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Parasound Halo Integrated (HINT 6) 2.1 Channel Amplifier

HINT 6 - Parasound HALO Series Premium 2.1 Channel Integrated Amplifier
Description

When Parasound embarked on the Halo integrated amplifier project back in 2011 they had to re-think what a modern integrated amplifier should be. Guided by their 34 year reputation for delivering the most 'bang for the buck' in high end audio - they did just that! They chose the best sounding parts and included the most current and useful features to bring you a superior integrated amp with the same performance as their highly acclaimed HALO separates. Their acclaimed P5 inspired its preamp stage and advanced feature set, while its power amp stage employs the same John Curl circuit topology found in the legendary Class A/AB A21 and A23.

The result of all this hard work resulted in the highly acclaimed HALO integrated (HINT), and the HINT received accolades across the board and won many, many fans across the globe (press and customers alike) - and ultimately raised the bar in the conception of a modern integrated amplifier. In short, the first generation HINT set a new standard for integrated amplifiers...arguably for other proponents to follow. 

However; Parasound's dedication to the art of creating and updating the 'modern integrated amplifier', meant that it would take only a matter of time before Richard Schram in tandem with the legendary John Curl - naturally evolved the HINT concept to step up yet another level! 

Parasound: Developing the HINT 6

We asked ourselves “Could we develop a next generation Halo Integrated that would not only surpass the finest integrated amplifiers but also outperform higher priced separate preamps & power amps?”

We began by upgrading key parts in the analog preamp circuitry to achieve exceptional sonic transparency. We redesigned its ESS-based DAC making it easier to integrate with Windows 10. In response to customer requests, we added a second optical input. We modernized the volume control, replacing its motorized potentiometer with an electronically switched, pure analogue resistor ladder array, achieving ideal channel tracking even at low listening levels.

Since legendary designer John Curl’s circuit topology is timeless, we carried over the Halo Integrated’s massive,160 watt, Class A/AB power amplifier stage to the HINT 6.

New Features (Changes from the original Halo Integrated):

- Burr Brown analogue resistor ladder volume control
- Dimmable front panel volume display
- Updated USB receiver is Plug and play with Windows 10 and MAC
- An additional optical input (2 total)
- Ball bearing supported solid aluminium volume knob
- Programable default turn on volume setting
- Favourite volume memory with remote control button
- Increased phono stage gain for lower output cartridges
- Improved Left/Right channel separation and balance tracking
- Updated cosmetics with subtle gold highlights

As such, the HINT 6 is powerful, musical and uncommonly versatile. With such exquisite performance and compelling value, the HINT 6 is the new benchmark for high-end integrated amplifiers.

The volume control features a new, dimmable -display showing the exact volume setting. Other features include: user defined turn on volume, and favourite volume setting. The solid machined aluminium volume control knob, polished on the front and textured around the perimeter, rotates on ball-bearings giving it rock-solid and silky smooth operation.

The Hint 6 uses a Burr-Brown high-performance, electronically-controlled analogue volume control IC with high dynamic range. It functions as an analogue switched resistor ladder array so analog audio is never converted to digital as with most IC volume controls. Parasound engineers bypass the on-board gain stage, using an external, high-performance operational amplifier with a dedicated power supply. This approach achieves the lowest noise and the lowest distortion resulting in superior sound quality.

The heart of the HINT 6’s power supply is a massive 1.1 kVA toroid power transformer. It is custom designed for well-contained radiated hum, high efficiency, and high power. Encapsulating this massive power transformer in an epoxy-filled steel canister assures ultra-quiet performance. The transformer has independent secondary windings and this provides more than ample voltage to each channel's power supply under the most strenuous operating conditions. Separate windings for each channel improves stereo imaging by reducing inter-channel crosstalk.

The HINT 6 uses a total of 40,000uF of Lelon electrolytic filter capacitors to provide a reserve of massive power sufficient to reproduce unrestricted bass. Highly-coveted Toshiba J-FETs are deployed in the input stage of the power amplifier section to achieve stunningly low noise and maximize its dynamic range

An especially useful feature of the HINT 6 its innovative high and low pass crossover network. This provides analog bass management as well as easy integration of subwoofers and stereo speakers. With the HINT 6 crossover network your subwoofer(s) is easily shared by two channel and multi-channel playback. This works in tandem with the Home Theatre Bypass input for a seamless transition whenever you select two channel or multi-channel operation, without any need for reconnecting the subwoofer from the HINT 6 to the AVR and vice versa. This significantly simplifies what would otherwise require complex setup.

Thus, the new Parasound HALO Integrated - the HINT6 - has been born. Created with the same passion, knowledge and precise execution that all audiophile Parasound products combine. The new and improved HINT 6 will inevitably raise the bar even higher.

Demo the new Parasound HALO Integrated (HINT 6) and you'll understand why it is the only serious choice!

