Has just about everything anyone could want. Yes there are pre-amps with more like the Anthem, but I've got way more inputs then I can use. If you like lots of balanced inputs and outputs, you may need to go elsewhere Processor - Easy to use and intuitive on screen and readout for surround modes. Surround Performance - Dolby Digital and DTS processing is fantastic. On par with the Proceed AVP and Cinema Reference. Stereo - Solid performer, though there are better. I have not heard a processor do better stereo than the Proceed units. Build - this thing is a 25 pound tank. The face plate must be a 1/4 inch thick. Very solid. Warranty - Is there another company that warrants their product for 10 years... don't think so. And when you call service.. there is a knowledgeable person there to help you every time. I had service performed on an older Parasound PSP-1500... they fixed and returned it within a week! Price - The pre/pros in this class include the Proceed ($4000?), Anthem ($3500), B&K Reference 30 ($2500), Sunfire II ($3000) AND the Parasound which you can get around $2000. The Parasound can go head-on with these pre-amps and you will pay less. Summary - I keep trying potential replacements for my AVC-2500, but always go back. Maybe it doesn't have all the new fancy surround options like Dolby Prologic II, DTS EX, etc... but I am sure Parasound is working on it.

Similar Products Used: Parasound PSP-1500 / PDD-1500 Parasound AVC-1800 Proceed AVP Proceed PAV ADA Cinema Reference
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
MichaelB   Audio Enthusiast [May 29, 2002]
Strength:

Listening to it. Trite? I don't mean to be. Simply turning it on, popping in a DVD or a CD and listening to it and/or watching a movie is the AVC 2500's strength. The flexibility of the controls, the ability to configure it and set it up as you like, all are great strengths. As I described above, it is complex to set up, but easy to listen to. You can shift modes and find out your current settings very easily. I have reverted to a Sony AV reciver while my Parasound is in for repair and I miss the flexibility and performance the AVC 2500 provides.

Weakness:

Not as upgradeable as Parasound would have you believe. My AVC 2500 is on its way back from Parasound, my two rear surround channels died and it had to be returned for repair and upgrading to the AVC 2500U specifications. I bought it two years ago so I glad it was under warranty, but dismayed it broke. I think a big failing is it doesn't pass high bandwidth video signals. There is a rumor of an upgrade, but no luck so far. The repair and the lack of capability to pass high bandwidth video is why I say it has been somewhat disappointing. If I have it for the next few years and it is bullet proof and continues to sound as well as it does, I may rewrite this review.

It has an excellent soundstage and performance for movies or 5.1 channel material. For music or two channel sources, it is very good but not excellent. Setup - the setup is complex and time consuming, but that is true for almost all home theater setups. Bring your quick connect guide! With the new bass management the setup is improved since it is easier to use the THX parameters to set up your system when you have full range speakers and powered subwoofers. The tuner works well in high signal strength areas and again provides a nice soundstage. I have the Parasound HCA 2205A amplifier. I wanted an amp that could meet the strains of home theater, but didn't require a fan for cooling. So far, the amp has been bullet proof. It is heavy, so if you are considering this setup, get help carrying it! This is a very fine unit, and arguably for the money at the top of its class. The Parasound AVC 2500 has proved over time to be somewhat disappointing. I have owned it for two years and enjoyed it immensely. It is not something you will master in a few days., unless you have used an elaborate pre-processor or high end AV Receiver before. Should you buy one? Yes, don't pay full price, they can be had for $2000 to $2500 new. Be prepared for a learning curve unless you are an expereinced HT person. As for dealers, they probably can't reapir it, so don't make the in house service a criteria, unless they are an authorized facility I miss my AVC 2500, see weaknesses

Similar Products Used: JVC and Sony HT Receivers
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
3
eb2cool   Audio Enthusiast [Mar 15, 2000]
Strength:

See below

Weakness:

See below

I purchased this unit to compare it head-to-head against the B&K Reference 20 which I have used for the pass two weeks. In comparing the best street prices, the Parasound is about $500 more expensive. I tried to logically evaluate these two units passed on the following criteria:


Stereo Sound Quality: The Ref. 20 and Parasound both use Crystal DACs but the Parasound uses a 24 bit version and the Ref. 20 a 20 bit. I felt the Parasound offered a somewhat more low level detail and refinement that was absent from the B&K. However, the Parasound will not process 24/96 audio. This is not a big point now, but with the advent of DVD Audio and the emergence of SACD, one would have wonder about the market longevity of any processor that does not process 24/96 audio. When I spoke to a representative about my concerns, he stated that the industry is in such a state of flux that the company is in a bit of a stalemate as to what to offer in the next generation processor. Another insightful comment that he made was that DVD audio can transmitt 24/192 audio and there are no preamp/processors on the market that can input this data stream. This leads to the question of upgrade paths, which I will elaborate on further below.

