Parasound Zphono·USB

Parasound has packed a few more features into their Zphono moving coil/moving magnet pre, adding to the Zphono·USB ($350) an A-D converter and (obviously) a USB port, making it even more handy as a general-purpose interface for those with older and esoteric turntables (or pretty much any other stereo gear) looking to digitize their collections.

On board the versatile new unit you'll find not just a stereo phono input (switchable to accomodate 47 k? moving magnet and 47 k? or 100? moving coil cartridges), but two line-level inputs for other gear (so this could be pressed into service as the core of a small system). The RIAA EQ curve is defeatable if you'd rather deal with such things in software, and a switchable rumble filter and mono switch'll let you get the most out of your older material or reissues. You'll also find a gain control for the USB output (a clipping indicator is provided), while a stereo line-level output and a headphone out let you keep an ear on the proceedings.

The Zphono is part of a range of half-rackspace components from Parasound, including preamps, power amps, video interfaces and tuners; put 'em together to build anything from a headphone listening station to a surround setup to a full-blown multizone system. The line is certainly worth a look if you want extensive customization in a small package at a relatively low cost.