"Providing higher power for two of the 12 channels seems obvious now that we've done it," says Parasound president, Richard Schram. "Nearly all installations have a zone which can sing nicely with higher power - either a large rec room, outdoor speakers, or a room for serious stereo listening."
"Years ago," Schram continues, "we saw that multi-channel amplifiers had become commodities, with minimal power supplies, stressed sound, poor connectivity, and frequently reliability issues. We entered this market to fill a gaping void. We applied our experience in building great sounding and reliable amplifiers that will pound out the music day after day, year after year without fail. This last point is critical for professional installers. The first time you have to replace an unreliable amplifier you lose your profits; the second time you lose your credibility."
The most significant ZM 12 improvement is the higher-power Zone 1 (channels 1 & 2) with a massive upgrade to 120 watts per channel into 8 ohms and 150 watts per channel into 4 ohms or 2 ohms. Each zone includes a Parasound-designed premium Class AB stereo input stage driving six new, highly-regarded Danish ICEpower stereo amplifier modules that are 2-ohm stable.
Each channel has an individual line-level input jack, level control, and two detachable Phoenix-connector speaker outputs. Each zone can connect to one of two line-level buses or to a speaker-level input bus. Buffered loop outputs facilitate daisy-chaining amplifiers. Parasound also equipped the ZM 12 with an exclusive suite of turn on options. Global (all zones) auto turn on with a switch to select either a single 12VDC trigger input jack or audio sensing. For individual zones auto turn on the ZM 12 has six switches and six 12VDC input jacks so each zone can be turned on by 12V DC or audio sensing. Control of some zones can also be based in audio sensing and other channels by 12VDC. In addition to convenience this totally eliminates bleed-through between zones.
The ZM 12 has a black finish. It is designed for rack mounting and sturdy die-cast mounting brackets are included at no extra charge. The Parasound ZoneMaster ZM 12 is currently available with a suggested US retail price of $2,495.