$500 for Amp+DAC for Senn HD 600's and How to connect Mojo to Adam A7x monitors
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Musickiks

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So I've got about give or take a $500 budget.

I asked on another forum about some amp recs for the HD 600's (I used to use a HeadRoom Total Airhead, and now just use my Iphone straight in with a lightning adapter cable (actually sounds higher quality than the Airhead, imo, but doesn't power the low end enough). I was originally looking at the tube amps Schiit Valhalla, Woo WA3, Little Dot 2 or for solid state the Schiit Stack 2, but have recently been persuaded to check out the Chord Mojo.

This is mainly for listening to music, though every now and then critiquing mixes from our mixing engineer.

I'm primarily looking for what is the best amp+DAC combo or Amp with DAC I can get for my budget. It will primarily stay at my computer desk with my iMac, but also would like to use my Iphone with Tidal and go between my coffee table and nightstand by my bed.


I was persuaded that the Chord Mojo would be great for the HD 600's as well as bolster my Adam A7X's (currently going through my Line 6 Guitarport interface, similar to an M-Audio box I think) which makes it a really cool option as it does something for both my headphones and monitors. Though I do miss the idea of what a good tube amp setup might sound like...?

That being said, if I was to go with the Chord Mojo how are you supposed to connect it to your monitors? I don't see L and R inputs, I know there's a "line level" option, does that have something to do with it? My girlfriend at the time once connected my KRK 150's to the Total Airhead and pretty sure she blew a speaker...lol. On the Mojo I see two headphone jacks and currently have two RCA cables running to my Line 6 Guitarport. and I assume I'd need the Apple Camera cable to connect it to a USB to Micro USB cable.

Thanks for any help, info, or recommendations
 
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So I've got about give or take a $500 budget.

I asked on another forum about some amp recs for the HD 600's (I used to use a HeadRoom Total Airhead, and now just use my Iphone straight in with a lightning adapter cable (actually sounds higher quality than the Airhead, imo, but doesn't power the low end enough). I was originally looking at the tube amps Schiit Valhalla, Woo WA3, Little Dot 2 or for solid state the Schiit Stack 2, but have recently been persuaded to check out the Chord Mojo.

This is mainly for listening to music, though every now and then critiquing mixes from our mixing engineer.
There's also the AudioGD NFB-11, which already has preamp outputs for your speakers, plus SPDIF and USB digital inputs. Just note that it doesn't have any analogue inputs.

Note that if you get the WA3 it's still an OTL amp with output biased for high impedance loads, which limits your headphone choices. For another $100 there's the WA6 which is transformer-coupled, and while its output is biased to deliver its peak output at 32ohms, it still makes more power at 300ohms than the WA3. That's a small price to pay for flexibility if you're willing to spend that much on an OTL anyway.


I'm primarily looking for what is the best amp+DAC combo or Amp with DAC I can get for my budget. It will primarily stay at my computer desk with my iMac, but also would like to use my Iphone with Tidal and go between my coffee table and nightstand by my bed.
The Modi2 Uber and the Mojo would likely work better in terms of software as far as iOS is concerned. The great thing about the Mojo is you could do with moving just the Mojo if you'll listen at safe levels without cranking it up for a few songs.


I was persuaded that the Chord Mojo would be great for the HD 600's as well as bolster my Adam A7X's (currently going through my Line 6 Guitarport interface, similar to an M-Audio box I think) which makes it a really cool option as it does something for both my headphones and monitors. Though I do miss the idea of what a good tube amp setup might sound like...?
If you're going to use it to critique mixes a stereotypical lush, syrupy tube amp might make you miss harshness in some recordings; the Valhalla won't have this problem, but then again don't expect it to sound like what people always say about tubes. Ditto the WA6 but at least it's a more flexible amp that can drive even lower efficiency, low impedance planars.


