$1,495 Parasound Halo P6 Preamplifier and DAC Debuts at Rocky Mountain Audio Fest

At the recently completed Rocky Mountain Audio Fest (RMAF) in Denver, the new Parasound Halo P6 Preamplifier and DAC was introduced to the consumer audio public.


Replacing its 5-year-old P5 preamplifier, the new $1,495 Parasound Halo P6 Preamplifier and DAC was just introduced at the just-completed Rocky Mountain Audio Fest (RMAF) show in Denver. 

Parasound says the new P6 incorporates an ESS DAC and a ladder-style volume control.

The Halo P6 Preamplifier and DAC updates the P5's Burr-Brown DAC with an ESS Sabre32 reference DAC to support features such as an Asynchronous USB input. 

The asynchronous USB works with PCM files as large as 32-bit/384kHz, and it decodes native DSD256 and DoP DSD files. The P6 preamp is also plug-and-play with both Apple OSX and Microsoft Windows 10 operating systems. 

Offering other digital connectivity options, the preamp's coaxial and two optical inputs are compatible with PCM files as big as 24-bit/192kHz. 

Some of the Halo P6 preamp and DAC's analog options include a phono input for use with moving coil (MC) or moving magnet (MM) phono cartridges with switchable 100 ohm or 47k ohm load choices. 

According to the company, the phono-stage gain has been increased to help improve performance with lower-output cartridges, and it says full-range outputs from the phono inputs, as well as five other line-level analog sources, can be directed to the P6's balanced (XLR) or the single-ended (RCA) outputs. 

Parasound Preamplifier and DAC Features Ladder Volume Control

Ergonomics is a point of emphasis for Parasound, as evidenced by features such as the ladder volume control, which is designed for improved usability and performance. 

Employing a Burr Brown analog resistor ladder volume control along with a dimmable front-panel display that replaces the P5's motorized potentiometer, the resistor ladder is said to provide better volume-tracking accuracy, while eliminating mechanical contact points in the signal path. 

Additionally, the resistor ladder also allows integrators to program the turn-on volume and favorite volume settings.

Related: Parasound JC 3 Junior Targets Millennial Vinyl Lovers

The preamp incorporates its analog bass-management system with adjustable high-pass and low-pass crossovers for 2.1 speaker/subwoofer setups using a choice of balanced or single-ended cables. 

It also provides a home theater bypass mode, front-panel inputs for portable devices, and a dedicated pair of high-current headphones. The rear panel includes an IR input and loop-output connections, 12-volt trigger outputs, and it supports rack mounting with optional adapters. 

Offered in a choice of black or silver finishes, Parasound says the Halo P6 Preamplifier and DAC is available now. 

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 has also served as the technology editor for CE Pro's sister publication Commercial Integrator. In his personal time beyond his family, he's studied guitar and music theory at Sarrin Music Studios in Wakefield, Mass., and he also studies Kyokushin karate at 5 Dragons and Brazilian jiu-jitsu at Binda Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.