New Mojo Mystique X

Who has ordered the new Mystique X being released later this year? I was going to buy a used Mystique V3 but they are just impossible to find. Ben had a possible trade in unit for me but the owner decided not to go ahead.

The new models carry quite a price and to take advantage of the introductory discount it seems they have to be bought unheard, just going on previous models’ reputations. Could those who are buying the new model please share their reasons why.
Finding a used Mystique v3 is a tall order. Wondering how "Robotic Assembly" will affect sound? Trying to find a nice NOS r2r these days is simply a challenge in general. 
I am also considering the British made SW1X, which I have not heard. It is similar to the Audio Note DAC's which I have heard and find very 'musical'

You are right, it's a tough choice.
And what happened to pics of the new chassis the Evo supposedly got in early 2021?
There's currently an ad (not mine) on the Mart for a used Mojo.

When I was DAC shopping last year, they were on my audition list but ultimately it didn't work out for various reasons.

Among other things, not a huge fan of the yearly update business model -- just make something great, keep making it, and when you've accumulated enough improvements to make a BIG difference...release your "mk. 2 model" or whatever. 

Was also interested in the "EVO", whose whole premise was upgradeability, and already they seem to have gone in a different direction. The unpredictability of the business model isn't my cup of tea.

But it might be a good fit in your system. For natural/organic sound, would also suggest looking into the Sonnet Morpheus, Merason,  Totaldac (core). Tube dacs could also be your jam, just be mindful of voltage output and whether your pre-amp has enough gain to make it sing.

It appears that the new model will not be upgradable and that the EVO will no longer be produced. Two versions will be available and will sonically be close to the EVO Pro level. Pricing is better than the existing Pro.

Not being able to audition is a severe handicap. I was not aware of the Merason which I will look into
@lemonhaze I am expecting my new Mystique EVO DACc next week so looking forward to hearing how it sounds. Seems like several have gone out to new owner in the last few weeks. Perhaps some will post their experience soon. And of course Benjamin offers a 45-day refund policy in case you're not happy with the sound or if you decide you want to change models. Talk to Ben about he would handle "upgradeability" in an EVO model when new upgraded models are released and these upgrades can't be accommodated due to a change in chassis. 
I had the Mojo Mystique Evo B2B with the A Core upgrade for awhile. This DAC does sound very organic and natural, which is seductive at first. That said it does so at the cost of smoothing over details, higher noise floor and coloration in tone. It depends on your musical preference, if all you care about is small ensemble jazz or vocals, this is a good DAC. If you listen to dynamic music that's either electronic or even orchestra that benefits from low noise floor and clear instrument separation and texture, this isn't the DAC for you.
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All the magic...half the price. In order to keep up with the overwhelming demand for our DACs, the Mystique X has been engineered for robotic assembly and will be sold through an international network of retail distributors.
The specific changes from the Mystique EVO to the Mystique X were not clear to me from reading the website, but "All the magic...half the price," sort of implies buyers of the X get "all the magic" of the EVO at half the price.

One selling point explained to me when I purchased an EVO B4B last year was modularity and the ability to easily upgrade to avoid obsolescence.  Now I see, "The EVO Basic and B4B are being replaced by the Mystique X" and "There will never be another EVO," which sort of makes it sound as if the EVO is now obsolete - I hope not.

As said by @metaldetektor, I agree with the philosophy:
not a huge fan of the yearly update business model -- just make something great, keep making it, and when you've accumulated enough improvements to make a BIG difference...release your "mk. 2 model" or whatever.
However, Benjamin is sort of a tinkerer in that he is constantly improving on his designs which has resulted in a continuous pattern of changing/upgrading models. This is not totally unusual in the digital realm. The build quality of his products I have owned is very good but I get the feeling they could use a more consistent manufacturing process to keep up with demand. It may be that that the EVO DACs were built to a high standard that didn't allow for much profit, particularly considering they were hand built. This "X" model, "robotic assembly," and "international network of retail distributors" sound like an effort to improve on the manufacturing/delivery process, while offering a good sounding product at a lower price. Hopefully, improvements can still be implemented for EVO owners, if desired.

I hope this sorts out in a positive manner because one thing for sure, the Mystique v3 that I previously owned, and the EVO B4B that I currently own, both sound very good in my system. My current set-up, including the Deja Vu EVO Media Server and EVO B4B, sounds tonally rich, natural, dynamic and sufficiently detailed, and the server/DAC combo works very well together. I do not perceive any loss of detail compared to the Metrum Adagio, Metrum Pavane, or Ayre QB-9 DSD DACs I have previously owned and IMO the EVO B4B provides improved tone and sounds better (to my tastes) than all of those. Dynamics are no problem either as the system absolutely rocks out when called for, of course that front end is running through two powerful amplifiers, very dynamic speakers, and dual subs - so that may have something to do with it.

i have a mystique v3 coming in... will compare to my stalwarts chord, weiss, ank 4.1
Benjamin from Mojo Audio here to clear up any misconceptions. The Mystique X is not replacing the EVO. The EVO is still a current product and fully supported.

