Please could I have any recommendations for how to improve my Mojo-ROCK setup?
I have attached a terrible photo, which possibly does this setup justice! It shows my Intel NUC which runs ROCK server, and sends Roon RAAT output to a Chord Mojo through a short USB cable. The DAC audio output is sent out of one of the Mojo’s 2 headphone jacks, with a cheap stereo splitter connected to a nice 0.5m Chord interconnect (other ends are connected to a Rega Brio amp, out of shot)
Some ideas that I have seen from other posters and hi-fi sites include…
USB Signal stabiliser between the NUC and the mojo, to reduce the digital noise from the NUC?
Custom fitting 3.5mm jacks to the interconnects, and somehow running left and right signals separately out of the 2 headphone jacks on the Mojo?
Or investing in some new kit, like a dedicated streamer to run the digital signal to the Mojo- and remove the USB connection to the NUC?
Any suggestions that you have will be very much appreciated!
Hi @Jack_O_Donoghue, I’m also a Mojo owner and terrible photographer, worse than you. Chord’s USB implementation is pretty good by reputation, although I’m inclined to use TOSlink optical to eliminate the chance of transferred noise. I doubt that a USB stabiliser is going to make much difference noise wise. The left right custom cable thing is unlikely to improve things significantly IMHO. you’re already splitting the channels more or less at source. For a while somebody in the far east offered a warranty voiding modification to replace the dual head outputs with L/R balanced ones. Most review suggested it sounded no better all the same.
If I were you I’d go down the separate streamer route. I drive my Mojo with a Raspberry Pi streamer with a HiFi Berry optical HAT and it sounds pretty good. Rob Watts used to claim that he thought the Mojo sounded best driven through optical TosLink. I’m ambivalent but it does mean little chance of noise.
Using it as a streamer around the house, the Poly works great. I have had no issues using wifi. I am very, very pleased with the sound quality and how it works with Roon.
When I just started using the Poly, I had some trouble using it as a portable, especially in public transportation and crowded areas. Chord’s customer service and user forums helped me with how to avoid interference from smartphones etc.
@Robert_van_Riel Chord Poly seems a neat and matched option for people who are on the go (I’m in the UK- fewer travellers right now, hopefully soon!). For now I don’t need mobility- I leave my Mojo down there plugged into the NUC as the home hifi DAC.
@killdozer, I like your RPI homebrew option- the Mojo replaced an IQAudio RPI DAC and I could switch out for a good Digital HAT. Could well be the best value option to improve my setup.
@Steven_Yamada, that’s a far better photo! It’d be great if you could share your views on SQ with / without the iFi iOne in the chain? Your setup got me thinking… I’d like to test a reclocker and I’d hope that removing the ‘digital soup’ from the NUC USB might improve my music. Almost bought one as soon as I saw your post, good price and the reclock & conversion to SPDIF seems to tick the boxes to get the best out of the Mojo.
I did some research and came up with some further options!
Grateful for any of your thoughts on any of these?
I have played with various streamers connected to the Mojo. Both the USBridge and DigiOne from Allo are perfectly fine options. I think I own the Poly now for about two years (since it was released) and haven’t looked back. I haven’t done extensive comparison between the SPDIF and USB connections on the Mojo. But I didn’t hear any meaningfully enough difference. As opposed to my previous DCS Puccini setup where the USBridge in connection with a Scarlatti clock significantly outperformed the DigiOne. But that system is gone now and replaced by a Rossini… that was a much more significant improvement!
The Mojo is used in my office system, where I primarily play vinyl. But it is just there to take on the road for mobile use. And in this way it is always charged and ready to go
I’ve had no issues with Wifi on stationary use. On the go it is a bit of a pain: you need a wifi connection with the Poly’s hotspot to play from the SD card. And you can’t connect to your mobile data at the same time. But on long trips on a plane (where I have most used this setup) this is just fine.
Hi @Jack_O_Donoghue . I use an Allo Digi One Signature as my Roon endpoint for my main kit and it’s very nice. You can do significantly cheaper by building your own but that depends on your skillset and inclination. A bought assembled solution can be more convenient.
My next point may be controversial and I won’t labour it. I suspect a re-clocker is a complete waste of time and money given the DAC you have. I’m of the opinion that these devices will only help poorly designed DACs with bad USB implementations, your DAC is neither. £725 would be far better put towards new speakers
I don’t hear significant difference in sound characteristics between “with iOne (i.e, S/PDIF)” and “without (i.e., USB)”. For my ears, better micro dynamism and “blacker” background with S/PDIF (coax) but it is subtle. The major reason why I choose S/PDIF route is to avoid an EMI (Electromagnetic Interference)/RFI (Radio Frequency Interference) to Mojo USB interface. Mojo seems to be quite sensitive to EMI/RFI that comes up with occasional pops(noise) and/or sound drops.
I’m going to throw my hat in for Poly as well - never had an issue with mine, and I’ve used it as part of a main system with an Audioquest 3.5- to 2 RCA cable. My only, ONLY gripe is that it doesn’t have a USB passthrough, which would have been a bit of a Quality of Life improvement for my pre-Hugo 2 owning situation at the office - just plug in my Innuos without needing to take apart my Mojo/Poly/case.