M-DAC & Mojo vs Lyr/Modi+

Hi there,

I currently listen via an audiolab M-DAC or Chord Mojo (Amp/DAC), both which sound great to me. I find I have to push the M-DAC quite hard with the 250ohm DT1990 though so wonder if they would benefit from more juice.

I’m also thinking about my first tube amp, which would need to be hybrid for my other lower impedance headphones (Elex, DT770). Its seems that Schiit is a good brand for value for money even after import taxes and the Lyr/Modi would be the best choice. I like the 1 tube for simplicity and that it has a remote, plus killer looks too. My question is whether this is really going to be a great upgrade over my current choices?

I would be having both digital (Modi) and analog (vinyl) running into the Lyr, and also have the Lyr running into my Focal Shape 65 speakers. I’m just not sure how much of a difference tubes really make and whether the extra power will be a noticeable benefit to the DT1990 and any other future headphones.

Thanks for any thoughts. :slight_smile:

Hm think the lyr is a good tube amp with buckets of power, our @WaveTheory has recently reviewed some 600 buck amps and will soon make a comparison video where he also talks about the lyr :wink:
Otherwise it could be that the mojo is a better DAC than the modi, except you’ll like the optic of the stack :stuck_out_tongue:
If you just want to dip your toes into tubes the xdouu Mt 602 is a little hybrid with massive gain so the variable output of the mojo could help ^^


Silly me didn’t even think of using the Mojo in line out mode as a desktop unit into the Lyr+ until a few minutes ago. The only issue is I get a buzz plugging my iMac > Mojo (preamp mode) > active studio monitors, I think it’s a ground issue. With my phone it’s fine. I’m not sure if I used line out mode on the Mojo into the Lyr+ whether it would solve the issue, given the Lyr would be grounded. I’ll test it using the Apollo Twin X in a similar way when I’m back home next week.

The xDuoo MT-602 is certainly more budget friendly but I’d prefer 2 inputs so I can have digital/DAC and analog/vinyl running into the amp. I would also prefer having the remote function of the Lyr+, not to mention those looks :heart_eyes:

I’ll sub the YouTube channel and keep an eye out for the reviews, cheers.

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Hm ground issues are always tricky :hot_face:
That could be a use of a modius because it’s unison USB is isolated if I remember correctly, so if the ground loop comes from USB that could help :grin:

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Yeah it’s a weird one.

Phone > Mojo > Active Speakers all ok
Mac > Mojo > Headphones all ok
Mac > Mojo > Active Speakers buzz noise

It isn’t really the Mojo’s intended use so I can’t complain really. I’m not sure the sound is even all that great, when using my phone as above, the sound is clear as a bell but quite wonky. I think the Mojo is really tuned for headphones, although maybe using ‘line out’ (fixed volume) mode and running into another preamp like the Lyr+ would be more suitable for use with speakers.

Definitely sounds like a potential ground loop. Couple of different ways to resolve that but all of the schiit dacs now use unison and so even the modi should help remove the buzz. On the other hand the modius would make for the better looking stack for a relatively small increase in the total cost so may still be worthwhile.

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What would be a good way to remove the ground loop with the Mac > Mojo > Active Speaker setup do you think? I tried the iFi USB isolator but it actually made it worse!

It’s actually a little surprising that the isolator doesn’t fix the issue. Do you still have hum running the mojo off of battery?

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Yeah this all running off of the battery, the instructions recommend against charging the Mojo while using it so I’ve avoided that. I did also try disconnecting the Mojo’s battery and running the power either connected to Mac or a wall socket, both having the same issue. I’ve also checked my wall sockets for ground issues using a socket tester. I should mention I also powered the iFi isolator externally with a wall socket USB charger, rather than from the Mac.

Another thing I tried to test optical, was using my Windows PCs HDMI out to my TV, then running the TV optical out to the Mojo, which worked fine. So the high pitched noise does seem to be coming from the USB connection. A shame my Mac doesn’t have optical, I wonder if USB to optical adapter would help.

It would be nice to use the Mojo with my computer but have learned to live with it being only for my phone for the time being.

When the Mojo OG is in line out mode it outputs 3v I believe, maybe that is too much power for the power speakers, I prefer to use my mojo just as “regular mode” (not output mode), I just adjust the volume where I think it sounds fine and then on my case I use my external amp volume to control the volume (I connect Mojo to an external amp), so maybe try that, just connect the Mojo to your power speakers and adjust to volume where you think it sounds fine then just use the volume on the speakers with their volume knob.

Thanks but they are active speakers so the volume must be controlled by a pre-amp.

IDK, that WaveTheory dude seems pretty sketch :laughing:

@Ecoute here’s the review of just the Lyr+

The comparison of $599 amps is coming out this week!

I think @audiomaucr’s point was just that the Mojo line out is overloading the inputs of the active speakers. It’s perfectly safe to use the variable output of a Chord dac to connect to an external amp. I do it all the time with my Hugo 2, for example. You can still use an external preamp if you want, just set the Mojo to where you want it and then use the volume control on whatever preamp you choose. Or, just use the Mojo as the preamp. It will work fine.

I’m not surprised the iDefender didn’t do much. It didn’t do much for my ground loop either. Balanced connections work well for my system. But, short of that, I found a cheap analog ground loop isolator that helped a lot in my system:


Put that in line between your dac and preamp and you should be good.


Thanks for the help, I’m also looking at USB to Optical convertors as the issue seems to be with the Mac’s USB connection to the Mojo, perhaps converting it to optical would help.

I’ve never actually used line out mode on the Mojo as I use it as either a pre/amp for headphones or pre-amp for Active Speakers. If i plugged it directly into my active speakers in line out mode I’m pretty sure it would be disastrous!

I saw your review for the Lyr+, I’m a little worried about the brightness you mentioned as would be using it a lot in SS mode with bright headphones eg DT1990. Won’t jump on it just yet…

@Ecoute I have have the Elex also…I can tell you from personal experience they sound really good on tubes…I run them on my Woo Audio WA6 in the low impedance mode (8-99 ohms)…I have never had any distortion or clipping…The Woo is a output transformer-coupled design and not an OTL…It is definitely a really good pairing.

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