“Home Theater” Magazine Performance Rating: The Parasound received a 94 and the B&K a 90. Also, there are many more published reviews for the Parasound than the B&K. I read very favorable reviews and comments in “Secrets of the Home Theater,” “The Perfect Vision,” and “The Widescreen Review.” None of these magazines compared the Parasound to the B&K but to much more expensive pieces such as the Lexicon MC-1, Proceed AVP, and the Sunfire Theater Grand. It appears that B&K has not done a good job in getting it’s product into the hands of the publishers. Robert Harley, editor of the “Perfect Vision,” had this to say about the AVC-2500:

“Turning next to the AVC-2500’s performance in my dedicated listening room/theater, it had a surprisingly good-sounding DAC section. For the critical music evaluations, I fed the Parasound a digital signal from a Mark Levinson No.31.5 transport, took the Parasound’s main left and right outputs into an Audio Research Reference One preamp, then connected the preamp to a pair of Audio Research Reference 600 power amplifiers. Loudspeakers were Avalon Eidolons. Even in the context of this reference-quality playback system, the AVC-2500’s DACs and line stage sounded open, smooth, and transparent. The treble took on a bit of added grain and hardness, and the soundstage wasn’t quite as three-dimensional as High End outboard D/A converters, but overall the AVC-2500’s DAC and line-stage electronics were better sounding than I expected from a mid-priced controller. The bass was tight and well defined, with deep extension and powerful dynamic impact. For comparison, the AVC-2500 had better two-channel music performance than the more expensive Lexicon MC-1, but was not in the same league as the $6,500 Classé SSP-50. The AVC-2500, used as a two-channel DAC and preamp, sounded about as good as the best $800-$1,000 CD players.”

Stacy Spears, editor of “Secrets of the Home Theater,” observed the following:

“I listened to several of my favorite music CDs with the AVC-2500, including Holly Cole’s, “I can see clearly now.” [Don’t smoke in bed CD]. This track has some great detail buried deep within the song. It’s also ripe with sibilance. The recording room's echoes were not rendered as clearly as they are on the Meridian 861, and there was a tad more sibilance, but it was noticeably better than the Lexicon DC-2 in straight stereo. The soundstage extended way beyond the left and right speakers and deep into the room. When played in music mode, the center channel integrated well without collapsing the wide soundstage.”



Home Theater Value Rating: The Ref. 20 received a 94 and the Parasound scored 93. These are very high marks but I think they are too close to be of any value in deciding between the two.

Resale value: The latest resale values from bluebook.com are: Parasound = $1,515 and the Ref. 20 = $1,150. This translates into a lost, from retail, of $1,785 for the Parasound and $1,350 for the B&K. They both lose about 54% of their value but the B&K is a ’98 model and the Parasound is a ’99 production. I believe the B&K higher resale value is directly correlated to the company’s upgrade policy.

Warranty: Parasound much touted warranty of 10 years is a little deceiving in that the parts are covered for 10 years and the labor and parts are for the first 5 years. B&K warranty is for 5 years parts and labor. In either case, the warranty cannot be transferred. For an extra $65 you can purchase a three-year extended parts/labor warranty on-line from several sources. The fact is, that as long as you keep any of these units away from excess heat and if they don’t break within the first 90 days of use, they should be breakdown free indefinitely.

Remote Control Usability: The Parasound skimped on their remote control. It is made by the same company that produces the omnipresent Theater Master SL-5000 but lacks the LED display that I find indispensable. The B&K’s remote is essentially the same as the SL-5000.

Front Panel Usefulness: B&K’s bland front panel follows, what we engineers strive to practice, the KISS (keep it simple stupid!) principle. I thought, however, that it is too simple. The Parasound, by contrast, provides good detail, and very smooth controls. However, the Parasound attempts to show two lines of data on a screen that is simply too small.

Flexibility of base management:
Not much difference here.

