Parasound Halo JC3 Junior Phono Pre-Amplifier
When it comes to keeping a good thing going, Parasound know that this is what we they do best! Their 35 years of designing and manufacturing class leading products, is testament to this - and it is obvious that they have incredible pedigree at getting things right, and also improving or embellishing a certain theme.
With the resurgence and valuation in vinyl as a key pillar to the audio temple, Parasound incisively teamed up with the legendary John Curl to release the JC3+ phono pre-amplifier - to much acclaim worldwide from journalists, dealers and customers alike. Now, in development of this theme - and the esteemed lineage of the JC3+, Parasound have now delivered the JC3 JR (Junior).
Drawing from the key elements invoked in the JC3+, the JC3 JR is a new, slimmer, cheaper Parasound 'Reference class' HALO Phono Pre-amplifier with many of the features and benefits of the multi-award winning JC3+!
The JC3 JR has also again been designed by the legendary pre-amp designer John Curl (he has been responsible for many highly respected, and often very expensive world class audiophile pre-amps). Plus, in the continuity of that enduring Parasound tradition of giving outstanding value for money, the new JC3 JR is the lowest cost product to ever bear his name.
Although the unit is half the size, it hones in on some of the key features and performance of it's bigger family member (as both John Curl and Carl Thompson designed the circuitry and layout). In terms of hardware and components there are certain core elements: Vishay-Dale resistors in the audio path, aluminium shielded power supply and audio circuits (with shielded toroid power transformer), high speed-soft recovery bridge rectifiers and common mode inductors, vampire brand 24k gold-plated RCA jacks and also Neutrik brand locking balanced XLR outputs connectors.
Multiple Cartridge Options
Again, certain key fundamentals can be seen in the acceptance of multiple cartridge options and loading options as there are cartridge options for 47k Ω MM and MC/MI, plus variable MC impedance adjustment of 50-550 ohms and also designated gain select for 40 dB/50 dB/60 dB unbalanced (46 dB/56 dB/66 dB balanced). On the performance front the shrewd design and performance seen in the larger JC3+ can be extended to the 'JR', with an RIAA accurate to within 0.2 dB alongside the incredibly consistent S/N up to 94 dB and THD less than 0.02%.
As you would expect it does cater for a host of system integration - as even this scaled down version has both balanced and unbalanced outputs, and also has the highly convenient auto turn-on by 12V trigger. Also on a more endearing but practical note, it too has the handy mono switch as well, meaning that it can improve the sound of mono & older LPs.
So if you are looking for the best possible performance, in a small compact chassis (1U) for a host of higher end analogue system enhancements (with Parasound amplifiers or not) - the new and highly adaptable JC3 JR should be well worth a review!