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shocked in a good way

I use my home theater system for mostly 2 channel stereo but my Onkyo PR/SC 5508 pre-pro and M5000R mono blocks just weren't doing it for me. I thought I would add the add JC2 BP to try to improve the two channel side. Wow I was shocked at just how great this pre-amp performed. Really astonishing stuff. My M5000 amps kicked it up several notches and the Scansonic MB3.5 speakers really found some roots. I was so impressed I bought a pair of JC 1 amps and they blew me away too. So I took the next step and added the JC3+ phono amp. Two channel heaven around here. The bypass mode works great and the front channel speakers are now fed by the JC 1's clarity is off the charts. Best investment ever. Audio Advisor is the only authorized internet retailer and they are great to work with.

- Jeff R, OR
A Revelation

Having reached "a certain age" I assumed that I would no longer appreciate subtle differences in electronics. Maybe, but the difference the JC2 preamp makes isn't subtle. I'm hearing things I never noticed before. If you want for your music what a soft filter does for film, look elsewhere. This thing is astringent. It reveals all that's there regardless of whether it's beautiful or less so. And that's beautiful to me.

- Stephen G, TX
Five Stars

A friend told me I needed to upgrade my old tube preamp to this Parasound. I was skeptical about getting a solid state pre. He was right and I was wrong. This JC2 is so much quieter and more revealing than my old pre I still can't believe it. Tube or solid state - who cares? A good circuit is a good circuit and this John Curl - designed one is phenomenal. I'm two weeks in and its still getting better. I'm hearing definition on recordings I never knew existed - like doors opening and closing, papers rustling on the stage, things like that. It all contributes to the feeling that I'm no longer in my room but actually in the concert hall with the audience. One upgrade I need to mention. My sales guy recommended I give the Pangea 14XL power cable a try with the JC2. I listened to the same lp's with and without and yes, the recording sound quieter and cleaner with the upgrade power cable. Both are Highly Recommended.

- John S. P, TX
Transparent, silent, revealing, open, neutral, and spacious

Hello, Please see my review of the Parasound A21 power amplifier stereo / 2 channel as my comments for this are the same as applicable since my wife and I listened to them together. The only flaw or very limited short coming of this preamplifier is the motorized volume control when operated via the remote control. It has a strong and consistent tendency to go past the level or amount of change that you want to somewhere else that is either a bit too high or low. Parasound should have applied much greater control over this as the listener really has to try to get the right amount of pressure and time using the volume control to get it exactly where desired. You have to try multiple, rapid, very short presses to hopefully end up with where you want it. Personally, I much prefer digital / microprocessor controlled volume levels for the avoidance of this annoying yet minor dilemna in usage. Aside from this set back though, this is a preamplifier without equal at this price point, and at several thousand dollars more too as it just disappears and imparts no sonic character of its own on the signal music. It allows a system to have a clean signal to feed the amplifiers with. Silence between notes, air between instruments, space between performers, and space from front to back along with depth and height are all generous and luminous all the while being distinct, pure, and elegant without ever sounding colored or hazy, let alone slow or euphonic like so many tube preamplifiers or lesser solid state components. It is obvious that the circuitry and parts are upper echelon as is the thought put into this in concert with the listening time invested by its designers to only offer a product of uncommon value and performance. As with the Parasound A21 power amplifier, you would have to, and I do mean have to, invest much more money to get a noticeably better sound. For the volume control issue, I can easily get past that, and have. As for this preamplifier, I can easily live with it, and very happily at that. Sincerely, Tom & Erin near Allentown, PA.

- Tom F, PA
Sound Staging Champion!!!

This preamp can throw a holographic sound stage that suspends the performance in inky blackness. Cymbals shimmer and decay with errie naturalness, Bass is extremely taut and full bodied without overpowering the upper frequencies and the faintest details are revealed as even the most subtle artificial harmonic can be clearly heard. This preamp delivers the most organic playback Ive ever heard...It breathes!!! Id highly recommend auditioning one if youre looking for a piece that balances musicality with razor sharp detail retrieval.

- Eric S, MO
Three functions done right, for once!

