Parasound ZoneMaster 12 12-Channel Power Amplifier
A multi-zone amp for large spaces
It's not always easy to find an amp that can drive all the speakers properly in a large multi-room audio system. But the versatile Parasound ZoneMaster 12 is designed for just such a scenario. Zone 1 (channels 1 and 2) gets significantly more power — 120 watts per channel — perfect for driving a demanding stereo speaker pair, or for outdoor applications where more wattage is required. Zones 2-6 (channels 3-12) get 60 watts per channel, which is great for more casual listening in additional rooms.
Adjustable level controls
Each channel has a level control that's accessible using a screwdriver, via the back panel. That means you can establish maximum volumes for each zone, at safe levels. If you install local in-wall volume controls in each room, then anyone using the system can turn it up as much as they want without risk of damaging the audio equipment (or their ears).
Inputs and outputs
This amp offers a great deal of flexibility for distributing signal in a multi-zone custom installation. Bus 1 features stereo RCA input, and Bus 2 features RCA line plus speaker-level Euroblock inputs. Each zone has a selector switch that allows you to choose which Bus provides input to that zone. In addition, each zone has its own individual "local" stereo RCA input.
Each zone also offers A and B pairs of four-pin Euroblock speaker outputs with a stereo/mono switch. In stereo mode, up to two pairs of connected speakers can be used to reproduce left and right channels. In mono mode, you can have a total of four speakers in that zone, all reproducing the same summed mono L+R signal.
The ZoneMaster 12 lives up to its name in another way by offering detailed control of turn-on options for each zone. A three-position switch lets you choose to manually turn on all zones, turn on all zones at once via a master 12-volt trigger, or select which zones turn on automatically in response to a zone-specific 12-volt trigger. With the switch in the By Zone position, you can toggle each of six 12-volt trigger input/output jacks on or off, as needed for your custom installation.
zone 1 (channels 1 & 2): 120 watts per channel into 8 ohms (20-20,000 Hz) at 0.05% THD with 2 channels driven
- 150 watts per channel into 4 or 2 ohms
zones 2-6 (channels 3-12): 60 watts per channel into 8 ohms (20-20,000 Hz)
- 100 watts per channel into 4 or 2 ohms
frequency response: 20-20,000 Hz (+0/-0.25dB)
signal-to-noise ratio: 112 dB
detachable power cord
- rack mounting ears included
Bus 1: stereo RCA input and loop output
Bus 2: stereo RCA input and loop output; four-pin Euroblock speaker-level input
six zone buses, each including:
- one unbalanced stereo RCA input pair
- individual level control knobs for each channel
- four-pin Euroblock connectors for A/B speaker output
- input selector: Bus 1/Bus 2
- stereo/mono switch
- Euroblock terminals for A/B speaker output
turn on options: manual, 12-volt all-on, or 12-volt by zone
3.5mm 12-volt trigger input/loop output for "all on"
six zone-specific 3.5mm 12-volt trigger input/output pairs with on/off toggles
Dimensions and warranty:
17-1/4"W x 4-3/16"H x 16"D (2U rack spaces)
weight: 21 lbs.
warranty: 3 years
Our 60-day money-back guarantee
MFR # ZM 12
What's in the box:
Parasound ZoneMaster 12 owner's manual
12-Channel power amplifier
6' AC power cord
Two 6' Mono-minijack cables
Features & specs
|Number of Channels
|Power Output per Channel (8 ohms)
|Power Output per Channel (6 ohms)
|Power Output per Channel (4 ohms)
|Bridged Power per Channel
|Inputs & Outputs
|Number of Inputs
|Removable Power Cord
12-Channel Zone Amplifier: The Parasound ZoneMaster 12 amplifier features a total of twelve channel inputs that are grouped into 6 zones with each zone having speaker A & B outputs for a total connection of twenty-four speakers. The ability of the ZoneMaster 12 to drive two pair of speakers for each zone is credited to Parasound's 2 ohm stable high-current design. Channels 1 and 2 (Zone 1) are more power than the other channels. This unique feature allows Zone 1 to be used with more demanding speakers.
Channels 1-2 (Zone 1): both channels driven @ 20-20kHz
- 8 ohm: 120 watts x 2 channels
- 4 or 2 ohm: 150 watts x 2 channels
Channels 3-12 (Zone 2-6): all channels driven @ 20-20kHz
- 8 ohm: 60 watts x 10 channels
- 4 or 2 ohm: 100 watts x 10 channels
Operating Modes: The rear-panel Mode switch determines if a Zone will output audio in stereo or mono. The Mode switch has the same effect whether you have selected the Line inputs or one of the Bus inputs.
Stereo: The Stereo setting routes the Left channel input to the Left channel speaker outputs and the right channel input to the Right channel speaker outputs.
