Reviews of Attainable Hi-Fi & Home-Theater Equipment


Reviews of Attainable Hi-Fi & Home-Theater Equipment

To Hans Wetzel,

I have the following components: Sudgen Masterclass PDT-4F Fusion CD player, Mark Levinson No.38 preamplifier, two Parasound Model 2250 power amplifiers (used as monoblocks), and Bowers & Wilkins 683 floorstanding speakers. As far as interconnects are concerned, I am using AudioQuest Diamond (both balanced and unbalanced). I am also using AudioQuest speaker cables. I have been looking for a Parasound 2250 review all in vain. Can anyone assist? How can I improve my system -- any ideas? Your assistance will be appreciated.

Regards,
Phillip
South Africa

While I can't help you on the Parasound 2250 review front, I can assure you that you have a solid system there. Parasound's amps are excellent for the money, so I'm not sure you can do much better. The only standout suggestion I have right now is Benchmark Media's AHB2 power amplifier. While it doesn't look particularly inspiring, its sound is pretty spectacular. My review of it should be published in the next couple of months. Benchmark doesn't appear to be shipping to South Africa at the moment, but keep an eye out on their website.

Regarding your CD player, I'm not familiar with Sudgen's products, and I can't tell from their website too many details about your PDT-4F. That said, there are a multitude of CD player-DACs out there for $1500 USD or less that will allow you to continue to enjoy your CD collection, while also giving you the ability to transition to a computer-based solution in the future. Given the maturity of digital-to-analog conversion technology over the past five years, it may be something to seriously consider. Your Levinson preamp is a classic! I'm sure it's quite good, but like everything else, today's preamps -- even affordable ones -- are really impressive. Since I don't know your price parameters, or whether you want to replace one or all of your current pieces, it's difficult for me to say more. But a high-quality preamp-DAC might also fit the bill, which would allow you to continue using your Sudgen CD player as a transport. Personally, I would start with Parasound's Halo P 5 and go from there. Though it's not priced like a Levinson, being $1095, I think you'll be surprised by just how good it is.

Your Bowers & Wilkins speakers are likely quite good. I would not be in any rush to replace them. If you are itching to, however, consider brands such as KEF, Dynaudio, GoldenEar Technology, Monitor Audio, Paradigm, and PSB. You'll find each makes a full-size floorstanding model that likely betters the 683 in one way or another. Hope this helps! . . . Hans Wetzel