There are no plans to stop supporting the EVO and there will be a new EVO for 2022. The Mystique X is a new lower cost model which has better performance than our EVO Basic and very close performance to our current EVO Pro.

Now you know why we’ve been offering a 20% discount on our EVOs...we knew we were going to be releasing the lower priced X.

The X stands for "extruded chassis." Switching to a 9" wide x 4" tall x 16" deep extruded aluminum chassis with custom face and rear plates is one of the many cost saving compromises we made.

Because the X is so close in performance to our current EVO models, in 2022 our EVO is being totally redesigned and upgraded. The 2022 EVO will start at about $15K and go up to about $20K. The new X will start at only $7,777. This is where the "all the magic...half the price" stuff comes from.

Among the upgrades to the 2022 EVO will be things like dual mono power supplies, custom Lundahl amorphous core power transformers, and the PCM63 DAC chip. Since the new X is quite a tough act to follow, the new EVO won’t be available until mid year 2022.

But back to more info on our new X...

The circuit and most of the component parts in the X are identical to the EVO. There are a few almost inaudible compromises in the digital power supplies and 9 vs 16 Belleson regulators total. There are also some improvements made to all the power supplies which will offset the compromises.

For those of you who are purists like me, there are improvements to the S/PDIF inputs. The X will also have a USB input cut off switch that will remove all clocking from inside the chassis to improve S/PDIF performance even more.

Among the other cost saving compromises we made was going to all PC board mounted connectors...pretty much what most manufacturers do. There are almost no wires inside the X chassis. The compromise is that we are no longer able to suspend all the circuit boards on anti-resonant mounts. But the chassis itself has some new anti-resonant treatments. So overall switching to PC board mounted connectors is a net gain in performance.

In 2022 we are also evolving our manufacture from 100% hand built to robotically assembled. This is going to both lower our cost of manufacture and significantly increase our productivity. So for the first time in over 12 years in business Mojo Audio will be selling through an international network of retail distributors.

The Mystique X is the first of our manufactured vs hand built products which will sell through retailers.

Hopefully in a few days we’ll have engineering drawings of the new X chassis and full descriptions on our website.
I also want to clear up some comments I’ve read by people like Devertiti.

Mojo Audio DACs are engineered for natural, neutral, and harmonically coherent sound.

This will not appeal to everyone.

To over simplify, I divide high end audio customers in to two categories: the audiophile and the music lover.

Audiophiles will talk about things like bass extension and weight, high end extension and penetration, image, depth, and layering.

None of those things have anything to do with music. Those are what I call "special effects" and "attractive distortion."

Music lovers talk about things like time, tune, harmonic coherency, and the ways instruments and voices intermingle.

Time and tune: that’s music on the written page. The most basic components of all music.

Harmonic coherency is the mathematical alignment of all frequencies. When a note is struck it has harmonics at twice the frequency and half the amplitude going up to infinity. Alignment of the bass, mid, and high frequency harmonics is essential for music to have an organic character.

I’ve been told by customers "no matter how loud I play my Mojo Audio DAC it never sounds loud." This is because all the harmonics align perfectly.

This is also what gives Audiophiles the illusion (or rather delusion) that our DACs have less resolution than some of these other more impressively "voiced" DACs. When harmonics don’t align it gives a false sense of separation, layering, and resolution. Sort of like a black outline around animation. It makes things "pop" at the expense of no longer sounding natural and organic.

Those of you who actually listen to live acoustic music all know that the separation of instruments and pin point imaging that many audiophiles are looking for simply does not exist in the real world. It is a trick of the recording studio.

Let me finish by staying there is no right or wrong here. Everyone is entitled to have the sound they prefer.

If you’re looking for that "larger than life" sound that many audiophiles desire, then there are several DACs on the market with FPGAs, Delta-Sigma DAC chips, and impressively voiced output stages to choose from.

If you’re looking for a natural and neutral sound with correct time, tune, and harmonic coherency, I suggest you audition one of my DACs with our 45-day no-risk audition.
A bit more about the EVO...

Our current EVOs use the same circuit boards as our original EVO sold from 2019-2021. The chassis is new but the guts are identical.

It was only because of delivery issues with our former chassis manufacturer that we made this product change.

Hopefully we’ll have actual photos of the new chassis on our website in the next week. We’ve been so busy getting out EVO back orders we’ve not had a spare DAC to photograph.

We will have some trickle-down technology from our new top-of-the-line DAC in 2022 that can upgrade any 2019-2021 EVOs.

Boards with our new S/PDIF upgrades, power supply upgrades, and the PCM63 DAC chip, will be available for your EVO mid to late 2022.

During the upgrade we’ll completely remove and replace your current boards with these new boards.

If USB is your high-performance digital input, there would be no benefit from the new digital input board. The only advantage would be if your reference digital source is a high-end CD transport.

The new analog board will include the PCM63 DAC chip and power supply upgrades. This will be an excellent upgrade to any 2019-2021 EVO.