That being said, if I was to go with the Chord Mojo how are you supposed to connect it to your monitors? I don't see L and R inputs, I know there's a "line level" option, does that have something to do with it?
You don't need L/R inputs into the Mojo since it uses USB input to get a signal, and then it has outputs for headphones or a line level output to an amplifier. The latter can be a headphone amp or a speaker amp, whether the speaker amp is a stand alone integrated amp that drives passive speakers or a powered speaker like those Adams.


My girlfriend at the time once connected my KRK 150's to the Total Airhead and pretty sure she blew a speaker...lol.
She could have used the headphone amp output set too high and the gain on the speakers was also too high.


On the Mojo I see two headphone jacks and currently have two RCA cables running to my Line 6 Guitarport. and I assume I'd need the Apple Camera cable to connect it to a USB to Micro USB cable.
Try to download the manual; as far as I know one of the Mojo's headphone outputs can be configured as a line output. Or just use the headphone output as it is to the Adams that way you can control the volume using the Mojo's.

I'd much rather use the AudioGD NFB-11 although you want to be able to move that and use it with an iPhone. First part isn't too hard but I'm not sure about iOS compatibility on its USB input.
 
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That being said, if I was to go with the Chord Mojo how are you supposed to connect it to your monitors? I don't see L and R inputs, I know there's a "line level" option, does that have something to do with it? My girlfriend at the time once connected my KRK 150's to the Total Airhead and pretty sure she blew a speaker...lol. On the Mojo I see two headphone jacks and currently have two RCA cables running to my Line 6 Guitarport. and I assume I'd need the Apple Camera cable to connect it to a USB to Micro USB cable.

Thanks for any help, info, or recommendations
The 2 3,5mm jacks of the Mojo are identical, it's literally simply 2 jacks connected to 1 amplifier.
Rob Watts explains it somwhere in the thread, the amplifier is simply powerful enough and has such a low impedance that it's able to drive 2 headphones.

Line out:
The Mojo amp is very "simple", i.e. very transparent, and "Line Out" is nothing else but a pre-set for 3Vrms on the outputs.
It is exactly the same as setting the volume to the same level in regular mode.
The adavntage of using the line level is that the next time you switch on Mojo, it will not go back to line level, but to the previously used volume setting.

To connect Mojo to my stereo I used a simple converter from 3,5mm jack to 2xRCA connector. Worked perfectly with my stereo system.

IMG_7472.jpg
 
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Maybe used/b-stock Schiit Lyr3 with AKM 4490 DAC or iFI iDSD Black Label
 
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Will respond to other replies a bit later, have to leave out but real quick, is there any consensus on the Marantz HD DAC1?
 
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The Mojo straight out to the 600’s might be fine but do not like it with the 650’s but love it with the 800’s. To hook up to powered speakers all you need is a 1/8” (3.5mm) to rca connector the one shown in the above post is awesome as it has the female RCA’s and then you pick the length of cables you need after that. When you turn the Mojo on you hold down the two volume buttons and the power button and that puts in in output mode.
 
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So do you need to disconnect the AC power cables from the back of the Adams? Or can you leave them plugged in to the wall, connect the RCA cables and put the Mojo in output mode?
 
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So do you need to disconnect the AC power cables from the back of the Adams? Or can you leave them plugged in to the wall, connect the RCA cables and put the Mojo in output mode?
Just switch them off when you connect/disconnet the DAC/preamp.
 
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Thanks, so never a need to disconnect the power cable from the back of the Adam's then you're saying?

As it stands, I think I'm putting tubes on the back burner due to the idea of having to roll tubes for the "right" sound, and possibly too much coloration when I would still like to use this (infrequently) to critique mixes, but still mainly for music listening.

I'm between the Mojo, the Ifi Black Label and the Marantz HD DAC1.

Surely with the Mojo and Black Label you can leave them plugged in right?

I was really into the idea of tubes so I guess I'd prefer the warmest/analog-sounding of the three and/or highest sound quality.

Can't decide between the three, though I know the Dac1 would be a pain to move around!
 
