Schiit Loki To The Rescue

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Magic, Jul 16, 2018.

  1. Magic

    Magic I'm just this guy, ya know? Thread Starter

    Franklin TN
    So I pulled the trigger and bought a Loki. It arrived this past Friday and I installed it on Saturday. Everything I've purchased lately, Music Hall MMF-5.3TT with Ortofon Blue cartridge, Lounge Audio LCRMKIII then silver upgrade, has improved the sound of my vinyl but most albums still sounded a bit sterile. Some albums sounded OK but more often than not they were meh and I know in my older systems they didn't sound that bad. It always sounded to me like the mid-range was lacking and with the AV receiver I have, Onkyo TX-876 and speakers, Klipsch RF-3II floor standers, there wasn't an adjustment for that. I never could account for why my CDs and Bluerays sounded good and my vinyl sounded so poor and I've been chasing my tail making small changes to try to make up the difference without having to do something drastic/expensive to improve the medium. Enter the Loki. I figured for $150 I didn't have much to lose by giving it a try. I installed it after the Lounge and all I can say is I'm astonished. I really didn't believe I could get such a drastic improvement in sound quality especially from something as basic and inexpensive. I adjusted all four channels on the Loki to the following positions for now; 12 o'clock being neutral on the knobs I set the Bass(20Hz) to 1 o'clock. Mid bass(400Hz) and midrange(2KHz) to about 3 o'clock. Treble(8KHZ) between 3 and 4 o'clock. At these settings it almost sounds like I have different speakers. The vinyl has just come alive like it hasn't been for years. I don't really know how to describe it other than the Loki has brought fidelity back to my vinyl that I was starting to give up hope I would ever be able to achieve again without a major overhaul. It just sounds right now. Everything is clear but not harsh. Midrange is "there" now and even the treble is smooth. YMMV but in my system it works. Even my wife, who is not a big fan of vinyl, can hear the difference and likes it which is saying allot. My vinyl life is good again.
    AidanB, Vignus, zeitlos and 10 others like this.
  2. cdgenarian

    cdgenarian Forum Resident

    North Carolina
    I've looked at the Loki and might try one. How is your unit positioned within your setup?
  3. The Pinhead


    No info on your profile but sounds as if you're in bad need of a good cart. On my rig, vinyl needs less tonal correction than CDs, and I own a lowly Shure cart.
    marcb, macster and Robert M. like this.
  4. Galactus2

    Galactus2 Forum Resident

    Loving the little Loki. Their website sometimes has them as open box /demo items, at a reduced price. That’s what I bought, and even if I had paid full price for it, it is money well spent. Besides helping out on vinyl, it can tame some sources or boost others in certain areas.
    Leroyd and Magic like this.
  5. bluemooze

    bluemooze Forum Resident

    Frenchtown NJ USA
    Magic and Bert Oz like this.
  6. Chris Schoen

    Chris Schoen Rock 'n Roll !!!

    Maryland, U.S.A.
    Seems the Loki is making up for some deficiencies in your system. I use a Loki also, but only if the source (badly mastered cd or vinyl) needs it. With a well mastered source,
    I can bypass the Loki and everything sounds great. The bottom line for you (with the Loki's "adjustments") is you like what you hear. And that's good. :righton:
  7. clercqie

    clercqie Forum Resident

    Why not just use the tone controls on your amp?
  8. Magic

    Magic I'm just this guy, ya know? Thread Starter

    Franklin TN
    Turntable into the Lounge and the Loki between the Lounge and the receiver.

    The bass and treble buttons on the receiver affect every device and I wasn't having issues with the CD player, Blueray or cassette.

    Exactly. In my collection I have more albums that benefit from it than don't.

    I had a Shure and updated it to a Ortofon Blue. It sounded better but for whatever reason the phono stage has been the week link in my system and the Loki makes up for it. The phono stage in the Onkyo was pretty weak which is why I added the Lounge. That improved things quite a bit but it still didn't sound as good as it should. As Chris Schoen mentioned the Loki is definitely making up for some deficiencies in my system and I can live with that.
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2018
    Galactus2 and The Pinhead like this.
  9. Magic

    Magic I'm just this guy, ya know? Thread Starter

    Franklin TN
    Not sure why. I've put all my information in there a couple of times and it doesn't stay. I'll try to rectify that today. Update: just added the info again. Will come up with model numbers for some of the items when I get off work.
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2018
  10. The Pinhead


    I can see it now. Ortofon Blue. Does that cart sound lively enough ? I have and equalizer but I don't need to emphasize the frequencies you boost at all, except, on ocassion, the 16 khz slider (not on every record)

