Tom Evans who makes very nice phono stages made the following astute comment:
A rumble filter simply adds to the bass cut making your already “cut” records sound bass light. Plus, it “time-steps” the bass in relation to the higher frequencies (where our hearing is most sensitive) so much so it can confuse the ear into believing the bass is playing out of tempo.
Since the very first iPHONO launched in 2012, we have used our own in-house ‘Subsonic Filter’. It made it into the iPHONO2 and the iPHONO3 and now, the ZEN Phono which is the very first time this filter is seen in such an affordable price level.
As there is only minimal vertical modulation remaining at very low frequencies with an an actual cut LP that is playable, we know that “vertical modulation” at low frequencies must be warp.
So we designed a filter to take advantage of this.
This is not artificial but real knowledge. By understanding fully how LPs are cut and replayed, it is possible to filter record warp strongly without at the same time attenuating low bass or adding group delay.
The ZEN DAC Signature and ZEN CAN Signature 6XX with added 4.4mm Pentaconn cable.
ZEN DAC Signature
This ZEN DAC Signature is a pure DAC and benefits from true-differential balanced circuit design to take performance to the next level. It has upgraded circuit components and short, direct signal paths for optimal signal purity.
It delivers bit-perfect PCM (up to 32-bit/384kHz), native DSD (up to DSD256), DXD and MQA.
There is a pair of RCA sockets for single-ended connection to an amp, plus a Pentaconn 4.4mm output. When connected to an amp or active speakers equipped with a balanced input – either a 4.4mm Pentaconn input, or stereo XLR inputs via a 4.4mm-to-XLR cable – the full benefit of the ZEN DAC Signature’s balanced circuit design can be heard.
It’s outputs can be switched between ‘variable’ and ‘fixed’.
ZEN CAN Signature
The ZEN CAN Signature 6XX improves the sound quality of the original ZEN CAN and adds something special – a custom EQ setting called ActivEQ. It combines active and passive components to create a specific EQ curve to suit the ‘MassDrop x Sennheiser HD 6XX’ headphones.
This can be switched off to make the most of all manner of headphones and in-ear monitors. It also features XSpace – an analogue processing mode which compensates for the ‘in-head localisation’ effect that can occur when using headphones to listen to music that was mixed using a pair of speakers.
It features four gain settings in six dB steps – 0dB, 6dB, 12dB and 18db.
The ZEN CAN Signature 6XX’s circuitry is a balanced, symmetrical dual-mono design. It delivers delivers 1600mW (7.2V) into 32 ohms from the single-ended output, with 15V+ available to loads of 300 ohms or more through the balanced output.
It offers stereo RCA and 3.5mm single-ended inputs, plus a balanced 4.4mm Pentaconn input. A 4.4mm balanced output is also provided. It has a 6.3mm output for headphones that have a standard single-ended connector and a 4.4mm Pentaconn balanced output for headphones offering balanced connection.
4.4mm – 4.4mm cable
The iFi 4.4mm to 4.4mm cable employs heavy OFHC continuous cast copper and silver matrix conductors with a total thickness of 14AWG for the best signal transfer.
It’s a perfect addition to our ZEN Signature Set as this audiophile-grade cable will give you maximum quality balanced signal transfer and minimum interference.
The cable construction is a custom helix design, minimised both in capacitance and inductance, minZ™.
It also has intrinsic shielding provided by minZ™ helix construction. They protect the cable from RFI and EMI noise and provide the cleanest transfer medium possible.
To further insulate the cable, we adopted the RoHS compliant, excellent dielectric property and super-soft (60P) HD polymer with 1500V AC spark resistance.