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The next generation of Processing.





It is hard to tell where science ends and passion begins, when they are running together with the same goal. Zapco's fifth generation processors were born to this area. The passion behind this project, and the driving force behind the required research, has been to create a digital system that had the sound of the best digital and analog systems available today. After all, listening to live music is absolutely an analog experience. The projects goal is not just the purest sound reproduction, but rather the purest sound reproduction in the listening environment, regardless of whether it is in a car, a home room or a concert hall. We brought together scientists from electronics, acoustics and digital processing, united in the effort to bring this to realization.

Zapco introduces the next generation of in-car processing. The Zapco Gen-V. The V-Series of HDSPs bring tuning features and sound quality never before offered in a car DSP. Up to 16 channels means you can build active systems at every corner of a multichannel sound system. HD means these are available with HD audio players as well. In fact, Zapco HD processors go beyond today's normal 24bit, 96/192 Khz high resolution standard. This means that today you can reproduce music superior to MP3, and even superior to CD quality. And when the next step in HD reproduction comes the Zapco HDSP will be ready to play it.

Included Wi-Fi and optional APTX HD Bluetooth allow the HDSP to connect to all auxiliary “smart” devices.

The HDSP-Z16 V is the best hardware that Zapco has ever built, and the numbers attest to that. Although the HDSP is composed of 18 individual pieces put together in a modular version that is easy to adapt or update according to your needs, the background noise and the crosstalk numbers are superb. The end result surpassed even the expectations of the designers and engineers who built it. It took almost three years, but eventually came this unique piece of hardware that we believe will remain in the history of Zapco and set new standards for what is possible in audio reproduction. The numbers are the proof of the design, for example -140 dB of background noise and  -115 dB of crosstalk. For a 16-channel device, crosstalk at -115 dB (average around 1 KHz) is proof of the accuracy with which the layout was made. But of course, background noise and crosstalk are not the only numbers that matter in audio devices. All the others, while not so spectacular as -140 dB floor noise, are superb. The digital inputs have 114 dB of A weighted signal/noise and the analog ones 109 dB at rated output. We kept the output voltage at 4 Volts to avoid added distortion of analog preamplification. Distortion of analog and digital inputs are lower than 0.001% at 4 Volt output and lower than 0.00175% at 1 Volt output. The HDSP-V power supply continues to work down to 6  Volts to solve the problem of cars that have the stop-start ignition system. The main processor is a dual core 456 + 456 MHz, 8 and16 channels solution have a 192 and 96 KHz sampling rate and the converters are new 32 bit/784 KHz devices from AKM. Very importantly, it is an HD Player that works at 24 bit/192 KHz integrated with DSP. There is no connection between the Player and the DSP, no PCB, no connectors, no cables. Player and DSP are integrated in one dual core chipset that has a total power of 912 MHz. Then there is a microprocessor that controls only the Player and does not have to do other heavy computational work like can happen, for example, with a computer. So, you can say it is DSP within a DSP, or the most sophisticated DSP existing  with a on board HD Player. The player has a dedicated browser that starts to work immediately when you insert the USB memory stick. It can read all formats up to 24 bit/192 KHz, compressed or not compressed, and from the 3” touch screen display, you can control all the functions using 3 different levels of folders. The dash board that controls the Player also controls minor DSP functions and can manage up to 10 tuning presets with instantaneous switching of one to another for A/B comparison.


Bar raising numbers for the Zapco HDSP-V

HDSP-V Main Features

- Player & DSP: All-in-one dual core processor

- Modular device: High-end solution with up to 18 indipendent PCB (16 ch.)

- Total Power main processor: 912 MHz (456 MHz + 456 MHz)

- Player power: 456 Mhz - Arm 9 32 Bit

- Audio formats: WAV, AIF, AIFF, FLAC, ALAC, AAC, MP3

- Directories: File or Artist/Album or Title

- DSP Power: 456 MHz - 32 Bit (till 64-bit/IEEE double precision)

- DSP Processor Point: Fixed & Floating

- DSP Sampling Rate: 96 KHz (16 ch.), 192 KHz (8 ch.)

