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Schiit Loki review

smedhavi

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Feb 6, 2007
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I just bought a Schiit Loki equalizer to explore if it could be useful in taming some harsh recordings (like Saregama downloads). I have a Behringer FBQ1502 Ultragraph PRO equalizer that I do not want in the signal path in this case.

Loki does its job well in terms of controlling the frequencies in a subtle way. It works better than the 15/31 channel equalizers in terms of usage as well as distortion. The bypass mode is perfect.

One problem that I am struggling with is a loud hum. I have very sensitive speakers so Loki is almost useless for me unless I find a way out. Plugging into different power sources has not solved the issue. It uses AC power so I cannot try a different power supply. The hum goes off completely in the bypass mode, so it is not related to any other part of my system. Will explore a bit more. Suggestions welcome, in case anyone has similar experience with Schiit products.

Regards,
Sharad Medhavi
 
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sound_cycle

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Jan 12, 2014
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Hi

I'm sure you've already considered the 50 vs 60 Hz issue (applicable if you are running a 110V/60Hz version off 230V/50Hz power) or an issue with ground. I had my Vidar humming which I sorted out by running a set of wires from a MCB that was not involved in sending power to my audio equipment. I have this notion that SMPS like in my UPS / PC etc are electrical noise inducing and that was why I tried out this solution. Ask @drkrack about his solution to eliminating a Vidar hum.

Hearsay from reviews only ,no experience I've read about these iFi devices which claim to eliminate ground loops and hum and also tell if your polarity is right (yes, with ac). Was about $100 a pop and I dithered and eventually did not pick them up

ciao
gr
 

drkrack

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Aug 29, 2016
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Hyderabad
I had a issue with Vidar Hum, it wasn't constant but intermittent. Just loud enough to bother you during interludes of silence between songs. When audio was playing, it wasn't clearly audible, but was there. Putting a hand over the chassis used to reduce it to certain extent.
Remedial measures
Firstly I Activated crossfading between the songs 'no silence no hum', and googled almost every issue connected with Vidar!

1. 60hz -50hz wasn't relevant for my Vidar, because I bought it in UK, which is same 50hz as ours. Schiit seems to have fixed it with my series of Vidar.
2. Vidar uses El Core transformer, which though run silent ( when compared to torroidal) for audiophiles satisfaction, but are more affected by quality of AC supply easily. DC offset, poor grounding issues (the classical ground loop issues), LED lamps / TV in the same line as the humming amp etc were the usual suspects from internet research.
3. My apartment being relatively new, and none of my other electronics like AVR SR 7010 being affected, I was using a Furman power conditioner as well so I was reluctant to consider the AC line or ground could be faulty. A friendly FM lent few premium power cable from Shunyata, pangea and DH Labs. Both Shunyata and Pangea reduced the hum instantly apart from improving the SQ in a subtle but discernable way. That's when I realized that I was relying too much on the abilities of our building electrician and AC line needs to be checked.
4. I hired independent electrician for this purpose because the regular one wasn't accepting the possibility of AC line issues. I decided to upgrade the wiring to my HT room from 2.5sqmm to 4sqmm ones used for Air conditioners etc. Plus added routing 5kva Stabilizer for HT room connection.
5. The connection from Mains to ground was faulty and the electrician fixed it. But in the process there was a surge and he smoked my TV in living room. The surge burnt the surge protector as well. The router power adapter,set-top box damaged. Luckily my HT room was switched off and none of the devices were harmed, it'd have been a nightmare otherwise. He changed the Mains to HT wire to 4sqmm ones.

The difference was pretty obvious, Vidar hasn't hummed after that, almost a week now. The difference between stock vs premium power cable is almost insignificant now, waiting for a Stabilizer to be delivered.
So check Mains, draw a dedicated 4sqmm line to your HT devices, add a Stabilizer if possible, these worked for me.
 

tuff

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Joined
Oct 26, 2014
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I just bought a Schiit Loki equalizer to explore if it could be useful in taming some harsh recordings (like Saregama downloads). I have a Behringer FBQ1502 Ultragraph PRO equalizer that I do not want in the signal path in this case.

Loki does its job well in terms of controlling the frequencies in a subtle way. It works better than the 15/31 channel equalizers in terms of usage as well as distortion. The bypass mode is perfect.

One problem that I am struggling with is a loud hum. I have very sensitive speakers so Loki is almost useless for me unless I find a way out. Plugging into different power sources has not solved the issue. It uses AC power so I cannot try a different power supply. The hum goes off completely in the bypass mode, so it is not related to any other part of my system. Will explore a bit more. Suggestions welcome, in case anyone has similar experience with Schiit products.

Regards,
Sharad Medhavi
So did you get the problem fixed?
 

smedhavi

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 6, 2007
Messages
759
Points
63
Location
Bangalore
So did you get the problem fixed?
Moved the Loki before the preamp, that made the hum inaudible. The hum is at a constant volume, so attenuating the signal by about 80% (what the pre-amp is doing as its normal job) solves the problem. The catch is that this way I can use it for just one source. So I added an extra Schiit SYS as a switch. The digital source goes through all the Schiit, while the analog goes to the tube preamp directly. In fact my Phono pre has two switchable line outs. One goes to the Schiit SYS too, but hardly ever gets used.

Just wanted to reiterate, that the best feature in the Loki is the perfectly transparent bypass switch. Use it only when you need it, and some recordings do need a cut in the upper-mids. This is an easier way to do it, than using the 15x2 band pro-equalizer that I do have.

Thanks,
Sharad Medhavi
 

jls001

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Feb 9, 2010
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Since your target is downloads, why not try EQ plugin in foobar2000?
 

smedhavi

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 6, 2007
Messages
759
Points
63
Location
Bangalore
Since your target is downloads, why not try EQ plugin in foobar2000?
There is no PC involved in this system. as mentioned in my signature, I have volumio running on Raspberry Pi3 which feeds the Pro-Ject DAC Box S FL (R2R ladder Non-oversampling filterless DAC) through Allo Digione. I tried digital equalizer plugins for volumio, but they do affect sound quality.
I use foorbar with equalizer on my headphone setup while working on my desktop processing pictures (I am also into professional photography).
 
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