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Low-noise Regulator

    ZAPfilter Mk2

    High End Analog Stage for CD- and DVD players.


    Click to enlarge photo.

    Ordering and Prices.

    ProductPrice in EUR
    excl VAT
    OrderingStock
    ZAPfilter Mk2 including 230V Schottky Power SupplyEUR 177.07Order Now In Stock
    Taking DIY to the next level!
    Note also the bundle offer on the "CD Upgrades"page!

    Complete high end analog stage for CD- and DVD players. Applicable in any model and make. This module takes over all functions from the DAC chip to the output plugs, both RCA and true balanced XLR outputs. The analog signal processing is truly state of the art with a non feedback single end class A operation and filter caps in MICA / silver quality.

    Active components feature low noise Japanese audio transistors in Class A mode, and vertical bipolar types from Zetex, UK, with ultra high linear performance. The signal path is a straight line on the circuit board, whilst the components are placed in alignment with the signal track to minimize standing waves in the copper wires.

    The sound is highly detailed, relaxed and with a sense of musical spirit completely new to digital audio

    media.
    The input of the ZAPfilter will interface with any type of DAC chip, both voltage and current out put types, so you should not worry whether it will work in your particular model of player. The ZAPfilter 2 is not attached to the CD or DVD player, but only to the DAC chip, and so its connections are independent of the player model, and only specific to the DAC chip. A complete mains power supply is also provided in the kit for installation in the CD player's case. The supply utilize a high quality toroidal transformer and Schottky diode rectification.

    You can have both unbalanced and balanced output on any CD or DVD player, even if it does not have a balanced output from factory. And it is true studio quality balanced output with no phase splitters involved.



    Silver/Mica/Silver capacitors.


    Click to enlarge photo.

    Filter caps are of great importance to the sound quality, usually a CD player is equipped with relatively cheap ceramic or Mylar types, and in some cases the better polypropylene types are found in the best off-the-shelf players.
    However we have taken a step even further to optimize the performance of ZAPfilter 2. We have used only custom

    made MICA capacitors, which are magnitudes better than even polypropylenes, since MICA caps have lower loss factor, and also it is a natural material, where PP is a plastic. The conductor plates in the capacitor is pure silver, terminated with soft glowed copper wires. This is simply the best possible type of capacitor for filter application.




    Even the power supply for ZAPfilter is a special chapter in state of the art audio technology. There are no bypassing caps, since they would tend to effect the sound quality. Instead we have

    constructed a set of shunt regulators, the benefit of this is that the ESR is linear from DC to over 10 MHz at only 9 milliohms. To simulate this with capacitors in the so called audible


    frequency range, of 20-20.000 Hz, would take two caps of 880.000 uF each. But the shunt regulators have a better function, as they work right down to DC, where even the big caps could never have a low impedance.

    Rectification is done with Schottky diodes for minimum switching noise, and the transformer is a low noise toroidal type.

    Power Supply with toroidal and Schottky diodes


    Click to enlarge photo.

    True balanced output on any CD or DVD player!

    The I/V converter, on ZAPfilter 2, which can also be configured as a V/V input, can read positive and negative signals, and thus can interface evenly to balanced and unbalanced D/A Converter chips (DAC). But this circuit also produces both positive and negative signals, and can if buffered be used to produce a true balanced output signal with

    any type of DAC. So we installed the necessary buffers on the ZAPfilter module to do just this.

    So to make a true balanced output, simply drill holes for XLR plugs, and connect to the ZAPfilter 2.

    Input / Output compatibility table.


    Input from DAC chipsUnbalanced OutputBalanced Output
    Unbal. Voltageyesyes
    Unbal. Currentyesyes
    Balanced Voltageyesyes
    Balanced Currentyesyes

    ZAPfilter 2 can interface perfectly to any type of D/A Converter chip, and produce as well unbalanced as balanced outputs. High cut - or anti-aliasing is performed

    passively as 102 kHz with MICA / Silver caps. The characteristic of the filter is Linkwitz-Reilly, which is recognized for minimum phase error.



    For connection instructions see the "Connection" link in the left menu!

    Better sound than a new CD player!

    With ZAPfilter 2 and a reference clock you can achieve a better sound quality on you existing CXD or DVD player, compared to purchasing even very expensive new models.

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