Parasound HCA-2200II Amplifiers

HCA-2200II

250 watts per channel at 8 Ohm, 400 watts per channel at 4 Ohm, 800 watts bridged into 8 Ohm for monoblock - Performance: 90 amps peak current per channel - Balanced XLR inputs - Less than 0.02% THD

User Reviews (24)

Showing 1-10 of 24  
HIFIVE   AudioPhile [Oct 13, 2017]

Don't let anyone tell you that HCA 2200 MKII is not a special amp for the pricel, it is! Like the McCormack DNA-1 amp which was described as being an iron fist in a velvet glove could easily be used to describe the Parasound HCA 2200 MKII as well. The stock DNA-1 is on par with the earlier Parasound 2200 but like Steve McCormack with revisions John curl upgraded the earlier 2200 model to the 2200 MK II and the amp become much more refined and now is on par with more expensive amps.

The power supply is massive which would account for it's great depth and its ability to drive speakers to high volumes without losing its composure. Every time I listen to a track on a high quality recording, I feel like standing up and applauding at the end. The real test comes in when I catch myself tapping my foot as the music plays on which is the case here! Did I mention this amp has extraordinary speed. Go get one and don't be afraid to experiment, your patience will have its rewards!

Currently I'm using this amp with a Marsh P2000 dual mono preamp with excellent results but it has been recommended that tube preamps like the Audible Illusions M3 or the Musical design SP-1 tube preamps takes this amp to a whole new world of sound quality, other good preamps should qualify as well. You must experiment with different preamps and interconnects to fully appreciate what this amp is capable of, you will be amazed if you do.

In conclusion I have to say that there are far more expensive amps that can't compete here, but some can. If you find one for sale and buy it, know this, this amp is worth every penny.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Panagiotis   Audio Enthusiast [Mar 26, 2017]

I love this amp, Recently I made a full restoration / mod, and it sounds as good as my Parasound Halo A21, read more in the link below:

http://whatishifi.blogspot.gr/2017/03/parasound-hca-2200ii-modification.html

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
nybto   Audio Enthusiast [Jan 29, 2016]

These amps are starting to get a bit old now, they need a bit of tlc, but you can easily maintain it, and then it will sound fabulous. Scale, dynamics and beautiful voices are the order of the day. I temporarily had an M6 PRX to compare it with, the weight, richness and quality of voices won out in the end for the parasound even if ultimate treble detail was not quite equal. Mine was buzzing when I got it but the key to that was the earthing, the lead to the chassis had been incorrectly placed (on the base, between the main filter caps) - absolutely silent now. Clean the connectors and the relays at the back, and maybe ensure the switch on the front is okay (it only uses one side of the switch, you can move just two spade connectors and you effectively have a new switch). I am gradually applying the John Curl mods that you might find here and there on DIY audio, its a superb listen, an education and a hobby, I definitely recommend it.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
the3rdalien   Audio Enthusiast [Apr 22, 2009]

This amp is really nice, nice enough that I bought another one. I have them hooked as mono-blocks to a set of magneplanar 3.6r"s. It is pretty stellar sounding, and having 1,000 watts per channel(4 ohm) is simply amazing. So amazing, that I want 2 more so I can bi-amp each speaker for 2,000 of these nice watts per channel on these maggies.
Are there better amps? Sure. I heard my maggies on 25 to 30 grand worth of amp, pre-amp, and cd player(thats what made me buy the speakers), only to get home and nice sound, ---but no magic---as in sound stage, etc.
This amp did not produce ALL the magic I heard on these speakers at the store, but also cost more than 8 grand less than the amp I heard them on. And believe me, there is some magic here. Also the pre-amp and cd player at the store was another 18 grand.
Having these 2 amps and the 3.6r magneplanars makes me smile everyday of my life. I have the everyday cd player and pre-amp, and still smile wide at the sound.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Hump   AudioPhile [Feb 02, 2008]
Strength:

So far this amp. lives up to its reputation and Class"B' Rating from Stereophile.
On my Thiels the soundstage is wide and deep. Focus is good and bass extension and control is awesome.
Never bought anything before on The "Bay", but I saw this and just couldn't resist. Sure am glad I bid on this amp.
If one crosses your path, JUMP on it !!!

