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MDAC First Listen (part 00111010)

Discussion in 'audio' started by JohnW, Jun 9, 2018.

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  1. Coll

    Coll pfm Member

    My place for an MDAC2/FDAC is still available if someone wants it.
    I have paid a total of £ 500 so far.
     
    HarryB likes this.
  2. Noah's Dove

    Noah's Dove Member


    Hi John

    Thanks so much for taking the time to respond so fully to my posting, it's very helpful and I'm very grateful. It answers a lot of questions.

    It seems it's generated a few more though about the possible final cost of the models. I can see clearly that paying only the 'at cost' price represents huge value to those who have subscribed. Moreover, I can see the value of this as a long term investment that can only appreciate.

    For my own part, I remain interested in the possibly of taking over the position of a party that no longer needs or wishes to be involved. And, I've kindly been approached by a couple on this. However, the amount of spare capital I have available to invest is not huge (with both family and home costs), so I would think I would need some up to date estimates of possible costs for the FDAC. I've mentioned I'd be interested in L3 version, or equivalent.

    John - I appreciate this is big ask given that designs are not finalised. I also appreciate the risk of citing possible costs, even with caveats. But if you give a ball-park figure, that too would be much appreciated.

    With thanks

    Rob
     
    HarryB likes this.
  3. JohnW

    JohnW pfm member

    Hi Rob,

    Its a very big question to ask ATM - one that I'm REALLY not in a position to answer as for so many items (such machined from and rear panels) I haven't even asked for quotation.

    I can say that there will be 3-4 build versions of the MDAC2 PCB to span the price range - but for the basic MDAC2 you will be looking at around GBP600 to GBP1000 on top of the development sponsorship.

    I know this is a wide range - but the most expensive items (excluding VAT):-

    Transformers cost GBP350

    Display GBP110

    Front / Rear Panels say GBP50

    Electronics GBP300

    There might be savings - hard to say....
     
    HarryB likes this.
  4. fred sonnen

    fred sonnen pfm Member

    Hallo John

    If we're going to look at the glass ball.
    Could you tell us which modules could all come into one FDAC. What dependencies could arise?
    As keyword from my point of view CD-drive, the DETOX and a tube stage are mentioned.
    ;-)
     
  5. Jason_PFM

    Jason_PFM pfm Member

    So taking John's optimistic estimates with a grain of salt, GBP1000 for the basic unit, excl. VAT is 5x the original estimate for HW cost ?

    So just wonder why John's soldiers are shooting me down for simply stating the facts:

    500% over the orignal time planning currently, and steadily increasing
    500% more HW costs

    Poll, who would have signed up for this and happily paid development costs, knowing the current optimistic numbers ?
     
    HarryB and kennyh like this.
  6. Jason_PFM

    Jason_PFM pfm Member

    So taking John's optimistic estimates with a grain of salt, GBP1000 for the basic unit, excl. VAT is 5x the original estimate for HW cost ?

    So just wonder why John's soldiers are shooting me down for simply stating the facts:

    500% over the orignal time planning currently, and steadily increasing
    500% more HW costs

    Poll, who would have signed up for this and happily paid development costs, knowing the current optimistic numbers ?
     
    HarryB and kennyh like this.
  7. PhilCTTE

    PhilCTTE Senior mumbler

    I cant recall what the original estimate was ...

    But what if someone on the list doesn't have a £1000 for the final amount ?

    Sorry for the awkward question..
     
    HarryB likes this.
  8. raysablade

    raysablade pfm Member

    The is an estimated cost breakdown on the website.
     
    HarryB likes this.
  9. PhilCTTE

    PhilCTTE Senior mumbler

    £350 on top of dev costs for L3... I didn’t know if this was an upto date estimate....
     
    HarryB likes this.
  10. DimitryZ

    DimitryZ pfm Member

    Given the non-trivial purchase costs I would expect a lively marketplace developing. The units would be build to order, since the actual paid-up demand would be hard to predict?
     
