Denver – Parasound will go to the CEDIA Expo with its first 12-channel multizone amplifier in years, an improved DAC/headphone amp, and a prototype of its first integrated amp/DAC.
Company president Richard Schram said the engineering of the products, like other company products, is “tailored to custom installation” and “places a priority on high-end sound, reliability, sensible features and good looks.” As a result, he said, Parasound “has carved out a solid niche among top-flight audio and audio/video retailers” who “have profited from integrating home installation and automation without sacrificing their core audiophile values and commitment to state-of-the-art video.”
CI features in Parasound’s portfolio include include amplifiers that drive difficult low-impedance loads, 12-volt and audio-sensing auto turn-on options that lock out the front panel on-off switch, discrete IR codes, IR inputs and loop outputs, remote-zone capabilities, and rack-mountable chassis.
At the show, the company is launching the 12-channel ZoneMaster Model 1250 12-channel power amplifier, available in October at a suggested $2,495. The 2U rack-mount amp drives 12 8-ohm speakers at 50 watts each and 12 4-ohm speakers at 90 watts. Each channel pair can be bridged to deliver up to 6x160-watt output into 8 ohms and 6x200 watts into 4 ohms RMS, all channels driven. Because it has 24 speaker terminals and is 2-ohm stable, it is also capable of driving two speakers per channel.
For home theater, the amp could be used to upgrade an A/V receiver’s output by adding 3x160-watt plus 4x50-watt amplification.
The amp uses a dedicated Class AB input stage and Class D power stage to generate what Schram said is “performance consistent with Parasound's heritage.”
The amp also features line-level inputs with individual level controls for each channel. It also features two bus inputs and a speaker-level input that can be routed to any zone. Independent 12-volt, audio triggers, and looping outputs are available for each zone, and there’s a global 12-volt trigger. Standby power consumption is 0.5 watts to meet Energy Star and European Union specifications.
Also at the show, the company is launching the Zdac V.2 DAC/headphone amp, available in October at a suggested $549.
Improvements over its predecessor include improved preamplifier features, a new headphone amplifier with increased gain and dual output jacks, and 12-volt triggers.
A new high-slew-rate headphone amplifier in the new Zdac prevents odd-order distortions responsible for listening fatigue, the company said. Its low 10-ohm output impedance and higher gain enables it to drive headphones with up to 600-ohm impedances. A dedicated volume control is available for headphones, and dual 1/4- and 1/8-inch phone jacks are included to avoid noise that might be added by using adapters, the company said.
The DAC drives a power amplifier direct without the need for a preamplifier. It provides balanced XLR and unbalanced RCA line outputs.
Like its predecessor, Zdac V.2 features optical and coaxial digital inputs supporting up to 192kHz/24-bit sources and a USB input for 96kHz/24-bit sources. It provides asynchronous sample-rate conversion of all inputs, which are reclocked and upsampled to 422kHz/24 bits.
It also features 12-volt trigger input and a 12-volt trigger output.
Details on the prototype Halo 160-watt stereo integrated amplifier/DAC were unavailable.