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Just ordered a Schiit Mani

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Just ordered a Schiit Mani

Postby zacster » 18 Jul 2017 02:49

I hope it is decent. My Creek board built into my Aikido has been giving me trouble, and for $129 I figured the Mani would be an OK replacement. It isn't as if the Creek was anything special.

Maybe at some point I'll build something better, but I'd rather save my pennies for my new amp, which is still just a pile of parts, and only about 25% of them.
Rega Planar 3, Grace 707, Ortofon Quintet Blue (Grace F9E in the bullpen), Tangospinner Subplatter/dual 45 pulley, Famous Ice Cube mod, Music Hall Cruise Control II, Schiit Mani phono MM/MC pre, Aikido line, 6B4G PP amp
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Re: Just ordered a Schiit Mani

Postby JDB82 » 18 Jul 2017 04:15

It has great performance for the price. My only complaint is that the bass is bloated. The mids are lacking a little but I like the sound overall. Kinda seems like they tuned it to make natural instruments sound more realistic imo.
It still sounds great with any kind of music though.
If your cart is around 4.0mV be sure to set gain at 30db or you wont be happy.
Good idea with your amp, I think you will be satisfied with the sound for the time being.
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Re: Just ordered a Schiit Mani

Postby jdjohn » 18 Jul 2017 04:42

If you don't get RFI, you will probably like it. Make sure to listen in quiet spots (with sound turned up) for any FM radio signals coming through. It is a known 'feature' with Mani's, so if you hear it and can send it back, you should do so since there is no known fix for it. I hope yours works well. They sound pretty good without RFI.
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Re: Just ordered a Schiit Mani

Postby zacster » 18 Jul 2017 12:10

I'd read about the RFI issues, and am hoping for the best. I live in Brooklyn, hardly a remote area free from interference. If it is an issue I'll either send it back or maybe just keep it for my son, who has a record collection but doesn't have a TT. The funny thing is he doesn't even try to play them on my main system. I think he is scared he'll blow up the tubes.

My current cartridge is an original F9E, but I also have an Ortofon Q Blue, a LOMC. I'd say I'll try it with both before I make a decision but it is a big PITA to switch between them. I wish I had removable headshells and I'd just keep them both mounted. I'll play with the gain settings to see which I like.

My amp is going to be a fully transformer coupled, push-pull 300b amp, a la Amity. Things get expensive pretty fast with that design so I'm taking it slowly, looking for used transformers. Every time I see something anywhere for sale it is gone before I can even respond. The Mani costs about the same as one Lundahl transformer, and I need four more, two on input and two output. I have the interstage. Power trannie will likely be a little less exotic.
Rega Planar 3, Grace 707, Ortofon Quintet Blue (Grace F9E in the bullpen), Tangospinner Subplatter/dual 45 pulley, Famous Ice Cube mod, Music Hall Cruise Control II, Schiit Mani phono MM/MC pre, Aikido line, 6B4G PP amp
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Re: Just ordered a Schiit Mani

Postby zacster » 31 Jul 2017 20:02

I've been using the Mani for two weeks now. So far I can report there are NO RFI issues whatsoever. Soundwise I can't say I hear a difference between it and the Creek board that it replaces, but maybe I'll go back to the Creek and do an unscientific comparison. I also would like to do a MC comparison, but that takes a little more effort in swapping cartridges as I already said. I may do that this coming weekend, depending on the weather.

I did change the gain setting from the default, which was too low. I didn't pay attention to which setting I used, it was one of the intermediate settings.
Rega Planar 3, Grace 707, Ortofon Quintet Blue (Grace F9E in the bullpen), Tangospinner Subplatter/dual 45 pulley, Famous Ice Cube mod, Music Hall Cruise Control II, Schiit Mani phono MM/MC pre, Aikido line, 6B4G PP amp
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Re: Just ordered a Schiit Mani

Postby wojo58 » 31 Jul 2017 22:48

I've been running with my Schiit Mani for a few weeks as well, and actually doing a comparison between it and the UTurn Pluto. Even though the blind test on Analog Planet favored the UTurn over the Mani, I have to say that for jazz and classical, the Mani just made me smile. Soundstage was the big surprise. Not only were the instruments left and right, but now they were front and back as well.

