Schiit Mani Phono Preamp

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Szeppelin75, Dec 28, 2017.

  1. bluemooze

    bluemooze Forum Resident

    Location:
    Frenchtown NJ USA
    Also a Stanton cartridge. Also, compared with a U-Turn Pluto. The Pluto has midrange. Are you guys familiar with the Fremer poll? It is correct. :)
     
  2. bluemooze

    bluemooze Forum Resident

    Location:
    Frenchtown NJ USA
    Seriously, I can see the quote. It's this one... "How come you want to sell the Bronze?"
     
  3. bluemooze

    bluemooze Forum Resident

    Location:
    Frenchtown NJ USA
    Well, when I play the June Christy album for example, I can hear her voice, but all the lush, beautiful midrange goodness is gone. :)
     
    TheVinylAddict likes this.
  4. bluemooze

    bluemooze Forum Resident

    Location:
    Frenchtown NJ USA
    Actually, seeing the recent post from @morinix, I'm compelled to bring up the Lounge LCR III as a more expensive alternative to the Mani. :)

    Here's the thing - I may not prefer the sound that you like, and vice versa. And everybody is entitled to enjoy whatever sound they like. If you like the way something sounds then that's the right preamp for you.
     
  5. Leonthepro

    Leonthepro Skeptically Optimistic Autodidact Debater

    Location:
    Uppsala Sweden
    Thats too bad. If you ever want to make some all you need is a simple RCA to 3.5mm headphone jack cable from your amps Tape Out to your PCs input headphone jack. Then a program like Audacity to record.
     
  6. patient_ot

    patient_ot Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    No idea what is going on.
     
  7. patient_ot

    patient_ot Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    I've seen the Fremer poll. Been awhile since I listened to either clip, don't recall what cartridge was used. I had already purchased my Mani by the time that poll came out, and probably before some of the more popular YouTube reviews were out as well.
     
    bluemooze likes this.
  8. patient_ot

    patient_ot Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    That doesn't surprise me. I would imagine part of that "discovery" involves making certain tweaks and changes and then the designer deciding which one they prefer.
     
  9. Hglaser

    Hglaser Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    Well, as in all such matters, YMMV.
     
    patient_ot likes this.
  10. Enjoyable read. I like a little spunk in threads, always nice to see others giving their opinions and justifications with conviction. Here's mine, based on my system and my ears.

    The Mani - I own two. To sum up my opinion, if you only have $130 to spend, and no more, I would challenge anyone to offer another choice that beats it. I have also owned the Cambridge 651p, Hagerman Bugle under the $200 price point and the Mani is every bit as good for less $$. The Cambridge had grounding issues for me, could never get rid of the hum. (no need to offer potential solutions, I am quite versed in phono / TT setup). It also lacked punch for me, and was thin in the midrange. The Bugle also had RFI / grounding issues, no matter what I did I could not get the magic positioning to eliminate it. Both RFI and grounding. It was on par with the Mani in SQ, but the RFI / grounding issues eliminated it for me. I have never tried the Bugle II, which offers more configurability and hopefully addressed the RFI.

    I agree with @bluemooze on the Mani midrange in concept - I wouldn't say it has no midrange, although it is lacking in the midrange compared to better stages. It also lacks definition in the bass also - although punchy, the bass is "sloppy" IMHO. Also, like @patient_ot, I experienced radio station interference depending where I set it up. In my woodshop, not an issue as much, but in my HT it was more of an issue. I was able to move it around and eliminate it, but it is there, and other people have bigger issues with it. It depends on your location, you may not have an issue.

    Again, if budget limited to $130, the Mani is tough to beat. And let's not forget its flexibility at that price point, the ability to switch between 47 and 47K ohm loading, and then the flexibility of 36db, 42db, 48db and 59db for both MM and MC is unheard of at this price point. I personally feel the Mani is a couple rungs up the ladder from the ART due to this, and IMHO the first rung of the ladder on stages starts with the Mani - I would personally not even consider an ART. I would just as soon use the phono stage on my AVR or amp as use an ART. However, if your budget is $40, and you don't have a built in stage on your amp, the ART may be it. Then again, if your budget is only $40 for a stage, I would question why you would consider vinyl anyway, your value proposition if budget limited might be CD. Vinyl's ROI starts at a higher price point than CD, and higher than the ART.

