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Schiit Skoll Balanced Phono Stage Review

Rate this phono stage:

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 5 3.8%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 9 6.9%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 73 55.7%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 44 33.6%

  • Total voters
    131

ban25

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Hello,

I have the Skoll, and I sent my original back for replacement as the left channel had a "buzzing" type noise that was clearly audible when you put your ear up to the midrange and tweeter. This did not present itself on the right channel. The replacment Schiit sent was better, but the same problem. I have 2 other phono stages on hand, a MoFI Studio and a Rega Fono, neither of these have the noise in the same system, using the same equipment.

I've also swapped cables, check the same RCA inputs using other gear, tried plugging in to different outlets etc.... When I swap the L and R RCA's coming out of the Skoll into my preamp (Schiit Kara) the noise switches sides. Again, this is only with my ear up by the speaker, less than a foot.

I guess my question is, did you hear anything like this when you tested? I'm baffled, and I seem to have isolated this to the Skoll, both units I've had.

Any input welcomed!

Thanks,

Chris Rud
Are you using RCAs on both input and output? Have you attached the ground cable from your TT to the Skoll to your amp?
 

Rudguy66

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Are you using RCAs on both input and output? Have you attached the ground cable from your TT to the Skoll to your amp?
Yes RCA's in and out. Although I did try some XLR's on the output and the same problem. The TT is grounded to the Skoll as well.
 

DesertHawk

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Can someone explain the low frequency filter reading. Sxhiit's website says
"Select LF filter: choose no LF filter, or engage the 2-pole/15 Hz passive network"

Amir's testing looks, to me, like the filter kicks in at 200hz and is pretty aggressive. Amir does say "I like having high pass filter but like to see it not eat into audible band so much with sharper response" but the chart, to me, seems way more concerning than Amir's description.

Am I over reading how much bass you losing with the filter?
 

DesertHawk

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No, if you read back over this entire thread and look for the word "filter" you will see most agree it seemed like an odd design choice.
Thanks. I'll search "filter". It was hard to navigate all the comments on beers and cheers :D
 

Beav80

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Nov 6, 2023
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Hello,

I have the Skoll, and I sent my original back for replacement as the left channel had a "buzzing" type noise that was clearly audible when you put your ear up to the midrange and tweeter. This did not present itself on the right channel. The replacment Schiit sent was better, but the same problem. I have 2 other phono stages on hand, a MoFI Studio and a Rega Fono, neither of these have the noise in the same system, using the same equipment.

I've also swapped cables, check the same RCA inputs using other gear, tried plugging in to different outlets etc.... When I swap the L and R RCA's coming out of the Skoll into my preamp (Schiit Kara) the noise switches sides. Again, this is only with my ear up by the speaker, less than a foot.

I guess my question is, did you hear anything like this when you tested? I'm baffled, and I seem to have isolated this to the Skoll, both units I've had.

Any input welcomed!

Thanks,

Chris Rud
I had the exact same problem! Left channel buzz. I was able to hear it from my listening chair between songs and during quiet parts. No buzz at all with the Schiit Mani 2.
I sent my unit back for an exchange. Hopefully they've figured out the issue by now. Thanks for posting. This gives me reassurance that it's not a problem with something else in my system.
 

DSJR

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The posters with the buzz - you don't use Rega decks/arms do you? Please no more Rega bashing, but I remember a pal had a Mani mk1 for a while and no way no how did his Rega 3 deck and RB303 arm get on with it. Rega in their cost effective (!) wisdom connect the tonearm structure to one of the signal returns. Most phono stages don't seem to care, but one or tweo just don't like it.

If the above doesn't apply, my apologies. Grado cartridges seem rather oddly wired too, with strange faults if not connected properly or a wiring fault from tonearm to phono stage develops but I can't explain how or why :facepalm:
 

Beav80

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The posters with the buzz - you don't use Rega decks/arms do you? Please no more Rega bashing, but I remember a pal had a Mani mk1 for a while and no way no how did his Rega 3 deck and RB303 arm get on with it. Rega in their cost effective (!) wisdom connect the tonearm structure to one of the signal returns. Most phono stages don't seem to care, but one or tweo just don't like it.

If the above doesn't apply, my apologies. Grado cartridges seem rather oddly wired too, with strange faults if not connected properly or a wiring fault from tonearm to phono stage develops but I can't explain how or why :facepalm:
No Rega here. I'm running a VPI Scout 1.1 w/ Nagaoka mp-500 and Cambridge Audio CXA61 through a pair of CSS Audio Criton 1td-x speakers.
 

fwroberts

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Oct 1, 2023
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Thanks to everyone who posted comments about the Skoll vs Mani 2… especially the buzzing issue with the Skoll.

