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Parasound Zcd CD MP3 Player


Parasound introduced the versatile Zcd Compact Disc Player which provides high-performance CD sound, plus USB, and preamplifier features in a half-width sized rack mountable component. 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, high-performance audio system.

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 Zcd delivers excellent low frequency performance without external DC blocking capacitors. The analog circuits are powered by entirely independent analog power supply with its own power transformer.

Parasound Zcd CD + MP3 Player - back

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.


  • Plays MP3s from CD-R or USB flash drive
  • Built in analog volume control for use without a preamp
  • Composite video output to view MP3 file names
  • Optical and Coaxial digital outputs
  • Simultaneous fixed and variable analog outputs
  • Rear panel 3.5mm input for portable MP3 player or smartphone
  • Three turn on options (manual, 12V trigger, AC)
  • 12 Volt trigger output for turning on power amp
  • Remote control included (shown on right)
  • Rear panel IR input and 1-way RS232 serial port
  • Unique half-rack width chassis; 1 rack space high
  • Shipping weight: 8 lbs., net weight: 5 lbs.

Typical Applifications

  • Use with a Sonos player for CD playback
  • Use with a Zamp v.3 for a hi-performance system
  • Compact size allows for use in small spaces
  • Rack mount for unique custom AV solutions


  • Frequency Response: 20 Hz – 20 kHz, +0/-1 dB
  • THD Distortion: < 0.02% at 20 Hz
  • S/N Ratio: > 98 dB, IHF A-weighted
  • Crosstalk: >75 dB at 20 kHz
  • Maximum Output Level: 2.0 Volts
  • Output Impedance: < 60 Ω
  • Power Requirement: 110-130 VAC, 60 Hz or 220-240 VAC, 50 Hz (15 Watts) (Voltage must be set inside unit)
  • Dimensions (WxDxH): = 9.5″ (242 mm) X 10″ (254 mm) X 2″ (51 mm)
  • Weight: Net: 5 lbs. (2.3 kg) / Shipping: 8 lbs. (3.6 kg)
  • Rack Mount Accessories (purchased separately):
    • SBS – Side by Side mounting bracket for locking two Z custom units together
    • Zblank – Blank panel extender for mounting one Z unit in a standard rack space
    • Zrack – Half width desktop rack perfect for up to 5 Parasound Z components.

Price and Availability
The Parasound Zcd is now available for $400.

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