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  1. #1
    Medlem
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    Hegel h2a / H4a vs Parasound A21 vs Bryston

    First of all apologies for not being able to write to you in Norwegian.

    At this moment I am looking for a proper 2nd hand power amp (balanced). One that would match well with my speakers PMC FB1i and as a streamer/pre-amp PS Audio Perfect Wave DAC + Bridge (Nordost red dawn speaker cable).

    I have heard the Hegel H1 (with upgraded fuses) and it had power in the low frequencies that I really liked. But the highs seemed to be bright with metal music for instance (could be the Arcam CD192 cd player that I had then). Besides that I have heard the H100 which had a smoother/more natural mids and highs but the low frequency looked thinner (perhaps because this one had the original fuses?).

    The Bryston 3B SST or 4B SST are powerhouses but I am not sure if they on long term might give you listening fatigueness. Also Bryston and PMC are normally always linked, because of PMC being importer for Bryston in UK.


    And then there is the Parasound A21, which is not very expensive (especially looking at Bryston), and has some flaws (reading reviews) but seems to be a good buy. I have never heard one with my speakers.

    The sound I am "looking for" is a very low bass response (not boomy) but well defined and controlled, and a sweet top end. (music genre: pop / dance / rock / metal / rap music).

    What would you recommend as a good proper amp?

  2. #2
    Hifi Freak Ketil's Avatar
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    Hegel h2a / H4a vs Parasound A21 vs Bryston

    I have a Hegel H4SE power amp, and what I think characterizes it is is a very powerful bass response and quite an organic midrange. The treble can under certain circumstances sound a bit sharp, so I think it might need some careful partnering. With my former speakers the sound was too sharp to my ears, but my new B&W 805D speakers have mostly corrected that. Of course the last thing could also have something to do with my source.

    If you're planning to plug the PS Audio PW DAC directly into a poweramp you might not get such a full bodied sound as you would with a preamp whichever poweramp you choose. You could also try to ask the question at the discussion forum at PS Audio' website. Paul McGowan regularly comments on that forum, and I think he demonstrates the PW DAC/Bridge straight into a poweramp at shows, so you could ask him how he manages to get a sound thats not too lean. I suspect that he uses a combination of PS Audio's best powercables together with the PPP to achieve this.
    Bryston BDP-2, PS Audio DirectStream DAC, PS Audio BHK pre, PS Audio BHK 250 effekt, Monitor Audio Platinum 200 II, REL S5 subwoofer, PS Audio P15 Power plant, Perfectwave AC12 strømkabler, Chord Sarum Tuned Aray IC, Chord Sarum Super Aray USB, Shunyata Anaconda HT kabler.

  3. #3
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    Hegel h2a / H4a vs Parasound A21 vs Bryston

    Thanks! (tusen takk!?) Ketil,

    The Hegel is interesting for me.

    Yes I am thinking of connecting the PS Audio PWD straight (XLR) into the power amp. I am quite impressed by the imaging of the PWD, it has quite big scale. The PMC speakers are in my opinion a bit laid back, so I am less worried about aggressive sound from the upper spectrum.

    I am familiar with PS Audio's website, and indeed Paul McGowan normally recommends straight connection to a power amp, as he says that there is no better pre-amp than no pre-amp. These are his words of course :-). In some instances a really good pre-amp gives a more satisfactory result (all conditions and preferences). It know that if the volume is below 50 (on a scale of 0-100) there is some bit loss, so some information will be removed. And if you play redbook 50 is pretty loud imho. So if you want to use a separate pre-amp you can use the full scale (100) and let the separate pre-amp decide the volume without loss of information.

  4. #4
    Hifi Freak Ketil's Avatar
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    Hegel h2a / H4a vs Parasound A21 vs Bryston

    This topic is also discussed in this tread.
    Bryston BDP-2, PS Audio DirectStream DAC, PS Audio BHK pre, PS Audio BHK 250 effekt, Monitor Audio Platinum 200 II, REL S5 subwoofer, PS Audio P15 Power plant, Perfectwave AC12 strømkabler, Chord Sarum Tuned Aray IC, Chord Sarum Super Aray USB, Shunyata Anaconda HT kabler.

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