Para­sound P5 and A23


Australian HIFI - - SOUNDSITES -

Clever! That’s what I cried out once I’d fi­nally got my head around the Swiss Army knife of a com­po­nent that Para­sound has cre­ated with its P5 pre-am­pli­fier. Then I thought to my­self: ‘ Re­ally clever!’ Be­cause although the Para­sound P5 is a fully-fea­tured pream­pli­fier, and a dig­i­tal-to-ana­logue con­verter, and a head­phone am­pli­fier… and a lot more be­sides… it’s also an elec­tronic cross­over, and so far as I know, no-one has pre­vi­ously thought to in­te­grate an elec­tronic cross­over into a pream­pli­fier. And I, per­son­ally, think that do­ing so is an ab­so­lutely won­der­ful idea.


Why do I think in­cor­po­rat­ing an elec­tronic cross­over into a pre-amp is so won­der­ful? Be­cause it means you can use it to pre­vent Dop­pler dis­tor­tion in your main loud­speak­ers and ef­fec­tively in­crease the power-han­dling abil­ity of those speak­ers. And in­so­far as your power am­pli­fier is con­cerned, it can re­duce dis­tor­tion in that am­pli­fier, plus ef­fec­tively give it a far higher dy­namic power rat­ing. You gain all th­ese ad­van­tages by us­ing the elec­tronic cross­over to send all the low fre­quen­cies to a sub­woofer (or in the case of the Para­sound P5, up to two sub­woofers) for am­pli­fi­ca­tion and re­pro­duc­tion, and only the higher fre­quen­cies to your power am­pli­fier and (there­fore) main speak­ers. And yes, I know there are some sub­woofers on sale that al­low you to do this, but most don’t, and of the few sub­woofers that do, not many do it well. Far bet­ter to per­form the cross­over func­tion in the pream­pli­fier sec­tion, as is done here.

So on the back of the P5 you’ll find two cross­over out­puts: a low-pass out­put with a ro­tary con­trol and set­tings at 20Hz, 40Hz, 60Hz, 80Hz, 100Hz, 120Hz and 140Hz, and a high-pass out­put also with set­tings from 20Hz to 140Hz and cal­i­bra­tions at 20Hz in­ter­vals. As­so­ci­ated with both crossovers are slider switches that al­low the crossovers to be by­passed, should you so de­sire.

De­spite my en­thu­si­asm for the idea of in­cor­po­rat­ing an elec­tronic cross­over in the P5, it ap­pears this wasn’t re­ally Para­sound’s pur­pose in so do­ing. Ac­cord­ing to Para­sound’s long-serv­ing CEO, Richard Schram, the ac­tual rea­son was: ‘ to of­fer a true au­dio­phile two-chan-

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