Parasound a21+ or a31?

My 2 channel Threhold 400a needs to be replaced.
Parasound a21+, a31, or ati 6000 series?

The A31 is a three-channel amp and an earlier vintage than the a21+.

The a21+ and a31 are the same price. I figured I’d give the center channel some love. The a21+ only has 50 more watts.

You really can’t go wrong with any of those.

How about Monolith?

What kind of speakers are you driving? I’ve had the A23+ and the JC5, love them both.

Kef R11 Metas

My opinion would be that quality speakers like those would see benefits from a stereo power amplifier cabaple of stability at low resistance (those speakers are 4 ohm nominal, and may be significantly less at some frequencies, the amp must be able to handle it) and high-current output. When I had the A23+, I did a lot of research into upgrading to the A21+, and for the most part my research yielded that the difference would be minimal.

The JC5 on the other hand is quite a lot better in specs and ability, double the A21+ in certain things, like current. I found one like-new, one owner with original packaging on Audiogon. Shipped was $3900 total.

How do you think the ATI AT6003 would fair?

From the specs sheet and reviews it seems like it’d be a great amp, but it’s apples and oranges. I think the most important thing for you to determine for yourself first is whether you’re in the market for a stereo or 3-channel amp.

Apple and oranges how?

The reason I’m thinking of 3 channel is that the center channel is very important for movies. So I’d drive my surrounds with the AVR and drive the LCR with a good separate.
Should I just buy a 2 channel?

It may well be worth to take a look at state of the art class D designs like those using Hypex Nilai.

Intend to stay away from Class D for my mains.
I currently have a class A.

What I mean is that you’re shopping for a broad spectrum of devices if looking for either a 3-channel or stereo amp. There may be a big difference in features between a music-focused stereo power amp and a HT amp, the latter may have features that could be undesirable for stereo music.

If your plan is to use the speakers for home theater use primarily, one of the ATI offerings in the same series may make more sense. ATI Signature Series 6000 come with 2-7 outputs, so you could just get the appropriate one for your setup, one output channel per speaker.

If you plan to use your setup for music listening as well, it may make more sense to get a stereo amp instead, like the Parasound Halo A21+ or JC5.

On paper, the Parasound and ATI are comparable specs for the most part, though I couldn’t find as much detailed information on the ATI. My qualm with the ATI is that the max amps out are not specified, which can be more important than the watts per channel in many cases. The JC5 is 90 amps per channel peak. The JC5 is also 20% smaller than the AT6003, 4U vs 5U.

My personal opinion is that for music, a stereo amplifier is best. But like you said, that center channel will be used for movies.

I see what you mean. Ok, so let’s compare ATI 6002 vs Parsound A21+

Here’s my comparison/breakdown of the ATI AT6002 vs Parasound Halo A21+:

AT6002:
450Wpc at 4 ohm
Peak current per channel not available
5U size, 86lbs
Damping factor >400
59,400 uF filter capacitance per channel
Two .9kVA toroidal transformers

Halo A21+:
500Wpc at 4ohm
60 amps peak current per channel
4U size, 71lbs
Damping factor >1100
54,000 uF filter capacitance per channel (Rubycon brand specified)
1.3kVA toroidal transformer

Both have approximately the same:
Crosstalk (70/80dB)
Total harmonic distortion (.03%), ATI has a lead at high volume
SNR, they’re different but both minimal
Trigger turn-on mechanism
Slew rate much higher for Parasound
Equivalent binding posts for both
General appearance is similar, people seem to prefer the Parasound’s look
Both accept XLR or RCA.

There’s some question to whether the Parasound is the same level of “balanced” as the ATI, it theoretically shouldn’t have a real effect. The Parasound has a separate trim potentiometer for each channel, and a better turn-on circuit. The ATI has 2 power cords, and claims they can both use the same outlet if desired.

For the most part, they’re both great amps with very similar specs. I found the documentation for Parasound to be a lot more transparent and informative. They’re both $3999 MSRP, so it’s really just a preference. I like Parasound, and have had a great experience with two of their products in this same Halo line.

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There’s also used listings that can be a huge upgrade for the same as the $4k MSRP.

$4k JC5: https://www.audiogon.com/listings/lisb2a52-parasound-jc-5-solid-state

The JC5 is better than the A21+ in nearly every spec, by a lot. The A23+ is a lot less expensive than the A21+, and offers good performance as well, but I don’t think you’d get the most out of your R11 Metas with that.

Parasound amps do seem to hold value for a while, I’m not sure about ATI though.

In that case, you might like to read about my comparisons.
a21+

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How about the Schiit Tyrs?

Well I pulled the trigger on the Parasound A21+

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