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ZEN Phono 3 from iFi audio

Turn on, Tranquillity.

In a world full of noise, welcome to ZEN.

Futuristic Features. Nostalgic Feeling.

In a world where modern technology is ever-evolving, simplicity and connection are what we crave most. Nothing demonstrates this quite like the familiar act of picking your favourite LP, hearing the soft crackle before it starts, and sharing a story or two with friends as you listen together.

If this is the type of connection you crave, then a well-designed phono stage is integral for your vinyl setup. It takes the subtle whispers of your cartridge and amplifies them hundreds of times, making your vinyl’s magic compatible with headphones, amps, receivers and speakers. The ZEN Phono 3 opens the door to that analogue world with style and substance. With an intelligent warp filter and versatile loading options, you will be able to hear your over-loved LPs as new and fully experiment with your system setup.

Packed with trickle-down technology from our prestigious history with sister company AMR, the ZEN Phono 3 is a noise-free upgrade that will allow you to slip seamlessly back into the blissful world of vinyl.

ZEN Phono 3 from iFi audio

Superior Specification.

Zen Phono 3 boasts futuristic features unlike any other entry-level stage:

  • MM/MC with 36-72dB gain range
  • Independent loading adjustment
  • Super-silent -151dBV noise floor
  • Precise RIAA with balanced output
  • Intelligent subsonic filter
  • High-tech 1.2MHz clean power supply

Super Smart. Super Subsonic.

Standard subsonic filters aren’t intelligent and are typically loathed by audiophiles. They filter not only the bass rumble from warped records but also the bass of the song.

Our intelligent subsonic filter knows the difference between the two and only filters the warp, leaving the song completely intact, and without adding group delay.

ZEN Phono 3 from iFi audio

Your Cartridge. Your Rules.

The ZEN Phono 3 supports four MM/MC gain selections from 36 to 72dB and four input impedance settings.

Mix and match gain and loading settings independently of each other with the all-new loading button, ensuring optimum compatibility with a wide range of cartridges and allowing you to get the sound ‘just right’.

Exacting Equalisation.

At the vinyl mastering stage, records are pressed with an inverse RIAA equalisation curve applied. This needs to be undone on playback by the phono stage to reveal the magic of the music.

ZEN Phono 3’s RIAA EQ circuitry uses multiple TDK C0G capacitors in parallel. This is for best stability and the least distortion.

This allows for ZEN Phono 3’s RIAA playback equalisation curve to be within +/- 0.15dB tolerance from 20-20kHz, allowing you to hear your records more accurately than ever before.

Its RIAA accuracy is on-par with more costly phono stages that use hand-selected capacitors.

ZEN Phono 3 from iFi audio

Shockingly Silent.

ZEN Phono 3 has a high-tech clean power supply built directly into it, isolated on its own “island” and away from the rest of the board.

The power supply’s isolation mitigates noise pollution of the analogue stage – ensuring that only the audio is amplified and allowing for the noise-floor to remain whisper quiet.

ZEN Phono 3’s Equivalent Input Noise measures at -151dBV, which is 20dBV quieter than some Stereophile Class A+ phonos. *

For optimal noise performance, ensure that you are providing the cleanest power to your Phono 3.

The iFi iPower2 is an ultra-quiet, ultra-clean audiophile-grade power supply, featuring Active Noise Cancellation II technology to cancel out all incoming EMI and RFI noise. You’ll never feel powerless against noise and graininess again.

Majestic measurements

ZEN Phono 3: –151dBV
Stereophile Class A+ rated Phono: –131dBV

20dBV

quieter

Since the very first iPhono launched in 2012, we have used our own in-house Subsonic Filter. As there is only minimal vertical modulation remaining at very low frequencies with an actual cut LP that is playable, we know that “vertical modulation” at low frequencies must be warp.

By understanding fully how LP’s are cut and replayed, it is possible to filter record warp strongly without at the same time attenuating low bass or adding group delay.

As with many other iFi audio products, we’ve incorporated a custom OV Series operational-amplifier. This top-notch component contributes to the extremely low noise, low distortion (0.0001%) and wide bandwidth.

TDK C0G (Class 1 ceramic) capacitors offer high stability and low losses for resonant circuit applications.

Getting ever closer to the theoretical ideal of pure, frequency-constant capacitance, these capacitors reduce capacitor-induced distortion to vanishingly low levels.

They are pricey but are a perfect addition to our products.

Texas Instruments low-noise ICs offer great unity-gain bandwidth, very low noise and distortion, high output drive capability, Common-mode and Power Supply Rejection Ratios of over 100 dB, wide maximum-output-swing bandwidths and high slew rates.

With MM/MC, high/low and very low, the ZEN Phono is able to handle just about any cartridge. From 36dB all the way up to 72dB. So as your vinyl system grows over time, the ZEN Phono will always keep up.

Balanced circuit design. Just not seen at this price point it is a superior method to the traditional single-ended circuit approach. Balanced circuits reduce noise and crosstalk. Less Interference – clearer sound.

muRata control-type, low-ESR high-Q multi-layer capacitors. The ‘ESR control’ aspect of the Murata is something special. Their noise suppression abilities are impressive.

Retailer

BusiSoft Pty Ltd

Victoria

This product is currently out of stock and unavailable.

Gain SettingsMM36dB
MC High48dB
MC Low60dB
MC V-Low72dB
Max Output Voltage (RMS)Bal100kΩ: ≥19.98V (THD+N <1%)
600Ω: ≥12.75V (THD+N <1%)
SE100kΩ: ≥10.07V (THD+N <1%)
600Ω: 7.94V (THD+N <1%)
Output ImpedanceBAL200Ω
SE100Ω
Input ImpedanceMM: 47KΩ (100/200pF)
MC High: 47kΩ (100/200pF)
MC Low: 1k/400/100Ω
MC V-Low: 1k/400/100Ω
SNRMM91dB(A)/82dB (unweighted 80kHz BW)
(2V Balanced, 1V Single-Ended)MC High81dB(A)/72dB (unweighted 80kHz BW)
MC Low89.6dB(A)/80dB (unweighted 80kHz BW)
MC V-Low78.6dB(A)/69dB (unweighted 80kHz BW)
Harmonic DistortionMM<-91dB/0.0027%
(2V Balanced, 1V Single-Ended @ 600Ω)MC High<-80dB/0.0095%
MC Low<-70dB/0.031%
MC V-Low<-73dB/0.022%
Channel Separation>75dB (1kHz all modes)
Frequency ResponseBAL20Hz-80kHz (-3dB)
SE20Hz-20kHz (-0.15dB)
Dimensions(Length x Width x Height)158 x 115 x 35mm (6.2” x 4.6” x 1.4”)
Net Weight456g
Power Supply RequirementDC 5V/0.5A (centre positive)
Power ConsumptionNo Signal ~1.5W; Max Signal ~1.8W
Limited Warranty12 Months*

iFi Audio Adds Two New Models To Its ZEN Line-Up

Hi-Fi component brand iFi Audio has been busy developing two new products for music lovers who want the best in digital sound. The iFi ZEN DAC 3 is a refreshed take on its predecessor and includes updated features.

Mark Sparrow, Forbes.com

(Click name to read original review)

“I am amazed by how these two (ZEN Phono 3 & ZEN CAN Signature) sound together!”

Discover more by watching the full review.

David Bublitz

(Click name to read original review)