Schiit Loki Mini+ EQ Review and Measurements

Discussion in 'Headphone Amplifiers and Combo (DAC/Amp) Units' started by Marvey, Jul 7, 2021.

  1. rhythmdevils

    rhythmdevils Best SBAF member of all time

    Staff Member Friend
    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2020
    Likes Received:
    5,007
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Bay Area
    • Like / Agree Like / Agree x 2
    • List
  2. dBel84

    dBel84 Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2015
    Likes Received:
    2,441
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Just curious if this can do SE to balanced conversion too?
    .. dB
     
    • Like / Agree Like / Agree x 3
    • List
  3. Storytime

    Storytime Rando

    Contributor
    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2015
    Likes Received:
    20
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    I actually just emailed Schiit about doing this in the opposite direction (Balanced in, SE out), and they said it would work. Here’s their reply:

    “Yes you can use Lokius' balanced inputs and still use the RCA single-ended outputs. It will work in bypass mode. Nope it will not cause any degradation. And you would flip the switch to balanced (top position) when using a balanced input.”

    They responded to my email ([email protected]) in about 15 minutes, maybe less, so you might want to contact them directly.

    This is almost a no-brainer for me, as my digital chain is currently Yggdrasil (balanced out) --> Jensen transformer (SE out) --> Loki Mini+ --> ZDS (SE in). If I sell off my Jensen transformer and Loki Mini+, the Lokius pays for itself.

    The only question for me is whether the Jensen transformer goes from Balanced to SE more cleanly than the Lokius, and, if it does, whether this is offset by the improved sound quality of the Lokius vs. the Loki (discussed by Jason on the Head Fi thread). As the ZDS has multiple SE ins, it might be worth ordering a Lokius and A/B testing the two chains—if the chain with the Jensen is noticeably better, I can just return the Lokius.

    Along with the possibility of improved sound quality, the multiple inputs and ability to go Balanced to SE is actually one of the main selling points of the Lokius for me. Currently, I have to unplug my turntable outs and plug in my Yggdrasil outs every time I want to change sources to my Mini. Honestly, I'm not sure that the extra two bands on the Lokius are that much of a draw for me. I might actually prefer four knobs rather than six. Adjusting four bands is fun, but six might present so many options that it leads to endless tweaking rather than just enjoying the music.
     
  4. Marvey

    Marvey Super Friend

    Staff Member Friend BWC
    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2021
    Likes Received:
    1,671
    Trophy Points:
    93
    I don't see how that is possible in bypass mode. I can see it working by just taking one side of the differential signal, but then we would not be getting the benefits of balanced.
     
  5. Storytime

    Storytime Rando

    Contributor
    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2015
    Likes Received:
    20
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    Hmm. But it would still work in active mode, yes? Of course, that would mean I'd need to reset all six knobs to neutral (12:00) every time I wanted to remove the EQ, and then put them all back to where they were when I wanted to bring the EQ back. This might still be doable if I use the Loki as an "always on" way to EQ my main headphones. I'll probably wait till the real-world reviews start coming in anyway, but this throws another variable in the mix.
     
  6. edd

    edd Facebook Friend

    Contributor
    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2015
    Likes Received:
    206
    Trophy Points:
    33
    Location:
    california
    Jason posted this on Head-Fi earlier today:
    "Lokius will convert SE to balanced if it is in the "Process" position. If it's in Bypass, it's bypassed, no conversion going on. Jotunheim 2 and Magnius will also happily convert SE to balanced, among others (Freya+, Freya S, Ragnarok, Ragnarok 2, Mjolnir 2, etc)."
     
    • Like / Agree Like / Agree x 2
    • List
  7. Pogo

    Pogo Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2018
    Likes Received:
    646
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    SoFla
    Lokious,sweet,bout time. I said over a year ago that the mid size series needed this and now here it is. Next up should be a CD transport.
    Some folks are ganna have a big learning curve with using their ears for EQ since they've not had the ability in their listening experience thus far. But it's ok guys,cheaper and more effective than tube rolling and cable swapping. Thank you Jason.
     
    • Like / Agree Like / Agree x 2
    • List
  8. Cspirou

    Cspirou They call me Sparky

    Friend
    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2015
    Likes Received:
    6,455
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Northwest France
    Lol at the stack! Reminds me of those portable smartphone + dac + amp stacks the Japanese do for train travel. Or from ALO audio components
     
  9. wenbinbin2010

    wenbinbin2010 Rando

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2020
    Likes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Location:
    Columbus, OH
    Would very interested to read your findings! I am in the same boat using a Jensen transformer to output my DAC's XLR out into my Studio Jr RCA in, and I also bought a Lokius having read about this ability to convert signals.
     
  10. Grattle

    Grattle Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2017
    Likes Received:
    394
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    USA
    I'm calling out bullshit and Schiit Schilling for this thread to come so close to the Lokius being released. Looks suspiciously like "priming the pump".
     
