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Around January 5th or 6th I stumbled upon the ChiFi explosion(watching noob videos then I found those Auglamour R8 and decided to do some deep research since they got good reviews) thats been building for the last couple years(Ive been busy with other things and really I got in on IEMs early like the Monster Turbine Copper Days before the huge explosion of IEMs(6-8 years ago or something right?) and customs and I bought a few bang for bucks and always put off getting Custom Art Music Ones. I read all those long ChiFi threads on Head-Fi and it looks like these and the shockwaves are the winner(not sure if I would trust the ChiFi 6+ BA CIEMs yet). Hope these are as good as the hype. Oh well this will be the ultimate litmus test if all that reading was a waste of time or not there are a few posts where people say all the ChiFis are crap and buy KEF M200s. If these are good im gonna get Moni, KZ ZST, Somic v4, Senfer 4in1, Hi YZ G3, Tenmak Crazy Cello, been studying those ChiFi cables too and looking at modding my old IEMs with female MMCX connectors.
Damnit now they dropped these NuForce Primo 8s(and now Ive read about them) probably gonna have to pull out of this one(oh well maybe ill ChiFi next time). Anyone heard both?
My reply is too late but I just received the LZ A4 a few hours ago and have the Primo 8 from the drop last year. Without having done much tip-rolling and not even playing with the filters (using the default black cover + blue nozzle), it is to me (for my preferences at least), far better than the Primo 8 in extension (top and bottom) and clarity (separation and detail). Need more experimentation to accurately comment on imaging/soundstage (LZ A4 is better I think but depends a lot on tips I find - also to compare to a reference like HD 650/800...), and to decide on preferred combo of tips+filters (perhaps to make less v-shaped signature). I found that among the many tips I tried that I couldn't get the Primo 8 to have adequate clarity (lower mids/bass have separation issues and treble). The Primo 8's high-end roll-off coupled with emphasis on upper mid/lower treble + general separation/clarity issues also causes a certain harshness with some pieces (e.g. orchestral works or certain vocals). In any case, I would easily choose the LZ A4 over the Primo 8 given the price of the Primo 8 having been the higher of the two when I bought it (and would also probably choose my much older and cheaper Brainwavz B2 over the Primo 8 for the former's detail despite its flaws).
What about detail(not necessarily highs) and quality tho and source and amp were you using? Also how does the Primo 8 respond to EQ and amping? Your Primo 8s were blurry? huh none of the other reviews read like that....
Check out more of the comments on the Primo 8 page and you will see some comments to mention clarity issues as well as the treble roll off and somewhat weak bass. I think part of this for some people might be with the included tips which certainly were a large part of my problem until I found better fitting ones. In my case, even after finding better tips, it is the Primo 8's treble roll off that was my main complaint as it detracts from level of detail and sparkle (e.g. cymbals, upper strings, etc. don't sound right to me) and detracted from imaging too (less air and feels more congested) I thought. This was particularly problematic for complex orchestral works but less problematic for modern pop or etc. which are mastered excessively bright (provided the dynamic range compression doesn't cause problems...). EQ didn't really fix the high end issues to my liking but can probably help. The mids are presented nicely and have sufficient detail though I would prefer less emphasis on upper mids, and perhaps lower could be clearer. The bass is quantity-wise probably less than it should be compared to the mids but EQ works (also tips matter a lot). I think the extension is probably ok but the impact is not the fastest nor most detailed.
I mostly use the Grace Design m9xx or FiiO x5ii for IEMs. I would note that the former does have some noise with Primo 8 and less with LZ-A4 and even less with the B2. The Primo 8 can perform very poorly with some sources like the onboard audio on my desktop / laptop or 3DS as I would guess in the output impedance curves (presumably high and not flat) of these sources don't play well that of the Primo 8 or others with passive crossovers (similar but less extreme results with the LZ A4; but not with high impedance circumaurals). For example, with the 3DS or desktop (though slightly different flaws), the audio decreased in clarity across all frequencies, had bloated+inaccurate bass and much more attenuated high frequencies compared to adding an old FIIO E17 as a buffer amplifier. So short answer is that a decent source is probably necessary or try an amp. Playing with output impedance on the amplifier might be worth trying too.
Yeah I was thinking the Lz A4s were better but really they were only 10 dollars off after shipping I figure I'll just get those in a couple weeks and went with the Primo 8s(Im a internet deal shopper but I didnt pay much attention to MassDrop last year cause I was busy with other things Ive now realized more about this site(also I quit studying iems 6 years ago after I got the ones after the initial explosion so Im missing the intervening years but I just knocked down all of ChiFi in research and now working on filling in what I missed was studying Studied car detailing(and industrial cleaning as I like to call it makes chores around the house allot faster), audio( DACs, amps, headphones), tools, cologne, motorcycles, shoe repair(this one was actually way more useful and interesting than one might think all newer made shoes fall apart relatively quickly Ive studied all the adhesive tech to glue them back stronger than stock never have to worry about taking my shoes off with my feet anymore) for the last 5 years and checking every deal on the deal forums. I think tho the deal forums are slowing down a little bit and it might be more benefit cause MassDrop is starting to hit its stride. Oh well hopefully the Primo 8s arent horrible(kinda got burned a little on the HD-350s they arent bad but they should have been better). I got the mojo for 390 off amazon.de(sorry it ended 2 days after I got it but it was that price for months previous remember this technique often stuff is cheaper on different amazons you have to check them all and often if you are out of country it deletes vat and other taxes and the price becomes much lower). Thank you for complete response pretty much fits what ive been reading oh yeah I found a post where a guy used an earpiece trick to improve the highs(he claims likely youve already seen that).