    I liked @Warren Jarrett 's post also - Mike Moffat at Schiit has done a great job at providing a phono stage at an affordable price point that does an admirable job. Hard to argue this point. Mike has a lot of experience at honing a cost effective phono stage design, and he delivered it with the Mani. I just wish he would offer a stage one or two rungs up the ladder that offer the same value proposition. (say, in the $300 - $400 range that punched above its weight).

    But if we are comparing and look for the sweet spot in phono stage , IMHO take a long and hard look at the Lounge LCR MKii as an option for $300. It is a couple rungs up the ladder from the Mani, and IMHO tough to beat for ANYTHING under $500, maybe even $750. The number of Lounge owners on the Hoff is a testament to this also. Contenders to it are the iPhono 2 at $500, though I have never owned one, but people whose opinion I trust have it and they like it. It is also very flexible for different loading and cartridges. Also consider the Parks Budgie at $400, but it is tube based and not for everyone as a result - but also configurable for loading. Tubes are an added expense with the Budgieand if you get into the tube rolling rabbit hole the expense becomes a death spiral. A new contender to the the Lounge is is the Mofi stage @patient_ot referred to, but again I have never owned one.

    The build quality, engineering, design and component quality of the Lounge LCR at $300 is excellent, and unsurpassed from my experience. It is a solid piece of gear that looks cool, operates well, and is built to last. I have absolutely no qualms recommending the Lounge to anyone that has a sub $500 budget, it is tough to beat. It runs two of my top TT"s in my HT admirably, I am very pleased at how well it hits the mark on SQ and full, rich sound stage on all types of music.

    Note I have also owned a Vincent Pho 8 and other stages, but again the Lounge just beat them hands down in my system, and for my ears. I plan on purchasing a Budgie and maybe a Mofi to try them for myself and compare also over time. Also note I have more TT's than my profile states, I am a TT junkie and enjoy trying different TT's, cables, stages to find what I like. If I don't want to keep something, I just resell it. To me, the challenge of trying to make one choice in the audio world is just untenable, you have to sample and try different things to see what you like and what works the best for your system and ears.

    Oh, and the reviews of the Mani, Lounge by Ian (his internet name) at Hifivinylnews - first, he is passionate, likeable, meticulous and dedicated at what he does. I have often wondered where he finds the time :) his reviews are very detailed, with multiple components in each review, and he covers multiple products / disciplines in the vinyl arena. Kudos to him for such dedication and hard work. But sometimes I question and wonder about his set up, and how well he sets things up, as some of his reviews of certain products is 180 degrees to what I find (for instance the Lounge findings he covers compared to the Mani). Then, when challenged or asked to justify, he does not. (I also have the same reservations about his MP-110 reviews - good $100 cartridge, I own one, but think he gets a little carried away with comparisons to other cartridges which I found superior, like the AT-44oMLB).

    As always, YMMV, and I respect and enjoy reading other opinions.
     
  11. bluemooze

    bluemooze Forum Resident

    Location:
    Frenchtown NJ USA
    Thanks for the tip. I actually have all that except for the cable. Would a 15-20 foot run preserve sound quality? :)
     
  12. bluemooze

    bluemooze Forum Resident

    Location:
    Frenchtown NJ USA
    It may be caused by a browser setting. Just guessing. Can you try viewing the page with a different browser? :)
     
  13. patient_ot

    patient_ot Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    What really needs to happen IMHO is a "Mani 2" that is better shielded and less susceptible to RFI. Schiit has already done multiple iterations of their other products, and I assume this one is popular enough to eventually justify that. When/if that does happen, I might consider trying one.

