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Fosi Audio ZA3 Amplifier Review

Rate this amplifier:

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 10 2.9%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 54 15.7%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 207 60.0%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 74 21.4%

  • Total voters
    345

Cougar80

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Jan 19, 2024
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Oregon, USA
I’m really confused with the complaints on price. Yes the V3 is cheaper. I’m currently seeing it for $89.99 on Fosi’s website and Amazon, but that’s with a 32v power supply. It’s $109.99 with a 48v power supply. So for $40 more with the ZA3 you get balanced inputs, a sub out, quasi-mono mode, a more attractive case with better cooling, and a 12v trigger in. If those features are useful to your use case it sounds like a great deal. If you don’t need those features by all means get the V3, but unless I’m missing something it makes zero sense to complain about the ZA3.

In the end this is still a budget amplifier with decent performance and an impressive feature set. I like where they are headed and am looking forward to what Fosi comes up with in the future.
 

ASilver

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I think for an out of the box solution particularly for a desktop system is an excellent proposition. I'm peaking mine tomorrow.
For the record I ordered from audiophonics for 153,97€ (48V power supply) not the best price but I can live with that.
Anyway thats the market rules here in the Old World, what can I say?
I'm gonna power a set of Dynaudio BM6 and only for desktop use in a really small room using as a preamp a dac.
Don't ask which one I'm gonna report after trials (I own a bunch).
 

howard416

Active Member
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Sep 12, 2019
Messages
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146
Ah, man, if it had PFFB I would buy one just for shits and giggles. As it is, I may buy one anyway since I know someone who could definitely use this, and probably wouldn't notice any issues in the treble. The balanced input together with volume-controlled sub out are freaking killer features at this price point.
 

JSmith

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It looks like the ZA3 is essentially an improved or expanded V3 with more functionality
More functionality for sure, especially with balanced inputs... my query would be why the marked difference in frequency response? V3 looking better in that respect;



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JSmith
 

m0nsieur

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Jan 11, 2024
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The ZA3 comes standard with a 48V PSU at the price $149.99. You can also choose the 32V PSU version for $129.99.:)
You can "spin to win" a coupon code for up to 20% off on the fosiaudio dot com. Try all of your email addresses, try all of your browsers, ...

48V version, $150 - 20% = $120
 

Fosi Audio

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Lets see if it comes close to the 3e audio 260-2-29A amplifier, as this seems to be the "state of the art" for TPA3255 based amplifiers.

Regarding this ZA3:
a) it measures worse than the V3
b) it costs more than the V3
c) it has a poor XLR implementation
d) it has a poor mono implementation
e) it seems to have better heat dissipation (and cabinet)

Simply adding a gold anodised knob and a few more switches does not constitute audio engineering; it is merely a lazy marketing tactic to boost sales.

Innovation is defined as something new that brings satisfaction and value to the customer. Therefore, an audio company should focus on providing genuine value to the customer.

Consumers do not typically perceive gadget features, lower specifications, and higher prices as innovation. Good engineering is what truly constitutes innovation.

Fosi Audio had to balance innovation with marketing for both the Chinese and global markets.
Thank you for your honest comment. We, too, believe that the ZA3 cannot be a perfect amp. Like the V3, the ZA3 is an amplifier co-created with our users. After launching the V3, we collected and summarized feedback from many users, especially ASR members, whether positive or negative. After evaluation, we applied some great ideas and designs to the ZA3. Based on the V3, we improved the heat dissipation design, added balanced input, and introduced the ability to switch between stereo and mono modes, along with adding sub-out and trigger-in ports. These features were all highly requested by users. Unfortunately, we didn't manage to incorporate the PFFB technology into the ZA3 this time (in fact, we have recently mastered this technology). We believe the launch of the ZA3 will also garner valuable feedback from many users. We hope to continue working closely with our users to delve deeper into the HiFi realm, bringing more exceptionally valuable new products to the market.:)
 
OP
amirm

amirm

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I'm a bit worried about the distortion rise between 1khz and 5khz. Would we expect this to have audible hiss if the volume knob is maxed out?
No, just the distortion increases, not the noise.
 

Bruce Morgen

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The cutoff frequency for the sub-out port is 300Hz.:)

Unless your main L+R speakers are tiny "satellites," that low-pass frequency is way too high and will require additional filtering to get it down into the usual subwoofer range of 60-150Hz. I'd like to see it adjustable within that range -- even a board-mount "trimpot" accessible through a hole in the case with a screwdriver would be fine IMO, since for the most part it's a one-time "set-and-forget-it" adjustment.
 

Cougar80

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Location
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Unless your main L+R speakers are tiny "satellites," that low-pass frequency is way too high and will require additional filtering to get it down into the usual subwoofer range of 60-150Hz. I'd like to see it adjustable within that range -- even a board-mount "trimpot" accessible through a hole in the case with a screwdriver would be fine IMO, since for the most part it's a one-time "set-and-forget-it" adjustment.
What sub are you using that doesn’t have a LPF? The cheapest of the cheapest powered subs on Amazon still have adjustable crossovers. As others have said I’d appreciate an adjustable high pass filter for mains to take some work off them filled by the sub.
 

Cougar80

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Location
Oregon, USA
You can "spin to win" a coupon code for up to 20% off on the fosiaudio dot com. Try all of your email addresses, try all of your browsers, ...

48V version, $150 - 20% = $120
Awesome. I got 15% off and put in my preorder.

This should work nicely to power my center channel for my 3.1 HT setup from my balanced preamp.
 

