Parasound Volume Pot part two

ematthews

ematthews

Audioholic General
But he wrote that he had a problem with an Alps pot "ONCE". They make millions of parts- the chance of having an occasional bad one exists for all manufacturers. After 40 years in the audio business, most of that time working for dealers that did their own service, I don't remember seeing many pots that had problems and if they did, it was with the traces or wipers, not noise from the motor. Many times, bad parts are from the same batch and I think this is true of your pre-amps.

Off topic, but I don't remember seeing any reference to you using specific headphones. What do you use, and what is your opinion of the headphone preamp in the P5?
Headphones... I have Grado PS500e and Sennheiser HD650.
 
slipperybidness

slipperybidness

Audioholic Spartan
So Parasound had Alps send them a new Vol Pot. They replaced it with a newer version { DON'T know of any differences} pot and all is well under their testing. Parasound is even resetting my warranty time and threw a nice goodie for my trouble. They actually gave me an option of a brand new unit or taking the repaired one back with the updated Pot and a goodie. So now I will see if any trouble comes back up once I get it back. This is by far one of the best customer service repairs that I have ever been through. Bob even took time to talk with me several times on the phone.. He and Richard went above and beyond...
That's good to know!

I suppose this will be just about worked out, and I will still feel OK with recommending Parasound!
 
highfigh

highfigh

Audioholic Overlord
So Parasound had Alps send them a new Vol Pot. They replaced it with a newer version { DON'T know of any differences} pot and all is well under their testing. Parasound is even resetting my warranty time and threw a nice goodie for my trouble. They actually gave me an option of a brand new unit or taking the repaired one back with the updated Pot and a goodie. So now I will see if any trouble comes back up once I get it back. This is by far one of the best customer service repairs that I have ever been through. Bob even took time to talk with me several times on the phone.. He and Richard went above and beyond...
This kind of treatment is one of the reasons I like dealing with some small companies and with some, I knew people who went out of their way for us because of how we did business and didn't just shrug off some problems "because it's no big deal". When I get that kind of BS, I explain that dealers ARE customers, too. They care, huge companies might, if the person on the other end isn't usually a receptacle for people's hate.

As a dealer, this is the kind of service I like to see from the manufacturers of the products I sell.
 
S

sharkman

Full Audioholic
That is simply the best customer service that I've ever heard of, any time, anywhere.
 
A

Ace Deprave

Audioholic Intern
So Parasound had Alps send them a new Vol Pot. They replaced it with a newer version { DON'T know of any differences} pot and all is well under their testing. Parasound is even resetting my warranty time and threw a nice goodie for my trouble. They actually gave me an option of a brand new unit or taking the repaired one back with the updated Pot and a goodie. So now I will see if any trouble comes back up once I get it back. This is by far one of the best customer service repairs that I have ever been through. Bob even took time to talk with me several times on the phone.. He and Richard went above and beyond...

I'm going to have to give them a call. I had been trying to live with the issue, but it's only getting worse. I'm glad to hear you had a good experience with them...any issues since you've gotten it back?
 
slipperybidness

slipperybidness

Audioholic Spartan
I'm going to have to give them a call. I had been trying to live with the issue, but it's only getting worse. I'm glad to hear you had a good experience with them...any issues since you've gotten it back?
Dang!

I think we can now say "many of the P5s are showing this problem".
 
E

Enrico Castagnetti

Audiophyte
I've had contacted Richard on December about the same issue and he asked me to contact him again on January but I didn't so I think I'm gonna shoot him an email again to send mine and get the volume pot replaced. Their customer service is top notch so I'm not worry about it. It's a matter of finding the right time to unplug all the cables, pack it and send it.

Best Regards,

Enrico
 
highfigh

highfigh

Audioholic Overlord
Dang!

I think we can now say "many of the P5s are showing this problem".
Define 'many'. Manufacturers try to have no more than a bit over 1% defect rate. Used to be 1%, but when they ramp up production numbers, errors can be more frequent. I have heard of maybe five with this problem.

Still, it's an Alps failure, it's just that Parasound and any other company that uses them has to pick up the pieces and take the flack.
 
TLS Guy

TLS Guy

Audioholic Slumlord
Define 'many'. Manufacturers try to have no more than a bit over 1% defect rate. Used to be 1%, but when they ramp up production numbers, errors can be more frequent. I have heard of maybe five with this problem.

Still, it's an Alps failure, it's just that Parasound and any other company that uses them has to pick up the pieces and take the flack.
I agree with you to an extent. However the design they have used is old fashioned and has always been problematic. There are now, and have been for sometime better design approaches, that would not only be more reliable, but make for a better unit with improved signal to noise ratio. In this aspect, this unit is yesterdays product.
 
highfigh

highfigh

Audioholic Overlord
I agree with you to an extent. However the design they have used is old fashioned and has always been problematic. There are now, and have been for sometime better design approaches, that would not only be more reliable, but make for a better unit with improved signal to noise ratio. In this aspect, this unit is yesterdays product.
How much would a better design add to the price? Are you referring to some kind of VCA? I guess design philosophy trumps tech in many cases. At least it's not a 6-gang volume control, like the one in the integrated amp I bought in the early-'80s. Sounded great, PITA when the control was dirty. Had to remove and disassemble the control to clean it.

