Ifi Zen Phono
Unlike any other entry-level phono stage. The ZEN Phono has:
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.
Just super clean +/- 12V DC.
Measured EIN (Equivalent Input Noise) is -151dBV. It is 20dBV quieter than some Stereophile Class A+ phonos which are -131dB
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 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.
Scroll down for more on the most consequential circuit highlights/boutique components.
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.
Our unique AI phono sub-sonic filter removes ‘rumble'
Once again thanks for your help. I first visited Bartletts in 1993 and bought the Audiolab 8000a to equalise and compete with whatever the neighbours were playing at the time through the very thin walls of a Victorian Mansion Block. My Quad at the time although could musically could not compete. I had bought the Quad in 1984 at a place in Camden by Mornington Crescent, although I felt that I bought what" that particular shop "wanted to sell me rather than what I wanted.
I would just like to thank the Bartlett's team for pulling out all the stops when an order failed to materialise through no fault of their own. Terrific service and would certainly shop with Bartlett's again.
If I could give Bartlett's 10 stars I would....Quite superb service (a special mention for Simon here) - Buy from this supplier with complete confidence.