Parasound Halo JC 2 BP Stereo Preamplifier

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Priced from $7,995.00

All Analogue Reference Quality Line Level Preamplifier

Balanced XLR & Single Ended RCA Inputs & Outputs

Home Theatre Bypass, Full Function Remote Control

Dual Mono Circuit Layout, High Capacity R-Core Power Transformer

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About The Parasound JC 2 BP Stereo Preamplifier

The Parasound JC 2 BP stereo preamplifier is considered by many to be one of the best preamps on the planet and one that you don’t have to be a millionaire to afford.

The Halo JC 2 BP is a pure analogue preamplifier that is the product of pure genius. Famed designer John Curl created the JC 2 BP to be Parasound's next legend. The design team achieves an amazing 116 dB signal-to-noise ratio with the JC 2 BP by isolating its dual-mono audio circuits from the power supply by placing them behind noise-killing 9.5mm (3/8") thick shields. Balanced inputs and outputs -- featuring Neutrik XLR connectors - a switchable polarity invert, and a full-function wireless remote control all contribute to the affordable luxury of owning a Halo JC 2.

Parasound Halo JC2BP Stereo Preamplifier Internal

Parasound originally released the JC 2 more than ten years ago and it was widely praised as being one of the best preamps on the planet. In fact it was awarded ‘Best Solid-State Preamp’ & ‘Product Of The Year’ by The Absolute Sound magazine.

However, Parasound underestimated how many enthusiasts would want to use the JC 2 in a blended stereo-surround system. So, they researched the most transparent way to add a home theatre bypass to the JC 2 and the result is the JC 2 BP (ByPass). In usual Parasound style the JC 2 BP incorporates the addition of home theatre bypass seamlessly and with no compromises and all the other specifications and the sound quality are identical to the JC 2. The Absolute Sound magazine liked the new JC 2 BP so much they gave it an Editors’ Choice Award in 2019.

Home Theatre Bypass: The JC 2 BP is identical to the original JC 2 stereo preamplifier, with the addition of a home theatre Bypass function. The Bypass function enables your surround system’s left and right front speakers and their power amplifier to do double duty as the left and right channels of an analogue stereo system.

The JC 2 BP lets you bypasses its master volume control and the left and right channel gain controls. Fixed resistors set the signal level at its output jacks for 'unity gain.' This means the signal level at the JC 2 BP output jacks is exactly the same as the signal level at its input jacks so you won’t need to re-calibrate the speaker levels in your surround system. The JC 2 BP Bypass function operates with both its unbalanced and its balanced inputs and outputs. The Bypass function does require the JC 2 BP to be powered on, since the bypass circuit is active.

Simply connect the JC 2 BP between your surround processor or receiver’s left and right channel line level output jacks and the input jacks on the power amplifier which drives your left and right front speakers. Your stereo analogue sources will connect to the JC 2 BP so you can listen to your favourite music without compromises to analogue purity that are inevitable when digital processing circuitry is in the same chassis.

When you want to watch movies with digital surround simply press a button on the JC 2 BP’s new remote control and the left and right front channel signals from your surround processor or receiver will pass through the JC 2 BP as if it wasn’t even there. Enjoy the best of both worlds with perfect analogue stereo and a seamless transition to digital surround.

The Quietest Preamp Ever: From the beginning, Parasound made quiet operation a priority of the JC 2 BP. In fact, the company wanted this to be the quietest preamp that you can buy – at any price. Instead of relying on a toroidal transformer, which is typically found in quality AV components, the design team opted for a high capacity R-core audio power transformer and inductor with additional filters and special low-ESR capacitors. Unlike a toroidal transformer, this premium technology does not pass noise through to the rest of the circuitry, contributing to the JC 2's dead-quiet operation.

The heavily regulated dual-mono power supply boasts hyper-fast soft recovery audio bridge rectifiers diodes. And there's an independent power supply for controller, relay coils, triggers, and LEDs, an approach with keeps the preamps 'housekeeping' circuits well out of the audio chain.

Dual-mono left and right channel circuit boards minimize crosstalk. The direct DC servo-coupled design uses no capacitors in the signal path. The premium four-gang motor-driven analogue master volume control uses separate TKD brand analogue gain controls for L and R channels.

Balanced & Unbalanced Input Switching: The JC 2 BP includes six pairs of unbalanced RCA line-level audio input jacks. Two input pairs can be switched to XLR balanced connectors. There's an independent balanced/unbalanced select for the left and right channel, and each channel's input is switched by its own gold-on-silver contact relay.

Hand-Picked, No-Compromise Parts: Every section of the JC 2 BP uses premium internal components that were specifically chosen for specific functions in specific areas. These include hand-matched, complementary input-stage and output-stage FETs, Vampire brand 24k gold-plated RCA jacks, Neutrik brand premium XLR connectors, and Canare brand internal wiring. The rear panel of the JC 2 BP is made of aluminium, for less magnetic impact on the ground plane and the signal jacks. And speaking of those connections, all grounding for the JC 2 BP's inputs is completely isolated from all grounding for the outputs.

System Integration: The included wireless remote controls all functions using discrete IR codes. A two-way RS-232 serial port connection and 12-volt trigger systems allows for easy system integration. Four 12v trigger output jacks allow for power amp auto turn-on. Two 12v trigger jacks are switched by the remote, and two 12v trigger jacks are live when the JC 2 BP is turned on.

The Legacy Of John Curl: The JC 2 BP features circuitry designed by John Curl, a legend in audio engineering. He started his career in the 1970s, designing tape and video recorders at Ampex, and he had a hand in building the Grateful Dead's Wall of Sound. Curl has worked with Parasound since 1989, designing all of their high-power amplifiers and more.

