The rest of my system was as follows: Dune-HD Max and Oppo BDP-103 as the primary source components, Behringer Feedback Destroyer feeding into a single JL Audio Fathom f110 subwoofer with parametric EQ filters from Room EQ Wizard, and a SIM2 Nero single-chip DLP projecting onto a 120-inch Acoustic4K screen from Elite Screens. Is there a market for it? I think so, though undoubtedly traditional stereo and five- or seven-channel amplifiers will always be more popular than three-channel ones. The A31, like all Halo-branded amplifiers, is a high-bias Class A/AB amplifier, meaning the first few watts - in this case seven - are delivered in pure Class A fashion before switching over to AB status. The film’s soundscape wasn’t quite as expansive, and I couldn’t feel the forceful recoil of the automatic weapons as easily as I had with the A 31. Also, because it is but a three-channel amp, it will require you to have additional amplifiers present in order to power a full five- or seven-channel setup, which also requires more space. . Front-man Jacob Dylan's vocals were presented in their full unaltered dry but sultry state. Additional Resources Read more multi-channel amp reviews from HomeTheaterReview.com's writers. As with everything else I've just described about the A31's sound, its soundstage definition was equally detailed and neatly arranged, but in a wholly natural-sounding way. The best part of a product like the A31, or any found within Parasound's lineup, is that the reliability is on par with a wood-burning stove. The sustained hissing of hi-hat cymbals is prominent here, as in many recordings, but with the A 31, I was struck by how different each tom-tom sounded as it was hit. While this isn't going to be of much use to 99 percent of those who buy an amp such as the A31, I found it very useful and, as a result, a huge selling point. CES Trends: MiniLED and is it Better than OLED? I was taken aback by the level of low mid-bass articulation that was present, which I found equal to that of its high-frequency performance. Three-channel amplifiers were all the rage a few years ago, but then sort of faded away. I would say I'm using my system 90% of the time for music. Around back, you'll find a host of input/output options, as well as a few features not commonly found on most amplifiers, budget or otherwise. For example, let's say your home theater and two-channel system are one and the same and you use a A21 Halo amp for your left and right mains and an A31 for your center and rear channels. Additionally, Parasound's A21 just won an … Below the input options rest a pair of five-way binding posts, one pair for each channel. Submit a ReviewContact Editorial Policy About us, Privacy Policy CCPA / GDPR Affiliate policy. But if a three-channel amp is really not what you’re looking for, Parasound still has you covered, with their A 21 two-channel and A 51 five-channel versions of the same basic Halo design. Early in the film, the mostly acoustic version of “Come Talk to Me” was notable for its nicely differentiated mix of voice, piano, acoustic guitar, accordion, electric bass, and deep but taut kick drum. After soliciting some advice here and considering various brands and models, I decided on the Parasound A23. KONKA Announces Three New Android TV Series for 2021 Lineup. This site was designed by JoomlaShack, Karen Fanas, and The SoundStage! It also utilizes eight beta-matched, 15-amp 60Hz output transistors for each channel. It joins the two-channel Halo A 21 and the five-channel Halo A 51 -- only the Halo JC 1 monoblock costs more. Moving on to movies, I cued up a guilty pleasure of mine, the disaster flick 2012 (Columbia), on Blu-ray disc. Pues la Parasound se come directamente al Musical Fidelity. The A31's high-frequency performance was one of openness, but also one that remained natural in its timbre. From the outside, the A31 looks every bit a Parasound Halo product, clad in its trademark brushed silver facade, though Halo products are now being offered in black, too. Even at reference levels at which I could feel the jarring kick of weapons’ recoil among the frenetic action, there was no discernible distortion: the music and dialogue remained stable and coherent, allowing me to listen at these levels for extended periods without fatigue. Parasound calls the Halo Integrated a … Network’s Erich Wetzel estimated that an A 23 driven by a Halo P 5 preamp would “result in sound that is unassailable in quality by any other combination of components that can be bought for a like amount.”