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iFi Audio

iFi Audio ZEN Phono V3

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Updated: May 15, 2024

The iFi Audio ZEN Phono V3 is a wonderful enhancement to your vinyl setup. Being full of AMR trickle down vinyl technology, it'll have you poring over your LPs into the wee hours of the night.

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Spec’d to make you smile

Unlike any other entry-level phono stage. The ZEN Phono has:

  • MM/MC from 36dB >72dB gain. Super-silent noise floor -151dBV
  • Precise RIAA with balanced output and performance comparable to +$1k phono stages
  • AI subsonic filter. Addresses warp without eliminating bass or causing phase issues
Hissless whisper

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, such the ones found in classic tube amplifiers. Further, located on its own “island” PCB, it is isolated so there is no noise pollution of the analog stage. Just super clean +/- 12V DC at low measured EIN (Equivalent Input Noise) of -151dBV. It is 20dBV quieter than some more well known "Class A+" phonos which are only -131dBV.

Mil-spec RIAA

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. Read more here. 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 and on par with hand-selected capacitors! The ZEN Phono has some seriously good audio components backing up the fab circuit design which has trickled-down from its ultra-fidelity AMR PH-77 and iFi iPhono siblings.

Super subsonic

The intelligent subsonic filter is from the iPhono range and is quite special. Normal subsonic filters remove “rumble” AND bass, causing phase issues. Their unique AI phono subsonic filter removes “rumble” only.

What's Included

• iFi Zen Phono

• iFi DC power supply input

• RCA stereo interconnects

• iFi Audio ZEN Phono manual

• 12 month factory warranty

Input / Output

• 4.4mm Pentaconn balanced output

• Single ended RCA stereo output

• Single ended RCA stereo input

• Input impedance - MM: 47K Ohms (Load: 110pF), MC High: 47K Ohms, MC Low: 1K Ohms, MC V Low: 110 Ohms

• Output Impedance (BAL/SE): 200 Ohm resistive / 100 Ohm resistive

The Specs

Max Output Voltage (RMS): 20v RMS bal output into 100k (< 1% THD & N)/ 13.5V RMS bal output into 600R (< 1% THD & N)

Signal/Noise Ratio: 94dB(A) MM re 2V BAL/1V UNBAL, 80dB(unweighted 80kHz BW) MM re 2V BAL/1V UNBAL, 84dB(A) MC Hi re 2V BAL/1V UNBAL, 71dB(unweighted 80kHz BW) MM re 2V BAL/1V UNBAL, 90dB(A) MC lo re 2V BAL/1V UNBAL, 79dB(unweighted 80kHz BW) MC lo re 2V BAL/1V UNBAL, 79dB(A) MC vlo re 2V BAL/1V UNBAL, 69dB(unweighted 80kHz BW) MC vlo re 2V BAL/1V UNBAL

EIN 0.6nV|/Hz (unweighted) MC lo/vlo: -151dBV (A weighted), -141dBV (unweighted)

EIN 6.5nV|/Hz (unweighted) MM/MC hi: -130dBV (A weighted), -119dBV (unweighted)

• Harmonic Distortion: < -110dB / 0.0003% MM re 2V BAL/1V UNBAL, -80dB / 0.01% MC lo re 2V BAL/1V UNBAL, -86dB / 0.005% MC vlo re 2V BAL/1V UNBAL

• Dimensions (W)6.3" x (L)4.4" x (H)1.4" / Weight 1.4 lbs

iFi Zen Phono3


About iFi Audio

iFi audio is an award winning audio tech company with one aim in mind – to improve your music enjoyment. They create products that improve sound quality and eradicate noise, distortion and hiss from your Headphones, Speakers, Portable audio devices and Phones allowing you hear studio-quality audio as your favorite artists intended.