Parasound to Debut USB PreAmp for Converting Albums to MP3s or CDs

paraphone-zphono-0811The Parasound Zphono·USB is a phono preamplifier with an A-D converter to translate vinyl LPs into digital audio via a Mac or PC using USB. Basically it’s a compact preamplifier for moving coil and moving magnet (MC/MM) phonograph cartridges and line-level analog sources. Zphono·USB is the newest of the company’s Z-Series family of half-rack-width components.

For the digital realm, the Parasound Zphono·USB also includes an adjustable USB gain control and defeatable RIAA equalization to improve the quality of audio transfers from LPs to digital media.  The USB gain control and USB clipping indicator are used to optimize the digital record-output levels for the optimum signal-to-noise ratio with all recording software programs. For those using sophisticated digital music software in their PCs or Macs, the rear-panel RIAA defeat switch allows users to bypass the internal hardware-based RIAA phono equalization in favor of software-based digital equalization.

The Parasound Zphono·USB has a stereo input for an MC or MM phonograph cartridge, and two stereo line-level inputs to facilitate digital transfers of analog sources such as a tuner, CD player or tape deck. Rear-panel settings for MM-47 k, MC-47 k or MC-100 cartridges allow the user to select the ideal impedance matching for his phono cartridge. Front panel rumble-filter and mono/stereo switches are also available to refine the quality of phono playback for older LPs and mono LPs.

There is a single pair of fixed-level, line-level outputs and a headphone output. The Zphono·USB has dual power transformers and analog power supplies to minimize noise and an AC polarity reverse switch to combat hum issues related to power line polarity.

As this product isn’t scheduled to be released until CEDIA, it’s not on the Parasound website yet. When it is, it’ll be here: