Watts Up...?
Mar 30, 2016 at 9:40 AM Post #46 of 4,683
Nice write-up Rob. Very interesting.
 
I like you better when you're not trying too hard on the Chord thread and just speak about ideas instead of products :) Great products speak for themselves and that's the case of the Mojo.
 
But talking about products...could you tell us a couple of current headphones and iems that you specially like?
 
Thanks
 
Mar 30, 2016 at 10:14 AM Post #47 of 4,683
  Nice write-up Rob. Very interesting.
 
I like you better when you're not trying too hard on the Chord thread and just speak about ideas instead of products :) Great products speak for themselves and that's the case of the Mojo.
 
But talking about products...could you tell us a couple of current headphones and iems that you specially like?
 
Thanks

 
 
 
The million dollar question in a headphone forum... What's Rob's favourite headphone?

Speaking personally - my current favourite is the AQ Nighthawks.
 
Now they are not to every ones taste - a lot of guys at Chord find them way too dark and smooth - but I like them because I can play for 12 hours and am still hungry for more music. By comparison, to me, other HP sound distorted. Moreover, they sound like loudspeakers in terms of tonal balance, and I mostly listen to loudspeakers.
 
Do they have faults - yes, they could be more transparent, and the bass is maybe softer than I would like - but they do so many things right.
 
I have been very impressed with Mr. Speakers Ether too - and have a pair of Ether C (HP is mostly in aircraft for me) coming.
 
Rob

 
Mar 30, 2016 at 10:27 AM Post #48 of 4,683
A DAP is a whole, huge different kind of device. It depends if Rob was interested in taking the time to program a whole system on a FPGA that could read music files from SD cards and have a UI with which to interact.


Would Rob be the one at Chord do to that? It's not a one man show.

I would have thought they'd keep him working in his area of expertise and bring someone in who was an expert in that field.
 
Mar 30, 2016 at 10:34 AM Post #49 of 4,683
I was more focusing on the ”DAP as good as Hugo" question in my response.

FYI, John Franks has said in an interview that the Mojo is getting an SD card accessory with a small screen so it could be 'an all in one' device (no concrete confirmation beyond that for 'an all in one' solution). Also FYI, FiiO is considering making a transport, but not guaranteed.

 
I'd like to see it happen. I am happy with the sound of my Pono, but I'm kind of sick of the form factor so have been thinking about a new player.
 
At the same time, I want a Mojo based on its measured and reviewed performance, and to support British industry.
 
My best option right now seems to be to buy a cheap android with an sd slot and decent battery life, no sim, download a FLAC player and use it as a transport to the Mojo. It's an annoying and clunky solution though.
 
You'd think that since Rob has done the 'hard part' for Chord and made an excellent miniature DAC/amp, that going a step further and adding DAC capability to it would be a natural next step. The market is there.  
 
Mar 30, 2016 at 10:39 AM Post #51 of 4,683
  I think that Lightning cable for iDevices with a built in dac/amp can be profitable since Apple is ditching the 3.5 jack. Audeze SINE way.

 
What's the point?
 
In that set up, the DAC/amp will play no part in the sound quality.
 
It would be an expensive digital pass through.
 
Mar 30, 2016 at 10:46 AM Post #52 of 4,683
The point is marrying the headphones driving with the ergonomy. Exactly what Audeze is doing right now with the EL8 and the SINE: cypher cable.
 
http://www.digitalaudioreview.net/2015/10/rmaf-2015-cypher-lightning-cable-for-audeze-el-8/
 
If you're able to put the audio codec into the cable of the cans you have an epic win. That's were the puck is gonna be from September on.
 
smartphone + cans = good to go with hi res performance in the simplest combo available.
 
Everything is impossible until it's done.
 
Mar 30, 2016 at 10:51 AM Post #53 of 4,683
  The point is marrying headphones driving coupled with ergonomy. Exactly as Audeze is doing right now.
 
If you're able to put the audio codec into the cable of the cans you have an epic win. That's were the puck is gonna be from September on.
 
Everything is impossible until it's done.

 
I remain cynical about the whole endeavour.
 
The body of my phone, complete with 3.5mm TRS socket, is 5mm.
 
Does anyone believe there are any actual ergonomic benefits to it being a mm or two thinner?
 
It's Apple's design studios running roughshod over logic, wanting ever thinner devices and not caring what that does to audio. Or maybe it is the desire to force lightning licencing on others. Probably a combination of the two.
 
It is absolutely nothing to do with sound quality, or quality of any kind. 
 
We're on a thread about Chord so let's look at the Mojo - celebrated for being tiny yet with high quality sound.
 
Could that fit on a headphone cable? 
 
I don't care how good the electronics engineers are, there is no way you are going to get the same high end quality with something that can fit into an inline remote as you can in a pocketable device.
 
And then think about the wanton waste of it all.
 
Every set of headphones having its own DAC and amp? Is Apple literally trying to use up the precious last resources we have that are necessary for electronics?
 
The whole thing is an absolute disgrace, and no one should support it.
 
Mar 30, 2016 at 11:00 AM Post #54 of 4,683
Would Rob be the one at Chord do to that? It's not a one man show.

I would have thought they'd keep him working in his area of expertise and bring someone in who was an expert in that field.


No. This is Rob's personal blog thread and not a Chord Electronics product thread. Anything other than discussion of Rob's blog must be considered off topic here...
 
