I will be demoing a Mojo 2 soon-ish, and want to buy a similarly-priced DAC(or 2?) to test it against. All I can think of is getting a Bifrost 2 again, which I definitely did enjoy. (Currently using SMSL Sanskrit 10th MK2)
Compared to BF2, Mojo 1 was warmer/fuller, more ‘dense-in-the-middle’, and less detailed & technically capable, so I am hoping Mojo 2 can now match BF2’s detail, along with FINALLY having that sweet, sweet 24/7 externally powered Desktop Mode.
Not interested in:
Sterile DACs, like A90/typical Topping
Balanced output not needed (but 4V output is sweet!)
Denafrips ares ii? In terms of bf2 vs Gumby I’d probably just pick one instead of getting both (I’d say if you use single ended more go bf2, otherwise gumby. Also the a2 gumby does have a cleaner signature than the warmer leaning bf2). You could also try something like a Holo cyan as well. I’d assume you want to keep things around 1k? Also a used qutest is basically around a grand so if you wanted to compare with one of chords own standalone dac
So do you prefer the sound of this over BF2/Mojo/Mojo 2/Gumby/Audio-gd R2Rs? You don’t think Qutest is kind of sterile…? Or does it sound close to TT2, with beefier bass than BF2? I was very surprised to see Lachlan say BF2 sounds warmer than Mojo 2, which is the opposite of what I felt with BF2 and Mojo 1!
I love the description, “The architecture uses the most primitive R-2R DAC technology” lol.
Yeah, $1K max. Holo Cyan looks good, but out of stalk And BF2 taking 6-8 weeks again, gzus.
Well absolutely prefer it over audio gd, I haven’t heard an audio gd that I enjoyed. But I think it’s a competitor to the bf2 and it trades blows, it does offer more holographic staging and similar detail so I think it would be worthwhile trying. I think the gumby would offer more resolution over the bf2 or ares ii, but it is going to be a cleaner overall signature (not sterile though). I’ve not heard the mojo 2 but I’d rather have a bf2 or ares ii over the older mojo
I don’t know if sterile is the word I would use, I think it is brighter and cleaner leaning though. I think it still has reasonable density, low level resolution, microdynamics, and spatial performance to not be called sterile or lifeless. I don’t think it’s the sound you would be looking for, but I do think it would be an interesting comparison and something you could potentially enjoy nonetheless if you already like the chord sound
No, that’s one of the weak points, it’s macrodynamics are lackluster, it lacks impact and slam, also it’s width isn’t the strongest either
I also personally thought the bf2 was warmer than the mojo 1
Lol, I wonder if that’s a translation error or intentional
Probably because there’s likely a cyan ii around the corner
Seem to be a parts shortage
Other dacs I would like to mention would probably be out of budget, or not to sonic preference. I would like to mention a soekris dac2541 but that’s a more neutral leaning dac overall. Used crane song solaris quantum around 1.5k? Although that doesn’t have rca out and also would compete in a different league imo. I guess another option would be a mhdt orchid. There could be potentially interesting options used, but you’d have to see what’s out there
Ok. So far, Gumby and Ares II are sticking out to me over BF2. From some reviews, people say Gumby has MORE space, resolution, neutrality and bass texture than BF2. Do you feel it also has better, more breathable, less fatiguing treble than BF2?
Mojo 2 VS Gumby VS Ares II would be a great shootout. I might be able to swing it.
Would agree, as long as you are using balanced, the single ended out of the gumby is weak in comparison to the balanced
Hm. I didn’t really find the bf2 to have fatiguing treble at all, so not sure on that one. I do think treble is better extended and cleaner with more resolution and bite, but can’t comment on the fatigue thing
I think? Not sure, not heard the a30 pro. Admittedly I’d want to move to a nicer amp first before upgrading the dac
Pagoda is nice, although that’s not much discount used for a single ended version considering what they went for new. Also the pagoda is more neutral than the orchid, but still worth a look
It’s a nice dac, but honestly I didn’t find the first bda to be all that impressive, I thought the 2 and 3 are were it got a bit more worthwhile, but I can’t say the brystons would be my first pick if my goal is overall stage and space, they are only ok in that regard
To me this more just seemed like a “I want to try different things and see how they fare” rather than “looking to build a chain,” cause I’d assume if you are buying multiple dacs just to test, you aren’t really looking to put together a complete setup around a specific thing, just interested in seeing what’s out there
Hm, if that’s the case, I’d likely get the headphones and also a better amp sorted out before doing any comparison with the above, since not sure how much value you’d get from some of the aforementioned dacs with what you currently have
Hard to say at this point, yes… But it must be done this way, with the way the timeline is. After the Mojo 2 test is over, I’ll have to get back to amps and headphones. I am extremely happy with the A30P, at least. Especially over the G111.
Otherwise, I just test Mojo 2 against the Sanskrit
I think for the headphones you are looking at, I’d really suggest moving up to that 1k ish range amp wise first before buying multiple dacs, I think there’s a lot of good options there that won’t be a significant bottleneck in your testing. If you were looking in that range considering the range of cans, I’d look at something like a burson soloist 3xp, vio v280, and if you wanted to go for a tube option a quicksilver headphone amp, and go from there. You could also try to find a used bryston bha-1 around the 1k ish mark as well, or a xi broadway potentially. All depends on what you are after, but I think it’s something to prioritize if you are planning on grabbing some of the mentioned cans
It’s a good all rounder that I think would handle all the mentioned cans fairly well (almost equally well) so it’s a safe pick. Grab a supercharger with it if you can. Plenty good enough to not have any issue taking advantage of the dacs you are looking into, and power the headphones quite well
Yes and no, I think in this case it’s more about solving bottlenecks. I think sub 1k, largely the amp is going to be the more impactful piece, but going higher things start to even out, and higher still I actually might say I’d place more emphasis on the dac. But given your current amp, the price range you are looking in, and the headphones you are planning to try, I think prioritizing the amp at the current moment will both be more rewarding and also better allow you to take advantage of the dacs you are looking to test, so that’s what I would do first
I sea, eye see. I guess if I go that route, I should have a better eye into what Mojo 2 and Sanskrit sound like, and also compare the Burson to the A30P, and see what difference is there(with my current phones, at least).
Yeah that’s mainly my thought. The chain is only as good as the weakest link, so if the amp can’t both properly convey what it’s given by the dac and can’t control the drivers to the level they should be at, it’s not going to be great sound. Same potential issue with a dac deficiency, both headphones and an amp are only going to be as good as what they are fed, so a lackluster dac can also tank a system since that’s what’s technically feeding everything downstream. And of course if your headphones aren’t capable enough you won’t really get the benefits of nicer source gear. It’s all about balance for the most part. Hard to explain why, but I think there’s larger jumps in amp quality at this price point than dac quality, so typically getting a nicer amp seems like a better investment sub and around 1k vs the dacs in that range, those come after that