Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by sailfish, Dec 1, 2016.
How's Lehmann Decade in comparison?
Perhaps but their inability to take any accountability for that or even to acknowledge there's an issue is more than enough for me to look elsewhere.
Yes but it doesn't get past QC. Have they heard of soak testing? Not heard of this level of reliability apart from Musical Fidelity A1 (in the 80's) burning out. That was likely because they subbed cheap caps in Tim De P's design.
Has anyone gotten an explanation as to why these units were failing? Bad power supplies?
I just put my iPhono 2 (known-good, works like a champ!) up for sale in the Classifieds.
I always used it with the upgraded iPower PSU (still a wall wart, though), no idea if that made any difference in the sibilance or reliability departments. I will say, my Chinook does handle ticks, pops, and sharp esses better than the iFi, though it was never obtrusive with the iPhono 2, just better on the Chinook (which isn't as quiet as the iFi, so there's that).
Man, that is a bummer. I've enjoyed mine with zero issues at this point. Hopefully you'll get a working unit this time around.
Update: After two faulty units I decided to give up on ifi. A shame as they are great sounding units. Instead I've just ordered a NVA Phono 2 and hope it can deliver the sonics of my dreams.
Please let us know how you like it. My iPhono is still plugging along nicely.
To be honest I find it hard to imagine anything in this pricerange matching the ifi. I just could not face going through the disappointment/returning/waiting on a refund rutine one more time. From what I read I think the NVA could be an unique product aswell. I'm hoping.
It's the opposite in design criteria. Simpler circuitry and a much better power supply. Hope you like it.
Ace. Very interested in how you find the NVA, esp vs. the ifi - please do report back!
I will but be patient as it may take a couple of weeks until I have it.
Any news yet re delivery? Looking forward to what you think about this stage.
It will probably ship wednesday or thursday this week so I should have it mid next week I guess. Can't wait.
Got the NVA Phono 2 the day before yesterday and continueing the slightly off topic character of this thread I thought I would share my impression with you guys. First of all: this thing is very sensitive to transformer hum from other units (and it's own PSU) so one have work a little with placement. Get it right and you're met with a very clear presentation (NOT bright). The bass is deep and firm. To me it seems neutral. The music just seem to flow freely. It's really hard to describe. It made me think of tubes but it's not warm sounding, just kinda grain free. So how does it compare to the ifi? Given the fact I only had the ifi for a very short while (while broken in) I suppose I shouldn't really give a verdict on that one but I will say this: the free flowing grain free presentation of the NVA I find totally unique. The Stones, Buddy Guy, War On Drugs, Pink Floyd, Daft Punk, Love, Ryan Adams, Creedence Clearwater, Black Sabbath. Album after album. The music just comes pouring out. Happy camper.
Glad to hear you agree with me on the sound of the NVA. Should have mentioned transformer noise. It was even harder to get the best placement with the second power supply. Best to one side of transformers rather than above or below if you can accommodate that.
That is exactly how I ended up. The riaa to the right side of my amp (approx 15 cm from it) and the PSU to the left. No problems, just great sound. Thanks for the tips.
How would a second PSU cause more hum? Two PSU's on top of each other well away from the riaa should be alright. Am I right?
Just more problem for me getting them both positioned far enough away from the RIAA on a rack. Also they didn't like being stacked for some reason creating a buzz.
Ok good to know as I will be getting one eventually. Would you consider an extra PSU a big upgrade?
It's certainly an upgrade that's more than subtle and worth the £200 asking price. Sound opens up quite a bit more but loses a little sharpness or is that even less grain I'm hearing? There is a massive PS with 4 Toroids in the design stage, all in one box. I think that will be rather expensive.
The grainless presentation is probably the NVA's greatest asset. The more I listen to it the more I'm impressed. It just make you want to listen to music which after all is what it's all about.
Well, it is a quiet Sunday morning so as I am listening to some vinyl through my iPhono2 I thought I’d chime in. I’ve had mine about 18 months and have listened to hundreds of albums since then. I have a Clearaudio Concept Wood MC turntable, Hegel H300 integrated amp, Focal Electra 1008Be standmounts and a JL Audio E110 sub. The iPhono replaced a Clearaudio Nano phono pre which was just a placeholder while I researched other options. I still have it as a backup. I have a dedicated listening/HT with all of my electronics located in an equipment closet. Nothing fancy on the cable side. Sorry, I find there are far better ways to allocate my audio budget (i.e. more records!).
First things first. Good thing I have a backup! The wall wart on the iPhono died within a month of purchase. So I share the quality control concerns of others. Replaced no questions asked at the store I purchased it from. Planet of Sound in Toronto said they have had a few of the ifi wall warts returned due to a premature death.
Fast forward to today. I have the iPhono2 positioned a foot away from my amp, sitting on some spare sorbothane I had kicking around. This stuff is sticky and does a nice job of keeping this little unit anchored. Otherwise, the interconnects can yank on it and because it has no pads, it can shift.
My unit does not run warm. In fact, if it weren’t for the lights you wouldn’t know it was on. I played around with the loadings as there wasn’t a perfect match available for my cartridge. It is so easy to change them that experimenting to find what you like most is highly recommended. Don’t get too hung up on whether a perfect match is possible.
I am happy with how quiet my setup is. The noise floor is very low, and the iPhono2 must take some of the credit! Putting my ear to the tweeter and then moving away from it, I can’t hear a thing 6 inches away (albeit with 54 year old ears). When I first swapped out the Nano for the iPhono I was running the MM version of the Concept cartridge and there was an immediate gain improvement. Fast forward to today and with the benefit of several hundred hours on the cartridge, I can say that this setup is great for the rock music that is my listening preference. I find that the iPhono just gets out of the way and let’s the MC do its thing.
For me the most important aspects of music are those that draw you in emotionally and for me that is pace, rhythm, and dynamics. This setup has it in spades. Despite the reputation that beryllium tweeters sound harsh, my well run-in Focals with the Clearaudio actually have a nice fatness to the sound, and I mean that in a good way. While I can get fatigued listening to a CD on my setup, I can listen to vinyl for hours and hours at decent volume levels. How much of this is the iPhono is anybody’s guess but it reminds me that system synergy remains the holy grail for audiophiles.
For the time being, I have no desire to upgrade my system. I love researching equipment but at my price point, I can’t find anything that combines the performance and convenience for the price. Pretty cool that such a modestly priced phono preamp can fit in and contribute to that synergy.
In conclusion, I was lucky to end up with (knock on wood) a reliable iPhono2. But I do empathize. If my unit had died, I would have spent a bit more money on one of the Musical Surroundings offerings. But I am a happy camper with the iPhono2. It has to be one of the best buys in the audiophile world.
Glad to hear yours is working as it should. It is without a doubt a very good phono stage and it is indeed an extremely quiet design! I had two faulty units in a row and gave up and purchased a NVA Phone 2 instead and I too am very happy with what I have now.
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