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The worst part of this DAC & amp is you do not enjoy music without it, anymore. Get ready and purchase a daily carry-around bag for yourself. Stacking is not comfortable enough due to the odd shape and the weight of the unit. And the chances you get RF interference is pretty high when you carry it together with your phone.
Its not a Dac Amp combo like other DACs its an FPGA(thousands of times more powerful than an asic dac chip far bigger piece of silicon on a much higher frequency lithography)(with far higher tap filter count for the FIR filter 52,000 at half speed compared to the Hugo so effectively 26,000 Chord Hugo speed FIR filter(average asic dac has taps in the 100s ranges at most) taps this DAC essentially interpolates the data missing between the sampling rate of the source track 44.1 or 48khz most of the time it can accept much higher sampling rates but often you will never listen at those input rates and I believe(never seen Rob Watts actually say this) that it upsamples everything to 768khz output sampling rate with all the missing sampling gaps filled with interpolated FIR filter magic(its not perfect but oh does it sound clean its slightly digital but its a clean super fast kind of digital youve never heard before) with a PULSE ARRAY there is no amp all that comes out of the FPGA is digital information and the actual analog sound is created within the PULSE ARRAY. This engineering topology is far cleaner, faster, with fewer wires(board traces) and components coloring the sound(only 2or 3) maybe one cap in the signal path or just outside of it(sorry I studied this over a year and half ago) so it is impossible for an AMP or typical asic dac to sound as clean as THIS FPGA + PULSE ARRAY. THE REAL TEST IS LISTENING TO A PIANO TRACK ON SAY AN IDSD(COMPARABLE PRICE CLASS AND PORTABILITY) VS THE CHORD MOJO ANY ASIC DAC BUR BROWN, WOLFSON, AKM, ESS SABRE THE PIANO WILL SOUND LIKE A MUDDY SHITSTAIN COMPARED TO THE MOJO WHICH WILL RENDER EACH HARMONIC SEPERATELY FROM THE THE OTHERS AND THE PIANO WILL HAVE "0" MUD.
That said it does have drawbacks it really only powers portables and IEMS properly, It will not drive the bass on larger full size headphones correctly and will sound anemic and bright. Also because of the Pulse array if you try to amplify it with an amp THE AMP WILL TOTALLY MUD THE SOUND AND THE MAGIC WILL BE GONE. THUS REALLY ITS ONLY GOOD FOR PORTABLES AND IEMS DIRECTLY OUT OF THE CHORD MOJO UNIT ALSO THE CHORD MOJO RUNS HOT(NOT SUPER HOT BUT IT WILL HAVE U THINKING IT WILL SHORTEN THE LIFE OF YOUR MSRP $600 BABY SO........) AND SEEING AS IT IS EXPENSIVE WHEN I RUN IT ON MY PC DESKTOP I STAND IT ONTOP OF AN UPSIDE DOWN AIR COOLER WITH THE MOJO ON THE BLOCK AND THEN I TURN THE FAN TO RUN CONTINUOUSLY TO KEEP THE MOJO COOL AT ALL TIMES I USED A COOLIT PELT DRINK COOLER AT FIRST BUT THIS IS TOO MUCH AND COULD CAUSE CONDENSATION INSIDE THE UNIT LEADING TO WATER DAMAGE AND SHORTS(NEVER PUT THE ALUMINUM MOJO ON METAL IT WILL GROUND OUT THE MOJO ALUMINUM CASE AND SHUT OFF THE UNIT PUT A LAYER OF TAPE BETWEEN IT AND OTHER METAL COMPONENTS). ALSO I FIND ANY SETTING OF VOLUME ABOVE BLUE BLUE(UNLESS ITS A HIGH POWER HEADPHONE BUT THOSE WILL BE CURRENT STARVED LIKELY AND BETTER ON OTHER DACS AND AMPS IT WILL PLAY AND SOUND GOOD AND CLEAR BUT IT WILL LACK LOW END GRUNT FILL) STARTS TO DISTORT THE OUTPUT WHICH IS ALSO SUPPOSEDLY 3V LINE LEVEL OUT.
Also, this DAC is the GOD of ATTACK. The initial transient "cracks" "the steep sound pulse wave voltage jumps" are faster and harder on this DAC than anything you have heard before not necessarily harsh or sibilant but it will take getting used to and on some tracks it will jump out at you. The first time I listened to it I loaded up some fast pumping EDM and the transients were so fast(Im a gamer and I know speed) that it took a couple hours for my audio perception transmission to get used to this. It sounded as if someone sprayed a water hose of snow into my ear as my auditory/mental drivetrain got used to the incredible attack and transients and speed of the sounds jumping off the headphones from this DAC(THE PULSE ARRAY). It was like the instant the transient snowflake hit my eardrum it evaporated before my brain could register it fully like everything I was listening to I was realizing later reflecting back on it in hindsight as as I heard the snow(like an old tv with no channel) it evaporated many picoseconds before it registered in my mind and the EDM kept pumping them at me. Sadly this effect wore off in a couple hours... maybe it was some kind of electronic breakin but I doubt it. I got the distinct impression the error was somewhere in my nervous system or my mind.
