Not sure what to think or do...

A few months ago, a 4 month old Parasound JC5 exploded and took out a speaker.  They were pair of JBL towers and they sounded fantastic with the JC5.  Parasound warranty replaced the amp with a new open box after determining I was not at fault.  Speakers were long out of warranty so I ended up taking the loss and purchasing new speakers.  I got a new set of Wharfdale Elysian 2.  They look great but everything sounds terrible with the new speakers and the new JC5.  Both the new amp and speakers have about 30 hours on them.  I dont think it is the speakers because I tried with a 8 year old A23 Parasound amp and they seems to sound a little better.  So either things havent broken/burned in yet or I just got some bad equipment.  I hear people tell me it takes 100s of hours, etc, but Im worried and dont expect that big of a change over time.  This has been a bad experience for me and I feel like giving up on the audio hobby.  $6k on speakers, $6k on an amp yet the acoustic panels on my Sony tv also sound just as good so Im confused.  


Sorry @audioman2015

I agree with others that if it doesn’t sound very good right off the bat, something else is likely to be wrong.

This is every audiophile’s ultimate nightmare, and just NOT a good look for Parasound right now. The open box replacement amp is now suspect. And your poor JBL’s :( Get this man a new set of JC1+.

Agree - at a high level anyway- with Holmz. regardless of whether there is a benefit to break-in over time, for electronics, it's icing on the cake. I design the stuff. I hear brand new equipment literally all the time. Its fine.  Maybe not optimal but fine.


Speakers do require some break in, or did, since mechanical bits need to break in (mechanical stuff, sometimes its glue and other stiffeners, etc. - not my thing).


Warm up is quite critical for some amps but should be complete within 24 hours (if always on) and the vast majority accomplished within an hour or three.


I would check hook ups. the other day I sat down at a friend’s with a prototype and immediately said "somethings out of phase". It was an interior connector on my preamp - my fault. But blatant. He missed it.

I’d also consider something just plain defective. But what?

Agree the litany of conditioners, wires, and magic incantations - even if they sometimes matter- are not at the heart of first order problems.

Start sleuthing.





Who would buy either Klipsch or Wharfdale speakers in the first place.  Maybe for home theater.