iFi Audio iPhono and iDAC

High-end for the masses

iFi Audio iPhono and iDAC just arrived from hands of Vincent Luke of AMR iFi. I really hardly waited for these little boxes. Why those are so special? First as they come from AMR sister company iFi and second as they are created by the mastermind Thorsten Loesch. Thorsten is one of rare wizard, that carries such a mileage, respect and know-how, that is almost scary :). Well better to say stunning. 

I had some time to write up few lines about iPhono. When you see this little boxes at first time you might be triple reservered about their performance. Well, think again. iPhono is wonder by itself. With the mind boggling selection of loading and riaa and other curves it offer a selection of commands that can cover almost 85% of all curves ever used in the pressing (equalising) of vinyl. 

Along Tom Evans I'm not sure who else can produce phono preamplification of such exalted performance. And note the iFi iPhono is priced like five times less then TE. 

iFi Audio iPhono must be the biggest barrgain for vinyl fans every made. If you find my enthusiasm to overwhelming check it for yourself. 

In the age where SMD minification can bring in heart beat the disaster and hubris to the sound, iFi shows, that when things done right, such product can perform in the league of the bigger brothers. I wont say it's the best phono preamp on the planet, but the level of performance one gets at this size and price is unseen so far. This would easily cost few thousands dollars if made by some bigger-meaner  corporation. 

I just finished listening to Audio Fidelity Vangelis Blade Runner 180+ Virgin Vinyl and I'm not only mesmerised by the potency of iFi Audio iPhono but quite amazed. Nothing, really nothing can be said against the sound of this little music box. The fluidity and performance of this package is dozen steps about price and noise floor is something most of companies could envy. 

People always asking me to recommend products with down to earth pricing and true  high end performance. I cannot set a better example as iFi Audio iPhono. This is where hi-fi morphed into high-end in the service of music and people. 

Stay tuned for full blown review in due time. Thanks Vincent. 

"iFi is a brand new line of electronics with trickle-down technology licensed from AMR and aimed primarily at the future, Computer Audio generation. All iFi products boast Class A analogue circuitry with no DSP and the signal stays ‘Bit Perfect’ throughout.

How a product looks and performs matters, but so does its impact on the environment. That’s why nearly every iFi product and its packaging are made from highly recyclable materials like aluminum, paper, recycled plastic and why we refuse to use harmful toxins in our components. We do this to ensure that every product we release meets our environmental standards."

6 different equalisation
curves for stereo records,
most accurate playback ever.

Class A TubeState amplification, natural,

sweet, and low distortion sound.
Ultra-wide gain, matches
all cartridges perfectly.

When you see the iPhono for the first time, you won’t believe your eyes. The compact package belies its serious, heavyweight performance. Its features include 6 x stereo EQ curves, adjustable MC load, dedicated ultra-low noise MC stage, adjustable MM load, adjustable gain, exemplary Class A circuitry with an ultra-wide dynamic range approaching that of CD.

Previously such high-end features have rarely, if at all, been available to only a very select number of phono preamplifiers costing at least 10x more. Despite its modest price and wealth of features, most important of all, the iPhono enhances your vinyl system.

Dynamic Range

With the iPhono in your vinyl playback system, from the moment the needle is seated in the record grove you will know the iPhono is something special. The fact that this is how vinyl should truly sound, is in no small part due to the Class A TubeState tri-brid amplification which offers a natural, real sound.

To achieve the ultimate performance not previously thought possible, our engineers went back to the Golden Age of audio design. The entire iPhono design is based on exquisite Class A TubeState amplification, a tri-brid of Bi-Polar devices, J-Fets and Advanced Discrete components. This is no ordinary phono stage.

With lower distortion, better dynamics, and excellent transient response, your complete music collection will simply sound alive. Your Rock, Jazz and Classical— music will sound sweet, vivid, and lifelike. The full potential of your music collection realised, at last.

The iPhono isn’t just a perfect match for your LPs. It’s a perfect match for your cartridge, too. With up to 66dB of gain, individually adjustable MM and MC load across a wide range (high-end features available only in phono amplifiers costing many times more) any cartridge at any price may be accommodated optimally, making the iPhono one of the most versatile phono stages to grace the vinyl sector.

When you see the iPhono for the first time, you won’t believe your eyes. The compact package belies its serious, heavyweight performance. Its features include 6 x Stereo EQ curves.

The iPhono has a total number of 6 different Stereo EQ curves to choose from. So you never have to play an LP with the wrong EQ curve ever again and put up with sub-optimal sound quality. This makes the iPhono one of the most tonally-accurate phono preamplifiers ever, period.

* Decca:London, Deutsche Grammophon(DG),Archiv, EMI,Argo,NAB etc...

RIAA:standard EQ curve for all records issued after 1980s and some after 1950s

* Columbia/CBS,Epic,EMI(records originally-issued under Columbia)

eRIAA:for modern records with excessive phase-shift and hight-frequency roll-off

IEC:RIAA with IEC subsonic filter

eRIAA/IEC:enhanced RIAA with IEC subsonic filter
*: For pre-1980s records


Matej Isak. Mono and Stereo ultra high end audio magazine. All rights reserved. 2006-2013. www.monoandstereo.com. ..:: None of the original text, pictures, that were taken by me, links or my original files can be re-printed or used in any way without prior permission! ::..