Meticulously Engineered, Globally Acclaimed: John Curl-Designed Parasound JC 3+ MM/MC Phono Preamplifier Plays with Stratospheric Fidelity, Includes Built-In AC Line Conditioner
There's no need to beat around the bush: The Parasound JC 3+ is one of the most acclaimed, finest-engineered, impeccably built, highest-value, sense-invigorating, surgically precise, crisp, and dead-quiet MM/MC phono preamplifiers ever made. Designed by audio icon John Curl, the same electronics visionary responsible for the legendary Vendetta Research phonostage, JC 3+ boasts dual-mono topology in which the left and right channel are separately enclosed in their own respective extruded aluminum enclosure. Equally astonishing, it comes with its own built-in AC line conditioner to prevent AC noise from polluting the circuits.
A reference-level R-core power transformer, exclusive Vishay-Dale resistors in the audio path, 24k gold-plated copper traces on the phono module boards, and, yes, triple shielding (low-carbon mild steel partitions isolate the power supplies from the AC wires) further contribute to this flagship musical instrument's ability to help play vinyl LPs with jaw-dropping expressionism, emotionalism, spaciousness, imaging, transparency, and involvement.
Offering variable MC load adjust independent for each channel from 50-550 ohms with dual gang Vishay potentiometers, JC 3+ touts RIAA accuracy within 0.2dB. To reduce background noise to inaudible levels, the 19-pound unit also uses revised John Curl-Carl Thompson circuitry to reduce background noise to inaudible levels. As for the wowing dynamics and taut, super-low bass extension you'll hear? ESD power-supply filter caps abet separate high-speed soft-recovery rectifiers and voltage regulators for each channel. Recognizing the limiting potential of even the slightest distortion or vibration, JC 3+ also incorporates a non-magnetic aluminum rear panel and an AC polarity reverse switch to reduce hum. Mercy!
Graced with elegant looks and housed in a strapping chassis, JC 3+ also proves a master of connectivity. Balanced XLR outputs with premium Neutrik connectors, Vampire 24k gold-plated RCA jacks, impedance adjustment knobs, and turn-on options switches (manual or auto) make everything easy and accessible. A mono switch, five-year manufacturer warranty, and our 100% Music Direct Satisfaction Guarantee heap on the spoils. Eye-popping measured specifications (THD is less than 0.01% at 1kHz) and a veritable tome of rave reviews (see below for a sampling) provide even more evidence JC 3+ will dramatically alter your analog world. Commence your risk-free in-home audition today!
"In terms of real-world performance, the place where most of us actually live, the Parasound Halo JC 3 is the best phono preamp I've heard in my system."
– Neil Gader, The Absolute Sound, Golden Ear and Editors' Choice Awards
"Like other Parasound products that are far closer to the state-of-the-art than the price would suggest – the big Halo monoblocks come to mind – you have to treat the JC 3+ as something of a gift, a product from a great engineering mind produced by a company that keeps impressing me over and over. Highly recommended."
– Marc Phillips, Part-Time Audiophile
"Looking back through this report, I seem to have used the word ‘superb' several times, and justifiably so: The Parasound Halo JC 3 measured performance is indeed superb."
– John Atkinson, Stereophile, Recommended Component
"Like the Vendetta, the JC 3 wasn't merely quiet, or even really, really quiet – it was silent."
– Brian Damkroger, Stereophile, Recommended Component
"It does everything well and its minor acts of omission will not be noticed or missed on the kinds of systems in which it's likely to be used. In real-world priced systems it's likely to max-out vinyl performance and keep you locked in to listening for years to come."
– Michael Fremer, Analog Planet
"Essentially, the JC 3+ is an unerringly clean and crisp, modern-sounding design, yet one that remains fully able to communicate the alluring sound of vinyl replay."
– Hi-Fi News, Outstanding Product
"The soundstage was tight and honed, delivery was crisp, precise and accurate... Vocals were nothing less than haunting, while the low-noise design offered a clean and open presentation."
– Hi-Fi World, five-globe review
"The JC 3 will make a $1,500 turntable/cartridge combination sound much better than it has a right to, yet will keep pace with your favorite $10,000 turntable package – making it a component with which you can really grow."
– Jeff Dorgay, TONEAudio, Exceptional Value Award
"I'm confident that how the JC 3+ breathes life and energy into music is exceptional. After you've experienced it, it seems impossible to take even the smallest of steps backward. It invigorates everything it touches. The extraordinary thing is that every time you listen, it feels special and reminds you that this strange alchemy called audio sometimes fulfills its promise."
– Michael J. Galvin, Secrets of Home Theater and High Fidelity, Best of Award
"Parasound's JC 3+ Phono Amplifier is a masterpiece and its creators John Curl and Carl Thompson spared no expense to achieve sound quality and performance that is impeccable."
– Audiotechnique (Hong Kong)
"High-end sound reproduction doesn't get much better than this. Thoroughly and very highly recommended!"
– Stereo Times
Total Harmonic Distortion: < 0.01% at 1 kHz
Signal to Noise Ratio, MM:
> 87 dB, input shorted, IHF A-weighted
> 78 dB, input shorted, unweighted
Signal to Noise Ratio, MC:
> 87 dB, input shorted, IHF A-weighted
> 67 dB, input shorted, unweighted
Interchannel Crosstalk: 72 dB at 1 kHz
MM: 47k Ω
MC: 50 - 550 Ω variable, 47k Ω fixed
Unbalanced: < 100 Ω
Balanced: < 100 Ω per leg
Input Capacitance: 150 pF
Input Sensitivity at 1 kHz:
MM: 4mV for 1 V output
MC: 600µV for 1 V output
MM: 48 dB
MC: 64 dB
XLR Pin Identification:
1 = Ground (Shield)
2 = Positive
3 = Negative (Return)
AC Power Requirement:
Standby: 1 watt
Power On: 12 watts
115 or 230 VAC 50 - 60 Hz
Dimensions (WDH): 17-1/4" x 13-3/4" x 4-1/8"
Weight: 19 lbs.
User Manual (PDF, 775 KB)