- ADC Processor (standard): AK5558, 32 Bit, 784 KHz, 115 dB DNR

- ADC Processor (option B): AK5578, 32 Bit, 784 KHz, 121 dB DNR

- DAC Processor (standard): AK4458 32 Bit 784 Khz, 115 dB DNR (*8ch)

- DAC Processor (opt. B): AK4490 32 Bit 784 Khz, 120 dB DNR (*8ch)

- DAC Processor (opt. A): ES9038PRO 32 Bit 784 Khz, 132 dB DNR (*8ch)

- Frequency response: 5Hz @ 90 KHz (8-ch.), 5Hz @ 45 KHz (16-ch.)

- THD+N (8-ch.): 0,0006 (Digital Inputs), 0,0008 (Analog Inputs), 1V Out

- THD+N (16-ch.): 0,0008 (Digital Inputs), 0,001 (Analog Inputs), 1V Out

- S/N Device Floor Noise: -125 dB (from 20 Hz to 20 KHz)

- S/N Device Floor Noise: -135 dB (from 150 Hz to 20 KHz)

- S/N Device Floor Noise: -140 dB (average from 80 Hz to 20 KHz)

- DNR S/N Ratio (Digital Inputs): from 115 to 120 dB A 

- DNR S/N Ratio (Analog Inputs): from 109 to 115 dB A

- Crosstalk: > 110 dB (from 300 Hz to 0.9 KHz)

- Crosstalk: average 115 dB (from 300 Hz to 0.9 KHz)

- Dash Board: 3" Touch Screen, 10 Preset

- Dash Board Control: Volume/Balance/Fader/Tone

- Wireless Control: Wi-Fi External Module (included)

- BT Streaming: External APTX HD Module (optional)

- Tuning: Easy and Expert modes, "Double Front"

- I/O Setup: 2ch, 4ch, 6ch, 8ch, OEM SUM, AUX

- Digital Input Mode: HD, Optical, Coax, i2S 1, 2, 3

- EQ Parametric 30 / 6 poles (16 ch.), Parametric 15 poles (8 ch.)

- Crossover Filters: Linkwitz, Butterw., Bessel, Tsecheb.

- Phase Filter: All channels 1Hz/1 Degree step

- VSEQ Filter: 50-200 Hz - 1 Hz step

- Stop-Start ignition system support

- Main unit overall dimensions (mm): 217(L) x 164(W) x 57(H)

- Dash Board dimensions (mm): 111(L) x 16(W) x 49(H)


Advanced Control Display

The Player is controlled by an 3” Touch Screen color display. It is housed in an elegant aluminum CNC case and it can also be used to control volume, fader, balance, tone, some set-up of the system, and to switch instantaneously, by touch screen, from different tuning presets (up to 10 memory presets).

Audiophile use of the DSP - Upgradable internal modules/components


This HDSP has such high performance and so many functions that one might think it would be just the right choice for home use as well. We believe  this to be the first mobile DSP that can be introduced in home sound rooms without reducing the signal quality of an audio system. It is possible to improve dramatically the sound performance in the listening environment using crossover functions for the speakers, equalization, time delay, and phase for environmental compensation. Then with amplifiers dedicated to each specific speaker (controlled from the same DSP processor) you can have the best sound for your environment. Zapco thinks to provide a perfect line of signal path to the speakers and through the listening area.For that reason, hardware and software will be easily up-gradable with different modules that can be changed later as the situation requires. What's the best sounding capacitor for audio that money can buy? What's the best sounding analog digital converter money can buy? If there was only one answer to questions like these,we wouldn't have so many choices. The differences between the run-of-the-mill electronic components and the top-end specialty audio components is night and day. But the differences between the top audiophile components is much more subtle, and open to debate and personal preferences. The same is true of digital components. In building the DSP-Z16V and the other 5th Generation Zapco digital processors, we used the very best components we could find for a production product. But knowing that there would be high-end users out there with their personal favorite ADCs or DACs, we programmed the DSP chips to accept any number of different top-end components to provide the more fanatic audiophiles the abilityto easily customize the units to their personal tastes.


HDSP-V Dash Board

All-in-one Dual Core Processor - Why a Player with on-board DSP?

