Parasound Halo A 23 Amplifiers

Halo A 23

125W x 2 into 8 ohms, 200W x 2 into 4 ohms, 400W x 1 into 8 ohms, high bias Class A/AB amplification, MOSFET driver stage, JFET input stage, balanced XLR inputs, no capacitors or inductors in signal path, rear mounted gain controls, ground lift switch.

User Reviews (18)

Showing 1-10 of 18  
Dan   Audio Enthusiast [Aug 25, 2017]

I have the A23 paired with the P5 pre-amp, AudioQuest Black Mamba II interconnects, and Dynaudio Focus 140's... sounds amazing with plenty of power to go around.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
leon   AudioPhile [Jun 05, 2014]

Actually a NEW 2014 amp.
Running a PAIR of the A-23 as biamp to my panels. Bought them with the new P5 preamp and it is QUITE the match.
Plenty of 'slam', extended highs and superior imaging. As good with the audio portion of some of those 'reality / singing' shows as it is with full quality CDs or hi-rez downloads.

And YES, they DO run a little warm but the heatsinking is INTERNAL, not as some other poster indicated. Amp is high bias A-A/B so it SHOULD run a little warm. But not wacky.

Once it's on for 30 minutes, you've got a real treat.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
electronicsprof2   AudioPhile [Feb 14, 2009]

GOT THIS FROM AUDIO ADVISOR AS AN "OPEN BOX' SPECIAL FOR $760 (REG $950), AND COULD NOT SEE ANYTHING THAT WOULD WOULD INDICATE ANY USE AT ALL; SEEMS PERFECTLY NEW.

THIS AMPLIFIER SOUNDS AS GOOD, WITH BALANCED CONNECTIONS, AS ANY AMPLIFIER I HAVE HEARD AT $3000-$8000 SO FAR!

THIS THING IS SIMPLY UNBELIEVABLE AT THIS PRICE. IT IS ACCURATE, DYNAMIC, HAS HUGE BASS AND HAS TRANSFORMED MY SYSTEM; I CAN HARDLY IMAGINE BETTER SOUND AT ANY PRICE. MY OLD AMPLIFIER WAS VERY GOOD, BUT THIS IS MOST DEFINITELY BETTER.

THIS IS ESPECIALLY REMARKABLE WHEN YOU CONSIDER THAT I AM FEEDING IT WITH STATE-OF-THE-ART ELECTRONICS UP FRONT. I ALMOST FEEL EMBARRASSED TO BE USING THIS AMP WITH $12,000 WORTH OF STUFF FEEDING IT...LOL.

MY AUDIO RESEARCH LS-26 PREAMP COST $6000, AND SO DID MY AYRE C5-XE SACD PLAYER; I THOUGHT I WOULD TRY THIS PUPPY JUST FOR THE HELL OF IT, BUT NEVER THOUGHT IT WOULD SOUND THIS GOOD. I WAS REALLY THINKING I WOULD NEED TO BUY AN AUDIO RESEARCH OR AYRE OR BRYSTON AMP TO GET THE PERFECT SOUND I AM AFTER, BUT NOW I SERIOUSLY WONDER IF ANY AMPLIFIER CAN SOUND SIGNIFICANTLY BETTER THAN THIS ONE.

i HAVE A BRYSTON 3B-SST COMING IN NEXT WEEK, SO WE WILL SEE IF THAT IS BETTER...LOL. IT'S GOING TO HAVE TO REALLY BE SOMETHING TO BEAT THIS LITTLE GEM. IF THE BRYSTON IS BETTER, I GUESS THIS ONE GOES IN MY FAMILY ROOM WITH THE 60" SONY TV; I'M NOT LETTING IT GO.

THERE IS ONE THING...THIS GUY HAS NO EXTERNAL HEATSINKS, AND IT RUNS HOT ENOUGH THAT THE LEFT REAR TOP OF THE AMP GETS HOT ENOUGH THAT YOU DON'T WANT TO LEAVE YOUR HAND THERE MORE THAN A COUPLE OF SECONDS...THE OTHER AREAS STAY A BIT COOLER. I DON'T HAVE A PROBLEM WITH IT, AND THE WARRANTY IS GOOD, SO....

IF YOU BUY ONE OF THESE AND DON'T THINK IT SOUNDS ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS, I SUGGEST THAT YOU NEED TO LOOK TO THE EQUIPMENT YOU ARE USING WITH IT; THE FAULT IS NOT WITH THIS AMP.