These upgrades will be an excellent high-value upgrade option for customers who are not trading in their EVO toward one of our new top-of-the-line 2022 DACs.
I have previously owned several Lector CDP 7TL CD players, including a MkII that had the BB-PCM63 20-bit DAC chipset, and the otherwise identical MkIII that used the newer BB-PCM1704 24-bit chipset.  The PCM1704 chip was said to be just a little more accurate with better resolution but some (including me) found the PCM63 chip to be more musical with a more engaging tone.  As I recall, there were (at least) three types of PCM63 chips, with the PCM63P-K providing the highest dynamic range and lowest harmonic distortion.  Below is a description of the chip:
The PCM63P is a precision 20-bit digital-to-analog converter with ultra-low distortion (–96dB max with a full scale output; PCM63P-K). Incorporated into thePCM63P is a unique Colinear dual-DAC per channel architecture that eliminates unwanted glitches and other nonlinearities around bipolar zero. The PCM63P also features a very low noise (116dB max SNR;A-weighted method) and fast settling current output(200ns typ, 2mA step) which is capable of 16-times oversampling rates.  Applications include very low distortion frequency synthesis and high-end consumer and professional digital audio applications.
@fuzzbutt17 Wow! new models and new upgrades to the EVO already? I just received my Mojo EVO 2021 B4B 2 weeks ago! In any case, I will be coming back for more of that music Mojo. That PCM63 DAC chip and SPDIF upgrade (I spin CD's) sound very promising and interesting - I hope you have a nice returning customer discount too :)

The EVO 2021 has been a wonderful DAC and the first component change that has totally transformed my system. And it continues to amaze me as I continue to "burn it in". When I added the First Watt Sit-3 into my audio set up, I was happy you could get some of that SET magic/tone from a solid state amp, and then when I introduced the Shindo Masseto preamp into the setup, I got more of that 3D dimensional body and meat on the bones in the music. When I added the EVO into the setup, I (finally) started to enjoy and listen and move to the music, and stopped thinking about and analyzing the sound. With prior DACs in my system (Borderpatrol SE-i, TotalDAC D1-core), I was always analyzing soundstage width/depth, instrument separation, tonality etc. Although these previous DAC's had moments of "pop" and "excitement", but in the back of mind, those moments always felt exaggerated. To be clear, I am not trying to disparage these other DACs, they are very good DACs at their price points. And given the subjectiveness of audio perception, these "exaggerations" could be another person's musical bliss. Pick your own poison as they say.... 

One of the pieces of music that I use as a litmus test is a Chesky recording of Earl Wild (pianist) playing with a full orchestra. Supposedly a very good recording, but it was probably the piece that I skipped past the most when i played that album. The piano tonality was off and just sounded flat, and overall it was like hearing the piano "versus" the orchestra. With the EVO, the piano came alive, and I could finally hear and enjoy Earl Wild's masterful and nuanced articulation, and, Earl Wild and the orchestra "playing together" and "having a high energy conversation". Quite frankly, I continued to play that piece (even though i didn't enjoy it that much) each time I introduce a new component into my system because, subconsciously, I guess I was hoping to see which component change would stop me in my tracks to have a second listen.  Every CD I have put on since the EVO arrived, the immediate reaction has not been "wow, I am hearing this new detail or that new detail" (though this is true), but I am just smiling and enjoying the music immensely. The recorded trumpet has always been a tough instrument for me to appreciate because it sounded harsh and lacked richness, but all that changed with the EVO. I actually started to like listening to the trumpet, and I am developing a new found appreciation for Miles Davis.

Apologies for the long post, but all of that is to say that if Benjamin can bring some of that high end Mojo to lower (relatively speaking) price points, and also offer existing EVO owners a high value upgrade that gets us within reasonable striking distance of the new EVO63 (without shelling out $15-$20K), that sounds like a good thing to me. 
Advice I'd like to humbly offer to the Mojo guy is not assume everyone is an engineering geek and knows what a freaking Lundahl Amorphous Core or some ERS paper barriers shielding is...these are some of the options listen that you have to pick and choose from and a lot of people will have no idea what the heck that is...or more importantly, how it's going to affect the sound and performance...why not put a dedicated page or maybe hyperlink these fancy words so once you click on it, it explains what customers have to gain from all that. There are a lot of customers/people, including me, that when faced with choices, I need to fully understand what's behind them, if it's too many of them and not clear, I may just move on. 
I had the Mojo Mystique Evo B2B with the A Core upgrade for awhile. This DAC does sound very organic and natural, which is seductive at first. That said it does so at the cost of smoothing over details, higher noise floor and coloration in tone. It depends on your musical preference, if all you care about is small ensemble jazz or vocals, this is a good DAC. If you listen to dynamic music that's either electronic or even orchestra that benefits from low noise floor and clear instrument separation and texture, this isn't the DAC for you.

