The Parasound JC5 Review! True Hi-Fi excellence.

What’s more badass than a stereo amp that can deliver 400wpc into 8 ohms, 600wpc into 4 ohms, and a whopping 1200w into 8 ohms when bridged? How about an amp that can deliver finesse on top of raw brute force. Meet the JC5. The new flagship of the Parasound line.

Music in the beginning by: Monique Klemann – The Look of Love

The Parasound JC5 product page (with specs):

Other products used during the evaluation include:

– AMR CD-777 SE (CD-player)
– iFi iCan Pro (Linestage Pre-amp)
– Parasound JC2BP (Linestage Pre-amp)
– Tekton Design Double Impact (loudspeakers)
– Buchardt S300 MK2 SE (loudspeakers)
– Buchardt S400 (loudspeakers)
– Mistral BOW A2 (loudspeakers)
– Harbeth P3ESR 40th Anniversary (loudspeakers)
– Totem Acoustic Sky (loudspeakers)


Hari Prasad says:

Awesome review

hooman safa says:

I have a question I just bought a pair of Klipsch RF7iiis and I was wondering if this amp is a good companion? Or should I go for A21? I want my speakers to be driven to their 100 % limits in terms of dynamic range esp low end! By the way zero fidelity please update your klipsch RF7 series with the new iiis. I loved the RF7ii reviews.Keep that smile! You are awsome!

FreeD00M says:

A 6000$ amp on 2000$ speakers….

Aleksandar Grgic says:

Did you mean Korato when referring to the Serbian company made amplifier? What was the model you where referring to? Thank you!

gman76ut says:

Some questions: are those volume (attenuation) controls or controls for amplifier *gain*, and they don’t track? Won’t there be channel mismatch? What does the quieter/louder setting for the turn on threshold do? And what do you mean by ‘voicing’ in an amplifier? I understand ‘voicing’ loudspeakers with the crossover but never heard it when discussing amplifiers. Thanks.

Blake Watermeier says:

Wow! Very nice review. Well done and thanks so much for posting. I have a JC2 BP and recently got the new A21+ to pair with it, and it sounds amazing. Couldn’t quite make the leap to the JC5, but it is on my “someday” list :). Would love to see/hear your impressions of the A21+.

zog zog says:


audioman628 says:

The HCA 3500 was a beast. I thought it sounded much better that the JC1. Never auditioned the JC5.

Antun Katona says:

Taiwan is not China or Malaysia. Labor laws are strict, wages are very high. In fact, GDP per capita in Taiwan is higher than in Japan and among the highest in the developed world. They do have state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities there and the raw materials like steel, copper and aluminum cost 70% less than what they do in US or Euope. You wouldn’t be able to buy all the parts for what they can have the whole thing made there. I have Bryston amplifiers but from what I’ve seen, Parasound is on the same level, if not higher. The sound is a matter of preference but I’d never think of Parasound as something inferior on the account of it being made in Asia. Cheers!

hitechburg says:

Zero Fidelity Fedex delivered my PARASOUND JC 5 Saturday afternoon December 15, 2018. It is a beautiful silver beast.

Chase Vineland says:

Love Parasound! Owner of both Parasound and Mark Levinson products.

Elton J. Crim Jr. Ph.D. says:

I think a very accurate and fair review of the JC5. I just bought one and had my first listen last night upgrading from a Parasound A21. Jesus does this amplifier sound fantastic. Your description of the amp falling between the Bryston amp sound and the McIntosh amp sound is accurate. For me it has the right amount of richness without too much and the resolution and detail are top notch.

Adam Kycia says:

Your reviews deserve more views – Great information and opinion backed by experience. Good stuff!

Patrick Baillargeon says:

Is the music this guy listens to what we hear on this video? Why buy better equipment then?

John Doe says:

Hi. Would you think this amplifier will work fine with a mcintosh C52 preamp or any similar mcintosh pre? Please let me know your opinion. Thanks in advanced.

Calvin Klein says:

Another POS Warm dead dull smooth amplifier

jstoli996c4s says:

How would you compare the sound between Parasound and Anthem amps? Specifically the Para Hint 6 and the Anthem STR integrated amps?

jay red says:

400 wpc is pretty impressive at this price point. Though at the same time. If you need around 200 plus watts per channel. One can pick up a used Pass Labs for the retail price of the JC 5.

Pass is made, and designed in the U.S. I’ve been fortunate enough to hear some Pass Amps. Pretty impressive. I’ve yet to hear the Parasound JC5…

Per my own personal opinion. It’s hard for me to shell out 6grand on a power amp made overseas yet designed in the states.

I’d rather purchase a used amp all made in the states. Or a new or used amp designed and made in Europe.

Hegel not included. Made in China.

anjinsan1977 says:

I’ve been toying with the idea of buying a JC5 for heavy lifting when my Moon 600i v2 doesn’t cut it. This helped seal the deal, thank you for the review.