    Your speakers have fantastic, lively midrange.
  11. Magic

    Magic I'm just this guy, ya know? Thread Starter

    Franklin TN
    I do like that sound of the Ortofon Blue, do find it "lively" enough, and it was a nice upgrade from the Shure M97 xE I had. I agree that with every other medium the midrange was great in the Klipsch's but when it came to playing vinyl the sound would just flatten out, lose depth and the midrange would decrease. I have no explanation for this. It was worse playing through the phono stage of the Onkyo and improved quite a bit when I added the Lounge Audio LCRMKIII and after the silver upgrade it was even better but still wasn't quite right. It's possible that with a separate receiver or amp/pre-amp setup just for playing albums it might have been different but I wasn't ready to go quite that far though I had considered it. At this point I am getting the sound quality I've been missing with my albums. With my limited budget I got lucky.
    The Pinhead likes this.
  12. George Blair

    George Blair Forum Resident

    Portland, OR
    Thanks for this thread - I also put the Loki in my vinyl path and was curious how others are using it. I've found it subtle and effective in taming a bit of brightness, likely due to my AT- 150MLX. Since upgrading my system, I've noticed more variables in vinyl than ever before - some sounding great while others are lacking in highs or low end. The Loki is the best addition so far, and I find small adjustments are all that's needed.
  13. Magic

    Magic I'm just this guy, ya know? Thread Starter

    Franklin TN same experience. What I haven't had a chance to do yet is put on the best recorded album I have, Dave Grusin with Lee Ritenour "Harlequin", a digital master, and hear what it sounds like with the Loki.
  14. JoeSmo

    JoeSmo SL1200 lover....

    It’s a stunning device, costs no more than a high-quality set of phono-leads, I mention this as many an audiophile will spend big bucks on them or speaker cable to correct a sound. Why, when this marvel is available?
    AidanB, Chris Schoen, Gumboo and 4 others like this.
  15. frummox

    frummox Forum Resident

    New York
    With the new revisionist thinking going on about EQ decided to order one (for $149 can't go wrong). Waiting for it to arrive. As I listen to many more CDs than vinyl I'm going to ry it first between my Naim CD player and my Arcam amp to see what it can do. How does that switch on the front work? Does it power down the unit or does it just remove the unit from the signal path? And if the later is the unit always powered up?
    Cyclone Ranger likes this.
  16. crazy eights

    crazy eights Truckstop lovechild

    new york
    the front switch is the bypass, the power switch is on the rear - i never shut mine off
    Magic likes this.
  17. 4011021

    4011021 Forum Resident

    Is there a way to connect the Loki to a Parasound Halo so it would work both with turntable and Halo's DAC?
  18. stonecold

    stonecold Forum Resident

    Loki to the rescue for all things AC/DC.
    Magic likes this.
  19. Drew769

    Drew769 Forum Resident

    Who is anyone to question a $150 purchase that is making you so satisfied? I say congrats!
    Magic likes this.
  20. Leroyd

    Leroyd Forum Resident

    I am not very technical, but the spec on the Loki show an adjustment of +/- 12 db at 20 hz which is right at the threshold of human hearing, assuming your hearing is perfect.
    I cannot see the point in adjustment at 20hz. For one thing my speakers only go down to 30hz. However I am happy to be educated.
  21. JackG

    JackG Forum Resident

    It seems to cover fairly wide bands with each knob and opposed to a single frequency. So the 20Hz band probably starts well above that to apply a more general rising LF boost. That's what it sounds like with mine.
    bever70 and Magic like this.
  22. unclefred

    unclefred Coastie with the Moastie

    Oregon Coast
    As @JackG noted, the bans are pretty wide-which is good thing-

  23. sheffandy

    sheffandy Forum Resident

    Sheffield, UK
    I have one and only use it occasionally for those difficult vinyl albums. Clockwork Angels definitely benefits from some extra top end as does Wolf Alice-Visions Of A Life.
    Magic likes this.
  24. Magic

    Magic I'm just this guy, ya know? Thread Starter

    Franklin TN
    [QUOTE="Your speakers have fantastic, lively midrange.[/QUOTE]

    I've puzzled over this off and on and for a while and all I can think of is most of my speakers in the past, and there hasn't been that many, were all 3 and 4 way speakers with a dedicated mid-range driver/drivers. I'm beginning to think that I got used to a more defined mid-range presence that I have to believe I don't hear in 2 way speakers. Whether 2, 3 or 4 way speakers can sound exactly alike as far as mid-range goes is not something I've really researched but I know when I added the Loki and bumped the mid-range a bit I found the sound I was looking for.
    unclefred and crazy eights like this.
  25. theron d

    theron d Forum Resident

    Baltimore MD
    The Loki is one of the best tools ive purchased in audio. For example, bought some Cerwin Vega speakers LS-12’s recently. Without EQ they will rip you ears off with the hot tweeters.

    Loki adjustment at 2k and 8k mostly and bam there it is. Fun speakers, punchy as heck and love them now!

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