-I'm glad to see impressions like this because I experienced that several times when highly regarded, natural sounding dacs were simply not cutting it when it comes to electronica, where detail, low noise floor, bass definition, and punchiness are important. A lot of audiophiles don't listen to electronica, it's the usual piano, violins and whatnot...which Im not knocking, just pointing out that someone's natural sound is another one's slow and syrupy.

and so what dac(s) have you found that for your use listening to electronica, that outperforms the mojo unit you exited from on those criteria you specified (clarity/detail, noise floor, lack of coloration, speed/impact)?

we would love to be educated...

379 posts

11-07-2021 6:17pm

I had the Mojo Mystique Evo B2B with the A Core upgrade for awhile.


That is a quote from a fellow Audiogoner few comments further reaction to it is right upper half is quote, bottom half, me...
@branislav - While I do not discount the observations posted by @divertiti who also owns the B4B, I would caution lumping the B4B into a category characterized by your impressions of other DACs, particularly without spending time with the B4B.  While there may well be other DACs that listeners of electronica would like better, the B4B is far from "slow and syrupy" and it sounds very good in my system on all types of rock music, blues, and popular/vocals.   
I challenge anybody to go to Mojo's website for few minutes and tell me the difference between their X and X SE model....
I appreciate the diversity of views in the thread. Some passionate owners, and some former owners with different views. That’s as it should be. System fit and personal taste is everything.

I look forward to seeing what the dealer network is. Although there is a 45-day home demo policy, which is nice in theory, the DAC is quite heavy. I did the math, and a home audition would cost me $200-$250 in shipping (covering both to and from) if it doesn’t work out. Just the nature of shipping heavy gear and insuring it. So getting a home demo from a local dealer would be a lot more palatable (inevitable downside: dealer mark-up).
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Thank you. I never knew how to do that. I can see why it could have been confusing.
@longinc,  a long informative post which I appreciate. The fixation with detail above all else is IMO heading in the wrong direction. I want to know what a component does for the enjoyment of music and your post addressed that.
“Taste is first and foremost distaste, disgust and visceral intolerance of the taste of others.”
Pierre Bourdieu

This thread makes me wonder how much of our experience of hifi is affected by non-musical factors, including intangibles that go to audiophile identity. Some call this pride of ownership, which is distinct but very much related. Why are some audiophiles drawn to boutique manufacturers with whom they can have a direct relationship? Or even larger companies that have a distinct identity (Naim, to name a classic example).

These affiliations can veer into the (overly) emotional/tribal, as if I'm watching a Celtics fan yelling at a Lakers fan for having the audacity to be born in L.A. (e.g., folks who vehemently defend a certain brand...your hifi isn't, or shouldn't be, your identity, man. Let's face it, it's usually men who are like this). Not saying Mojo owners in this thread have been like that, but there's been a little flavor of defensiveness. A certain disappointment or at least disbelief that someone might have different taste.

Mojo, in this thread and on the website, have laid out their mission statement -- what they value in a good DAC. It's an attractive philosophy and one that many, including myself, share. I don't know if they execute well on the philosophy, but I like the philosophy. So when I hear a DAC built by someone that shares my approach to hifi...does that make me more inclined to like it? Because it's validation, an affirmation of my identity as an audiophile -- I'm a music-first audiophile, not one of those folks obsessed with gear, etc.

@longinc Thx for the comments. I haven't heard anyone describe a BorderPatrol DAC or a totaldac as analytical're off your rocker. I'm kidding to make a point. I had a very different experience from yours but again, it all goes to how subjective sonic impressions are, and how precarious system-matching can be.
@lemonhaze for sure (happy to help). if you have more questions, feel free to post here or send me a message. One point you made about "fixation with details" - respectfully, I take a slightly different view on that. I actually think "details" and a resolving system are great things. I think that if you can extract as much details from the source (assuming it’s a decent recording) and those details are conveyed with the "right timing and coherence", the "details" sound enjoyable and better conveys the intent of the musician(s) and you are able to better follow the nuances and tune of the music. (btw, i am not referring to hearing the side chatter in a live jazz bar recording - that type of detail can be a little distracting at least to me:) ) An analogy I like to think of is, if details were all that bad, then most people won’t likely enjoy a live performance. when we sit in front of a group of musicians we hear all the details in their glory (we hear the interplay between the musicians, the energy each musician is bringing into the musical mix, the timbral accuracy/richness of instruments/voices etc). Anyways, my 2 cents, but take it with a grain of salt since we all hear differently.

@metaldetektor i think you grossly misinterpreted/misread my comments about the BorderPatrol (BP) and TotalDac DACs. You haven’t heard anyone describe them as analytical and I didn’t describe them as analytical. They are far from "analytical". In fact, I would say quite the opposite. Quoting from my previous post "Although these previous DAC’s had moments of "pop" and "excitement", but in the back of mind, those moments always felt exaggerated." - this is not a suggestion of the DACs being analytical. What I was saying is that they try to convey "emotion"/"drama" but at times in an exaggerated way (at least to my ears) especially the TotalDac. Not saying good or bad, and for some music lovers/audiophiles this exaggerated drama is awesome (no judgement there). The BP smooths over the digital edge and conveys a sense of "analog smoothness" at some expense of good details, imho. Perhaps you might have inferred "analytical" when I wrote "When I added the EVO into the setup, I (finally) started to enjoy and listen and move to the music, and stopped thinking about and analyzing the sound." - this again was not to suggest the other DACs were analytical, what i was hoping to convey, was that with the EVO getting "timing", "coherence" and "timbre" so right that I just enjoyed the music and I didn’t have to fall back to analyzing the usual audiophile attributes to "justify" the purchase.