ONE THING THAT I THINK IS FUNNY; JOHN CURL, THE DESGNER AT PARASOUND, WAS POOR-MOUTHING THIS AMP IN A FORUM A WHILE BACK, AND SUGGESTING THAT THE A21 IS MUCH BETTER. ONE MIGHT NEED THE ADDED POWER OF THE A21 FOR CERTAIN SPEAKERS THAT ARE DIFFICULT ELECTRICALLY, BUT FOR MY BIG VANDERSTEENS, THIS A23 IS A WINNER.

(P.S.-SPEAKERS ARE VANDERSTEEN 3As...FYI)

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Rick Lee   AudioPhile [Aug 06, 2007]
Strength:

Entry level to the real good stuff. Clear and dynamic and able to pass harmonic information along to your speakers if they are capable of reproducing it. Lots of hook up flexibility for biampers and sub users and people like me that have a control room for sonic isolation and use loooong XLR runs over to the amp (s).

Weakness:

Two down, one to go.

Voiced on the clean clear dynamic side rather than big sounding. Sort of "Krell Lite?" I used to be a Krell salesman---the amp is that clear if not as powerful in the bass as a Krell. It does sound like a healthy mid sized 125 watt amp should if that is important. Have yet to hear it compress or distort one bit. For other problems read on.

Slight hardness in upper mids vanished when I tried running the amp's volume controls 10% lower and turned up my preamp volume a bit more instead. Maybe an impedance or capacitance issue? Cable swapping might also be useful as some cables are pretty "leaky" capicitance wise and will tame a brash midrange same as a tone control Personally I don't like weak cables of any sort but as a last resort... Anyway my fix worked and as a benefit I seemed to have increased the harmonic richness of the timbre while I was at it. Good enough!!!

Amp also did not like being used as a mono block (got very dull-but louder!). I use a pair of these amps bi amping Harbeth 30s and use the rca pass throughs to feed a powered sub on each side.

My conclusion is this is one very nicely designed amp which is a fair tast of high end sonic virtues for not very much dough. Plus it has great hook up options. Sort of like a better grade midpriced NAD if not Bryston solid.

I only wish the ones I bought were built better. I seem to have had a streak of bad luck with mine as one quit within a day or two. It got immediately replaced by Audio Advisor and then a couple months later another one started dying the same way.

Now I get to find out if Parasound is as good at fixing their stuff as John Curl is at designing it. Doesn't appear everybody else is having problems. I can't say I ran the first bad one very long or very hard---it died before I even knew what it should be doing... Hmmmm.

Customer Service

Audio Advisor was fine. Parasound said "send it right in." We shall see...

Similar Products Used: Bryston ST-4s, McIntosh 501s, Krell FPBs. All kidding aside the little Parasound doesn't have to apologise for a damn thing except perhaps unfortunately short life span.
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
Nathan Goss   Audio Enthusiast [May 08, 2006]
Strength:

Classy look...great silver and blue combination so it doesn't just look like a big black box that just sits there. While looks are not as important as performance it's great when you get BOTH! Excellent functionality!

Weakness:

All of the controls for the unit are in the rear and there is no remote for fine tweaking, which can be a pain at times. Although once you are setup...it's a non-issue for the most part.

For the longest time I used my receiver to handle all of my A/V needs for Home Theater. I always wondered what potential there could be by using the pre-outs and adding additional amplifers to increase performance. My world has never been the same after doing so. I added the Parasound Halo A23 to boost the potential of my PSB Image towers and I am in love all over again. First, the Parasound enables the full potential of these speakers to be reached. The detail and warmth is impressive and rich. The PSB towers are known for incredibly refined bass management and the Halo 23 takes it even further. Great Amp and the price is a steal!!!

Similar Products Used: NAD C372, PIONEER
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
Belgarchi   AudioPhile [Jan 24, 2006]
Strength:

Features, Price, Look

Weakness:

Average sound

This moderately-priced power amp has all the features I always dreamed of. Hence the high expectations, and the disappointment: it has a good sound for its price, but is no match for more expensive power amps. It is powerful, but the upper bass are ill-defined, the soundstage lack precision, the high are slightly harsh. Better than Rotel RB-1070, but inferior to Bryston 2B-LP or SonoGraphe SA250. More or less equivalent to Adcom GFA-545-II and Parasound HCA-1000A.