I imagine there are others who, like me, purchased the Mani 2 a month or so before the Skoll was announced. If you have traded in the Mani 2 for the Skoll, please share more thoughts about the benefits,
 
Last edited:

Beav80

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My replacement Skoll just arrived today and has the same problem.. Left channel is buzzing. What the heck is going on here? I'm considering just returning for a refund and sticking with the Mani 2.
 
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DesertHawk

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My replacement Skoll just arrived today and has the same problem.. Left channel is buzzing. What the heck is going on here? I'm considering just returning for a refund and sticking with the Mani 2.
Well, that's concerning.
 

Digital1955

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My replacement Skoll just arrived today and has the same problem.. Left channel is buzzing. What the heck is going on here? I'm considering just returning for a refund and sticking with the Mani 2.

Have you tried it on somebody's else system? Another turntable or location? Maybe you can feed it from a soundcard and back into line inputs on the same soundcard and see if you have that problem in that channel. Just because the mani is "fine" doesn't make the skoll at fault.
 

fwroberts

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Just because the mani is "fine" doesn't make the skoll at fault.
am I misunderstanding something?

I think Beav80 said that with one phono stage (the skoll) there was a buzz in the left channel and replacing it with a different phono stage (the Mani 2) the buzz went away. If everything else in the system is the same same, doesn’t that mean it is the Skoll?
 

dzerig

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It's evidence of a direction to inspect, but far from conclusory. Don't be so easily convinced by one or two pieces of evidence that a conclusion may be drawn.

I notice that with my MC cartridge the ground lines ADDS noise! Odd, so I just leave it off. Stage is quiet enough that I don't hear any noise from it under the surface noise/tape hiss from the master reels.

One note: I don't hear any benefit/lack thereof from the subsonic filer so far with standard classic rock. Maybe a small change in output, nothing that affects hearing the music.
 

mike70

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It's evidence of a direction to inspect, but far from conclusory. Don't be so easily convinced by one or two pieces of evidence that a conclusion may be drawn.

I notice that with my MC cartridge the ground lines ADDS noise! Odd, so I just leave it off. Stage is quiet enough that I don't hear any noise from it under the surface noise/tape hiss from the master reels.

One note: I don't hear any benefit/lack thereof from the subsonic filer so far with standard classic rock. Maybe a small change in output, nothing that affects hearing the music.

In all my years listening to vinyl I only needed some kind of bass attenuation at the lowest octave with warped records. With records in good shape and the right cartridge / tonearm compliance ... so far so good.

I have a minidsp Flex and I apply that "filter" with DSP in a much better way, when I needed.
I'm thinking to get the skoll preamp to have the balanced outputs, the subsonic filter is totally worthless to me.
 

dzerig

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In all my years listening to vinyl I only needed some kind of bass attenuation at the lowest octave with warped records. With records in good shape and the right cartridge / tonearm compliance ... so far so good.

I have a minidsp Flex and I apply that "filter" with DSP in a much better way, when I needed.
I'm thinking to get the skoll preamp to have the balanced outputs, the subsonic filter is totally worthless to me.
I just look at the woofers. If they are moving too much, filter in. I just assume distortion is higher as a result of the woofer movement. Probably I could tune my arm/cartridge better, but I always break the damn wires, so I gave up on it.
 

Thomas_A

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I have no problems with woofer pumping. First fundamental resonance of arm/cartridge is 11 Hz, I have a damper brush on, I have the two subs in mono mode below 100 Hz.
 
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ban25

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I just look at the woofers. If they are moving too much, filter in. I just assume distortion is higher as a result of the woofer movement. Probably I could tune my arm/cartridge better, but I always break the damn wires, so I gave up on it.
I have a few LPs like that, unfortunately. Playing them on my main system with the MC PRO pre-amp, I have no issues whatsoever. But on my 2nd table, with just the Rotel A14 phono pre-amp, I get serious woofer pumping -- enough to worry me at higher SPLs.
 

dzerig

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I'm thinking of one of those metal rings as my turntable would have room for it, expensive but seems like it'd be a HUGE benefit. Maybe Amir could reach out to a manufacturer and test one!
 

Jim Hagerman

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Left channel is buzzing. What the heck is going on here?

I am wondering if the left channel (internally) is closer to the AC input rectified to DC section on the circuit board. If so, there may not be much you can do about it. One thing to try - add a grounded metal shield between power supply and input relays. That could possibly reduce coupling.

skoll.jpg
 
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