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Parasound A21 v/s Usher R1.5 v/s options

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audiodelic

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In the market for a 2 channel power amplifier to connect to my pre-amp, looking to upgrade my aging Emotiva UPA-2. Need an amp that does at least upto 200watt @ 8 ohms.

Was quoted 2.25 for the A21 bit more expensive i thought i will get it within 2 lakh budget, Usher R1.5 around 1.5 lakh from chennai. I believe this usher is based on the threshold amplifiers design and sounds similar to them.

My budget is 2 lakh but if the parasound is legendary ill consider it also. I was initially also considering the odyssey stratos but unfortunately nobody carries the odyssey brand in India, their chennai distributor said he does not carry odyssey anymore and suggested me the usher instead.

Any other options of similarly powered amplifiers i can get in India Bangalore, Delhi or Chennai dealers I'm open to explore.
What should be the list of brands to look at .....

Please suggest , anybody heard the usher or parasound, could not find many reviews for usher....

thanks in advance
cheers


Parasound A21
Many reviews in the parasound page review section



Usher R1.5 Review
 
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jai1611

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I had heard the Usher and the smaller version of the Parasound (A23) when trying amps for my Dynaudio speakers a few years back. Impressions in the links below. Short version is that I liked the Parasound a fair bit more than the Usher. Another option to consider would be the Bryston power amps (not sure of current pricing). Also check out if Trigon has power amps in your budget. Their amps are generally good. Acoustic Portrait were also making a 200w power amp in between. Not sure if they still do.

http://www.hifivision.com/amplifiers/8129-krell-400xi-3.html#post106898
http://www.hifivision.com/amplifiers/8129-krell-400xi-4.html#post111878
 
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audiodelic

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@mpw :
I want to buy an amplifier which i can keep for long term that can drive floor standers in future with enough power i upgrade.

Also with the Sierra-1 they are rated at 86.5db sensitivity. My choice of music is psytrance which has a continuous driving bass line, which naturally requires huge power reserve online dynamic swings in other genre's. With my current amp after a certain volume i can hear my amplifier losing composure ... as in i want louder bass but that does not happen it just gets brighter sounding and harsher after a certain point, this is where i believe the amplifier is losing steam as its not powerful enough. This is what led me to look for an amplifier with more power and i want something on the warmer side to counter the neutral pre and come at a good matching balance for the sound.

@jai:
Thanks for the reply, if you don't mind can you elaborate is the parasound night and day better than the usher as in a totally different league considering its steep price. I was quoted 1 lakh for the parasound A23 which is well within half my budget, should i also consider this but I'm thinking spend once and get a powerful amplifier and upgrade speakers around it if need be, it will serve all purpose, A23 might be too low powered to be future ready.

I am going to look for bryston dealer, if any other brand i should consider within my budget please suggest guru's
 

jai1611

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@jai:
Thanks for the reply, if you don't mind can you elaborate is the parasound night and day better than the usher as in a totally different league considering its steep price. I was quoted 1 lakh for the parasound A23 which is well within half my budget, should i also consider this but I'm thinking spend once and get a powerful amplifier and upgrade speakers around it if need be, it will serve all purpose, A23 might be too low powered to be future ready.

It was a long time ago so don't recall much by way of details. From what I do recall, I found the Parasound A23 to be much better than the Usher amp. I'd only tried the A21 briefly and with my speakers at the time (Dynaudio Audience 52) and thought it wasn't worth the extra spend. The dealer had both on demo and I got a chance to compare back to back. The A23 has a lot of current and did a good job of damping the Dynaudios (those were current hungry speakers). The floorstanders I had subsequently (Kef Q900) were much easier to drive than the Dynaudios.

If you are worried about whether the power of the A23 will be enough for larger speakers, maybe you can get the dealer to demo them with a couple of large tower speakers to give you a sense of whether the amp is good enough.
 
M

mpw

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it thats your type of music - you will need larger drivers and i think you may be better served by looking to add a quality sealed subwoofer from the likes of JL Audio etc..

The little Sierras ( as good as they are supposed to be ) would be sounding in-adequate due to no fault of theirs.

do make sure your room supports that kind of bass though..

what are your room dimensions by the way ?

i am sticking my neck out... but...

:))

regards
 

Nikhil

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The Parasound is a John Curl design if I'm not mistaken.
Has been very well regarded by many.
Getting info from the D&D can be quite difficult as per another FMs experience.

As Jaibir mentioned, AP does make a very nice 200W power amp.
Recently FM afj picked up a pre + power combo.
Price for both is approx Rs 1.3L
 

shanmune

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it thats your type of music - you will need larger drivers and i think you may be better served by looking to add a quality sealed subwoofer from the likes of JL Audio etc..

The little Sierras ( as good as they are supposed to be ) would be sounding in-adequate due to no fault of theirs.

do make sure your room supports that kind of bass though..

what are your room dimensions by the way ?

i am sticking my neck out... but...

