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Parasound ZoneMaster Model 1250 Distribution Amp Preview

Parasound ZoneMaster Model 1250

Parasound ZoneMaster Model 1250


  • Product Name: ZoneMaster Model 1250
  • Manufacturer: Parasound
  • Review Date: September 22, 2014 05:10
  • MSRP: $1,995
  • First Impression: Pretty Cool
  • 12 x 50 watts, 8 ohms; 12 x 90 watts, 4 ohms.
  • Bridgeable; 6 x 160 watts, 8 ohms; 6 x 200 watts, 4 ohms.
  • 2-ohm stable with connections for 24 speakers
  • Class AB input stage plus premium Class D power stage
  • Two line level input busses with loop outputs, plus speaker level inputs
  • Detachable Phoenix-style speaker connectors accept up to 12-gauge wire.
  • Power Output - RMS, All Channels Driven (20 Hz - 20 kHz)
       50 watts x 12 @ 8Ω
       90 watts x 12 @ 4Ω or 2Ω
       160 watts x 6 @ 8Ω (Bridged)
       200 watts x 6 @ 4Ω (Bridged)
  • Frequency Response
       10 Hz - 60 kHz, +0/-3 dB
  • Total Harmonic Distortion
       < 0.05% at typical listening levels
       < 1.0% at full power
  • Interchannel Crosstalk
       70 dB at 20 kHz
  • Input Sensitivity:
       700mv = Full output (50 Watts @ 8 Ω)
       Total Gain = 29 dB (Level controls set to Maximum)
  • S/N Ratio
       > 112 dB, input shorted, IHF A-weighted
  • DC Trigger Requirements
       +9 Vdc to +12 Vdc, 2 mA
  • Audio Trigger Requirements
       2 mV Audio Signal
  • AC Power Requirement:
       1500 Watts Maximum
       100 Watts Typical
       38 Watts Idle (All Zones on)
       12 Watts Idle (One Zone on)
       0.5 Watts Standby
       110-130 VAC 60 Hz or 220-255 VAC 50 Hz
       Note: AC mains voltage is set only by qualified electronics technician.
  • Dimensions:
       Width: 17.25" (437 mm)
       Depth: 14.5" (369 mm)
       Height, with feet: 4.25" (108 mm)
       Height, without feet: 3.5" (89 mm)
  • Weight:
        Net: 17 lbs (2.0kg)
        Shipping: 23 lbs (3.4kg)

If you are thinking of installing a whole-home audio system, you're going to need a distribution amp. Distribution amps generally have lower power (but more channels) than dedicated home theater amplifiers. These are used to send audio all over you home in order to get the same content in multiple rooms. The problem with some distribution amplifiers is that they usually can only be used for distribution purposes. The new Parasound offering looks to buck that trend by being as versatile a distribution amp as we've ever seen.


Parasound ZoneMaster 1250 Back

As you'd expect from a distribution amp, the Parasound ZoneMaster Model 1250 has two "Bus" inputs that can be routed to any of the amplifier channels. The Parasound 1250 has 12 channels rated at 50 watts all channels driven. Each channel can be fed from one of the Bus inputs or from a direct input. The 1250 can also accept a speaker-level input via the second Bus channel that can be routed to any of the amplifiers.

1250_bus     1250_triggers

Parasound ZoneMaster 1250 Back Closeups

Each channel has not one but two pairs of speaker level outputs (Phoenix-style) so that two speakers can be wired to the same channel. These speaker outputs can accept up to a 12 gauge wire. As the Parasound ZoneMaster 1250 is stable into 2 ohms, this allows extreme flexibility for your speaker options in your distributed audio system. It has a Class A/B input stage and Class D power stage for extremely efficient operation. There are also independent 12-volt triggers with looping trigger outputs for each zone, and a global 12-volt trigger.


Parasound ZoneMaster 1250 Inside

The flexibility doesn't stop there. Users can opt to bridge two of the channels for 160 watts into 8 ohms or 200 watts into 6 ohms to augment their home theater channels. With new surround solutions like Dolby Atmos, DTS UHD, and AURO-3D coming out, having extra amplification lying around is now more important than ever.


If you are looking for a distribution amplifier, the Parasound ZoneMaster Model 1250 is an intriguing choice. With two speaker-level connections for each channel and stable into 2 ohms, you could theoretically connect 24 speakers to it. If you don't need that many channels (there are 12), you can bridge some of them giving you 160 watts into 8 ohms for adding Atmos or other speakers to your home theater. This is easily one of the most flexible amps we've ever seen.

For more information, please visit www.parasound.com.

Unless otherwise indicated, this is a preview article for the featured product. A formal review may or may not follow in the future.

About the author:
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As Associate Editor at Audioholics, Tom promises to the best of his ability to give each review the same amount of attention, consideration, and thoughtfulness as possible and keep his writings free from undue bias and preconceptions. Any indication, either internally or from another, that bias has entered into his review will be immediately investigated. Substantiation of mistakes or bias will be immediately corrected regardless of personal stake, feelings, or ego.

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