Players (portable or not), often have a DSP inside, either simple or sofisticated, but it is a DSP. Zapco has been inspired by this to offer its customers a professional DSP with the Player inside. What are the advantages of our integrated solution compared to that of connecting a Player to the DSP? First, it must be said that not all portable players have a digital output. If analog, even if it’s of excellent quality, it would always result in a degradation of quality due to the presence of two more converters on the signal path. Therefore a coupling of an external player to an analogue input is strongly inadvisable. If, on the otherhand, the external player has a digital output, then the situation is much better, but still there is the limit of an SPDIF connection. The SPDIF protocol has a maximum resolution of 24 bits and a maximum sampling rate of 192 KHz. Another limitation of the SPDIF connection is that the receiver does not control the speed of data, so it is possible to have connection problems. In any case, the maximum integration of the two products, DSP and Player inside the same chipset, protects from any issues of connection whatever the nature of the problem may be.


High-End Solution: 18 independent PCB - Why Modular?

The modularity of the apparatus offers considerable advantages. The first advantage is that the customer can request the product with the cards that he needs without having to buy what he does not need. Subsequently it is possible to easily up-grade a part of the product keeping all the rest unaltered. This allows to keep the value of the product higher over time. The 16-channel HDSP-V is composed of 18 boards and the 8-channel HDSP-V of 15.


96 KHz (16 ch) and 192 KHz (8 ch) - What is the Sampling Rate?

The Sampling Rate represents the capacity of the digital signal to reproduce the analog signal more faithfully. The higher it is, the better it is, but the difficulty in processing the signal increases proportionally as well as the power of the processors used. 44 KHz is the sampling rate of a CD disc. 

The DSPs are normally at 48 KHz. 96 KHz and 192 KHz are the sampling rates of the most sophisticated DSPs. With 192 KHz sampling rate it is possible to have a 192 KHz digital signal line, starting from the Player up to the amplifiers.


Up to 16ch, 0.0008% THD+N (Dig. In), 115 dB Crosstalk, -140 dB(A) Floor Noise, etc. - The HDSP-V Numbers

All these numbers are exceptional. Some of them make the HDSP-V unsurpassed. For example the 16 channels. There are currently no other 16 channels DSPs on the Car Audio market. With it is possible to have in the machine two perfectly calibrated listening areas and also 4 channels dedicated only to the effects. All the numbers are at the maximum that has been possible but two of them, more than the others, can give a measure of themeticulousness with which the HDSP was built and are the -140 dB of the noise plane and the 115 dB of the average crosstalk of the 16 channels at 1KHz (and 100 dB, always average of the 16 channels, at 100 Hz and 10 Khz).

HDSP-V Digital Control Program


The GUI of the DSP-V has been designed to be simple and intuitive for everyone. But that does not mean it's less sophisticated. It is divided into three main sections which are the front, the rear and the effects. The tuning of the sound of the front seats and the sound of the rear seats provides two different and independent autotuning as well as the tuning of the effects. The main screen provides simultaneous viewing of all 16 channels with all adjustments. It is a summary screen for fine adjustments made channel by channel, while dedicated pages for each major function allow you to focus on one function and conveniently set all the channels together. Auto-tuning guides the different phases starting from the correct connection of all the components, the adjustment of the levels of the amplifiers and of the DSP, all to obtain the best performances in terms of sound quality. For experienced tuners there is also manual adjustment of all functions with maximum adjustment resolution.


The Zapco HDSP-V Series


I/O Matrix


The Input/output (I/O) matrix allows the manual tuner to determine which input will be used for each output. A default matrix, of course, will be entered based on entries when you first open the program. Access to this matrix though, allows you to map out your own system by simply clicking into the box where the desired input meets the desired output. It also allows you to use multiple inputs for the same channel and to create special effects by using the sums and differences of multiple inputs for a single channel. Clicking in multiple inputs will automatically adjust the total input to remain at 100% but you can change that by typing in the desired percentage of each input to be used.




