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Parasound JC-2 BP Reference Preamp

Regular price $3,999.00 USD
Regular price Sale price $3,999.00 USD
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Parasound Halo JC 2 BP

Wide open soundstage

Parasound's JC 2 BP is like a perfect canvas which lets you fully experience the color and texture of your music. This all-analog stereo preamp identical in circuitry to its predecessor — the longtime audiophile favorite JC 2 — except for the addition of a home theater bypass function. Part of its beauty is that it doesn't try to do too much. There's no DAC, no Bluetooth®, not even a phono input. Rather, the JC 2 BP is designed to give you the best possible sound with your streaming components, outboard phono preamps, and other sources.

Silence is golden, by design

Every design detail in the JC 2 BP serves to minimize interaction between its component parts. For instance, 3/8"-thick aluminum partitioning isolates the high-current, low-impedance power supply. On the other side of the partition, separate circuit boards for the left and right channels keep interference at bay.

Parasound has also minimized long wire runs by placing master and individual channel switches and level controls as close as possible to the actual input circuitry. Non-audio control circuitry, like LED lights on the display, run on a separate power supply.

All this adds up to almost nothing — an utterly silent background. The low noise floor allows the JC 2 BP to deliver warm and articulate musical nuance.

The legacy of John Curl

The JC 2 BP features circuitry designed by by John Curl, a legend in audio engineering. He started his career in the 1970s, designing tape and video recorders at Ampex, and he had a hand in building the Grateful Dead's Wall of Sound. Curl has worked with Parasound since 1989, designing all of their high-power amplifiers and more. The power supply, transistors, capacitors and other parts in the JC 2 BP were chosen to offer high performance at a reasonable price.

Product highlights:

  • dual monaural preamplifier with analog inputs to handle a variety of line level music sources
  • high-capacity R-core audio power transformer and inductor
  • frequency response: 5-100,000 Hz
  • signal-to-noise ratio: 116 dB
  • total harmonic distortion: 0.003% at 100 Hz
  • dual-mono left- and right-channel circuit boards minimize crosstalk
  • remote control
  • home theater bypass lets you connect the JC 2 BP in line between your home theater receiver or processor and your power amp
    • lets your main left and right speakers play stereo music as well as home theater sound
    • can be assigned to any input
    • easy switching for bypass mode on remote control


  • 6 pairs unbalanced RCA line-level audio input jacks
    • 2 input pairs can be switched to XLR balanced connectors
    • no dedicated phono input
    • independent balanced/unbalanced select for the left- and right-channel inputs
  • 4 output jack pairs with specialized functions:
    • 1 Main output jack pair is balanced XLR, polarity is switched by remote
    • 1 Main output jack pair is unbalanced RCA, polarity is switched by remote
    • 1 output jack pair is unbalanced RCA, inverted polarity only
    • 1 output pair is unbalanced RCA, normal polarity, fixed level for recorders
    • switchable polarity allows optimum sound with any amplifier, and better clarity with some recordings
  • rear panel 3.5mm IR repeater input and loop out jacks (x2)
  • RS-232C port for connection to 3rd-party home automation systems

Dimensions and warranty:

  • 17-1/4"W x 5-7/8"H x 18"D (3U rack spaces)
  • rack mountable with the Parasound HRA 3 sold separately
  • weight: 24 lbs.
  • warranty: 5 years

Features & specs


RCA Inputs


XLR Inputs


3.5mm Inputs


Phono Inputs


Phono Input Type


Optical Digital Inputs


Coaxial Digital Inputs


Digital XLR Inputs


USB Type A


USB Type B


Ethernet Port



RCA Outputs


XLR Outputs


Optical Digital Outputs


Coaxial Digital Outputs


Digital XLR Outputs


Subwoofer Outputs


Discrete Sub Outs


Headphone Output


Audio Features & Specs

Frequency Response


S/N Ratio (Phono)


S/N Ratio (Line)




