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Brings DAC Technology to a New Level for Anywhere Near the Price
The Zdac is one of the newest entries in Parasound's Z-series of half-width audiophile components. Its size may be compact, but its performance is anything but small. In fact, the amount of advanced technology packed into the compact casework of the Zdac is impressive, and the level of performance is stunning.
In a market filled with DACs, Parasound has set a new standard for performance and value with the help of acclaimed Danish digital experts Holm Acoustics.
Unique Re-Clocking System
The Zdac sounds more natural and less 'digital' than DACs selling for far more because of its innovative design and high quality parts. Its unique re-clocking system preserves the original source audio data by eliminating jitter contamination that is picked up along the digital signal chain. This highly effective jitter-reduction system works on all inputs, not just the USB input, as in many other DACs. This is accomplished through the synergy of two premium parts, an Analog Devices AD1895 asynchronous sample rate converter and an AD1853 DAC IC, the same DAC IC that Holm selected for Parasound's $5,000 Halo CD 1 CD player. To further improve sound quality the digital signal for all inputs is up-sampled to 422 kHz.
The Zdac accepts 24 bit word lengths and all sampling rates up to 192 kHz on S/PDIF and Optical and 96 kHz on USB. Signals are reclocked and then upsampled to 422 kHz for vivid and effortless reproduction.
"We invite you to compare the Zdac to any DAC selling for under $1500," says Parasound's President Richard Schram. "You have our permission to buy a superior DAC without a high price."
High Capacity Power Supply
Most mid-priced DACs use a small external switch-mode 'wall wart' power adaptor. The Zdac includes a built-in low noise linear power supply with a high capacity toroid power transformer for the cleanest possible sound, incredible dynamic range and high-impact bass response.
Balanced Outputs and Dedicated Headphone Stage
The Zdac lets you take maximum advantage of its sonic excellence, letting you experience its sound via both balanced XLR outputs and unbalanced gold-plated RCA jacks.
The Zdac headphone output is driven by a dedicated low-noise/high current amplifier that will drive nearly any high quality headphone with ease.
The Zdac includes fast-acting muting relays, usually found only on premium priced DACs, to eliminate any hint of transient pops or thump noises during turn on/off and when selecting inputs. Custom installers will appreciate that the Zdac immediately powers back up to the same input in the event of an AC power outage.
Driver-Free Asynchronous USB
The advanced USB interface requires no additional drivers to install or maintain/update. The USB interface is plug-and-play with all operating systems, including PC, Mac, or Linux.
The Zdac USB input uses a Texas Instruments TAS1020B USB receiver and Holm has written custom software to optimize the function of its phase locked loop (PLL), significantly enhancing sonic performance. This optimization provides a superior basis to get the most of the AD1895 and AD1853 combination to further reduce USB timing errors.