Bought one of these things because, as with lots of Shiit gear (none of which I owned…yet), it seemed relatively inexpensive for what it claims to be (also ordered a Freya but they're not shipping those for another week or so…hope I like that thing). Like many Followers of the True Audio Geek Path I also have zero tone controls in my rig except maybe the levels on my subs, and that works for me "generally." However, some stuff needs a little adjustment and, well, I figured the Loki might work. So...It shows up yesterday, it's cute, I stick it between my preamp and amp and start looking hard for issues. The thing (in my reasonably noise free rig with good quiet cables, filtered power supplies, a Humbuster III…you get it) is dead quiet, even if I shut it completely off which they don't recommend…flip the bypass switch instead. This thing does exactly as described with four well selected bands of boost or cut and, again, no noise when switching it off and on. Amazing gizmo, built like a tank…the only mod I made to it was applying a little green magic marker to the somewhat too bright LED (hope that doesn't void the warranty). This thing makes low level listening mo bettah and, for example, I'm able to get more sparkle from a fave LP of Little Feat's "Last Record Album" that has a reticent high frequency content (always has)…the last knob on the Loki is a great cymbal revealer…all good…a very well done thing. You go Shiitsters!
I purchased one about a month or so ago and I concur with wolf_garcia. I tried it with both my headphone system and the main system and found it equally effective, but it will remain in my headphone system where I now find it indispensable. A great value.
I keep it off most of the time since I don’t need "room EQ," and it’s so cheap I might get another one for my headphone amp…although...there are rumors there could be another "non mini" EQ one coming along (rumor directly from the Schiit Loki FAQ page), and it would likely have more knobulation which would free up the current Loki for ’phone use. And it seems I can't spell Schiit…oops
Would the Loki be of any help in trying to fix bad room acoustics (too much bass because of speakers being closed to the wall)?
Of course, the Loki cannot do anything about fixing your room, but it definitely can attenuate the bass as this is one thing the device is designed to do. Personally, at a price of merely $149 I'd think of the purchase as "hard to go wrong". Besides, I'm pretty sure (not completely sure so by all means ask Schiit) their 15 day return policy applies, so you could try and if not to your liking, you'd be out around $20. Only reason I don't have one myself (but I do have other Schiit gear and have positive customer experience), is there is no XLR connectivity.
If there is too much bass reinforcement from the walls in gammaut's system, the Loki could certainly help it out…the 20hz knobulation design is amazingly well done, and if used with care it earns it's keep with aplomb. Aplombulation.
The highest Loki adjustment at 8khz should help, but if you're serious about sound you really need to get some rugs on the tile floors, and maybe curtains on the sides of the windows…you don't need to close 'em of course…nobody needs claustrophobic audio.
The Loki is inexpensive enough that sending it back is no big deal, and my experience with Behringer since it came along years ago is that it's very much made on the cheap, nearly disposable side of things. I know touring solo musicians who buy their little mixers because they're so cheap that if they break you toss it and buy a new one. The Loki has a high quality vibe and works really well.
Thanks Wolf. My brother is getting a new system and his living room is an audio nightmare. I have instructed him regarding floor coverings, curtains, and making DIY sound panels. I believe the Loki 8Khz tone control may come in handy also.
I received my Loki yesterday and installed it in my second system between my preamp (CJ 16LSII) and Amp (CJ Classic Sixty SE) this morning. I don't really have a need for it, however, it intrigued me and for the cost of it, curiosity got the best of me. I'm going to keep it and I can say that if one is in need of some tuning of the music due to a poor recording this little gem might work well for you. What I do like about it is that when using a decent pair of interconnects one can select the bypass mode of the Loki without hearing a degrade in the music. I'm not going into detail about it, the Shiit website has all of the specifications etc. It's obviously not going to be for everyone however if you are in need, I can vouch for it.
The fact that it's single ended seems to be its only "non starter" issue and that's for people who have balanced preamp to amp cables, and if anybody can hear when it's in or out of the system (assuming none of its knobs have turned) I'd be surprised, as nobody has reported that they can hear that.
Wolf, I totally agree with all the comments you made regarding the Loki. You really nailed it and I can't think of any other additions to add. I do have a question for anyone using the Loki; On some rebook CD recordings when I add the Loki and sometimes tune it for a specific CD I have actually noticed a more holographic soundstage. Has anyone else experienced this?
I got one at the recommendation of fellow a’goners to help boost low db listening in my living room. I put it between my Rega Planet CD player and Rega Brio-R and I absolutely love it. I actually leave it on all the time since I rarely listen at more than 65db in that room - when everything is warmed up it can definitely produce a holographic clarity. And I rarely feel the itch to turn up the volume to hear “better”.
I wonder if some of the improvements people are hearing is due to the Loki Mini’s input and output impedances (47K Ohms and 75 Ohms respectively) benefitting the preamp/integrated amp. It’s acting like a buffer stage. Maybe.
The reported "improvements", or at least effects on the system, are happening when the thing is being used…I’m not sure if anybody has reported benefits from it just being there in bypass mode. I haven’t noticed any effect on my rig at all when it’s off, or bypassed…I leave it on when bypassed as I assume do most owners, although with mine the signal will still pass through if you turn it completely off which Schiit has said doesn’t always work. One thing I haven’t done is to just take it out of the system completely as the thing has been there since it was added last year…I’ll try that today if I remember. I stumbled upon a Steve Guttenberg Youtube review of the Loki recently and he seems to like these things, especially with headphones.
Since I haven't unplugged the Loki since I bought it I used my trusty iPhone "Sound Tools" level meter today to see if the Loki had any effect in the system level just by being there…using both music and test tones it seems it doesn't, or at least not a measurable difference with a simple meter…and music seems exactly the same with it in or completely out, as well as in and bypassed with its own switch.
Since receiving my Loki, I have only used it with the modest Schiit Magni headphone amp driving HiFiman 400s headphones. I enjoy the bass boost it can provide with this combo. I believe it will prove to be of benefit to many headphone systems and will continue to explore it's use on mine.
I also plan on trying it between the pre outs/amp ins on my NAD 356BEE driving a pair of Focal 706. A secondary system I set up outdoors and seems to require a little taming on the higher frequencies (do to the Focals and loss of room reinforcement of bass frequencies). I will get back as I continue to explore it's benefits.