Your point about buying for a variety of reasons. I agree with that. And, in this hobby i think that’s even more pronounced for the simple logistical reality that we can’t just "walk into a Best Buy" and audition all of these products at the same time (and not everyone has the time or opportunity to attend an audio show) and to make a purchase decision based solely on which sounds best to us. So we make a purchase decision that includes other factors (e.g. the designer’s approach, what reviews say, the brand has "Mojo" in it - kidding on this last one) . But where I disagree with you is the suggestion of "defensiveness" coming from owners on this thread. You have past/current owners offering their (positive/negative) opinions. And for the negative, i think the designer is entitled to respond to explain his design and voicing philosophy - in fact, given we buy for a variety of reasons, i actually appreciate a strong POV from the designer. Then you have the other posts, from posters who have NOT heard the product and are making assertions about the product, I would expect its quite natural for those who have heard the product to "jump on" those posts to offer a counter opinion based on their experience(s) of the product or to ask for more context from the poster. On one hand, you celebrate the diverse views of this thread/forum, but you are quick to "label" some of these responses as "owner defensiveness". Aren’t you (perhaps inadvertently) curbing diverse voices by negatively labeling some of these owner responses?

Photos of our new 100% machined chassis are now up on our website:

Our next gen EVO63 will use a similar chassis.

Later today I’ll post a spread sheet to address any questions some of you may have as to the differences between the Mystique X and the X SE.
I understand how it can be a bit confusing.

I want to thank you Branisalv for pointing out that there was some confusion as to the differences between the X and X SE models.

I was considering a spread sheet to clear things up but opted for highlighting the bullet pointed features list already at the bottom of the X SE product page.

I added "UPGRADED:" in front of each item which was upgraded compared to the entry-level X model.

Another thing to note is there are upgrade options on the X model. Each of those come standard on the X SE model as well as a few things you can only get with the X SE model.

For future reference Branislav, if you want know the differences between different models, go to the bullet point features list at the bottom of each product page.

Easy peasy.

For those who falsely stated that our DACs have a high noise floor, I suggest you don’t embarrass yourself any further.

Between the discrete AC input filtering, LC choke-input power supplies, massive 4-pole main capacitors, and 16X Belleson SPX ultralow-noise ultrahigh-dynamic discrete regulators, our noise floor and the speed of our power supplies are among the lowest and fastest in the industry. Well below -127dB and 0 to full current output in less than 10uS.

For those of you who don’t know what -127dB means, you would have to play your music at a volume 127dB above the noise floor in your room to hear it. And that would be a volume which would cause permanent hearing loss.

Similarly, the comments about "slow...syrupy...smoothed over details" and the like are exactly the opposite. Our DACs are so much faster and more detailed than most they allow the harmonic structure to perfectly align and the voices and instruments to blend and interact.

I could see how all of those never before heard harmonics and spacial cues could appear to be noise or slow and syrupy sound on a system which is not capable of reproducing them. And how a person would need a larger than life sounding DAC to bring a bit of life to a lifeless system.

Interesting how all the people who criticized the Mojo Audio sound listen to electronic rather than acoustic music. I’ve never read any comments on how violins or piano or horns sound off in some way. Only electronic music.

My guess is those guys don’t realize how many "voicing" decisions they made when they set up their system and that they were compensating for the harsher, harder, more digititus sound from former larger than life sounding DACs.

Think about it: if a system is voiced to sound tonally balanced with a DAC that has a larger than life sound, then wouldn’t it sound relatively slow or syrupy if you replaced that DAC with one that sounded natural and neutral?

And for those of you who don’t want to learn something and Google things like "amorphous core chokes" or "Silicon Carbide Shottky diodes" or the dozens of other highly specific technical terms I use in the descriptions of our products, I have an easy solution. Simply assume that if I made a point to mention it, that it is notably better and more expensive than what most of our competitors are using.

Of course I could always do what most of our competitors do and sell cheap parts that are not worth mentioning in a fancy chassis and then put total BS in my marketing rhetoric to confuse and sway the uneducated consumer :^P

But I’ve always found the educated consumer is my best customer.

Folks, I’ve been enjoying this thread and everyone’s descriptions of what they hope for from a DAC.

Unfortunately this statement below from Benjamin is not really correct:

Harmonic coherency is the mathematical alignment of all frequencies. When a note is struck it has harmonics at twice the frequency and half the amplitude going up to infinity. Alignment of the bass, mid, and high frequency harmonics is essential for music to have an organic character.