http://www.head-fi.org/products/nuforce-primo-8/reviews/11187 I found playing with my coppers that its also about volume of air or the path or aiming of the sound as much as it is about a good seal. I think these ports on these are too small they should have made them wider but you might be able to compensate for that with good aiming down the canal and a larger space between the port and your ear canal like one of those tip seals that doesnt stick in the ear as much like with hybrid foam tips(that become hard after you sweat in them) which provides the largest volume chamber and a rock solid seal and in this case "allows the highs to develop?" Regardless its worth a shot also that Primo 8 MMCX cable is a copper silver wire hybrid with some fibonacci cardas like stand tech built in probably would be 60-100 bucks if it was sold by itself. I dunno I have to hear them and see what I think I thought these were widely reviewed as cohesive but yeah ive seen posts on hear complaining..... Man that glow amp is beautiful wish it was for headphones(oh yeah got a darkvoice 336 too partly just to mod it and study tubes I was wondering what if you redid all the point to point with pure silver maybe that might open up the top end.....
The Chord Mojo should definitely offer a better IEM experience - I had read that it was quieter when I purchased m9XX but wasn't expecting noise so obvious with certain IEMs. At some point I will try using a USB battery + USB isolator to see if there is any difference (isolator has fixed my ground loop problems with other DACs). I am quite doubtful your Darkvoice would work well with the IEMs as I assume it's intended for high load impedances (I forgot to mention in last comment but my Matrix M-Stage was the worst source...). As for cabling I might try an experiment doing a swap between the LZ A4 and Primo 8 to see if there is any difference with either... but I am generally skeptical since the complex impedance of copper or silver should be small over a short cable at "low" frequencies... a larger conductor would make more of a difference or using something physically different like coax or twisted pair. Pragmatically, I would point out that the 4-pin connector on the Primo 8 has caused me annoying compatibility issues and the cable tangles more easily than the LZ A4's.
Yes, I did see that review but haven't tried it. I did try other tips with larger bores (think it helped the highs) but in general there were tradeoffs. A pair of tips I obtained recently do work quite a lot better (though bore isn't much bigger than the actual tube) which improved my impressions of the Primo 8. The tube of the Primo 8 is bigger than a lot of IEMs so I don't think that is a problem. For the LZ-A4 I have some large bore tips but prefer the defaults more so far but the dual-flanged are interesting.
I know my previous comments were rather negative regarding the Primo 8 but everything is relative and I apologize if it caused any buyer's remorse - they certainly aren't bad, mostly just not what I wanted. I should mention my original intent around getting the Primo 8 was something mid centric / warm (but still with high end extension but necessarily emphasis) sort of like the tuning to the HD 650 to compliment the B2, but it doesn't really accomplish that for me. I should point out that the Primo 8 is quite comfortable, the mids and smooth presentation can be very nice, and they are not at all fatiguing compared to something like the B2 or HD 800. I have noticed I like them as better at higher volumes and also that once one adapts to the Primo 8's signature it can be very nice - but direct comparisons to V-shaped or even just brighter headphones reveal some of its issues. They are sort of complimentary to the LZ-A4 which seems V-shaped (still haven't tried more than two filter combos) relative to the mid-centric Primo 8.