    Re: the MOFI, all of their products on the audio front are so new it's hard to find feedback from actual owners. I would imagine only a handful of people on this board own a Studio Phono, and before I bought mine I think only two people on here were giving feedback on it. I bought mine with a 60 day return policy, so it was fairly low risk.
     
    Leonthepro and TheVinylAddict like this.
  14. patient_ot

    patient_ot Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    I figured it out. Not the browser but forum settings.
     
    bluemooze likes this.
  15. bluemooze

    bluemooze Forum Resident

    Location:
    Frenchtown NJ USA
    Well done. :righton:
     
    patient_ot likes this.
  16. mertoo

    mertoo Forum Resident

    Location:
    Turkey
    May I ask which setting of Mani you used with the Bronze?
    Bronze sounded thin/mellow at 42db, but now sounds great at 48db, detailed and punchy with lots of bass and a very good soundstage.
     
  17. Gabe Walters

    Gabe Walters Forum Resident

    First, if patient_ot can’t see the quote from leonthepro, it’s probably because he has him set to ignore.

    I love my Mani. Love it. It’s incredibly versatile at its price point and it sounds lovely. I don’t believe its EQ has been tuned. It simply provides accurate passive RIAA curve and boosts the gain. That’s the job of a phono preamp. If anyone wants more midrange, they can add an equalizer. I listen to tons of acoustic jazz and rock and folk and blues and have never found midrange to be lacking.

    The Mani punches way above its weight and scales nicely when you upgrade the chain. I loved it with my Pro-Ject Debut III but I stopped loving that turntable after a few years of use revealed its flaws. I love the Mani with my Technics SL-1200GR.

    I live within a mile of a radio tower. No RFI in the basement. I brought the turntable set-up upstairs for Christmas tunes and was getting a bit of RFI from that tower—it was low in the background, but it was there. I got my power strip out of the system, plugged everything into the wall sockets, and the RFI was gone. I don’t doubt people’s experiences with RFI, but I’m unwilling to lay the blame with the Mani itself.

    It’s simply the best phono preamp that $130 can buy, and then some.
     
  18. patient_ot

    patient_ot Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    Right, I think RFI is only an issue if you live very close to a tower. After my last move, I was very close. If anyone is unsure they can look up where towers are on this website:

    FM Fool - Home
     
  19. Agreed, for $130 I have not seen or heard better....
     
    Gabe Walters likes this.
  20. SNDVSN

    SNDVSN Forum Resident

    Location:
    Glasgow
    I had the Bronze set up at 42db and the bass was fine, I'm trying out an MP-110 at the moment which is still to be broken in but i think the Bronze had more bass. I'd rather not turn the gain up on the Mani as i'm getting some slight hiss and buzz which i don't want to make worse. I'll live with the Naga for a few weeks and see how it goes but so far i'm quite impressed, it's taken away that top end fizz you get on some records, like DSOTM 30th and the Highway to Hell reissue.
     
    jasonsouza77 and TheVinylAddict like this.
  21. Gabe Walters

    Gabe Walters Forum Resident

    Try the Ortofon at 30 dB on the Mani. A little counterintuitive, maybe, but the Blue sounds really sweet at that gain setting.
     
  22. SNDVSN

    SNDVSN Forum Resident

    Location:
    Glasgow
    The Lounge is £500 here in the UK! Mani cost me £140.
     
  23. SNDVSN

    SNDVSN Forum Resident

    Location:
    Glasgow
    It's a Bronze i have, tried 30db too quiet for me, i like my volume!
     
  24. Yeah, when I saw you were in Glasgow a couple of minutes ago, I realized the price difference was quite large... the Mani is a good stage, and on par with your setup and cartridges.... enjoy it! If you like what you are hearing, that is ALL that counts, and you are one step ahead of 90% of us that are always thrashing around trying to make it sound better!
     
    patient_ot likes this.
  25. Gabe Walters

    Gabe Walters Forum Resident

    Ah ok, I just crank it with my amp. The lower gain setting at the phono stage helps with noise, in my experience.
     
    SNDVSN likes this.

Share This Page