Review Fosi Audio ZA3: my personal experience

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Gray

Well-known member
I’ve no idea, tbh. I suppose it’s doubling up the power, but whether it is like more gain, or just more headroom…?
As maths never was my strong point, I used a handy, online percentage increase calculator:

Based on the Fosi specs into 4 ohms shown in the original post, bridging to mono will give 51.6 % more wattage to the right speaker terminal (than it was getting in stereo mode) when using the 48v supply.
Using a 32v supply the bridging boosts the wattage by 15.8 %.
(Assuming rated input signal voltage).

If nothing else, that seems to confirm one benefit of choosing the 48v PSU option.
 
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As maths never was my strong point, I used a handy, online percentage increase calculator:

Based on the Fosi specs into 4 ohms shown in the original post, bridging to mono will give 51.6 % more wattage to the right speaker terminal (than it was getting in stereo mode) when using the 48v supply.
Using a 32v supply the bridging boosts the wattage by 15.8 %.
(Assuming rated input signal voltage).

If nothing else, that seems to confirm one benefit of choosing the 48v PSU option.
Thanks for the maths! I’ve got the 48v version coming, as it seems a no-brainer, unless one is using for a desktop setting.

Just got my v3 on now, after a couple of weeks away in the Yorkshire Dales, and it is very easy to listen to, and totally fuss free. I just turn it on to about 3o’clock on the volume - which gives the same gain as my Pass amp - and forget it. No worries about leaving it using 250watts merely idling, and sounds absolutely fine to me!
 
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Integrated if it has a volume control surely, no idea as to how you would use two with each having a volume control, totally impractical.
Best to think of it as a power amp with gain control, I think. But if you had, say, just a CD player it would be fine without anything else. So tiny that you’d not want to be fiddling with the volume very often, and there’s no remote.

Only one set of analogue inputs is otherwise rather restrictive, but I think they envisioned a desktop setup, and then the amps got bit of a rep as giant-killers!
 
The nice Royal Mail man has just delivered my ZA3. Somehow, Fosi import them by Airmail and ship from the UK so there’s no worries about VAT or import duty. There’s also an Italian agency sticker on the box, perhaps where they get despatched from in the EU. Ordered 6 Jan; arrived 3 Feb.

For under £125 including exchange fees it is a super buy, that’s if the listening checks out.

I’m leaving it to acclimatise to room temperature after being tossed around in a van and stacked in a warehouse. Will power it up tonight.
 

Witterings

Well-known member
Not sure if it's an appropriate place to ask but it'll be with a ZA3 if anything and is relevant to the power usage comments above.

Whilst I've never used anything with a trigger, if I have a WiiM Pro Plus with trigger out into one if these, I'm guessing the Wiim will be in standby and the same with the ZA3 (or off???? ) and when I play music to the WiiM it'll wake it up which will switch teh ZA3 on / wake it up??

When the WiiM goes into standby, I'm guessing it'll then put this into standy / switch it off?

If anybody knows would be appreciated, my one reservation for getting one of these was there's no remote and where it's put it's a PIA to have to physically go and switch it on / off and would drive "The Boss" nuts.

It also means I can turn the volume up high on this and use the WiiM remote to adjust the volume generally making it more user friendly.
 

Gray

Well-known member
Not sure if it's an appropriate place to ask but it'll be with a ZA3 if anything and is relevant to the power usage comments above.

Whilst I've never used anything with a trigger, if I have a WiiM Pro Plus with trigger out into one if these, I'm guessing the Wiim will be in standby and the same with the ZA3 (or off???? ) and when I play music to the WiiM it'll wake it up which will switch teh ZA3 on / wake it up??

When the WiiM goes into standby, I'm guessing it'll then put this into standy / switch it off?

If anybody knows would be appreciated, my one reservation for getting one of these was there's no remote and where it's put it's a PIA to have to physically go and switch it on / off and would drive "The Boss" nuts.

It also means I can turn the volume up high on this and use the WiiM remote to adjust the volume generally making it more user friendly.
The Wiim user manual states that its trigger out socket gives 12v once the music starts -
and drops back to zero volts 2.5 minutes after the music stops.
It also states that the socket is a 2.5mm type.

I would have expected trigger in / out sockets to be standard, but although the ZA3 manual doesn't say, it looks to me as if the Fosi might be using a 3.5mm trigger in socket.
@nopiano will be able to confirm the type of socket for you, as he now has a ZA3.
 
