Note: This is a like-new factory-refreshed unit in original packaging with full warranty.
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Listed in The Absolute Sound 2012 High-End Audio Buyer's Guide
"Product of the Year" 2008 - The Absolute Sound Magazine
The Absolute Sound "Best Solid-State Preamp" 2008/2009
The Quietest Preamplifier Ever Built
"Up There with the Best," Says Stereophile
The wait is over. The world is finally ready for a stereo preamplifier that's fully the equal of Parasound's exquisite JC 1 monoblock amplifier. Parasound didn't rush the new JC 2. It waited until world-renowned audiophile designer John Curl was fully satisfied with every detail of his latest masterpiece.
The Parasound Halo JC 2 was honored by its inclusion in The Absolute Sound 2012 High-End Audio Buyer's Guide, which noted, "The JC 2 is the extreme rarity - a near reference-quality product that many of us can actually afford."
"Lives up to Its Legendary Forebear"
The Absolute Sound magazine rated the Halo JC2 as the "Best Solid-State Preamp" in the Winter 08 / Spring 09 issue. "The new JC-2 lives up to its legendary forebear, offering outstanding neutrality, very low noise, high resolution of inner detail, excellent timbre and texture, excellent large-scale and small-scale dynamics, and a surprisingly large taste of the air and bloom that only tube preamps used to own."
"A Product of the Year in Any Year"
The Absolute Sound Magazine honored the Parasound JC2 with a "Product of the Year Award" in its January 2009 issue. "This is a terrific linestage preamp that would be a Product of the Year in any year."
"My guess is that the Parasound Halo JC-2 can compete successfully against preamps, solid-state or tubed, that sell for twice the price -- or more," reports Sam Tellig in the December 2007 issue of Stereophile. "Like the JC-1, the JC-2 is up there with the best of them, but down to earth in price."
"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."
The Halo JC 2 is a pure analog preamplifier that is the product of pure genius. John Curl's CTC Builders, creators of the famed JC 1, designed the JC 2 to be Parasound's next legend. The design team achieves an amazing 116 dB signal-to-noise ratio with the JC 2 by isolating its dual-mono audio circuits from the power supply by placing them behind noise-killing 3/8"-thick shields. Balanced inputs and outputs -- featuring Neutrik XLR connectors -- a switchable polarity invert, and a full-function wireless remote control all contribute to the affordable luxury of owning a Halo JC 2.
Absolutely Dead-Quiet Operation
"The JC-2 allows music to emerge intact -- withy body, bloom, and dynamics, with definition and detail -- from an utterly silent background," reports Sam Tellig in Stereophile.
From the beginning, Parasound made quiet operation a priority of the JC 2. In fact, the company wanted this to be the quietest preamp that you can buy – at any price. Instead of relying on a toroidal transformer, which is typically found in quality AV components, the design team opted for a high capacity R-core audio power transformer and inductor with additional filters and special low-ESR capacitors. Unlike a toroidal transformer, this premium technology does not pass noise through to the rest of the circuitry, contributing to the JC 2's dead-quiet operation.
The heavily regulated dual-mono power supply boasts hyper-fast soft recovery audio bridge rectifiers diodes. And there's an independent power supply for controller, relay coils, triggers, and LEDs, an approach with keeps the preamps 'housekeeping' circuits well out of the audio chain.
"I can vouch for the results," says Alan Taffel about the ultra-quiet design in his January 10, 2007 report on the CES show for AVguide.com. "In one of the simplest but most effective demos of the show, I placed my ear directly against the driver of a speaker being fed by a JC-2/JC-1 combo set at maximum volume. I could hear absolutely nothing."
Dual-mono left and right channel circuit boards minimize crosstalk. The direct DC servo-coupled design uses no capacitors in the signal path. The premium four-gang motor-driven analog master volume control uses separate TKD brand analog gain controls for L and R channels. The audio mute is switched by independent L and R relays.
Balanced and Unbalanced Input Switching
The JC 2 includes six pairs of unbalanced RCA line-level audio input jacks. Two input pairs can be switched to XLR balanced connectors. There's an independent balanced/unbalanced select for the left and right channel, and each channel's input is switched by its own gold-on-silver contact relay.
Separate output jacks are provided for simultaneous normal and non-inverting polarity. The four output jack pairs have specialized functions. One main output jack pair is balanced XLR, and the polarity can be switched by the wireless remote. One main output jack pair is unbalanced RCA, and polarity is also switched by remote. Of the two remaining outputs, one pair is unbalanced RCA, inverted polarity only, and the other output pair is unbalanced RCA, normal polarity, featuring a fixed level for recorders. Remote control polarity switching uses gold-on-silver contact relays.
Hand-Picked, No-Compromise Parts and Pieces
Every section of the JC 2 uses premium internal components that were specifically chosen for specific functions in specific areas. These include hand-matched, complementary input-stage and output-stage FETs, Vampire brand 24k gold-plated RCA jacks, Neutrik brand premium XLR connectors, and Canare brand internal wiring.
The rear panel of the JC 2 is made of aluminum, for less magnetic impact on the ground plane and the signal jacks. And speaking of those connections, all grounding for the JC 2's inputs is completely isolated from all grounding for the outputs.
The included wireless remote controls all functions using discrete IR codes. A two-way RS-232 serial port connection and 12-volt trigger systems allows for easy system integration. Four 12v trigger output jacks allow for power amp auto turn-on. Two 12v trigger jacks are switched by the remote, and two 12v trigger jacks are live when the JC 2 is turned on.
Owner’s Guide (1.1mb PDF)
Parasound Halo JC-2 Stereophile Review (510k PDF)