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#394437 - 06/22/13 07:33 AM Parasound HCA-1203A Amp
Shawzy44 Offline

Registered: 10/24/12
Posts: 2
I have a pair of M80's and a VP150 powered by a Denon 2809CI. I am looking for a bit more power. I came across an inexpensive older (early 2000's I think) Parasound HCA-1203A Amplifier.

Does Parasound make quality amps? Would there be much downside to using an older amp? The price is tempting @ $250.

Any thoughts or comments on this setup?


#394438 - 06/22/13 08:24 AM Re: Parasound HCA-1203A Amp [Re: Shawzy44]
dakkon Offline

Registered: 02/08/04
Posts: 1846
yes, Parasound makes good quality stuff. There wouldn't be a down side, if anything that amp would be built WAY better than anything current you could buy for that price...

I am currently using 2 amps built in the 90's.. Keep in mind, as time progresses companies are looking to increase profit margins. Often times this comes in the form of lower over all quality... The amps that i have from the 90's are built like freaking tanks, and will last a life time.. They may need a little servicing every couple of decades.. But, big deal.

I would say the same would be true for the HCA-1203A. most likely built like a tank, and will be something you could pass on, should you so choose to.

#394443 - 06/22/13 09:28 AM Re: Parasound HCA-1203A Amp [Re: Shawzy44]
SirQuack Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 01/29/04
Posts: 13353
Loc: Iowa
That would be a decent amp, but keep in mind you will only be getting a "bit more power" as you say, and probably won't notice any difference. The 2809ci is rated accurately at 115 watts into 8ohms, compared to the 140 watts into 8ohms of the 1203A.

You are only gaining 25 watts. Keep in mind if you were doubling your watts from 115 to 230, you would only be gaining 3dBs in output, so 25 watts is nothing.

If your looking for a noticeable difference you need a much bigger amp, but depending on your room size and how loud you play, you might just be throwing money away.

That is a good price though.
M80s-VP180-QS8s-EP600-2xEP350 Denon3808 Outlaw7700
Audio Nirvana

#394454 - 06/22/13 12:30 PM Re: Parasound HCA-1203A Amp [Re: Shawzy44]
exlabdriver Offline

Registered: 09/07/11
Posts: 1149
Makes my 35 W/Ch Tube Amp seem almost pathetic but it fills the room nicely. Mind you, the twin 500 W/Ch amps in my EP400s more than make up for it.

Great for music but probably not for HT...


#394471 - 06/22/13 09:51 PM Re: Parasound HCA-1203A Amp [Re: Shawzy44]
JohnK Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/11/02
Posts: 10437
Kevin, as Randy pointed out, this is literally just a "bit more" of a theoretical maximum which may never be needed. The difference between 115 watts and 140 watts is only about 0.8 dB in maximum loudness. For example, if a brief peak can now be played at 107 dB, it could instead be played at 107.8 dB, an insignificant difference.

Your receiver is already capable of clean amplification at beyond safe listening levels and no price should be "tempting" if the purchase wouldn't bring real benefits.

Enjoy the music, not the equipment.

#394521 - 06/24/13 12:27 PM Re: Parasound HCA-1203A Amp [Re: Shawzy44]
cohesion Offline

Registered: 03/27/12
Posts: 219
Loc: Maple, Ontario, Canada
I have a Parasound HCA2003A which I am using to drive my VP180 and surrounds. It was a big upgrade compared to the internal amps in my older Denon receiver.


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