Parasound a21 vs Vincent SP 331 vs Krell s300i

default -- Tue, 11/17/2009 - 20:26

I am considering upgrading my amp.
Any comments on the relative sound of the three mentioned above? They are all plenty powerful, so even though the Parasound has twice the watts, to me it is not worth twice the price of the Vincent unless the sound quality was also better. The preamp functions of the Krell would be nice if the sound was as as good as the other two.
Right now I am driving my Polk LSI-9's with a 1982 Carver M-300t amp (the black cube). While I think it sounds great considering it's age, I expect a modern amp would do a better job.
The rest of my system for CD playback is; HK DVD37 as a transport > Lavry DA10 DAC > Carver > Polk.
The electronics are plugged into an Audience AR6T power conditioner.

paulwelch250 -- Sun, 09/12/2010 - 18:07

I have similiar question
borrowing a friend's Halfer trans-nova as my NAD2200, started to sound bad/scratchy
the Halfer has MUCH better bass but seems harsher highs, not as musical, not as pleasant.
Should I consider the 150W by 2, NAD, Vincent, sam e power but has tube, or Parasound, or other?

JKStraw -- Sat, 12/18/2010 - 21:13

 I have been running an parasound A21 for a year powering my magnepan 12's and now 1.6's. I have to say I have been very happy with the low and mids it has brought out in my maggies - they really sing - albeit not the JC1's but the A21 does a great job at bringin in speed and clarity where I was relying on an 80wpc integrated until I could afford the power amp. I tried the BAT VK55 Tubes but not enough power there. I also had the mono ref 1kW Bel Cantos. There was something there I just couldnt put my finger on but the sound just want right. I brought home the A221 and I was sold. In fact, if you are still in the market my deal has two brand new A21's he needs to get rid of. If you are willing to spend $1,950 factory sealed plus shipping let me know at audioeuipsales [at] gmail [dot] com it will reach him and copy me at the same time. I talked to him this morning and he had them so if this is in your price range let me know if you're still interested

Ded Frag -- Sun, 12/19/2010 - 01:23

Any comments on the Parasound a21, Vincent SP 331 Vs Krell s 3001? Yes, save yourself a lot of money and buy a Creek 'Evolution 5350'. 

paulwelch250 -- Sat, 08/20/2011 - 10:38

I have since discovered tube amps. The Jolida JD801 in partilcular.  While rated at 70 W RmS per channel it will easily play lounder and cleaner than solid state amps rated at 150 W RmS per channel.  It is much more muisical an detaled especially the highs sound more real.  The Jolida (American Jolida) 40 W and 100 W amp are alos fantatisical.  They are a little noisier than solid state but that only is noticiable between tracks not while the music is playing.  The bass is actually stronger and tigher than than the latest 150 to 250 W NAD, Rotel, Parasound, Cambridge amps only the Bryston 300W sounds tigher with the bass and that is way more the twice the price.  Don't worry that the Jolida's are integrated amps, they can be used as power only amps and you may find that there simple straight line preamp is better than your current pre.  Paul

Twochannelman (not verified) -- Thu, 04/12/2012 - 15:10

Hi there Paul,
With you saying that you now own a Jolida product, are you aware of and familiar with Bill Baker of Response Audio in Endicott, NY ? He does contractually agreed to factory authorized modifications to Jolida products for very reasonable prices at different performance levels per cost.
Having been to his facility and talking with him in depth about that as he showed me his work bench, parts selection including high end brands for many types of parts, and the processes he goes through to perform the various upgrades, his work is quite reputable and reliable as he is highly competent and adept. He literally can convert a stock Jolida product into a much better performing and sounding version that Joilda still honors the warranty of without question. I have also been to the Jolida facility in MD a few years ago and Mike is a very personable man who makes good, entry level products for a fair profit. What Bill can do with them though is truly amazing. (as far as I know that's the site name)

Ken -- Sat, 08/27/2011 - 09:53

I used a Vincent SP-331 with 1.6s.  This combo was recommended by a local dealer.  For the money, I thought the sound was excellent.  Solid bass, very good mid-range and wide and reasonably deep and sound stage. Imaging was very good also.   The highs are a bit soft when compared to more expensive amps.  Would make a good pairing especially if anything in chain tends to be on the lean or bright side.  Don't take my comments wrong.  When I say soft, I don't mean dull. The highs just lacked that last tiny bit of air and sparkle that you here with amps way over its price range.  I've had NAD integrated amps, Cambridge amps, and used to sell Carver equipment back in the day.  The Vincent will be a nice upgrade to the Carver (given its age) and in my opinion, much better than NAD.

Twochannelman (not verified) -- Thu, 04/12/2012 - 15:36

As for me, I would go with the Parasound A21 without any question or uncertainty at all due to my experience with them. Remember also please that Magnepan speakers are 4 Ohm nominal impedance speakers, so the higher power ability of the Parasound would be advantageous even with the spec's. of the other amplifiers being respectfully high. Some Vincent SP-331 owners say that they sounded fat or bloated in the bass and midbass and where some sold them shortly thereafter for those reasons. I have never heard any owner or read any review of a Parasound A21 or the Krell S-300i saying anything like that. The reason is that neither of those amplifiers sound that way. The Vincent product is designed to meet a much lower price point than the other two amplifiers, and to do that, the quality of its internal components is reduced or compromised to keep the cost down and still generate a fair profit just as the other amplifiers do, but at a higher price to begin with. I am not saying or implying that the Vincent product is garbage; only that it is meant to be at or less than $1,300 versus $2,300 to $2,500 for the Parasound and Krell items respectively. Vincent is manufactured in China. Parasound is manufactured in Taiwan which is practically the same as China. Krell now makes some of their gear in China, including this one in question. That is how they saved on cost to deliver a very good product of high level internal part quality at a certain price point. Now, in fairness to Parasound and Krell, ask them to create a new two channel, solid state power amplifier for a price point of $1,300 as that of the Vincent SP-331 and see and hear what they come up with. Also, keep in mind that Vincent product is a vacuum tubed hybrid whereas the other two are fully solid state, so there will be some inherent sound quality differences in a variety of aspects.

paulwelch250 -- Thu, 04/12/2012 - 18:41

Hi 2 channel man,   yes, I picked up a used 801,  now after an at home demo, I have ordered the Jolida 1000 pwr amp only version and the Jolida fusion preamp and both will be modified (internal wiring changed, new caps, better tubes). I consider the 801 a best buy BUT: with a preamp to take the delicate,
signal up and every aspect of the sound improves and the 1000 has considerably stronger deeper bass over the 801.  Even the 801 as an integrated sounds better with the Fusion preamp driving it, given tha he 801 has but a one tube preamp.
Also, I checked out the Usher mini dancer II speakers with the Vincent amp, the one in this thread and it sounded boomy, a $5000 pair of Nu Force monoblocks fixed that but did not sound a sweet in the highs as my 801 driven by the Fusion pre (the Fusion was used in all tests).
The Usher mini dancer IIs should be on everybodies short list if looking in that price range and wanting full deep powerful bass with excllent mids, treble dynamics, detail, full harmonics and imaging capabilies.

Twochannelman (not verified) -- Fri, 04/13/2012 - 08:27

The Usher Dancer series (overall) are some of my favorite speakers. I really like the Usher Dancer series BE-10, Be-718, and your referenced Mini II. My wife's favorite speakers are Sonus Faber, but Usher is her 2nd favorite. She likes SF a lot because like her, they are Italian and gorgeous looking. AMEN !! 

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