iFi audio ZEN Phono - The Official Thread

bonzo75

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Feb 26, 2014
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Is it a new phono
 
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bonzo75

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DeadWax

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Apr 11, 2020
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Only in this community can someone perceive a new phono into an orange Freudian ink blot. I suppose that is the Rorschach test that all WBF members need to pass in order to gain entrance ;)
 
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AMR / iFi audio

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Only in this community can someone perceive a new phono into an orange Freudian ink blot. I suppose that is the Rorschach test that all WBF members need to pass in order to gain entrance ;)
that is correct. You need to pass the Rorschach test to enter the Matrix. To me most of the inkblots look like gummy bears.
 

Alrainbow

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How does this compare to the iPhono3
 

wisnon

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Its 6X cheaper at $159, so that tells the tale there. Specs are not equivalent, so hard to compare and finally, its 5VDC input going to 12vdc internally, vs 15vdc going to 30vdc internally in the iPh3.

This baby is feature rich, ie balanced, bigger chassis, and a few auto features. IPh3 has more manual dip switch settings (fully configurable), more EQ settings, better power configuration internally, and will likely kick junior's ass interns of sonics. Junior is the bigger value play and has that Balanced output option but less tweakable.
 

AMR / iFi audio

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The iPhono3 Black Label and the Zen Phono are fundamentally different products. iPhono3 Black Label, our premium phono-stage employs a trickle-down technology from the AMR PH-77, the $12,000 larger sibling with 23 equalisation curves, which remains the vinyl benchmark to this day. The tech used in the iPhono3 Black Label features the 6 most popular stereo EQ curves. The iPhono3 Black Label, like the AMR PH-77 from which it descends, enables you to set the precise load/gain for the cartridge you have. Squeeze every last drop of performance out of your precious pickup with the best audiophile components. Computer matched op-amps, high-gain bi-polar output transistors to Nichicon audio-grade capacitors are just some of the examples.

The Zen Phono is a one of a kind entry-level phono stage which features precise RIAA equalisation with balanced output. It is rather unparalleled to come across a phono stage with MM/MC from 36dB >72dB - 4 gain levels capability and a super-silent noise floor -151dBV at this price point. Moreover, it is equipped with an AI sub-sonic filter, addressing warps without eliminating bass or causing phase issues.
 
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AMR / iFi audio

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You might be interested to read Mr. Fremer's review of the Zen Phono.

"It’s often said about an audio system, that it’s only as good as the weakest link in the chain. Well, here, the iFi Zen Phono is clearly the least costly link in a chain that includes the M6, darTzeel electronics and a pair of ($139,000) Wilson Audio Specialties XVX loudspeakers... and you could say also the “weakest” but were you to sit down and listen to the system without knowing the source, there’s no way you’d imagine you were listening to a $149.99 phono preamplifier."

"The iFi Zen Phono is a no-brainer, easy to recommended, timbrally honest, especially quiet MM/MC phono preamp that’s priced near the bottom and performs many steps above its pay grade."

"Even the subsonic filter works as promised, removing the low frequency woofer pumping produced by warped records, without noticeably affecting bass response."

Read the full review here - https://www.analogplanet.com/content/ifis-cost-object-zen-phono-mmmc-phono-preamplifier
 

AMR / iFi audio

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Want to know the secret to seamlessly upgrading your vinyl system?

The ZEN Phono has entered the building ⬇️


 

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