Parasound Halo JC3 Jr. Phono Preamplifier

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Parasound Halo JC3 Jr. Phono Preamplifier

Parasound Halo JC3 Jr. Phono Preamplifier

$1,495.00 Free Shipping!

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Parasound Halo JC3 Jr. Phono Preamplifier

$1,495.00 Free Shipping!

Free Shipping!
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  • Description

     

    MY TAKE: We absolutely love the Parasound JC3+ phono preamplifier. So, last year, when Parasound phoned to ask us if there would be interest in a less expensive version, I said HELL YES! So, welcome the JC3 Jr. - Galen Carol


    John Curl is an audio legend with over 30 years’ experience designing the very finest sounding phono preamps. He has designed acclaimed phono stage preamps for Vendetta Research, Constellation Audio, Audible Illusions and for Parasound, whose JC3+ is a Stereophile Class A Recommended Component. The JC3 Jr. is his most affordable design… ever!

     

    REVIEWS:

    Positive Feedback - "Having known the legendary John Curl's work since he did the JC2 Preamplifier for Levinson in 1972, a ground-breaking design for solid-state, and every bit as competitive as the tubed ARC SP-3a-1 of the era, I fearlessly replaced my current mega phono gear, both tube and solid-state, with the Parasound Halo JC 3 Jr. Phono Preamplifier, costing just $1495! I employed cartridges costing 4 to 8 times as much as the Junior, and interconnects that were over triple the cost per meter of the Junior. The BIG surprise came when I tee'd up my reference LPs! But before the punch line, here are the specs and features:

    "Two features on the Junior that are only available on phono stages costing much more are the switchable gain stages of 40, 50, and 60dBs of gain in MM or MC mode, and a MC impedance adjustment of 50-550 ohms in a continuously variable control (no stepped detents). According to Editor-in-Chief Robinson, the new PASS Labs Xs Phono Stage at $45,000 has these features, completely stratospheric performance, and provides for three programmable inputs, as well, should you have the bucks and be looking for them. By the way, I tried the outstanding new Grado Epoch MI Phono Cartridge, priced at a retail of $12,000, and found that it sounded best at 47,000 ohms and 50dBs of gain into my E.A.R. 912 Preamplifier, as I dialed in the Junior. Also, with RCA/XLR outputs, I enjoyed running the Junior balanced in my system 2, and single-ended in my system 1. The Junior performed flawlessly in either configuration. As I wrote this paragraph, I was listening to the new Brubeck Time Out from QRP and heard satisfying sophisticated music, as if the Junior had secret tubes on board!

    "The Parasound Junior is, without a doubt in my mind, the best under-$2000 solid-state phono stage I have ever heard, or even know about.  I have been unable to recommend an under-$2000 solid-state phono to anyone—until now. Using the Grado Epoch MI, the Stein Music Aventurin V6 Mk2 MC, and the London Reference MI, the Junior performed way beyond its price class. 

    "It is dead silent. It is mellifluous. It is sophisticated. It is truly high definition. It yields rock solid imaging and great clarity. It is unflappable and other-worldly flexible. It has no pops or static, even switching every knob with gain up. The mono button on front even changes color when engaged. If the Junior is not trickle-down brilliance from JC's previous designs, then this baby is an accidental miracle. 

    Quibbles

    "None. Available in silver and black. I reviewed the silver unit. I found the many controls easy to see and, therefore, suggest the silver chassis if you have old eyes like mine. No remote is available. 

    "If I were pricing the Junior, I would put it at $2500 in a heartbeat! Listening to the new album Chopin The Last Waltz from Ray Kimber and Kimber Kable, the Steinway is alive and expressive with gorgeous clarity. Ray is proud of his first of many LPs, I hope. You will love it on the Junior. 

    Summary

    "The Parasound JC 3 Jr. Phono Preamplifier, the Junior, is a fantastic boon to audiophiles everywhere who love getting the best out of their LPs, but do not have deep pockets. Giving you 2 scoops of a 3 scoop banana split for the cost of a single scoop, you will luxuriate in top-shelf phono pleasure and have some money left over for LPs. I cannot recommend it more emphatically! If you were going to spend about $1500-$2500 on a solid-state phono stage, I’d say that the Junior is your entire short list. It has my full recommendation." - Robert Levi



    Analog Planet: "... On the other hand the bottom end is solid and well-extended and the preamp’s overall tonal balance is refreshingly neutral and very similar to what I noted with the JC3+: “The JC3+’s midrange neutrality and transient cleanliness and its lack of grit, hyper edge definition or on the other side of that divide, softness, challenge the performance of far more expensive preamplifiers.” I’ll stick with that here too as well as with my JC3+ conclusion:

