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Review and Measurements of Chord Mojo DAC and Amp

March Audio

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OK, really is the last video. The previous white noise test showed the major resonance to be around 760Hz. Using a swept sine to show it this time.

 

Jorj

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BTW, this Mojo has been my daily driver for several years, I like the sound, I just dont believe the marketing around the technicalities of the unit.
I'm with you there. It does sound good. Better than my DAP, better than my phone. I think I hear more distance between instruments with it, and the tone is just a bit more to my liking, but don't ask me to A\B it, I'd probably not do well.
 
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That's the way I feel about the mojo. Something kind of sweet in the sound that makes it enjoyable. But, I wouldn't be able to pick it out of an A\B test.
 

Thomas savage

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OK, really is the last video. The previous white noise test showed the major resonance to be around 760Hz. Using a swept sine to show it this time.

This is like black sabbath tours ,,, it’s the last last tour...

Appreciate your work on this Alan .
 
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A rant: Rob Watts owns an audio precision analyzer which he uses for the design of his DACs. Why on earth then are his specs are shorter than markings on a car tire? Why not post full measurement report? This review is going to garner some amount of angst among people. To short circuit that, I am going to remind you that the only answer to my review is manufacture posting similar measurements showing different results. That they don't do that, is a more serious problem than any conflict between the data I have and what is claimed.
 

amirm

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I have sat through his full presentation (different one at the same show/same content). Unfortunately he doesn't follow his own advice there. His design are based on faulty listening tests. Yes, he confirms the optimization using Audio Precision but assumes what he sees there is audible. That's not the case.

Anyway, my point was that none of these audio precision charts are in his product page on the website. Flashing a graph or two in a presentation is not it. We need to see actual measurement outputs, inputs used, levels, etc. Until he posts that, my measurements stand which unfortunately deviate from the impression he leaves in that presentation.
 
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I own a Chord Mojo for a bit more than 2 years.
Executive summary - it is a piece of crap.
For the mortals:
1. It shuts down randomly
2. The battery sits on top of a hot chip - so much for engineering. Heat goes up (duhhhh) and a heated battery has a short life
3. My Mojo started to make a humming noise when plugged in - more often than not
4. The user interface sucks

Very disappointing. Very.
 

graz_lag

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I own a Chord Mojo for a bit more than 2 years.
Executive summary - it is a piece of crap.
For the mortals:
1. It shuts down randomly
2. The battery sits on top of a hot chip - so much for engineering. Heat goes up (duhhhh) and a heated battery has a short life
3. My Mojo started to make a humming noise when plugged in - more often than not
4. The user interface sucks

Very disappointing. Very.
Totally agree with this, but points 1-3 kind of disappear if you use it on battery power. Chord's biggest mistake with this unit was telling everyone it was fine to use whilst charging, it really isn't. The UI is completely retarded though, the USB charging/battery level indicator light sitting underneath the USB cable (so it's impossible to see it) tells you everything you need to know about their (after)thought process.

Amir, any update on testing this via optical on battery power? I'm really interested to see how it performs once the variable of USB noise is removed, thanks.
 

Jorj

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I own a Chord Mojo for a bit more than 2 years.
Executive summary - it is a piece of crap.
For the mortals:
1. It shuts down randomly
2. The battery sits on top of a hot chip - so much for engineering. Heat goes up (duhhhh) and a heated battery has a short life
3. My Mojo started to make a humming noise when plugged in - more often than not
4. The user interface sucks

Very disappointing. Very.
As a counterpoint:
  1. Has never happened to me. Others have also complained about unintended button presses while in a pocket, also never happened to me.
  2. Where is the battery in most modern electronics? My old S7 Edge gets astonishingly hot when I use it in my Gear VR. Also, my Mojo does not get hot, even after hours of use. Warm, yes.
  3. Mine will make a faint coil whine or hiss in the last 10 minutes of charging. I always unplug the charging cable when that starts. This is not audible in the music, BTW. Sounds like you got a defective unit.
  4. I really like the user interface. One button to turn it on\off and two for volume up and down. The lights are neat. It keeps the last-used volume setting.
FYI, I'm not a Chord fanboi. It's an adequate DAC\amp, not the magical device that HeadFi and Rob Watts make it out to be. Definitely not junk. I use mine often, and like it just fine.
 

Veri

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Man the burns in this thread directed at Chord are hotter than.. well, the chips in this device are a good point of comparison :D
 

amirm

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Amir, any update on testing this via optical on battery power? I'm really interested to see how it performs once the variable of USB noise is removed, thanks.
Sorry but I already sent the unit to its owner....
 
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As a counterpoint:
  1. Has never happened to me. Others have also complained about unintended button presses while in a pocket, also never happened to me.
  2. Where is the battery in most modern electronics? My old S7 Edge gets astonishingly hot when I use it in my Gear VR. Also, my Mojo does not get hot, even after hours of use. Warm, yes.
  3. Mine will make a faint coil whine or hiss in the last 10 minutes of charging. I always unplug the charging cable when that starts. This is not audible in the music, BTW. Sounds like you got a defective unit.
  4. I really like the user interface. One button to turn it on\off and two for volume up and down. The lights are neat. It keeps the last-used volume setting.
FYI, I'm not a Chord fanboi. It's an adequate DAC\amp, not the magical device that HeadFi and Rob Watts make it out to be. Definitely not junk. I use mine often, and like it just fine.
Each impression / reaction is heavily influenced by personal experience. Your personal experience has been great from what I can tell - good for you. I may be a bit over dramatic but the issues I experienced with my Mojo are real, everyday issues and I am annoyed as fudge after more or less of 1 year of problems (2 years old Mojo) In the beginning I liked my Mojo - even the interface. Now I'm annoyed, especially given the price of Mojo - hence the reaction.
And the battery above a hot chip should NOT be advertised as "years of use" imo (or as being ok to charge while in use); I do remember Chord making some serious claims about the battery reliability and such. IF you do that - you should stand by it, not charge (quite a bit) for it. My 2c.
 
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Update: I removed the (useless) battery from my Mojo. Let's see if this makes a difference in the shutdowns / hum / etc. Now I use it as a desktop DAC.
 
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I've had my Mojo for about a year. Haven't had any issues with it, except that I don't like the faint whining noise when it's charging sometimes. I like the ergonomic design and aesthetics. It gets warm (which I don't mind), but not close to hot unless driving a hungry headphone at high volume for a long time (but it doesn't shut down, and seems to have decent power). I suppose I'd buy it again.
 
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Update: I removed the (useless) battery from my Mojo. Let's see if this makes a difference in the shutdowns / hum / etc. Now I used as a desktop DAC.
I tried this with mine, no matter how I powered it (tried many different USB chargers/cables even battery), it whined like crazy. Probably ok if you're using headphones.
 
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