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G'day all, well ok another one to the collection, the 'Schiit Mani' and I'm listening to it now.  I like it, and the humour evident on the website is also evident in the owners manual (in patches!).   It sounds 'tight' (dynamic), and pleasant to my ears. 

 

It seemed low output when first powered up and the owners manual indicated factory setting to 42 db, however one of the gain dip switches was incorrectly set (typically my luck).  Correctly setting this up, and all is fine.  I have been advised that the factory input capacitance is 100 pf at 47 k, a perfect setting for my Shure M97xE.  

 

The build quality is excellent with a small but solid looking metal case of good quality!  A back panel power switch is included too, a nice (and rare) touch these days!  As mentioned earlier the sound quality is very pleasant with good detail and overall balance and 'musicality'.  An excellent analog sound without sounding bloated and harsh, as quite a few phono stages sometimes are.  Interestingly enough, the Schiit Mani isn't the quietest phono stage that I've heard as some slight hiss is audible at the highest volume setting.  In this respect it is similar to my DIY ESP P06 phono stage.  All up, a top notch phono stage!  Recommended!  Regards, Felix.     

Edited by catman
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There are some extremely enthusiastic reviews on the web but I was honestly quite surprised how good it was for the price. The story of how it was designed  is interesting but perhaps contains some typical Schitt alter-hyperbole.

There are also some stories about problems with hum that some users experience although I didn't with mine. Some people have recommended the Swagman power supply although it is more expensive than the unit itself. It was certainly a good re-starting point for me and a considerable jump up from my old Project Phono Box.

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G'day mate, I've only had the Mani for a day and so far it's been really good!  I recently started another thread on 'nice' sounding phono stages, well the Mani certainly has that in spades!  A very musical sounding phono stage.  Some of the reviews on the internet that I've read are a bit 'variable', but my ears tell me that this is one very fine phono stage! 

 

Yes I have heard of RFI issues in certain high RF field strength locations, but thankfully all is ok here.  It's a bit of an audio bargain, I think.  Regards, Felix.  

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Slowly looking for a phono for my AT-LP120. I've got plenty of Schiit at home so naturally the Mani was on my shortlist. I really don't want any more Schiit in my house but their ability to punch well above their price usually closes the deal for me.

 

Love to hear some more impressions and comparisons from you though. Vinyl has some magic that digital just can't match.

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G'day mate, well the Mani can handle both MM and MC with 59 db maximum gain but will probably never be used for that application here.  The RIAA EQ is apparently applied passively which probably accounts for the very good perceived dynamics. 

 

The noted hiss may be a function of the cartridge as my Shure M97xE is quite high coil inductance and winding resistance, and the inherent noise voltage can make this hiss worse as a consequence.  Having said that though, the Shure M97xE/Schitt Mani combination sounds wonderful.  The incredibly balanced/even sound of the Mani makes me realise that many phono stages with supposedly accurate RIAA equalisation actually aren't, in my humble opinion.  More listening to do!  Regards, Felix.    

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20 hours ago, catman said:

The noted hiss may be a function of the cartridge as my Shure M97xE is quite high coil inductance and winding resistance, and the inherent noise voltage can make this hiss worse as a consequence.   

I had a quick listen and the hiss is definitely a product of the Mani. I tested my phono channel with the Mani on and the CD channel with the CD player on. The CD is significantly quieter.

Again this doesn't necessarily detract from the performance of the Mani which as you say is very good.

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G'day mate, yes that is interesting but as you say, like my DIY P06 it doesn't really detract from the excellent sound quality of the Mani. 

 

In fact, listening to the Mani today combined with my OEM elliptical stylus Shure M97xE, my M97xE has never sounded better and more musical!  The Schiit Mani is a stunningly good phono stage, by any measure!  Regards, Felix.          

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I have used a Schiit mani and its SQ is comparable if not better than my phonobox DS+ with moving magnet carts. MCs sound fine but I think i prefer the sound of them through the PhonoBox DS+ in my system. It punches way above its weight and I highly recommend it to anyone getting into vinyl or even aficionados with high end phono stages for a secondary turntable. You could use it in a high end system with a high end moving magnet cart and not worry about a potential bottleneck.

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  • 1 year later...

I have an interesting story associated with the reported lower performance of the Schiit Mani with low output moving coil cartridges.

 

I believe I have identified the reason and I have implemented a solution for my Mani which may interest others.

 

I recently returned to vinyl, reconditioned my Denon DP-1200 direct drive turntable (1980’s purchase), grabbed a Schiit Mani and used an interim MoFi moving magnet cartridge while I waited for a new Hana ML low output moving coil to arrive.

 

The performance with the Mani and MoFi MM cartridge were good, being dynamic and quiet. Once the Hana ML arrived I didn’t really have the low level clarity I was expecting, so I decided to investigate the Mani and try to identify the issue.

 

I looked at the Mani outputs with a simple test rig: Laptop connected to an external sound card via USB (192khz/24bit resolution) connected to the Mani RCA outputs. For the test the Mani is set to Low output MC mode (Gain 1 set to High, Gain 2 set to Hi and input set to 47 Ohms, which is how I use it for the Hana ML). I use the TrueRTA software on the Laptop to yield a spectrum of the Mani RCA outputs.

 

This is where I found the likely problem. The figure below shows the TrueRTA spectrum returned from the Mani RCA output, this shows multiple power supply harmonics related to the rectification of the 16VAC power source at 17db above the noise floor. The Left channel shown, the right channel was similar but some 6db lower. The primary rectification signature is at 100Hz with harmonics each 100Hz. An internal 50Hz signal associated with induced hum from the 16VAC is also visible.

 

Figure – Left channel power supply harmonics

image.png.58263a12ff34c455913776dcb70cf075.png

 

I identified the reason for the AC rectification harmonics and implemented a change. The following Figure is the Left channel after modification. Test Rig set up is identical to the Figure above so the two spectrum's are directly comparable.

 

Figure – Left channel power supply harmonics after Mani modification

image.png.cf638f3e7ff99b1015cdd0f15c0d930a.png

 

The result now is that the power supply rectification harmonics are no longer present and the internal 50Hz induced hum is 7db lower.

 

Does it sound better, I think it does however I do not have an elite system with the vinyl playback taking place in my general-purpose home theatre system (new B&W 702S2 speakers, Onkyo RZ900 amp operating in Direct mode). However I can measure the difference, which provides me with the positive return for the work undertaken (which I enjoy).

 

If anyone is interested in greater details then I have a definition of the issue and the solution I implemented, plus additional material available related to the Mani circuit design.

 

 

 

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