Yes indeed, instruments produce harmonics at APPROXIMATE multiples of the fundamental, but rarely exactly. These differences are a part of what differentiates the sound of various instruments. For example, in stringed instruments the stiffness of the strings causes the harmonics to be slightly off of perfect multiples. This is called “inharmonicity” and makes music interesting.

If a DAC forces the harmonics to be exact multiples of the fundamental, the music will be homogenized and lack true realistic character.

Therefore a DAC that accurately recreates the true sound of the instruments, will allow your ears to detect those subtle differences, and your ability to identify the individual instruments. This is part of what I interpret to be the “layers” we hear in well reproduced music, and this is a big part of what I enjoy about listening to music. Being able to differentiate these nuances is not "special effects" and not "attractive distortion."

I hope Benjamin’s DACs do not force harmonics to be exact multiples of fundamentals, but if they do that would NOT be a good thing for accurate reproduction.

Thanks for the more in-depth description of harmonics RockRider.

Our DACs don’t align or change or filter or correct ANYTHING...that’s the whole point. All they do is decode what is on the recording and attempt to preserve and amplify that musical signal.

Our philosophy is "error prevention vs error correction" and that is achieved with incredibly fast and incredibly low noise power supplies, proper shielding, and proper anti-resonance.

The LC choke input power supplies we use are the only (yes, ONLY) type of power supply which both puts current and voltage in perfect phase and stores both current and voltage.

Any other (yes, ANY other) type of power supply is an attempt to be smaller, cheaper, and/or more energy efficient, with as close performance as possible to the LC choke input power supply.

Capacitive input power supplies that are used in most gear on the market put current 90 degrees out of phase behind voltage and only store voltage. It doesn’t make a difference how much capacitance you have or if you’re using so-called "Super Caps." The physics remains the same.

Because capacitive power supplies only store voltage this makes the energy of the music always in a state of "becoming" rather than being instantaneous as with an LC choke input power supply.

This translates to the more current a passage of music requires the more off time and tune it becomes relative to the other passages. So when a note requiring a lot of current is struck the fundamental of the note is most out of phase and time, and then as less energy is required to reproduce each harmonic, the subsequent harmonics are more and more in phase and time.

Does that make sense?

This phase and time distortion from capacitive power supplies compounds as more and more are used in the recording and playback chain. So the tube amp I use in my reference system also has LC choke input power supplies.

The really funny thing is when I play people some of my favorite well recorded 1940’s and 1950’s recordings, which were done in studios using LC choke input power supplies. Then I compare them to modern recordings of the same instruments. You can see their eyes bulge and their jaws drop when they actually hear the energy and harmonics of the instruments aligning near perfectly for the first time.

As I always say: the educated customer is my best customer.

Mr Mojo, yes, that's the way to do it, now anybody looking at SE model can clearly see what the upgrade is. Way easier...

For future reference Branislav, if you want know the differences between different models, go to the bullet point features list at the bottom of each product page.

Easy peasy.

 - (That's my attempt at quote) Well, not quite. Again you get a long list of features, and you have find the differencies (like those kids games where you have to find deifferencies between 2 pictures), a lot of features are shared, some aren't. So going from B4B to PRO, on PRO bullet points, I'd highlight features and specify that these are upgrades over B4B. Not every customer is educated and super sofisticated, so easier it is, more orders will go in...

Even now, if someone was deciding between X SE and B4B for about the same, who knows how they would go about it...


That’s why I took your advice and added "SE Upgrade:" in bold letters in front of each feature that was improved over the entry-level X in the X SE.


And that’s why I added the "Optional:" in bold letters in front of features in the X and X SE which are optional.


Good suggestion for us to make it easier for people to see those differences at a glance Branislav. I plan on continuing with that format on future product pages.


As for your B4B vs X question, that’s a good one. .


I did clearly state in the product description even the entry-level X sounds better than the EVO Basic and that the that the X doesn’t sound quite as good as the EVO Pro.


But the B4B is one of those more complex "depends on" situations that I wasn’t sure how to express on our website.


The big "depends" is which Lundhal chokes are in the analog power supplies.


Of course the second factor is the S/PDIF upgrade, which doesn’t help the over 80% of our customers who only use the USB input, or those who purchase the entry-level X without the S/PDIF upgrade.


And a third factor has to do with which verion of the EVO B4B we were comparing to since there were originally different inputs, outputs, wiring, and shielding options.


The EVO B4B has the same Lundahl ferrous core chokes as the entry-level X, but the EVO B4B has all choke input power supplies for the three digital supplies as well as the two analog supplies. So the EVO B4B would sound better unless you were using the upgraded S/PDIF inputs, which are optional on the X version and standard on the X SE version, and then the entry-level X would sound better.


If you get the Amorphous core choke upgrade in your X or have an X SE and use the USB input it would also sound better than the EVO B4B and cost about $1K-$2K less. But the X realy isn’t upgradeable like the EVO B4B, and the EVO B4B has a much nicer chassis, so those are considerations that offset the value the X’s sonic performance.


