• Like its bigger, more powerful brother, the Parasound A52 possess the Halo signature midrange and sublime upper-frequency performance.
• The A52's bass performance is solid and extremely agile, not to mention dynamic, though it won't plunge to the depths of the basement the way some amps will.
• The most startling thing about the A52 is just how musically and rhythmically "right" it feels, regardless of what source material you throw at it.
• Though the A52 is a Class A/AB design, heat never became an issue for me, though it does put off its share of warmth, it never became too hot to touch.
• The A52's moderate power output was robust and proved to be enough to power even the mighty Magnepan 3.6s to reference levels. Though more power, as with the Parasound A51, would bring new levels of control to power-hungry speakers.
• While brilliant in many respects, the A52 is a lighter-sounding amp with a touch of energy in the upper frequencies that may not mate well with already bright or lively speakers.
• The casework behind the faceplate didn't seem as solid or rigid as its larger, costlier siblings.
• The binding posts, while gold-plated and color-coordinated, are not quite up to par, considering lesser amps give you more robust, easier tightening connections.
Ten years ago, a multi-channel amp giving you the level of performance you can achieve with the A52 would've cost you thousands more than its modest $2,500 asking price. While the sub-$3,000 amplifier market has become a bit crowded as of late, the A52 still holds its own and remains a notch or two above the competition. It's a truly musically engaging amplifier with an alter ego that likes to blow stuff up should the mood or movie strike it. The A52 is a solid all-rounder and one hell of a good-looking piece of kit. While it may be getting on in years, there is still plenty of life left in the A52's tanks and it's definitely worth checking out.
• Read more multichannel amp reviews from the likes of Anthem, NAD, Krell, Mark Levinson and many others.