CanJam SoCal 2016: Chord Electronics DAVE, TT and Mojo


Seal_FINAL_CanJamSoCal2016Chord Electronics has offered what may well be the greatest headphone DAC/amp combo ever — and they call it DAVE.

You can queue the 2001: A Space Odyssey music at any point.

Shown here with a top-of-the-line LCD-4 from Audeze, the DAVE ($13,300 US; $16,000 with matching stand) is a technical tour-de-force that we met (and covered) back in Munich. An FPGA-based design, that novelty is just the beginning.

I’m on record as holding that novelty isn’t necessarily a good thing, but here, the end result is undeniable — music, played back through the DAVE and over the pinnacle of Audeze’s planar magic, was sublime. Deep bass, with real impact, had convincing nuance and texture. Transients had real bite — a complaint I’ve had with some implementations of FPGA tech. And if headphones can be said to showcase anything approaching a truly realistic sound stage, this was one of the most convincing demo’s I’ve yet heard.

Noble Audio
Noble Audio is a proud sponsor of CanJam SoCal 2016 and Part-Time Audiophile


My unqualified recommendation? If this is within your reach, do it. Ska-doosh.

Moving down the table, I next came across the Hugo TT. At $4,795, the TT is the bigger, badder and much more exciting version of the Hugo everyone — and I mean everyone — has been raving about.


I’m going to offer that trying the TT immediately after the DAVE was probably not the way to fall in love with it — and since I actually own and love my pair of Fostex TH900 headphones (demoed here with the TT), I was really trying to. Sonically, I think the DAVE is in a different league entirely, if you’ll pardon the cliché, but there are similarities … just not many. Don’t get me wrong — the TT is quite good, but I think I may well be ruined.


Which is why the Mojo, at $699, is my darling baby.

We’ve got two of these out in the PTA network, but the upshot is that this little bugger is amazing. For the price, it’s freakin’ fantastic. A truly portable DAC/amp, the Mojo is more compact than the Hugo, seems easier to use, and — [gasp!] — may sound good enough that would-be Hugo owners can safely reconsider that $2,500 purchase and just reinvest the almost $2,000 in a set of super-cans.

Got to see a prototype leather Mojo traveling case — availability is TBD — that comes with a nifty magnetic latch. Assuming they can keep the price down, I’m gonna say it’s going to be a must-have accessory.

About Scot Hull 1039 Articles
Scot started all this back in 2009. He is currently the Publisher here at PTA, the Publisher at The Occasional Magazine, and the Executive Producer at The Occasional Podcast. There are way too many words about him over on the Contributors page.

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