Parasound has introduced the Zcd Compact Disc Player as part of its Z Custom line of rack-mountable components that are half the width of a standard 19-inch equipment rack. While small in size, the Zcd has a high-performance Cirrus Logic DAC and a fully independent power supply for the analog circuits. With its built-in preamplifier functions, the Zcd and included remote control can be teamed with Parasound’s Zamp v.3 class AB stereo amplifier and a pair of speakers to make a compact audio system.
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The Zcd plays conventional Compact Discs as well as MP3 files from a CD-R. It also functions as a basic DAC-preamplifier with a USB input for MP3 files on a flash drive. It has an analog 3.5 mm stereo line-input jack for portable players and other line-level sources. The Zcd has fixed and variable line outputs as well as coaxial and optical digital audio outputs. The source selection, track and MP3 file selection, and variable outputs are all operated via the supplied remote control. The Zcd volume adjustments are controlled by an independent analog volume control IC, not digitally inside the DAC.
The Zcd uses a 24-bit, 192 kHz-capable Cirrus Logic CS4353 DAC with a Cirrus Logic CS8416 digital receiver. The circuitry boasts fifth-order multi-bit delta-sigma architecture with low latency digital filtering. It also includes analog filtering and ideal differential linearity along with very high tolerance to clock jitter. The analog circuits are powered by entirely independent analog power supply with its own power transformer.
For custom installers, the Zcd has a rear-panel IR input and one-way RS232 serial control port. There are three turn-on options: manual, automatic when AC is supplied, and 12V trigger. There is even a 12V trigger output to turn on a Zamp v.3 amplifier automatically.
Like all Parasound Z Custom components, it is one rack-space high and 9-1/2-inches wide; half of a standard rack width. It can be used with Parasound’s SBS side-by-side bracket to link two Z Custom units together, or Zblank for mounting across one rack space. Parasound also offers its half-width Zrack for mounting up to five Z Custom components.
The Parasound Zcd is now available with a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $400.