. In truth, I never felt as if I was even tapping its full potential, as the resulting sound was effortless. Moving from left to right the first thing you'll notice are the A31's massive metal rack handles. Parasound Halo Three Channel Power AmplifierThe Parasound Halo A31 multichannel amplifier is a power.. £4,799.00. Enjoy! The sound of Willie Nelson’s To All the Girls . The A 31 is rated at 250Wpc into 8 ohms or 400Wpc into 4 ohms, all three channels driven throughout the audioband of 20Hz–20kHz. Those of you with seven-channel systems can still benefit from a three-channel amplifier, as it gives you the ability to run your front three speakers, while utilizing a pair of stereo amps for your surround and rear channels, which could be lesser amps in terms of power than what is required for your front three channels. Performance I began my critical evaluation of the A31 amplifier with some two-channel music by way of Moby's "Everloving" off the hit album Play (V2). My Definitive Technology BP-8080ST surround speakers were powered by an Axiom ADA-1000 or a Bel Canto eVo6. They can be switched out of the signal path when not needed, giving a slightly clearer sound. I am glad you are extremely pleased with the Parasound A21+. Conclusion I'm not going to lie and say that $3,000 for a three-channel amp is wholly affordable, but I'd hardly put the A31 in the category of aspirational either, as that category is well populated. My reference Anthem Statement M1 mono amplifiers ($3750 each) have a midrange that is slightly clearer, making voices more present, and small vocal inflections and nuances more discernible. John Curl’s circuit design for the Halo A 31 features complementary matched pairs of JFETs for the input pre-driver stages, matched pairs of MOSFETs for the driver stages, and an impressive eight matched 15A, 60MHz bipolar output transistors for each channel. Network. From there, I connected the A31 to a host of different loudspeakers, ranging from my trusty Tekton Design Pendragons to a complement of Jade 1 bookshelf speakers from Wharfedale. JM Labs Electra 920.1; Parasound JC2 and JC5; Sony HAP-Z1ES; Marantz SA8004 SACD; Music Hall MMF7 and Acoustech phono pre; PS Audio P1000; MIT S1 Cables December 5, 2012 by Chris Heinonen Leave a Comment. Parasound’s Halo A 31 might get overlooked because it’s a three-channel amplifier designed primarily for use in multichannel home-theater systems -- or because, at $3295, it costs more than a budget multichannel amplifier, if less than what many audiophiles would pay for a two-channel amp. We can’t remember the last time we reviewed a product such as this with bass and treble controls. Like all Parasound products, the A31 comes with a full five-year parts and labor warranty in the United States and in Canada. Polk LSiM-707, LSiM-704C, LSiM-702FX; Dual SVS SB2000 subwoofers; Marantz SR7011 receiver; Parasound A31 and A23 amps; Oppo 205; Sony 65" 4K TV; FIOS; PS Audio Power Plant Premier; MIT S2 cables 2. I noticed a bit more inflection in Dylan's voice than through previous amplifiers, as well as a bit more surrounding air, which lent a greater sense of dimension, not to mention scale, to the performance and to his physical being. All three amplifiers are unique and special in their own rights and deciding which is right for you is going to boil down to personal preference, as well as budget. The many fins of the large heatsinks that comprise the side panels, and the Parasound logo stamped into the top plate, are all covered in a high-quality, black-anodized finish that gives the A 31 a professional, refined appearance. I only run a 3 channel home theater and have a Parasound A31 3 channel power amps. I also used a pair of Definitive Technology Mythos ST-Ls. Its replacement, the Halo A 21+, is priced a little higher at $2,995. In 1988, Schram enlisted the services of circuit designer John Curl, and he brought along designers Carl Thompson and the late Bob Crump, forming a team whose work resulted in the development of Parasound… When the world does literally begin to crumble beneath the characters' feet, the resulting sound was truly epic and, yet again, I felt as if I was able to discern more of it due to the A31's (and A21's) incredible clarity and definition throughout. More importantly, even with each crack spiking at around 100dB, the resulting sound was never fatiguing, sharp or brittle. This time, with the A31 having to play nice with its two-channel sibling the A21, I couldn't detect any dissimilarities between the two when using one for mains and the other for center and/or rear channel duty. Moreover, the A31 wasn't critical (at all) of my choice of speaker, as it managed to reproduce similar results with all the options I had on hand, whether they were lower-sensitivity bookshelf speakers (Wharfedale) or commercial cinema loudspeakers (JBL). Parasound 5 años de piezas, 5 años de garantía de mano de obra (sólo compras en EE.UU.). I installed the A31 along the bottom of my rack with the A21 resting above, though there are three or four rack spaces between the two in order to allow for proper ventilation. Once installed, making the requisite connections was a breeze. As accomplished as the A 31 was, it wasn’t the last word in transparency. Parasound Halo A31 Multi Channel Amplifier. 