I'm a vinyl noob but I have reasonably good ears. Recently got a Planar 1 and Rega Fono Mini A2D and been quite impressed with the sound but after reading the (mostly...) positive opinions of the Mani I decided to pull the trigger on an ebay special. The Mani turned up in good condition. On first listen I was immediately struck by the top end detail, in fact I had to wonder if it wasn't a little bit harsh. I put this thought aside and kept listening. I found the sound to be all around more 'hi-fi' than the Rega, a clear improvement in clarity across the whole frequency range. The sense of depth was a few hairs deeper too, reverb tails seeming to go that little bit further. On the second day I started worrying that I was missing something. I'd heard people complain about mid range shortcomings (or polite restraint depending on your perspective) and did a quick comparison of the two pre-amps with mid range specifically in mind. The Rega does produce a fuller mid range, a smidge more warmth. But that is all it does, there was less detail and a slight sense of the bass and mids being smeared together, a bit mushy. I'm still sitting on the fence about the Schiit. It's miles ahead as far as clarity, but there is a coldness about it. It's got punch, bass is tight. Mids are definitely there, if restrained. The sound as a whole has more life than the Rega, more energetic. So this is kind of a half review, half question. Is the Schiit just exposing the weakness of my Rega Carbon cartridge?