Oh yeah I forgot learn how to isolate your gear if your 5v on your USB is dirty the Mojo will pick it up or a dirty phone or other cpu type device. You can use a usb data hub with a wallwart 5v or 12v power barrel connector for the cheap way or get something like a Monster IEC receptacle power cleaner and plug a usb charger into it. What I did with my iDSD which doesnt have a seperate USB port for charging like the Mojo is I made a custom cable that not only connects the 5v power to the pc(which it needs for connection recognition) but also seperate wires to a lumsing 3A(all others are 2A anker, aukey, etc etc lumsing is the first one I seen claim 3A and it feels heavy and full of components) 5V usb charger port(the 6 port 60w ones these may have been discontinued but I bought 4 of them for 6 bucks each still lumsing is the only usb charger to buy because of the price to power ratio). Only downside is when I turn the pc off the usb charger 5v still powers the mobo leds and likely some components but its not usually a problem if some kind of boot problem develops then i disconect the iDSD from the usb charger to let the mobo fully power down then turn on and it works fine. No the usb charger never gets hot like the mobo is trying to pull too much power or anything............
REALLY IF YOU ARE JUST GETTING INTO AUDIO I WOULD SUGGEST YOU GET A NICE HIGH END BOX STORE RECEIVER LIKE YAMAHA AVENTAGE(PEOPLE TELL ME ONKYO IS THE BEST BUT I DONT KNOW YET) ON DEEP CLEARANCE DISCOUNT(U MISSED THAT SEASON THIS YEAR AS IT JUST ENDED SPRING TO SUMMER AND IT HAPPENS EVERY YEAR CAUSE ALWAYS NEW MODELS). EVEN THE HEADPHONE OUT IS GOOD ENOUGH TO DRIVE MOST BASS FULL SIZE HEADPHONES VERSUS A DAC(THE QUALITY MAY NOT BE AS CLEAN AS A MOJO OR CHORD BUT THE TONALITY AND BASS EMPHASIS WILL BE GOOD ENOUGH AND JUST RIGHT WHERE THE CHORD WILL HAVE HIGHER QUALITY OF THE SPECTRA THAT DOESNT MEAN THE TONALITY IS AS CORRECT(OR MAYBE ITS TOO CORRECT AND REVEALING AND NOT AS FUN OR FUN/NATURAL). ALSO HIGH END SPEAKERS EVEN THE LOWER END LINES LIKE KEF AND SVS ULTRA SOUND GREAT COMPARED TO ALL HEADPHONES AND HAVE MORE BASS AND KICK SURE MAYBE THE HIGHS ARENT AS GOOD AS HEADPHONES BUT THAT BASS KICK AND REALLY GOOD HIGHS FILLING THE WHOLE ROOM WILL PLEASE YOU MORE THAN ANY HEADPHONE EVER COULD(COMPARED TO EVEN MY KEF Q SERIES ALL HEADPHONES SOUND LIKE ALL HIGHS ANEMIC BRIGHT SHITSTAIN COMPARED TO GOOD SPEAKERS WHY LISTEN TO GOOD MUSIC, OR EDM VIA HEADPHONES WHEN YOU CAN GET THE ROOM STOMPING HUGE SOUND OF A NICE SET OF SPEAKERS). GET A GOOD CHEAP SUB ON DEAL FOR 1-200 LIKE THE JAMO 112 OR A CHEAP KLIPSCH SUB(GET THE HIGHGER END LINE 1XX SUB ON DEAL LIKE THE JAMO YES JAMO IS ALSO A KLIPSCH MADE AND BOUGHT OUT BY KLIPSCH NOW NO KLIPSCH SUBS ARENT GREAT THEY ARE JUST REALLY CHEAP IF YOU WANT CHEAP) UNTIL YOU CAN AFFORD SOMETHING NICE AND TIGHT LIKE AN SVS ETC NO NEED TO GO OVER 12 INCHES AND REALLY FOR MUSIC YOU WANT A TIGHT DEEP(CHECK SPECS) FAST 10" SUB WITH DECENT POWER(YOU PROBABLY WONT TURN THE SUB UP PAST THE VERY LOWEST AMPLIFICATION SETTINGS MAKE SURE TO DIAL IN THE DISTANCE ON THE RECIEVER TO MATCH THE MAIN KICKS AND DIAL THE BASS IN JUST RIGHT(ISOLATE THE SUB FROM THE FLOOR WITH ISOLTION FEET)(AND THE MAINS) TO MAKE THE BASS LESS DIRECTIONAL AND KEEP IT AWAY FROM OBJECTS THAT WILL BE EFFECTED BY THE BASS PUNCHES.
People get into headphones thinking its cheaper and maybe it used to be but not anymore. Really these days to get a good headphone that will get owned by speakers like KEF your going to have to at least go 700 bucks for an LCD-2(or STAX L300 L500 plus an energizer(electrostatic amp) then your at 1000+ territory again unless u scrub for a deal(now there is only one stax importer and they sell on amazon so no more deals like in the past really tho u want the L700 on the new electrostat matrix tech which is superior which is 1200+- then an energizer up to its level of quality another 1000 or more or build your own KGSSHV which has at least 400 in parts plus a lot of work and board hunting). For that you could have got KEF Q100 and Q300 bookshelfs then run them in 5 channel stereo and been far happier than LCD-2 plus a good dac amp like the iDSD Black Label or something better your looking at 1100 for that you could get a 7.2 2 zone Onkyo or Yamaha Aventage Receiver on deal and have a couple hundred bucks left over for wires(chinese OCC silver plated copper you wont even get close to spending all that extra 100 either or go even cheaper copper wires and get a cheap Jamo or Klipsch 1XX sub for 200 bucks) and be FAR happier than your LCD-2 or iDSD combo or HD800 etc etc etc trust me. I think its now cheaper to go speakers(HiFi Low end speakers bookshelves or even some towers like the Jamos that were on deal recently or lower end Cantons(these will blow all that ELAC Unifi, ELAC B6, Pioneer, Klipsch, JBL Studio 530 crap out of the water) first then get into high end headphones because those are really the good headphones(700$+) but they are now more expensive than good speakers........... and in the end less satisfying.......... not that good headphones dont have their place but if all you got are headphones and no decent speakers your wasting your life.
