For nearly two decades, the Parasound Halo JC 1 monoblock power amplifier, designed by the legendary John Curl, was Parasound’s flagship product.

A five-year effort by Curl and Parasound, and sweeping circuit improvements, have resulted in the new Parasound Halo JC 1+ monoblock amplifier. With 450 watts into 8 ohms, 850 watts into 4 ohms, 1300 watts into 2 ohms, and a peak current of 180 amperes, the JC 1+ will even work with speakers that can dip to 1 ohm. It operates in pure Class A up to 25 Watts and Class AB to full power, reflecting Curl’s attention to detail and sound quality.

Monoblock Power Amplifier

“In early 2003, the JC 1 was an immediate success,” said Richard Schram, Parasound’s president. “We couldn’t imagine how to improve it. I was surprised and excited when John called me in early 2014 to discuss his ideas for a new amplifier that would significantly outperform the JC 1. During 2015 and 2016 we built numerous prototypes to confirm Curl’s theories, and the sonic improvements he’d predicted. The results were outstanding. We decided to create a new amplifier to honor the JC 1’s legendary reputation. The JC 1+ is a technological masterpiece, raising the bar for amplifier performance and value for years to come.”

At 83 pounds, the new JC 1+ is 30 percent heavier than the JC 1. Its new power transformer has 20 percent higher capacity, while additional Nichicon power-supply filter capacitors increase from 132,000 uF to 198,000 uF. The new amp boasts 24 Sanken 15A/230V output transistors compared to 18 — a 33 percent peak current increase.

Noise Filtering

The Parasound Halo JC 1+ is remarkably quiet and is the first commercially built product to employ active high-frequency noise filtering with Bybee Music Rails™, eliminating input stage noise that compromises sound quality. Curl’s newly-designed driver stage employs a cascode circuit with greater open-loop bandwidth and increased linearity. In another first for the JC 1+, the input and driver stages reside on FR-408 printed circuit board material. Until now FR408 was used in super-computer and aerospace applications. The input-stage power supply is totally independent from the main power supply. Its R-core transformer isolates sensitive circuitry from high-frequency power line noise. This input stage power supply employs quiet high speed/soft recovery diodes and 22,400 uF filter capacitance, to deliver +/- 112 VDC rail voltage, virtually eliminating distortion. Premium Wilson Audio REL capacitors use a proprietary design, which resists micro vibrations that typically degrade the sound quality of other caps. The addition of an XLR Loop Out as well as a 12V-trigger/delayed-turn-on improve the connectivity and utility when multiple JC 1+s are used in bi, tri, and quad amp configurations.

Connections

Parasound’s Halo JC 1+ has a fast-start bias circuit. A bias level selector switch enables cooler operation, with virtually no performance compromise. To optimize performance with high gain preamps and high sensitivity speakers, a two-position toggle switch selects 23dB or 29dB gain.

Premium Neutrik balanced locking XLR connectors, and Vampire unbalanced RCA output connectors facilitate bi-amping. Rugged Parasound-designed CHK Infinium speaker terminals accept spade lugs up to 16mm wide, banana plugs, and 5-AWG bare speaker wire. The front panel design matches the updated Halo family appearance.

Price And Availability

The Parasound Halo JC 1+ power amplifier, in black or silver finish, will be available from authorized Parasound dealers in Q1, 2020, with a USA retail price of $8,495 each.

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