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iFI Micro iPhono 2 Phono Preamp in the house! FINAL UPDATE

Discussion in 'Turntables' started by ehoove, Oct 17, 2017.

  1. ehoove

    ehoove Old & New - Carpe Diem Staff Member Super Mod Subscriber

    Messages:
    18,093
    Location:
    Mid-Maryland
    I picked up this phono preamp after reading the rave reviews, and liking the fact it offers RIAA, Decca, Columbia, IEC, and London EQ curves. It also offers up to 72db gain!

    It came today, and it is so well packaged and constructed you would think it was an Apple product. It offers a lot of flexibility via dip switches recessed in the bottom in gain, load, and capacitance. It also boasts 105db dynamic range. Power is via a 15volt ipower wall wart which is the improved version of the original.

    But how does it sound? I have run the Ortofon MC20 Super and the Dynavector 17D2mr through it,and I must say It is dead quiet even at the 72db gain setting. It bests the MS Phonomena II, and the AD797DIY in all categories running at 100hz load and 72 db gain.

    It presents a very wide, and realistically deep sound stage with lots of air and precise imaging. It is very fast, very controlled, very detailed, and very balanced.

    One drawback to me is the connections at both ends, which will require a rack reconfiguration. From all I have read this unit just gets better with time on the clock, and benefits from a regulated PS. I will put some time on it before going the upgrade route, but I am very impressed right out of the box.

    I will check back in with updates as it breaks in, and I play more genres through it.

    Regards,
    Jim

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
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  2. Blue Shadow

    Blue Shadow I gotta get me a new title

    Messages:
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    Interesting developments in the ehoove phono rig as you search for the best method to dig deep in the grooves to extract the music.
     
  3. 808_state

    808_state Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    748
    Hope you got a good one. Apparently there were QC issues with the 2 (discussed ad nauseum on another forum). I have the 1 and it's a nice piece of gear (no issues whatsoever). With the added gain and dynamic range the 2 is probably tough to beat at that price point.
     
  4. ehoove

    ehoove Old & New - Carpe Diem Staff Member Super Mod Subscriber

    Messages:
    18,093
    Location:
    Mid-Maryland
    So far all is perfect. I bought it from iFI through Amazon, and have a 30 day return option if needed. The Phonomena is a great pre-amp, but is a bit laid back as opposed to the iPhono2. It will be interesting to see how they compare after the iPhono2 gets some hours on it as the Phonomena II has been in use on the main arm for lots of hours.
    Regards,
    Jim
     
  5. Bigboi33

    Bigboi33 Dazed and Confused Subscriber

    Messages:
    150
    Excited to hear your opinion once it has broken in a bit. I've been looking into getting one myself. Mainly to try out the different RIAA settings. I have always been curious about that.
     
  6. ehoove

    ehoove Old & New - Carpe Diem Staff Member Super Mod Subscriber

    Messages:
    18,093
    Location:
    Mid-Maryland
    I have a sizable collection of older Mono Pressings, and the adjustable EQs were a big selling point to me coupled with the great reviews. If this continuues to impress I may have to get a second one for full time duty with the mono arm on the ClearAudio.
    Regards,
    Jim
     

     

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  7. totem

    totem AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
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    I recall issues at one time with the supplied wall warts but thats about it.

    As mentioned a regulated power supply supposedly take's it another step forward
    hope to hear your review once run in.
     
  8. ehoove

    ehoove Old & New - Carpe Diem Staff Member Super Mod Subscriber

    Messages:
    18,093
    Location:
    Mid-Maryland
    Yes, I was aware of the PS issues, but I was assured by the manufacturer that the new PS solved the issue. So far mine is running very cool with no heat issues. Once run in I will explore a regulated power supply for it. It continues to impress!
    Regards,
    Jim
     
  9. ehoove

    ehoove Old & New - Carpe Diem Staff Member Super Mod Subscriber

    Messages:
    18,093
    Location:
    Mid-Maryland
    I guess the new iPower PS solved the problem. It has been running for about 100 hours, and is still barely warm to the touch.
    This this just gets better! Listening to the original MFSL Waiting for Columbus Little Feat album, and it is fabulous!
    I'm very impressed,
    Jim
     
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  10. gadget73

    gadget73 junk junkie Subscriber

    Messages:
    37,030
    Location:
    Southern NJ
    Nice. I've also heard a Phenomena II a few times and have been quite impressed with the sound. If this is better, thats definitely saying something. The EQ settings will be very nice if you ever get into 78's too, those were not standardized very well.