    • Respectively Disagree Respectively Disagree x 2
    • Miss Information Miss Information x 2
    • Dislike / Shitpost Dislike / Shitpost x 1
    • List
  11. Marvey

    Marvey Super Friend

    Staff Member Friend BWC
    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2021
    Likes Received:
    1,671
    Trophy Points:
    93
    TBH, I had no idea Lokius was going to be out so soon. I knew - I think we all knew - from Jason's HF blog, that a bigger EQ was going to come out. It's was just a matter of when. I've known in my experience, that anything "to be released" by Schiit could be anywhere from three months to four years. No, I don't have access to product release schedules. Heck, I didn't even know that there was a Jotunheim A until today! I'm just not the curious type, I'm not nosey, I don't gossip, I focus on my work, and what needs to be done in the present. This may be hard for you to believe; but there is a reason why many people on SBAF confide things, some very personal, with me.

    I only found out about the Lokius when a box of PCBs arrived. And then I was like "oh shit". My main concern was actually people buying the Loki when they would have bought the Lokius instead.

    The only reason I even did this review was because I was prompted in the original OG Loki thread here on July 1: https://www.superbestaudiofriends.o...schiit-loki-eq-measurements.5153/#post-352376

    Now that Lokius is out, I will review it tonight, or at least get measurements.

    P.S.

    Feel free to ignore my review and buy an EQ from another manufacturer. Maybe Topping will come out with one made with opamps that measures 123db SINAD :D

    My relationship with Schiit and Jason (who I consider a good friend) has been well disclosed. Shilling would require me to not disclose and hide this information.
     
    • Like / Agree Like / Agree x 12
    • List
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2021
  12. Grattle

    Grattle Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2017
    Likes Received:
    394
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    USA
    I have no problems with your review, and I enjoyed reading it. The timing struck me as odd after seeing the Lokius being released. I have no issues with Schiit or any of their products.

    Edit: clarification
     
  13. Marvey

    Marvey Super Friend

    Staff Member Friend BWC
    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2021
    Likes Received:
    1,671
    Trophy Points:
    93
    From my point of view - the timing isn't odd, but rather sucks. Had I known the Lokius would have come out a week or so after this review, I would not have posted out of concern of screwing over people who would have wanted the Lokius instead, or Schiit who may have had to handle some returns from people wanting to return Loki in order to get Lokius.
     
    • Like / Agree Like / Agree x 2
    • List
  14. Storytime

    Storytime Rando

    Contributor
    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2015
    Likes Received:
    20
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    When you review, would it be possible to compare the Lokius as a balanced-to-SE converter vs. a high-quality transformer (e.g., Jensen PC-2XR)? If not, no big deal.
     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2021
  15. Grattle

    Grattle Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2017
    Likes Received:
    394
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    USA
    Apologies for my shit-head post about schilling. I should read and listen more and post much less. I appreciate your calm level headed reply to my dumb ass.
     
    • Like / Agree Like / Agree x 4
    • List
  16. Marvey

    Marvey Super Friend

    Staff Member Friend BWC
    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2021
    Likes Received:
    1,671
    Trophy Points:
    93
    I tried this last night. The Cinemag CMLI-15 and especially the CMLI-600 (this is harder to drive and needs a DAC with a beefy output stage) are more transparent than using the Lokius as a balanced to SE converter. The sound is a bit different. The Lokius delineates a strong outline to sounds (not edge or sharpness) and actually expands the stage a little bit (this seems to happen frequently when there is a passive LC component between active parts, e.g. phonostages). However, the consequence to this stronger outline is that we lose gradations of volume levels and space. The microdetail and especially microdynamics take a hit. This is with me using my uber custom EC amp. I'd say if you are using a DNA, EC, or ECP amp - yes you will notice.
     
    • Like / Agree Like / Agree x 7
    • List
  17. dBel84

    dBel84 Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2015
    Likes Received:
    2,441
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Listening to the loaner Loki mini+ , been having a lot of fun while supposedly working ( fortunately easy reading ) and listening to music. I love the ease of the bypass switch as it allows for very quick subtraction of changes. I love the ability to tweak just a little and even though I am 100% content with my nearfield set up, I can tweak with certain genres to improve the experience. Definitely gets a thumbs up from me, I am not sure it will replace the Dirac bass management I have in my main rig - it is very cumbersome to swap this in and out of that set up ( hence the testing with nearfield ) but it is good enough that I will pick up the Lokius and give that a decent run . It will make a welcome addition to my desk set up if it doesn't end up staying in the main system.
     
    • Like / Agree Like / Agree x 4
    • List
  18. Storytime

    Storytime Rando

    Contributor
    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2015
    Likes Received:
    20
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    Thanks. Looks like I might be sticking with the Mini+, then. I'll wait for reviews to see if there is a sound benefit of the Lokius other than the additional two bands.
     
    • Like / Agree Like / Agree x 1
    • List
  19. Taverius

    Taverius Smells like sausages

    Friend
    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2017
    Likes Received:
    2,944
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Rapallo, Italy
    I registered for stock alert for Lokius on the EU distro, and I'll just drop it in over my OG Loki and keep using the trafos until Maxi comes out.

    Figured if I was going to pay for a new one I might as well get 2 extra bands - it'll help once I move to the 2ch.
     
  20. AllanMarcus

    AllanMarcus Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2015
    Likes Received:
    2,506
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Los Alamos, NM
    Home Page:
    Man, I wish Schiit would add a crossfeed option to Loki line. I would upgrade my Loki right away for a good crossfeed.
     
    • Like / Agree Like / Agree x 2
    • List

Share This Page