Quality of surround sound:
B&K and Parasound both use the same processor. Albeit the Parasound uses three of them while the B&K uses two. I thought the surround sound was a bit more defined and controlled. This was properly due to its THX circuits.

Build Quality:
Both units exhibit excellent build quality but the Parasound is clearly a step up. The B&K is about half the size of the Parasound and weighs about 6 pounds less. Parasound seems to be pretty proud of the interior build of their unit because they advertise it with the cover off. Indeed, several of the published reviews remarked on Parasound’s outstanding build and component quality/specifications and stated that it’s component specifications exceeded that of several more costly controllers. B&K test each product and records the corresponding test results by serial number for future reference. Most Japanese manufactures do not go to such lengths. The Japanese cut costs by using statistical process control and other methods to reduce the amount of testing.


Features:

Direct Mode: I found it odd that a $3,300 preamp (Parasound) did not have an analog bypass function. With the advent of 24/96 audio in a growing number of DVD and CD players and the fact that many enthusiasts own hi-end analog audio stuff, Parasound should have included this feature. It was clearly a major plunder on their part. The B&K has this feature and it works quite well. I spoke to a Parasound rep about this. He stated that an hardware upgrade is forthcoming that will provide this feature and a few others. The price has not been discussed.


Front AV input:
This not a big deal for me in that my TV has ample front and rear inputs, but it may be to many others.

Assignable inputs:
Both preamps do a good job with assigning inputs, but the Parasound is far more flexible.

Plug/Play:
Both preamps do a good job here, but, again, the Parasound excels because it will, with a punch of a button, search for an active input and decode it automatically—a very neat and useful feature.

Position memory:
Not much difference here. However, the B&K has a really cool preset feature that allows the user to set the input, surround mode, volume, and speaker levels with a push of a button. In my system, the volume level is much higher for theater than for music. By establishing presets, say for DVD, I don’t have to worry about blowing my speakers or hearing. The Parsound comes close but is not on the same par as the B&K.

2 Zones:
Not much difference between the two.

Tone Controls:
No tone controls on either unit. Too bad…both manufacturers should take notice of the Sony TA-E9000 graphic equalizer.

6th Channel:
The Parasound provides a relay-switching device that does not control volume. B&K does not have a 5.1 input.

Software Upgrade Policies:
Until a few days ago I would have stated that the Parasound does not have a software upgrade program, but after talking with a rep from Parasound, I have learned that the EEPROM can be changed out but it is not addressable from the RS-232 port. I have learned from B&K that a major software upgrade will be available within the next nine months.

Hardware Upgrade Policies:
I have also learned, from my contact within Parasound, that the company is close to offering a hardware upgrade that will allow for an analog bypass and more flexible base management. The upgrade cost is $350. This upgrade corrects two glaring weaknesses of the AVC-2500. Unfortunately, the DSP processors and DACs cannot be upgraded because it will necessitate a complete circuit board redesign. B&K is working on extensive hardware changes that will allow for 24/96 or 24/192 audio, updated base management, and THX processing. The cost has not been determined. I estimate that it will cost $500-$800. The B&K’s design is conducive to change but the current size of the Reference 20 may limit its ability to receive the full upgrade to a Reference 30 equivalent.

THX:
The Parasound has it the B&K does not.

12vdc Control: Both offer this feature, but the Parasound is flexible.

US Made?
B&K products are designed and manufactured in the US; the Parasound is an import.

Tuner
The FM sound quality from the Parasound is clearly superior to the B&K. The tuner specifications exceed that of the B&K any other receiver tuner specifications that I have seen. The AM reception, however, was weak and downright anemic for both units.

4 or 5 channel stereo:
I really like this feature since first hearing Denon’s version. Both units have this option.

On-Screen Setup
I thought the on-screen setup was easier to use with the B&K.

Component Video Switching
The Parasound has this feature the B&K does not. However, I only have one output source that transmits component video, my DVD player. In few years, when HDTV prices drop, then it may become a needed feature.