Parasound HALO HINT 6 - 2.1 Channel Integrated Amplifier - Features & Benefits:

Preamp and DAC Features & Benefits:

- ESS Sabre32 Reference DAC (ES9018K2M)
- Asynchronous USB 2.0 supports PCM up to 384kHz/32-bit
- USB input decodes Native DSD64, DSD128, DSD256 and DoP DSD
- Coax and optical inputs accept PCM up to 192kHz/24-bit
- Analog bass management with high & low pass crossovers
- Home theater bypass input for surround sound integration
- Front panel subwoofer level control
- Dedicated high current headphone amplifier (TI TPA6120)
- Phono input for MM, MC and MI with 100 Ω or 47k Ω load
- Front panel Aux input with automatic +12 dB gain stage
- 5 pairs RCA line level Analog inputs
- 1 pair XLR balanced Analog input
- Balanced XLR and RCA left and right preamp outputs
- 1 balanced XLR and 2 RCA subwoofer outputs
- Bass & treble controls with relay bypass from remote or front panel
- Rear panel IR input and IR loop output jacks
- 12 Volt trigger output
- Back-lit remote control with discrete buttons
- 0.5w standby power consumption meets Energy Star & EU specs

Power Amp Features & Benefits:

- 160 Watts x 2 @ 8 Ohms (RMS, both channels driven)
- 240 Watts x 2 @ 4 Ohms (RMS, both channels driven)
- Power amp circuit topology designed by legendary John Curl
- Direct amplifier input to bypass preamp section
- High bias class A/AB operation
- Oversized shielded toroid power transformer
- Dual-mono power supply and power amplifier
- 40,000uF power supply filter capacitance
- Matched JFET input stages and MOSFET driver stages
- 12 high voltage/high current bipolar output transistors
- Heavy-duty 24k gold-plated 5-way speaker binding posts
- Over temp and short circuit relay protection

Parasound HALO HINT 6 - 2.1 Channel Integrated Amplifier - Specifications: 
Power Output - Both channels driven (0.05% THD, 20 Hz - 20 kHz):
   160 watts x 2 @ 8 Ω RMS
   240 watts x 2 @ 4 Ω RMS
Power Output - Both channels driven (0.09% THD, 20 Hz - 20 kHz):
   180 watts x 2 @ 8 Ω RMS
   270 watts x 2 @ 4 Ω RMS
Current Capacity:
   45 amps peak per channel
Frequency Response:
   10 Hz - 100 kHz, +0/-3 dB
   20 Hz - 20 kHz, +0/-0.5 dB
Total Harmonic Distortion (THD):
   < 0.01 %, average listening levels
   < 0.05 %, 160 watts x 2 @ 8 Ω
Interchannel Crosstalk:
   > 70 dB at 20 kHz
   > 78 dB at 1 kHz
Signal to Noise Ratio - IHF A-weighted:
   Line in: - 103 dB (input shorted)
   Digital in: - 106 dB
Amplifier Damping Factor:
   > 800 at 20 Hz
Preamplifier Stage Input Sensitivity:
   300 mV in for 1 V at Preamp Output jacks
   Total Preamp Stage Gain: 10 dB
   Max Output Unbalanced: 7 V
   Max Output Balanced: 9 V
Power Amplifier Stage Sensitivity:
   1 V at Bypass/Amp In for 28 V at Speaker Out
   Total Amp Stage Gain: 28 dB
Phono Stage Sensitivity / Input Impedance:
   MM: 41 dB / 47 k Ω
   MC: 54 dB / 47 k Ω or 100 Ω
High & Low Pass Crossover Slope:
   12 dB per octave
Supported DAC Sampling Rates:
   USB: up to 384 kHz / 32-bit PCM
   DSD Native: DSD 64, DSD 128, DSD 256
   DSD over PCM (DoP) at 384 kHz
Coax/Optical:
   Up to 192 kHz / 24-bit PCM
Digital to Analogue Converter:
   ESS Sabre32 Reference ES9018K2M
   384 kHz / 32-bit
USB 2.0 Controller:
   Savitech SA9227, 384 kHz / 32-bit
Headphone Amplifier:
   Texas Instruments TPA6120A
   Output Impedance 10 ohms
XLR Pin Identification:
   1 = Ground (Shield)
   2 = Positive
   3 = Negative (Return)
Input Impedance:
   Unbalanced: 24 k Ω
   Balanced: 100 k Ω per leg
Preamplifer Output Impedance:
   Unbalanced: 100 Ω
   Balanced: 470 Ω per leg
Dimensions:
   Width: 17-1/4" (437 mm)
   Depth: 16-1/4" (413 mm)
   Depth, with cables 17-1/4" (437 mm)
   Height, with feet: 5-7/8" (150 mm)
   Height, without feet: 5-1/4" (133 mm), 3U
Net Weight:
   33 lb. (15 kg)
Shipping Weight:
   45 lb. (20.4 kg)
Power Requirement:
   Standby: 0.5 watts
   Idling power: 70 watts
   Maximum: 750 watts
   (EU/UK) 220-250 VAC 50Hz
Parasound HALO HINT 6 - 2.1 Channel Integrated Amplifier - Resources & Downloads:

Parasound HALO Integrated (HINT 6) Owner's Manual

Parasound HALO Integrated (HINT 6) Product Brief

Windows 7, 8, & Vista Instructions

Windows 7, 8, & Vista Drivers

Parasound Amp BTU Ratings