Compendium updated February 24th, 2021
Vinylheads relish the sort of distortion that sends objectivists running toward the returns counter, but that doesn’t mean that they want their systems to sound bad. No, they want all the pops, clicks, and crackles of a record plus the high fidelity of an audiophile system. You may think that that sort of thing would be impossible to achieve on a budget, but guess again. The Schiit Mani Phono Preamp is a jewel of an addition to any phono system for only $129.
We’ve compiled reviews from across the web for your reference. What you’ll find here are the TLDR versions of the full reviews (which you can access with the provided links). We’ll continue updating this compendium as reviews come in. \
From Audio Science Review's review of the Schiit Mani Phono Preamp, first published on July 11th, 2019:
“The Schiit Mani seems to be competently designed. I find no clear flaws in it. For sure, it sets a lower target then the Cambridge Duo and gets there. If you can save up US $299, my strong recommendation is for the Duo but otherwise the Mani does the job for a budget phono stage.
“I am going to put the Schiit Mani on my recommended list.”
From The Absolute Sound's review of the Schiit Mani Phono Preamp, first published on September 18th, 2018:
“I was more than happy with the Mani overall. It handled whatever I threw at it with grace and toe-tapping fun, which is pretty much what I want out of any audio component. The Mani is a simple little box with solid flexibility, so there’s room for tinkering and experimentation if that’s your thing. It’s a good sound at a fantastic price, and I couldn’t recommend it more.”
From Devoted to Vinyl's review of the Schiit Mani Phono Preamp, first published on May 17th, 2018:
“Overall, I really think the Schiit Mani is a great little phono preamp. It provides very good sound, adjustable gain settings, and a nice, small build that will only cost you $129.
“But, because of the signal interference issue I ran into (and was unable to ever fix, mind you), and the fact that other customers seem to have run into this problem too, I would say that the Schiit Mani is a truly fantastic option if you get a unit that never suffers from RF signal interference.
“If you happen to get a unit that does suffer from this problem, you just might end up kicking yourself because you just didn’t spend a bit more money and invest in a phono preamp without a history of this nagging issue.”
From The Audiophile Man's review of the Schiit Mani Phono Preamp, first published on February 3rd, 2016:
“Despite the glaring power light that threatens to burn any passing retina (a piece of tape should be used to cover the offending article), this compact and easy to use phono amp offers good value for money and excellent sound quality, for the price. Also, the Q Acoustics speaker test shows that there is plenty of good music to be squeezed from the Mani which bodes well for its inclusion as part of a system targeted for future upgrades.”
From Headphone Guru's review of the Schiit Mani Phono Preamp, first published on April 9th, 2019:
“By keeping the parts count low and the signal path short, Schiit has created a minor masterpiece in the Mani that should thrill any newcomer and satisfy most of us for decades until our wealth exceeds some pretty wild dreams. This is not to say that you will experience the same outstanding results I have.
“After all, I plugged it into a rig that costs well into five figures in a well-designed dedicated listening room that I’ve honed over eighteen years. On the other hand, my son-in-law will be starting out in his basement rec room with an Onkyo home-theater receiver, a couple of decent, but not high-end speakers, a 1981 Sony direct drive turntable with a cartridge that costs less than a hundred bucks and some decent home-made cables. I expect he will be thrilled to have access to vinyl, but more importantly, beyond that, if he chooses to pursue High End audio, the Schiit Mani will likely be the very last component he will have to upgrade, if ever. Most likely, you’re somewhere between these two extremes and for $129 the Schiit Mani is a real gift to yourself. Enjoy your music!”
From CNET's review of the Schiit Mani Phono Preamp, first published on November 1st, 2014:
“To test my theory about LPs sounding better than CDs or high-resolution digital I compared Bob Dylan's "Oh Mercy" SACD (on my Oppo BDP-105 Blu-ray player) with my original, 25-year-old LP on the Pioneer turntable. The SACD sounded smaller, Dylan and the band were less present, and Tony Hall's nimble basslines were less nimble on the SACD. The LP had more weight, more gravitas, and the sound was more enveloping on LP. Dylan's scratchy vocals had a bit more body on the LP. So anyone hoping high-resolution formats will totally knock out LPs is dreaming; with a great turntable analog is fully competitive and possibly better than high-resolution digital. Other digital vs. LP auditions didn't alter my opinions about the virtues of 2014 vinyl playback.”
Editor’s note: Emphases ours.