Features of the Parasound P 7
As a two-channel component, the P 7 has seven RCA analog inputs including a switchable moving magnet/moving coil phonograph input and a tape loop for analog recording equipment. It also features left/right balanced-line inputs for a CD player or other component equipped with XLR outputs. Balanced-line connections are important for a lower noise floor and longer cable lengths. The P 7 also has dual eight-channel analog inputs, one set for a multichannel source component (A Blu-ray player with Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD decoding and analog outputs, or an SACD/DVD-A player) and the other set for connection to a home theater system.
Other features include analog bass management for two channel and multichannel, an input renaming function (very useful for switching between stereo and home theater), headphone level, maximum volume setting, balance and tone controls, trim controls for speaker levels and an input assign mode for linking the pre-amp with Parasound's optional HDMI video switcher. The setup menus are simple and the blue front panel display lights are clear and easy to read.
How to Connect the Parasound P 7
- The first method uses a separate two-channel power amp for the front stereo channels and an existing AV receiver to power the center and surround and/or surround back channels. In this configuration, the front and subwoofer pre-outs of a home theater receiver connect to the front and subwoofer multichannel inputs of the P 7. The front amp outputs of the P 7 then connect to a two-channel amplifier to power the front stereo speakers and the sub output is connected to a powered subwoofer system. The receiver's surround (surround and surround back channels) and center channel amps power the rest of the system.
- The second method uses an existing AV receiver and either a two-channel amp for the stereo speakers and an additional three or five-channel power amp for the rest of the system. In this scenario, the pre-outs of all channels of the receiver are connected to one of the multichannel inputs of the P 7, which then connects to outboard power amps. In both setups, the Parasound P 7 handles the two-channel analog signal and the receiver handles the digital audio and video signal processing.
Theater Bypass Mode
If my descriptions sound a little awkward, its implementation is simple and straightforward. In both examples, stereo reproduction is optimized and home theater can easily be integrated into the system. The best amp and speakers are used for pure stereo reproduction and the receiver handles digital processing for home theater sound. It's an elegant solution and provides the best of both worlds in a single home entertainment system.