True Monoblock Design
The JC 1's true monoblock design, which dedicates a totally separate amplifier to each channel of your A/V system, provides the absolute pinnacle of channel separation. The sound is so clean, so well-defined, and so true, you will suddenly hear music you have never heard before on even your most familiar CDs and DVD movie soundtracks.
The JC 1 is the culmination of many years of design and modification of Parasound's best power amplifiers. Parasound, John Curl, and CTC Builders collaborated in the design of JC 1 to create a new standard of elegance, sonic precision and value. THX Ultra 2 certification by Lucasfilm, Ltd., ensures ultra-realistic reproduction of movie soundtracks for heart-stopping film scores and special effects.
"No matter what the dynamic demands were called for by the music, no subtleties were sacrificed; the resulting performance was extended, smooth, and relaxed," reports Arnie Goodman in Volume 11, Issue 2 of The Audiophile Voice. "The JC 1 always sounded completely in control and provided luxuriant detail. Its ability to replicate every nuance of the musical performance was a joy to hear."
The JC 1 provides 400 watts into 8 ohms with 135 amps of peak current. Its 25 watts of pure Class A power is user-switchable to 10 watts of Class A power when heat dissipation is a concern. Other features include balanced XLR or unbalanced RCA connectors, a 12v trigger, an audio sensitivity trigger, adjustable turn-on delay, and a ground lift switch. Advanced circuitry, premier parts selection, unequaled sound quality, and stunning design are bound to make this amplifier a legend in its own time.
Powerful J-FET and MOSFET Circuitry
The JC 1 design is based on a complementary differential J-FET input stage followed by two stages of selected push-pull MOSFETs, ultimately driving nine pairs of the most powerful complementary bipolar power transistors that are available today. This gives 400 watts into 8 ohms, 800 watts into 4 ohms, and 1200 watts into 2 ohms without compromise.
Superior Parts Quality
The JC 1 breaks new ground in parts quality. Its construction includes Vampire Direct gold-plated OFC RCA jacks, Neutrik XLR connectors, reliable RT DC bypass and Zobel capacitors, Superior Electric binding posts, Vampire continuous cast copper signal and DC wiring, Nichicon Great Supply raw DC capacitors (132,000uF in the high current supply), Nichicon Muse DC and local bypass capacitors, Harris hyperfast soft recovery diodes for all bridge rectifiers, and Sanken output transistors.
Meticulous Circuit Board Design
Circuit functions are divided between four separate, carefully oriented circuit boards (and associated wiring) to minimize unwanted circuit interactions. Overall system signal flow was developed in concert with the board layout with special emphasis on overall system grounding. Boards underwent many layout iterations both to optimize manufacturability and performance. The final main board can handle double the very substantial current of which the JC 1 is capable. This required very wide matched circuit paths in 2-oz. copper on both sides of the board for critical nodes.
A Mammoth Power Supply
Thanks to independent power supplies for the input, driver and output stages, the JC 1 is extraordinarily difficult to stress. Audible strain due to layout-generated resistance is vanishingly small. Part of the reason for such a beefy layout is the mammoth power supply with a 1.9 kVA encapsulated toroidal power transformer, which required fitting four very large filter capacitors plus the separate input stage power supply on the main circuit board. The power supply uses 18,000 ÂµF filters for driver stage and 132,000 ÂµF Nichicon "Gold Tune" filters for output stage. The separate dedicated input board is thus more immune to power supply noise and from circuit noise in the separate auto turn on control board. The JC 1 input board mounts directly on the back panel for minimum input and input select wiring length. The layout is absolutely symmetrical with the shortest possible signal path. Here too, there's an emphasis on minimum resistance to reduce unwanted circuit interactions.
Other features include DC Servo and relay protection circuits, auto turn-on by 12v trigger or audio signal trigger, a ground lift switch with adjustable turn-on delay, and a premium detachable AWG 12 power cord with silver solder.
