iFi Micro iPhono3 Black Label Phonostage/Preamplifier Compatible with MM and MC Cartridges – Turntable/Home Theater System Audio Upgrade

$999.00

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Price: $999.00
(as of Aug 13,2022 15:49:49 UTC – Details)


Product Description

iFi micro logoiFi micro logo

iFi audio was launched in 2012 and its ultra high-end pedigree dates back a decade further through its parent company: Abbingdon Music Research (AMR) which produces expensive luxury audio products.

AMR saw in 2010 that hi-fi audio was shifting from home ‘static’ speaker systems to Bluetooth and portable ‘dynamic’ headphone setups To serve this growing market, iFi audio was commissioned with one goal: to produce ‘ultra-fidelity’ audio products that push the sonic performance at the envelope while still priced within the mainstream. It began work on a range of small but prodigious personal audio products using AMR’s trickle-down technology.

Today, iFi designs and manufactures over 35 different products from its headquarters in Southport, UK. It sources parts from around the world from manufacturers including XMOS (UK), GE Valves (USA), WIMA (Germany) and TDK (Japan). It retails through a global network of dealers and has its own distribution in the USA who serves retailers such as B&H and etailz.

iPhono3 black labeliPhono3 black label

iFi iPhono3 Black Label

The iPhono3 is packed with the latest generation of surface-mounted components. By eliminating multiple joins between parts and lead-out and reducing the size, parasitic behaviour across the board has been drastically reduced over classic leaded parts.

At AMR/iFi we have always loved the sound of tubes and have produced Tube Equipment under the AMR brand name in the ultra-high end arena. However, tubes run hot and take up a fair bit of space. Solid-state can be designed as a small and affordable circuit, as well as it can run cool. To enhance the audiophile experience, the iPhono3 employs a simple Class A buffer circuit. The Class A buffer minimises the loading of the amplifier circuit AND at the same time reliably biases the output stage of the integrated circuit amplifier into single-ended Class A (it normally operates in Class AB). Incidentally, all other stages in integrated circuit amplifiers operate in Class A. This is why biasing the output stage into single-ended Class A and adding the Class A Buffer is so effective to improving sound quality.

Tube-state does not mean to add a lot of synthetic harmonics, but to emulate core features of tube circuits in solid-state. The result is a sound that combines the best features of the tube sound (lack of grain, edginess and naturalness of sound) with the best of modern solid state (low distortion, low noise).

For the iPhono3 there is a third-generation upgraded circuit which has at the heart OV4627S J-FET, OPA1644AIPWop-amps & hand-matched PNP bipolar transistor Class A Tube-state Buffer. By virtue of the J-FET component it has a very high input impedance approaching the ‘zero loading’ a tube grid provides ever more closely, while the increased drive ability allows the iPhono3 to drive 1V into 600 Ohm loads with 0.0007% THD (-104dB), dominated by low order harmonics, just like it is the case with exceptional tube circuits. If driving less demanding loads the THD reduces to 0.0003% (-110dB) with no high order components whatsoever.

On top of lowering THD, OPA1644AIPW op-amp will also provide faster transient and broaden the spectrum of the dynamic range.

EQ Curves

Descending from the AMR PH-77, the iPHONO3 has impressive DNA. A key aspect is the ability to perfectly ‘correct’ the recording as LPs even from different pressing plants can have different a different equalization.

The choice is there for the customer to choose ‘by ear’. Or alternatively, leave it on RIAA permanently too.

close up of iPhono3 bl

close up of iPhono3 bl

iPhono 3 bl

iPhono 3 bl

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underside of iPhono3 bl

Audiophile-Grade

iPhono3 features for the first time, audiophile-grade Nichicon 470uF/6.3v/UFW0J471MED capacitor, providing lower ESR, faster speed, and deeper bass. Complemented with the new FMMT618A transistors it has power increased from 350mW to 625mW. Lower noise and distortion even further.

