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KjetilA
February 25, 2017, 11:33 AM
I'm currently looking to replace my parasound hint. The hint is a wonderful integrert amp, but on my speakers (kef reference 201/2) the vocals are somewhat back in the soundstage. So my "dealer" are recomending Bel Canto DAC 2.7 as both pre/dac and a ref500s as the poweramp. Anybody have any experience with both or either of them?

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kzhtoo
February 25, 2017, 12:03 PM
Welcome, KjetilA.

sheltie1
February 25, 2017, 09:44 PM
Yes...I'm a BC dealer. Will you have the chance to try them out to see what difference they make over the Parasound?

Both are fantastic pieces of gear at their price points.

KjetilA
February 26, 2017, 03:06 AM
Hi! ☺️
Well, kind of. My deal is that if I don't like them I can return them and we will try to find another solution. But I hope I don't have to because i then would have to send it back by mail since the store is a 5 hour driving away from me.

Have you tested bel canto against parasound?

And how would you describe the icepower compared to the todays standard of class D amplifiers?

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Mechnutt
February 26, 2017, 06:21 PM
You may want to just try an external DAC with the Parasound and see if it fixes what you don't like about it.

I own a Parasound A21. And it is entirely different sound than Bel Canto.

KjetilA
March 1, 2017, 06:25 PM
Could you try to describe the difference?

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audio.bill
March 1, 2017, 08:36 PM
Regarding Bel Canto amps their newest Ref600M mono amps are in an entirely different league of performance compared to their previous series which used the B&O ICE power modules. They're much more relaxed and refined with a higher degree of musicality compared to their earlier efforts.

KjetilA
March 2, 2017, 07:17 AM
Ok, but two of those cost four times more than the 500s. The question is, will I get a noticable upgrade in sound from what the parasound hint is able to deliver if I upgrade my system and replace it with dac 2.7 and ref500s?

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sheltie1
March 2, 2017, 09:23 AM
Ok, but two of those cost four times more than the 500s. The question is, will I get a noticable upgrade in sound from what the parasound hint is able to deliver if I upgrade my system and replace it with dac 2.7 and ref500s?

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That's really a hard question to answer....and ultimately only you would be able to answer it by listening in your system. There are likely very few members on the board that's had the chance to compare the two options back to back.

I've heard the 2.7 and 500's a lot, but I've not really spent much time with the Parasound.

Audioseduction
March 2, 2017, 08:36 PM
I sure love the way my DAC3.7, Pass Labs XP-20 pre & XA160.5 monoblocks sound!!!

sheltie1
March 3, 2017, 08:38 AM
I sure love the way my DAC3.7, Pass Labs XP-20 pre & XA160.5 monoblocks sound!!!

The 3.7 and REFLink are a fantastic combo!

KjetilA
March 4, 2017, 03:59 PM
I've heard the 2.7 and 500's a lot, but I've not really spent much time with the Parasound.

Have you heard them both together? How would you rate them? Have you tried the dac 2.7 as a preamp, and if so, what did you think?

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Mechnutt
March 7, 2017, 09:36 PM
Could you try to describe the difference?

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The Parasound A21 is a great amp in its price range. But it has some drawbacks. It has just a bit of grain to the high end. It could use more air and transparency. And it could use a bit more detail. It has brute force power. Bass is fast and well controlled. It can sound a bit etched at times. If specs told the whole story, this would one fabulous amp but spec's aren't everything. That being said, I still own one but I am letting my son use it as I have replaced it with a Pass amp.


The Bel Canto's that I heard a little over a year ago, are more transparent with more air and larger sound stage. They were more refined. They were smoother or more liquid sounding from what I remember.

KjetilA
April 23, 2017, 03:42 AM
An update regarding the Bel Cantos. I have tested DAC 2.7 and ref500s, but they did not do it for me (and my system) so I sendt them back to the dealer. I just could not hear the major "lift" in the music that was promised by the seller, and could certainly not justify using over 6000$ on them.

Mr Peabody
April 24, 2017, 11:17 AM
Are you needing the DAC? My friend is a KEF dealer, one of the best combo I heard with the LS50 was them driven by a Cary SLY-80 integrated. Hagel has a decent integrated around $5800 but I can't remember if it includes DAC, the Cary does not. You might look at an Audio Alchemy set up, still Class D but some of the best I've heard at an affordable price, open, musical & smooth. In my opinion, the KEF need a true neutral to warm sounding amp, if to the other side of neutral or any grain/harshness the KEF will show it and will drive you crazy, or me crazy anyway :) But if you were willing to spend $6k it gives a lot of options.

GSOphile
April 24, 2017, 11:55 AM
Are you needing the DAC? My friend is a KEF dealer, one of the best combo I heard with the LS50 was them driven by a Cary SLY-80 integrated. Hagel has a decent integrated around $5800 but I can't remember if it includes DAC, the Cary does not. You might look at an Audio Alchemy set up, still Class D but some of the best I've heard at an affordable price, open, musical & smooth. In my opinion, the KEF need a true neutral to warm sounding amp, if to the other side of neutral or any grain/harshness the KEF will show it and will drive you crazy, or me crazy anyway :) But if you were willing to spend $6k it gives a lot of options.
The Hegel H360 does include a good DAC.

hifinutt
May 6, 2017, 03:17 PM
I'm currently looking to replace my parasound hint. The hint is a wonderful integrert amp, but on my speakers (kef reference 201/2) the vocals are somewhat back in the soundstage. So my "dealer" are recomending Bel Canto DAC 2.7 as both pre/dac and a ref500s as the poweramp. Anybody have any experience with both or either of them?

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it drives me bonkers when dealers recommend using the dacs as pre amps !!! yes they have volume controls and yes they sound ok as pre amps . BUT they sound HUGELY better with a good pre amp. I have used bel canto stuff for many years and many times have tried my bc 3.5vbs into my class A power amp [msb] . it sounds detailed but it lacks musicality .

just add an arc pre or a modwright or any pre for that matter and you will get a huge uplift in musicality , soundstage and enjoyment

Mike
May 6, 2017, 03:21 PM
it drives me bonkers when dealers recommend using the dacs as pre amps !!! yes they have volume controls and yes they sound ok as pre amps . BUT they sound HUGELY better with a good pre amp. I have used bel canto stuff for many years and many times have tried my bc 3.5vbs into my class A power amp [msb] . it sounds detailed but it lacks musicality .

just add an arc pre or a modwright or any pre for that matter and you will get a huge uplift in musicality , soundstage and enjoyment

This dealer doesn't. No substitute for a good preamp.


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hifinutt
May 6, 2017, 03:24 PM
brilliant , good to hear . don`t get me wrong BC make fantastic stuff . practically every component I have had has had to be repaired but in over 10 years of ownership NOTHING has gone wrong with any of my bc stuff [ currently fm1, vbs , dac3.5]