"Best of Breed"
"If you are a quester on the path toward the finest sound you can personally own, then you must consider owning John Curl's latest JC 1 amplifier," urges Max Dudious in Positive Feedback Online. "It has those 'magic' qualities that differentiate the best of breed from the also-rans."
"It took but a few seconds for me to absolutely fall in love with the Halo JC 1," confesses Stereophile's Michael Fremer, who concludes: "A bargain, and highly recommended."
"I have nothing but the highest regard for this product and I recommend it wholeheartedly," observes Arnie Goodman in The Audiophile Voice.
Ownerâs Manual (1.3mb PDF)
Premier monaural amplifier Circuitry designed by legendary John Curl and CTC Builder Ultra-high bias Class A/AB operation Exclusive two position bias level adjustment Balanced inputs with discrete circuits and XLR connectors Vampire Direct gold-plated OFC RCA input Dual heavy-duty 24k gold-plated 5-way speaker binding posts Direct Coupled - no capacitors or inductors in signal path Complementary MOSFET driver stage and JFET input stage 18 beta-matched 15 amp, 60 MHz bipolar output transistors 1.9 kVA encapsulated toroid power transformer Independent power supplies for input, driver and output stages 18,000 ÂµF filters for driver stage 132,000 ÂµF Nichicon Gold Tune filters for output stage DC Servo and relay protection circuits REL and Nichicon Muse capacitors Harris hyper-fast soft recovery diodes for all bridge rectifiers Auto turn-on by 12v trigger or audio signal trigger Ground lift switch , adjustable turn-on delay 4u Chassis with rear carry handles, rack mounting kit included Premium detachable AWG 12 power cord with silver solder THX Ultra2 certified Parasound 5 year parts, 5 years labor warranty (For USA and Canada purchases only)
HomeTheaterReview.com, December 2009
When Parasound announced it was releasing a line of products with legendary designer John Curl under the moniker Halo, the press release alone was spank material. At the top of the product line sat the JC1 monaural amplifier, named after the man responsible for bringing it into existence, John Curl. The JC1, when it was released, ranked among the most coveted pieces of audio gear in history and remains on that list to this day. However, unlike most coveted pieces of audiophilia, the JC1 was hugely affordable at $6,000 per pair, which meant that many audiophiles could actually own a piece of audio history, as opposed to just reading about it.
John Curl's mesterverk - June, 2006
International Review (Norway)
The Absolute Sound, October 2004
Editor's Choice Recommended Product - Power Amplifier $5,000 to $10,000
Stereophile, October 2004
Class A Recommended Component - "...the sound wasn't strained in any way, and there was an overall sense of ease. Dynamic ease. Listening ease. Just ease." "Tonally, the Parasounds were magnificent... with no trace of solid state hardness."