I got my Mojo for near this price(430$ US from Amazon Deutschland) from Amazon 2 Christmass's ago so if you want to hear DAC clean god for cheap this is your only option but now they have upsold me becuase the Mojo is limited and now I want a Hugo 2 and those are 2,000 dollars. Also Rob Watts states he likes all his gear flat so I doubt he will ever engineer an EQ into the FPGA topology which is a damn shame because some headphones sound just right with a little EQ. I think its a bit of short sidedness on Chord's part because really they are more home stereo guys than they are headphone equipment manufacturers(yeah you can EQ from the source but those EQs are often shit and the Mojo will interpolate it but I have a feeling that if the FPGA had the EQ built in it would have a whole'other level of cleanliness never experienced before). Tho with all the exposure they've gotten on Head-Fi that is likely changing..........
You are using a far better kind of weed !
Exactly what I was going to say
Ugg Mojo plus AKG K701 thats called punishment not audio bliss. You must be a treblehead which is also indicated by your selection of Rupert Neve. Ive read about that amp but the type of guys that usually know about that are older(from treblehead time periods). Im no basshead but I'm not a guy that likes all highs either. Cmon even those amps mud the clarity compared to the Mojo directly..... stop lying......
Thats pretty standard for my MassDrop posts(on the shorter side) been awhile since I typed on here and decided to just go all out it wasnt so much to correct Turkay as to explain what this really is because I didnt see the proper explanation throughout the entire discussion. I drank some coffee but I think that was after I typed this and I havent had a drop of alcohol or anything else in years.
Well I havent heard it with RNHP but every amp I have MUDs the clarity significantly which limits its use to on ears and iems overall(yeah you can run the Mojo through other amps but its not really that ultra clear Mojo sound afterwards which is the whole point of getting Chord) it lacks in low end and high end(likely other dac/amps over emphasize presence region on purpose for sparkle which gets old) but not detail that is something nothing comes close to it in. Still I just like to tell the truth that this item is not GOD, it has limitations, but if you want an introduction to what GOD sounds like there is no other cheaper way to do it. I see a lot of praise of RNHP on clarity, detail, but not grunt or low end(the more I explore I think the most intoxicating and elusive audio quality to obtain is twangy accurate bass) plus monitoring isnt generally fun to listen to even most of the best composers, mixers have 2 sets of speakers monitors for mixing and the fun speakers they actually enjoy. RNHP is probably one of those monitor products thats maybe not so fun. Grado, AKG, Utopia.... ur a treblehead. Ray Samuelson gear is known for low end but likely its more the punchy low end than the deep and rumbly low end. Huh yeah I kind of forgot about RNHP and got entranced by Audio-GD NFB-1 Amp but the RNHP is only 500 too and likely superior. RNHP is the superior option right not the Samuelson............
Just found this on Head-Fi
The more amplifiers I listen to, the more I realize the only way to tell (for myself) what a headphone will sound like is to plug it into my own equipment. While I like the clarify of the RNHP though my HD650, I do find it to be a little bass light, relative to other amplifiers I use. And I do not find the clarity to be an advantage relative to my Moon NEO 230HAD. I am not suggesting the Moon is competitive, at three times the cost. But it still provides more bass without any loss of clarity. The Grace Design m9xx, at the same cost as the RNHP, also provides (to my ears) a more standard level of bass through the HD650.
My perception of bass quantity through the RNHP is my only complaint - this is an excellent amplifier.
Yeap superior quality, detail, lacking bass and likely fullness just like the Mojo. Mojo is just your sound signature and so is RNHP. I need to hear an RNHP sounds like nothing touches it amp wise is ultimate quality of the spectra but is the tone full maybe, maybe not..........
This is interesting the Wall Wart with the RNHP is weak and upgrading it improves bass. Sure is funny how lite the thread on Head-Fi is of this amp and how only old guys know about RNHP.
I got a 24V Meanwell SMPS, GST25A24, 1000mA output, instead of 400mA with the supplied one.
Better dynamics and bass.
No noise that I can hear, but not using IEM's, Hifiman Edition X.
No problems yet after 3 days of listening
How can tubes have more accuracy in the upper end than solid state? Seems like reading about RNHP again that tubes cant even come close to its level of clarity. Tubes can be more dynamic but clarity I think not..........
Or maybe that PSU is a no go damn............
just registered to reply this thread, i've also tried this meanwell power supply, this ps have better dynamic, more detail, as well as the sound stage seems wider in first impression, but after some more time to compare with the stock ps, i found the stock ps have more balanced overall sound: the meanwell ps compress the sound stage's depth, and most important, the sound became something uncomfortable, with stock ps, i can listen to music all day; with the meanwell ps, i got tried after a short period of time.
now the meanwell have been abandoned for a long time, imo, i strongly recommended the stock ps if it doesn't produce any nosie or you don't want to pay much more money on ps(like $300 or more), i do belive they have carefully chosen the stock ps for a overall balanced sound instead of some partial performance enhancement within the given cost.
Oh oh reversed again looks like its back on I wouldnt be researching this if RNHP reading wasnt giving the impression it could amplify Mojo GOD clarity its probably still MUD but its probably the least MUD which would be a feat...........
