Thursday, August 18, 2011

Parasound Debuts its Zphono·USB Preamplifier

The Parasound Zphono·USB is a premium phono preamplifier with an A-D converter to translate vinyl LPs into digital audio for your Mac or PC via USB. RIAA EQ defeat capability for the USB output enables users to apply of more precise software-based equalization in their selected recording software. The Zphono·USB also provides two pairs of line level inputs.

SAN FRANCISCO (8/18/11) - Parasound, a highly regarded San Francisco-based manufacturer of high-end audio components, has introduced the Zphono·USB, a compact preamplifier for moving coil and moving magnet (MC/MM) phonograph cartridges and line-level analog sources. For new media applications, Zphono·USB also adds an analog-to-digital (A-D) converter with a USB port to transfer audio from vinyl LPs onto Mac and PC as digital media. Zphono·USB is the newest of the company's Z-Series family of half-rack-width components.

First of all, the Parasound Zphono·USB is a high-quality analog phono preamplifier engineered for the optimum in playback quality for vinyl LPs. Like its predecessor, the Zphono analog phono preamplifier, which continues in the line, Zphono·USB uses high quality parts and precision RIAA equalization to achieve extremely low levels of noise and distortion, and accurate frequency response.

For the digital realm, the Parasound Zphono·USB also includes an adjustable USB gain control and defeatable RIAA equalization to improve the quality of audio transfers from LPs to digital media. The USB gain control and USB clipping indicator are used to optimize the digital record-output levels for the optimum signal-to-noise ratio with all recording software programs. For those using sophisticated digital music software in their PCs or Macs, the rear-panel RIAA defeat switch allows users to bypass the internal hardware-based RIAA phono equalization in favor of software-based digital equalization. These capabilities are provided only for the rear panel USB digital output.

The Parasound Zphono·USB has a stereo input for an MC or MM phonograph cartridge, and two stereo line-level inputs to facilitate digital transfers of analog sources such as a tuner, CD player or tape deck. Rear-panel settings for MM-47 k , MC-47 k or MC-100 cartridges allow the user to select the ideal impedance matching for their phono cartridge. Front panel rumble-filter and mono/stereo switches are also available to refine the quality of phono playback for older LPs and mono LPs.

There is a single pair of fixed-level line-level outputs and a headphone output. The Zphono·USB has dual power transformers and analog power supplies to minimize noise and an AC polarity reverse switch to combat hum issues related to power line polarity.

The Parasound Zphono·USB is the newest of many Z-Series components, each of which is one rack-space high and only one half rack-space wide. These Z-Series products are popular as stand-alone components and they can be easily rack-mounted using optional inexpensive adaptors.

The Parasound Zphono·USB will be available in the first week of September with a manufacturer's suggested retail price of $350.

About Parasound: Founded in 1981, Parasound Products, Inc., is a privately owned U.S. company that specializes in providing affordable audio and home theater components to the critical listener. Parasound's products are available from quality audio/video retailers, and select custom installation specialists. For more information, visit or call 415-397-7100 .

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