Have you also considered the PS Audio GCPH? $500-$600 on the used market, flexible, high quality, entry level phono stage.
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i ve used the mani for a couple of months now and am quite pleased with it, has great detail, pace, good bass, not overly so, i think its faults are of omission then commission, I some times get some overload on the highs, but the sound stage is very good, I'm impressed by this phono preamp, really.. does take a little time to warm up but when it does, easily listen for hours.. my system is scout 1.1, sonic frontiers sfl-1, krell 200s with straight wire virtuoso thru out won't be sorry for such a minor investment, believe me I think its that good. Regards
chiming in here since I've had a week to really hear this piece of Schiit. As a replacement while my $2500 retail unit is in the shop, I find it to be a great value.
As anything else, great sound is the the sum of all pieces. For $150, good enough to hold me over. My opinion also takes into account owning a1K retail unit as well.
If I didn't need the extra gain, I would have considered the Orbit for even less money.
Been listening to one for two weeks now and am going to keep it. It's just one of the best values in audio ever. With all the phono stages I've owned, and I've owned quite a few, my sense is that anyone who is in the market up to $1500 for a phono pre and doesn't try this preamp is missing out BIG TIME.
I love it, too. Very easy to listen to, great soundstage and deep bass (all with MM cart, I didn't use it much with an MC). Swagman Labs makes an external power supply for it, which will improve it ever further. However, even without the upgraded ps, it is a remarkably balanced and authentic sounding phono stage.
I got a Mani 11 days ago. A distinctive step up from my economical Behringer phono pre. I've never had any other phono preamp so I can't qualify how good it is to others in and above its price range. I'm also not sure how long to get fully burned in, thinking a month and it should be fully seasoned.
I do have one question. I keep it on 24/7. The Mani or the wall-wart PS never gets even a little warm. I figured it is best to keep it on so it's always ready. Is it good practice to keep it always powered up?