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Parasound JC 3 Junior Targets Millennial Vinyl Lovers

The JC3 Junior phono preamp from Parasound provides young Millennial consumers with the performance attributes of its JC 3+ phono preamp for about half the price.


Several years ago Parasound released its JC 3 phono preamplifier. Following the success of that product, it then updated the phono preamplifier through the launch its JC 3+ phono preamplifier. Now the San Francisco-based manufacturer is supporting the analog audio industry's Millennial momentum with its new JC 3 Junior phono preamplifier to target younger vinyl enthusiasts.

“The JC 3 Junior grew out of our recognition that the price tag on the Halo JC 3+ can be an impediment to first-time vinyl Millennials and seasoned audio enthusiasts alike,” says Richard Schram, president and founder, Parasound. “So we decided to put it [the JC 3+ phono preamplifier] on a diet.”

The company's latest analog product is a low-noise phono preamplifier that is compatible with moving magnet (MM) and moving coil (MC) phono cartridges. Parasound points out the JC 3 Junior employs precision gain circuits with independent control of gain and load impedance that works with low output MC cartridges. 

The phono preamplifier features a new circuit design from John Curl and circuit-board layouts from Carl Thompson. According to Parasound, the JC 3 Junior employs a stereo design, rather than the JC 3+'s dual-mono design, but it does not sacrifice sound quality through the design differences. 

Parasound emphasizes the DNA between the JC 3+ and JC 3 Junior is apparent through the phono preamplifier's circuit topologies and commonality of internal parts. 

Some of the shared components between the two phono preamps include Neutrik locking XLR jacks and Vampire 24k gold-plated RCA jacks. Parasound says the JC 3 Junior's toroid transformer provides nearly the same capacity as the JC 3+'s, and both phono preamplifiers' RIAA EQ curves employ the same REL capacitors. 

Aiding the company's pricing goals for the phono preamp, Parasound created a new, low-profile 1U chassis that incorporates an aluminum partition that isolates the phono-stage board from the power supply, power transformer and internal AC wiring. 

Parasound placed the JC 3 Junior's power transformer in a steel enclosure to prevent emissions that could contaminate adjacent audio circuits. 

For $1,495, the JC 3 Junior offers integrators options such as stereo/mono operation, and an auto turn-on with a 12-volt trigger. It is offered in a choice of silver or black finishes to complement other A/V components. 

About the Author

Robert Archer
Robert Archer:

Bob is an audio enthusiast who has written about consumer electronics for various publications within Massachusetts before joining the staff of CE Pro in 2000. Bob is THX Level I certified, and he's also taken classes from the Imaging Science Foundation (ISF) and Home Acoustics Alliance (HAA). Bob also serves as the technology editor for CE Pro's sister publication Commercial Integrator. In addition, he's studied guitar and music theory at Sarrin Music Studios in Wakefield, Mass., and he also studies Kyokushin karate at 5 Dragons in Haverhill, Mass.


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