Mono: The Mono setting combines the Left and Right channel inputs into a summed L+R mono signal and routes it to both the Left and Right channel speaker outputs. In the Mono mode you can connect two mono speakers to the A output, one speaker connects to the L+ and L- and the other speaker connects to the R+ and R- terminals. An additional two mono speakers can be connected to the B output terminals. All speakers will play the same Mono signal. The Mono Mode is particularly useful for applications such as bathrooms and hallways where mono speakers and a single speaker wire are more practical than separate L and R wires and two speakers.
Bus Inputs: The Parasound Zone Master 12 amplifier is equipped with two stereo line-level Bus inputs and one stereo speaker-level Bus input. These Bus inputs can be selected as a source for any single zone, multiple zone, or all zones.
Bus 1/2 Line-Level Inputs: These are stereo RCA line-level audio inputs that any zone of the ZoneMaster 12 can select as its source. To select Bus 1 as the input for one or more zones set each zone's input switch to its Bus 1 position. To select Bus 2 as the input for one or more zones set each zone's input switch to its Bus 2 position.
- Bus 2 Speaker-Level Input: This is an additional type of audio input that any zone can select as its source. The speaker-level Bus input enables the ZoneMaster 12 to connect to any audio receiver or stereo system even if it lacks preamp output jacks. This is a high impedance input and the ZoneMaster 12's speaker level input can connect to the speaker terminals on any receiver or amplifier. This will not reduce its output power or degrade the sound quality of the speakers that are already connected directly to the "host" receiver or amplifier. Audio connected to the Bus 2 speaker-level input connector can be routed to any zone by setting each zone's input switch to Bus 2. Speaker level audio is also converted to line-level and routed to the Bus 2 loop out jacks which provide a line level output to drive additional amplifiers.
Note: You should connect only the Bus 2 line-level input or the speaker-level input connector, but not both.
12Ch Line-Level Inputs: The ZoneMaster 12 features standard line-level audio RCA inputs for each of its 12 channels. Connect these jacks to the Left and Right output jacks on your preamplifier, whole-house audio controller, or the zone outputs of your AV receiver. Ensure that the Input switch is set to Line In for each zone that is connected this way. Each of the twelve channels has its own level control. Fully counter-clockwise is all the way off and no sound will be heard from that channel, while fully clockwise is maximum volume.
By adjusting the channel level controls you can limit the maximum volume in a zone regardless of how high someone turns up the volume on the preamp or whole-house controller.
If you hear hiss or other background noise you can reduce its audibility by turning down the Level controls until you no longer hear the noise.
Adjust only the left or right channel Level knob until you hear your music equally from your preferred listening location.
Bus 1/2 Loop Outputs: These stereo RCA loop outputs enable the audio source connected to the Bus 1 and 2 inputs to pass along or daisy-chain to an additional amplifier. The volume level and signal voltage at the Bus 1 and 2 loop outputs the same as the volume level and signal voltage of the sources that are connected to their corresponding Bus 1 and 2 inputs. Audio from the speaker-level Input connector is converted to line-level and simultaneously routed to the Bus 2 RCA loop output to drive additional amplifiers.
A & B Speaker Outputs: The ZoneMaster 12 is equipped with connections for two speakers on each channel (labeled "A" and "B"). This unique feature gives installers greater flexibility and can usually avoid the added expense, complexity, heat and power consumption of additional amplifiers. The minimum speaker load impedance is 2 ohms per channel.
Detach the green speaker output connecting blocks by pulling them away from the ZoneMaster 12's rear-panel. This makes attaching speaker wires more convenient.
The speaker connector blocks accept bare wires as large as 12AWG. The ends of the wires should be twisted tightly and/or lightly tinned with solder to prevent stray wire strands from short circuiting the amplifier.
The speaker connector blocks do not support banana plugs or other connectors of any kind.
Turn-On Options: The Turn On Options Switch determines whether all six Zones turn on and off together or if each Zone turns on and off individually. There are three positions for this switch - Manual All, 12V All, or Audio/12V By Zone.
Manual All: In this mode, pressing the Power button on the front-panel will turn all six Zones on and off together.
12V All: When a 12V trigger voltage is applied to the 12V Input jack marked "Trigger For All Zones" all six Zones will turn on together. When the trigger voltage is removed all six Zones will turn off together.
Audio/12V By Zone: Each zone can be turned on and off individually by either an audio signal or a 12 volt trigger. The setting of the Six Zone 12V / Audio switches determines whether an individual zone is turned on and off by 12 volts or turned on and off by audio.
12V Loop Outputs: The six Trigger Out jacks lets you loop or daisy-chain the incoming trigger voltage from one Zone to another Zone or from one Zone to an additional amplifier.
Rack-Mount Kit: Brackets and hardware for mounting the Parasound ZoneMaster 12 amplifier in a 2U rack-space of a standard 19" equipment rack are included.