I will be trying this preamp with some rock and prog later this week. I may need to move from the Shure M97xe to the AT120eb for that one.....
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Re: Just ordered a Schiit Mani

Postby zacster » 04 Aug 2017 20:59

I swapped back to my Ortofon Q-Blue after my wife complained that she thought the Grace sounded too bright and sibilant. My first impression of the Mani with the Q is that I don't have enough gain. In fact it doesn't play nearly loud enough. I set the Mani to high/high in the bottom switched but still not enough.

I'm going to look at my pre-amp, I recall that I had set the gain down on that when I installed my Welborne remote attenuator in it as the first step was too loud with some sources, but now none of my sources are loud enough. (Edit: This worked to solve the gain problem for all of my inputs.)

And my wife is right about the Grace cartridge, it was too bright. The Q-Blue is much more neutral sounding.
Rega Planar 3, Grace 707, Ortofon Quintet Blue (Grace F9E in the bullpen), Tangospinner Subplatter/dual 45 pulley, Famous Ice Cube mod, Music Hall Cruise Control II, Schiit Mani phono MM/MC pre, Aikido line, 6B4G PP amp
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Re: Just ordered a Schiit Mani

Postby zacster » 05 Aug 2017 01:29

My wife came home and was actually impressed with the improved sound. More oomph she said, a lot fuller. I had WBGO playing over Alexa and she actually sat and listened even though she hates jazz. I'll have to play some vinyl for her too for her impressions.

Oh, and I also have another TT mod coming from Gus. A new thermoplastic bearing sleeve is on the way for my Rega. This guy makes great stuff. He should branch out and make similar items for other TTs. Maybe he could retire from his day job. I wish I could, but soon. I was on a conference call about our next long-term project and I had to remind the team that it can't run past January 2020 cause I'm gone.:)
Rega Planar 3, Grace 707, Ortofon Quintet Blue (Grace F9E in the bullpen), Tangospinner Subplatter/dual 45 pulley, Famous Ice Cube mod, Music Hall Cruise Control II, Schiit Mani phono MM/MC pre, Aikido line, 6B4G PP amp
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Re: Just ordered a Schiit Mani

Postby jdjohn » 13 Sep 2017 23:15

Hey zacster, if you don't mind, I'd be interested to see your results regarding the FM signal in your area by doing this test. On the http://fmfool.com website under 'Tools', choose 'FM Signal Locator', enter your address, city, state, zip, and then click 'Find Local Channels' to see the results. The strongest signals are listed first, and check the Rx(dBm) signal column for the numbers. My strongest signal is -8.1dBm, and the station referenced is consistent with the RFI I get with my Mani. It would be interesting to see what results you get.

Thanks for considering.
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Re: Just ordered a Schiit Mani

Postby wojo58 » 14 Sep 2017 16:07

I live in the far northern suburbs of Chicago and I was worried about RF........ I have the Mani set to 42db gain and with the volume at my normal listening levels, ear to the speaker, I hear nothing (no RF).

BTW, The Mani brings presence to the music I did not have with the DLPreII or the Orbit Pluto. I love that little guy.......

Trying to figure out how to print/display the FMScale thing. Strongest signals are around -42db
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Re: Just ordered a Schiit Mani

Postby wojo58 » 14 Sep 2017 16:28

fmscale1.jpg
45 miles from downtown Chicago
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Re: Just ordered a Schiit Mani

Postby jdjohn » 14 Sep 2017 18:32

Thanks for sharing your results, wojo. I guess that -42dBm is not strong enough to cause a problem...good to know.
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Re: Just ordered a Schiit Mani

Postby zacster » 15 Sep 2017 02:33

The strongest signal by me is -26.7dBm, and then a whole string of them at -30dBm, all from the same location. This is NYC after all. 7.7 miles from my house in LOS is probably the new freedom tower. I think the Empire State building is slightly further and was used after 9/11.

I should add that I've never heard a peep of RFI on my system and I've played things LOUD. The Mani is a keeper.
Rega Planar 3, Grace 707, Ortofon Quintet Blue (Grace F9E in the bullpen), Tangospinner Subplatter/dual 45 pulley, Famous Ice Cube mod, Music Hall Cruise Control II, Schiit Mani phono MM/MC pre, Aikido line, 6B4G PP amp
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Re: Just ordered a Schiit Mani

Postby jdjohn » 15 Sep 2017 15:14

Thanks for sharing your results, zac. I guess the -8.1dBm signal I'm getting is quite strong - an exception to the norm. After that one, I have five in the -15-to-(-18)dBm range, so no relief. The tower causing my issue is about 4 miles away, broadcasting at a strength of 97kW. I live about 12 miles outside of Nashville.
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