After using the Meanwell PS for awhile now. I agree with Joshua Chang's assessment of it being a bit more difficult to listen to than the stock PS. However, the better dynamics and detail made it still the PS of choice for me.
Now just added a ifi DCpurifier and the problems of non-musicality and balance have disappeared. Back are the smoothness and musicality of the stock PS with now even better detail and imaging. It is a very engaging, involving sound.
Found it on Mouser Electronics.
Meanwell GST25A24 1000ma output
That is not at all correct, Hugo2 has EQ options.
Well it was correct until Hugo 2 and most people still dont have that one. And yes everything Rob Watts has said IS HE LIKES HIS GEAR COMPLETELY FLAT NO EQ HE DID SO SAY THAT AND EVERYTHING I SAY IS TOTAL PRECISION SO YOU ARE WRONG.
CMON AUDIOPHILES LETS PLAY WHOS GOD RICHBOYS LOL I OFFENDED SOME MOMMY CC BOYS.
AND NO THOSE ROLLOFF FILTERS DONT COUNT GOOD TRY MOMMY CC BOY. THATS NOT AN EQ THATS A ROLLOFF FILTER. AT FIRST THEY WERE CALLING THOSE FILTERS DAVE, HUGO 2, OLD HUGO AND MOJO SOMETHING LIKE THAT BUT NOW IN THE FINAL CONSUMER LITERATURE ITS CHANGED TO THIS.
https://chordelectronics.co.uk/product/hugo-2/ CHECK MANUAL
Filters (Digital):Incisive neutral (Ultimate reference) (White)Incisive neutral HF roll-off (High Frequency roll off) (Green)Warm (‘Smooth’) (Orange)Warmer HF roll-off (High Frequency roll off) (Red)
YOU GUYS JUST LOVE TO TELL ME IM WRONG CAUSE IM PERFECTLY RIGHT ON EVERYTHING.
LIKELY THOSE FILTERS HAVE MORE TO DO WITH THE INTERNAL FPGA SPECS AND THE TIMING OF THE SOUND(TO GIVE A FULLER SOUND THAN HUGO FOR INSTANCE LIKE MOJO) AND BESIDES ROLLOFF HAVE LITTLE TO DO WITH THE SPECTRA OF THE SOUND OR REGULATING LEVELS OF THE SPECTRA.
THE FACT THO THAT THOSE FIXED FILTERS EXIST THO LETS ME KNOW THAT WITH MAYBE A COPROCESSOR AND SOME MEMORY THAT A VARIABLE EQ WITH A DISPLAY IS DEFINITELY POSSIBLE WITHIN THE FPGA MATRIX FOR SUPER CLEAN EQING. LIKE SOME REALTIME FIRMWARE EDITING. I WANTED TO STUDY XLINIX FIRMWARE BUT IVE BEEN SO BUSY FOR THE LAST YEAR.
https://www.head-fi.org/threads/chord-electronics-hugo-2-the-official-thread.831345/page-13 ALLOT OF THESE ARE CONDENSED HERE FROM OTHER THREADS AND GUIDES
https://www.head-fi.org/threads/chord-hugo.702787/page-123#post_10459450 HERE IS WHY ITS A PULSE ARRAY AND NOT AN AMP. DONT WORRY IM GONNA FIND THE ONE WHERE HE SAYS MY GEAR IS FLAT IF YOU DONT LIKE IT DONT BUY MY GEAR.
Fine you gonna make me post the proofs?
FOUND IT.... ANYTHING THAT ARTIFICIALLY COLORS SOUND INCLUDING EQ AND PRESENCE REGION BOOSTS
So I am approaching designing of Hi-fi from the POV of accepting that there are enormous differences between conventional Hi-Fi and real music, and that I want my equipment to be as transparent as possible. Now some peoples idea of transparency is to use distortion to artificially enhance the sound, and this is a real problem with listening tests - a superficially brighter sound, giving the impression of better detail resolution, is often distortion. So a real challenge is defining what true transparency is. My definition, is to latch onto the idea of variations - if a modification makes the sound more variable, then its more expressive, and hence more transparent, even if it sounds, in tonal balance, darker or smoother and superficially less impressive. Now, if you think that your Hi-Fi sounds better than live acoustic music - then fine, we will agree to disagree. You are looking for a sculpted sound, not a truly transparent one, and I would strongly advise never to buy equipment designed by myself, as I am striving for equipment with no added sound.
As far as I have understood, we have two couple of `option` filters: 256FS FIR ones (white/green) and 16FS IIR ones (red/orange).
What is still remaining unclear in my mind is where are they acting or applied in the chain WTA1->Crossfeed IIR->WTA2->Lin.Interpolation 2048FS->LPF->LPF->Noise Shaping?
I mean if we apply 16FS options is WTA2 (16FS to 256FS) bypassed ?
Regards.That's it exactly. The linear interpolation is either 256FS>2048FS (white/green) or 16Fs>2048FS (orange/red). To complete the picture, the HF filter on (green or red) is set by changing each of the low pass filter (LPF) time constant from 0.7 uS (227 kHz) to 2.8 uS (57 kHz).
HUH HAVING TO GO THROUGH ALL HIS POSTS THATS EXACTLY HOW THE FILTERS WORK A SIMPLE LOW PASS FILTER IS NOT REALLY A FULL EQUALIZER.
Rob's FAVORITE SETTING
OK. My understanding was that the white vs green made no difference in 44.1k or maybe even 48k. But it trimmed off some hf noise in 88.2 and 96 and above. Same with the orange vs red. Maybe @Rob Watts might say who's correct? I'm not concerned about the orange/red choices, as I bought the H2 to sound its best.