Silver has higher frequency range it tends to make things sound brighter and those wires are supposed to be pure silver(but not occ chinese cause they are using japanese occ tech now which is superior occ silver is the top wire i noticed mundorf likes to put 1% gold in theirs not sure what that does but pure gold is supposed to give a honeyed sound(just ends up that way) cause its on the lower end of the high conductance metals) They say on 6 moons that all the top amps in the world are tube hybrid digital amps tubes just make the music sing and I like them no its not for the iems but I just bought it 2 weeks ago still hasnt dropped to my door yet obviously. Yeah im thinking about redoing all the point to point with sterling silver craft wire and or OCC silver plated copper single core chassis wire. Usually I stick to my honed deal logic that if you read a bunch of reviews and one is the winner you dont stray from that for another deal that you havent read extensive reviews or is not a shootout winner but the price was so much lower than originally and more balanced armatures and all iems tend to be bass heavy with sparkly treble so I thought a mid centric would be different I also like neutral tunings(not too much bass) because bass is just too easy especially in iems unless its some extremely linear etremely tight bass with extension then I can respect that but if its typical bass bloat I dont care(usually in iems its all bleedy and bloaty now in headphones and speakers thats different). No I dont do buyers remorse Im a dealer if I dont like it I'll just sell it. I'll see when I get it and it will probably be a step up from what I have and because I havent heard the a4 yet. Yeah the m9xx looks interesting wish I could hear one first also I looked at m920 internals but none of the chip labels were in focus and I couldnt find any m9xx naked board shots(you dont happen to know where these are do you?) the m9xx sure is allot smaller than the m920 but it looks good and is supposed to outclass the mojo in crosstalk at high amp but Im Ive never done a listening test between a high and low crosstalk amp. I suppose the m9xx has the crossfeed, better amp, and more ergonomic and faster to use with dial and has a dedicated power barrel. The mojo has noise too and requires a usb cleaner as well the micro iDSD on the other hand does not its build in. I dont think I could find out what dac they used in the m9xx either. I think the ifi power cleaners tested the highest, and there is uptone audio regen and also other power supplies you can add to it but I think the ifi USB 3.0 was the best but its also 399 dollars which is allot for a power cleaner I was seriously considering it before I got the mojo but now I want a Hugo 2 and a power cleaner is now taking a back seat. Then after that Im gonna want a DAVE or DAVE 2 if that is out by then(I noticed studying the FPGAs hes still only using the lower end ones so there is allot of room for new revisions) and god tubes. Chords sound like SSDs if every other dac was an HDD not allot of highs but tons of detail and speed and interpolation it can upscale mp3 better than anything Ive heard and the timing is perfect which is probably its strongest feature other than the filtering and interpolation its ridiculous timing and harmonic seperation. Ever other dac will muddy up piano but not chord. Really allot of reviews dont do it justice the mojo is a bit electronic(but at such a high frequency like youve never heard before it also sound more real than anything else youve heard before which is an odd contradiction) sounding but the Hugo and higher are supposed to sound more natural. Oh yeah the mojo also doesnt have an amp its a pulse array which works differently and sounds much faster and much higher resolution(because there are way less components in the signal path and almost none(one, parallel, a capacitor to increase current) after the signal voltage is established) for output they say that the Chords have over 500x more tap filters and thats just part of the FPGA those FPGAs are crazy powerful now I assume the FPGAs are many thousands times more computational power than regular dac chips. Allot of audio reviewers aren't very good with tech or chips and so they dont dive into these details when reviewing chord they just say it has more detail which is really not the way to review it really its in a whole other league compared to before its existence. Aune uses FPGA Fifo in the S16 but I think thats just one of the many circuits and filters that Rob Watts has coded into the superior Xlinix FPGAs. Infact I want to study FPGA now and lol learn how to flash them.
Am I reading this right to assume you have a huge collection of IEM's at this point? May I ask how many you have? I'm looking to make my first real purchase of high quality IEM's, and have been looking the LZ A4's for a while, I joined this drop, but pulled out when the K7xx drop seemed more appealing, although I didn't join that one either and instead purchased a pair of K712's for cheaper than the K7xx drop, and got them yesterday, and good lord they're amazing, but I digress... I'm probably going to buy the LZ A4's from Penon soon, but reading your comments, I was curious how many IEM's you have, since you seem to be running down the list buying them.
Actually I only have like 6 pairs of IEMs not allot but all of them are over 100 msrp mine are somewhat old now tho. Yeah I was gonna tell you the K712Pros(good eye I sense the deal is strong with this one) are now the better deal take real good care of those pads cause they are 42 each from fullcompass(authorized part dealer, dont buy aftermarket or inferior pads the k7xx have them too but they are a gel infused memory foam i think I know they have gel and thats what holds the bass in and makes them completely superior to Q701 supposedly k7xx has Q701 drivers but the higher end bass pads) or from akg harman kardon directly. No I got IEMs like 6 years ago(then I got into Headphones for awhile but now for me to get much better I have to start buying 500$+ pairs because Ive bought most of the really good cheaper headphones tho there are more of those to get since I check the deal sites I just wait till they pop up for a super low price and snag them these ChiFis tho are at the beginning and since the craze is about to hit better buy them now before the price goes up I already