Preamp Recommendations For the Parasound JC 5 Amp

I’m looking to get a high-end solid state preamp that’s on the sonic level as the Pass Labs XP-22 Preamp and X250.8. I’m looking for large soundstage, air, 3-D holographic sound, and detail without sounding analytical.

I feel more sure of the Parasound JC 5 Amp. I’m looking for preamp suggestions, and not sure if the JC 2 BP is the best option for the money.

I do have a Don Sachs DS 2 6SN7-based tube preamp that I can also mate with it. I’d like switching between solid state and tube preamps.


1. How is the Parasound JC 2 BP and JC combination?

2. Does the JC 2 BP have to be turned up high to get decent volume?

3. Does a tube preamp mate well with a JC 5 Amp?


I previously purchased a Pass Labs XP-22 and X250.8. Sonically, it was exactly what I was looking for - refined, detailed, airy, holographic. But the XP-22 had to be turned up 75% to 2 o’clock (75%) position for decent volume levels. Also the XLR connections on the X250.8 wobbled - salesperson said that’s normal. That didn’t inspire confidence, so I returned everything at a $700 loss…. Hopefully, the next solid state purchase will be more pleasant.



we are a parasound and coda dealers the jc5 sounds great on a tube preamp the coda .7 preamp is like a better pass 


it is highly rated and beautifully built


Dave and Troy

Audio Intellect  Nj

parasound and coda dealers 

" But the XP-22 had to be turned up 75% to 2 o’clock (75%) position for decent volume levels."

Why does that bother you? You are better off with the volume range on the higher end than on the lower end of the dial. 2 o'clock sounds perfect to me!

After mulling over tube/solid-state etc.. Jc2bp vs.etc.. I ended up with a Musical Fidelity Ms8 preamp with my Jc5 and after gauging the pairings tonal balance with my goal pursuing transparency and air  without sacrificing musicality for an analytical sound, I added Wire worlds Silver Eclipse 8 rca and xlr between source and amp and oh my !

I would have contacted Pass Labs about the "wobbly" XLR connection on the 250.8.  I bet they would have serviced it for peanuts.

I would give the Don Sachs a try. My Parasound A21 and my 6NS7 based Cary SLP-98 was about as good as it gets. 

I have an SPL Director which has a DAC in it. The model without the DAC is called Elector.  They sound really good on my SS amp. Here is the review Teajay did on it.

I used a JC-2 preamp for about 2 years and found it to be quiet and transparent sounding.  This unit is a good value, especially on the used market.  (The BP version is the same, other than adding HT bypass.)  In my system, the downside of the JC-2 was its high output level.  Even with the gain controls turned all the way down, I couldn’t turn the volume over 10 o’clock without my system playing too loud for my taste.  Also, I found it difficult to set the volume where I wanted with the remote, as the changes from the remote were too coarse.  The best match I had with the JC-2 was with Parasound’s A21 amp and the input level controls turned down.  This allowed me to use more range on the JC-2 volume control.  I don’t think you’ll find the output level of a JC-2BP to be too low.

Audiotroy, Yogiboy, jdub39, jc4659, russ69, jonah5, and orpheus - many thanks for the great input!

I’ll try my Don Sachs tube preamp first. I’m going to look into the Coda .7, Musical Fidelity Ms8, SPL Elector, and JC-2. I had not considered many of these before.


Before you decide on a new preamp make sure it has higher gain than the Pass or you will have the same problem that you are having now. The input sensitivity of the Parasound is a low 1 volt . That is the reason why you need the volume control on the higher end of the dial !

I love tube preamps and successfully ran my JC5 with the Cary Audio SLP-05.  The SLP98 is also very nice.  Each have plenty of gain and will give you a huge sound stage that projects in all directions.

I currently run an XP22 with my JC5 and love it. Definitely on the neutral end to my ears, and it's a great match. Speakers are Focal Kanta 3s, DAC is Denafrips terminator plus, Lumin U1, good cables, etc. Very detailed, transparent, and never harsh.


I usually listen at volumes between 60 - 75, 75 is pretty loud. 

@yogiboy Good point! The ones I’m looking at are >12dB. The XP-22 is 9.3dB.

@christianb5s4 and @avanti1960, thank you! 

I make my own speakers and cables, so I have several pairs lined next to each other. I like switching between tube/ss preamps, tube/ss amps, cable, and speaker combinations.

The speaker crossovers are voiced using Mundorf Silver Oil, Jupiter Cu, Jantzen SCap, and Duelund Cu, etc. They add tremendously to the dimensionality of the music.