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An Interview with Ben Zwickel of Mojo Audio

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LB: Your interconnect line offers RCA, XLR, terms with which we are all familiar, but you also a product termed “mixed”; what precisely is that? And tell us also how your copper and silver wires differ sonically.

BZ: Our silver and copper ribbon interconnects are virtually identical except for the metallurgy. Sonically, the copper has a bit more warmth and sweetness and the silver has a bit more transparency, microdetail, and microdynamics. Customers tell us that on their best recordings, our Lucent Silver Interconnects take them to a whole new level of “being there.” However, on average and poorer-quality recordings, the silvers show off so many flaws that often customers find them less enjoyable than the copper.

Our RCA version is single-ended with a floating shield and two ribbon conductors. Our XLR is balanced with three ribbon conductors and a fully conductive shield. Our Mixed is single-ended with a floating shield and constructed in much the same way as our RCA but allows customers to connect balanced and single-ended components without any type of adapter.

Mojo Audio Enigma Power Cable

LB: You make three different models of power cables; how do they differ from one another, in terms of both design and sonics?

BZ: We now manufacture only two models of power cables, the Enigma and the XPC. Our original Cross-Helix Power Cable made from NOS Western Electric wire has been discontinued and will soon be sold out. Because customers trade in dozens of Cross-Helix cables each year when they upgrade to our Enigma and XPC, we’ll keep the Cross-Helix on our website as a reference for customers who want to buy the used trade-ins.

One similarity between all of our power cables is our floating shield and external ground wire schema. Unlike most power cable manufacturers, we do not group together the ground wire with the hot and neutral wires and then surround them with a shield. Doing this makes about as much sense as taking a bath in toxic waste and putting a hazmat suit on over top.

Sonically, the Enigma sounds a bit more refined and harmonically coherent with a bit better tone and timbre. The XPC sounds incredibly dynamic, unrestricted, and effortless. Most of our customers prefer the Enigma on their front-end and the XPC on their back-end components.

LB: A very puzzling topic is why power cables influence sonics. What are your thoughts on this?

BZ: Aside from the quality and type of wire used, and aside from the dielectric surrounding the wire, the quality of the plugs, receptacles, and IECs makes a significant difference. Contacts in AC connectors need both highly conductive metallurgy and a large contact area at the connection. Since brass has only about 35 percent the conductivity of copper, and gold plating has only about 65 percent the conductivity of copper, we’ve found that brass and gold make power cables sound slow and soft. For this reason, we use only the highest-quality pure copper contacts or sophisticated plated metallurgy made by industry leaders, like Furutech.

Grounding, shielding, and mechanical resonance control are important since power cables travel outside the wall. They are close to the electronics and speakers, which subjects them to more electrical and mechanical influences than the shielded wires inside the walls.

Since multiple devices are introducing noise into the same circuit, isolating the grounding and shielding the way we do decouples components from each other. This minimizes the negative effect one component can have on another.

One Response to An Interview with Ben Zwickel of Mojo Audio


  1. Rich Davis says:

    There is some misleading information. OS X is NOT based on Linux, it’s based on Unix. There is a difference, albeit not that much, but OS X is NOT based on Linux. Ben might want to change his response to the question.

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