dropped the word ChiFi on the deal site twice now and when they start to figure out what it is and the SD effect hits(SlickDeals effect is where everything sells out in matter of minutes from huge audience) price is likely to go up) right before the big explosion and I looked at Custom Art Music One but I never bought them and I remember I told my friend to get Hifiman RE-262s(he ended up getting 2 pair I wanted him to sell me the other one but he was stingy and wouldnt) which at that time was bang for the buck god. Ive been running in 400 msrp Monster Turbine Coppers(these were the original IEM god at the beginning of the explosion before people found Earsonics SM3) for like 6/ 7 years now almost everyday and even had to resolder them cause the wires broke near the TRS jack from all the bouncing. So Im really experienced with extreme use and fit. Im not like those Head-fiers that get review samples or have endless budgets cause they are IEM dealers and have tried everything. I still think this market is overpriced but the sound quality is really good and the prices are nice(on the bang for buck winners I research out) so I go ahead and blow hundreds on them from time to time when a good bang for the buck comes along the Primo 8 and Lz A4 are definitely that(I read all the thousands of pages of ChiFi threads and Lz A4 and the HCK MusicMaker Shockwave IIIs are the winner at around 200 the shockwaves are 250(I am also one of the ones of the camp that too many BAs can muddy and take detail from the sound and arent worth the extreme price so you want to stick to the ones that are a few BAs or a hybrid like the LZ A4(especially in the ChiFi market cause they are just getting started at this and because Ive seen bad reviews of the high BA models) cause its easier to get things right with less and these have proven that in the shootouts and they are cheaper without breaking the bank those 8BA per CIEMS are probably not worth it but in a very few cases), then the Moni Ones sub 100, other good ones are ones listed at the top of this thread but there are many more than those. The ChiFis are much better bang for the buck than the old(5-6 years ago) european, and american prices but I think overall the european and american ones are higher quality but some of the ChiFis are taking down way beyond their price points in the US/EU market. If you want to see if they are garbage or not buy the LZ A4 and see what you think(I dont have it yet) then you will know if those ChiFi people are talking BS or if its for real the A4 is the litmus test I came here to buy the A4 but then saw the Primo 8 and figured I wouldnt be able to buy that later and the A4 is only 10 bucks off and all i do is shop internet deals so Ive gotten real good at prioritizing how to spend my money(down to a science) hopefully the primo 8s arent bad and I dont have to sell them but that wont be a problem soon anyway cause Im moving into a new place that will be a great backdrop for ebay sale photos. Yeah Im probably going to buy allot of ChiFis because they are cheap and the quality has improved tho they can break more but I doubt with the A4s but if they do my soldering is good enough that I solder crazy stuff now and ill just fix it(hopefully its not a balanced armature tho those probably require a rework station).
Also problem with EU/US CIEM market is prices are high and they are largely static except like Hifiman but those are more lower end bang for the buck and only sales on holidays. Sales and deals are great cause they create a crisis they put a time limit and lower access point that spurs sales thats why MassDrop and Amazon do so well as well as the other US stores like BuyDig, Adorama, B&H Photo (notice these stores have something in common they just understand sales better than other americans and europeans do) so I always look at those crazy CIEM prices and think oh I can just get it later so theres no reason for me to ever buy them LOL. They need to bow down to logic and deals and GIVE ME CHEAPER PRICE I WANT 5 DOLLA!!! cause it tricks me into buying them NAOW!!! As I open package of 4 cheap monster power cleaner outlets I bought 4 dollars each....... I love deals..... Huh through the see through back you can see 2 huge solder blobs and the thickest PCB traces Ive ever seen on a board hopefully these clean the heater hum from the DarkVoice 336SE.
You can try the silver but I am skeptical about claims of large differences between the different materials without concrete measurements. Electrically it is true that a better conductor with a lower resistance and capacitance should act less like a passive low pass filter, but the -3dB frequency would be ~160 kHz for 1 ohm and 1 uF so the argument doesn't really hold since those values are much higher than should be expected. The solder joints and other components of course will add more of both.
One thing to be wary about with reviews is that there is too much hype around certain products that make them look like deals but really are not. For example, as you mentioned, the IEMs with a huge number of drivers are not necessarily better, and IMO are a marketing ploy. I can't see how a 8+ drivers would actually have any benefit unless each driver has a very narrow and flat FR, and even still, the crossover network would need to be very precise & complex too - to do so would likely require a complex active crossover which is intractable for an IEM. One other risk of deals, is that one will ultimately side-grade too much with little progress in overall quality.
I wouldn't bother with the m9xx if I had the Mojo as reviews seemed to say they were about equal if I recall correctly. Others have said the the m9xx is basically like the Schiit Bifrost because of the DAC is the same. So in my case, I plan to just get a better amp at some point, which could improve the SNR independently of any additional filtering if my assumption is correct and it is the m9xx's amp stage introducing much of the noise. FPGAs are not necessarily better but more flexible given that one is programming hardware in HDL rather than creating/using one or more ASICs. Implementing filters is also likely more power efficient in hardware than embedded software. Based on your description of the pulse array, it would require converting PCM to something analogous to DSD which from a high level is not so different from how a Class D amplifier works.
