Parasound has added a pair of two-channel and four-channel power amplifiers to its ZoneMaster line for professional audio systems installers. The Parasound ZoneMaster ZM 2 and ZM 4 pack a lot of power into relatively small packages with each channel rated at 150 watts into the typical 4-ohm and 2-ohm loads of architectural speakers, and 120 watts for 8-ohm hi-fi speakers.
“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 Parasound’s 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 Parasound ZoneMaster ZM 4’s two output zones can both operate from a common source bus or independently from two separate zone sources. This makes it possible, for example, to have one music program in the kitchen, and a separate program in a bedroom. Each channel has individually adjustable line-level gain controls. Loop outputs are provided to enable daisy-chaining additional amplifiers. A rear-panel switch determines whether the output for each zone is mono or stereo. It uses detachable Phoenix-style speaker output connectors favored by custom installers, and can power up to eight speakers using the A+B speaker outputs.
The Parasound ZoneMaster ZM 2 has similar performance and features for a single zone, but includes an 80 Hz 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 from the small footprint ZM 2.
Both amplifiers can be turned on using 12-volt triggers, audio detection, or front-panel button. The ZM 4 offers turn-on for all zones or for each zone individually. This offers flexibility, especially with branded streaming sources that have 12V triggers. Both amplifiers have loop outputs for all zones or individual zones in the case of the ZM 4.
The Parasound ZoneMaster ZM 2 and ZM 4 have a black finish. The ZM 4 is designed for rack mounting and sturdy die-cast mounting brackets are included at no extra charge. The half-width ZM 2 can be rack mounted with the addition of an optional ZRK adapter kit.
The Parasound ZoneMaster ZM 4 will be available in early October with a suggested U.S. retail price of $995. The Parasound ZoneMaster ZM 2 is available currently with a suggested U.S. retail price of $495.
For more information, visit www.parasound.com.