Not picking an arguement; it's just what I understand from all the info.For 99.9% of the time I just run with green. But I guess if my HP were way too bright then it would for sure be red...
This is interesting on Hugo 2 taps.
Just to clarify - Hugo WTA filters were in two stages, WTA 1 which went from 44.1 (1FS) to 352.8 kHz (8FS) and was 26,368 taps. Then WTA 2 took you from 352.8 kHz (8FS) to 705.6 kHz (16FS).
With Hugo 2 on the other hand, I have a much more powerful FPGA, so I can do more processing to get one closer to the original signal in the ADC before it was sampled. And with Hugo 2 WTA 1 took you right away to 16FS, so it went from 1FS to 16FS in a single WTA filter; and this is 49,152 taps. Then WTA 2 is quite a complex filter, with 6 DSP cores alone, and takes you from 16 FS to 256 FS, so now the WTA output is every 88 nS. When you switch from orange/red to white/green, then you are engaging this filter.
So Hugo to Hugo 2 is a very different and much more advanced WTA filter topology.
SEE HEAD-FI IS CHANGING HIS MIND ABOUT EQ JUST AS I WAS STATING FOR HEADPHONES YOU NEED EQ SPEAKERS NOT SO MUCH.......
Actually, EQ is something I plan to investigate post digital power amps - if I can get some subjective benefit from it. I have designed bi-quad DSP's before.
Rob Watt's states it right here Mojo is more mid centric....... hmmm exactly as I described........
MAYBE I CANT SEARCH HIS OLD POSTS ANYMORE CAUSE HEAD-FI HAS A LIMIT BUT HERES A POST FROM EARLY THIS YEAR WHERE HES STILL KIND OF SAYING HE DOESNT GIVE A SHIT ABOUT EQ BUT PEOPLE ARE STARTING TO WEAR ON HIM.
SEE HE ADMITS HERE THEY HAD NAMES LIKE I DESCRIBE ABOVE HE DIRECTLY MENTIONS THE MOJO FILTER
The filter options are simply a way of fine tuning the overall balance of the sound - and the term Mojo filter does not mean that Hugo 2 will sound like a Mojo - it just means that one has selected a 16FS WTA like Mojo (the actual implementation of the filter is better than Mojo with more taps), and so the character of the sound (i.e. smooth or soft) is a little bit like Mojo on a superficial tonal balance. You still have massive improvements in depth, detail resolution, refinement and instrument separation as these are due to lots of other things - notably the better noise shaper and 10e pulse array DAC and the second order analogue noise shaper amplifier and other refinements.
On the other side of the coin, selecting the 256FS WTA filter does not mean Hugo 2 sounds exactly like a Dave - it just has a tonal balance that is now similar to Dave, that is more incisive quality.
Hope this clarifies...
WHY DSD SUCKS ON CHORD GEAR I KNEW THIS JUST BY LISTENING AND COMPARING TO IDSD BUT HERES A TECHNICAL EXPLANATION
White to green (256FS filter HF filter on) is not a big change, but it certainly sounds warmer. DSD 256 benefits more than DSD 64, exactly like PCM.
The problem with DSD is that my DAC's expose the problems of DSD - the biggest being that a DSD noise shaper has timing errors that are amplitude related (and not sampling related like PCM). With DSD, a very large transient (say fully negative to fully positive) will immediately change the bitstream output, so no delay. But a small amplitude transient will take much longer, as the signal won't get initially thru the quantizers, so the noise shapers integrators will take time to build up the error; this then means the transient is delayed. I have seen this on simulation - and the timing errors can be tens of microseconds. Given that one needs a timing accuracy of tens of nS, not uS, this is one of DSD's Achilles' heels. And like sampling related timing errors, it makes the leading edges sound soft - so you get an unnaturally warm and soft sound with DSD. So adding extra warmth, even though its technically more accurate, may not be the best thing to do. Nonetheless, I just leave it set to green, as DSD is a tiny percentage of the music I enjoy listening too.
YEAP IT UPSAMPLES EVERYTHING TO 768khz he says this in allot of his posts............
700 Hz 4.5 dB is the blue (Max) setting. Green is Chu Moy's 700 Hz 6dB and red is Jan Meier's 650 Hz 9.5 dB (Min). The IIR DSP is done at 705/768 kHz via two dedicated DSP cores.
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN HUGO AND HUGO 2
Not so easy to answer - Hugo 2 is certainly more incisive than Hugo 1, with a lot more transparency; but it is also fundamentally more refined and smoother too - how these two differing qualities come out will depend upon your music - on some tracks you will notice it sounding much more refined and warm; on other tracks you will hear better speed, more power and impact - that initial crack as a stick hits a wood block is much easier to perceive for example.
Technically, the reasons for the improved warmth is down to lower noise floor modulation and overall lower distortion; the improvement in transparency, notably depth and detail resolution is down to the better noise shaping and internal truncation; and the ability to perceive sharp transients (crack as stick hits wood block) is down to improvements on the WTA, notably running at 256 FS. So in this case the timing uncertainty due to sampling has been reduced, and this allows one to perceive rapidly changing sounds.
LOL ROB WATTS HATES MQA TOO MAN HEAD-FI IS SUCH BUTTLICKERS
I was actually being polite; the MQA interpolation filters against a standard WTA interpolation filter (I compared it using a Mojo) sounds dreadful. MQA is technically flawed, with huge and completely unacceptable levels of aliasing. And it's those two reasons why I refuse to implement it in my designs.