Im fairly certain Xlinix FPGAs are far more powerful than anything from AKM, Burr Brown/Ti, ESS, or any of the others. It definitely sounds far cleaner(actually it encodes poorly DSD to PCM and it is inferior in DSD to the iDSD(and the iDSD was cheaper till I found the deal(I now wish I studied the tech of the mojo before I got the iDSD but at that time I was not willing to spend 600 on a dac/amp but once I had the iDSD found out about the mojo deal then I read deeper and I realized that regular audio reviewers from Headfonia and the like were out of their depth reviewing the computer tech of the mojo(I am pretty much a custom computer builder master and have studied the entire PC hardware market before I got into other markets deal shopping so I think I understand more than audio reviewers as evidenced by the fact they left out(to me) the far more crucial and more alluring technical "hype" features(but with mojo I dont think its hype which some will probably see it that way out of hate jealousy at first)) on the mojo which I got 6 months prior for 375(idsd) but what it outputs I think is 768khz PCM(the mojos output) regardless of the input and it has 500x the tap filters of any other dac and it interpolates with extreme precision the dots inbetween whats in the data and upscales everything to 768khz(that could be wrong but its close no one knows exactly how it works if they tell you they do they are lying Rob Watts gives you some facts but he never answers the questions or lays it out exactly what is going on other than to own all the haters and their possible arguments which he was done fairly well and can already predict all their counter arguments his design philosophy is also perfect and far beyond anything ive even imagined yet cause hes been doing this his whole life for over 30 years I know its frustrating for anyone whos been studying this stuff for the last 7 years cause its a total gamechanger) and faster too like I said if every other dac were an HDD this sounds like an SSD. If you play any piano track with an "off the shelf" dac as Chord puts it(I know at first I thought this was snooty but the problem is Chord does have "the nuts"(of design philosphy, debate, and performance) the keys and harmonics of the piano will sound muddy and blurry but the Chord dacs will render each harmonic with perfect timing and sharper faster transients so you hear each vibration as a separate entity(speaking strictly temporally now not spatially or the imaing or placement on the soundstage). Sorry but I think they are the top of the DAC game who most people from 10 years ago that like the ESS and Burr Brown sound so many have said they dont like Chords sound sig(the mojo does sound a little digital but at a super high clear frequency like youve never heard before) and dont think its worth the money but is ESS truly better or are they stuckrutters? Ive been on the internet awhile and I would think its the latter(look how long people resisted windows 10 and how much disinfo there was there, I am a windows tweak god you can turn the spying off in the registry but everyone still says otherwise and its not like ms is the only one google does it more and I could go into the politics of all that(which I have mastered but it would piss everyone off so bad I would be banned off this board for being right(happened many time already on other boards)). Pulse array is nothing like like a Class D amplifier.
I figured out the wire thing long ago and I call wire deniers Digital Infallibility Computer Weenies that worship the church of Monoprice(I have been banned many times for even questioning anything Monoprice because I am always deemed its anti-christ blasphemer)(LOL). Ive had many debates on these subjects and it seems everytime I debate a coder, or a computer geek they think wires are absolutely worthless and CCA copper clad aluminum and copper and pure copper and every other metal its all the same this counldnt be further from the truth. One thing that clued me into Rob Watts is straight away he was definitely no wire denier(but hes somewhat weak here too cause he definitely doesnt promote better wire tech) but he said at one point he would go around measuring the sonics of solder by running an output through various solder joints and listening to the sound and he came to the conclusion that EVERYTHING IN THE SIGNAL PATH COLORS THE SOUND( "You really can hear every solder joint, every passive component, and every active stage." - Rob Watts and by that logic you can hear different wires, different metals, different wire geometries(ofc, occ, flat, round, foil, carbon nano tube) every detail matters forever) . Now that I completely agree with and it doesnt just color the sound a little bit it colors the sound allot. Now if you look at a chart of the most conductive metals or usually its titled conductance in general the top metals are far more conductive than other metals often by orders of magnitude, aluminum, gold, copper, silver. There is misconception amongst the computer weenies because of marketing that gold plating is there to fool you cause gold is a rich jewelry metal nooooooo it is merely there because it is the one metal that does not tarnish merely for its material science. This is the way to view wires. Wires are extremely long external chasis connections that have to be of a high spec and proper material science to transmit electricity in analog level audio signals for headphones(which is only a few volts and varying low currents) and speakers over comparatively long distances. Trust me forget all that resistance blah blah bs you just stated it doesnt matter(well it does but lets be honest science often stumbles across things and then it takes decades or years before they nail the explanation which often wins the nobel prize but often doesnt lead to the actual invention) and its just a bunch of mental work that proves nothing in the end the sound is what matters and I hear a difference with solder, with metals involved in the drive train etc etc and also the geometry of the metals. A while back a japanese guy named Ohno went to a university in Canada studied material science and came up with Ohno Continuous Cast wire. Instead of traditional wire which is just pulled from a metal rod often cold and then extruded several times without annealing(in an oven which melts the outside so it makes the exterior where the electrons travel uniform) and also has the grain structure of the original rod which is also not uniform because when metals cool they form crystal structures just like steel with its martinsite and austenite. Well Ohno continuous cast uses a heated crucible in an oven with kanthal wire and fire brick or other ceramic enclosure and then while the liquid metal is still hot it exits via a heated mold which then cools the resulting rod into a nearly single crystal of copper. If the OCC rod is processed correctly it is then extruded and annealed to maintain uniformity and becomes OCC single crystal copper wire(single crystal of copper for up to 250m they often say with no grain boundaries) which makes the signal more uniform and I believe it gives it a little pop(punch) too and if they silver plate it then it allows the high frequencies to transmit with more amplitude(people say silver wire or even silver plated is glaringly bright). I know monster cable pissed everyone off and I agree with those debates and I wont buy their wire either to see if the new stuff sounds better which all they make is speaker wire anyway and its not even 12 gauge its not silver plated tho it looks like its partially coated with something black on their latest totl wire but it had far less weight than Radio Shack Auvio(which one shootouts as the highest mass copper 12 gauge wire in the us under 2 dollars per foot) so I bought that and Auvio is not OCC or silver plated and my speakers are not overly bright so I have already sourced but lacked the funds to put in a large order of components I need from china(because they are making OCC wire for far cheaper(or they claim but I cant disprove it and some of the photos are very convincing) than japan (who is more ridiculous in price than the usa often and most of the Hifi silver wires like DH Labs which are more affordable dont claim to be made of OCC)).
