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The Zdac reportedly sounds more natural and less "digital" than DACs selling for far more because of its design and high quality parts. Its 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 Parasound's 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.
Like all Z Series components, Zdac has a built-in power supply rather than a typical 'wall wart.' All of this is available at both unbalanced gold-plated RCA jacks and balanced XLR outputs.
The Zdac headphone output is driven by a low-noise/high current amplifier that will drive nearly any 32- to 600-ohm headphone
with ease. A dedicated precision volume control for headphone listening adds to the Zdac's convenience.
The Zdac includes fast-acting muting relays to eliminate transient pops or thump noises during turn on/off and when selecting inputs.
The Parasound Zdac is available in the traditional Z-Series black rack-mount configuration and the new Z-Series silver finish without rack tabs. Both versions are one rack-space high. The black Zdac is 9-1/2 inches wide -- half of a standard rack width -- and the silver Zdac is 8-1/2 inches wide.
Both versions of the Parasound Zdac Digital to Analog Converter are now available for $475.