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MDAC First Listen (part 00101000)

Discussion in 'audio' started by fusion5, Jul 26, 2015.

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  1. ChrisPa

    ChrisPa pfm Member


    There are no separate mods available for the mdac.
    (At least, not from JohnW)

    There is simply the mdac2 which is a set of complete replacement boards for the mdac, retaining the case, the front panel and its control board, and the external power brick.

    There is only planned to be one production batch for the mdac2. So if you want one you need to join/order now
  2. Ramses82

    Ramses82 Member

    Nope, I would do the upgrade if as said by Stunsworth and ChrisPa there is an MDAC2 board that you can replace to the original MDAC one :)

    That would be fine, I could enjoy the MDAC for few months/a year, it should be still a massive improvement over my Emotiva UMC-200 used in stereo I think, and then spend the rest of the money on that ;)
    The other 2 mods I talked about are the firmware (which I think can be upgraded with the original MDAC if I understood correctly) and an external new balance power supply unit, as far as some reviews say it seems to improve the MDAC a lot on its own... hopefully :D

    That would be worrying... so you don't think that once the MDAC2 board and MDAC2 full size complete DAC are finished they will be commercialized and opened to the public? it seems a strange market choice... I thought the guys were helping economically the development and for their support they were getting the things first etc... and then things would go to standard production. So it is not the case?
  3. Stunsworth

    Stunsworth pfm Member

    John has stated that he'd like to licence the design to a third party. If that ever occurs it will be interesting to compare the costs of the Westlake and commercial products.
  4. russel

    russel ./_dazed_and_confused

    Products normally retail about five times BOM (Bill Of Materials) cost, unless it's a bling model.
  5. Sibbers

    Sibbers pfm Member

    I'm actually not sure if it will go mass production, but I'd be surprised if there wasn't a line if it takes off and gets recognised. Only way to get on board now as I understand is signing up to the MDAC2 project and choosing either a replacement board or full size chassis version (rendering the original MDAC out of action).

    Hopefully John will pop in and clear things up, but he's in China doing a bunch of negotiation stuff which you can see covered over the last several pages. It's a very cool project, driven by a pursuit of passion! Great to see it as it all unfolds :)
  6. JohnW

    JohnW pfm member

    HiFi products less then GBP1000 its closer to 1:6, with bling units then its 1:10 or higher...
  7. JohnW

    JohnW pfm member


    Crumbs, I forgot about your unit - I'll be leaving Hong Kong the evening of 13th Aug. Not much time to ship to HK?

    Maybe best if I arrange to have a 220V PSU sent directly to you in Beijing, and lets hope the MDAC itself is undamaged.
  8. JohnW

    JohnW pfm member

    Personally I'd prefer if everyone upgraded to the MDAC2 full width chassis - which we have provisionally called the Fusion DAC as its IPS Touch panel TFT screen allows us far more flexibility with the software and user features.

    With our new partnership with miniDSP we now have access to UI designers.

    Also, if EVERYONE chose to upgraded to the fullwidth chassis, then I'd no longer have the rear panel width restriction and could use full save XLR connectors for the ADC inputs and Balanced headphone outputs.

    We could also use larger internal heatsinks which would allow us to increase the ClassA standing current which would benefit the sound quality.

    Due to the internal Digital / Analogue domain galvanic isolation barrier, the Fusion DAC will befit from the HQ internal PSU.
  9. PhilCTTE

    PhilCTTE Senior mumbler

    Well I'm in for the full width channel :)
    What do we use for the slaves btw ?
  10. Bob L

    Bob L pfm Member

    There are several points/issues here. Firmware comes in various versions, and there are varying views on which one is the best to use; they are free so you can try for yourself. Some of us still prefer the very first one for SQ. There is at least one third-party PSU available, but there has not been much enthusiasm for it here since the MDAC-2 is expected to leapfrog any SQ improvement it might give you with an MDAC, and it's not cheap.

    It's also important to know that although John is the designer of the original MDAC (but not of the other varieties which Audiolab now market), the MDAC-2 is a personal project of his, supported by us, and the only thing definite is that at the moment at least, it's a limited edition project, and it's entirely up to John whether or not there are any spare places. Unless I've missed something, the wide case version does not provide any additions to this number but is an alternative presentation which you can opt for once (if?) you are signed and paid up. As you can see from John's latest comment, there are advantages to this (but of course it's bigger...) You can also opt to have a CD transport in the wide "Fusion" version. These are all things we know, but whether or not the MDAC2 goes in to wider production is very far from decided.

    Finally this is going to be a very high end device at an unusually low cost, but your £260 is not going to go very far towards it. There are detailed costs in a post from John some time in the last six months, though I don't think this included the extra costs for "Fusion".
  11. Rosewind

    Rosewind Lost in Translation

    I would go with full width if I had not already bought a salvaged MDAC2 through you. I don't want either of us to be stuck with an elegant black MDAC1 door stop.
  12. jackbarron

    jackbarron Chelsea, London

    Hi John,

    I take it this means that somebody with a current Toy/Fusion model would have the option of the MDAC2 full width chassis?

  13. Stunsworth

    Stunsworth pfm Member

    I'd be happy to go for the full width version - assuming I was comfortable with the additional cost. Heck, what's a few more months development time after so long <grin>.
  14. peterzz

    peterzz pfm Member

    I would much prefer the XLR4F headphone connector to be on the front side of the device if there's room to be had.

    Also, and I know feature creep, if there's room, maybe a few extra relay switched inputs for the ADC :)
  15. Richard Kimber

    Richard Kimber pfm Member

    Maybe you should formally ask everyone who has signed up whether they would accept the full width chassis. I certainly would. Unless and until you have clear data, it's very hard to make production decisions, I should have thought.

    - Richard
  16. JohanH

    JohanH pfm Member

    No room in my setup for a full width chassis.
    I bought a second MDAC to have it upgraded to MDAC2.
    Very happy with my MDAC Fusion and I'm sure MDAC2 will be better, but if full width is the only option, I am very sorry but will have to pass.
    So hopefully the upgrade from MDAC to MDAC2 using MDAC casing will remain available

  17. Steven Toy

    Steven Toy L3 Toy

    I think you should dump just the board and rear panel option and we should all then enjoy maximum benefit from the full width case.

    It is then an all-new product.

    With CD drive for me of course! :)
  18. Sibbers

    Sibbers pfm Member

    I would like that too, but it's perhaps a little selfish for those who bought into a different promise. Probably a survey would be a good indicator of the impact of a change like this?

    As it happens a full size DAC won't fit on my av stand neatly right now, but I want a no compromise SQ statement so I'll think of something. Full size for me please! I'll keep my fingers crossed others feel the same, but I'm not so sure...
  19. fusion5

    fusion5 on the dark side of hifi...

    Full width chassis for my 5 Fusion DACs :)
  20. EIffel

    EIffel Cereal Killer

    I'm also all for the full sized DAC, with integrated CD drive, assuming it won't delay the project too much. This leaves the question of what to do with the salvaged MDAC currently in John's hands, but I'm sure a solution will be found for this too

    Looking forward to an update on this and the amps once John will have the time to update us.
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