Mar 30, 2016 at 11:11 AM Post #55 of 4,683
 
No. This is Rob's personal blog thread and not a Chord Electronics product thread. Anything other than discussion of Rob's blog must be considered off topic here...

 
???
 
Rob said clearly he wanted to start this blog to discuss technical issues, and future Chord products.
 
I requested a discussion of a technical topic (digital filters), and then I asked Rob a question regarding future Chord products - whether Chord had any plans for something like a Hugo DAP, and if not if its something he would like to see.
 
It's a perfectly legitimate question to ask, it's up to Rob whether he fancies answering it or not, and it is absolutely fair game for discussion here by members.
 
Nothing is off topic, and you are not a moderator here.
 
Mar 30, 2016 at 11:23 AM Post #56 of 4,683
   
???
 
Rob said clearly he wanted to start this blog to discuss technical issues, and future Chord products.
 
I requested a discussion of a technical topic (digital filters), and then I asked Rob a question regarding future Chord products - whether Chord had any plans for something like a Hugo DAP, and if not if its something he would like to see.
 
It's a perfectly legitimate question to ask, it's up to Rob whether he fancies answering it or not, and it is absolutely fair game for discussion here by members.
 
Nothing is off topic, and you are not a moderator here.


You are correct, I am not a moderator, I am simply stating my opinion as it would not be great if this valuable thread was derailed before it even started.
You have misquoted Rob's intentions
 
 


Apologies, I should have started this some time ago!

 
But I have been hit with project deadlines, migraines and other things so my first article about listening tests will be coming shortly.
 
The reason for doing this blog is so I can talk in more detail about technical aspects - such as how a noise shaper works for example. Also I want to be able to talk about projects as they are under development, so you can get an idea how these things actually happen. I have in mind to talk about the digital power amp project, and in particular Davina, the ADC project, as this has a number of research questions I want to answer for myself.
 

Please feel free to make suggestions for topics to discuss.

 

Rob


 

Please let's just wait for his answer, rather than everyone chiming in attempting to answer for him...
 
Mar 30, 2016 at 11:43 AM Post #57 of 4,683
You are correct, I am not a moderator, I am simply stating my opinion as it woulPlease let's just wait for his answer, rather than everyone chiming in attempting to answer for him...


It's not getting derailed, people are having a discussion.

Rob will answer the questions he feels like and post the blogs he wants to when he sees fit.

People are allowed to discuss topics brought up between his posts.

You also seem to be missing the point that what we are discussing is a question I asked Rob myself, which others have been answering for him, and you've put your fake mod hat on and had a pop at me.

Just leave it. People are allowed to talk amongst themselves and it's good for the thread that they do.
 
Mar 30, 2016 at 8:02 PM Post #59 of 4,683
Hi Everyone...  My only brush with Chord magic is with my 4-week old Mojo. I use it with a pair of Perfect Seal PS-6 cIEMs. The combination is simply intoxicating. There is musical magic going on in the Mojo. I've been looking for this for decades. Up until the Mojo, I would discover a song here and there that sounded the way I wanted, but then there were so many others that came-up short in some way, not enough bass, not enough high-end sparkle, fatiguing treble, suppressed presence, poor dynamics, you name it. But with the Mojo, songs begin and within a few seconds, before the usual judgments begin, I am moved TO the music and I feel what the musicians were doing... what the person who mastered it heard and felt. It's like I'm there. The difference of being moved TO the music is nothing short of a revelation. So what is it about the Mojo that does this? I'm guessing it must be the lack of noise floor modulation that Rob speaks of so often and has worked so hard to engineer into Chord's FPGA-based solutions. Well done... no, make that VERY well done! Worth every penny. Also, what a privilege  it is to have access to Rob's thoughts, hopes, dreams and insights on this thread/blog, as one of the preeminent minds in all of high-end audio.
 
Mar 30, 2016 at 10:02 PM Post #60 of 4,683
Re Rob's comment re Mysicality I could not agree more, comparing my Hugo with my Krell CD player directly in many areas I would say that they sound similar when I do active listening and cannot pinpoint direct winner in A/B comparison, however when I walk away to an adjacent room I hum along to the music when the Hugo is on but not the Krell, it is even more clear difference at lower sound levels. So strange but this makes it clear without a doubt what I prefer, so I guess it is the musicality I then hear when not actively trying to perceive differences in sound...


I compared the Mojo to bigger standalone DACs I own and my EAD transport. I think the Mojo is clearly one of the most remarkable products of last year and deserves all the praise. It is very very very transparent, I mean details appear before you but don't overwhelm the sound like many cheap delta-sigma DACs. Also it is a very neutral DAC with excellent tight bass.
 
The only thing I think the Mojo lacks is the presence and impact in the midrange of some bigger DACs. I'd imagine that has something to do with power supplies or capacitance? I'm not an engineer but there is a reason why the Yggdrasil has outstanding performance as well as the MSB Analog DAC.. they are big and engineered well so they must sound better
smily_headphones1.gif
now measuring better.. that is a whole other story. Some DACs measure poorly in some areas and the Yggdrasil is based off R-2R chips which are more susceptible to heat fluctuations and measure with more distortion in general than D-S DACs.
 
I really would like to hear the Chord Dave someday and see what is inside the belly of the beast.
 

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