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Parasound Ztuner, Part 5

Posted on July 2, 2020 at 22:49:18

Posts: 5060
Location: Bay Area
Joined: December 11, 2000

In the latter half of 1996, my girlfriend ACS lived in Pacifica, just blocks from the cliffs and beaches. She lived alone, and, being single, could work odd shifts, which paid even more, at her job at Genentech. Whether or not ACS was doing marital arts, we'd hop in her little red Toyota Tercel, and go all over central California. Everywhere we went, we'd hear Selena's "Dreaming Of You."

Back at my home, we'd turn on the Parasound T/DQ-1600. "Dreaming Of You" was ubiquitous, and at night, very romantic. We wished it weren't true, but the T/DQ-1600 was "sensitive" to line-level interconnect. Alas, so is Parasound's own Ztuner. Yes, it has sufficient resolution, to tell the difference, between Cooked and untreated interconnects. Accordingly, all of our interconnects have been properly treated on an audiodharma Cable Cooker.

You could say that the AudioQuest Lapis [which we used, way back when, on the Parasound T/DQ-1600] is "even and forgiving." While it does not eliminate distortion and static, it has this way of sewing or embedding those into the music. Although you are aware of the distortion and static, they do not bother you. Thus, if you have the Ztuner on all day, such as at work, the Lapis makes broadcasts not just tolerable but potentially pleasant.

The Cardas Quadlink 5-C presents images as round and 3-dimensional. Broadcasters and announcers appear as people, not cardboard cutouts. This helps, when you listen to news or sports.

The Tara Labs Air 1 Series 2 is open through the upper midrange. It is also that rare cable, which preserves soundstage height. Selena's "Dreaming Of You" now makes you feel as though you and your girlfriend are trying on clothes in the changing room of retail stores.

Forget the labs and cell lines at Genentech. The original XLO Reference Type 1 has a focused, commercial, professional sound. It brings out the white collar professional in you.

In many ways, the XLO Signature 1.1 is the best match for the Ztuner. The Sig 1.1 is open and transparent. With the right broadcasts, you feel like you can "map out" the soundstage. Images are small and focused, but also well-chiseled. On the Ztuner, the Sig 1.1's mid-treble shrinkage is not necessarily a bad thing. If you are looking for an interconnect which tricks you into believing that the Ztuner is up to the level of your vinyl, computer, and CD, the XLO Signature 1.1 is the one.

-Lummy The Loch Monster


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