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Parasound Zonemaster 2350 Class D Power Amplifier with ICEpower 700ASC2

SEKLEM

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#1
I’ve not had much to post recently since moving and just now starting to get settled. But the delights of having more space has been a driving force into research for more power and after weighing options and lying in wait for a smoking deal I believe I may have found exactly what I wanted.

Parasound Zonemaster 2350

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The Zonemaster 2350 isn’t particularly handsome with a rather “system integration” aesthetic, but that is the target market. It’s almost the same size as the Niles SI-275, another system integration amplifier, I keep as a backup. The Parasound is a bit lighter than the Niles since it has no transformer or heavy heatsinking.

I’d read the 2350 sported some type of high power ICEpower module. Parasound’s published material would only say that it was a “premium class D amplifier stage”. In the search for class D amplifiers I arrived at ICEpower because they appear to be reliable and appear to use better parts in the manufacture of their modules, which lends to the longevity of their devices.

I’m a creature of habit, and I habitually hunt and wait for bargains. I keep saved searches and check them regularly. The Parasound popped up at a price I could live with and appeared to near new. Worst case if it turned out the info I’d read was incorrect I could at least recoup my investment.

Upon receiving the 2350 I popped the top and had a look around. To my joy, under the heatsink I was able to locate the model of the module, ICEpower 700ASC2, yippee! At the time of the ICEpower 700ASC2s introduction it was their most powerful integrated 2 channel amplifier board. I believe the 1200ASC2 now holds that position.

The 700ASC2 module is purported to be capable of delivering 350 watts per channel into 8 ohms and 700 into 4 ohms. These are Parasound HCA-3500 type numbers, and that amp weighed 88 lbs and required two separate 20 amp circuits to run at full power! Oh yeah, that’s more power than I’ll ever need.

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The black square you see in the front right of the chassis is the heatsink that was affixed to the 700ASC2 module. I didn’t bother to photograph while I had the top off, although perhaps I should have. It was very difficult to see under the heatsink and I may not have been able to get a good shot of the module in any case. If anyone wants me to take pictures with the cover off, let me know.

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On the business end there’s a bevy of useful features for numerous applications. The 2350 can serve as a subwoofer amplifier, has high pass filters, high and low level inputs, sub preout, loop output, 12v trigger with loop output, and A&B output. While the feature set is sure to curl audiophile toes, it’s doubtful the features do any real harm to overall quality.

I’ve been playing it for a few hours now and I’ve pushed it harder than the B&K Reference 125.2 S2 that usually resides in the setup. The Vandersteen 2CE Sigs definitely have more to offer dynamically with the 2350. I’ll continue listening over the week and if anything stands out I’ll comment on it, but so far it sounds like any other competent amplifier I’ve used, just with more power.

Edit: title changed
 
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Matias

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#4
ICEpower now calls this modules 700AS2, just renamed them. It is the same used in PS Audio Stellar M700, except PS Audio uses mono version (700AS1) and its proprietary buffer before the module. Wyred 4 Sound ST-750LE also uses this stereo module.

700AS - 1 channel driven.

700AS2.JPG
 
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Ron Texas

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#6
Wyred for sound uses an input stage to provide additional gain. The Parasound requires 2V to hit maximum power which is on the high side for an amplifier which only has unbalanced inputs. While a typical 2V unbalanced output of a DAC would seem like enough, the digital volume control will be so high that there is not enough headroom.
 

SEKLEM

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#7
Wyred for sound uses an input stage to provide additional gain. The Parasound requires 2V to hit maximum power which is on the high side for an amplifier which only has unbalanced inputs. While a typical 2V unbalanced output of a DAC would seem like enough, the digital volume control will be so high that there is not enough headroom.
I have an Adcom GTP-602 whose specs indicate 5v max output unbalanced, does this help mitigate that?
 

SEKLEM

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#9
I'd like to see some pictures with the top off.:)
Top cover off. Black plate is a aluminum and secured to the heatsinks of the ICEpower 700ASC2 board with thermal paste coupling them to add to the radiating surface. The plate also aids the prevention of dust buildup on the board.


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This was the best shot I got of the model of the board.

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ICEpower 700ASC2 2 channel amplifier with built in power supply

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Bonus shots
 

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SEKLEM

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#10
That should knock the ball out of the park.
I probably shouldn’t try it. Using a receiver as a pre/pro and I can reach uncomfortable levels of output with the Vandersteens. I don’t think they can handle all the amp is capable of.
 

SEKLEM

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#11
That should knock the ball out of the park.
At about 10:30 last night I was listening to the Interstellar OST. It had been a while since I listened to it and forgot how loud it can get. The Adcom doesn't show signs of struggle. The speakers are undoubtedly the limiting factor in output now.
 
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