5.0 out of 5 stars based on 1 product rating. After 15 years of devoted service, Parasound has retired its beloved Halo A 21 amplifier. Make sense? The purpose of a three-channel amp is to bring multi-channel capability to an existing two-channel system. Lastly, I found the A31's binding posts to be a bit pedestrian and, well, not up to the same standard as the rest of the amplifier's build and sonic quality. Other features that jumped out at me were the track's many snare hits and rim shots, which were rendered with just a bit more detail and nuance throughout, compared to what had been provided by previous amplifiers employed in my system. To each his own, I guess. Dynamics ran the gamut from wow to I think I may have messed myself, depending upon the scene and my choice of overall volume. For more details on the A31's inner workings, as well as design notes, please visit the A31's product page on Parasound's website. My only complaint about the massively built A 31 is that while its binding posts are claimed to be of high quality, they look a little cheap and out of place in relation to the otherwise impeccable appearance and build quality. 1 users rated this 5 out of 5 stars 1. Just inside the left handle are the A31's "Turn On Options," which include an auto/manual power switch and a 12-volt trigger. It had the excellent transparency and imaging, with plenty of grip, that you’d expect from a high-powered solid-state amp, but it also had a richness through the midrange, and a smooth treble that was easy to listen to while still being very revealing. B-Stock gives audiophile enthusiasts the opportunity to purchase Parasound products at a discounted price. In all fairness the 3250e, even at $10,000, is a far cry from what Krell charges for another three-channel amp of theirs, the Evolution 403e, which retails for $25,000. With a claimed power output of 250Wpc into 8 ohms, the A 31 should be able to drive the three front speakers of just about any home-theater system. I consider the Halo A 31 to be one of today’s best values -- if not the best value -- in a power amplifier. "Doing so has proved that extremely high performance-per-dollar is still possible today when a company leverages decades of experience, and is spearheaded by a legend." Parasound Halo JC 1 Monoblock Amplifier High value at a low(ish) price! Instead, the bells were clearly delineated from one another and presented with such focus and control that their presence in my room was one of three-dimensionality, as they were not only arranged side to side but front to back very clearly. I was certain I had owned a Parasound amplifier at one point in my life. Over the years, I’ve heard the Halo JC 1s driving myriad high-end speakers at many audio shows, and have always been impressed by their sound. For instance, it was easier to follow the gently rising and falling line of the lilting humming in “Latika’s Theme,” from the Slumdog Millionaire soundtrack (16/44.1 FLAC, Interscope). The entire performance was one of terrific balance and sheer effortlessness. Parasound may have been thinking along these lines when they engaged the well-known amplifier designer John Curl to create their new five-channel amp, the Halo A 52+ ($2,995). Regardless of the speaker choice, all were connected via 12-gauge bulk speaker cable from Binary, a SnapAV company. The Halo A 31 was highly musical, but it also had the massive amounts of power required for playing hi-rez audio from movies on Blu-ray. As Parasound defines it, value begins to decline when additional cost provides only marginal and diminishing returns, and increases when a product is reliably functional over decades. On the other hand, the Krell Evolution 3250e has a slightly more spirited sound versus that of the A31, in that the Krell is a bit more dynamic and taut throughout. The Halo A 31 has a clear, detailed sound that belies its price, combined with just a touch of warmth. Dialogue was always intelligible, arguably more so as a result of the A31's power and resolution as described above. They didn't go extinct, but they fell out of favor as the "it" solution. Add