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Will replacing an Emotiva DR3 with Parasound A31 be an upgrade?


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Hi, 

 

I currently own an Emotiva DR3: https://emotiva.com/collections/amps/products/xpa-dr3

I'm in the middle of purchasing a Halo Parasound A31: https://parasound.com/a31.php

 

The manufacturer of my speakers [Tekton] seemingly love Parasound and I've run into many positive reviews about them. Actually, there's a lot of "familiar language" when reviewers describe the Parasound amp that was used for the Tekton Ulfberhts. And I also note that most reviewers don't compare the Parasound to lesser costing amps but moreso including the likes of McIntosh. I have to admit I'm looking for a bit of verification. In so doing I thought to drop the audiophilestyle community the topic question and get your thoughts on these brands and specifically these amps. 

 

Thanks a bunch!

William

Onkyo PR-RZ5100, Onkyo DXC390 6 Disc CD Changer 

MiniDSP DDRC-88A w/ BM

Bluesound Node 2i

Sony 65 inch OLED A8G, Sony 4k Blue Ray X700

Parasound Halo A31 Amplifier

Tekton Ulfberht L + C + R Speakers [4 ohms ea.]
Two Tekton Active [300 watts rms] 4-10 Subwoofers

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Seems like you have dealers in your general area (loosely defined). No chance someone will send you one for a home audition?

Main listening (small home office):

Main setup: Surge protector +_iFi  AC iPurifiers >Isol-8 Mini sub Axis Power Conditioning+Isolation>QuietPC Low Noise Server>Roon (Audiolense DRC)>Stack Audio Link II>Kii Control>Kii Three >GIK Room Treatments.

Secondary Listening: Server with Audiolense RC>RPi4 or analog>Matrix Element i Streamer/DAC (XLR)+Schiit Freya>Kii Three .

Bedroom: SBTouch to Cambridge Soundworks Desktop Setup.
Living Room/Kitchen: RPi 3B+ running RoPieee to a pair of Morel Hogtalare. 

All absolute statements about audio are false :)

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I have a Emotiva XPA-2 which I'm not currently not using.  A while back I was looking for a new amplifier to run my Goldenear Triton 5's and/or my Legacy Calibre speakers.  At the time I ended up with PS Audio Stellar 700 mono blocks (class D) which gave those speakers far deeper bass response then the Emotiva amp ever could.  The mids were about the same and the treble was a little laid back compared to the Emotiva amp.  Through a series of calls I was able to upgrade to PS Audio's BHK 250 stereo amplifier and that amp gave me the bass response of the Stellar 700's and the mid range clarity and treble that I was looking for.  During this evaluation a friend of mine borrowed me his Parasound A21 (older model) amplifier.  This amplifier was fantastic for the price.  It far outweighed the Emotiva in punch and dynamics.  I thick part of that was the class A operation until you pass 10 watts.  I only had it in my system for about a week then went back to PS Audio's BHK's.  I would imagine the John Curl line of amps by Parasound (JC) would be as good or better then PS Audio's.  If I was to go back to amp/speaker setup, I'd consider the JC 1+ as my last amplifier.  In the future I'm looking at all in one setups (Kii's, D&D, B&O).

 

For the money Emotiva is great for power and price, especially in a home theater setup.  I'd seriously consider PS Audio's class D amps.  But you will be very happy with Parasounds amplification.  Hopefully you can demo any amp your considering with your Emotiva.  PS Audio allows this.  Not trying to influence you toward PS Audio, it's just a comparison of what I had at the time.  I also love that Parasound has auto start up and shut down with their amps, along with standard 12 volt triggers.  This is important if your just running a DAC straight into your amps.  

 

Good Luck,

Shawn

PC/NAS/JRiver/Roon - PS Audio P5 Regenerator - KEF LS50 Nocturne - Rel 328 subwoofer - PS Audio AC5 Power cables 

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7 hours ago, firedog said:

Seems like you have dealers in your general area (loosely defined). No chance someone will send you one for a home audition?

 

Thanks firedog, 

 

That'd be ideal. My only hesitation is being locked [ethically] to the local dealer which is demoing me the amp. I'd feel bad if I demoed their equipment and bought elsewhere online for lesser price. Though, demoing the equipment might save me money if the seller I'm looking at this time doesn't have a return policy to demo the equipment. I'll ask. 

 

3 hours ago, ShawnC said:

During this evaluation a friend of mine borrowed me his Parasound A21 (older model) amplifier.  This amplifier was fantastic for the price.  It far outweighed the Emotiva in punch and dynamics.  I thick part of that was the class A operation until you pass 10 watts. 

 

Thanks Shawn,

 

The reviews I have read said there is no audible difference between the A21 and A31 only another channel. As far as dynamics that's what I'm hoping for. I prefer class A and I think the Parasound A31 is class A up to 7 watts. Have read conflicting information on this as two different reviewers stated 7 and 10 watts. Either way I am prepared already having a dedicated powerline for the amp on a 20a circuit. 

 

Besides the various remote turn on options I like the variable input sensitivity of the Parasound. 

 

Thanks for the feedback fellas,

William

 

 

Onkyo PR-RZ5100, Onkyo DXC390 6 Disc CD Changer 

MiniDSP DDRC-88A w/ BM

Bluesound Node 2i

Sony 65 inch OLED A8G, Sony 4k Blue Ray X700

Parasound Halo A31 Amplifier

Tekton Ulfberht L + C + R Speakers [4 ohms ea.]
Two Tekton Active [300 watts rms] 4-10 Subwoofers

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You may want to think about Schiit Vidar also since its getting a lot of love by reviewers and is more recent in amp design. I'm in the market shopping for a new amp myself,

found this Stereophile article helpful with its brief reference to general sound qualities of different class solid state  amplifiers. It does pay to know the impedance characteristics
of your speaker and look at technical reviews of how the amp performs as speaker impedance changes in the audio spectrum.

 

https://www.stereophile.com/content/schiit-audio-aegir-power-amplifier

 

Regards,

Dave

 

Audio system

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