Loaded with Options, Committed to Audiophile Sound: Parasound HINT 6 Integrated Amplifier Features Class A/AB Amp Stage, ESS SABRE32 DAC, MM/MC Phono Preamp, More
Improving on the original HALO declared an "uncompromising ‘best sound for the dollar value'" by Positive Feedback and a Class A Recommended Component by Stereophile, the Parasound HINT 6 integrated amplifier extends such proud tradition while upping the overall performance. A Burr Brown analog resistor ladder volume control, ball-bearing-supported aluminum volume knob, advanced USB receiver for Mac plug-and-play, and enhanced channel separation are among the new features that places HINT 6 at the top of the value-proposition list. Legendary designer John Curl's circuit topology and 160-watt Class A/AB power-amplifier stage remain — as does the versatility for which HINT 6's predecessor won multiple awards.
Taken alone, the preamplifier and DAC sections of HINT 6 beat those of countless separates. Harboring an ESS SABRE32 ES9018K2M Reference DAC, asynchronous USB 2.0 input that supports 32-bit/384kHz PCM and native DSD256, and coax and optical inputs that accept up to 24-bit/192kHz PCM, the 33-pound one-box solution knows the ins and outs of high-resolution audio. A superb-sounding MM/MC phono preamplifier that interfaces with low-output cartridges gives the green light to arresting vinyl playback. Have a pair of ‘phones? They'll love the dedicated high-current headphone amplifier. Moreover, a home-theater bypass input for simple surround-sound integration, a front-panel subwoofer level control, and front-panel auxiliary input with auto 12dB gain stage expand your set-up possibilities.
Speaking of the latter, five pairs of RCA line-level inputs, one pair of XLR balanced analog inputs, balanced XLR and RCA left/right preamplifier outputs, and an XLR balanced subwoofer output (along with two RCA) invite you to connect practically anything any way you want. Bass and treble controls with relay bypass, a front-panel dim switch, logarithmic volume control, rear-panel IR input and IR loop output jacks, and 12V trigger output augment analog bass management with high- and low-pass crossovers.
You may have noticed we haven't even gotten to all the features of the power-amp section. A direct amplifier input to bypass the preamplifier section, an oversized shielded 1.1kVA toroidal transformer with independent secondary windings, and dual-mono power supply start the high-tech hit parade. Matched Toshiba JFET input stages and MOSFET driver stages, as well as 12 high-voltage bipolar output transistors and 40,000uF of power supply filter capacitance continue the impressive showing. For added security, temperature and short-circuit relay protection come standard.
Visually, HINT 6 exudes timeless elegance and stellar build quality. A backlit remote control featuring favorite volume memory gives you handheld command. Parasound's five-year manufacturer warranty and our 100% Music Direct Satisfaction Guarantee give you the assurance you need to audition HINT 6 in you own home and discover what so many other thrilled users already know: This one's a keeper.
"I can't think of another integrated amplifier that offers so many options and has such solid, generous sound. Recommended."
—Ken Micallef, Stereophile
"Tonally, the Parasound HINT 6 is open and even-handed, and able to convey the different tonal textures of instruments well. Bass is deep and tuneful, while the midrange is pleasingly articulate. Highs are crisp without veering towards harshness and aggression."
"It was as easy to set up as a DVD / Blu Ray player, sounded fantastic straight out of the box (but even better after a week of burn-in), and offered enough connectivity options to please just about anyone looking for a single-box solution to their audio woes. It had more than enough juice to drive every speaker I had in the house to musically satisfying levels and it looks nice to boot!"
—Maurice Jeffries, Positive Feedback
Analog Volume Control
HINT 6 uses a Burr-Brown high-performance, electronically controlled analog volume control IC with high dynamic range. It functions as an analog switched resistor ladder array so analog audio is never converted to digital as with most IC volume controls. Parasound engineers bypass the onboard gain stage, using an external, high-performance operational amplifier with a dedicated power supply. This approach achieves the lowest noise and the lowest distortion resulting in superior sound quality.
Massive Toroidal Power Transformer and Toshiba JFETs
The heart of HINT 6's power supply is a massive 1.1kVA toroid power transformer. It is custom-designed for well-contained radiated hum, high efficiency, and high power. Encapsulating this massive power transformer in an epoxy-filled steel canister assures ultra-quiet performance. The transformer has independent secondary windings to provide more than ample voltage to each channel's power supply under the most strenuous operating conditions. Separate windings for each channel improves stereo imaging by reducing inter-channel crosstalk. HINT 6 uses a total of 40,000uF of Lelon electrolytic filter capacitors to provide a reserve of massive power sufficient to reproduce unrestricted bass. Highly-coveted Toshiba JFETs are deployed in the input stage of the power amplifier section to achieve stunningly low noise and maximize its dynamic range.
High- and Low-Pass Crossover Network
An especially useful feature of HINT 6 is its innovative high- and low-pass crossover network. This provides analog bass management as well as easy integration of subwoofers and stereo speakers. With the HINT 6 crossover network, your subwoofer(s) is easily shared by two-channel and multi-channel playback. This works in tandem with the home theater bypass input for a seamless transition whenever you select two-channel or multi-channel operation without any need for reconnecting the subwoofer from HINT 6 to the AVR and vice versa.