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Parasound JC 5 Stereo Power Amplifier by John Curl (Each)

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Parasound JC 5 Stereo Power Amplifier distills the essence of two Halo JC 1 monoblocks into a single-chassis stereo amp with outstanding sound quality, power, and value.

The JC 5 is a 400-watt per channel stereo amplifier designed by John Curl that combines design elements of two top-of-the-line Halo JC 1 monoblock power amplifiers into a single chassis the same size as one JC 1. The JC 5 combines high power and ultra-high bias Class A/AB sonic quality at roughly two-thirds the price of a pair of JC 1s.

“The Parasound Halo JC 5 Stereo Power Amplifier is a winner. If you are looking for a beefy solid state power amplifier under $10k I suggest giving the JC 5 an audition. Highly recommended,” notes Graig Neville in the April 30, 2021 issue of Part-Time Audiophile, which honored the JC 5 with its Reviewers Choice Award.

“It’s more than possible to have an absolute blast with this amplifier,” raves James Parker at Hi-Fi News, which gave the JC 5 its Outstanding Product Award. “Those who think nothing of using for parties the kind of five-figure system at the heart of which it will sit won’t be disappointed in the least – it will just keep on going as long as you can. However, there’s so much more refinement than that on offer here, and the JC5 will please even if you never explore the limits of its performance envelope.”


  • 400 watts x 2 @ 8 Ω RMS, both channels driven
  • 600 watts x 2 @ 4 Ω RMS, both channels driven
  • 1200 watts x 1@ 8 Ω, in bridged mode
  • Circuitry designed by legendary John Curl
  • Ultra-high bias Class A/AB operation
  • 12 watts per channel of pure Class A power
  • 90 amperes peak current per channel
  • Stable with speaker impedance dips to 1.5 Ω
  • Balanced inputs with discrete circuits
  • CHK Infinium, custom 5-way speaker binding posts
  • Neutrik locking XLR input connectors
  • Vampire gold-plated RCA input & loop output jacks
  • Direct-coupled signal path, no capacitors or inductors
  • DC Servo and relay protection circuits
  • AC turn-on inrush surge protection with relay bypass
  • Dual-mono input stages with ±110 volt DC rails
  • JFET input stage, MOSFET driver stage
  • 24 beta-matched 15 ampere, 60 MHz bipolar output transistors
  • 1.7 kVA shielded toroid power transformer with independent windings for each channel
  • Independent power supplies for left & right channel input stages, driver stages, output stages
  • 8,880 µF Nichicon Gold Tune filter capacitors for input stages
  • 132,000 µF Rubycon filter capacitors for output stages
  • Full power is rated all the way down to 5Hz for unrestricted low-end bass
  • Harris hyper-fast soft-recovery bridge diode rectifiers
  • Automatic turn-on by 12 V trigger or audio sensing
  • 4 rack space chassis with rear carry handles
  • Rack mount hardware is included
  • Available in black


  • Power Output – Both Channels Driven: 
    400 watts x 2, 8 Ω
    600 watts x 2, 4 Ω
  • Power Output – Bridged Mode: 
    1200 watts x 1, 8 Ω
    Bridged 4 Ω operation is not recommended
  • Power measurement parameters are at 120 VAC:
    0.05% THD, RMS continuous power,
    full audio band (20 Hz – 20 kHz)
  • Current Capacity: 
    90 amps peak, per channel
  • Slew Rate: 
    > 130 volts per microsecond
  • Frequency Response: 
    5 Hz – 100 kHz, +0/-3 dB
    20 Hz – 20 kHz, +0/-0.25 dB
  • Total Harmonic Distortion (THD): 
    < 0.05 % at full power
    < 0.03 % at typical listening levels
  • IM Distortion: 
    < 0.04 %
  • TIM: 
  • Inter-channel Crosstalk: 
    > 87 dB at 1 kHz
    > 72 dB at 20 kHz
  • Input Impedance: 
    Unbalanced: 33 kΩ
    Balanced: 66 kΩ,(33 kΩ per leg)
  • Total Gain: 
    29 dB
  • Input Sensitivity for 28.28 V Output into 8 Ω: 
    Unbalanced: 1 V
    Balanced: 1 V per leg
  • S/N Ratio: 
    > 116 dB, input shorted, IHF A-weighted
    > 111 dB, input shorted, unweighted
  • Damping Factor: 
    1000 at 20 Hz
  • DC Trigger Requirements: 
    +9 Vdc to +12 Vdc, 5 mA
  • Audio Trigger Requirements: 
    2 mV – 10 mV
  • XLR Pin Identification: 
    1 = Ground (Shield)
    2 = Positive
    3 = Negative (Return)
  • Dimensions: 
    Width: 17-5⁄8″ (448 mm)
    Height without feet: 7-1⁄8″ (181 mm)
    Height with feet: 7-3/4″ ” (197 mm)
    Depth: 20″ (508 mm)
    Depth with cables: 21-1⁄2″ (546 mm)
  • Net Weight: 
    73 lb. (33.1 kg)


The Halo JC 5 boasts an enviable heritage. The Parasound Halo JC 1 monoblock was designed by John Curl and introduced 16 years ago to instant international acclaim. It is acknowledged as the benchmark for amplifier performance and value. In 2003, Stereophile awarded it ‘Amplifier of the Year’ and has honored it as a ‘Class A Recommended Component’ twice a year for fifteen years – far longer than any other audio component.


“The JC 5 is a remarkable amplifier that creates a new sweet spot in our Halo product family,” said Parasound’s founder and president Richard Schram. “Our customers often tell us they love everything the JC 1 offers, but they wondered if we could deliver comparable performance in a no-compromise stereo amplifier, while saving them money and space. We challenged John Curl to distill the essence of two JC 1 mono blocks into a single chassis, and the result has exceeded everyone’s expectations.”


The Parasound Halo JC 5 stereo amplifier is profoundly powerful and supremely musical. High bias class A/AB provides 12-watts-per-channel pure class A power and class AB effortlessly to its 400 watts per channel 8 ohm rating. The output stage employs 24 beta-matched, 15 ampere, 60 MHz bipolar transistors to deliver a formidable peak current of 90 amperes.

The power supply employs a 1.7 kVA shielded toroid power transformer with a premium H18 grade steel core. It has independent secondary windings for its dual-mono power supply. As with the JC 1, the input stage B+/B- rails are 10 V above the output stage rails to eliminate any chance of distortion caused by voltage sagging when the amp is under load. Independent power supplies for left and right channels input stages employ filter caps totaling 8,880 μF. Driver and output stages employ massive Rubycon filter caps totaling 132,000 µF.


The Halo JC 5 is direct-coupled, protected by DC servo circuits to eliminate coupling capacitors, while extending bass response down to 5 Hz. Its balanced inputs use discrete circuits with Neutrik locking XLR connectors, and Vampire 24k gold-plated RCA input and loop output jacks. “Propeller” type 5-way speaker binding posts are 24k gold-plated and accept 7-gauge bare wire. They are custom-manufactured by CHK Infinium to Parasound’s exacting specifications.




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