Chord Mojo 2

Discussion in 'Digital: DACs, USB converters, decrapifiers' started by EagleWings, May 2, 2022.

  1. Cellist88

    Cellist88 Friend

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    @limesoft if you had to recommend the ifi gryphon or the mojo 2, which one would you lean towards? Both seem to be at the same respective price point.
     
  2. limesoft

    limesoft Friend

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    There are a few gotchas before I can make a recommendation.

    The Mojo 2 really needs an excellent digital source as it's very sensitive there. Plug it directly into a computer usb and it'll sound digital, fatiguing and confused. Even with ifi iusb and m2tech hiface 2 decrapifiers it doesn't quite reach where it can go, but it's much better. Using sd card + Chord Poly maximises the performance better than any source - no clue why, but it sounds very impressive - it's completely controlled, zero grain, no digitus, stratospheric resolution with accurate sound projection to a level where it can transport you inside the music, with a feeling of sitting in a live studio room. However you are at double the price of the Gryphon now, but no doubt it's a superior sound able to blow your socks off every time you listen (also if you're ok with the Chord sound as it has that but not as much as the Qutest).

    if say the Gryphon is a very solid 8 sound quality wise.

    Mojo 2 + Poly = 9.5
    Decrapifier + Mojo 2 = 8.5
    PC/Phone + Mojo 2 = 7

    The Gryphon is much more resistant to crappy sources as it has excellent digital section, reclocking everything from bluetooth to spdif signals and sanitising the crap out of it. It is very impressive in that sense.

    When playing them both out of excellent sources, they are both very competitive and provide an impressive high fidelity: grain free, dynamic, smooth and delicate. The Mojo 2 is more dynamic, kicks harder and has a more brawny and accurate start/stop to every note, but the in contrast the Gryphon has more liquid, organic and vivid mids, that can wash over you like fresh summer breeze - almost R2R like, the bass is more fluffy, and overall it sounds wet/liquidy focusing on musicality and pleasure as opposed to complete accuracy. The treble on both is accurate, clean and refined. Another more of a flavor difference is that Gryphon can sound at times too safe, but over long listening session your realise it's delicate and resolving, and prefers to impress with subtlety.

    To throw few more spanners in the work

    * Do you want to use bluetooth a fair bit? If yes, get the Gryphon, it decarpifies the bluetooth signal LDAC/APTX/AAC to such an extent it sounds very close to wired - it's the best sounding bluetooth source I've heard. The Mojo's Poly has bluetooth but it sounds like trash.

    * Fancy a very transparent digital EQ and have a good digital source - Mojo 2. Gryphon only has bass boost.

    * Want a swiss army knife amp/dac/bluetooth device that can also be center piece to your headphone rig - you have a vinyl rig and want to use the Gryphon as headamp? you can.. Gryphon

    * Want to push the boundaries of sound quality in portable devices (arguably the best, bettering even Chords more costly dacs) and cost is not an issue? Get the Poly + Mojo (and deal with some of the Poly's idiosyncrasies)
     
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  3. Clemmaster

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    I second the Mojo2 + Poly recommendation. It really sounds “right” and one feels like they’re part of the performance.
    The local playback with SD card puts you right there with the band, it’s really a cool sensation. Roon mode is also very good, but it loses that last bit of realism the SD card playback has.
    DLNA streaming is a step below Roon and Airplay is a noticeable step below that, too. Haven’t tried Bluetooth.
     
  4. limesoft

    limesoft Friend

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    Indeed - sd card + poly is like taking performance/concentration substance; everything snaps into focus, and one is transported to the middle of the performance, it really is a serious desktop level performance. I wish DLNA had the same effect, it's good but knowing what can be had in SD card mode it's difficult to settle.

    Bluetooth only supports SBC, it's a big impact on performance.
     
  5. Clemmaster

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    After living with Roon for years, it is hard to go back to something like 8player Pro in iOS to control Poly’s local playback. I need to update my music folder with artist pictures and most album covers…
    Anybody knows a good software to do this automatically from an online database?
     
  6. SoupRKnowva

    SoupRKnowva Official SBAF South Korean Ambassador

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    Based on my experience with other Chord dacs, I would hazard a guess that using optical into the Mojo 2 would yield excellent results as well.
     
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  7. limesoft

    limesoft Friend

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    optical is quite good (with decrapifier) but still not as good as Poly
     
  8. shotgunshane

    shotgunshane Floridian Falcon

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    So Poly passes audio to Mojo via usb? Looks like the optical connector is just a dummy connector for stability of physical connection in pictures?
     