The crossover page of the Series V DSP makes crossover setting easy and clear. You can choose the filter style you want and the slope (from 6dB~48dB) by simply clicking into their boxes. You can choose the frequencies by typing into the boxes or by using the up/down arrows. The graphs at the right will always show all the crossovers for each section, and the large graph below will always show the active channel’s crossover. You can use the “Curves Setup” buttons to bring down the curves of other channels to see how they interact more clearly. Right/Left channels are paired by default but can be separated as needed.


Delay & Polarity


The page allows you to set the signal delay for each channel. You can also set the polarity of each speaker to make sure they are all in phase with each other. Phase must be correct before setting delay as they are two aspects of the same function. After the polarity of each speaker is confirmed, the distance from the listening position to each speaker is measured in either centimeters or inches and entered. The DSP will then calculate the delay for that speaker in milliseconds. Each channel can be assigned to one of three delay groups so a group of speakers can be moved (in time) together during fine tuning. 





The HDSP V GUI uses all pass filters to give you complete control of phase. There is one all pass filter for each channel that allows you to choose the target frequency for a phase shift and to choose the amount of phase shift from 1° to 359°. While the most common use of the phase control is to compensate for the phase changes caused by a crossover, it can also be used the eliminate an acoustic null in the in-car response caused by a 180° phase difference between the right and left channels at a given frequency. NOTE: Phase can be very useful, but it can also be dangerous to a sound stage but creating new problems when over used. We recommend it be used sparingly and by experienced tuners.





Over these past 10 years car makers have made it more difficult to change out the factory stereo. 

Unfortunately, the factory stereos leave much to be desired and drivers want to improve the sound systems with new amps and speakers. But even after adding new amps and speakers problems exist because the car makers often equalize the stereos. The most common issue is that car makers roll off the bass frequencies at high volume to protect their equipment. The VSEQ allows you the correct for that factory bass roll-off seamlessly with a graduated change. The VSEQ puts the frequencies back at the same volume the factory has removed them by digitally reading when the change starts and when it stops.





The main page holds the Equalizer Graph. Each of the channels 1~12 has 30 parametric filters, and the channels 13~16 have 6 parametric filters each. The 

filters can be put at any frequency and the Q of each is variable from 0.5 to 15. The filters allow the gain to be applied from +6dB to -15dB. When a channel is chosen the graph of that channel is always displayed. You can also pick any other channels to be displayed along with the active channel. If during the process you need to undo any changes you can reset the channel to Default or you can reset it to the last saved preset. Adjustments can be made quickly using the keyboard arrows or in steps of only one frequency or 0.1db of gain can be made by tapping the arrow keys. 


Stop-Start Ignition System - Power Supply

The HDSP-V has no problems working perfectly with the new generation automobiles that use the stop and start injection system. This is because it has a power supply that can work from 5.5 Volt. And it can do it uninterruptedly, so not just for a few seconds, as it usually happens for other devices that have this function.


Very accurate Phase Filter

The HDSP-V has a very accurate All Pass filter for phase adjustment. It is possible to fix the working frequency of the filter as accurate as 1 Hz and the phase shift also as fine as 1 degree. It is a new possibility to change both data as normally until now it was possible to change only the degree of phase.


VSEQ Filter

This is another innovation of the HDSP-V. Zapco has already introduced this function some time ago in the analogue ASP-OE8 and ASP-OE2 processors. This allows to restore the response on the low frequencies of the OEM systems as it is altered by the original manufacturers in order to protect their weak speakers or other weaknesses when the volume of the radio is increased above a certain level.


HDSP-V Floor Noise
HDSP-V Crosstalk

Included Wi-Fi and optional Bluetooth module allow the HDSP to connect to all auxiliary “smart” devices. The HDSP have wi-fi port plus the cable extension kit, which is supplied together with the product, provided with a 1 meter extension cable to allow an optimal wireless signal even when the HDSP is installed in remote places and without signal inside the car. The new HD-BT II-D Bluetooth Module (optional) is a Qualcomm premium solution with 120 MHz DSP, 32 MHz Dual Core Processor, High-Performance 24-bit Stereo Audio Interface, aptX, aptX HD Adaptive, SBC and AAC Audio Codec Support, delivering high quality wireless audio performance over Bluetooth and aptX HD making it an ideal choice for premium audio products.

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