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"Product of the Year" 2009 - Positive Feedback Online
"A Way Overachieving Amp"
Parasound has introduced a more powerful version of its ultra-compact Zamp zone amplifier for use in custom installations and compact audio systems. The Parasound Zamp v.3 is a stereo power amplifier capable of 45 watts per channel into an 8-ohm load, making it 50% more powerful and much cooler running than its popular predecessor, the Zamp v.2.
The Zamp won "Product of the Year" honors for 2009 from Positive Feedback Online. "In its third iteration of refinement, it’s a stone winner," raves Max Dudious.
"I'm taken with its size, its sound, and that the closest product to its size I could find was a (much wider) $1,700 Bryston amp," notes Max Dudious in his April 17, 2009 review for Positive Feedback. "It is a way overachieving amp at a ridiculously attractive price. That ranks it about an A in my rating scheme."
"It Sounds No Different from $9,000 Amplifiers"
"The Parasound Zamp v.3 is one helluva 45-watt amplifier, regardless of price tag and chassis size," reports the May 8, 2005 review in The Audio Critic. "Just because it's small and cute and cuddly, just because it costs only $299, it sounds no different from $9,000 amplifiers that have comparable power outputs… That the price and the size are remarkably small is an aspect of comparison shopping, not of audio performance."
Perfect for Compact Systems
"Designed to slip nicely in your custom equipment rack, Parasound's Zamp v.3 stereo amplifier is only 1-3/4" tall, taking up just one rack space," reports the October 2004 issue of Sound & Vision magazine.
Like all Parasound Z-series components, Zamp uses a standardized "half-width" rack-mount chassis that is just 1 rack space (1-3/4 inches) tall and 9-1/2 inches wide, half the width of a conventional audio component. This size is perfect for a compact bookshelf audio system or two-abreast in a standard 19-inch professional equipment rack.
The amplifier's small size also makes it ideal for unconventional and space-limited applications, including multi-room / multi-zone installations, PC and desktop audio, and bedroom or den stereo systems. This product is truly a custom installation problem solver.
Fully Discrete, Audiophile-Quality Circuitry
Unlike other compact amplifiers, which typically employ low-cost single-chip IC amplifier modules, the Zamp v.3 uses fully discrete, direct-coupled DC servo circuitry, high speed bipolar output transistors, and a massive, high quality toroid power transformer. In addition to its 2 x 45 watts, 8-ohm rating (20 Hz - 20 kHz, both channels driven), Zamp v.3 delivers 60 watts per channel with 4-ohm loads, or can be bridged to provide over 90 watts mono into 8 ohms.
Custom Installation Features, Too
Parasound designed the Zamp v.3 with custom installation in mind, including features like a removable IEC power cord, and rear-panel 12 Volt trigger input and output. Its rear panel auto turn-on switch can also be set so it will power up automatically when an audio signal is present, with adjustable sensitivity, or for manual turn on and off from the front panel. The unit's attractive faceplate includes a headphone jack, and individual indicators for protection or high temperature fault as well as left and right channel status.
The Zamp v.3 features gold-plated five-way binding posts for speaker connections, and line-level inputs and outputs for integration with other equipment. Rear panel level controls can be independently adjusted for each channel to ensure ideal gain staging with a variety of preamplifiers or multi-room controllers. The Zamp also features no-mar isolation feet.
"Product of the Year" 2009 - Positive Feedback Online
"I'm taken with its size, its sound, and that the closest product to its size I could find was a (much wider) $1,700 Bryston amp."
It is the handiwork of the Parasound design team, with final evaluation and critique by John Curl. Curl doesn't like his name to be on a design he wasn't involved with at every level, but he did sneak a peek at this one a few times along the way, and C.E.O. Richard Schram says, "his remarkable insights amounted to very helpful suggestions," ice-cream on the rhubarb pie."
What we have here, then, is an amplifier that out-performs its original design goals, that has many of the characteristics of the Parasound "house sound," but with 10% of the power rating of a pair of 400W JC-1 amps, at about 5% of the price."
it has very wide bandwidth, low noise, high S/N ratio, and a fast slew rate, which usually adds up to great sound. It's dynamic, yet refined; punchy, yet transparent; powerful, yet delicate; transient-friendly, yet with great resolution of details down in the mix. It's on the sweet and warm side of the menu, with great bass. Perhaps the Zamp is most like Parasound's JC-1 in its ease of presentation."
It is a way overachieving amp at a ridiculously attractive price. That ranks it about an A in my rating scheme."- Max Dudious, Positive Feedback, April 17, 2009
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