24/96 Audio:
In the article “What You Should Know About Controllers,” the editor of the “Perfect Vision,” stated, “Don’t be swayed by marketing hype that touts the DACs as "24-bit." Although the DAC may have 24 resistor "rungs" on its "ladder," that doesn’t mean it has 24-bit resolution. The last four bits often contain just noise, not real information. Because real-world DAC technology is limited to 20-bits, those last four bits are known in the industry as "marketing bits." The best minds working today in digital conversion cite the historical "two bits per decade" rule of converter advancement. Assuming this rate continues, consider this: 24-bit digital audio has a theoretical noise floor of —144 dBV, but the thermal noise produced by a single 1,000 ohm resistor (generated by random movement of electrons) at room temperature is —125 dBV, a noise floor 19 dB higher than a 24-bit converter’s theoretical limit. I doubt that converter technology will advance beyond 21 bits without a fundamental breakthrough employing new DAC architectures.

The editor of “Widescreen Review,” provides additional revealing information: “Twenty-four bits are 24-bits, right? Shouldn’t all controllers that claim to have 24-bit resolution sound the same? Well, I’ve told you about this dilemma before but maybe it’s time to restate the story about the numbers game. True 24-bit resolution represents a dynamic range of about 144dB. It would require a signal to noise ratio of over 140dB to actually achieve 24-bit resolution and that’s impossible with today’s technology. DAC chips claiming 24-bit resolution have actual specified signal-to-noise ratios and dynamic range from as low as 100dB to as high as 120dB or more. The difference between these two specs is like the distance between here and the moon: it’s a long, long way. Don’t attach much significance to the claims of 24-bit resolution. While they are all lies, some of them are whoppers. products deliver excellent performance with different sonic characteristics and you will probably prefer the sound of one over the other.”

The above quoted statement shed some light on why the B&K’s 20 bit processor outperforms some 24 bit processors. B&K uses high quality components and DACs that outperform products from Sony, Acurus, and Marantz. The Reference 20 uses Crystal 4329 DACs that have a dynamic range of 105 dB and a s/n ratio of 112 dB. The Marantz is using Burr-Brown’s 24 bit, 96 kHz PCM1740 DACs that have a dynamic range of 94 dB and a s/n of 94 dB. That is quite a difference in performance when compared to Crystal products. The Parasound AVC-2500 uses Crystals 4390 DACs that have a dynamic range of 106 dB and a s/n ratio of 115dB. That’s only a difference of 1 dB in dynamic range, but the true difference between the two DACs is the internal processing. The 4390 is simply better. Because the Crystal 4329 has the same pinout as the 4390, Reference 20 owners can upgrade easily. I checked the prices on the 4390 DACs. They can be purchased for less than $4 each.

A few months ago, Crystal announced the world’s first universal DAC (4397) that is capable of decoding DVD and SACD audio. It is a 24 bit 192 kHz version with a dynamic range of 120 dB, which is the highest in the industry! No doubt, B&K’s next processor will incorporate this DAC and older models will need to be retrofitted.

Conclusion:

Early production models from both of these units suffered with quality control problems. Those problems have now been rectified for both brands. Which one would I choose? I will have to select the B&K, because I am still somewhat concerned about the AVC 2500’s lifecycle. In a few years, its DSPs and DACs will be obsolete, and with the company’s lack of hardware upgrade policy, it will soon become an expensive analog and video switching device with very little resale value. Nevertheless, it is the best choice for the short-term because it features and sound outperform the B&K in several areas. The Reference 20 has some clear advantages over the AVC-2500 such as a definitive upgrade policy, an analog bypass mode, better preset functionality, lower price, and better resale value. Within nine months the upgraded Reference 20 will outperform the AVC-2500, and if I wanted upgraded sound quality now, I can insert the new DACS rather cheaply.

Similar Products Used: B&K Reference 20
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
Ed Hodder   Audio Enthusiast [Jan 26, 2000]
Strength:

Ease of setup/use, sound quality, tons of inputs, zone.

Weakness:

Build quality.

Sound, as has been mentioned elsewhere, has been completely transformed by this unit. I've put off speaker purchases, although a very musical sub is next on my list (no var crossover). I paired it up with an Outlaw amp. It's really allowing me to rediscover my collection, especially albums (got their phono stage, too). With music, voices are natural and have an uncanny presence. Electric instruments are tight and brilliant when called for (XYZ and La Villa Strangiata rocked like never before). Accoustic instruments show off fine detail.

Movie soundtracks are difficult to compare. Going from surround to Dolby Digital was a quantum leap. DTS, to my ear, is even another step up. I'm hoping to pick up a 96/24 audio disk or two before they start to disappear. The auto calibration feature is a minor miracle.