The X SE comes with amorphous core chokes in the analog supplies, so it would sound better than an EVO B4B, unless you got the amorphous core choke upgrade option on the EVO B4B. Then we’re back to the are you using S/PDIF or USB input scenario.


Now let’s really mix things up: from 2019 to 2020 we made several different versions of the EVO B4B with different output stages, input stages, wiring, and shielding. I would say even the entry-level X would sound better than some of those EVO B4Bs because they didn’t have the same class A output stage. But if the EVO B4B had the class A output stage upgrade option then you’re back to what I wrote above.


See what I’m up against Branislav?


How would you suggest I explain such a complex set of scenarios on my website?


Sort of seems more like the kind of thing a person might ask on a forum and hope to get a response from people who owned the products or from the company.


But I am open to any suggestions any of you might have about how to explain complex scenarios like that on our website.

Mr Mojo, I’m actually honored you took my suggestions and openly expressed it, that gives me good feeling. 🙂 Simplicity does make a difference, you can always answer complex questions and dilemmas, but again, nothing like keeping it simple and user friendly without zillion of options. Here’s a quote from one of the Mojo threads here on AG.


5,139 posts

Too many options to choose from for me. I wouldn’t buy because I would be afraid I picked the wrong options and would always be wondering if I picked the right ones. Looks like a winner though.

Reminds me of Gordon Ramsey episode about Indian restaurant where they had customers "make your own" curry with seemingly endless options. They blindedfolded the crew and even they couldn’t really tell one dish from another or what they are eating. Gordon put a stop to that, and they created FEW, DISTINCT dishes that best represent the cuisine and what the restaurant can offer, thus creating an identity for themselves...



I can't agree with you more.


That's why there are so few options for our new X series.


And that is why in 2021 we included the most popular options in our EVO and we cut the options literally in half.


At the same time, because we think differently here at Mojo Audio, we're not going to put out a line of a half a dozen DACs like our competitors, most of which are an attempt to meet a price point and feature package based on what the marketing department tells you will sell.


If you want a line of DACs inspired by a focus group and marketing projections there are lots of other companies to choose from.


On the other hand, if you want a higher performance DAC with fewer features. One which is engineered for optimal sound quality as opposed to marketability. And if you want to  buy from a company  who spends more on the parts inside than on the chassis and packaging outside. And spends more on R&D than on advertising. Then you may have to learn a few technical terms you never heard of before, and you may have to ask a few questions you never had to ask before.


At Mojo Audio our customers expect more from us, and in turn, we expect more from our customers.

@mitch2 While there may well be other DACs that listeners of electronica would like better, the B4B is far from "slow and syrupy" and it sounds very good in my system on all types of rock music, blues, and popular/vocals. 

I agree.

My new EVP B4B has about 25 hours since it was delivered last Wednesday afternoon and it is providing more detail than I ever heard before.

It is not muddy or syrupy and I can hear deeper into the mixes to better differentiate individual voices and instruments.The better detail is allowing me hear texture, decay, and ambience. 

I listen to classic rock, jazz, bluegrass, and classical and it is fine with all of it.

Thanks for listening,




@fuzzbutt17 When will the dealer listing become available? I'd love to listen, but an in-home demo could get pricey with round-trip shipping (these are heavy DACs), so working with a dealer probably makes more sense for me. Thanks.

@branislav To answer your question, I didn’t feel that the Mystique Mojo made everything mushy or syrupy, it had okay speed and transients, but it homogenized the music, like applying a certain kind of filter to photos and videos, it gives every song a certain type of flavor. It worked well for some genres, like acoustic music, but it didn’t work well for other types of music, like in-organic modern music. Like I said, it can be a good dac for you depending on your musical taste, but you would always be aware that you are listening to all your music through this DAC.

I categorically disagree with @fuzzbutt17 ’s assertion that there are somehow these two distinct groups of audiophiles who are either "music lover" or "audiophile". In reality it’s a sliding spectrum with most of us with a foot firmly in each camp. To insinuate anyone who has critical feedback for a certain gear is somehow not a "music lover" is pretty odd and frankly doesn't exude a lot of confidence. One does not need to forsake the love of music or "harmonic coherency" to appreciate transparency, speed, dynamics and imaging. What’s ironic is that it is exactly the accurate reproduction of harmonic structure with proper timing that unmasks real resolution and detail while avoiding the smear that many designer will rebrand as "natrualness" or "organicness".

There are DACs on the market that can do both sides of the spectrum really really well, example on the high end there is MSB, on the low end there is Holo May KTE.




We are in the process identifying and contacting retail distributors.


Between now and the first of the year we are literally tripling our production capacity.


Even then, there is no way, at least not in 2022, that we will be able to meet the demand for our Mystique X if we had several dozen distributors. Let alone resellers like Crutchfield who have contacted us.


So we have to be very picky with who our first distributors are and we have to be very careful not to bite off more than we can chew so to speak.


