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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
    After a day long listening session, not an issue with the iPhono2. It could be possible that the power cord was not plugged in all the way and I bumped it when I flipped the EQ switch which is right next to it. BTW the unit after being raised a bit is just warm to the touch, and dead quiet after a long day of use.
    Feeling Better,
    Jim
     
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  2. luvvinvinyl

    luvvinvinyl Lily! Staff Member Admin Subscriber

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    Jim, mine came with feet and the new power supply. Neither noise, nor heat issues.
     
  3. ehoove

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

    Messages:
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    Mid-Maryland
    Neither of the 2 iPhono2 units came with feet??? was yours a iPhono2?
    Regards,
    Jim
     
  4. bimasta

    bimasta Super Member

    Messages:
    2,643
    Wouldn't a couple of #2 pencils underneath improve air flow? Or does it have to be an "audiophile approved" product?
     
  5. bimasta

    bimasta Super Member

    Messages:
    2,643
    The managers who decide these questions didn't design the iPhono. They went to business school and got MBAs. Quality control is a financial decision: what does it cost to inspect and test every unit, versus the cost of replacing a few (hopefully) bad ones?
     
  6. bobins08

    bobins08 Loving the dream Subscriber

    Messages:
    6,297
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    Of course any way to improve airflow around the chassis would help.

    My recommendation included taking in account vibration too. I figured he might have the parts around to do both at once.

    As for your second comment. Quality is typically an independent function, separate from engineering and production for auditing reasons. In most companies it is part of test. Every unit is tested and inspected, it is to what degree and under what conditions that is important, and sometimes costly.

    Managers and “MBAs” may set budgets but they don’t tell other functional areas exactly how to spend them. Your blaming the business guys is pointless. The owner should be equally concerned about technical performance and cost control.
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2017

     

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  7. ripblade

    ripblade Super Member

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    2,611
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    Toronto
    They only parts inside that would develop any kind of heat would be the series pass regulators. I can't see how these could be related to any hum or distortion issues if they're working properly, even if they do get a little warm.

    The circuit itself is probably fine. My guess is there's an issue with the patch cables and in particular the RCA connectors. These are the most common faults as the system really is poorly designed and not terribly reliable. I'm sure we've all experienced some kind of complaints with these connectors at one time or another.
     
  8. ehoove

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

    Messages:
    18,093
    Location:
    Mid-Maryland
    I have a feeling that this unit is sensitive to a shared ground. The no output into my ARC LS16MkII was solved with Interconnects with thinner RCA Connectors. The locking connectors on my Audio Magic Excaliber II cables were touching and it may have caused an issue. I must say this is a great sounding Pre-amp, but a finicky one. I have not heard from either iFI or Music direct yet though. No heat or other issues since changing out the interconnects. Since the AudioMagic Excalibur II cables barely touched I will Isolate them with a barrier since they sound better than the Canre based DIY's
    playing now.

    From the ifI Knowledge Database:

    My unit stops outputting audio, is it possible to reset?

    It is DC coupled and can "go off the rails" if there is a large DC input or very high levels of AC (e.g. the 115V/50Hz a "missing earth / ground" audio system floats at).
    This "latches up" the device, it needs to be unplugged for a few minutes and then restarted to be reset.
    There should be no problem with a properly earthed / grounded audio system, only if there is no earth / ground present.

    Does this mean a ground from the unit to the pre-amp is needed other than through the RCA's. None of my other phono pre-amps require it.

    Thoughts?
    Regards,
    Jim
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2017
  9. gadget73

    gadget73 junk junkie Subscriber

    Messages:
    37,030
    Location:
    Southern NJ
    possible the case of the thing is not tied to the shield of the cables. If thats the case, a ground wire from the case of the preamp to whatever the next thing up the line may not be a bad idea. If the case and the RCA cable ground is the same there won't be any need for an extra wire.
     
  10. ehoove

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

    Messages:
    18,093
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    Mid-Maryland
    I am reticent to open it up and void the warranty/or return status. I will ask iFI that question. It would be so much easier if you could fricken talk to someone rather than this method that takes 24-48 hours to get a response back! :^(
    Regards,
    Jim
     
  11. ripblade

    ripblade Super Member

    Messages:
    2,611
    Location:
    Toronto
    No, it means what the iFi connects to needs to be grounded. If the ARC has a 3 prong plug you're good.

    The case itself will be grounded one way or another, so grounding it again may lead to a loop.

    What the iFi needs is probably better RCA sockets...or something else altogether like Camacs or mini XLR. Anything is better than RCA
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2017

     

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  12. gadget73

    gadget73 junk junkie Subscriber

    Messages:
    37,030
    Location:
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    an ohm meter will tell you. Measure from RCA shield to the case. if its zero ohms, no worries.

    RCA connectors are a bit shite if we're being honest about it. PCB mount ones especially seem to be miserable. I have one amp with 1/4" phono plugs, and honestly I really dig it. Its a massive connector so its not suitable for every location but when those things are plugged in, its extremely solid.
     
  13. totem

    totem AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    5,356
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    Glad to see these user experiences better than the usual "sounds great".
     
  14. Mister Pig

    Mister Pig Pigamus Maximus Subscriber

    Messages:
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    Olympia Washington
    and less filling!

    Regards
    Mister Pig
     
  15. judsonw

    judsonw Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    795
    Location:
    Bellingham, WA, USA
    This has been an informative read. I admit that I am not in the market for a new phono preamp (having just gotten a new one this year). However, the multiple EQ curves is very enticing. I hope the quality issues are resolved and that your new unit works well for a long time.
     
  16. ehoove

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

    Messages:
    18,093
    Location:
    Mid-Maryland
    UPDATE: After a few weeks of no issues and ever improving sonics, this pre-amp has developed more and more body and warmth. The speed and resolution are still there, as is the superior Dynamic Range. It is now time to see what a regulated power supply will do for this unit, as opposed to the new iPower wall wart.

    BTW iFI sent me the missing silicone feet for the unit, but I will use the pads it rests on as it adds another 3/4 inch of ventilation under the unit which now is only warm to the touch.

    It also remains dead quiet at 72db gain.
    Regards,
    Jim
     

     

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  17. jetstream

    jetstream Active Member

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    421
    Do you definitely think that the cause of all the problems was the direct contact with the resting surface i.e. poor ventilation?
     
  18. Gibsonian

    Gibsonian Super Member

    Messages:
    3,586
    Location:
    Iowa
    Can't inspect quality into a product. Has to be designed in from product design to end of manufacturing line. Marginal design approach can lead to infant and later failures (warranty).
     
  19. ehoove

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

    Messages:
    18,093
    Location:
    Mid-Maryland
    I think it was a combination of overheating, and the locking collars on mt Interconnects touching which meant the grounds were combined. I have since insulated the two collars. No doubt this is a Direct Coupled Class A finicky pre-amp, but the sonics are fabulous. I also plugged the iPower WW into a isolated A/C Bank, rather than shared with a LED lamp I use to illuminate my turntable.
    Regards,
    Jim
     
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  20. Gibsonian

    Gibsonian Super Member

    Messages:
    3,586
    Location:
    Iowa
    If IFI can make this product less "iffy", then I would like to try it. Right now I've heard of so many defects I'm not willing to try it. I'd like to hear what IFI has done to address the very high fail rate they've incurred on the -2, and what the fail rate is after the corrective action(s).
     

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