ZEN Phono: Fall in love with your LPs all over again.
- MM/MC from 36dB >72dB gain
- Super-silent noise floor -151dBV
- Precise RIAA with Balanced output, performance comparable to +$1k phono stages
- Balanced circuitry
- AI sub-sonic filter - addresses warp without eliminating bass or causing phase issues
Pedigree. Performance. Peerless.
The ZEN Phono is an entry level phono stage with a difference. Normally, entry level phono stages add excessive noise that hinders musical enjoyment. The iFi ZEN Phono is an exception to the rule due to its trickle-down know-how from AMR/iFi phono pre-amps.
First and foremost, the noise floor is a whisper-quiet – 90/96dB (36/60dB, BAL 2V/SE 1V, A-weighted) on MM/MC respectively.
It can also handle MM/MC cartridges from <0.25mV to >2mV to bring true high-end performance and flexibility to the entry sector.
Flagship phono amplifiers create their own power supply off the mains, like a mains regenerator. This is fundamental to a well-designed phono stage. Without this, it will struggle to amplify the signal without added noise. This is why phono stages ‘hiss’ so annoyingly.
Unusually, the ZEN Phono has its own high-tech clean power supply. It creates a 1.2MHz power supply (20,000x mains frequency of 60Hz). In this circuit, a 10uF filtering capacitor = 200,000uF at lower, audible frequencies. With serious levels of noise filtration, it performs at the level of well-designed LC filtering circuits as found in classic tube amplifiers. Further, located on its own ‘island’ PCB, it is isolated so there is no noise pollution of the analogue stage. It outputs super clean +/- 12V DC.
Measured EIN (Equivalent Input Noise) is -151dBV. It is 20dBV quieter than some Stereophile Class A+ phonos which are -131dBV.
The EQ circuit uses multiple TDK C0G capacitors in parallel. This is for best stability and the least distortion. They beat polystyrene capacitors and are close to Teflon.
Already using the lowest tolerance capacitors combined with multiples in parallel, tolerance is exponentially improved by the square root of the number of capacitors. This is quite a natty circuit design.
The RIAA EQ tolerance level (+/- 0.15dB) is impressive as it is en par with hand-selected capacitors!
The intelligent sub-sonic filter is from the iPhono range and is quite special. Normal sub-sonic filters remove ‘rumble’ AND bass and cause phase issues. iFi's unique AI phono sub-sonic filter removes ‘rumble’ only.
2m (6.56 ft) AudioQuest Bridges & Falls Series - Golden Gate - Analog-Audio Interconnect Cable (RCA to RCA)
- Solid Long-Grain Copper (LGC) Conductors
- Asymmetrical Double-Balanced Geometry
- Metal-Layer Noise-Dissipation System (NDS)
- Foamed-Polyethylene Insulation
- Cold-Welded, Gold-Plated Terminations
Analog-Audio Interconnect Cable named after the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, which was once the longest suspension bridge in the world.
All Bridges & Falls cables use better metals and more sophisticated technologies - including Air-Tube insulation, Dielectric-Bias System, and Noise-Dissipation System - at lower prices than ever before.
Note: All cables in the Bridges & Falls Series place their left and right channels in a single jacket, and feature AudioQuest's Asymmetrical Double-Balanced geometry with separate high-quality positive and negative conductors. This design allows for a thin, flexible, and uniquely versatile high-performance cable that can be terminated with a variety of today’s connections, including 3.5 mm (male or female), DIN, and RCA. Do keep in mind, however, that, by necessity, the plugs on Bridges & Falls cables are fairly close together. If the L and R inputs of your components are more than 3" (7.6 cm) apart, please consider models from AudioQuest's Rivers or Elements Series.
AudioQuest GroundGoody Saturn: Perfect-Surface Copper+ (PSC+) Conductors
AudioQuest GroundGoodys use Direction-Controlled Perfect-Surface Conductors and Direct-Silver Plated (#10 stud) spades to help prevent hum and efficiently drain radio-frequency noise. Partner GroundGoody with any AudioQuest RCA cable to create a low-distortion and low-noise tonearm cable.
SOLID PERFECT-SURFACE COPPER+ (PSC+) CONDUCTORS
Solid conductors prevent both electrical and magnetic interaction strand-to-strand interaction, major sources of distortion. Surface quality is critical because a conductor can be considered as a rail-guide for both the fields within a conductor, and for the magnetic fields that extend outside the conductor. The astonishingly smooth and pure surface of all AudioQuest’s Perfect-Surface metals nearly eliminates harshness and greatly increases clarity compared to lesser materials. Extremely high-purity Perfect-Surface Copper+ further minimizes distortion caused by grain boundaries, which exist within any metal conductor, nearly eliminating harshness and greatly increasing clarity compared to OFHC, OCC, 8N and other coppers.
DIRECT-SILVER PLATED 3/16" (4.8MM) SPADES
Direct-Silver Plating is optimized for sound. It looks dull because there is no underlying layer of shiny, distortion-causing nickel.
ALL CONDUCTORS CONTROLLED FOR RF NOISE DIRECTIONALITY