San Francisco - A new version of Parasound's two-channel Halo JC 2 preamplifier features a home-theater bypass mode for audio purists who want to integrate the product into a multi-speaker home-theater system.
The Halo JC 2 BP will be available Sept. 15 at a suggested $4,500.
The home-theater bypass mode lets consumers drive the main left-right speakers in a multi-speaker system via the new Halo JC 2 BP and a companion two-channel amp when playing a high-quality stereo music source. When playing back multichannel movie soundtracks, consumers will be able to drive the L-R speakers through the preamp/amp combination while driving the other speakers through an AV receiver or other home theater component.
Parasound will also offer existing JC 2 owners to add the bypass mode at $500, including return ground shipping in the U.S. The JC 2 remains in the company's line at its original $4,000.
Any of the new model's six inputs, including the two balanced inputs, can be assigned as a bypass input. A new front-panel amber Bypass LED indicates that a selected input is a bypass input.
The JC 2 BP also comes with a new remote that incorporates buttons to program the bypass function. The remote also features a new shape and rubber coating to improve stability.
Parasound president Richard Schram said he developed the new model because he "hugely underestimated how many people would want to blend a JC 2 into their surround system." Designer John Curl came up with a way to implement the bypass "without touching the left and right channel audio boards," Schram said, resulting in "a perfect sonic duplicate of the original JC 2."