Video Review - Click on the Video Tab Above
"Editors' Choice" Award - The Absolute Sound Magazine, 2012
"Recommended Component," Stereophile, 2006
Sam Tellig's Stereophile "Product of the Year" 2003
Uncompromising, THX-Ultra 2 Heavyweight
One look at the massively imposing Parasound JC 1 monoblock power amplifier tells you that this is a no-nonsense, high-performance piece of equipment. Its large footprint and uncompromising sound admittedly aren't for everyone. But not everyone demands the pristine sonics and bulletproof reliability that an amplifier of this caliber delivers.
"An Amp to Listen to All Day"
The Absolute Sound magazine honored the JC 1 with a "Product of the Year Award" for 2012, calling it "silky-smooth, crystal clear, and abundantly detailed. An amp to listen to all day."
The October 2007 issue ofThe Absolute Sound magazine awarded the Parasound Halo JC -1 its "Editors' Choice" recommendation, calling it "silky-smooth, crystal clear, and abundantly detailed. The kind you could listen to all day long without fatigue."
"Don't Buy an Amp Without Hearing These"
Sam Tellig awarded the JC 1 "Product of the Year" status in the December 2003 issue of Stereophile. I am not saying they're the best amps ever. I don't know. But I'm floored by what's on offer for $6k," Sam muses. "Don't buy an amp without hearing these, even if you can't afford them."
"It Ranks up There with the Best"
The JC 1 wins "Recommended Component" status in the April 2006 issue of Stereophile. "The Halo JC 1 is not only the best amplifier to come from Parasound," reports Jon Atkinson, "it ranks up there with the best high-end heavyweights."
Critical enthusiasm for the JC 1 hasn't waned since its introduction. If anything, the reviewers are more enthusiastic about its merits than ever. In his "Sam's Space" column for the April 2006 issue of Stereophile, Sam Tellig opines, "There may be another powerful amp that sounds so good for so little money; but I don't know about it."
"The remarkable things are the build quality, the looks, the price. Before you blow $10-20k or more on some amps that were recommended by a reviewer who didn't buy them, give a listen to the Parasounds, which this reviewer did purchase," advises Sam Tellig.
"The Halo JC 1 is not only the best amplifier to come from Parasound, it ranks up there with the best high-end heavyweights," marvels John Atkinson in the February 2003 issue of Stereophile.
Stereophile's Michael Fremer heaps on praise of his own. "Powerful, transparent, smooth, organized, dynamic, transparent, and rhythmically supple, the JC 1 offered a combination of attributes that added up to many weeks of listening pleasure," he concludes in the February 2003 issue. "It was lightning-fast, delivering transients and sibilants with a speed and clarity that were positively addictive."
"These amps are truly outstanding, among the best I've ever heard, and the best I've had in my system," concludes Max Dudious in Issue 8 of Positive Feedback Online. "They distance themselves from nearly all amps in their price class and catapult themselves into the highest echelons of the best that audio has to offer."
"Shockingly Realistic Sound"
"The JC 1 / JC 2 combo produces a remarkably detailed and shockingly realistic sound," marvels Steve Guttenberg in the June 2008 issue of Home Entertainment magazine. "If you are new to high-end audio, Parasound’s JC 1 / JC 2 combination is a great place to start."
True Monoblock Design
The JC 1's true monoblock design, which dedicates a totally separate amplifier to each channel of your A/V system, provides the absolute pinnacle of channel separation. The sound is so clean, so well-defined, and so true, you will suddenly hear music you have never heard before on even your most familiar CDs and DVD movie soundtracks.
The JC 1 is the culmination of many years of design and modification of Parasound's best power amplifiers. Parasound, John Curl, and CTC Builders collaborated in the design of JC 1 to create a new standard of elegance, sonic precision and value. THX Ultra 2 certification by Lucasfilm, Ltd., ensures ultra-realistic reproduction of movie soundtracks for heart-stopping film scores and special effects.