  9. limesoft

    limesoft Friend

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    Yes
     
  10. goodvibes

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    Mojo sounds amazing on battery or good linear supply off my iBasso DX240 coax out. If performance suffers with some sources, it's either revealing the limitation of interface or power supply used. I think anytime a switching supply is used it sounds a bit less good and I'm not fond of any dac hooked up to a PC vs a really good spdif source. I find the poly very good and informative but the DX240 as source via coax is actually more natural and just as detailed (more textured). Other sources like a Naim Uniti Core dig out really let you hear what it is. I bypass the internal battery with a silmic 200uf 16v capacitor.

    All IMO of course.:)
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2022
  11. EagleWings

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    Both Wavelight and Bifrost2 showed a noticeable step up in performance with my Allo USBridge Signature, over my MacBook Pro and iPhone XR. Mojo2 on the other hand, showed may be a marginal improvement.

    But going optical in from the Audiobyte Hydra Z into the Mojo2 resulted in a considerable boost in performance.

    The other 2 aspects I found to be holding the Mojo2 back were the internal digital attenuation and the output stage. Adding a good amp and using a good volume attenuator were 2 other hacks that helped get more out of the device.
     
  12. limesoft

    limesoft Friend

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    in relation to spdif - it’s good with nice sources, but poly just does something where it turns up everything to 11, it’s essentially changed how I always perceived the Mojo in the past: a hyped Chord product. The poly converted it into it’s worth the hype, and pound for pound the best sounding source that one can get in this size factor, plus happy to outcompete many large desktop systems in similar price.

    The attenuation is not digital - at least not in the traditional sense where bits are lost or dithering is used. I haven’t noticed any problems with the attenuation, it’s very linear and doesn’t sound strained when louder nor is it noisy or lacking in dynamics when low volume, but it might be that the amplification you use on top of the mojo is more to your liking for whatever reason.
     
  13. limesoft

    limesoft Friend

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    Only when it turns itself on in desktop mode - I can’t recall the steps needed for it to do that. I can’t recall if I noticed large difference when using my iifi usb micro for clean power, perhaps it sounded a little larger. I did notice an improvement with the ifi Gryphon I think.. or maybe not.. haha
     
  14. EagleWings

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    I definitely see Chord DACs in a new light after my recent discoveries. And I am definitely curious to try out a Poly.

    As for the attenuation on the Mojo2, no matter how we view it, it is still digital attenuation. I have no qualms against digital attenuation. I’d take a good digital attenuation over most of the potentiometers. In this day and age, I wish all DACs came with good digital attenuation, so that I can bid my farewell to potentiometers once and for all. But in the case of the Mojo2 (as well as the Hugo2), the extent of loss in detail, depth and dynamics are worse than the loss in detail and transparency with the Apls RK27 and TKD 601 potentiometers. And when I used Wavelight’s onboard resistor-ladder attenuator, the sins of Mojo2’s attenuation were even more apparent.
     
  15. limesoft

    limesoft Friend

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    Its digitally controlled volume control, not digital attenuation on the signal itself - there’s no loss to the signal, at least no more (and likely less) compared to a fully analog potentiometer volume control or resistor ladder. There might be something else at play for you, but I notice no difference at all if it’s low or high volume, in fact it’s more consistent than a lot of other sources, even RME ADI 2 which changes its sig a bit when it goes into high gain.

    Maybe I misunderstood - perhaps it is fully digital with dithering ? I can’t find any documentation to clarify this. Even so - properly implemented digital control can be transparent, my Genelec 8330 actives use pwm amps with digital dithered volume control which keeps all bits intact and is fully transparent.
     
  16. EagleWings

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    Mojo2 uses a more advanced digital attenuation than the mainstream digital attenuation. But this is not an argument about digital vs analog attenuation. No form of attenuation is without compromises and neither is Chord's. It comes down to choosing the one with least compromises. In my experience, Mojo2's and Hugo2's attenuation seem to have more compromises than even the common, decent quality potentiometers.
     
  17. Ash1412

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    It's arguable that in PWM, the bits are never intact since the data gets converted into pulses, unless we're talking DSD. Personally speaking, the Sony S-Master variant of 1-bit pulse modulation, which adjusts the supply voltage (the 1 level in a bitstream) to alter volume, sounds pretty much similar throughout the volume range, but the entire sound signature is already pretty reinterpreted.
     
  18. goodvibes

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    They do sound a touch better fixed out. Fortunately, they're starting from a very good place so the losses aren't troubling.
     
  19. HeyWaj10

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    Been struggling to find reference to the coax digital cables reviewers/people are using with their Mojo 2. I'm settling in on buying the Mojo 2 to slot in between my Pioneer DV-47AI (as a CD transport) and Lyr 3, so I would be using the SPDIF Coax connection out of my Pioneer. The Mojo 2 has the mini 3.5mm input, but it seems really difficult to find coax cables with that termination. Does anyone have links to quality cables to fit this need?
     
  20. sheldaze

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    Moon Audio in North Carolina makes custom digital cables that work with Chord Mojo and Hugo.
     

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