Similar Products Used: Rotel, NAD. Parasound, Adcom, Bryston, Musical Fidelity, Conrad-Johnson, Creek, Quad
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
Audio Insanity   AudioPhile [Oct 18, 2004]
Strength:

looks great, cool red light

Weakness:

runs HOT, sounds harsh, MADE IN TAIWAN

overall i found the amp to be a little harsh in the upper mids and highs. I would prefer an anthem over this anyday, and the anthem costs a while lot less

Similar Products Used: anthem, magnum, ATI
OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
2
jpradonc   Casual Listener [Aug 30, 2004]
Strength:

lots of real power to pump out rock and roll. Was mellow when playing jazz. Fantastic appearance.

Weakness:

Bright for rock and roll

It was a toss up between this and a Rotel. My old amp was Rotel and I would have gone with that but there was nowhere online to get one and no place within forty miles to get one. This amp came two days after ordering it from Audio Advisor online. I set it up with unbalanced RCA inputs. Like previous reviews this amp is bright but mostly with rock and roll. Stan Getz was absolutely mellow and perfect. My amp must be a different design than the earlier amps because even when it was pushing real loud music it hardly got warm. The auto turn on with audio signal worked real well. I thought that the auto off did not work at first. But I read the manual and it will not turn off until five minutes after the audio signal has turned off. The front panel is the coolest looking thing around. Glows blue and red.

Similar Products Used: Rotel
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
egobop   Audio Enthusiast [Jul 06, 2004]
Strength:

Great sound with no backround noise

Weakness:

Have not ran into any yet.

I purchased the Parasound A23 amd with the P3 preamp and the T3 tuner with a pair of Paridigm 60/v2 speakers. The first amp started making hideous noises within an hour of listening but getting another one from my dealer calling Parasound was not a problem at all. The second amp I have never had a problem with. The sound has been superb. I listen to everything from Cat Stevens to Type-O-Negative to Johnny Mathis. I have over 1000 cds and have heard sounds on many of them that I simply was never able to hear on my old $1,200 Yamaha amp. I listen to music for at least four hours straight each day and have never had a problem with heat which I have read in other reviews. Then again, I do have it on the top of my rack with no other components within 1 foot of it since I bought it so it has always had great ventilation. I definitely recommend this amplifier for anyone looking for high end stereo at a somewhat reasonable price. The only problems I have had at all with my system is with the tuner which conked out after about two months. It blinks on and off on its own and does not come on at all when you press the power button on the tuner or on the remote. Luckily, I mostly listen to cds.

Similar Products Used: P3 pre amp with no problems and a T3 tuner which I described above.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Mitla   Audio Enthusiast [Feb 21, 2004]
Strength:

Great value. Fantastic looks, very, very good music!

Weakness:

Takes some time to break in. May need some patient tweaking, but well worth it.

The Halo A23 is nice to look at and has proven to be very pleasing to the ears. Like others, I suffered from listener fatigue for some time until I patiently worked out all the tweaks. I was using the matching P3, but found a good deal on a BAT VK-3i and grabbed it. My speakers are demanding 4 ohm RBH towers, SE-1266 and I feel that the A23 might be a little on the weak side for these hungry dogs. However, I must say that I am VERY happy with the sound I get. Nice open soundstage, depth, fairly good timber and very good tight, precise bass extention. I am surprised at how adequately this small amp can handle the load. I usually don't listen to levels beyond 25 (on the BAT preamp). All these positive characteristics improved with better cables. I went from low-level balanced interconnects to Cardas Reference- big improvement in soundstage and depth and detail. I have double biwired the speakers with Audioquest CV-6 to the lows and Pikes Peak to the high/mids. Cables do indeed make a difference. No more fatigue and hours of non-stop enjoyment. I would eventually like to try the A-21 because I think that my speakers might improve more than I can imagine (all recommendations and hints welcome). I recently purchased a pair of small bookshelf RBH 41s and they blew me away. These little guys could sing with the above set up. Of course, I did not get the deep bass considering 4.5" woofer and 1" tweeter, but the bass was there along with good soundstage, timber and depth. I recommend the Parasound Halo A23, P3, and its tuner, the T3.

Similar Products Used: Denon, B&K, Hafler, Paradigm, Rotel.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-10 of 18  

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