There are extensive debates on this on DIYAudio which I read and there was a guy there Paul Pang and every westerner attacked him but after doing my own listening and making my own interconnects very cheaply with wire I sourced myself from china(sure does look well made and looks like real silver plate sure is shiny and price isnt that bad either cause they sell by the meter over there). Im sorry but the asians are completely right and the westerners are wrong and 6moons and all the top audio guys are really into cables as is Kimber and allot of other people who are very respected in audio world wide. Infact Ive found even just drops of 5% silver solder on a TRS jack splitter from china or monoprice(both from china) greatly improves it sound if only 5% silver and a few drops in a solder joint can do that then silver plating along the entire length of the wire also does something. Heres something else most people dont know the signals traveling down a wire do travel extremely fast but they are merely waves. When a wave passes through the ocean it creates ripples but the actual water atoms usually just travel back and forth the distance of max a few inches and if are near the surface they travel up and down a few feet or inches but largely end up where they were before the wave passed only currents move the water and they are relatively slow. So when a signal travels down the wire the actual electrons could be envisioned as just moving one place over and a dc current in a 12 guage wire there are sites and QA responses you can search online have done the math and for an average current in an average wire DC electron migration is something like 6cm per hour LOL. Electrons are extremely slow compared to what the average person perceives in their own mind they think its like a garden hose and those stupid hollywood movies with the camera following the wire on the telephone pole are not chasing a single electron they are merely chasing the wave. So for the signal to get from one end to the other is not one single electron it is an extremely long chain of them and I realize this is grossly oversimplifying the true model which likely still has not been conceived then by this logic you also oversimplify to the conclusion that AUDIO SIGNALS ARE ANALOG WAVES AND THE ELECTRONS DONT MOVE MUCH(6cm electron migration per hour) THEN FOR THE SIGNAL TO BE TRANSFERED AS IT WAS AT THE SOURCE AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE THE GEOMETRY OF THE CHAIN OF ELECTRONS IT IS TRANSFERRED THROUGH IS OF PARAMOUNT IMPORTANCE. Also search Van den Hul carbon tube interconnects and he also had the longest carbon tube "wires" ever concieved a whole spool where each strand was an extremely long bundle of light but strong carbon nanotubes VAN DEN HUL CARBON INTERCONNECTS HAVE EXTREMELY HIGH RESISTANCE BUT THEY SOUND GREAT WHY BECAUSE OF THE GEOMETRY AND UNIFORMITY OF THE WIRE SEE THIS ALSO SHOWS YOU THAT TALKING ABOUT BASIC ELECTRICITY AND DOING EQUATIONS MEANS NOTHING AND THE OPPOSITE OF THE CHURCH OF DIGITAL INFALLIBILITY COMPUTER WEENIE IS TRUE THE GEOMETRY OR THE PURITY OF THE WIRE IS PRIMARY AND THE MATERIAL AND ITS PROPERTIES(MATERIAL SCIENCE) RESISTANCE AND BASIC ELECTRICITY EQUATIONS ARE SECONDARY. Ok now you know that top speedbike indoor trackstar I forget his name, Robert Förstemann, ok I found the video again so you can watch it.
