What Do You Think of This Device: Parasound Zphono-USB


I was looking through an Audio Advisor sales catalog and came upon this device (see link below) that allows records played on a turntable to be saved as digital files on a computer.  I knew that there are turntables that are equipped with a USB cable to facilitate that, but I suspected they might have reduced sound performance as compared to a conventional TT with RCA plugs, so I bought a TT with the latter.  But I have interest in converting my record albums to lossless digital files that could be stored and played from my Bluesound Vault 2i.

My questions are concerning the quality of the files to be made from the Parasound device to my PC, and then transferred as files to the Vault.  I would prefer to store the files on my PC as FLAC files, but I’m not sure if I can do that.  If I saved them to the PC as WAV files, then can they be converted to FLAC files when saved to the Vault?  Or if they must remain WAV files, is that still a good file for sound quality with playback from the Vault?  Do you think this Parasound Zphono-USB will do what I am wanting it to do, and do you see any down-sides to purchasing it for that purpose?  Thanks in advance for your advice.

https://www.audioadvisor.com/prodinfo.asp?number=PAZPHOUSB&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIjYulzb6y6QIVmovICh3...
bob540
The Parasound Z components are some of the most underrated I've ever come across.  Great sounding and performing. I have no experience with this particular unit though.
Thank you Erik for your response.  I plan to order the Zphono-USB, as most reviews of the product and your comments have been positive.  The cost isn’t that much and it gives me something else to play with.  Happy Listening!
storage is pretty cheap now, so why convert to flac? why not leave as wav?
and if you are worried about meta data, you can add meta data to the wav files you created so your audio player will see them.

best

You’re in Audiogon.... have you thought of buying a used phono preamp? Nothing against the Parasound Z, I have a stack of their Z components, and they are OK for what they do (and cost) but there is much better and if going used, you save some bucks.

For example, not getting too exotic:

https://www.audiogon.com/listings/lisa2749-ps-audio-gcph-mm-mc-phono-preamplifier-no-remote-25151-phono

Then you can get a nice AD/DA
@johnss I was interested in flac because that is the file type my Bluesound Vault 2i saves my CDs to. Wav would be fine also, as I have read that is a quality file type.

@esporma,  I assume that listings on Audiogon will be for very nice equipment at high prices; more than I care to pay. So I didn't even look here.  The PS Audio phono preamp looks good -- I'm sure it is quality for only about twice what I paid for the zphono. But I don't see in the description any reference to using it to convert records to digital files, which is what I want.  It does that?

I received the Parasound zphono USB yesterday. It supposedly only weighs 5 lbs., but it feels heavier.  I haven't connected it yet, but at this point I think I might fend off a intruder by hurling at them.  It is a hefty block. 😁
@bob540, one other thought. Over the years, I have worked on quite  few of the parasound units. the zphono (and all  of the Z units) as well as the HCA and Halo models. All are pretty easy to get a lot more out of simply by upgrading the parts quality. Mainly the film caps, but also replacing load resistors makes a huge drop in noise floor.
Hi John.  Is that something you would do with a new device?  I understand replacing parts on an older device, but upgrading a new device . . . first, I would probably at least wait until the warranty expired . . is that something that a lot of people do?  I want to get the nicest equipment I can, without paying more than necessary.  Would the cost of the upgrade plus device be better spent on better new equipment, or is it a reasonable cost to have a knowledgeable person do such work?  I am new to this audiophile thing and want to learn from more experienced people.  Thank you for your comments and information.
@bob540,

yes, did many parasounds fresh right out of the box, especially on their lower priced gear. Makes a notable step up in performance.
Keep in mind these units are a great deal but are also under tremendous pricing pressure, so upgrading the parts in a few areas, yields startling improvements.

Having said all that, its the kind of thing a person really needs to do themselves or find a trusted person to do it. By the time you purchase the unit, then pay for someone to upgrade, might as well take same funds and roll into a more expensive unit.


Yeah . . too bad we aren’t cousins!  😝
@bob540,

too good.

same also applies to the musical fidelity X series. and LPS series with the parts upgrades

best