Looking for new pre-amp - is the Schiit Mani still the one to beat?

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Nubben, Aug 1, 2020.

  1. Nubben

    Nubben Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    London, UK
    Hi all,

    After four years of good use it seems my Mani has run into some issues and is not working properly so will be looking for a new pre-amp.

    Before I buy another pre-amp I wanted to check - is the Mani still the best bang for the buck?

    Thanks!

    Nubben
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2020
  2. vinylkid58

    vinylkid58 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Victoria, B.C.
    You're having issues with the Mani and you want another one.:confused:

    jeff
     
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  3. Nubben

    Nubben Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    London, UK
    I like the sound of it but am open to suggestions.

    if you have any it would be greatly appreciated.
     
  4. ogdens_sliced

    ogdens_sliced Walnut Plug

    Location:
    Albion
    Dude, are you serious?
     
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  5. Nubben

    Nubben Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    London, UK
    Sorry why the aggro?
     
  6. ssmith3046

    ssmith3046 Forum Resident

    Can it be repaired?
     
  7. Nubben

    Nubben Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    London, UK
    Hi ssmith3046, many thanks for your reply, at least someone who doesn't feel they have to pour sarcasm or snobbery in their replies.

    Probably cost prohibitive to repair. I am looking for a similarly priced pre-amp to fit in my modest system - for the record, it does NOT have to be a Schiit Mani.

    Do you have any suggestions?
     
  8. Rolltide

    Rolltide Forum Resident

    Location:
    Vallejo, CA
    I have to agree with the guy. It's kind of pathetic that a simple solid state phono stage died after four years. Something like that should last forever. The idea that you'd even consider buying another one is baffling. Note I don't think he intended his tone to be hostile, he was just taken aback as I was. There are lots of good options in that space and you'll get many great suggestions, but I'd cross the Mani off your list.
     
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  9. patient_ot

    patient_ot Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    Do you have a budget? As a former Mani owner I now regard it as overhyped.
     
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  10. Nubben

    Nubben Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    London, UK
    Hi patient_ot, many thanks. My budget I would say is $350 something like that. I have a very modest set-up compared to others on this forum so I am looking for value for money that's why the Mani was my choice initially after heaving read a lot of good reviews about it. It was also my first ever pre-amp.

    As per my signature below I have a PLX-1000 with an Ortofon Black so something that would suit that perhaps. I am looking to upgrade to a Technics SL-1200GR soon as well.

    With what did you replace the Mani?
     
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  11. Doc Diego

    Doc Diego Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Nevada
    Mani owner here. Not currently using mine, but I love the sound. It did pick up some RF that could be heard in the background between songs. If I needed to replace it now, I would try a Mobile Fidelity Studio Phono or the current Lounge Audio. With your system a $300 phono stage would be worth it.
     
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  12. TheVinylAddict

    TheVinylAddict ___The Enforcer___

    In the $150 category, the Mani is tough to beat. There are a few with an axe to grind that will find something wrong with it, and act as if its a fatal flaw, but nothing is perfect and it's a $150 phono pre. Don't expect it to compete with $1000 models. I still own one (it's in a box currently) and have no problem recommending them for someone on a sub-$200 budget.

    Of course from $150 to the $350 you stated there are tons of choice. Right now there is a Vincent Pho 8 for $150 in the Classifieds. I owned one a couple years back, not bad, but once I got the Lounge LCR Mkiii back the Pho 8 went.

    Between $150 and $350 there's a Hagerman Bugle 2, Cambridge 651p, 640 and CP2, Mofi Studiophono and the Lounge LCR Mkiii without the Silver upgrade and many, many more.

    If it were me, and I had $350 to spend, I'd save another $100 and get the Lounge MKiii w/ Silver and call it a day. Note I listen with my ears, and not a machine. Also, I've heard and compard many in this class to the Lounge, and the Lounge always comes out on top. But don't believe me, search this forum, there are many who will attest to this.
     