We're going to start with the big cities, like NY, LA, Miami, Huston, Philly, DC, and Chicago, and branch out from there. We already have distributors lined up for Europe, Australia, and some parts of Asia.


So if any of you have a recommendations on high-end retailers in your area, please email me :^)



I agree with you about "audiophiles" vs "music lovers" is a gross over simplification. Most of us are going through a perpetual evolution as we learn and experience more.


At the same time, there are types of music and types of systems which are not capable of discerning the subtlety and nuance our DACs are able to deliver.


And the people who listen to those types of music and who own those types of systems would likely not be our best customers.


What you are calling "homogenized" is what I am calling "harmonically coherent." The more naturally the harmonic structure of the music is, the more the sounds blend. That's what the musicians are trying to do when they play together.


Much of what you are preferring (and you certainly have the right to prefer it) is actually off time and off tune which give a more separated, layered, and distinct effect.


My guess is you have multi-way speakers and sub woofers, right?


Well even though you get excellent extension and smoother/flatter frequency response you have sacrificed phase and time coherency. Simply the nature of cross overs and the comb effect and cancellation and reinforcement of multiple drivers.


It doesn't make a difference if we talk about an expensive Wilson, Magico, or Focal. This is the nature of cross overs and the nature of multiple drivers. You can't get around the physics. They do some things better and others worse.


Personally I can only listen to full frequency transducers. Single driver speakers...electrostatic speakers...planer-magnetic headphones. I'm willing to give up extension and penetration for time, tune, and coherency.


And personally I don't expect recorded music to sound like live music. How can it? First you have the inertia of the microphone diaphragm...then all the mediocre pro audio cables...then all the mixing and mastering stuff such as dynamic compression.


Did you know that your average good recording is compressed down to less than 40dB dynamic range?!?!?!? Most pop music is compressed down to 20dB dynamic range because it is engineered to sound best on Bluetooth headphones and car stereos. The best of recordings are 70dB dynamic range at most..very few of those around. All quite far from the 120dB dynamic range of live music.


When people try to compensate for the compression and other things lacking in their recordings with what I call "attractive distortions" there is always a price to pay. You gain in one area and lose in another.


This is why my personal philosophy is to do none of this in our DACs. Because once you've lost time, tune, or harmonic coherency, there is no way to regain them farther down the signal path.


You can always find some way to add "excitement" farther down the signal path.


Think about it.

We finally received the chassis which had been holding up production of our new Mystique X DAC. Currently those parts are being powder coated awaiting laser etching.

Now that we have everything in-house we are expecting to begin shipping back orders the middle of May and begin shipping new orders, dealer demos, and reviewer demos the end of May or beginning of June.

Photos of the prototype Mystique X we took to AXPONA and updated information are now on our website.

Even though the Mystique X uses the identical circuit and nearly identical parts to our Mystique EVO, due to the new chassis typology, shielding, and anti-resonance, the Mystique X has a notably lower noise floor than any DAC we've ever offered.

As you lower noise floor you not only reveal low-level details which were formerly masked by noise, you expand dynamic range. The Mystique X has insane micro-dynamics.

The bad news is that the cost of our component parts and chassis have gone up significantly in the past year. 

On June 1st Mojo Audio will officially be selling through retail distributors, all sale prices will end (we can't undercut our distributors), and prices will be going up by +$3,000 on the Mystique X and +$4,000 on the Mystique X SE.

In May we expect to have inventory of DACs on the shelf for the first time since 2017. The bad news is that once our retail distributors get their demos we're expecting to have to return to a waiting list once more.

As for additional DAC models, we have a few in prototyping which are more advanced than the Mystique X, but we won't be releasing any new models of DACs until we are certain we can keep up with demand for our new Mystique X.

No point in having waiting lists for multiple products with component part delays.

I don't find Mystique X SE noisy at all, instead it is dead silent with black back ground.

I would agree that Mystique X SE does have a sound that makes you realize you are definitely listening to this dac, I feel like Mojo is sharing a goal similar to Playback designs which is a natural and neural approach. I do find playback designs dac5 more organic but there are moments It made me miss the details and deeper bass of Mojo Mystique X SE. I would also love to learn more about the difference between 2020 Evo to X SE.

I have the Mystique V3.  It's so good I have not upgraded.  I do find you should take some time to find the right footers.  You also have to be aware of the source.  Anyone can take any piece of equipment, set it up wrong, give it a bad signal and find themselves disappointed in the performance.  Of course, what are you disappointed in?  

I just completed a review of in wall wire.  I posted it on my website.  What I find is some wires such as 8 AWG NM-B are very analytical.  I find that distracting.  I find it sort of fractures the performance and forces me to constantly be looking at the parts and pieces.  I prefer my source to act more like my 15 ips tape.  I want it to give me all the information, and do it in a way that my mind relaxes and enjoys it all at once.  Good electronics do this.  They don't hide anything.  They don't call anything out.  They provide a clean complete flow that is easy to digest and follow.  Mojo Audio DAC do as such.  They are an excellent DAC for the money.