Monthly Archives: July 2010

Parasound Zamp v.3

I like small amplifiers. As you can see in the pictures below, I have a few of them. I also have TA2020 board in need of a chassis and a Gainclone waiting to be assembled. Other “hobbies” have these two projects on back bench for now.

For a while I have been using a Topping TP21 (TA2021 based) amplifier to drive my main speakers. Since it’s only about 12-15 wpc RMS into 4 ohms, I find that it doesn’t quite have enough power for when I really need to rock out. Being a fan of Tripath and class D based amplifiers, I set out to find a more powerful one. Unfortunately, the higher power class D units tend to be expensive. I’m not quite sure why that is. Maybe it has something to do with convincing audiophiles that class D is fine for more than just sub amps.

Instead of overpaying for a 50 wpc class D amp, I bought a $300 Parasound Zamp. This thing is tiny and beautiful. I haven’t taken the lid off yet, but it appears to be a standard class AB using bipolar output transistors. I won’t regurgitate the specs and features, you can read all about it on the Parasound web site. For those concerned about the country of origin of their gear, it’s made in Taiwan.

I used my kill-a-watt style power meter and found that the amp measured 8 watts when “off” and 13-14 watts when on and idle. Blame it on the big-ass toroid in there I guess.