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Author Topic: Shiit Audio Mani, Phono Pre Amp  (Read 2182 times)
Ed Schilling
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« on: December 10, 2017, 12:10:53 PM »

Well, as many of you know I have the Transcendent Sound Phono Stage. It has PLENTY of gain for The Truth and sounds excellent. I reckon the only drawback for some is that it is pricey. How great would it be to have something that nipped at it's heels for 150 bucks? I know, I know, we've all tried inexpensive stuff like the battery powered Rat Shack and maybe even a NAD with an OPA 2604 chip upgrade.

Well, I can say that IMO the Shiit Mani nips at the heels of the TS and does in fact cost 150 bucks. It has adjustable gain and should run any cart except the very lowest output types to more than enough gain for The Truth. I have mine set at the mid point about 40 db I think.

For those of you who want a killer vinyl setup for "a song", The Orbit table and a Mani will slay a LOT of "high end" setups. Is it perfect? Nope, not even close. Is it immensely satisfying? Damn right...the combo just "sounds right". Bruce at Transcendent Sound has the Orbit ( my suggestion) and he did a couple things to it and he agrees with me....it sounds too good to be that cheap. Coupled with the Mani one can have a very nice vinyl rig for peanuts.
Ed
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Henry
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« Reply #1 on: December 10, 2017, 05:35:09 PM »

I have a Schiit Mani as well and Ed's right.  The small box is excellent... it makes no sense. Huh  It's quiet, dynamic and makes great bass. 

With loading and gain options via little switches on the case bottom, you can match it with about any phono cartridge.  I'm keeping the TS phono stage and an old Cornet that has fancy parts since I have three turntables.

You'd have to spend lots of money to beat the little Schiit.  And it's fun to say "Schitt".  Grin
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Steve F
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« Reply #2 on: December 19, 2017, 07:04:11 AM »

Ed & Henry, I just listened to a custom Orbit turntable in which the owner changed out the plinth for a "concrete resin" base. He also used a cheap ART phono stage. I've got to say I was impressed. Ortofon blue cartridge.
I don't know if the tone arm was damped, or any other changes were made. I also suspect that the Orbit's bearing isn't going to beat out fancy stuff like VPI. But damn, it was good.
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Steve F
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« Reply #3 on: May 28, 2018, 04:45:46 PM »

Anyone else hear another phono pre that’s “Truth” approved. I’m told Vista Audio makes a good one. Some people like one by Lounge audio, but a reviewer  said Lounge sucked on YouTube. Recommendations?
steve
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Henry
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« Reply #4 on: May 29, 2018, 09:39:42 PM »

I'd like to try a Hagerman Audio Labs Cornet 3.  It's a departure from the older Cornets as it's powered from a 9v wall wort that feeds a voltage booster.  It still uses three tubes like the oldies, but has a smaller form.  The reviews are good.  And, it's assembled for $459 with free shipping.

https://hagerman-audio-labs.myshopify.com/collections/phono-preamps/products/cornet3
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Steve F
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« Reply #5 on: June 18, 2018, 02:24:14 PM »

Ed & Henry,
The Mani I ordered arrived today. My system will be Schiit-y too. Since it comes so highly recommended by you guys.
steve
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Steve F
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« Reply #6 on: June 18, 2018, 03:58:20 PM »

Henry is right. It’s fun to say Schiit. I just plugged it into my system. I’m surprised at just how good that little silver box performs. Now with no break in time, just put on a record and play, it’s better than several other preamps on hand. The only one better is Bruce’s phono, and that’s about five times the price.
I’m not a big believer in break in, or warm up time. Most equipment settles down in seconds or a few minutes at most. Anyway, anyone who feels like being frugal can’t go wrong here. The unit has enough drive for Ed’s Truth, and it’s a damn good combo. So Ed & Henry are right on the money with this one, as usual. The Mani is very smooth throughout its range. Bass is excellent. It does lack a tiny bit of detail and space compared to the Transcendent Sound pre, but if you didn’t have one to compare it to, you’d never complain. So it’s really great Schiit.
steve
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Henry
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« Reply #7 on: June 19, 2018, 08:05:45 AM »

Yep Steve, it's a fine phono preamp as Ed discovered.  Ironically, the similar looking Modi Uber DAC isn't that great.  Shiit is known to excel in digital but flopped on the Modi IMO.  Others agree.  It isn't bad, just not "all that".  I bought both and gave away the Modi.  Go figure.  Maybe climbing the DAC ladder at Shiit will be the chit.  Grin

When I get a little change, I'll give the Cornet 3 a chance.  Without the transformer noise and some changes, this could be a good one.
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sonic
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« Reply #8 on: June 19, 2018, 08:39:08 AM »

Maybe climbing the DAC ladder at Shiit will be the chit.  Grin
As far as DAC technology goes, the top of the ladder has been reached about 20 years ago.  There is no point reaching higher into inaudible region of sound reproduction performance.
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Steve F
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« Reply #9 on: June 19, 2018, 12:10:41 PM »

Henry, Modern DAC units are all over the map. I find some cheaper ones that are excellent, and fancy ones that are lacking. If my television had a pair of RCA outputs, I wouldn’t even need an external DAC.
When I had a scope, I took a gander at a couple of different units. By and large the damn things work fine. (I haven’t checked any multibit DACs that Mike Moffat over at Schiit seems to prefer) I spent about 30 bucks on a cheap unit from Parts Express that does a good job. I also borrowed an expensive Benchmark Media unit that also looked good, switched a whole bunch of components, and included a world class preamp. Built like a tank by pros who designed it for studio abuse. And a $400 unit that did fine in conversion, but after that, was lacking vs any good preamp. I’m saying in a long winded way, that chances are a very basic DAC is all you probably need.

Steve
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