We Ask 10 Questions For High-End
During Enjoy the Music.com's very special 25th Anniversary we're asking various high-end audio manufacturers to answer the same ten questions. Their answers may surprise you! This month we're featuring Benjamin Zwickel, Owner of Mojo Audio Inc. The company's products are engineered to sound natural, musical, and coherent. We never use voicing or attractive distortions to impress or enhance. Rather, we seek to create the most musically transparent products possible. They strive to have the simplest signal path, the highest performance power supplies, the lowest resonance, the best shielding, and best grounding possible. The lower the noise floor the more music that is revealed. Mojo Audio is committed to providing the best customer service in the audiophile industry. Their warranties are second to none and reflect our commitment to these high ideals.
Q. What is your first memory of falling in love with music?
A. Listening to the harmonies of Crosby, Stills, and Nash on my older brother's Koss headphones when I was about 11 years old.
Q. How did you first get introduced to high-fidelity audio gear?
A. My older brother saved up for years in the early 1970s to buy a Harmon-Kardon receiver.
Q. What is your favorite piece of vintage hi-fi, and why?
A. Quad ELS57 speakers: the fist "non-box" speaker to capture my heart.
Q. When did you decide to start a high-end audio company?
A. I didn't. In 2009 I started selling power cables made from vintage Western Electric wire and offered non-oversampling and power supply upgrades to CD players and DACs on eBay to make a bit of side $$$ while going back to school to get a degree in Computer Electronics Engineering Technology. My plan after graduation was to work in aero or med tech. Before my first semester was over I had so much business I was hiring other students to work for me and Mojo Audio was born.
Q. What, and when, was your company's first product?
A. I don't consider our vintage Western Electric power cables to be a first product, it was just high quality wire and industrial grade connectors. Our first actual product was our Joule v1 linear power supply which was first offered late 2009. Our Joule v1 was the first stable linear power supply upgrade in the audiophile market. With our Joule v1 power supply we offered the first stable linear power supply upgrades for MacMinis.
Q. What challenges did you face during those early years?
A. My greatest challenge has always been that I've been too far ahead of the market when it comes to recognizing the incredible contribution power supply technology makes in digital audio reproduction.
When we started to offer linear power supply upgrades for MacMinis in 2009 trolls on the Computer Audiophile forum attacked my MacMini upgrade calling linear power supplies in computer audio "Voodoo" and "snake oil." I attempted to defend myself and was banned for life from the CA forum (seriously).
Of course a few years later most of those same trolls were using linear power supplies. The thread is still up on CA in case anyone is interested. I expect similar flat Earth attitudes, blind resistance, denial, and ridicule to my recent public declaration of the unmatched superiority of 100-year-old LC choke-input power supply technology for digital audio. Then I expect similar imitation and mass-market acceptance of LC choke-input power supply technology for digital audio to take place a few years from now. I'm just glad they no longer burn heretics at the stake :^P
Q. How have your products evolved over the years?
A. The big upgrade to our products was in combining 100-year-old LC choke-input power supply
technology with modern Belleson ultra-low noise regulators to create what we call our
"Illuminati" (enlightened) power supplies. Of course our unique 2-piece rigid low-resonance
polymerized aluminum composite chassis with ferrous shielding barriers and internal
anti-resonance mounting made a notable improvement as well.
A. Our Mystique line of non-oversampling direct-coupled digital-to-analog converters.
Q. What is your next planned product offering and its' features?
A. Our product features have changed very little over the years. The evolution of our products over the years mostly have to do with the performance of our power supplies and the further lowering of noise floor through advanced mechanical resonance control, EMI/RFI shielding, and advanced hybrid grounding. The actual circuit for our original Mystique v1 and our latest and greatest Mystique EVO digital-to-analog converters are nearly identical.
Q. What advancements do you speculate high-end audio will offer ten years from now?
A. Wireless cochlea implants that will replace headphones for cell phone, audio, and video.