- Written by Rick Schmidt
- Published on 15 July 2013
The Parasound Halo CD 1 Player On the Bench
As the Halo CD1 is a redbook CD player, the only tests performed were with 16/44.1 content. The Halo CD1 can run in Discrete or Op Amp output modes and both were measured using the balanced outputs. However, the results were virtually identical, and within the margin of error of the test equipment, so only the Discrete output measurements are presented here.
Our 1 kHz noise spectrum is very quiet, with very small 2nd and 3rd harmonic peaks that are over 110 dB below the fundamental.
With a 10 kHz tone we see a 2nd harmonic that is 100 dB below the fundamental.
On the 60 Hz + 7000 Hz IMD test, the spectrum looks very clean, though the peaks are a bit wider than is ideal.
On the 19000 Hz + 20000 Hz IMD test, we see a very tiny B-A peak that is almost 110 dB below the fundamental tones.
Switching to the unbalanced outputs, we see much different results.
The main thing we notice is a slope from 0 Hz to 3 kHz, as the noise floor goes from -100 dB to -120 dB. Because of this higher noise floor there is more THD+N in this measurement.
With 10 kHz we see the same results as with the balanced outputs, except for the noise floor issue below 3 kHz again.
Again we have the same results as the balanced outputs, except for that noise floor.
Finally, on the 19 kHz + 20 Khz IMD test, the B-A peak we saw with the balanced outputs is likely preset, but obscured by that noise floor issue with the unbalanced outputs.
With the balanced outputs, the Halo CD 1 tests wonderfully, though I found no measurable differences in Discrete and Op Amp modes. With the unbalanced connections, the results were good except for a strange noise floor issue from 0 to 3000 Hz. Because of this I'd recommend using the balanced outputs from the CD 1 if possible.