Parasound just introduced the Zpre3, its third generation stereo preamplifier for custom installation, in its Z-Custom half-rack-width product line. It succeeds the Zpre2 from 11 years ago.
The compact Parasound Zpre3 is a five-source stereo preamplifier designed to deliver full-size audiophile sound. It will be useful to professional custom installers, with a unique feature set that includes discrete IR remote commands, a rear panel IR input, 12V trigger output and two-way RS-232 with direct volume control in 1dB increments. Automatic RS-232 feedback allows for easy integration with keypads or touch-screen control systems such as Crestron, AMX, Control4, Savant, and Elan.
Additional features include turn-on volume level select plus the choice of a favorite volume memory, making it easy for the user to jump directly to his/her most common listening level. A separate bypass input integrates with audio sources that have their own volume controls, such as AV receivers and streaming devices like the Sonos Connect. The bypass input is automatically selected when the Zpre3 is powered off, allowing users to operate their streaming devices without the need to turn the Zpre3 on first.
The Parasound Zpre3 has four line level audio inputs, a bypass input and a 3.5mm front panel auxiliary input. It offers separate fixed and variable level stereo outputs, plus separate fixed and variable mono outputs for subwoofers and architectural speakers. Each of the inputs on the front panel display can be conveniently renamed from a list of words the user can select rather than having to enter one character at a time. A single knob adjusts volume, selects sources, and adjusts bass, treble and balance. The remote control has buttons for the above selections plus recall of a favorite volume memory and dimming the front panel display.
Parasound President Richard Schram states “We challenged ourselves in developing a line stage preamp with unique user interface features to make it an exceptionally useful tool for custom installers while endowing it with sound quality that will delight audio enthusiasts.”
Price and Availability
The Parasound Z-Custom Zpre3 will be available in September 2016 for MSRP $449.