Secrets of Home Theater and High Fidelity, August 2004
"The bass on the JC 1s is state of the art, riveting, jaw dropping." "Listening to the Parasound Halo JC 1 monoblocks is a thrilling experience. I could go on for days praising their bass slam, transparency, immediacy, and brilliance." "In three words: they are fabulous." - Jason Victor Serinus
That's Life! Entertainment Magazine, August 2004
"The JC 1's have an uncanny ability to reach out an touch you with their sound while at the same time enveloping you in a sense of the recording space." - Joe Shanaphy
2003 Amplifier of the Year, Stereophile
HiFi News (UK), January 2004
"...incredibly effortless and natural." "This amplifier certainly held me captivated and entertained, drawing me into the music." "If you want to lose yourself in the music, there are precious few components as good as the JC 1." - David Allcock
Stereophile, December 2003
Sam's Product of the Year "Before you blow $10k-$20k or more on some amps that were recommended by a reviewer who didn't buy them, give a listen to the Parasounds, which this reviewer did purchase." "Don't buy an amp without hearing these, even if you can't afford them." - Sam Tellig
EnjoytheMusic.com, November 2003
"Beautiful Brutes." "The JC 1s rank with the best amplifiers I have heard in recreating a multideminsional sound field." "They pump out seemingly effortless power no matter how insanely loud I push them, with never any sense of strain such as you hear when an amplifier is running out of gas." "The JC 1s are also capable of wondrous delicacy, and the kind of transparency that makes you feel that you're hearing every instrument, every voice, but never at the expense of the musical whole." "To be able to buy these robust, delicate, emotionally involving, brilliantly conceived and executed music recreators for $6,000 seems to me little short of a miracle." - Wayne Donnelly
Positive Feedback, August 2003
"...Parasound's Halo JC 1 amplifier, is among the most precisely nuanced amplifiers I know, able to draw the slightest and most delicate of musical expressions, to make the subtlest distinctions. It can also rock you, like your back ain't got no bone, 'cuz it's a brute. It is the amp for all seasons." "It has the ability to produce a believable facsimile of spaciousness, that 3-D sound-staging that makes the illusion of space between the instruments nearly tangible; the ability to produce timbral, harmonic, and dynamic accuracy that results in what we call 'inner detail'; the ability to produce delicate refined purity of tone one moment, and then bowl you over with A BIG WALL OF SOUND the next." "...these amps are truly outstanding, among the best I've ever heard, and the best I've had in my system." - Max Dudious
The Absolute Sound, June 2003
"...I was impressed with the remarkable speed, clarity, transparency, and focus of these amps straight out of the box." "The high frequencies were to-die-for silky smooth, crystal clear, and abundantly detailed. The kind you could listen to all day long without fatigue." "There wasn't anything that didn't sound great on the JC 1." "I was left with an ear-to-ear grin on my face that lasted the rest of the week." - Sue Kraft
Fidelity (Norway), May 2003
Stereophile, April 2003
Class A Recommended Component - "...ultra-wide bandwidth, high-current capability, low, low noise, a high S/N ratio, and a fast slew rate, among many other indicators of outstanding amplifier performance." "There was an honesty to the overall tonal and harmonic presentation that transcended technological stereotypes." "The Halo JC 1 is not only the best amplifier to come from Parasound, it ranks up there with the best high-end heavyweights." "Rocks for sure."
Stereophile, February 2003
"It took but a few seconds for me to absolutely fall in love with the Halo JC 1." "Powerful, refined, smooth, organized, dynamic, transparent, and rhythmically supple, the JC 1 offered a combination of attributes that added up to many weeks of listening pleasure. I'd be happy to have it go on indefinitely - as, no doubt, will many of you." - Michael Fremer
Bound for Sound, #149
"Clean, clean, clean." " I've heard $30,000 power amps not sound so nearly perfect." - Martin DeWulf
Continuous power output, 20Hz - 20 kHz: 400 watts RMS x 1, 8 Î© 800 watts RMS x 1, 4 Î© 1200 watts RMS x 1, 2 Î© Class A power output, 20Hz - 20 kHz: 25 watts, bias set to high, 8 Î© 10 watts, bias set to low, 8 Î© Current capacity: 135 amperes peak Power bandwidth: 2 Hz - 120 kHz, +0/-3 dB at 1 watt Total harmonic distortion: < 0.15 % at full power IM distortion: balanced 16 V rms < 0.03 % Slew rate: > 130 V/Âµsecond Dynamic headroom: > 1.8 dB Input sensitivity: 1 V for 28.28 V, THX Reference Level Input impedance: 100 k Î© S/N ratio: >120 dB, IHF A-weighted, bias set to high >122 dB, IHF A-weighted, bias set to low Damping factor: > 1200 at 20 Hz Power Requirement : 250 watts idle 1280 watts full power into 4 Î© DC trigger output capacity : +12 Vdc, 150 mA Dimensions: 17-1/4" w x 7-5/8" h x 20 " d, 7 " h without feet Net weight: 64 lb.