    “It does everything well and its minor acts of omission will not be noticed or missed on the kinds of systems in which it’s likely to be used. In real world priced systems it’s likely to max-out vinyl performance and keep you locked in to listening for years to come.” Overall then, the JC 3 Jr. is not quite as good as the JC3+ but at half the price it comes surprisingly close." - Michael Fremer

     

    Soundstage!: "No doubt about it -- Parasound’s Halo JC 3 Jr. is a heck of a fine phono stage. Its supremely well-balanced, uncolored, musically impartial character makes it unique among its budget-friendly brethren, and its compatibility with all manner of phono cartridges means it will work well and sound great in a wide variety of systems. Moreover, its utter lack of self-noise makes it the quietest phono stage I’ve experienced, regardless of price.

    It’s not perfect. I could do with a bit more lushness to the sound, a little more emotional engagement, perhaps some more fullness and body. But to focus on the things that might make the JC 3 Jr. a little better in my system is to miss the point of this thing entirely: The Halo JC 3 Jr. got out of the music’s way while impressing me with how much refined sound quality is on tap in the recordings I already own. In my experience, surprisingly few “perfectionist” audio components do this well, and fewer still do it for a price as low as the JC 3 Jr.’s. Reviewers’ Choice with a bullet." - Oliver Amnuayphol

     

    FEATURES:

    • Cartridge options for both MM and MC
    • Adjustable gain
    • Variable MC Loading from 50 Ohms to 550 Ohms
    • Mono switch
    • Circuit boards designed by Carl Thompson
    • Balanced and single-ended outputs
    • Convenient 12V turn-on trigger
    • Vampire Brand 24kt Gold-Plated RCA jacks
    • Neutrik Brand Locking XLR Connectors
    • Low-level circuitry housed in isolated sub enclosures

     

    SPECIFICATIONS:

    • RIAA Accuracy within 0.2dB
    • Signal-To-Noise Ration up to 94 dB
    • THD < 0.02%
    • Selectable Gain of 40dB, 50dB, 60dB unbalanced
    • Selectable Gin of 46dB, 56dB, 66dB balanced
    • Torroid Transformer
    • Vishay-Dale resistors in the audio path
    • High-speed, soft-recovery bridge rectifiers

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Parasound Halo JC3 Jr. Phono Preamplifier

$1,495.00 Free Shipping!

Free Shipping!
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Description

 

MY TAKE: We absolutely love the Parasound JC3+ phono preamplifier. So, last year, when Parasound phoned to ask us if there would be interest in a less expensive version, I said HELL YES! So, welcome the JC3 Jr. - Galen Carol


John Curl is an audio legend with over 30 years’ experience designing the very finest sounding phono preamps. He has designed acclaimed phono stage preamps for Vendetta Research, Constellation Audio, Audible Illusions and for Parasound, whose JC3+ is a Stereophile Class A Recommended Component. The JC3 Jr. is his most affordable design… ever!

 

REVIEWS:

Positive Feedback - "Having known the legendary John Curl's work since he did the JC2 Preamplifier for Levinson in 1972, a ground-breaking design for solid-state, and every bit as competitive as the tubed ARC SP-3a-1 of the era, I fearlessly replaced my current mega phono gear, both tube and solid-state, with the Parasound Halo JC 3 Jr. Phono Preamplifier, costing just $1495! I employed cartridges costing 4 to 8 times as much as the Junior, and interconnects that were over triple the cost per meter of the Junior. The BIG surprise came when I tee'd up my reference LPs! But before the punch line, here are the specs and features:

"Two features on the Junior that are only available on phono stages costing much more are the switchable gain stages of 40, 50, and 60dBs of gain in MM or MC mode, and a MC impedance adjustment of 50-550 ohms in a continuously variable control (no stepped detents). According to Editor-in-Chief Robinson, the new PASS Labs Xs Phono Stage at $45,000 has these features, completely stratospheric performance, and provides for three programmable inputs, as well, should you have the bucks and be looking for them. By the way, I tried the outstanding new Grado Epoch MI Phono Cartridge, priced at a retail of $12,000, and found that it sounded best at 47,000 ohms and 50dBs of gain into my E.A.R. 912 Preamplifier, as I dialed in the Junior. Also, with RCA/XLR outputs, I enjoyed running the Junior balanced in my system 2, and single-ended in my system 1. The Junior performed flawlessly in either configuration. As I wrote this paragraph, I was listening to the new Brubeck Time Out from QRP and heard satisfying sophisticated music, as if the Junior had secret tubes on board!

