iFi ZEN Phono Review

Discussion in 'Vinyl Nutjob World: Turntable and Related Gear' started by purr1n, Oct 2, 2020.

  1. iFi audio

    iFi audio MOT iFi Audio

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    Here goes:

    1. MM: 47K Ohms
    2. MC High: 47K Ohms
    3. MC Low: 1.4K Ohms
    4. MC Vlow: 110 Ohms
     
  2. Decomo

    Decomo Facebook Friend

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    i am not savvy in technical terms at all and aren't those value are loading resistance value? I thought that the other member asked input capacitance value. Are they same thing?
     
  3. iFi audio

    iFi audio MOT iFi Audio

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    That's what I got from our tech team, but let's wait for someone else to chime in just to make sure.
     
  4. Decomo

    Decomo Facebook Friend

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    @iFi audio May I ask if Zen Phono come with iFI iPower 5v power supply or generic power supply? Thank you in advance.
     
  5. Mirko

    Mirko Rando

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    hello,
    Decomo is right, 47kohm is a resistance value. What should be listed in specs, and sometimes in entry level phono stages isn't, is the capacitive load at the input. Since there is no selection switch for it on the Zen, this is a single value expressed in pF. The vendor labs should know the answer.
    I'm pretty sure purr1n can easily measure it.
     
  6. Decomo

    Decomo Facebook Friend

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    I got the unit from local retailer just now and power supply looks generic one. Definitely not iFi iPower that I used to have. Looks pretty good quality though..
     
  7. Biodegraded

    Biodegraded Friend

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    Nervosa inducer! :p But hmmm, maybe...

    With a 1A linear wall-wart (not iPower) in place of the stock 500 mA switcher, I get the impression of an overall 'less hazy' presentation, with sibilants, cymbals & hi-hats being cleaner and horns having less underlying screech. Through headphones (HD 6XX from MCTH) I felt like I wanted to turn it up a bit vs the stock supply, because everything became that little bit clearer and less fatiguing.

    Mrsdegraded though, who hears things pretty well and who had no expectation bias, did not detect a difference on brief listening. So insert disclaimers.

    Impressions of the preamp and comparisons with Hagerman and Rega units I have here will come in a few days - need more listening.
     
  8. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    So 2.34% improvement with the fancy power supply?
     
  9. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    Agreed. If the values are on the lower side, one can use higher pF cables or solder on extra capacitance. Hard to remove capacitance. On the other hand, 220pF does seem to work with a lot of MM carts, and users don't have to futz around. This is a budget phonostage after all.
     
  10. Biodegraded

    Biodegraded Friend

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    Add a couple more decimal places. And +/- 3% uncertainty.
     
    ChaChaRealSmooth, purr1n and Gazny like this.
  11. S_Vercellone

    S_Vercellone Rando

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    Hi, I received a ZEN phono a few days ago, but I have a disturbing buzz when the power supply is connected to my chain, even if everything is properly grounded. I just contacted my local dealer who suggested that the generic supplied one might be faulty. He will send me an iPower to check if it is just a matter of the power supply. Anyone with the same problem here? Thanks in advance!
     
  12. limesoft

    limesoft Facebook Friend

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    Ifi still have this problem? I don't know what it is but buzz is also an issue with my iPhono 2 and my ican se. It's certainly something to do with the powersupply and possibly grounding.. I just can't believe they havent resolved it by now - it's a major PITA
     
  13. S_Vercellone

    S_Vercellone Rando

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    Hi, so you have not been able to get rid of this buzz? Switching from the OEM power supply to the iPower one might solve it? The local vendor will send me an iPower, but if this does not fix the problem, I am considering to ask for a total refund and go to another brand (suggestions?)... @iFi audio, do you have any suggestions on how to solve it?
     
  14. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    Try moving the phonostage and cables around. Move the phonostage away from motors or transformers. Cross signal wires perpendicular with AC power wires, don't let them run parallel. Try use the grounding lug or not grounding.
     
  15. limesoft

    limesoft Facebook Friend

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    This. I had to fiddle with the wires, connect separate grounding cable direct to plug, even touching the case in some instances changed the noise.. very fiddly and I never had this with my other phonos. I use the ipower - likely that's part of the problem. Even after all the fiddling around there's still noise that comes through on quiet passages. I will try the AC purifier dongle... Yet another dongle for my other dongles for something that should just work without dongling around. Ifi - good business model
     
  16. Biodegraded

    Biodegraded Friend

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    So far I've had less trouble with the Zen in this respect than with other units past & present - in my system it seems less susceptible to proximity to power supplies, cable crossings, etc. using either the stock or an old Iomega Zip Drive power supply. Shrug.
     
  17. Decomo

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    I am not sure about sound quality of iFi iPhono Zen as yet since it is too early but I do not have any hum issue in my chain. I also got iFi iPower 5V power supply and tried it with and again no hum.
     
  18. S_Vercellone

    S_Vercellone Rando

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    Thanks to all of you for your comments. I tried to move/touch cables/TT arm/TT chassis and all the rest, but the noise is still there. On Monday the local vendor will send me the iPower. Let's see!
     
  19. iFi audio

    iFi audio MOT iFi Audio

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    Also you can always let us know about the problem here:

    https://support.ifi-audio.com/

    Folks at our tech team might have something interesting to say and will do their best to help you out :)
     
  20. S_Vercellone

    S_Vercellone Rando

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    Hi, thanks, I am already in touch with the Ifi technical support.
     

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