Parasound’s Z Series

Speaking of great things in small packages, here we see Parasound’s Zphono USB phono preamplifier ($349) and Zdac digital-to-analog converter ($450). Parasound’s Z Series products are handsome, truly affordable, and built like bricks. Interesting side note: The half-width, rack-mount design has its roots in a mic preamp that Parasound built for AMF bowling centers in the 1980s. I bet those mic preamps kicked butt, too.

I hope you’ll read all about the Zphono USB phono preamp in the March issue of Stereophile. I’ll tell you now that I love the damn thing. Parasound’s Richard Schram is especially excited about the new Zdac, however. It’s compatible with resolutions up to 96kHz via USB and up to 192kHz via optical/coaxial, and its circuitry was derived from the DAC used in Parasound’s top-of-the-line CD1 CD player.

Schram did a little jump. “I like being disruptive,” he grinned.

The Z Series also includes an impressively hefty, 45Wpc class-A/B amplifier ($350) and matching preamp ($400). If only they came in silver, too, and without the rack-mounting holes. Oh, wait.

soundboy's picture

Finally, some actually affordable components to get excited about! 

brent71's picture

Only 96 khz over USB? Why not do 192 over USB 2.0? That's kind of a deal-breaker.

crissan6's picture

So then, will one that has the Zcd get any benefit buying the ZDac, since the Cd also has a USB entry??