Between the 3 or 4 hundred dollar entry level preamps and the 30 to 40 thousand dollar boutique jobbies there is a wide gulf and an enormous range. The JC-2 has reared back and thrust a huge stake in that ground and claimed it as its own. I have a roughly 40k system. I have been an audiophile for 40 years and have heard many systems and components – with some preamps of equal and greater cost. My assessment: he JC-2 takes the cake. Enough blurb, I can hear you thinking – what exactly does it do so well? Simply, it does the low end, the midrange and the high end best, and integrates them to a T. “But” – you may be saying – “a preamp has such a limited role. It provides for a switching of inputs; it controls gain; and it provides a buffering between impedances on input and output. What’s the big deal?” Well, maybe doing those very functions without messing up all the transfers of what is, after all, a weak and very fragile signal – at that point – that’s what it DOES, and does it so right. Those are only 3 macro categories, but there are probably dozens and dozens of ways of messing up. I could supply names but other designers would hate me. This is where the JC-2 comes in with no mess-ups at all. I could talk of the way instruments appear with “air” and “space” around them, which they do. I could rhapsodize over subtleties which really make the difference when you listen intently to good music, that really draw you in to the moment; quite true. Micro-nuances are brought out on acoustic instruments that have me wondering at all the listening I’ve been missing out on. In 40 years, this preamp, which does those three functions so well – has made the single greatest improvement in my system of any upgrade. No joking here. For this I would have tried to pay double shh! – don’t tell Parasound. The team of John Curl, Carl Thompson and the deceased Bob Crump rightly deserve the credits and accolades bestowed on them for bringing such a jewel to us music appreciators. But Parasound itself deserves a hand for keeping tight control over the very difficult sourcing of high quality parts, which it is loaded with. This is no small feat when you know something of the snafus that often dog those in pursuit of product consistency. Yes, I know. It’s relatively pricey. No getting around that. But if you have a reasonably controlled room and have been around the audio block a few times, give it a test listen; the fine folks at Audio Advisor will let you give it a test run and then, THEN, see if any roaming team of wild horses will be able to tear it out of your listening room! The price seems like but a petty interference with long put-off musical verisimilitude. No way I’m letting go of mine. I tell you what, give Matt Grauman or one of the other Advisors a call and he’ll talk you through the process and answer any nagging questions you might have. Tell ‘em Bob Gallo sent you. Thanks a lot, Matt! I’m aware that reviewers gain credibity by pointing to a flaw here and there – they might say, “Yes, but the transition from upper bass to lower midrange lacks the liquidity of such and such tubosities.” Or, “Yes, but there’s a slight graininess between 13 and 15 kHz on Brazilian cymbals.” Or other such stuff. None of those buts’ here! I haven’t had trouble with the volume control as one reviewer remarked – it’s a standard, high quality Alps potentiometer that works fine for me. My only gripe. If it were cheaper I would buy all my audiophile buddies one of them for Christmas. Cheaper by the dozen, Matt? Now it has me wondering: maybe all the hype over those JC-1 amps is real? To be continued.

- Bob G, MD
Great Bargain

This preamp is a stand-out bargain! Installing it was the single biggest improvment my system has ever seen! It sounds incredibly neutral and dynamic with plenty of 'bloom'. Let me explain. It offers a ton of impact and bass is powerful and articulate - like turning up the volume on everything except the noise - 'because the JC2Bp is simply dead quiet. Low level detail is now clearly audible. Channel separation is so much better than any other preamp I've owned, it was like upgrading to mono block amps. Sound is highly detailed but without getting harsh or overly analytical - just sweet. $4,000 is a lot to pay for a preamp but when you compare it to anything else out there it's a very great bargain.

- Booker J, CT

Using with a pair of Parasound JC1 mono amps and Vandersteen 5As love them! and the sound is spectacular! Rich, full, fast, and effortless. I tried a bunch of preamps before buying the JC2 - including a very expensive tube model borrowed from an audio friend - but none could match the speed and accuracy across the music spectrum of the JC.

- Rosebud W, CA
Love it!

I just got done burning in the JC 2bp for a week and Wow! This thing is great. I'm hearing the deepest, tallest, widest soundstage I've ever heard with amazing focus and pinpoint clarity. It also pushes my twin REL subs to their limit. The reviews on this preamp are no joke. The thing is dead quiet. And natural. And completely transparent. OK, I'll stop now. Love it!

- Stonegate R, MN

Color me impressed. The Parsound makes my system sound more dynamic and open. Vocals seem to float in space. There's more harmonic bloom and a richness I wasn't hearing before with my Pass preamp. Now only one week into the break-in. Somebody told me it needs two weeks. I can't wait!

Sergie R