    Looks like its 2/3 the price as well? Hard to argue with that.
     
  11. enginedr

    enginedr Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    918
    Location:
    nyc
    I have had mine for 3 months.I started using a LPS from the start . Yes it is that good . The review on Audiogon made me take the chance .
     
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  12. ehoove

    ehoove Old & New - Carpe Diem Staff Member Super Mod Subscriber

    Messages:
    18,093
    Location:
    Mid-Maryland
    While this is a fantastic sounding Preamp, it has developed a hum in the midrange at both 60db and 72db gain. It is only audible on the midrange panels of my Tri-amped MGIIIa speakers. Swapping it out with the MS Phonomena II with same cables etc and everything is dead quiet. I opened a ticket with iFI, and heard back with them wanting complete system info which I complied to, but have no new update as of today. Today I fired it up and now no right channel. What a shame, cause this thing is really really good sounding. Since I bought it from iFI through Amazon if I don't hear anything by tomorrow I will just return it, and probably try another one as it really is an amazing phono preamp for the money. I will buy the next one on Amazon through Music Direct since they offer a 60 day return policy, Just in case!
    Regards,
    Jim
     
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  13. 808_state

    808_state Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    748
    Sorry to hear that. I'm sure the basic design is superb but based on this and the lengthy thread on "another" forum it sounds as though a bad lot or two was involved in the actual construction. It's just odd because the 1 model seems to be trouble free. If you bought it with prime you should be able to get it exchanged with no questions asked. Either way if you appeal to Amazon's customer service they will help you out. Maybe noting the s/n would be a good idea, especially if the replacement is a keeper.
     
  14. ehoove

    ehoove Old & New - Carpe Diem Staff Member Super Mod Subscriber

    Messages:
    18,093
    Location:
    Mid-Maryland
    Ok, The channel drop out bothered me so I started over with different interconnects, and while the hum is still there, it is much quieter, and both channels are back. I tried the preamp with three different arm/cartridge combos, and the Dynavector 17D2mr on the Clearaudio Verify CF is the only one exhibiting any hum. The other two are dead quiet, as is the Dynavector on the MS Phonomena II at 60db???? I switched the cable load to 100pf which helped a bit. The hum is now only noticeable at levels I would rarely listen to, so I will hold off on returning it for a bit. It was packed up and ready to go, so it has been off for 24 hrs. I will let it run for several days and see if the previous hum level returns. It should be noted this slight hum was a levels I would rarely listen at with no signal input from the cartridge.

    Your thoughts
     
  15. totem

    totem AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    5,356
    Location:
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    Any new information to add since your last testing?
     
  16. enginedr

    enginedr Well-Known Member

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    918
    Location:
    nyc
    I have had no hum issues with mine using the MM input @ 48 DB.I have not tried the MC yet as I am having a love affair with a vintage Japanese MM cartridge that put a Denon DL301mk 2 back in the draw . If it was not for the reported QC problems this is one killer good sounding phono stage .
     

     

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  17. ehoove

    ehoove Old & New - Carpe Diem Staff Member Super Mod Subscriber

    Messages:
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    The unit is very quiet at this time. The hum is present but only at levels way past my max listening position. The fact it performs so well above it's Price point makes this a keeper for me at this point.
    Regards,
    Jim
     
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  18. ehoove

    ehoove Old & New - Carpe Diem Staff Member Super Mod Subscriber

    Messages:
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    Location:
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    And I might just buy a second one to replace the AD797 DIY preamp on the mono arm!
    Regards,
    Jim
     
  19. jetstream

    jetstream Active Member

    Messages:
    421
    Wonder how iphono2 compares to Musical Fidelity MX-VYNL.
     
  20. ehoove

    ehoove Old & New - Carpe Diem Staff Member Super Mod Subscriber

    Messages:
    18,093
    Location:
    Mid-Maryland
    Ok! Here is the latest update:
    Due to the slight hum I returned the original unit as time was expiring for me to do so, and ordered a second unit from Music Direct via Amazon. This unit runs hotter than the first and now exhibits distortion that clears up if the switch for the EQ curve is moved. This is a fabulous sounding phono preamp, but I am loosing faith in it. If the distortion continues to appear it is time to move on in my quest.
    Disappointed,
    Jim
     

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