to that its prodigious power output and rock-solid build quality, and I can assure you: It’s the real deal. Again, the dynamic swings of this track were incredible and at times more than a little palpable, in that they quite literally stirred the soul. When I played multichannel recordings, I heard the same precision and musicality, as well as impressive dynamics across all three front channels. Parasound already brings listeners heavenly sound, but its halo now shines more beautifully than ever with its brand new version of the Halo A 23 two-channel power amplifier. Parasound at Rocky Mountain AudioFest 2017 - Stereophile review by Herb Reichert. is part of. Parasound A52+ Five Channel Solid-State Amplifier Parasound's impressive A52+ is truly faithful to music. Add to Compare. Cymbals sounded like real cymbals, versus artificial enhancements in order to show off traits such as air and decay. I recently upgraded my front speakers to B&W 804D3. So that is how a three-channel amplifier comes into play. Parasound has nothing to hide here as these are real numbers supported by A21+'s capability of delivering 60 amperes of current per channel, the ability to deliver this power through the amplifier's full band-width, and a low <0.1% Total Harmonic Distortion (THD) when driving the full audio band (20Hz - 20kHz) at rated power. Behind the scenes, the A31 is quite a brute, churning out a healthy 250 watts per channel into eight ohms and 400 watts per into four. This track is a little more chaotic in comparison to "Everloving," but even with its more bombastic dynamic swings and high-frequency energy, the A31 never faltered. It has XLR and RCA input jacks, toggle switches for selecting between them, and binding posts far enough apart to accept heavy-duty, audiophile-approved cables. Likewise, the bass was incredibly resolute and impactful, and though I have heard a bit more heft from my Pendragons, I preferred the A31's articulation and speed, for I have a subwoofer for brute force. The A31 utilizes the same chassis as its fellow multi-channel and stereo siblings (including the JC1), measuring 17.25 inches wide by nearly eight inches tall (with feet) and just over 19 inches deep. Parasound Products was founded in 1981, in San Francisco, by Richard Schram, whose mission was to provide value for the money to his customers. Read about the performance of the Parasound A31 amplifier on Page 2. Earlier in the review, I spoke about the A31's gain controls and how that was more a pro feature aimed at pairing different amplifiers together. If you're an existing Halo customer or simply want to take your two-channel rig to new multi-channel heights, you'll be hard pressed to do better than the A31 sonically, though you can definitely spend more. There were moments when previously garbled lines of dialogue came through just a touch clearer, resulting in my being able to clearly hear what was being said, even if that hadn't been the sound mixer's intention. Operated in bridged mono, Bel Canto’s six-channel eVo6 ($4900, discontinued), which I usually use to drive my center and surround channels, is claimed to produce a powerful 350Wpc into 8 ohms, three channels driven -- and it has a transparent and musical sound. Each features XLR as well as RCA input options that are selectable via a small toggle switch. Even at low volume levels, the A 31 took control of my speakers, providing a refined sound that was at once rich and inviting, as well as a precisely defined soundstage. The control it exhibited over my speakers' drivers was impressive, but not so much so as to call attention to itself. To the left of the input options rests a gain knob that gives you control, plus or minus 6dB off normal or THX reference, to help level match the A31 to other amplifiers - presumably ones that fall outside of the Halo lineup of products. Since its founding in 1981, Parasound has become one of the industry's … Well, I used it (sparingly) when employing professional cinema equipment elsewhere in my signal chain, as it allowed me to better integrate the pro gear with the rest of my consumer-sourced equipment. Not that it needed help. The power-on options include Manual, 12V Trigger, and Auto, with an adjustable Turn On Threshold. Halo is our premier line with a reputation for going head-to-head with the most expensive equipment on the market, while costing a fraction of the price. A couple of years ago, Parasound introduced the Halo A 31 ($3295 USD), a three-channel version of their top-of-the-line stereo and multichannel amplifiers, and the subject of this review. While there was still plenty of detail, the explosive, metallic