Parasound is best known for its high-value, high-end audio components, especially the top-tier models designed by John Curl. The man has had a long relationship with Parasound, but before that he crafted the legendary Vendetta phono preamplifier, worked for the Mark Levinson company and designed concert sound systems for the Grateful Dead. The new Parasound Halo HINT 6 integrated amplifier is in Curl’s tradition, it sells for $2,995 in the US, £3,295 in the UK, and AU$5,995 in Australia. This amplifier pumps out 160 watts per channel for 8-ohm speakers, 240 watts per channel for 4-ohm speakers, and it’s based on John Curl’s designs used in Parasound’s separate power amplifiers. Up front, the solid aluminum volume knob sits next to an easy-to-read display that shows volume level from 0-99, and I like that you can program a default turn-on volume level. Unlike most high-end amps, the HINT 6 has bass and treble tone controls. Digital connectivity runs the gamut; inputs include two optical, one coaxial, and the USB 2.0 input supports up to high-res 384 kHz/32-bit PCM digital, native DSD256 and DoP DSD digital streams. The coax and optical inputs only accept PCM up to 192 kHz/24-bit. There’s also six sets of stereo RCA analog inputs, including one moving-magnet/moving-coil phono input for your turntable; a stereo set of XLR inputs; stereo RCA Rec Out jacks; one XLR and two RCA subwoofer output jacks; stereo XLR and RCA preamp outputs; and heavy-duty speaker binding posts. There’s a front-panel 3.5mm analog input… [Read full story]
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