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Thanks, so never a need to disconnect the power cable from the back of the Adam's then you're saying?
As it stands, I think I'm putting tubes on the back burner due to the idea of having to roll tubes for the "right" sound, and possibly too much coloration when I would still like to use this (infrequently) to critique mixes, but still mainly for music listening.
I'm between the Mojo, the Ifi Black Label and the Marantz HD DAC1.
Surely with the Mojo and Black Label you can leave them plugged in right?
I was really into the idea of tubes so I guess I'd prefer the warmest/analog-sounding of the three and/or highest sound quality.

Can't decide between the three, though I know the Dac1 would be a pain to move around!
Audio-GD NFB-11.28
 
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I still took a look at the tubes amps, heard the soundstage on the schiits were smaller than preferred, and had to think about the connections between DAC that I hadn't researched yet (like what cable goes from DAC to Amp, which tubes were better the Russian Ns8's or Tung Ns7s) and knowing me it would just sit on my desktop. So I decided on the portables for now, but I'll audition probably the Valhalla 2 and/or Lyr at some point in a few months time.

I feel like the only way to know what you're getting or not getting is to audition everything. Which means either buy and return or buy and sell.

For example, I've read:

- Mojo - rich lush natural, similar to tubes, nice textures, possibly lacking in some sparkle in top end, possibly closed-in/congested soundstage

Black Label - perfect sparkly airy top end, nice soundstage, ok textures, a little clinical and possibly not that natural sounding


SO

I've decided to go ahead and buy both in somewhat used form. Got em both in "Like new" condition from Amazon for some pretty ok price points, Mojo at $430 and Black Label at $500, which I'll just turn around and sell whichever one for the same price or lower.


Is there any point in trying out the Wyred 4 Sound Udac HD?


Audio-GD NFB-11.28
Haha, well I looked into it and I saw enough not great things said, and knowing it's not very portable, like just as portable as the Marantz Dac1 would be, that I decided against this one.
 
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Thanks, so never a need to disconnect the power cable from the back of the Adam's then you're saying?
Yes, just switch them off if you're disconnecting or connecting anything.


Can't decide between the three, though I know the Dac1 would be a pain to move around!
If you have two power strips you can just leave two power cables plugged in, so when you move it, you only disconnect at the back of the unit, move it to the other location, connect the other power cable, then switch on that other power strip.
 
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Yes, just switch them off if you're disconnecting or connecting anything.




If you have two power strips you can just leave two power cables plugged in, so when you move it, you only disconnect at the back of the unit, move it to the other location, connect the other power cable, then switch on that other power strip.
Haha, I completely forgot about the need for that, luckily just going with the Mojo and Black Label for now.

So to be perfectly clear, there's no way I can blow my Adams as long as I don't disconnect anything? There's no such thing as accidentally double amping?

The process would be, make all the connections, turn Mojo on, turn Line Level mode on, power on speakers. Then to turn off... turn off speakers, then turn off Mojo etc etc

What if I turned off the Mojo first?

Or what if one was have the connections already connected, turn on the speakers first, THEN turn the Mojo on, which would have it be in headphone mode, THEN put it in line level mode....do bad things happen then?
 
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So to be perfectly clear, there's no way I can blow my Adams as long as I don't disconnect anything?
Not while they're all switched off, no.


There's no such thing as accidentally double amping?
That has a bigger problem of adding noise than it can damage anything unless you have the amp at too high setting then power on the speakers. Reset the volume setting and you can get away with that. Still not optimal but f you really want the Mojo for how easy it is to transfer to the secondary location then you might as well just use it this way.

Not sure how the Mojo's digital volume control works but the knob on the others makes that a lot easier.



The process would be, make all the connections, turn Mojo on, turn Line Level mode on, power on speakers. Then to turn off... turn off speakers, then turn off Mojo etc etc

What if I turned off the Mojo first?
If there's no switch on/off pop then no problem.




Or what if one was have the connections already connected, turn on the speakers first, THEN turn the Mojo on, which would have it be in headphone mode, THEN put it in line level mode....do bad things happen then?
I there's no pop and it doesn't start playing music too loud that the signal clips then no problem.
 
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