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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.
The new Zdac v.2 sounds more natural and less "digital" than DACs selling for far more because of its innovative design and high quality parts - but primarily from Parasound's know how and experience in this area as alluded to above. 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 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 their highly acclaimed Halo CD 1 CD player. To further improve sound quality the signal is up-sampled to 422kHz. This highly effective jitter-reduction system works on all inputs, not just the USB input, as in many other DACs.
The Zdac v.2 builds further on this high performance pedigree as it has an 'over-sized internal toroid power transformer' - not a wall wart like many competitors. So Parasound like many other premium audio manufacturers are now fully aware of the improvements with digital performance, and although this lies in decent processing capabilities, it also lies with very high quality power supplies (as it does with the best analogue components) and this is something Parasound are particularly aware of, and good at implementing - and the Zdac v.2 is no exception.
What's more is that the Zdac v.2 works with any format file on your computer up to 96 kHz / 24 bit, meaning that it is highly compatible for a host flexible applications - whether it be used for higher end audio reproduction or just used as a multi-format DAC that has great adaptability. This is also seen in that it works in variable volume mode in Windows® for connecting direct to a power amp - and this mode obviously no additional preamp is required.
For the more 'conventional' projects the Zdac v.2 has familiar optical and coaxial digital inputs for use with any standard digital connection requirements. As you'd expect the unit has both RCA unbalanced and XLR balanced analogue outputs on board - again meaning that it can be used for a host of residential or commercial applications - or just different amplifiers etc.
The unit interestingly (away from the CI focus totally) also is going to win huge praise and many friends as it also has a dedicated in-built high current headphone output with volume control can drive any headphones from 32 to 600 ohms. This feature really brings it into the realm of high end compact audio systems - and this is a hefty label it should wear well, even despite it's demure footing. So it's hard to think of another DAC with with features, at this price-point that can get close to it - pair it with a Zamp v.3 and you all of a sudden have a draw dropping compact modern hifi system...maximum 'bang for your buck'!
The Parasound Halo Zdac v.2 is available in black - please note that it cannot be rack mounted.
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