Parasound launches trio of Zonemaster CI amplifiers

posted on Wednesday, 16th December 2020 by Steve May

Multi-room  Media Rooms  Hi-fi 

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Parasound has added three models to its ZoneMaster range for custom installers. The two channel ZM 2 and four channel ZM 4 are suitable for media room applications, while the ZM 12 provides 12 channels of amplification for up to 24 speakers in a multiroom project.

The ZM 4's two output zones can operate from a common source bus or independently from two separate sources. Each channel has individually adjustable line-level gain controls and the output for each zone can be mono or stereo. It uses Phoenix-style speaker connectors and can power up to eight speakers using the A+B speaker outputs. Loop outputs are provided to enable daisy chaining additional amplifiers.

The half-width ZM 2 has similar performance for a single zone but includes an 80Hz low-pass filter for subwoofers. The filter can be applied to the line-level output for use with a powered subwoofer. It can also be applied to the main amplifier outputs for use with passive subwoofers in mono or stereo mode. Using the A&B speaker outputs, up to four speakers can be powered.

Both amplifiers boast 150 watts per channel into 4ohm and 2ohm loads and 120 watts for 8ohm speakers. They can be turned on using 12V triggers, audio detection, or front panel button. The ZM 4 offers turn-on for all zones or for each zone individually, offering exceptional flexibility, especially with popular, branded streaming sources that have 12V triggers.

Zm 12-front _black
Zm 12-rear _black
‘These new amplifiers mate the best of Parasound design with the cool, efficient reliability and space savings of Class D’, says Parasound president, Richard Schram. ‘The Danish-made ICEpower modules are the best available, offering amazing sonic performance and reliability. When paired with our premium Class AB stereo input stage and custom designed heat sinking, a powerful, cool-running, and rack-space friendly amplifier results. The performance rivals more costly audiophile amplifiers. Using independent power modules for each zone ensures that we can achieve this with all channels driven’.

The ZM 12 is a 12-channel, 2-ohm stable power amplifier for commercial and residential audio systems with flexible power options for stereo audio in six zones, and up to 24 individual speakers. The ZM 12 drives two channels at 120 watts each into 8ohms, with the remaining 10 channels at 60 watts each. With 4ohm speakers typical of architectural audio, the ratings are 150 and 100 watts respectively. There are also A and B speaker outputs for each channel.

‘Providing higher power for two of the 12 channels seems obvious now that we've done it’, says Richard Schram. ‘Nearly all installations have a zone which can sing nicely with higher power, either a large room, outdoor speakers, or a room for serious stereo listening’.

Each channel has an individual line-level input jack, level control, and two detachable Phoenix-connector speaker outputs. Each zone can connect to one of two line-level buses or to a speaker-level input bus. Buffered loop outputs facilitate daisy-chaining amplifiers. The ZM 12 has a suite of turn on options: global (all zones) auto turn on with a switch to select either a single 12V trigger or audio sensing and each zone can be independently turned on by 12V or audio sensing.

The Parasound ZoneMaster ZM 2, ZM 4 and ZM 12 are available now from exclusive UK distributor, Connected Distribution. They retail for £599, £1,199 and £2,999 respectively.

Steve May

Inside CI Editor Steve May is a freelance technology specialist who also writes for T3TechRadarHome Cinema Choice, Trusted Reviews and The Luxe Review.

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