|Parasound HALO A 23 Stereo Power Amplifier|
|Home Theater Power Amplifiers Stereo Amplifiers|
|Written by Brian Kahn|
|Sunday, 01 December 2002|
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Although the HALO system made music sound seductive, it did not provide the highest level of resolution that you would expect from products costing many times the price. The system sometimes sounded overly smooth to me, as I am used to my Krell integrated amp. This smoothness is something that music lovers will likely relish, but die-hard audiophiles might feel is a bit on the soft side for their tastes. The soundstage was extremely wide but wasn’t as deep as what I heard when I had the Rogue Audio amp in my rig.
This system is well suited for anyone who wants a higher build quality and improved sound over mass-marketed electronics. At $2,250, this system costs a bit more than most chintzy-looking A/V receivers and you definitely get what you pay for. The look gets a “10" from even the Russian judges and the sound for stereo music reproduction is better than any A/V receiver I have heard in my system by leaps and bounds. The T 3 tuner is one of the lowest-priced full-sized tuners on the market and sounds great to boot. The A 23 / P 3 combination has plenty of power, is well-balanced and free of many of the maladies that plague lower-priced solid-state systems.
This system reproduced every piece of music I threw at it with a sense of coherence throughout the frequency range, with little to no noticeable harshness or other intrusive artifacts. The downsides of the system -- the lack of ultimate low-resolution detail and high-frequency hardness at high volumes -- did not get in the way of me thoroughly enjoying the music. The HALO system is limited to two-channel reproduction, so those who are interested in using their playback system for theater or surround music in the future may be better off waiting for the introduction of the HALO surround processor. For the price, you would be hard-pressed to find a system with better build quality and aesthetics. This system is major league, at a minor league price.