Weakness:

At this price no complaints. If I had bought it new at full price I would suggest that the Binding Posts are kinda Cheap compared to the rest of the amp. Oh well , you have to keep costs down somehow. This is something that can be upgraded without to much trouble.

This amp. is incredible at any price. Cosidering what I paid for it makes it the most incredible amp. I have ever owned.
Have had no problems with Humm orBuzzing as in other reviews. Makes my Thiel 2.2s "Sing".
If you get a chance buy one, you won't be disappointed !!

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
greasemonkey   AudioPhile [May 17, 2007]
Strength:

The amp delivers a powerful and clear sound. It is only seconded only by my favorite amp the BA-5000 from Sansui. Great design carried out with quality components.

Weakness:

The initial hum caused by a floating ground condition.

I picked up a HCA-2200 II from ebay a few years ago. I also had the same problem with a 60 cycle hum which came out of one channel only. I decided to explore the problem internally after trying the ungrounded plug adaptor trick which only minimized the hum slightly. What I found was that almost every screw either internally but especially externally in the case was loose. They were loose enough that you could turn them by hand. So, I checked each fastener and tightened down every loose one. That one thing eliminated the hum completely. I could only guess that the problem was from a floating ground condition. I can only surmise that the fasteners were not torqued down to a reasonable amount during assembly at the factory and over the years they continued to back out by themselves due to vibration.

Similar Products Used: Sansui BA-5000
Dynaco Stereo 70
Eico HF-87
Sony TA-N77ES
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Gary   Audio Enthusiast [Jun 06, 2006]
Strength:

Effortless power, runs in Class A up to 7 Watts. Built quality is exceptional and customer service at Parasound is quite grand!! I called to get a replacement box and ask a few technical questions, you actually get to talk to a real person!!

Weakness:

Only one problem: It does have a hum, but it can be easily corrected by the use of a cheater plug or a quality power cable from PS Audio that has the removable ground pin. Also, if you consider running “hot” a weakness (I don’t), you may consider where you sit this monster, because it does need ventilation.

Bought used off of AudioGon about 2 years ago. What an incredible amp, smooth transitions, great bass and defined mid-range. It runs in pure class A right up to 7 watts, then switches to A/B configuration. So, if you are running some very efficient speakers like I am (Paradigm studio 100 V3) through an older Classe SSP-25 pre-amp, the sound is just amazing. Effortless, would be a good word for the Parasound HCA-2200 MK II. I paid almost $900 for mine, but lately have seen them as low as $600 on EBay. I could not imagine more amp for this price? If your budget conscious but don’t want to scrimp on your sound, this is it!!

Similar Products Used: Parasound HCA-2003
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
John Humphries   Audio Enthusiast [Jun 19, 2003]
Strength:

Solid sound with good deep rolling bass, very good midrange and treble that was good if not extended. Smoothness with dynamics and power were other good qualities. The resolution was better than the Adcom or Carver. A good value. The sound is warm and powerful.

Weakness:

The amp is a little slow and at this price, of course, it does not offer high resolution (although it resolves well). The bass needs more definition and the individual instruments could be deliniated more clearly. The overall excitement needs improving and the treble needs more extension and fine refinement.

I am reviewing a late model Parasound 2200 stereo amplifier that I acquired about 7-8 years ago. I was told by Bob of The Cable Company that this late production amplifier was improved and similar to the then new 2200II version. At the time I owned a Carver Silver 7t amplifier and I also obtained an Adcom 555II stereo power amplifier for comparison purposes. I used them to power my Carver Platinum MkIV Speakers. I was dissatisfied with the performance of the Carver Silver 7t amp which had a peak in the lower treble at about 3kHZ as did my speakers. This resulted in bright lower treble. The 2ohm output impedence of the Silver 7t was probably the main culprit. I tried an Adcom 555II amp but it provided a fairly grainy performance. The Parasound gave the best performance and seemed to combine the smoothness of the Carver with the gutsy fuller sound of the Adcom. I later tried a Rotel 200 watt stereo amp (not the current version) that proved quicker than the Parasound. One other amp that I used later and impressed me greatly was a Krell FPB 200. By this time I had upgraded to an outboard crossover and was biamping the 2 way Carver speakers and used the Krell only on the ribbon with a noticable improvement in speed, resolution, clarity and dynamics. I like my Parasound 2200 amps and did not find that they exhibited some of the negative characteristics attributed to them in a Stereophile review that had appeared the previous year. These were late model closeout specials and I was told that these problems had been ameliorated in later production.