Bruce Morgen

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What sub are you using that doesn’t have a LPF? The cheapest of the cheapest powered subs on Amazon still have adjustable crossovers. As others have said I’d appreciate an adjustable high pass filter for mains to take some work off them filled by the sub.

This isn't about me or my requirements -- I have no personal use whatsoever for this product, no matter what sort of improvements are implemented. I'm thinking of folks who have a passive sub and a spare amp -- e.g. the amp their nice new ZA3 just replaced in their system -- to drive it.
 

GNK

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Joined
Feb 9, 2022
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Location
ROK
Thank you for your honest comment. We, too, believe that the ZA3 cannot be a perfect amp. Like the V3, the ZA3 is an amplifier co-created with our users. After launching the V3, we collected and summarized feedback from many users, especially ASR members, whether positive or negative. After evaluation, we applied some great ideas and designs to the ZA3. Based on the V3, we improved the heat dissipation design, added balanced input, and introduced the ability to switch between stereo and mono modes, along with adding sub-out and trigger-in ports. These features were all highly requested by users. Unfortunately, we didn't manage to incorporate the PFFB technology into the ZA3 this time (in fact, we have recently mastered this technology). We believe the launch of the ZA3 will also garner valuable feedback from many users. We hope to continue working closely with our users to delve deeper into the HiFi realm, bringing more exceptionally valuable new products to the market.:)

PFFB is great but I hope the next version be End-To-End Balanced design.
 

Fosi Audio

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I LIKE the volume control. In future it might be a good idea to provide a volume "bypass" switch to fully satisfy some users.
Yes, this is a good idea and we'll probably integrate the bypass function and power in one switch.
 

gcogger

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Nov 6, 2023
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The cutoff frequency for the sub-out port is 300Hz.:)
With respect, that's a low pass filter (and I can't fathom how 300Hz is of any use to anyone). They were asking about a high pass filter for the main output that engaged when the sub was in use, preferably with a variable crossover frequency.
 
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Extreme_Boky

Active Member
Joined
Jun 9, 2020
Messages
106
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73
Lets see if it comes close to the 3e audio 260-2-29A amplifier, as this seems to be the "state of the art" for TPA3255 based amplifiers.

Regarding this ZA3:
a) it measures worse than the V3
b) it costs more than the V3
c) it has a poor XLR implementation
d) it has a poor mono implementation
e) it seems to have better heat dissipation (and cabinet)

Simply adding a gold anodised knob and a few more switches does not constitute audio engineering; it is merely a lazy marketing tactic to boost sales.

Innovation is defined as something new that brings satisfaction and value to the customer. Therefore, an audio company should focus on providing genuine value to the customer.

Consumers do not typically perceive gadget features, lower specifications, and higher prices as innovation. Good engineering is what truly constitutes innovation.

Fosi Audio had to balance innovation with marketing for both the Chinese and global markets.

 

Ajax

Active Member
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Joined
Aug 14, 2018
Messages
263
Likes
839
Location
Byron Bay, Australia
I think for an out of the box solution particularly for a desktop system is an excellent proposition. I'm peaking mine tomorrow.
For the record I ordered from audiophonics for 153,97€ (48V power supply) not the best price but I can live with that.
Anyway thats the market rules here in the Old World, what can I say?
I'm gonna power a set of Dynaudio BM6 and only for desktop use in a really small room using as a preamp a dac.
Don't ask which one I'm gonna report after trials (I own a bunch).
Look forward to hearing your verdict on the ZA3's performance
 

Ajax

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Joined
Aug 14, 2018
Messages
263
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839
Location
Byron Bay, Australia
Thank you for your honest comment. We, too, believe that the ZA3 cannot be a perfect amp. Like the V3, the ZA3 is an amplifier co-created with our users. After launching the V3, we collected and summarized feedback from many users, especially ASR members, whether positive or negative. After evaluation, we applied some great ideas and designs to the ZA3. Based on the V3, we improved the heat dissipation design, added balanced input, and introduced the ability to switch between stereo and mono modes, along with adding sub-out and trigger-in ports. These features were all highly requested by users. Unfortunately, we didn't manage to incorporate the PFFB technology into the ZA3 this time (in fact, we have recently mastered this technology). We believe the launch of the ZA3 will also garner valuable feedback from many users. We hope to continue working closely with our users to delve deeper into the HiFi realm, bringing more exceptionally valuable new products to the market.:)
Sounds like you are intent on producing great performing / inexpensive amps.

If so can I suggest that your sub out include a low pass filter (either fixed at 70Hz say or variable) that is integrated with a complementary high pass filter on the mains. IMO this would be of major benefit to a lot of users as it would take pressure off, and greatly improve the performance, of both the ZA3 amp and the main speakers.
 

howard416

Active Member
Joined
Sep 12, 2019
Messages
259
Likes
146
Sounds like you are intent on producing great performing / inexpensive amps.

If so can I suggest that your sub out include a low pass filter (either fixed at 70Hz say or variable) that is integrated with a complementary high pass filter on the mains. IMO this would be of major benefit to a lot of users as it would take pressure off, and greatly improve the performance, of both the ZA3 amp and the main speakers.
I think the main issue is a dearth of inexpensive, decent-to-good quality LR4 active stereo (or stereo to sub-out) crossover boxes with volume control. Without that, we're expecting amps to have to handle basically everything needed to control a 2.1 setup, when it should be something discrete and upstream.

Like the 2x4HD, except that it's still not that "cheap" and some people don't really need the DSP it offers. And no volume knob (but does have a remote). And doesn't come in balanced, FWIW.
 
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