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Thread: "Hopping up" an amplifier

  1. #1

    "Hopping up" an amplifier

    Hi Dan, you come highly recommended by my friend John Curl. I was speaking to him recently about possibly buying an affordable Parasound amp and "hopping it up" as John likes to say. Would a Parasound amp be a good candidate for such fine tuning?

    I'm also open to other suggestions. The key here is affordable. If I spend $$$$$ on a ss amp, I'm hoping it wouldn't need to be tweaked. Are there used amplifiers out there that you might recommend for such a project? Thanks.

  2. #2
    Hi and thanks to you and John Curl for the recommendation. We have our own amp deisgns, tube and SS and they are not typically inexpensive. We have done mods to digital gear, primarily, over time. In terms of mods to the amp, what exactly did you have in mind?

    I have not done amp mods. I know that the Parasound amps ARE well designed and regarded and represent great value. For our amps, I know that increasing the power supply capacitance and bias setting will make a big difference in sound. Beefing up the power supply is typically the best way to improve an amp. Which Parasound amp were you considering?

    Thanks,

    Dan

  3. #3
    I have done an upgrade job on Parasound equipment in the past, in particular a power amp. I would suggest upgrading the connectors will yield an amp that sounds completely different, in a good way.
    Engineer with interests in equipment for recording and playback. Manufacturing interests with Audio Union International and Enklein System.
    Partial list of equipment playback only (as of 9/23/2015: Benchmark DAC, Parasound preamp and power, Sutherland Engineer phonostages, power amps, preamps (several), B&W speakers (several), Thrax electronics and speakers, Audio Union Helix 1 TT and CEC, Clear Audio TT, Merril Williams TT, Burmester preamp, Rotel preamp, Berkley Apha 1 DAC

  4. #4
    Can I give a suggestion too?

    Lyngdorf SDAI 2175

    http://www.stereomojo.com/LyngdorfSD...fierReview.htm

    the fine tuning you can make in this amplifier is:
    - changing the fuse(s)
    - Isolate the transformer from the circuits
    - put it in some better feet

    And thatīs it! You gonna have a modern sound, plenty of detail but absolutely neutral, with good punch and dynamics. I think it is gonna be dificult to get this high end performance at lower price.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Kleinbeck View Post
    I have done an upgrade job on Parasound equipment in the past, in particular a power amp. I would suggest upgrading the connectors will yield an amp that sounds completely different, in a good way.
    Thanks for the tip on the connectors. Which Parasound amp are you using? The only Parasound amp I have heard/reviewed is the JC-1 and that was some time ago. The amp I am looking to buy is the Halo A21 based on the recommendation from John.

  6. #6
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  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Susan Kraft View Post
    Thanks for the tip on the connectors. Which Parasound amp are you using? The only Parasound amp I have heard/reviewed is the JC-1 and that was some time ago. The amp I am looking to buy is the Halo A21 based on the recommendation from John.
    I think it is a PA 2200. I still use this amp in one of our test rooms. I like it because I can biwire the speakers! I think I spent $120 on the WBT speaker connectors, which was the most expensive upgrade.
    Engineer with interests in equipment for recording and playback. Manufacturing interests with Audio Union International and Enklein System.
    Partial list of equipment playback only (as of 9/23/2015: Benchmark DAC, Parasound preamp and power, Sutherland Engineer phonostages, power amps, preamps (several), B&W speakers (several), Thrax electronics and speakers, Audio Union Helix 1 TT and CEC, Clear Audio TT, Merril Williams TT, Burmester preamp, Rotel preamp, Berkley Apha 1 DAC

  8. #8

    Or more involved options...

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Kleinbeck View Post
    I think it is a PA 2200. I still use this amp in one of our test rooms. I like it because I can biwire the speakers! I think I spent $120 on the WBT speaker connectors, which was the most expensive upgrade.
    The above ideas are all good and will undoubtedly yield improvement. I would go a bit further and look at increasing the total power supply capacitance reserves and look at the main and local power supply bypassing as well as the operating bias.

    John Curl is a brilliant designer. He also had to design to a price point. Without changing his actual design, I would look at improving the supply and potentially operating point.

    Thanks,

    Dan Wright
    ModWright Instruments Inc.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by modwright View Post
    John Curl is a brilliant designer. He also had to design to a price point. Without changing his actual design, I would look at improving the supply and potentially operating point.

    Thanks,

    Dan Wright
    ModWright Instruments Inc.
    Exactly. John knows all about designing to a price point. He actually thought I would be quite happy with the amp just the way it is. I'm the one who asked about possible mods and he referred me to Dan, someone I had already heard many good things about over the years. I just wasn't aware that most of the mods involved digital gear.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by modwright View Post
    The above ideas are all good and will undoubtedly yield improvement. I would go a bit further and look at increasing the total power supply capacitance reserves and look at the main and local power supply bypassing as well as the operating bias.

    John Curl is a brilliant designer. He also had to design to a price point. Without changing his actual design, I would look at improving the supply and potentially operating point.

    Thanks,

    Dan Wright
    ModWright Instruments Inc.
    I have made several mods to this particular amp. The next upgrade was replace output resistors on the power supply and upgrade some of the chassis wiring. I did not want to go any farther due to the time investment it would require. When you consider the cost of the materials that were available at the time the amp was fabricated verses todays cost I think these upgrades make sense on a financial basis without a lot of time investment.
    Engineer with interests in equipment for recording and playback. Manufacturing interests with Audio Union International and Enklein System.
    Partial list of equipment playback only (as of 9/23/2015: Benchmark DAC, Parasound preamp and power, Sutherland Engineer phonostages, power amps, preamps (several), B&W speakers (several), Thrax electronics and speakers, Audio Union Helix 1 TT and CEC, Clear Audio TT, Merril Williams TT, Burmester preamp, Rotel preamp, Berkley Apha 1 DAC

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