For the first time ever, anyone in the house is able to watch/listen to the program they want without having to press all kinds of buttons hoping to hit the right combination for playback. The interface on the machine is wonderfully simple and even my 5 year old can handle it. I've got DSS, LD, DVD, VCR, Phono, CD and Playstation running through it and still have room to grow. I can watch the game on TV, listen to the broadcast on the radio while my wife listens to CD's in the kitchen and do it all through a single unit with minimal fuss. Woof!!

The build issues are significant. My original unit had no FM, an occasional buzz, and eventually shut down except for LFE. However, the problems have been handled no questions asked by the sales guy and I have a unit that is working perfectly now. But yes, for the money it should have been better out of the box and so value rating of 4. Also, you can evidently lock out your sub forever by pressing the wrong button in the initial setup. CAREFUL.

Not for the faint of heart, but for those brave souls willing to risk a return trip to the shop for replacement/repairs the rewards are great. Don't forget that this unit is guaranteed for 10 years.

So, it's a flawed but exceptional piece (like my WEGA, which is also a joy!!).

Ed

Similar Products Used: Older Sony ES
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
Montana   Audio Enthusiast [Jan 18, 2001]
Strength:

Ease of Use. Incredible Design. Could not ask for better sound on 2-channel or multi-channel sound

Weakness:

None so far, given that this is the 2500U version with base management upgrade, and volume control card for 5.1 inputs

I have used this product for 1.5 years now, and have upgraded the unit to the 2500u status. I have not had any problems with this unit, it has performed flawlessly with ease. I applaud Parsound for such a sound design, ease of use, excellent reliablitiy, and incredible overall sound. I cannot expect any better sound for DVDs/5-channel sound. Stereo sound with the built in tuner, or through CDs is crisp, full, well-balanced, with good soundstage. I am thoroughly happy with my choice, and have never felt the need to change to a different brand. Base management is better with the upgrade.

This unit performs uncompromisingly with my Bryston 4BST and PSB Stratus Gold-i's. Audition one - you will not be disappointed.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Greg   Audio Enthusiast [Feb 26, 2000]
Strength:

Build quality, Flexibility, Netural warm sound

Weakness:

Nothing noted yet

First off, this web site provided me with a lot great information before deciding on the AVC-2500. Let's keep up the good work.

I have been waiting to upgrade out of my Mid-Fi home theater for quite some time (My previous preamp was a Sony ES reciever). A good friend lent me his Lexicon DC-1 for a couple of weeks to audition at home. I was impressed and came close to buying the DC-2. There were a few factors that drove me to the Parasound. The first was in inclusion of a quality tuner. More importantly, I really liked all of the input options and the 10 year warranity.

After much research, I decided to buy from www.hometheatervideo.com. They sold the AVC-2500 for $2600 +S/H.(they are a daughter company Uncle's Stereo). Steve was very helpful and assured that if the unit had ANY of the types of problems mentioned by some of the earlier reviews, it would handled at no cost. More good news from the Parasound folks!!

Some of the previous reviews talked negatively about the setup. The auto calibration work flawless for me.

There may be some better sounding pre-amps out there, but I'm afraid they priced well above my budget. For my hard earned dollar, it's worth every penny spent and I would reccommend the AVC-2500 to anyone who is looking for a quality home theater preamp.

Oh yeah - it sounds absolutely GREAT!!

Some of my system that the AVC-2500 graces:
Definitive Tech BP3000's - mains
Definitive Tech CLR 3000 - center
Definitive Tech BP2000 - surrounds
Amplified by 3 Adcom 200W/Ch amps
Defnitive Tech PF1800 - Sub

Similar Products Used: Sony ES and Lexicon
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
Steve Herrala   Audio Enthusiast [Feb 13, 2000]
Strength:

Build fit and finish, flexibility, warranty, support.