"The Parasound Junior is, without a doubt in my mind, the best under-$2000 solid-state phono stage I have ever heard, or even know about.  I have been unable to recommend an under-$2000 solid-state phono to anyone—until now. Using the Grado Epoch MI, the Stein Music Aventurin V6 Mk2 MC, and the London Reference MI, the Junior performed way beyond its price class. 

"It is dead silent. It is mellifluous. It is sophisticated. It is truly high definition. It yields rock solid imaging and great clarity. It is unflappable and other-worldly flexible. It has no pops or static, even switching every knob with gain up. The mono button on front even changes color when engaged. If the Junior is not trickle-down brilliance from JC's previous designs, then this baby is an accidental miracle. 

Quibbles

"None. Available in silver and black. I reviewed the silver unit. I found the many controls easy to see and, therefore, suggest the silver chassis if you have old eyes like mine. No remote is available. 

"If I were pricing the Junior, I would put it at $2500 in a heartbeat! Listening to the new album Chopin The Last Waltz from Ray Kimber and Kimber Kable, the Steinway is alive and expressive with gorgeous clarity. Ray is proud of his first of many LPs, I hope. You will love it on the Junior. 

Summary

"The Parasound JC 3 Jr. Phono Preamplifier, the Junior, is a fantastic boon to audiophiles everywhere who love getting the best out of their LPs, but do not have deep pockets. Giving you 2 scoops of a 3 scoop banana split for the cost of a single scoop, you will luxuriate in top-shelf phono pleasure and have some money left over for LPs. I cannot recommend it more emphatically! If you were going to spend about $1500-$2500 on a solid-state phono stage, I’d say that the Junior is your entire short list. It has my full recommendation." - Robert Levi



Analog Planet: "... On the other hand the bottom end is solid and well-extended and the preamp’s overall tonal balance is refreshingly neutral and very similar to what I noted with the JC3+: “The JC3+’s midrange neutrality and transient cleanliness and its lack of grit, hyper edge definition or on the other side of that divide, softness, challenge the performance of far more expensive preamplifiers.” I’ll stick with that here too as well as with my JC3+ conclusion:

“It does everything well and its minor acts of omission will not be noticed or missed on the kinds of systems in which it’s likely to be used. In real world priced systems it’s likely to max-out vinyl performance and keep you locked in to listening for years to come.” Overall then, the JC 3 Jr. is not quite as good as the JC3+ but at half the price it comes surprisingly close." - Michael Fremer

 

Soundstage!: "No doubt about it -- Parasound’s Halo JC 3 Jr. is a heck of a fine phono stage. Its supremely well-balanced, uncolored, musically impartial character makes it unique among its budget-friendly brethren, and its compatibility with all manner of phono cartridges means it will work well and sound great in a wide variety of systems. Moreover, its utter lack of self-noise makes it the quietest phono stage I’ve experienced, regardless of price.

It’s not perfect. I could do with a bit more lushness to the sound, a little more emotional engagement, perhaps some more fullness and body. But to focus on the things that might make the JC 3 Jr. a little better in my system is to miss the point of this thing entirely: The Halo JC 3 Jr. got out of the music’s way while impressing me with how much refined sound quality is on tap in the recordings I already own. In my experience, surprisingly few “perfectionist” audio components do this well, and fewer still do it for a price as low as the JC 3 Jr.’s. Reviewers’ Choice with a bullet." - Oliver Amnuayphol

 

FEATURES:

  • Cartridge options for both MM and MC
  • Adjustable gain
  • Variable MC Loading from 50 Ohms to 550 Ohms
  • Mono switch
  • Circuit boards designed by Carl Thompson
  • Balanced and single-ended outputs
  • Convenient 12V turn-on trigger
  • Vampire Brand 24kt Gold-Plated RCA jacks
  • Neutrik Brand Locking XLR Connectors
  • Low-level circuitry housed in isolated sub enclosures

 

SPECIFICATIONS:

  • RIAA Accuracy within 0.2dB
  • Signal-To-Noise Ration up to 94 dB
  • THD < 0.02%
  • Selectable Gain of 40dB, 50dB, 60dB unbalanced
  • Selectable Gin of 46dB, 56dB, 66dB balanced
  • Torroid Transformer
  • Vishay-Dale resistors in the audio path
  • High-speed, soft-recovery bridge rectifiers