Parasound JC 2 BP Reviews

The JC 2 BP won an Editors' Choice Award 2019 from The Absolute Sound magazine, which noted, "The JC 2 BP is that extreme rarity – a near-reference-quality product that many of us can afford. Neutral and natural, transparent-to-sources, quick and highly detailed…" It also said "The new JC-2 lives up to its legendary forebear, offering outstanding neutrality, very low noise, high resolution of inner detail, excellent timbre and texture, excellent large-scale and small-scale dynamics, and a surprisingly large taste of the air and bloom that only tube preamps used to own." The Absolute Sound Magazine also honoured the Parasound JC 2 with a "Product of the Year Award". "This is a terrific linestage preamp that would be a Product of the Year in any year."

"The JC-2 allows music to emerge intact - with body, bloom, and dynamics, with definition and detail - from an utterly silent background. My guess is that the Parasound Halo JC-2 can compete successfully against preamps, solid-state or tubed, that sell for twice the price - or more," reported Sam Tellig in Stereophile who wondered if it might be the quietest preamplifier ever built. "Like the JC-1, the JC-2 is up there with the best of them, but down to earth in price."

"The JC 1 / JC 2 combo produces a remarkably detailed and shockingly realistic sound," marvels Steve Guttenberg in Home Entertainment magazine. "If you are new to high-end audio, Parasound’s JC 1 / JC 2 combination is a great place to start."

"I can vouch for the results," says Alan Taffel about the ultra-quiet design in his report on the CES show for AVguide.com. "In one of the simplest but most effective demos of the show, I placed my ear directly against the driver of a speaker being fed by a JC 2/JC 1 combo set at maximum volume. I could hear absolutely nothing."

About Parasound

In the complicated landscape of audio, many companies, particularly in the USA, put stratospheric price tags on great performance.  Parasound have a different philosophy with an aim to offer the most performance for the money by finding the sweetest spot between price and diminishing returns. If you're reading this then you are undoubtedly a music lover and audio enthusiast and should be interested in looking for top-tier sound without breaking the bank and this is why you need to seriously listen to Parasound products. Everything they do at Parasound is customer-centric because that's how they define value. Every time another expert compares a Parasound product to equipment that costs significantly more, Parasound has equalled or even surpassed the competitor.

Each new model is tested, improved and re-tested under worst-case conditions. It comes to market only when it is a finished product that's ready to stand the test of time. Parasound was founded not just on engineering expertise, but also 15 years of experience in retail audio. It may be a cliché, but they really do treat their customers the way they would like to be treated. And that includes Audio Trends and their customers here in Victoria, Australia. A long list of companies like Pixar and Sony, for whom money is no object, choose Parasound. Every Parasound products has the same chance of going to your home as it does to Lucasfilm or Capitol Records. When you choose Parasound you're getting uncompromised quality for every model. They all use the best parts and each must pass their strictest quality assurance. Come and see and hear why we love them.

Our Take On The Parasound JC 2 BP

It’s hard to top some of the amazing review snippets mentioned above but it’s not until you actually hear the JC 2 BP that you start to understand what the next level in transparency is all about. Of course, that is completely irrelevant if you don’t have ancillaries to match so the starting point for a suitable power amp would have to be the Parasound JC 5 and the ideal companions, a pair of JC 1 Plus’s. Then look for a high class analogue or digital source, revealing cables and a pair of speakers that won’t hide the truth and you might be approaching the zenith of sound reproduction in the home without going anywhere near the kind of money normally required to achieve it. This preamp might seem expensive at first glance but when you realise the level it’s playing at it starts to look like something of a bargain. If you have the wherewithal, just buy it.

Main Features & Specifications

  • Design: Dual Monaural Preamplifier with analogue inputs to handle a variety of line level music sources
  • High-Capacity R-core audio power transformer and inductor
  • Frequency Response: 5 Hz - 100 kHz
  • Signal To Noise Ratio: 104 dB
  • Total Harmonic Distortion: 0.003% at 100 Hz
  • Dual-Mono left and right channel circuit boards minimize crosstalk
  • Remote Control
  • Home Theatre Bypass lets you connect the JC 2 BP in line between your home theatre receiver or processor and your power amp
    • Lets your main left and right speakers play stereo music as well as home theatre sound
    • Can be assigned to any input
    • Easy switching for bypass mode on remote control

Connections

  • 6 Pair of Unbalanced RCA line-level audio input jacks
    • 2 input pairs can be switched to XLR balanced connectors
    • No Dedicated Phono Input — to connect turntable you will need a phono preamp
    • Independent Balanced/Unbalanced select for the left and right channel inputs
  • 4 Pair of Outputs with specialized functions:
    • 1 Main output jack pair is balanced XLR, polarity is switched by remote
    • 1 Main output jack pair is unbalanced RCA, polarity is switched by remote
    • 1 Output jack pair is unbalanced RCA, inverted polarity only
    • 1 Output pair is unbalanced RCA, normal polarity, fixed level for recorders
    • Switchable Polarity allows optimum sound with any amplifier, and better clarity with some recordings
  • Rear Panel 3.5mm IR repeater input and loop out jacks (x2)
  • RS-232C port for connection to 3rd-party home automation systems

Other Features

  • Available Finishes: Black or Silver
  • Dimensions (WxHxD): 437 x 150 x 406mm (133mm high without feet - 3U rack spaces)
  • Net Weight: 11kg
  • Manufacturer’s Warranty: 3 years

Note: Features & Specifications Subject To Change Without Notice. E&OE

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