HUGO 1 PULSE ARRAY VS HUGO 2 PULSE ARRAY
DSD filtering is much more advanced, and sounds and measures better too. But even if that wasn't the case, the pulse array DAC is much improved (10 elements from 4 elements), together with the analogue sections (second order analogue noise shaper output, digital DC servo). Hugo 1 > Hugo 2 is frankly a complete re-design - I have learnt a lot in the past 3 years, and that knowledge went into Hugo 2.
Everything I said was exactly perfect and all well researched. You guys dont realize who you are talking to.
Okay so in one sentence do you recommend or not recommend the Chord Mojo sold here by Massdrop? One sentence please...
Yes I recommened it especially at this price so you can hear the best dac youve ever heard(since most people have never heard a hugo, or a dave, or a blu mkII m scaler(highest quality from chord)) but dont expect it to drive big headphones with low end grunt bassy full sound like other dac/amps in this price category really its for portable on ears and iems. Some portables will have full sounding bass but many power hungry full size headphones yeah you will get a hint of bass but other things like iDSD BLACK LABEL(DONT GET THE OLD SILVER ONE GET THE NEW BLACK ONE HAS BLACK PAINT) for 380$(keeps going on deal at Adorama every other month now so just check Slickdeals for the deal) while less precise and less laser like sounding because its not a PULSE ARRAY LIKE CHORD PRODUCTS will sound more full have a fuller low end(not basshead just thick and juicy). Thats about the shortest way to sum it up the Chord Mojo is the god of its form factor its undeniable and yes it will power full size headphones to loud volume its just the sound will not be full on the lower end, that is its major limitaion and yes it is a limitation, but you will never hear a clearer sound out of any other dac than with this one it also has the ability to improve lower quality source material like mp3, but of course truly shines with higher source material(it even makes mp3 listenable on unforgiving headphones like BeyerDynamic T90s but still doesnt clean it up completely so it doesnt make every unforgiving headphone of low bitrate suddenly forgiving but it gets close). Every other Dac on the market besides Chords will play back piano like blurry muddy shit. The only DAC on the market that can play it back clearly hearing each key harmonic seperately is a Chord DAC period except maybe an expensive R2R TotalDAC or something like that which is not portable and super expensive. A chord FPGA DAC is like the audio version of a GPU it has multiple cores heres what Chords Rob Watts(FPGA Genius) said:
Mojo actually upsamples and filters everything to 2048 FS (eventually getting to 104 MHz) and it does this in two stages. Firstly upsamples to 16 FS via the WTA filter, then there is a second filter that then takes you to 2048 FS.
Its the upsampling to 16FS where the clever stuff happens - that's where the 44 dsp cores are used - and this process is orders of magnitude more advanced than what a PC can do. So what we are talking here is not the need to upsample, but how well that upsampling is done. So if you want the best sound quality, let Mojo have the original file and let it do the upsampling.
To take your video example when you are upscaling to 1080p from 720p. Would you prefer to have it done crudely and very simply, or done with the best video processing possible?
I think FS is samples per Frame and this somehow translates into raw sampling numbers like 44.khz notice up there he says the mojo upsamples to 104mhz. I know these 45 cores are like in the 100-200 mhz range each which is not exactly like a CPU mhz either because FPGA works in a very different way and has various slowdowns based on how each FPGA unit is routed which is all totally configurable and depends on the firmware code you implement the circuit that is derived.
So FPGA DACs are like GPUs OF AUDIO with 45 cores(trying to track down the speed of the cores its an https://www.xilinx.com/support/documentation/selection-guides/cost-optimized-product-selection-guide.pdf#A7 Xlinix Arctix-7 XC7A15T http://blog-imgs-89.fc2.com/f/i/x/fixerhpa/DSC_60482.jpg doing AUDIO SHIT(here is basically what its doing):
WTA1->Crossfeed IIR->WTA2->Lin.Interpolation 2048FS->LPF->LPF->Noise Shaping (Actually this is a Hugo 2 topology so with Mojo maybe no WTA2)(Not sure about crossfeed either still back in the Mojo release thread(Head-Fi wont let me see Rob Watts comments that far back likely no one would have been able to put that together(Rob isnt gonna directly tell you that but he confirmed it when someone else got it right) in the mojo days but now that people have read allot of Robs comments they are learning in the Hugo 2 thread and figured out the basic block diagram of what the FPGA is doing so likely crossfeed is another Hugo 2 element not a Mojo element).
Each one of these functions likely would take multiple pages to fully explain. But they are propreitary and if you knew the code you could just copy it and buy your own Xlinix chip and then you wouldnt need to pay Chord cause they dont manufacture the FPGA chips I believe Xlinix is american made(likely on a Taiwan or asian fab). https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xilinx YEAP USA Company
(you could write pages on everything its doing just go to Head-Fi and search Rob Watts and go read all his posts on his account profile you cant read before the beginning of 2017 tho which is a shame because all his good posts were in 2015 and 2016) no other Dac has anything close to that kind power and with all the transistors in the whole chip and all those cores FPGA DACs are easily 1000s of Xs more powerful than any other DAC on the market... period... and he uses that extra power to interpolate all input sample rates which is usually 44.1khz PCM to 768khz PCM and it does the math to figure out the dots in the waveform that are missing from the original sample input so its as close to a computer can mathematically compute the original waveform reconstructing it at 768khz PCM so it basically upsamples everything in real time(maybe it upsamples up to 104mhz then back down to 768khz for output to the PULSE ARRAY? I don't exactly know but something in there is correct). Its not a perfect upsample that would be impossible as the original waveform no longer exists but it is as close as you can get with current technology and it sounds very very good and clean. I sounds slightly digital but its a super fast super clean digital sound from the future that you have never heard before.