Ok look at that dudes legs pumping that bike and look how hard he has to pump to heat a piece of toast. Granted the toaster likely runs on AC an its not the most efficient setup possible still do you see the power of these little electrons and with ac they dont travel anywhere just back and forth a likely tiny imperceptible distance. That is the power of metals and the electron sea. When you look at the realities of this stuff a Lipo battery has tons of power people dont really understand what they are dealing with. Every detail of everything matters and it always will because everything is composed of atoms and elements that is the reality and the sooner everyone comes to grips with this the better off their understanding will be. Power cleaner or conditioners and power cords also matter especially on dacs and CD players because if the power feeding the unit is more ample like take a processor for instance one way to look at it is every transistor in the wafer is like a filter like say a coffee filter the data goes in one side through a flat plane that is the filter and it exits the other side processed and the water and coffee passing through the filter is the power(vertical is the power) the data travels through the horizontal plane not up and down and the power pushes through the plane up and down driving the whole thing so if you feed the entire processor every gate in the plane better power(the vertical) its going to push with more force yes there are power supply units in the way regulating the power but still if you push those psus better they will push out a little bit better(assuming you dont overdrive them and burn them up and a little more voltage can increase your overclock) and so I read reviews and people put new power cords on and got better sound and I tried it myself and it works. If you already have decent interconnects then yes a better power cord will make your equipment sound better than getting better interconnects than what you got because Material Science applys to the power chord and also having cleaner noise free power(those power cleaners I bought for 4 dollars each(monster brand I put one on each of the outlets around my computer/entertainment center and now all dac computer noise is gone and both my screen and my audio sound cleaner the audio has a blacker background and the rendering of the screen looks more uniform because the PSUs are designed to run off clean AC and likely the power conditioners are sucking other high frequency noise out of the computer and other device ground loops). Most audio products are legitimate that are tried and true over the years but you have to study which ones those are there is snake oil out there but some of these tricks work. Granted all the metals used in audio wire are at the top of the conductance charts but if you tell me you cant hear the difference between CCA and ofc copper then I say your on crack(like hive mentality of computer weenies) and I wont trust anything you say because obviously its not your own observations you just parrot what the herd says so therefore you dont do any of your own thinking because I can hear the more seemingly to most imperceptible difference between ofc and occ copper and silver to me is a huge change if you doubt silver then to me your brain is fried and I wont even talk to you. Tons of people dont say silver wire makes headphones glare because its placebo.
But I know you wont listen to me so here is one of Rob Watts god posts he says after the dac there is only 2 resistors 2 capacitors and an opamp as the active stage and they added on capacitor later when testing 600ohm headphones(with a distributor in Indonesia that showed them a clipping scenario or something like that on Beyerdynamic T1s I think was was the example) to give the mojo to power almost anything like the Hugo. There is no other tuning there is no seperate headphone amp it is merely one active stage fed by a dac and it sure is mysterious cause its power numbers arent huge but it still drives 600ohm headphones no problem. Its nothing like tradition amp design dealing with spectra that is done purely with objective data blocks within the FPGA its completely different from everything else its more like a computer than an amp thats why there is no reference flat tuning(using spectral analysis to make sure it is neutral and transparent) to it it is merely objective flat data.
http://www.head-fi.org/t/702787/chord-hugo/1830#post_10459450 READ THIS
Look man I know this post comes off as total dickhole but thats what happens with a product like this its a whole different animal that takes allot of explanation and there is allot of resentment from the old guard of headphone amplifiers and dacs(Ive read allot of the silly attack posts)(who didnt make their own chips and Chord doesnt either but he chose something smarter and harder to design). All those thousands of pages we have to read to keep up in this hobby I know I felt that way after buying the iDSD and it dawning on me what the Chord dacs were(and stupid once again for not being intrigued by the reviews to find a naked board shot or read about the chips) but I still like the iDSD cause the amp section is the most powerful of its size. I even envisioned buying an iFi iCan SE to amplify the mojo but upon trying it with the mojo and the iDSD I found out it doesnt work like that. Passing the signal through the iFi made the signal far more blurry than merely powering the headphones directly. With this much precision your amp also has to be on an extreme other level to keep up with it especially if your driving speakers and if you think your gonna get that clarity through your home receiver to speakers guess again cause recievers have their own lesser often Burr Brown dacs and what comes out of the speakers is Burr Brown dac quality sound with some timing and sound sig flavor of the mojo but not the mojos crazy attack precision. This is how I described my initial impression of the Mojo first thing I did is I loaded up some edm and turned it up kind of loud(if you think this whole post is hyberbolic check this out, really none of it is tho):
The Mojo when I got it, my brain and ears heard(were slapped with) picosecond snow sibilance that vaporized upon impact because my brain had never heard attack that fast and could not handle it..... and then in a matter of a couple of hours that all disappeared(i kind of miss it).
The attack on this dac/amp was so fast my brain couldnt process it and when the attack was at its zenith and this was the fastest thing I had ever perceived other than vision and light(but this was far faster than pixels or computer graphics or frames per second) but sonically(spellchecker fail(that is a real word but spellchecker says its not) lol I have the worst spelling of anyone but last few years Im always owning spellcheckers) at the zenith of the transient attack it was like my brain went into error mode for a picosecond(ok bit of exaggeration but I dont know the proper ballpark to quantify this as but it was really fast) as the edm was jangling and the error sound was like static on a tv but way faster and lasted only a moment just as fast as i was thinking this was sibilant it was long gone before I could even think it and it was like tiny audio peaks of snow spraying at me as if with a nozzle and compressed air and it took like 3 hours for this effect to go away. Some might argue it was the electronic components breaking in but im fairly certain what changed was in my head and it was brain and and auditory chain and processing breaking in to perceive the dacs speed. See when you tell the truth about this thing it comes off as the most jealousy inducing shitty hyperbole that anyone could ever think of but its all true..... Really I wouldnt mind having an m9xx but Im sorry now I want a Hugo 2 and after that a Dave but that is maybe further down the road before the Dave maybe a god tube setup. What dac chip is in the m9xx? I also want Audio-Gd ESS dac/amps, and an OppoHA-2SE.