DAC Bit Depth


DAC Sample Rate


Home Theater Bypass


Wireless Features



Bluetooth Formats Supported




Frequency Bands



Apple AirPlay


DTS Play-Fi


Chromecast built-in










Music Services

Amazon Music


Apple Music














YouTube Music



Apple Control App


Android Control App


Amazon Alexa


Google Assistant


12 Volt Trigger

Out (4)

IR Control




Other Specs

Width (Inches)


Height (Inches)


Depth (Inches)


Parts Warranty

5 Years

Labor Warranty

5 Years

Product Research


High-Quality Component Parts & Design: All component parts of the Parasound JC 2BP stereo preamplifier have been carefully selected and implemented, as well as meticulously oriented to produce a natural and un-altered musical sound with extremely low noise distortion. The power supply, circuitry, and chassis layout of the JC 2 BP are uncompromised in their pursuit of the highest design goals for a preamplifier.

  • High Current, Low Impedance Power Supply: The high-current, low-impedance audio power supply is larger than many amplifiers and carefully integrated with the signal boards - resulting in absolute musical clarity. The power transformer is an R-core type, which has the advantage of a toroid transformer for minimizing radiated hum, but is superior at preventing noise carried on the AC power line from passing into its secondary windings.
  • Shortest Signal Path: The shortest signal path is achieved by placing the master volume control and individual channel level potentiometers and high quality gold-plated input select relays right where the input circuitry is located to eliminate the need for long wires and traces. The entire signal path is embedded on circuit boards in a continuous ground plane or carried in professional-grade Canare shielded wires.
  • Dedicated PCBs: Each channel of the preamplifier is on a separate PCB. The preservation of low-level signals is achieved by the separation of critical audio signals from non-audio circuits. The audio power supply, control power supply and control circuits also have dedicated PCBs.
  • 3/8" Thick Aluminum Shielding: To prevent the possibility of radiated noise getting into an audio circuit the power supplies and control functions are further isolated from each other by two 3/8" thick aluminum partitions that are the full height of the chassis and run side-to-side and front-to-back. Even within the audio circuit's power supply section, AC power is isolated from regulated power by placing the power transformer high in the chassis on one of the aluminum partitions.
  • Separate Power Supplies: Non-audio control circuitry, LEDs, relay coils and the motor for the master volume control are powered by a separate power supply whose transformer has a separate ground return.

Balanced & Unbalanced Analog Inputs: There are a total of six line-level input jacks on the JC 2 BP stereo preamplifier. Input 1 and Input 2 include both balanced XLR and unbalanced RCA connections, while Input 3 through 6 only consist of unbalanced RCA connection.

  • Unbalanced RCA Inputs: All of the six unbalanced RCA inputs have the same input sensitivity and impedance. These inputs are compatible with any typical analog line level source. When using the In 1 or In 2 unbalanced RCA input connections, set the input's corresponding Balanced/ Unbalanced selector switch to "Unbalanced".
  • Balanced XLR Inputs: Use the two balanced XLR inputs to connect any source components with balanced outputs. A balanced line provides superior hum and noise cancellation, especially for long cable runs. Many serious listeners also prefer the sonic characteristics of balanced interconnects because the lower inherent noise floor contributes to a more defined and spacious soundstage. When using the balanced XLR input connections, set the input’s corresponding Balanced/Unbalanced selector switch to "Balanced".

Balanced & Unbalanced Analog Outputs: The Parasound HALO Series JC 2 BP stereo preamplifier features balanced XLR and unbalanced RCA main outputs, an unbalanced stereo RCA record output, as well as an unbalanced stereo RCA inverted output.