Eric Elliott says:

I found this video interesting because in essence you described my Sansui 8080db! Yeah, about 1973, that Sansui. The synergy I have right now in that system is nothing short of stellar! In fact, the performance you described comes remarkably close to my Sansui! (By the way, I am likely the only one who is not a fan of McIntosh gear).
Here’s the thing, I have talked with manufactures of high-end amps that run in the $10k to $15k range and they are familiar with the old Sansui db line and all of them said to me that in order for me to find an amp today that comes close to sounding like my Sansui I would have to spend at least $10k. A couple also said that they wish they had one.
It’s not that Sansui alone made the best sounding integrated amps (receivers are technically integrated amps) back then, but part of the reason they sounded so good along with some other brands back then was the build. I noticed that you pointed out the parts used in the Parasound JC5 and recognized the old school origin. I think this is in part why the Parasound sounds the way you described.
I am going to be looking for an amp for my reference system in progress, which is the final piece and it is too bad the JC5 is $6000 as I can never run to that, not even close. It also tells me that finding a new amp for the bigger system is not going to be easy.

As for “audiophiles” (present company excepted), other reviewers and the like not liking it because it is “only $6000” in their world…..screw them! They wouldn’t know good sound and quality if you threw all 75 lbs of the amp and crushed their faces with it.

Dwight R says:

Are there any reviews out there on the A23+ amp?? Great video!

Josh M says:

I’ll get a crown XLS 2502 and pretend it’s as good as this… :’D

Rita Reyes says:


J Doe says:

Ahhh…gains. Not so much need for a preamp. 🙂

MaZEEZaM says:

I really like parasound’s product quality, bearing in mind its well outside my budget, I could perhaps stretch to about $3,000 but what I find frustrating with Parasound is that they have NOTHING that has hdmi input/outputs. Because I have a very limited budget, I prefer to buy high-quality that’s really going to last and to hear about Parasound lasting 25 years plus is a huge thing for me but I am wanting ideally to buy a unit that is mainly focussed on 2 channel audio but also has all the modern inputs for watching movies, tv and streaming services such as this…Yamaha network receiver but I don’t know how long its likely to last. Given A/V formats and connections tend to change I think what I am really after is perhaps amplifier for powering my choice of speakers and another component I don’t know the name of that will have all the inputs and latest tech such as modern receivers have. I’m not sure really, I really want something that lasts as long as possible and I am happy to pay a lot for that quality but at the same time, I still want to have all the ‘of the day’ modern connections and functions. Can anyone suggest whether Yamaha is really built to last the 25 years plus that Parasound is known for or other brands that would fit my needs?

Ed Collins says:

How does this compare to vintage amps like the Pioneer Spec1 and 2 ?

DJActionVasquez says:

hey at that price it should have the classic needle metering, left/right stepped volume controls with big knobs and left/right clipping indicators. then it would be perfect

Cross Ocean says:

A21+ review?

Rick S says:

I…….must……..resist!! Lol.
Have the A21, P5 and JC3+, and I’m a huge fan of Parasounds Halo line and CTC builders. This is incredible stuff and priced right. And more than fairly. Love that they got rid of the little red P light on this JC5 amp. Thanks for the worlds first detailed review of this fantastic amp!

Toni says:

I have 8 Speakers 1 Center 1 Sub. Can i connect all the speakers to the ZoneMaster 650 and JC5 and still have all the speakers powered or should i connect all the speakers to 650 and P7 Preamp to achieve sound. Which is which ?

Dave Micolichek says:

My 1 gripe, which is small, and easily changed(I would mod it myself), would be that the gain controls are not defeatable. My preamp has plenty of voltage gain, and I never completely trust that the gain pots are set exactly equal. But no big deal, I would just internally jumper them out. Easily reversible mod also… Otherwise, BEAUTIFUL amplifier!

Richard Comerford says:

I’m new to the channel and really like your work. Two points: those are not handles; they protect the wires and connectors if it gets pushed up against a wall or cabinet. And Yes they could make it here for that price if they took a little less profit. We have CNC machines and incredible electronics workers. Look no further than the US aerospace industry. That is not $6k worth of hardware in that box.

Gilbert Koh says:

nice amp and I’ve read good reviews on their products. How does this unit compare to the Modwright equivalent?

Manbir singh Khangura says:

Go for emotiva with half the price of this creepy thing……

Michael Mityok says:

Great review, just after I bought a new A21 for $1800 Canadian (on sale after the release of the A21+). It is better than my old Hegel H160 at dynamics and soundstaging, more authoritative at those moments in a song where the bass needs speed and control AND delineation. Thanks to you Sean I am now wondering if I should have stretched for the JC5! Hopefully my Bitcoin gamble pays off (bought big at $3000).

Paul Bielen says:

Just bought one using with a pair of Thiel CS3.7’s. The bass went to awesome and floored me. This guy is I really onto it. The expensive amps cost so much because of the expensive visual stuff and not the internals.

Bolse Solheim says:


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