The Z-AP Series of Audiophile Amplifiers.
Audiophile: An audio fanatic whose sole passion is accurate sound reproduction that brings all the purity of a live performance to recorded music. It is a familiar term with high-end home gear like McIntosh or Bryston, but a term always considered unattainable in the automotive environment. Zapco disagrees! In 1974 Zapco began a quest for perfect sonic reproduction. While perfection may be unattainable, the quest is no less worthy. In 2000 we introduced the C2K Competition amplifiers and in 2012 we introduced the new Z-Series amps with high end internal components matched for pure sound quality.
This was our first line developed by listening rather that by measuring, and they were called the best Zapco ever. How did we respond? We said “thank you, but we think we can do even better”. And we did. We upgraded to top end audiophile caps and op-amps, redesigned the power supply, and made board modifications to create the Z-Series LX amps. Not only did they top the car audio comparisons, but home speaker makers even brought their speakers to our CES suite to demonstrate what their speakers could do. The LX was beating their demo home amps in sound quality. How did Zapco respond? We said “thank you, but we think we can do even better”. And we did! This year we built an amplifier to set new sound quality standards for both home and car sound reproduction. The Z-AP Series.
The ultimate SQ amplifiers designed by listening with ears as much as by measuring. How did we do it?
This year we built an amplifier to set new sound quality standards for both home and car sound reproduction. The Z-Series AP amplifiers. Home? Absolutely! In home or in car, the job of an amplifier is the same; pure, accurate sonic reproduction. The only difference is the power supply. If you really want to hear what your home speakers can do, get a AC~DC power supply and a Zapco Z-Series AP amplifier. Then you’ll know why your car system can sound better than your home system.
How did we do it? We took the best of the LX amp and we tweaked the circuitry. We had proprietary electrolytic caps made to our specs for the supply section. In the Signal path we replaced the electrolytics with the high-end WIMA poly caps. We used a new low noise, audio op-amp for the input stage and the smoothest audio op-amp we could find for the signal path (the right op-amp for the right job). We doubled the output drivers, and increased the operating voltage of the matched final output devices. To get heat off the output devices faster, and increase efficiency, we used a new insulator material developed for aerospace. At the differential input stage, we used 0.1% resistors… not 1% but 0.1%… to assure the lowest possible floor. We developed our own patented, multi ground RCA connectors with extra heavy gold plating for perfect signal transfer. We even improved the low noise gain pots had added detents to make watching levels a breeze.
And what the heck! To top it all off, we gave it a new look, with a matt black finish and a solid copper plate with the logo and serial number right up front for posterity..
The Result: The ultimate SQ amplifier designed listening ears as much as by measuring. So we get the possible smoothest, purest overall sound quality and, at the same time, a signal to noise ratio of over 110dB, so you get all that pure sound quality in even the quietest of musical passages.
Z-Series AP Amplifier Highlights
• Low distortion and signal to noise ratio of over 110dB
• Coupled the output drivers
• Highest HFE (Gain) Sanken selected output devices
• Deferentially balanced input stage
• 0.1% resistors for lowest possible noise floor
• TI LME49720 (BJT) op-amps on the inputs
• TI LME49720 (BJT) op-amps in the signal path
• WIMA MKS2 series caps in the signal path
• Extremely low ESR caps throughout
• Proprietary patented RCA connectors