  • Main Out: The Main Output jack are the primary outputs that connect to the inputs on your amplifier or amplifiers. There are both balanced XLR and unbalanced RCA Main Out jacks. The polarity of the Main Outputs are the same as the input, but can be inverted 180-degrees by pressing the Invert button on the JC 2 BP's remote control. The JC 2 BP uses a fully differential balanced circuit and its balanced outputs do not require or use phase inverters.
  • Record Out: The Record Out consists of stereo RCA jacks that connect to the Record Input jacks on your audio recorder. The Record Out provides fixed level signals that are unaffected by the master volume control, L or R level trim controls, mute or polarity invert select. The Record Out of the JC 2 BP is not switched as a monitor for simultaneous comparisons of recording to source.
  • Inverted Out: The Inverted Out consists of stereo RCA Jacks. The polarity at the Inverted Out is always 180-degrees from the input signal, and is not affected by the Invert button on the remote. You may use the inverted output to maintain correct absolute polarity if your connected power amplifier inverts polarity.

Home Theater Bypass Function: The JC 2 BP's new Bypass function enables your surround system's left and right front speakers and their power amplifier to do double duty as the left and right channels of an analog stereo system. Simply connect the JC 2 BP between your surround processor or AV receiver's left and right channel line-level output jacks and the input jacks on the power amplifier which drives your left and right front speakers. Your stereo analog sources will connect to the JC 2 BP, so you can listen to your favorite music without compromises to analog purity that are inevitable when digital processing circuitry is in the same chassis. When you want to watch movies with digital surround, simply press a button on the JC 2 BP's remote control and the left and right front channel signals from your surround processor or receiver will pass through the JC 2 BP as if it wasn't even there. Now, you can enjoy the best of both worlds with perfect analog stereo and a seamless transition to digital surround.

  • The JC 2 BP lets you bypasses its master volume control and the left and right channel gain controls. Fixed resistors set the signal level at its output jacks for "unity gain", This means the signal level at the JC 2 BP output jacks is exactly the same as the signal level at its input jacks so you won’t need to re-calibrate the speaker levels in your surround system.
  • The JC 2 BP Bypass function operates with both its unbalanced and its balanced inputs and outputs. The Bypass function does require the JC 2 BP to be powered on, since the bypass circuit is active.

Remote Control: The included IR remote provide wireless operation of the JC 2 BP stereo preamplifier, up to 20-25'. Control functions include Power On/Off, Input Selection, Volume Up/Down, Mute, Polarity Normal/Invert, and Trigger On/Off. The remote also supports control of a Parasound AM/FM tuner with Band and Preset control functions.

12V Trigger Outs: There are four 12V trigger outputs (2.5mm). These can be used to turn on power amplifiers and other equipment that are equipped with automatic turn-on inputs. Two of the 12V trigger output jacks labeled 1 and 2 are live whenever the JC 2 BP is turned on. The jacks labeled 3 and 4 are activated when you press the Trigger On button on the remote control. Triggers 3 and 4 are always off when the JC 2 BP is powered off.

External Remote In/Out: The JC 2 BP is compatible with most popular infrared repeater systems (sold separately) for remote control operation from another room or when the JC 2 BP is installed in a cabinet where its remote handset signals cannot reach its front panel remote control sensor. The External Remote In/Out connectors are a standard 3.5mm (1/8") minijack.

RS-232 Serial Port: The RS-232 Serial port consists of a 9-pin female DB9 connector. It permits the JC 2 BP to communicate in two directions with home automation and control systems such as Crestron, AMX, Control4, Niles and Elan (all sold separately). When the JC 2 BP is connected to such a device, it can be controlled and its status monitored from keypads or touchscreen panels throughout your house. The capabilities of such connections, and the programming and interfacing needed will depend on the automation system you select.

Detachable AC Power Cord: The AC cord supplied with the JC 2 BP is a high quality IEC type cord. Please connect it directly to an AC wall outlet or power conditioner that is always on. If possible, plug your JC 2 BP into the same AC outlet that your amplifier is plugged into. If different AC outlets are used for the JC 2 BP and other components, (including a TV or video projector) the ground potential may be higher or lower between the outlets, resulting in audible hum.

Rack Mountable: With its four feet removed, the HALO Series JC 2 BP can be rack mounted in a 3U space using Parasound's HRA 3 rack mount kit (sold separately - see Accessories Tab)