Parasound has introduced a new version of Halo JC 2 stereo preamplifier. The new Halo JC 2 BP adds a home theater bypass function that allows this preamplifier and its companion power amplifier and speakers to be connected as the front left- and right-channels of a surround sound home theater system.
The changes made to create the JC 2 BP included a modified potentiometer board and new control software. Circuit board designer Carl Thompson revised the potentiometer board layout so that it is now equipped with four relays that short out the four-gang main volume control and both two-gang trim pots. Additional fixed resistors set the outputs to unity gain when the bypass mode is selected.
Any one of the JC 2 BP's six inputs, including the two balanced inputs, can be assigned as a bypass input. A new front panel includes an amber Bypass LED to indicate when a selected input is also assigned the bypass function.
Parasound is including a new remote control handset with the JC 2 BP. In addition to fail-safe buttons to program the new bypass control function, its new shape and rubber coating improves stability over the previous model. Parasound has been shipping JC 2s with this new remote control since July.
The Halo JC 2 BP will be available September 15 with a MSRP of $4,500. Parasound will also offer a retrofit to existing JC 2 owners for $500, including return ground shipping in the US. This way there is no penalty for existing JC 2 owners who want to update to the bypass feature. The JC 2 will continue in the line at its original $4,000 price.