Weakness:

LFE Crossover fixed at 80HZ

I have received a dozen emails and calls lately asking me about the quality of Parasound AVC 2500's. After rolled through the the reviews below, I figured I'd post my experiences (I'm a dealer in MN). To date, I've sold about 20-30 (didn't feel like counting) AVC-2500. I have had a few small problems. In about 4 units, the tuner would not lock-in. After calling Parasound's Tech support, they let me know that the cause was the tuner's potentiometer moved 1/32 of a turn during shipping.
The fix was simple and it took 3-5 minutes. I took the cover off (grounded myself) and then removed the tuner cover. I pushed tuner scan on the front and it scanned without locking to a station. I tweeked the screw (potentiometer) 1/32 to 1/16 of a turn and the signal locked. Easy fix! I am positive Parasound will be lock tightening the pot's on further batches of 2500's and this problem may be in the past once people read this post. One other unit was truely defective (forget the problem) but I replaced it for him and he was on his way. I will note that nearly 100% of the time (non technical types) give me a call on the Parasound's set-up. It is EXTREMELY flexible processor and this causes too many possiblities for error in set-up. Once you are up and running and set-it up once, you are home free! I am not saying you need to be a rocket scientist, just realize you may need to give your dealer a call for a quick question or two. It is NOT a technical set-up like the Theta (better have an electrical engineering degree for the Theta and a few hours to read their manual) in fact the Parasound is very easy to set-up just a lot of possibility for error occur. THe confusion comes in with all of the options. Common calls are "I can't get on screen display to work" or "the sub is not working" or "component video is black and white". The cures are simple ("put it into the OSD Svideo", "put your speakers on small", and "re-connect your RGB connectors properly"). I don't get these call on the B&K REF20 but it does not have the flexibility either. The back of the Parasound sports 80 plus connectors. Lots of people simple plug things in the wrong inputs and outputs. I don't mind fielding my customers calls but it does happen.
Another issue someone broght up on the lower thread is that the optical digital TOSLINK out was not working for his mini CD player. In Parasound's defense they do have a working digital coax out. Obviously, the TOSLINK In and coax In work on all inputs, we are talking about the toslink OUT. Heck, B&K has a RS232 port on the back and it does not work either (but now is shipping with it for an extra $50). It was for future upgrades. I guess you can look at it as if you truely need it (99.99% will not), they will update it for free later.
In conclusion, don't be concerned about any quality issues with the Parasound AVC-2500. If they did have problems, I would not recommend them to any of my customers since I have many good processors to offer in it's place (B&K, Class'e, Lexicon, ATI, EAD, Bryston, Sherwood, Acurus, Aragon). I personally had quality issues with Marantz and Sunfire products in the past and they are no longer on my line list.
The other Parasound question I get a lot is if the newly released AVC1800 is a smaller version of the AVC2500. The simple answer is no! The similarities between the two are the great 10 year warranty and the Parasound brand name. What is different is the county of manufacture, design engineer teams, on screen display, flexibilty, parts quality, sound quality, ease of use etc,etc,etc. The AVC1800 was taken from the older 2 box solution that was end-of-lifed last year of the P/SP-1500 and P/DD-1550 and combined into one. THis is why the price point is so agressive as the design has been paid for and it is made off shore. The AVC1800 is a good peice to compete with Sherwood Newcastle, Sony and other MidFi peices and is not a Higherend peice like the 2500. The 1800 is a value but not a 2500.
Hope this information helps. If you need any questions answered drop me an email but do support your local dealers.
Steve of Sound Video 612-753-9349
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Authorized Lines:
ATI, Acurus, Aerial Acoustics, Aragon, B&K, Bryston, Bel Canto Design, Chiro/Kinergetics, Class'e, Cinepro, Denon, DynAudio, EAD (Enlightend Audio Designs), Energy, Gallo Acoustics, Gershman Acoustics, Harmonic Technology, Kimber Kable, Lexicon, Marantz, M&K, Monitor Audio, NHT, Panamax, Parasound, Pioneer (Not Elite), Plinius, Runco, Sherwood NewCastle, Sim Audio, Stewart Filmscreen, Toshiba, & Velodyne.
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Similar Products Used: Lex, Acurus, Aragon, Lex, B&K, Class'e etc.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
John   Audio Enthusiast [Nov 18, 1999]
Strength:

Ease of set up and use, build quality, Sounds awesome

Weakness:

none to date

I purchased this unit along with the Parasound 2205 amp about 6 weeks ago. I used to think my Harmon Kardon reciever put out some great sound. This unit transformed my speakers. I was going to buy new speakers but now, I'm totally happy. Once I turn it on I sit there marveling at the great sound on 2 channel, then flip on a movie and I'm really blown away. Set up is easy, if I can do it anyone can. Although, my first unit which I had about a week stopped working. My dealer, Steve, whom also posted on this page had a new one to me in a couple of days. Thanks Steve. Aside from that everything is awesome.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
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