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  13. patient_ot

    patient_ot Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    For a phono preamp I really recommend home audition, especially with a cart like the 2M Black which is very high output per bench tests. Basically don't buy anything you can't return with no questions asked.

    At that price point you could probably swing something like a Rega Fono MM, or one of the recently discontinued and discounted Musical Fidelity models, or maybe a Cambridge Solo/Duo. This isn't an endorsement, I am only mentioning them because they are popular and near your price point.

    When I got rid of the Mani, I moved to the MOFI Studio Phono. Later I moved to the Graham Slee Reflex M + PSU-1, which is what I'm using now.

    If you really like the Mani you could just buy another one. My main gripe was the Mani was very hissy and noisy and then RFI eventually became an issue.
     
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  14. vinylkid58

    vinylkid58 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Victoria, B.C.
    I was going to suggest entry level Graham Slee, as you're in the UK. Seems to get good reviews, but no personal exp.

    jeff
     
  15. patient_ot

    patient_ot Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    Audition is available through the home loan program. No purchase obligation.
     
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  16. sturgus

    sturgus Forum Resident

    Location:
    St. Louis Mo
  17. sturgus

    sturgus Forum Resident

    Location:
    St. Louis Mo
    Sorry I just looked at your location. Many of these may not fit due to shipping. The Vista still fits as does the Slee products. Both excellent units. The Slee with the home audition is worth trying.
     
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  18. TheVinylAddict

    TheVinylAddict ___The Enforcer___

    My experience with Graham Slee entry level models is the they were flat, thin, uninviting. Just not musical. I've heard they "measure" well though. Not so much when using my ears though.

    Plus many have "loaner" program - it's called the 30 or 60 day satisfaction guarantee many shops offer. Plus you get to try a NEW phono pre, and not a used, who-knows-what-condition and who used / abused it before you with the GS loaner. I've seen negative feedback on this GS "loaner" program.

    Personal opinion is the OP would be better off getting a Mani then going this route. YMMV.
     
  19. okc_craft

    okc_craft Just Another Budgetphile

    Location:
    Okc
    I personally like my Project Tubebox DS. Some will yell foul since it uses a tube buffer stage, but I have no shame. I think the previous models can be had within your budget if you hunt around. It has a decent amount of loading and gain options and a low noise floor, what more can I ask for without spending considerably more money.
     
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  20. vinylkid58

    vinylkid58 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Victoria, B.C.
    Well that doesn't sound very promising.

    jeff
     
  21. Davey

    Davey I carry the moon inside a silver bag

    Location:
    SF Bay Area, USA
    I think the topology of the Tube Box DS and DS2 is more like JFET input stage cascoded with triode (similar to the Manley Chinook), followed by RIAA EQ and then triode gain stage, then opamp for output buffer. So even though it is a hybrid design, the tubes do potentially play a big part in the sound.
     
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  22. IRG

    IRG Forum Resident

    Location:
    Ithaca, NY
    The MoFi units should be on your list. The Cambridge Audio Solo/Duo are good, I had the Solo (MM only) and had no complaints with it at all. I didn't like the auto turn off feature, but that's minor. Your budget is close to a Moon LP110v2, and it's worth an audition in my opinion, gives you quite a bit of flexibility for current and future cartridges, which is why I have it now. No experience, but I would sample the Vincent offerings as well.
     
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  23. avanti1960

    avanti1960 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago metro, USA
    +1. Big tube sound stage, reasonably transparent, can support decent MCs +nice feature set. I really liked mine when I had it. A quality piece.
     
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  24. TheVinylAddict

    TheVinylAddict ___The Enforcer___

    Everyone's experiences are different, just sharing mine....... :) and I've tried a few to put it lightly.
     
  25. FalseMetal666

    FalseMetal666 Forum Resident

    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    I always crow about it, but if you can find a used Clearaudio Nano v2, jump on it. Very few reviews online but I owned one for a bit and it is a spectacularly good value as a used piece.
     

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