ifi iPhono 3 "Black Label" Anyone?


Curious to hear your early impressions of the new iPhono3 Black Label.

A review sample arrived here Friday (6/12/2020) and I'm still getting some hours on the unit before doing any critical listening, but first impressions are of a real punchy, dynamic unit that will hopefully bloom as I get more miles on the clock.
For $995 it already sounds like it's going to be competitive with units a couple of rungs up the ladder. I just got done with an initial review and a quickly thrown together youtube vid, if anyone's interested. - 
https://audioresurgence.com/2020/06/ifi-iphono-3-black-label-phono-review-first-look.html
https://youtu.be/3ONQLwf9zVk

I owned the iPhono2 for a while and it was pretty good. It'll be interesting to hear how good the "Black Label" sounds at the 400-hour mark and also what other folks think of it.

Speak up!

Rooze
rooze
@audiofun 
What are your thoughts on how the 3 fairs in extended listening sessions? My views on it concur mostly with yours (it's excellent) but my listening sessions seem to be shorter when using the 3, over say the Allnic H-1202 that I have here. The 3 is full of energy and drama, where the Allnic just breathes out beautiful music. 
If I were showing off the rig to someone who hadn't been here before I'd use the 3, but for my own listening enjoyment, I prefer the Allnic.
But for the money, the ifi iPhono3 BL is an absolute steal.
Rooze:

Hi, I do listen to the 3 for extended periods with no issues. I’m not sure what you mean by “drama” as it plays my slow melodic smoky female jazz albums as well as my bombastic albums. I find that the 3 does in fact breathe like the best of tube stages. I can totally see someone preferring a different stage for different types of music (I do myself). I understand that you love the Allnic and to you it may do some things better than the 3. I think my EQ 500 does some things better than the 3 as well. I have decided to make the 3 a permanent part of my system. So I will be running the AMR, Luxman and 3 on my 4 arm table. The London Ref is going to play via the 3 as they compliment each other in the areas of transient response and dynamic range.

Its a remarkable sounding stage. I still look at it sometimes and can’t believe the sound I’m experiencing is coming out of that tiny box. I once owned the Graaf GM 70 phono stage and had about $1.3k worth of NOS tubes, the 3 destroys that unit in all areas.
Just found this thread I have a Ortofon MC A95 on a Thales Simplicity II arm on a Dr Feickert Blackbird that I have tried multiple stages with and it is a frustrating cartridge to get a good match I recently got the M2Tech Nash because of the high gain it offers and frankly it is a little to much gain at the lowest setting and also is kind of bright. I am going to order one of these to try. I have a Sbooster with the upgraded  that puts out 15 volts which is a linear power supply, I was using it on the Blackbird but just got the dedicated Feickert supply. @Audiofun what do you think if this stage does not work well I am selling the cartridge.
I also have a Modwright PH9.0 with Bobs Sky30 and in my system it has too much hum. Also have a Sutherland Little Loco and it is not that good of a match either though I have not tried the higher gain setting it just not that musical. I should just go back to mt Air Tight pC7 which works well with the PH9.0 tubed unit

jtsnead:

Hi, I’m not sure of the question you’re asking me. If it’s about gain, I can tell you that my MC Anna (0.2mv) works fantastic with the iPhono3 at 60dB of gain and it is DEAD quiet as in digital-like quiet.

I have owned the SBooster before and I can also tell you from experience that the iPower X that comes with the iP3 will easily beat the SBooster by quite a bit.

Nice table and arm by the way :)
Thanks that is what i was hoping, you have a Anna would love to hear that cartridge. The iFi power a is better than the Sbooster wow that's something, the general thought is that linear power supply is better than smps? All though I do think the Feickert power supply does seem better on my table, I guess I will have to compare them, Thanks again @audiofun