Doesn't your Quad preamp use a similar pot (ganged) for volume control?

As for S/N ratio, how low is low enough? Unweighted, it's -88dB, A-weighted is -108dB. The Quad 34 was rated at -105dB A-Weighted with the volume control at minimum. Connected to source devices, its S/N was nothing special but then, that doesn't tell the whole story about its sound quality, does it?

FWIW, I think the Parasound P5/A23 combo sounds pretty good, using old technology.
 
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RichB

RichB

Audioholic Field Marshall
The Oppo HA-1 uses an Alps POT and I don't hear any hiss or problems.
Connected to Parasound A21 amps, I have to put my ear on the tweeter to hear the slighted hiss.
The Volume level does not change the noise floor.

- Rich
 
TLS Guy

TLS Guy

Audioholic Slumlord
How much would a better design add to the price? Are you referring to some kind of VCA? I guess design philosophy trumps tech in many cases. At least it's not a 6-gang volume control, like the one in the integrated amp I bought in the early-'80s. Sounded great, PITA when the control was dirty. Had to remove and disassemble the control to clean it.

Doesn't your Quad preamp use a similar pot (ganged) for volume control?

As for S/N ratio, how low is low enough? Unweighted, it's -88dB, A-weighted is -108dB. The Quad 34 was rated at -105dB A-Weighted with the volume control at minimum. Connected to source devices, its S/N was nothing special but then, that doesn't tell the whole story about its sound quality, does it?

FWIW, I think the Parasound P5/A23 combo sounds pretty good, using old technology.
I'll answer the last two comments together since they are related.

The Quad 44 was released in 1981 and the little brother the 34 in 1982. So this is 33 and 32 years ago before digital volume control.

Now the best way to control volume is in the feedback loop of an op amp, or via the control voltage. The latter does not require more than one cursor to control volume on multiple channels.

Now controlling volume in the feedback loop does lower the noise floor as volume is reduced and does not degrade signal to noise as the volume is advanced. It also increases head room as the volume is turned down. This latter is a huge benefit in microphone mixers so designed.

Counter intuitively the best volume controls are digital and on the whole the most trouble free.

A variable resistor between gain stages is the most out of date, troublesome and poorest performing way of doing it. That is why there are so few ganged controls available now.

None of these analog solutions would add to cost.
 
highfigh

highfigh

Audioholic Overlord
I'll answer the last two comments together since they are related.

The Quad 44 was released in 1981 and the little brother the 34 in 1982. So this is 33 and 32 years ago before digital volume control.

Now the best way to control volume is in the feedback loop of an op amp, or via the control voltage. The latter does not require more than one cursor to control volume on multiple channels.

Now controlling volume in the feedback loop does lower the noise floor as volume is reduced and does not degrade signal to noise as the volume is advanced. It also increases head room as the volume is turned down. This latter is a huge benefit in microphone mixers so designed.

Counter intuitively the best volume controls are digital and on the whole the most trouble free.

A variable resistor between gain stages is the most out of date, troublesome and poorest performing way of doing it. That is why there are so few ganged controls available now.

None of these analog solutions would add to cost.
OK, thanks- I guess it's a matter of design philosophy, then.

BTW- has your oscilloscope needed any maintenance in the time you have owned it?
 
AcuDefTechGuy

AcuDefTechGuy

Audioholic Jedi
How many people have purchased the P5? And 5 reports out of how many actual problems since some people never care to even report?

2 bad P5s from the SAME person within a ~ 6 month period is one too many for me. 1 bad black P5. 1 bad silver P5.
 
highfigh

highfigh

Audioholic Overlord
How many people have purchased the P5? And 5 reports out of how many actual problems since some people never care to even report?

2 bad P5s from the SAME person within a ~ 6 month period is one too many for me. 1 bad black P5. 1 bad silver P5.
What does the color have to do with anything? I would be more interested in how close the serial numbers are. If they're very close, it's a small batch of parts but if they're far apart, either they had a long space between builds or they got more than one batch of bad parts. When I asked, I was told it was a small number. They aren't a high volume manufacturer, though.
 
AcuDefTechGuy

AcuDefTechGuy

Audioholic Jedi
What does the color have to do with anything? I would be more interested in how close the serial numbers are. If they're very close, it's a small batch of parts but if they're far apart, either they had a long space between builds or they got more than one batch of bad parts. When I asked, I was told it was a small number. They aren't a high volume manufacturer, though.
The color was just for giggles.

Just stating the facts. If they were green and purple, I would have mentioned that too. It doesn't have to mean anything other than the fact that the OP bought 2 different P5 from 2 different dealers.
 
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highfigh

highfigh

Audioholic Overlord
The color was just for giggles.

Just stating the facts. If they were green and purple, I would have mentioned that too. It doesn't have to mean anything other than the fact that the OP bought 2 different P5 from 2 different dealers.
What shade of green? I could see purple if it matched my Hot Wheels cars.
 
E

ellbunda

Audiophyte
Hi,
I am owner Parasound P5, but I have same problem with alps volume pot. I am hearing noise/Hiss while turning the volume up. It's not audible when the song is loud. When you turn the volume up during a quite intro to a song (Quiet passages songs) is when it's noticed most.
I was unhappy about it because it's otherwise excellent preamp.
I wanted to ask if help potentiometer replacement?
 

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