It is not as good with DSD material as the iDSD that is also another weakness but it is minor since 99.9% of all the stuff you will listen to is like 44.1khz PCM or if you watch movies through it on your PC then maybe 48khz Bluray audio. Then maybe .1% will be your FLAC collection if you have one most of which is 44.1khz CD rips and maybe .01% will be 88.2khz FLAC to PCM or something else more exotic high sampling rate and .001% will be higher PCM or DSD material. So DSD performance doesnt really matter in the big scheme of things other than the fact you have ACCESS to it and the Mojo does do that it just doesnt shine on DSD material, but it is the god of PCM(All file formats on the PC except DSD are converted to PCM before it gets to the DAC the DAC only eats PCM and the Mojo uses DoP which is DSD converted to PCM so really the Mojo only processes PCM the iDSD on the other hand translates native DSD in the DSD Burr Brown Chips most Burr Brown asic DACs the model number of the chip says PCM blah blah numbers because its a PCM DAC chip well they have others that says DSD at the beginning because they process DSD(likely faster decay too so shorter sound sustains(hanging in the air after instrument is played) on tracks) and yes the DSD chips will process PCM too but the iDSD has fast sound decay(short fast fading sustains) so maybe it is better with DSD and not really made for PCM.
Well I did not say Mojo is similar to those other DAC & amps. What I did mean is which is obvious and clear that it does what a DAC & amp combo does. It does the DA conversion and amplification in a way which is far superior to all other traditional mass market cheap DAC chips combined with amp stage in a competitive price range. There is no harm done or loss of value when one calls Mojo a DAC & amp combo. Even it is an FPGA at its core, what it still does is, DA conversion and amplification.
I read this thats why I had to tell people its not an amp this is the guy behind the Chord FPGA DACS, and to explain what it really is. I wasnt picking your thread so much to pick on you as to explain its really a PULSE array with a GOD DAC(Really more a GOD DSP so really the DAC is the GOD DSP(Digital Signal Processing aka the FPGA) + the PULSE ARRAY together = DAC) attached to it.
Robb Watts says:
I have been seeing some comments describing Hugo as excellent DAC with a good headphone amp. Both comments, in my view, are wrong and way off the mark - and seeing these comments are starting to bug me, so I would like to get it off my chest. So forgive me if I am overstepping the mark - commenting on honest posts about a product I have designed, but I thought it might be useful for Head-fi'rs to read my views.
This brings me on to my biggest annoyance - the claim that Hugo's amp is merely good. Firstly, no body can possibly know how good the headphone amp in Hugo is, because there is not a separate headphone stage as such - its integrated into the DAC function directly. You can't remove the sound of the headphone amp from the sound of the DAC, it's one and the same.
So here are my deductions:
So really there is no amp at all, there is a(Really there is a USB Audio Class 2 chip first which converts USB back to PCM then it feeds the) DSP Processor(FPGA with 45 cores doing Audio Shit) and a Pulse Array(where the digital becomes analog) and thats it there is no actual amplification when the Digital is converted to Analog thats also where the power is implemented directly in that very component not afterwards. It's only a DAC(there is no amp) with variable voltage and current output(but he fixed the current output at .5A RMS).
Also another way to put it, while confusing in one way is illuminating in another. The Asic DAC the older DACs house the signal processing and Digital Analog Conversion in a single chip(sorry but I write my posts so the noobest of noobs can understand them and MassDrop is mostly a younger crowd). The Chord FPGA DACs what used to be where the amp was(in the chasis) is now where the actual Digital Analog to Conversion takes place so the PULSE ARRAY is now where the actual DACing takes place so what used to be the place in the chasis where the amp was is now technically the DAC. The Pulse Array does the Conversion into the Voltage level you select with the Volume Marbles so the AMP(but its technically not an amp now because the digital is coded directly into the output voltage not amplified into a weaker signal) and DAC happen within the same PULSE ARRAY(Elements as Rob Watts calls them Im sure they have a different SMT component name but he doesnt tell us that you can probably figure out what they are from the boardshots on gewgle images). And the big FPGA chip which typically would be an asic DAC in the past is now really just Digital Signal Processor(ing) that does all the filter taps FIR filter, and other features to upsample the audio to 768khz in real time with 45 GPU like audio processing cores each with various functions to Rob Watt's algorithm. Or the short way to put it the amp is now the dac and the dac is now just the dsp.
Thank you for your one sentence answer...
On Head-Fi.org, in the forums regarding the Audioquest Dragonfly Red, some say that in a comparative tryout the Red sounds as well as the Mojo for less than half the price (200$ USD vs. 500$ USB typically). Not saying that the Red sounds better or that the Mojo sounds any worse, just that in normal play both sound equally good. This is a subjective call, I know, but both Dacs have something in common: the amp is in the DAC. They use different DAC technologies, I agree, but both are said to sound equally and both have an amp in the digital domain (the Dragonfly Black is different here because it uses a classic analog op amp distinct from the DAC chip). Any thoughts you may have on the matter? Just curious of you opinion...
