Californian company Parasound began producing high-end Hi-Fi components in 1981. The Parasound ZDAC DAC is a digital-to-analogue converter that is a fine showcase of the brand’s expertise in their field. It has three inputs – one USB, one Toslink optical and one coaxial – and two options for analogue outputs – 2 x RCA outputs or 2 x XLR outputs.
It uses an Analog Devices AD1853 DAC, which can handle up to 24 bits/192 kHz for the optical and coaxial inputs. The USB input is type B and synchronous, and can handle resolutions and sampling rates of up to 24 bits/96 kHz.
At the core of the Zdac’s design is Clock Flawless™, a system developed by Danish company Holm Acoustics to minimise jitter. It preserves each and every Bit of your digital record collection. Whether the device is being used in USB, coaxial or optical mode, Clock Flawless™ eliminates all errors as the signal is transported from the source to the Zdac. It also uses a high quality power supply. All signals are oversampled in 422 kHz.
It has an oversized toroid power transformer that ensures remarkable dynamic range. Its RCA connectors are gold-plated and it has a headphone output and precise volume control on the front panel. This headphone output is controlled by an amp with low noise levels and a strong current, which means that it is compatible with practically all headphones on the market with an impedance between 32 and 600 ohms. The Zdac converter is a master stroke from Parasound. Its performances are entirely consistent with the brand’s reputation and work miracles to deliver first class sound quality – highly recommended! Franck
Digital inputs: 1 x Toslink optical, 1 x RCA coaxial and 1 x USB
Analogue outputs: 1 x XLR pair and 1 x RCA pair
USB streaming controller: Texas Instruments TAS 1020 B
Upsampling 422 kHz: Analog Devices AD1895
Internal converter: Analog Devices AD1853
Optical and coaxial: 8 kHz, 11,025 kHz, 16 kHz, 32 kHz, 44,1 kHz, 48 kHz, 88,2 kHz, 96 kHz, 176,4 kHz, 192 kHz.
Asynchronous USB: 44,1 kHz, 48 kHz, 88,2 kHz, 96 kHz
Headphone output, compatible with headphones with impedance of 32-600 Ohms
Output impedance: 160 ohms, symmetrical (XLR) and asymmetrical (RCA)
Headphone output impedance: 40 Ohms
Dimensions (W x D x H): 241 x 254 x 51 mm
Weight: 2.3 kg
Packaging: 3.7 kg