Transistors

Computer matched pair complementary planar high gain bi-polar input transistors means 6dB lower output noise. The planar transistor is constructed by an etching and diffusion technique in which the junction is never exposed during processing, and the junctions reach the surface on one plane; characterized by very low leakage current, high gain and very low noise. These transistors being matched pairs, is labour intensive and expensive.

Capacitors

Packed throughout with TKD Japan made C0G type capacitors. Capacitors owning the C0G specification have lower thermal drift and distortion than Polystyrene capacitors. The iPHONO3 uses them for the actual equalisation AND power supply

burr brown chipburr brown chip

Burr-Brown Soundplus

All-new hand-matched Burr-Brown Soundplus J-FET type operational amplifier. The Burr Brown is complemented by Panasonic Japan-made ECPU Film Capacitors designed for audiophile applications with vanishingly low distortion of (<0.0007%!), infusing the iPhono3 Black Label with dynamic range performance that is second-to-none.

direct drive logodirect drive logo

Direct Drive Servoless

Direct Drive Servoless is an important element of the audiophile experience, which is not visible in measurements, but is quite audible. Unlike a standard phono stage design, the iPhono3 Black Label continues the special design tradition of being direct coupled (i.e. no coupling capacitor) from cartridge to output and it does so without requiring a conventional DC servo. Below is what a standard phono stage looks like:

iPower xiPower x

iPower X

The iPhono3 Black Label demands the ultimate power supply. That means the newly launched iPower X. Just like the rest of the power supply range, it has an exceptional noise floor of <0.1uF which is lower than what the Audio Precision measures to

DC Infinity logoDC Infinity logo

DC infinity

Any noise and distortion of the DC-Infinity circuit happens at the same signal level as the output signal and is by design, 100 times less than the noise and distortion of the actual amplifier circuit. Noise and distortion it effectively disappears.

iPhono3 black labeliPhono3 black label

Output Impedance:

<20Ω

Input Voltage:

AC 100 – 240V, 50/60Hz

Power Consumption:

< 5W (ships with iPower X 15v – do NOT use any other power supply)

Dimensions:

6.2″ x 2.3″ x 1.1

Weight:

0.44 lbs.

Tech Specifications

Freq. Resp.:

10Hz – 100KHz (±0.5dB)

20Hz – 20kHz (±0.2dB)

Dynamic Range:

MM (36dB): > 111dB (A-weighted)

MC (60dB): > 110dB (A-weighted)

Signal-to-Noise Ratio:

MM (36dB): > 84dB (A-weighted re. 5mV)

MC (60dB): > 84dB (A-weighted re. 0.5mV)

Overload Margin:

MM (36dB): > 26dB (re. 5mV, @ 1% THD)

MC (60dB): > 22dB (re 0.5mV, @ 1% THD)

Crosstalk:

<-70dB(1KHz)

Maximum undistorted output:

6V (Load >= 600 Ohm, THD <=1%)

Total Harmonic Distortion (THD):

<0.0007% (MM 36dB 1V out 600R Load)

UNIVERSAL – Use any moving magnet or moving coil cartridge with this phono stage preamplifier by adjusting clearly labeled switches hidden underneath the chassis and an online compatibility calculator available
QUIET – Powered by the upgraded iFi iPower X 15V DC power supply, the noise floor drops below 0.1uF and the overload margin is over one and a half times greater than its predecessor
CUSTOMIZATION – RIAA Equalization circuit guarantees a +/- 0.2dB accuracy of the RIAA EQ from 20Hz – 20kHz, and 5 total EQ curves to suit a record from any era
INCREDIBLE SOUND – Ultra-wide gain from 36dB to 72dB and incredible 110dB dynamic range delivered through a class A Tube State circuit engineered from four decades of research to get tube like sound from a solid state amplifier
HIGH TECH – Premium components, like computer matched Burr Brown op-amps and Panasonic ECPU film capacitors, as well as an on-board sub sonic filter bring superior technology that can usually only be found in an ultra-high-end home theater system

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iFi Micro iPhono3 Black Label Phonostage/Preamplifier Compatible with MM and MC Cartridges – Turntable/Home Theater System Audio Upgrade

$999.00

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