:))

regards

I think what mpw is suggesting is a better long term solution for the type of music you are listening. Generally this type of music are heavily electronically synthesized and sealed sub woofers are the best in reproducing it. At the same time, you should integrate sub woofers only if you use DSP room equalization. Other wise, you are inviting a trouble.

Even before you are looking for an upgrade, have you worked on your room treatment ? Since you are focused more on the low frequency spectrum, room treatment becomes much more important. Invest on the room treatment and see how your existing setup performs.
 

audiodelic

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I am using a sub presently which is the SVS SB12. Without dsp i am facing issues with the best integration of it to my speakers. So i have decided to get towers in the future and have the sub crossed over really low, a good multi driver speaker helps expand the whole experience. I want to go step by step, buy the amp now and take the plunge to the towers at a later time.

What i did notice is my current amplifier claims 125 watts + 40000 uF with a 350va transformer, i bought it for $300. The parasound A23 claims 125 watts + 48000 uF cand has a 1000va transformer.

Can someone guide how that extra current will help with the musical dynamics and bass response ?

I basically would like to understand if i change from my current amp which retails for $300 bought about 3 year ago now obsolete to the parasound A21 would it be considered a lateral move or an upgrade, both claim same power but transformers differ majorly in spec and ofcourse one is a renowed john curl design.
 

sidvee

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I basically would like to understand if i change from my current amp which retails for $300 bought about 3 year ago now obsolete to the parasound A21 would it be considered a lateral move or an upgrade, both claim same power but transformers differ majorly in spec and ofcourse one is a renowed john curl design.

All things being equal, I noticed that for power amps. the better units have much higher resolution i.e; less grit in the sound envelope, much smoother highs, very airy presentation etc. Of-course this will be very dependent on the music, recording, speakers room etc. Whether this translates to price is debatable as there are great examples both inexpensive as well as higher end. Please note I am not referring to power or current here, that will be a different presentation based on music listened/ room size/speaker efficiency etc, but overall SQ in general. That being said, I saw the entire post and I was in the same boat a few months ago. I ended up getting Trigon Tre50 monoblocks and just love them. iMO they do everything right, power, dynamics, pristine - grit free sound, soundstage etc. especially at their price. And they have an excellent fit and finish - made in Germany!
Cheers,
Sid
 
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Aanuj

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My opinion either they didn't have the right speakers to compare the mighty UsherR1.5 with the pedestrian parasound which is extremely bright and coarse unlike the Threshold or Nelson Pass designed Usher,which has a Tube like sound with deep soundstage and extremely good dynamics and awesome bass but yes to get that right you need speakers better than what these guys used here...at least a pair of like a WharfJade 7 or higher....or higher...... they are grossly misrepresented here. You will find many a shows driving 10 lac worth of speakers by the R1.5. Parasounds are a poor man's audiophile ticket with a bright lean coarse sound , that's how I feel about them, Usher is in a league at least 5 times higher. Connect ushers to a Anthony Gallo Ref 3.1 or Dynaudio Contour then you will know what they are made for and not entry level stuff.
 
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asliarun

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...My budget is 2 lakh but if the parasound is legendary ill consider it also. I was initially also considering the odyssey stratos but unfortunately nobody carries the odyssey brand in India, their chennai distributor said he does not carry odyssey anymore and suggested me the usher instead.

Apologies in advance as I am likely out of the loop. I thought that ARN Systems in Bangalore was the authorized dealer/distributor for Odyssey Audio. I do remember the odysseyaudioindia website being active, but it doesn't seem to exist any more. This Indiamart site still seems to indicate that ARN sells Odyssey amps.

I have owned budget range Parasound power amp (NewClassic), and even they were quite high current and really gripped the speakers. But the A21 is another league of course, delivering 60 amps per channel. You could probably arc weld with this monster. The big problem with the A21 is that it only works on 110V. Interestingly enough, the NewClassic 2250 v2 equivalent, which is also no slouch at 275W/8ohms and 400w/4ohms and 45amp, supports both 110v and 220v.
 

ranjeetrain

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Mar 26, 2008
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In the market for a 2 channel power amplifier to connect to my pre-amp, looking to upgrade my aging Emotiva UPA-2. Need an amp that does at least upto 200watt @ 8 ohms.

Was quoted 2.25 for the A21 bit more expensive i thought i will get it within 2 lakh budget, Usher R1.5 around 1.5 lakh from chennai. I believe this usher is based on the threshold amplifiers design and sounds similar to them.

My budget is 2 lakh but if the parasound is legendary ill consider it also. I was initially also considering the odyssey stratos but unfortunately nobody carries the odyssey brand in India, their chennai distributor said he does not carry odyssey anymore and suggested me the usher instead.

Any other options of similarly powered amplifiers i can get in India Bangalore, Delhi or Chennai dealers I'm open to explore.
What should be the list of brands to look at .....

Please suggest , anybody heard the usher or parasound, could not find many reviews for usher....

thanks in advance
cheers

Where are you located? I have the Odyssey Stratos. If you are local I can lend them to you to try in your system and make up your mind.
 
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