Editors' Choice Award Winner 2013 - The Absolute Sound Magazine
"Rhythmically Right" THX Ultra 2-Certified Amp
Parasound's Halo A 23 stereo amplifier combines superior technology, incredible sound, advanced features, and attractive industrial design. With high current Class A/AB amplification, smooth sounding MOSFET drivers, and balanced XLR inputs, it will bring out the best in any source material.
The Absolute Sound magazine honored the A23 with an Editors' Choice Award for 2013. "Parasound's A23 isn't the last word in low-end authority, and it's a bit cool in the midrange, but what it lacks in oomph it makes up for in finesse and pitch definition. Moreover, this reasonably priced amp is musically quite involving," said the magazine.
"It was so rhythmically right," marvels Shane Buettner in The Absolute Sound. "The subtlest aspects of musical timing were always apparent..." According to Buettner, "I was impressed with the A23's resolution, which was really quite astonishing."
Auditioning the Halo A23 power amp and the P3 preamp together, Eric Hetherington writes in December 1, 2004 GoodSound! review, "I found the Parasounds’ sonic virtues to be many and their overall value to be greater than their prices. Good value and good sound: a winning combination!" He concludes, "Anyone seeking a new pre-power pair within the GoodSound! price range owes it to him- or herself to check these out."
The A 23 boasts 125 watts of THX Ultra 2 certified power per channel at 8 ohms and includes an adjustable audio sensitivity trigger as well as a 12-volt trigger for ease of operation with other hi-fi and home theater components. At 4 ohms, the Halo delivers 200 watts per channel, and can also be operated in bridged mono for a power delivery of 400 watts.
Advanced John Curl-Designed Circuitry
The circuitry of the A23 was engineered by legendary audio designer John Curl. Its direct-coupled topology uses no capacitors or inductors in the signal path for pure, uncolored sound. Balanced inputs with discrete circuits and XLR connectors yield dead quiet operation. The complementary JFET input stage and MOSFET drive stage incorporates 12 beta-matched 15 amp, 60 MHz bipolar output transistors for pristine sound. The high-bias "Class A"/"Class AB" operation blends best sound with highest efficiency performance.
The A23's custom-made, high-current power supply is specially designed for exceptionally quiet operation along with ample power for climactic music passages. The 785VA encapsulated toroidal power transformer uses independent secondary windings for each channel along with a 48,000 µF power supply filter capacitance. DC servo and relay protection circuits keep operation safe and reliable. And Parasound backs the A23's reliability with an impressive 10-year warranty for parts and five years for service (US only unfortunately).
No Need for a Remote
The front panel of the A23 looks great even when the unit is turned off. When you switch the Halo on, LEDs display AC-present, channel, and high temperature status. Adjustable signal sensing can be set to automatically power up the A23 when it receives a signal from your preamp or other compatible component (or when it receives a 12-volt trigger command), eliminating the need for yet another wireless remote! The rear panel includes gain controls, heavy-duty 24k gold-plated five-way speaker binding posts, and a ground lift switch that can help eliminate any audible hum caused by the presence of ground loops in your hi-fi or home theater system.
- Circuitry designed by legendary John Curl
- Lucasfilm Home THX Ultra2 certified
- High bias Class A/AB operation
- Balanced inputs with discrete circuits and XLR connectors
- Direct Coupled - no capacitors or inductors in signal path
- Complementary MOSFET driver stage and JFET input stage
- 12 beta-matched 15 amp, 60 MHz bipolar output transistors
- 1 kVA encapsulated toroid power transformer with independent
secondary windings for each channel
- 48,000 µF power supply filter capacitance
- DC Servo and relay protection circuits
- AC present, channel status, high temperature displays
- Heavy-duty 24k gold-plated 5-way speaker binding posts
- Gold-plated RCA input jacks; loop output jacks
- Auto turn-on by 12v trigger or audio signal
- Rear mounted gain controls, ground lift switch
- 2u Chassis, carry handles, rack mountable with HRA2 (sold separately)
- Parasound 5 year parts, 5 years labor warranty (USA only, 3years Australian warranty)
Continuous Power Output
125 watts RMS x 2, 20 Hz - 20 kHz, 8 Ω, both channels driven
225 watts RMS x 2, 20 Hz - 20 kHz, 4 Ω, both channels driven
400 watts RMS x 1, 20 Hz - 20 kHz, 8 Ω
Current Capacity 45 Amperes peak per channel Power Bandwidth 5 Hz - 100kHz, +0/-3dB at 1 watt Total Harmonic Distortion <0.06% at full power IM Distortion: balanced 16v RMS <0.04% Slew Rate 130 V/µsecond Dynamic Headroom 1.5 dB Interchannel Crosstalk 80dB at 1kHz 60dB at 20kHz Input Sensitivity 1 V for 28.28 V, THX Reference Level Input Impedance 33 k Ω S/N Ratio 112, input shorted, IHF A-weighted Damping Factor 800 at 20 Hz Voltage Switchable for 110V - 120V or 220V - 240V Dimensions 44cm w x 11cm h x 34cm d Net Weight 13kg
Australian Hi-Fi, June 2015
"Parasound is one of the very few companies in the world that has a reputation for state-of-the-art sound quality and engineering as well as a reputation for delivering superb value for money, and in looking at this duo, it's easy to see why: buy this pair and you'll be getting an awful lot of power and incredible performance for what, quite frankly, are ridiculously low prices. And that's true no matter whether you buy the P 5, the A 23, or both."