I dont believe in that subjective BS there is only one reality and Dragonfly is not even in the same Ballpark as Mojo let alone its equal. This is why I don't trust any of those retards on Head-Fi. I was really posting Rob Watts not what some random kiddies on Head-Fi think. Dragonfly is ESS Sabre right the low end one. There is no way it can equal the Chord FPGA it will definitely MUD ON PIANO AND THERE IS NO WAY YOU CAN HEAR EACH KEY SUSTAIN HARMONIC SEPERATELY AND CLEARLY LIKE MOJO CAN. JUST BECAUSE OF THESE DRAGONFLY MOJO COMPARISONS AND THE INSULTING NATURE OF THEM I HAVE DECIDED TO NEVER BUY A DRAGONFLY. YOU ARE NOT THE FIRST ONE ONE GUY SAID SOMETHING SIMILAR TO ME ON IRC RIGHT AFTER I GOT MINE. THAT AND PEOPLE THAT TELL ME DRAGONFLY IS THE END ALL BE ALL OF DACS ARE THE SAME PEOPLE THAT SAY HD598 IS GOD AND THERE IS NO REASON TO BUY SOMETHING BEYOND IT. I AVOID THE DECISIONS MADE BY THOSE KINDS OF PEOPLE. MOJO ISNT MERELY MORE EXPENSIVE INFACT FOR WHAT YOU GET I THINK ITS PRICED LOW. IT HAS ALL THE TECHNOLOGY BEHIND IT SURE IT MAY NOT BE THE MOST TONALLY PLEASING BUT FOR THE PRECISION ALONE IT IS WORTH IT AND TO HAVE A BENCHMARK TO COMPARE OTHER THINGS TO. BUYING PRECISION IS VERY HIT AND MISS ESPECIALLY WITH HEADPHONES WHICH IS A REALM WHERE BUYING FOR PRECISION MIGHT BE AVOIDED. BUYING PRECISE HEADPHONES CAN GET YOU SIBILANCE, EAR STABBING, AND LACK OF BASS WHICH TENDS TO BE A LET DOWN. IN SPEAKERS ITS DIFFERENT MORE PRECISION IN SPEAKERS IS ALWAYS NICER AS LONG AS THE SPEAKERS REPRODUCE DOWN TO SAY 40HZ SO THATS HOW YOU SHOULD LOOK IN HEADPHONES GOOD BASS THEN PRECISION INSTEAD OF JUST PRECISE HEADPHONES(LIKE EVERYONE RECOMMENDING BEYERDYNAMIC OFTEN THEY ARE BASS LIGHT AND MANY PEOPLE ARE NOT PLEASED WITH THEM). WITH DACS ITS DIFFERENT YEAH MOJO MAY BE BASSLIGHT ON BIG CANS BUT ON MEDIUM SIZE ITS ACTUALLY PRETTY GOOD AND THAT LASER PRECISION OF THE PULSE ARRAY AND THE CLEAN GOD DSP OF THE FPGA IF YOU HAVENT HEARD IT REALLY YOU SHOULDNT PASS UP ON THE CHANCE IF ITS A DECENT DISCOUNT. 400 IS A PRETTY PENNY THO AND THE IDSD BLACK LABEL IS 380 AT BUYDIG THIS TIME RIGHT NOW ON SLICKDEALS AND BUYDIG. BUT THE IDSD BLACK LABEL DEAL HAS HAPPENED PROBABLY 8 TIMES THIS YEAR SO ITS PRETTY FREQUENTLY THAT PRICE NOW. THE MOJO DEAL THIS IS THE FIRST TIME ITS BEEN THIS LOW AND ITS LESS FREQUENT ON MASS DROP. IF YOU HAVE THE MONEY GO FOR THE MOJO OR IF YOU HAVE A TON OF MONEY TO BLOW GO GET A HUGO 2. YOU MIGHT BE ABLE TO GET THE MOJO LATER. I DUNNO I JUST BOUGHT A BUNCH OF PORTABLES LIKE FIDELIO L2 CAUSE IT WAS LOWEST EVER AND THOSE TATE AND BAUERS, REALLY FOR ME RIGHT NOW I WANT TO BUY SOME SPEAKERS, COLOGNE, SOME WIRE TO MAKE CABLES, SOME IEMS, A HUGO 2, THATS WHAT IM LOOKING AT FOR THE REST OF THE YEAR, BUT I ALREADY HAVE A MOJO. IT SMOKES MY IDSD BUT MOST HEADPHONE PEOPLE THINK THE IDSD SUCKS. ITS NOT THAT BAD BUT IT CAN BE A BIT SIBILANT ON HEADPHONES PRONE TO IT I THINK IT BOOSTS PRESENCE REGION LIKE ALLOT OF HEADPHONES BOOST SO IT COME OFF DOUBLE BOOSTED AND PIERCING SOMETIMES. THAT ATTACK ON THE MOJO IS THE SAME WAY ITS NOT SIBILANCE BUT THE ATTACK CAN BE SO HARD SOMETIMES IT WILL JUMP YOUR EARDRUM REAL GOOD JUST IN RAW SPEED AND POP PULSING SOME FORCE DOWN UR CANAL FASTER THAN OTHER AMPS AND DACS. IM A LITTLE TIRED TYPING THIS, GONNA TURN ON BOSCH AND PASS OUT. FOUND SOME TWEAKS MADE MY PC FASTER(CHOPPING WIN 10 15063) AND PLAYED CLAPTASTIC VOYAGE BORDERLANDS PRESEQUEL DLC MAN CUTTING OUT ALL THE WIN 10 TELEMETRY AND SPYING REALLY CLEANS THIS OS UP GAMES SO MUCH FASTER AND MPC HC DXVA PIC IS SO COHESIVE NOW.... NO TEARING...... CLEEEAAAANNNNNN.................