The Wiim user manual states that its trigger out socket gives 12v once the music starts -
and drops back to zero volts 2.5 minutes after the music stops.
It also states that the socket is a 2.5mm type.

I would have expected trigger in / out sockets to be standard, but although the ZA3 manual doesn't say, it looks to me as if the Fosi might be using a 3.5mm trigger in socket.
@nopiano will be able to confirm the type of socket for you, as he now has a ZA3.
Yes, it’s a 3.5mm socket as it accepts a headphone plug. (Not the 1/4” jack old-type!)
 
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Jasonovich

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The Wiim user manual states that its trigger out socket gives 12v once the music starts -
and drops back to zero volts 2.5 minutes after the music stops.
It also states that the socket is a 2.5mm type.

I would have expected trigger in / out sockets to be standard, but although the ZA3 manual doesn't say, it looks to me as if the Fosi might be using a 3.5mm trigger in socket.
@nopiano will be able to confirm the type of socket for you, as he now has a ZA3.
You can easily find 2.5/3.5 adapter or cable with the two formats on either end on eBay/Amazon.

My mind just crossed over to Maplin totally random :) I use to frequent their shops for those small nerdy projects. Shame they're gone....And Wilko, what is happening to our High St? Ok, OK.....move on, another thread :)
 
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Gray

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My mind just crossed over to Maplin totally random :) I use to frequent their shops for those small nerdy projects. Shame they're gone....
I worked at Maplin head office, under the original owners.
When it was taken over they said "Nothing will change".
Everything changed.

And yes, every combination of lead / adaptor readily available on e-bay - at very reasonable prices (and often stupid prices when you scroll to the bottom of the 'low to high' price sorted lists).
 

Jasonovich

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If I hadn't purchased the Atoll. I suspect I would have been swayed by a pair of ZA3s in mono setup and possibly controlled by the Icon passive pre amp for approx cost of £400 +.
Further to my Passive Preamp comment, I had no idea the Icon's that these would be stratospheric in terms of costs £599...Ouch!
1707056618807.pngI still think in terms of signal purity, passive preamps is the best way to go if you're thinking of ZA3 mono setups.

The Tisbury Audio is a quality choice alternative about £150-£180
1707056936677.png
Or cheaper still, Chinese outfit Little Bear £80-£85

1707057079984.png
Or even generic Chinese from £40-£50
1707057245423.png
No good if you want a phono setup better stick to active preamp with phono inputs or a separate phono preamp + passive preamp. Not sure that was useful but I thought I share :)


UPDATE:
Absolutely dirt cheap - take the Gray approach :)
 
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sjbraun

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I bought a ZA3 with the 48 volt power supply a few weeks ago to add a little more power to my Audiolab 6000A Play.
A few observations- Despite what some people say, my ZA3 never feels hot or even warm. I don't have a cable for the trigger input so I often forget to turn it off. It never even feels warm.
My Audiolab can be configured to function solely as a pre amp, so that is what I'm doing- using the preamp function and DAC from the Audiolab and the Fosi for power. These feed to passive Trangle Borea Bro 3 speakers. The sound is much improved with the addition of the ZA3. The sound stage is wider and the details in complex orchestral or jazz music is much improved. Overall, I'm really impressed by what these little powers amp can do. I'll probably add a second one when they're available again. For $125, experimenting is easy.
 

Jasonovich

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Jul 28, 2022
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I bought a ZA3 with the 48 volt power supply a few weeks ago to add a little more power to my Audiolab 6000A Play.
A few observations- Despite what some people say, my ZA3 never feels hot or even warm. I don't have a cable for the trigger input so I often forget to turn it off. It never even feels warm.
My Audiolab can be configured to function solely as a pre amp, so that is what I'm doing- using the preamp function and DAC from the Audiolab and the Fosi for power. These feed to passive Trangle Borea Bro 3 speakers. The sound is much improved with the addition of the ZA3. The sound stage is wider and the details in complex orchestral or jazz music is much improved. Overall, I'm really impressed by what these little powers amp can do. I'll probably add a second one when they're available again. For $125, experimenting is easy.
I'm surprised it was able to surpass the Audiolab that's pretty awesome for something costing very little. If you purchase the second ZA3 are you going to set it up in mono configuration?
 

Witterings

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