Schiit's First Phono Preamp - The $129 "Mani"

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by anede001, Jun 3, 2014.

  1. utahusker

    utahusker Forum Resident

    Southern, UT, USA
    I wouldn't expect it to be much better than your Luxman, probably a little less.
  2. The only plus is that my Lux gave off a little crackle before it got warmed up. That has been eliminated. So far, that's the only thing I appreciate. I might send it back.
  3. LeeS

    LeeS Blue Note Fan

    Schiit should build an accompanying ADC for this preamp called the Pedi. The you have the whole needledrop process with a Mani Pedi.
    T'mershi Duween likes this.
  4. Stone Turntable

    Stone Turntable Dedicated Listener

    New Mexico USA
    Bold words.:)
    rainspainplain likes this.
  5. I have opinions and I'm not afraid to give them. I'm going to do it all over again now that the Mani has been on for a few days and see if the same scenario plays out.
  6. Stone Turntable

    Stone Turntable Dedicated Listener

    New Mexico USA
    Sorry — that was just my extremely lame attempt at typographical humor. (Boldface — bold — get it?) I should have kept mum and been glad you didnt' go the ALL CAPS route.
    morinix likes this.
  7. :frog::tiphat:
    Stone Turntable likes this.
  8. At some point this weekend (if my wife and kids let me...) I'm gonna do an A/B of sorts with the Mani. It should be broken in for a few hours by then. I'll play it for a while, disconnect it, and play the same songs again and see if there is a noticeable difference.
  9. Did exactly the same test again with the Mani and my stereo pressing of Revolver. The Schiit has been sitting powered on all this time since my last post. It was better but not much. It had more body but my issues with resolution were the same. I opened it up and mods are going to start. I really think it's the power supply not being able to deliver small amounts of current fast enough to let the amplifier chips capture finer neuances. Every time I look at that power supply design I think this; :crazy:.

    It's really too bad. I had the same experience with the Cambridge 640p power supply.

    I'm not kidding when I tell you guys that I have day dreams sometimes of looking directly at the design engineer of units like these, tilting my head to one side, opening my eyes wide and asking "what were you thinking?".

    It's just not that hard to design a power supply that runs a little less stingy with current delivery.
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2014
  10. BTW I want you guys to understand I don't bash units like this so that I can look back at you who bought this unit already and hammer you for diving into this Schiit. I know some will take it that way. No! It's the designer who served you, the trusting customer this Schiit, who I look at almost like a politician who betrays public trust. Those guys, especially Jason, write really well over on the headfi forum. They make it sound like thay know their Schiit and they mostly do. But on this one they really duped me and I suppose you. Shame on them. :tsk:
  11. Gabe Walters

    Gabe Walters Forum Resident

    Maybe you could explain what you don't like about the power supply design, specifically? Your posts have been a bit conclusory; could you let us know what you're thinking?
  12. I'm not sure how deep to go into this since I don't know how much electronics you know.
  13. Gabe Walters

    Gabe Walters Forum Resident

    I'm curious. I'd like to know your thoughts, regardless of my own lack of experience in electrical engineering. If I struggle with any concepts, I can look them up.
  14. The basic power supply goes like this; power transformer, rectifier, reservoir filter capacitor, voltage regulator. Schiit did; Power transformer, rectifier, reservoir filter capacitor, voltage regulator, negative voltage converter, voltage regulator. That's two steps you don't need.

    Then to top it off, they used really small regulator pass elements. When you do that you end up choking current delivery even if the part is rated to deliver the current you need.

    I'm not totally sure the power supply is the main culprit but I'm going to find out in the next few days.
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2014
    Gabe Walters likes this.
  15. Gabe Walters

    Gabe Walters Forum Resident

    Thanks. I wonder what Mike Moffat's reasons are. I'd be surprised if he didn't have good ones.
  16. One can only guess. A engineers mind can be a crazy place. I should know :winkgrin:
  17. Maybe they've intentionally restricted its performance because they're planning on also releasing a larger version (maybe tube based) in the Asgard size enclosure. They couldn't have the Mani be too good because that would encroach on the sales of the larger version. :ignore::nyah:

    They had that problem when they released the little Magni headphone amp. The little Magni was really really close in sonic performance to the original Asgard. Very close. I have both. They're close. They came out with the Asgard 2 after that which widened the performance gap.

    [I'm not serious with the above. Crazy thinking. Having some fun.]

    We don't know what's going through their minds when making design decisions. Cost factors? Parts availability factors? Past experience with certain circuit designs? Who knows.
    morinix likes this.
  18. That's interesting. 60 Minutes should visit them and corner them while the are walking through the parking lot and stick a microphone in their face :laugh:. Anyway I am on a path. Parts are being removed from the Mani board as we speak. Mods Mods Mods!
  19. Could the design of the power supply been influenced by the need to support both MM and MC? If the Mani supported just MM would they have done it differently?
    I know zilch about electronics design. So I don't know. Just speculating and thinking and working on some conspiracy theories.
  20. Only Art Bell knows :laugh:.
    Actually, I can't see any real advantage other than a homage to Rube Goldberg. I'm pretty sure the negative voltage converter chip is throwing some high frequency noise out on the supply lines and ground, this actually hurts the MC performance more than the MM. A little switching noise is not the big concern here though.
    kfringe likes this.
  21. eurekaiv

    eurekaiv Active Member

    Orange County, CA
    What is a negative voltage converter? Is it something being used to split the supply into +/- rails? Ever measure the MC input for impedance?
  22. I'm curious to know what everyone thinks of the sonic performance. Has the Mani enhanced anyone's system?
  23. Oh yes, sorry, I did measure the MC impedance and it is 47 ohm.
    There are many little integrated circuits available to electronics engineers that make a negative voltage from a postitve one. It is needed in almost anything hi-tech like smart phones.... because the battery only gives you one voltage but at some point in the circuit a negative voltage will be needed. So it is not "splitting voltages" it is really generating a negative from a positive.

    The thing is, since the Mani power supply started out with an AC power transformer wall wart it is so easy to get a negative voltage. It just takes a diode hooked up with polarity such as to make a negative voltage and then add a negative regulator - easy! This is where I scratch my head as to why they didn't do this.
  24. starkiller

    starkiller Forum Resident

    Dupont, Wa USA
    OT but do want folks to know that my Lounge does sound really nice :D
    Opeth likes this.
  25. That is for a different thread :winkgrin::shh::whistle:

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