Author Topic: iFI Zen Phono - Good 1st impressions  (Read 379 times)

Offline MalcolmS

iFI Zen Phono - Good 1st impressions
« on: January 14, 2022, 11:16:09 AM »
Hi All

I picked up a Project RPM3 Carbon and iFI Zen Phono for my home office (because one has to have a vinyl spinning tea break during the work from home workday  :clap:)

It sounded quite good right out the gate with the Ortofon 2M Silver and the MM setting on the Zen, however the noise floor was way too HIGH for my liking. I upgraded the cart to a Benz Micro MC and set the Zen to Very Low MC Setting. What a HUGE upgrade to the sound. I have have used the iPhono 2 before which was more refined and liquid sounding and I am very impressed with the Zen phono which punches WAY above it's price point.

For extra fun, I also added the SugarCube SC 1 Plus to remove pops, clicks and reduce surface noise so can now enjoy my older, not so pristine, vinyl that I pick up at Fairs.

Cheers
Malcolm

Offline Francois

Re: iFI Zen Phono - Good 1st impressions
« Reply #1 on: January 14, 2022, 01:36:24 PM »
You are not the only one thinking it GREAT! I use it all over, and every single unit for demo doesnt come back! What I love is it doesnt even shy away from playing a van den Hul Colibri properly.


I have two myself  ;D



I was born analog, not digit by digit....

Offline humfr33

Re: iFI Zen Phono - Good 1st impressions
« Reply #2 on: January 17, 2022, 08:54:38 AM »
Hi All

I picked up a Project RPM3 Carbon and iFI Zen Phono for my home office (because one has to have a vinyl spinning tea break during the work from home workday  :clap:)

It sounded quite good right out the gate with the Ortofon 2M Silver and the MM setting on the Zen, however the noise floor was way too HIGH for my liking. I upgraded the cart to a Benz Micro MC and set the Zen to Very Low MC Setting. What a HUGE upgrade to the sound. I have have used the iPhono 2 before which was more refined and liquid sounding and I am very impressed with the Zen phono which punches WAY above it's price point.

For extra fun, I also added the SugarCube SC 1 Plus to remove pops, clicks and reduce surface noise so can now enjoy my older, not so pristine, vinyl that I pick up at Fairs.

Cheers
Malcolm

Ifi seems to be knocking it out of the park lately with their Zen series. I have heard nothing but good things about every product in the lineup - I personally have my eye on the Zen DAC but itís great to know the phono is worthwhile investigating as well!

Does your amp have a built in phono preamp? If so it would be interesting to know how it compares with the built in one.

Offline MalcolmS

Re: iFI Zen Phono - Good 1st impressions
« Reply #3 on: January 17, 2022, 08:57:01 AM »
Pic of the setup.



Output from the Sugarcube is via either BNC or RCA to a pair of KEF LS50 WII and KC62 sub. KEF app is great for dialing in the 'room corrected' sound and also tweak the EQ on the fly depending on the mixing and mastering on the LP.

Cheers

Offline MalcolmS

Re: iFI Zen Phono - Good 1st impressions
« Reply #4 on: January 17, 2022, 09:02:16 AM »
Would be interesting to compare it with the built in phono in my Anthem STR Pre but I have not had a chance to do that yet.