sounds of battle were a little forced and lacking in weight in comparison to the A 31’s smooth, effortless delivery. Parasound has never offered a three-channel amplifier and, while three-channel amps are nothing new within the industry, fans of the company are probably asking themselves (and Parasound) what took so long. And when this album’s deep, sustained bass kicked in, the Parasound packed more punch, with a tight concussive quality and extremely low sustained tones. I even went so far as to use the A31 in conjunction with professional commercial cinema loudspeakers from JBL. item 3 Brand New Parasound Halo A31 Three Ch Power Amplifier Black - Retail $3,500.00 3 - Brand New Parasound Halo A31 Three Ch Power Amplifier Black - Retail $3,500.00. 1 product rating. 5.0. Peter Gabriel’s Back to Front: Live in London (BD, Eagle Rock Entertainment), probably the best-sounding Peter Gabriel concert video available (I’ve watched a lot of them), is a great test for multichannel systems. 5. Parasound Halo A23 Stereo Amplifier Review In light of our slow shift toward two channel audio (no, we are not abandoning personal audio), I decided it would be a good idea to start with something basic, like a stereo amplifier. (16/44.1 FLAC, Columbia/Legacy) is a little dry, but the A 31 reproduced Nelson’s world-weary voice with a bit of smoothness. Edge of Tomorrow is a surprisingly smart, exciting film with an electrifying soundtrack. Access (formerly GoodSound!) In all fairness, I didn't request the A31 for review so much as I sought it out in order to utilize it in my reference system and mixing studio. Joe, a great concise summary of your journey and review of the A21+. During the numerous battle scenes, the metallic clanking and grinding of robotic exoskeletons, alien mimics, and powerful blasts from automatic weapons were perfectly positioned, while Christophe Beck’s low, pulsing music score effectively filled every bit of the rest of the soundscape. The component under review, the $2000 Halo A 21 stereo amp, is slotted in further down the Parasound line. Andrew Robinson evaluates the A31 to see if it carries on the Parasound name. The slightly curved and rounded front panel is a thing of beauty. As for the A31's soundstage, I found it to be fairly three-dimensional, provided the material called for it, meaning it was capable of extending beyond the front baffles of the speakers and further back as well, while the side to side extension was wall to wall and beyond. The front panel features Parasound's logo on top with three small indicator lights below the THX logo and a small backlit power button resting in the far left corner. I hate the term mid-fi, as that carries with it a sort of negative connotation that the customer is somehow settling for middle of the road, which the A31 is clearly not. The Halo Integrated 2.1 combines a preamplifier with a power amp, phono preamp, DAC, and built-in adjustable crossover to make a device that can handle any current-format digital, line-level analog, or phono input. Bass and low mid-bass control was again exceptional, as was definition and presence amidst the high-frequency onslaught happening around it. I'm not big on "break-in," but I do believe amplifiers, especially those with Class A and AB topologies, do need a little bit of time to warm up, so I gave the A31 a good 30 minutes or so of just playing music at background levels before sitting down for any critical listening sessions. By staying out of the way and letting me enjoy the music, the A 31 made this review a challenge to find new ways to say that it sounded wonderful. The A31 employs matched pairs of JFETs for its input/pre-driver stages and matched pairs of MOSFETS in its driver stage. And with a claimed power rating of a whopping 1000Wpc, the M1s had more power in reserve for the up-tempo “Jai Ho,” with its intense Bollywood dance beat and soaring singing. Atmospheric scenes had dead-silent backgrounds when required, and dialogue was more than merely intelligible -- it was realistic, and perfectly integrated within the mix, heightening Emily Blunt’s deadpan delivery of some of the film’s most memorable lines. The A31 is THX Ultra2-certified as well. Regardless, the A31 never wavered nor seemed to run out of juice. The Downside The A31 is a phenomenal overachiever as far as amplifiers go. Since its founding in 1981, Parasound has become one of the industry's most venerable brands, offering scores of products that historically have garnered high praise amongst discerning enthusiasts, though the wares have always been offered at reasonable prices. 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