Review of Mojo Audio Mystique V3 DAC


Purchased the Mystique V3 DAC months ago to replace a Naim DAC V-1.  Okay, the Naim certainly is not in the same league, but is no slouch for the money either.  The Mystique however is multiples better....and much more expensive.  Go figure.

The Mystique is set on a Quadraspire Reference X stand and has a scratched VPI DB5 Magic Brick on its head.  The DAC sounds wonderous of course.  It is fed by a Naim UnitiServe (powered by a custom external PS) through a Nordost Valhalla 1 digital cable.

In my system, I’ve never heard such resolution, dynamics, soundstage and micro-detail.  Mojo has really pulled out the stops regarding power regulation and it shows.  The soundstage is so stable and full.

All of this is fed through a Manley Neo-Classic 300B (Takatsuki tubes) preamp onto ATC 40 active floorstanders with Gaia II footers.  Decware ICs, Patrick Cullen Crossover II PCs, WireWorld Silver Eclipse 8 ICs pre>ATCs.

I just installed a Perfect Path Tecnologies The Gate, so we’ll see how that goes in addition to the other upgrades.

My therapist gave me written permission to explore my inner audiophile child.  She said it was healthy....at least that is what I heard.
celtic66
Wow, talk about great timing. I just bought a Mystique v3 today. You have a nice system. Thanks for your impressions. Enjoy!
I want one, except I don't have permission 😔 
Congrats on the new DAC, Celtic.  I recently purchased a used Mystique V3 that was listed here.  It's been in my system for about 2 weeks now.  Loving it and I'm hearing similar results in my system to your review.

I'm now looking to upgrade my source to see if there is more I can get out of the V3.   Currently using Sonos Connect modified by W4S.

Thaluza.  I'm interested to hear your impressions on the V3 as well.  Doesn't seem that many A'goners own this exceptional (IMO) dac. 

Enjoy.
Eventually, a 12 step program must be considered for this addiction.  Of course, the downside is not nearly as destructive as many other kinds.  

I'm observing with all of these upgrades that power regulation and filtering are everything.  The installation of the Decware ZLC power conditioner and now the Perfect Path Technologies The Gate have upped the game considerably.

To that point, now the system outruns some of the lesser recordings.  One hears slight flaws in mic position, recording equipment glitches, small tape dropouts, dropped or banged music stands and chairs, etc.

But the overall effect is positive as the great recordings are such a tremendous facsimile of the performance.  And besides, haven't we all been to terrible live performances:   badly mixed, too much reverb, blown tweeter on the left sided monitor, people walking in front of you?  It's a mixed bag, isn't it?
Hey celtic66 -
Hope you’re still enjoying your Mystique!

I picked mine up personally from Ben last week as I happened to be in New Mexico at the time. Loved chatting with him. I had ordered the demo single ended version, but it wasn’t ready - it was the one he used at Axpona - so he upgraded me to the balanced version at no extra cost. Very cool of him to do that, as I can use the extra output into my digital recorder if I want.

Anyways, after a week of owning this thing, I gotta say I’m impressed. It is replacing a Benchmark DAC3L in my system.

The Mystique fills in the space between the speakers much better than the DAC3L. Improvements are across the board in scale, weight, tone, and naturalness. Detail and presence are about the same, it’s just a different soundstage presentation between the two dacs. The Mystique is not as crystalline sounding as the Benchmark, but the heightened sense of blackness between the performers that the Benchmark presents just seems unnatural to me. It is not what I would hear in a live performance. The Mystique just sounds more like real music to my ears, perhaps because of its richness and fullness, and the way it captures the harmonics. I’m glad I bought it.

Review of Mojo Audio Mystique V3 DAC

Purchased the Mystique V3 DAC months ago to replace a Naim DAC V-1. Okay, the Naim certainly is not in the same league

Your comparing two different conversion techniques, the Mojo Mystic V3 is an R2R ladder Multibit dac. While the Naim V1 is a Delta Sigma dac.

For converting 16/44, 24/96, Redbook, PCM, DXD I’d back a well implemented R2R dac over a well implemented Delta Sigma any day.

Cheers George
thaluza,

Yes, still enjoying immensely and even more so as I've really ramped up the power clean up.  Added the Decware ZLC power conditioner and Perfect Path Technologies' The Gate.  Odd how long I've been in this game and not paid enough attention to truly clean power.

The Mystique seems to benefit terrifically from all of this.  It's one of my benchmarks regarding equipment.  If with each improvement a piece keeps up with it and performs better, I consider that a keeper.

Georgehifi,

Didn't really consider the technology differences, but appreciate the observation.  I simply recognize improvement, or not, with changes to components.  I expected a fairly large leap in resolution, impact and imaging with the upgrade and that is exactly what I received.  Thanks.
Didn’t really consider the technology differences, but appreciate the observation.
Basically Delta Sigma (single bit dsd) is good for DSD or SACD, but can only give a "facsimile" of PCM (redbook, CD, dxd, 16/44 24/96)

R2R Multibit gives "bit prefect" conversion of PCM (redbook, CD, dxd, 16/44 24/96).

From Mojo Music:
When a PCM file is played on a native DSD single-bit converter, the single-bit DAC chip has to convert the PCM to DSD in real-time. This is one of the major reasons people claim DSD sounds better than PCM, when in fact, it is just that the chip in most modern single-bit DACs do a poor job of decoding PCM.

Cheers George