SoundStage, June 2014
"I was surprised by the A 23's clarity, soundstaging, and natural sound. I estimate that the combination of it and Parasound's recently reviewed Halo P 5 preamplifier will result in sound that is unassailable in quality by any other combination of components that can be bought for a like amount. The A 23 sounded surprisingly good from the moment I first turned it on. Several months later, I hated to turn it off for the last time and send it back."
Good Sound, December 2004
"My son began dancing while I played this CD through the Parasound combo (P 3/A 23) - they passed the toe-tapping test with flying colors." "...the Halo A 23 never sounded strained, nor did the sonic picture lose coherence or take on unwanted coloration with the increased volume." "Parasound's Halo P 3 preamplifier and Halo A 23 power amplifier are sexy in appearance, easy to use, and sound solid and satisfying." "Good value and good sound: a winning combination!" - Eric Hetherington
The Absolute Sound, October 2004
Editor's Choice Recommended Product - Power Amplifier under $1,000
Home Cinema Choice (UK), March 2004
"125 Parasound Watts carries a lot more grunt in the real world than a similar number of Watts from most AV amps, as our lab test prove." "...the system is powerful, engaging and very listenable, even when pumping the bass cones as though there was no tomorrow." "Power reserves are high and the whole effect is one of control, good definition and kick ass authority." "...a superb package (C 2, A 52, A 23), whose power and majesty can only be hinted at on the printed page, and tremendous material value for money too. Audition with urgency." 4 1/2 Stars - Alvin Gold
Futurelooks, November 2003
"Each note was reproduced with a distinction, bass extension, and clarity." "The HALO system (P 3/A 23) brought out previously hidden harmonics and details that I never truly heard before, but at the same time, made the track sound a lot more laid back and musical." "Although there are only two speakers attached to this system (P 3/A 23), the three dimensional imaging produced by this system is really outstanding." "Absolutely the best bang for the buck that money can buy." Editor's Choice - Stephen Fung
Stereo (Germany), July 2003
"...darf sich hervorragender Empfangsleistungen rühmen..." - Holger Barske
"...may boast about excellent reception achievements..." - Holger Barske
The Absolute Sound, June 2003
Featured component in Annual Recommended Systems article.
Stereo Times, April 2003
"This amplifier packs a significant wallop, and does so while maintaining a good measure of soundstage composure and truth of timbre." - Greg Petan
Audiorevolution.com, December 2002
"...the soundstage was beautifully overwhelming. I cranked the volume in an inadvertent attempt to involve my neighbors and the A 23 amplifier had no problems keeping up. The soundstage was very full, extending beyond the outside edges of the speakers and left no noticeable holes." "...the sound for stereo music reproduction is better than any A/V receiver I have heard in my system by leaps and bounds." - Brian Kahn
Playboy, December 2002
Playboy's Christmas Gift Guide, featured item: "If you've got it, spend it"
T3 (UK), November 2002
"From the off it sounds both colorful and convincing." " ...more than capable of generating a generous, cohesive and believable sound that doesn't want for ambient detail or atmosphere. It 'cruises' beautifully too; if amps can sound supple and loose-limbed, these ones do." "...effortlessly musical and consistently enjoyable." - David Vivian
Hi-Fi Choice (UK), November 2002
"...it's the Halo style that makes you wonder why other amps at the price aren't this well made." "Beautifully built with even-handed, natural sound. Deep sound stage and bolted-down stereo image." "Looks like high-end electronics, sounds like high-end electronics, priced like mid-fi." - Alan Sircom
The Absolute Sound, November 2002
"...the A 23 made horns sound remarkably lifelike and natural." "...I was impressed with the A 23's resolution..." "This Halo P 3/A 23 combo is the kind of system that should be celebrated as an invitation to participate in high-end audio as a hobby. And it continues Parasound's tradition of giving people more performance for the money than they have any right to expect." - Shane Buettner
Parasound's Halo A 23 stereo amplifier combines superior technology, incredible sound, advanced features, and attractive industrial design. With high ...
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