"No matter what the dynamic demands were called for by the music, no subtleties were sacrificed; the resulting performance was extended, smooth, and relaxed," reports Arnie Goodman in Volume 11, Issue 2 of The Audiophile Voice. "The JC 1 always sounded completely in control and provided luxuriant detail. Its ability to replicate every nuance of the musical performance was a joy to hear."
The JC 1 provides 400 watts into 8 ohms with 135 amps of peak current. Its 25 watts of pure Class A power is user-switchable to 10 watts of Class A power when heat dissipation is a concern. Other features include balanced XLR or unbalanced RCA connectors, a 12v trigger, an audio sensitivity trigger, adjustable turn-on delay, and a ground lift switch. Advanced circuitry, premier parts selection, unequaled sound quality, and stunning design are bound to make this amplifier a legend in its own time.
Powerful J-FET and MOSFET Circuitry
The JC 1 design is based on a complementary differential J-FET input stage followed by two stages of selected push-pull MOSFETs, ultimately driving nine pairs of the most powerful complementary bipolar power transistors that are available today. This gives 400 watts into 8 ohms, 800 watts into 4 ohms, and 1200 watts into 2 ohms without compromise.
Superior Parts Quality
The JC 1 breaks new ground in parts quality. Its construction includes Vampire Direct gold-plated OFC RCA jacks, Neutrik XLR connectors, reliable RT DC bypass and Zobel capacitors, Superior Electric binding posts, Vampire continuous cast copper signal and DC wiring, Nichicon Great Supply raw DC capacitors (132,000uF in the high current supply), Nichicon Muse DC and local bypass capacitors, Harris hyperfast soft recovery diodes for all bridge rectifiers, and Sanken output transistors.
Meticulous Circuit Board Design
Circuit functions are divided between four separate, carefully oriented circuit boards (and associated wiring) to minimize unwanted circuit interactions. Overall system signal flow was developed in concert with the board layout with special emphasis on overall system grounding. Boards underwent many layout iterations both to optimize manufacturability and performance. The final main board can handle double the very substantial current of which the JC 1 is capable. This required very wide matched circuit paths in 2-oz. copper on both sides of the board for critical nodes.
A Mammoth Power Supply
Thanks to independent power supplies for the input, driver and output stages, the JC 1 is extraordinarily difficult to stress. Audible strain due to layout-generated resistance is vanishingly small. Part of the reason for such a beefy layout is the mammoth power supply with a 1.9 kVA encapsulated toroidal power transformer, which required fitting four very large filter capacitors plus the separate input stage power supply on the main circuit board. The power supply uses 18,000 µF filters for driver stage and 132,000 µF Nichicon "Gold Tune" filters for output stage. The separate dedicated input board is thus more immune to power supply noise and from circuit noise in the separate auto turn on control board. The JC 1 input board mounts directly on the back panel for minimum input and input select wiring length. The layout is absolutely symmetrical with the shortest possible signal path. Here too, there's an emphasis on minimum resistance to reduce unwanted circuit interactions.
Other features include DC Servo and relay protection circuits, auto turn-on by 12v trigger or audio signal trigger, a ground lift switch with adjustable turn-on delay, and a premium detachable AWG 12 power cord with silver solder.
"Best of Breed"
"If you are a quester on the path toward the finest sound you can personally own, then you must consider owning John Curl's latest JC 1 amplifier," urges Max Dudious in Positive Feedback Online. "It has those 'magic' qualities that differentiate the best of breed from the also-rans."
"It took but a few seconds for me to absolutely fall in love with the Halo JC 1," confesses Stereophile's Michael Fremer, who concludes: "A bargain, and highly recommended."
"I have nothing but the highest regard for this product and I recommend it wholeheartedly," observes Arnie Goodman in The Audiophile Voice.
Owner’s Manual (1.3mb PDF)
Parasound products cannot be shipped outside the USA.