Why is the video in the wrong location? It should be closer to the youtube link....... automated board software fail...........
Dave is 8gs and has 160 something thousand taps and Hugo 2(Hugo 1 is 26 thousand something taps most dacs have taps in the range of hundreds which is the sampling for the FIR filter interpolation) is around 2gs and has 50 something thousand taps as does the mojo but its running at half speed of the hugo one so really the hugo one and mojo have near the same processing power as the Artix chip in the mojo is a larger lithographed map circuit next gen mobile version of the Spartan 6 which has fewer circuits(the model in the Hugo there are several larger versions one of the larger one is in the DAVE but not the largest one) but can run higher clockrates than the Artix. The Hugo supposedly has a neutral natual sound and the mojo a digital warmer thicker tone sound(which the timing and thickness of the notes or sound can be tuned by the arrangement of objective logical blocks and their various bits, hz number of processing blocks allocated etc out of the resources of the FPGA chip). The Chord FPGAs are likely thousands of times more powerful than small dac asics. Its probably much cheaper for audio dacs to just use super advanced new lithography trailing intel from tsmc or whoever fabs the Xlinix chips in a general purpose FPGA chip thats been advancing for decades instead of researching developing and fabbing a new asic every few years which I dont think any audio company has those kinds of resources(or any bankers that would be willing to invest in them which is why intel is what it is today). GD this was a long post.
Used mojo(couldnt be that used) on sale again too bad it doesnt ship to the states tho but all the amazon ones do and it will come eventually just have to watch on camelcamelcamel and check everyday.
What about multibit / r2r / ladder dac's (and closed form filters) that should be mathematically perfect instead of interpolation?
because bitperfect is not enough to properly capture transients as Rob Watts would put it and off the shelf dac chips have poor timing and for good performance would require fancy femto clocks which I assume is compensated for by fifo in the mojo. Multibit looks like to me to simply be a FIR filter like in all the Chord FPGA dacs but the Chord dacs have more taps and more powerful chips and likely further along in iterations of design since hes been designing these chips for over 30 years and due to their programmable nature vs asics probably allows for faster design evolution and manipulation and therefore faster r&d. Go get your bitperfect or R2R dac and play piano through it and compare it to a Chord(use some high bitrate file) chord accels more with pcm than dsd tho the Hugo 2 may change all that or if you can afford or have access to a DAVE. Proper transients have far faster and harder attack than the sampling rates on most of the media we are listening to and Rob Watts goes into this in his speaking engagements that most of what makes music and sound right is the initial transient and how we perceive it and that is has to be hard fast and realistic otherwise things sound muddied and our minds cannot properly separate and place it(Chord is an attack demon it slapped my audio chain(ear brain audio chain) with snow(the error sound was like snow on an old analog tv) that vaporized on impact(like the sibilance snow(too fast for my ear to brain audio perception drivetrain to process error sound) as soon as I wanted to say the dac was sibilant that picosecond(whatever it was it was fast and didnt last long hard to quantify) was long gone and all the attack peaks were just evaporating snow spraying into my ears after a few hours it went away). If you listen to piano with any off the shelf dac it will sound muddy and blurred but through a chord dac(like upsampled to 768khz and highly filtered(but definitely not lacking detail just a level of clarity youve never heard before) you hear every piano key vibration separately and clearly(or close to it far more clear than standard dac chips). Just not possible to properly listen to piano with off the shelf(dac chip) its too complex most of that talk about the schitt multibits being perfect and all that bitperfect mumbo jumbo 10 years ago in computer audiophile circles was really just a bunch of online nerd hipster doofus smack talk about how there can be nothing better cause they were crying about wallet hurt and wanted to buy their one dac and stop problem is quality is never ending and you have to keep buying forever if you want the best. I havent owned or heard a Schitt multibit but thats because Im put off by the entire Schitt brand I would rather buy a balanced Audio-Gd or even an Aune S16 over a schitt to be honest. R2R is likely desktop only, large, bulky and expensive, I also havent heard one yet(Ive been in a BFE part of Florida for 10 years which is around when I started this hobby and so I dont have access to allot out here but Im moving back to a major city soon and so hopefully my sampling rate is going to increase.) The Mojo quality wise and functionality wise is probably impossible to beat as far as bang for buck. Still I dont think R2R will ever be close to a Mojo but I bet it sounds different and I am interested.