Mojo Audio Mystique v3 Non-Oversampling R-2R Hi-Res Audio DAC
All DACs are designed to take in a sequential series of binary numbers and output an analog signal that is supposed to be a precise match for what was fed into the original ADC during the recording process. But this is where a tragic and significantly audible difference creeps into an otherwise beautifully conceived binary methodology for the theoretically perfect capturing and replaying of any sound. It will not surprise you that my preference when it comes to DACs and other audio gear leans to the sonically invisible – neutral – colorless. Enjoy the Music.com review Jeremy Kipnis said, I want my gear to simply get out of the way so I can actually hear what is going on with each different recording I play. Aural colorations are to be avoided at all costs because these change the balance of the sound that I am listening to, which could result in my changing or altering something during the production or mastering process I undertake regularly.
What I heard through the Mystique v3 was what only some of the very best DACs in history have been able to achieve: a rare and breathtakingly seamless emotional connection to the music and sounds being produced from my wide array of review speakers, on hand. The qualities this DAC lets through are the sort of experience one can expect when attending a live concert and sitting in an ideal spot. If you close your eyes and listen carefully, you can resolve all sorts of details that most people never bother to think about, but that they hear in the background, anyway. So often, these subtle inner details are crushed or distorted much the way different lenses change the viewer's perspective in photography.
But when listening to a well constructed audiophile recording on a tuned music system, and occupying the center position in one's listening space, the distortion that generally affects most digital music reproduction is almost completely absent with the Mystique v3. This rare DAC repeatedly allowed me to feel the sound in a tactile, visceral, and musically meaningful way, that allowed my music to both come alive and remind me of the very best analog sources I have had the pleasure of hearing and working with – right off the 1st generation masters.
Not surprisingly, I was stunned to hear inner instrumental details from recording after recording that simply resolved hidden elements like never before. Through the Mystique v3, the shear clarity at the loudest and softest ends of the dynamic spectrum, in combination with a palpable, detailed portrayal of the acoustic and instrumental space around and between the musicians, made for a truly scintillating listening experience that gave me goosebumps. Now and again, I was able to also hear a much more precise, characterful recreation of the various room acoustics surrounding the microphone(s). Through the Mystique v3, the degree to which one can "see" or rather "hear" the size and shape of the many different room acoustics, and even height being clearly heard, are all revealed much more easily than with just about any other DAC I've played around with. The rather surprising level of timbral detail, dynamic honesty, and harmonic accuracy revealed by the Mojo Audio Mystique v3 DAC is simply and utterly amazing, especially with recordings I have heard repeatedly on some of the best DACs in the world. If the point of our hobby is, indeed, to e, I can think of no finer way than to call up Mojo Audio and order up a Mystique v3 DAC to enjoy digital audio at it's finest... each and everyday!
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