Similar Products Used: Adcom 555II Carver Silver 7t Rotel 200 watt (old model) Also Krell FPB 200 which is not so similar.
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
kram   Audio Enthusiast [Jun 14, 2003]
Strength:

Power power power... give me some more WPC.... thank you sir!

Weakness:

It's a heavy SOB.. I have to believe if you slapped a Krell or Plinius plate on it, people would believe it. How much more amp can an amp be? It's great! Oh yeah.. the damn hum. The Coda guy makes fun of JC for designing an amp that hums like this and he's right. It's BS. But easily fixed with a cheater plug. Parasound - shame on you for the humming... but I forgive you because the amp is such a f'ing badass!

Are you kidding me? This thing is built like a freakin tank - and it is effortless where other amps have crapped out. Play VH "Women In Love" intro as loud as you can stand. I guarantee that last high harmonic will freakin fuzz out on you - it has on every amp I've had before. This is how I test my volume limits. Well on the HCA2200II that last note just rings like a chime! That's enough for me, but wait... there's more. The finger snapping and cork popping stuff on Diana Krall.... exquisite. Turn on Patricia Barber and start doing something else.., and you will be sucked in, like she's beckoning from the lounge next door. I don't think this amp does a single thing wrong. UFO Strangers in the Night is recorded at kind of a low volumn, and I've never had enough amp to play it skullcrushing loud without clipping. Now I do! Very NICE! Bass fills and drum rolls that were lost with other amps - well these are easy to make out with this amplifier. Really makes all my previous amps seem like "starter" gear. This thing is a great combination of balls and finesse. I like to upgrade more than the next guy probably,,, but I struggle to define why I would try to get "more amp" or "better amp" than this beast! A beauty! Right now I'm running two of them. One for Left + Center, and another for Right. Not bridged, but in kind of a mono configuration for music. I feel like an ugly american glutton! But my system can rock like a mother now! Some people think JC is just a nut nowadays posting on AA and getting mad at newbies and stuff. Maybe so, but he designed this amp before he "lost it" I guess - when he was in his designing prime. It is a big badass and I can't say enough good about it.

Similar Products Used: nOrh LeAmp. McCormack DNA 0.5. Sherbourne 1/300 monoblock. Continuum Stage+ (another awesome amp but just 100wpc). Arcam FMJ 25p(just not enough balls). Sansui AU519. Denon 3200&2802. The Parasound
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
The Defiler   Audio Enthusiast [May 22, 2003]
Strength:

Great high frequency performance. Frightening power levels. Excellent dynamic power that elimanates any sense of stress or strain. Amazing resolving power that makes music seem more real or "tactile".

Weakness:

If you buy the Parasound for $600 on E-Bay after tax and shipping it isn't going to be in perfect condition, it will require some patience and a little work to get this thing running at 100%.

This amplifier is absolutely incredible. originally my system consisted of a Citation 7.1 in "active mode" separately amplifying the mids and highs. After a while I saw the HCA 2200 II for sale on E-bay at a ridiculously low price. Too stupid to pass up an oppurunity I submited my bid, and much to my suprise I actually won. The citation was transfered to home theater duty and the Adcom GFA 5800 joined the Parasound at the office. The Adcom would power the midrange while the Parasound would run the highs. Wow, even with a cheap power chord the power of this amplifier is incredible. Highs that were compressed and harsh with the citation sound clear and airy with the Parasound. The parasound is a true monster of an audio system pushing the highs to extreme volume without missing a beat. In fact it's frightening how loud this amplifier can play without the any hint of distortion. The parasound can operate with very little distortion at levels that would strain the Citation 7.1. Even at low playback levels this amplifier has incredible performance. The highs are detailed and clear at low volume levels. Not is the music more technically sound but it's more tactile as well.

Similar Products Used: Citation 7.1
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-10 of 24  

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