  11. Space is the Place

    Space is the Place pfm Member

    So basically...Using the old MDAC as a donor, for the front and back panels, display, and board to make it the MDAC 2 spec, it's likely to be over £1000? Is that correct?

    So if you add the development money on top and the £400 donor dac, that's around £1800 in total at my estimate.

    Don't forget this will all be post brexit too, so might be better if it could be powered by clockwork ...and it'll now be coming from Europe so might have to add import tax too ;), not to mention the time it'll take to arrive because of custom checks etc, the Delay Dac.
     
  12. PhilCTTE

    PhilCTTE Senior mumbler

    Yes that’s the figure I’ve come to... £400 donor + £350 L3 dev costs + £1000 final lump
     
  13. Space is the Place

    Space is the Place pfm Member




    I think the total for everything now exclusive of the donor and development is £1000?

    Donor Dac £400, Development costs 4 X £100, £400 and new board and panel etc very conservative estimated £1000

    Per ching! £1800, plus Import tax and clockwork/solar power generator
     
  14. gints

    gints pfm Member

    do not need a donor anymore, plywood will be fine
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2019
    Mark Dirac likes this.
  15. JohnW

    JohnW pfm member

    Fred,

    The FDAC level PCB build will include the Tube Stage, Advanced Clock options 1 & II (Advanced Detox is included in Advanced Clock I)

    The CD drive will be an external PC type USB drive - your CD collection can be Bit accurately archived onto the MDAC2 / FDAC internal SSD drive (if installed). The M.2 SSD drive can be installed / upgraded by the owner...
     
    uwe061 and fred sonnen like this.
  16. JohnW

    JohnW pfm member

    To keep costs as low as possible I will offer a really barebones MDAC2 PCB option that offers the core MDAC2 / FDAC technology (Direct Digital 2 Analogue) conversion, BUT this will come after the more advanced options are manufactured as I will have to invest in significant software development and a little more hardware development to interface to the MDAC's original Display / user controls. This would be a say GBP600 unit on top of the development sponsorship (and no upgrade path to FDAC). The Transformers alone eating GBP350+Vat of this budget - the cost hurdle is always going to be the transformer cost...
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2019
  17. Space is the Place

    Space is the Place pfm Member

    John, are the transformers on the new board, are they output transformers, or are they what is going to power the new Dac?

    You should just try and keep it simple for yourself! Why make a whole raft of different specs.

    ie...

    1. MDAC 2 Pack, board, display, panels, done.
    2. All singing all dancing FDAC with tubes/chassis etc.
     
  18. fred sonnen

    fred sonnen pfm Member

    Thats fine for me ;-)

    Then I can already say that I don't need the external DETOX. For which I wouldn't have any use at the moment anyway.
    Perhaps it is alloved to move the allready paid development costs to the final FDAC build?
     
    uwe061 and JohnW like this.
  19. JohnW

    JohnW pfm member

    The essential problem is one of cost - especially in regards to the Advanced clock options, there has been a huge development effort with the clock sections and they have advanced well beyond anything I would have considered when I started the design ( guess the same can be said for the whole design - streamer section etc).

    The second issue is I'm not sure WHEN I can offer the full blown FDAC chassis option - with the custom chassis being the stumbling block... so I want to offer as many options as possible within the MDAC chassis as this is feasible in the near-term without the difficulty of sourcing the chassis.

    We also need to consider the software aspects, I cannot support two branches of software maintenance and development, so the absolutely bare-bones MDAC which will reuse the existing MDAC front panel will be a onetime affair with no future software development / enhancements, this unit is ONLY offered to meet the lowest cost.

    To "Finance" the UI driven front panel for the "proper" MDAC2 and FDAC I've stuck a deal with a local company - I'll introduce them to vendors and suppliers in China (Taking them around China etc.) in exchange, as a form of payment they will develop the FDAC / MDAC2 UI... So I've sold my soul having to return to China for a week or two and in exchange I get the Ui software :) - yes I feel cheap :D

    Ignoring the Software development costs, the new front panel adds about GBP200 (the display alone is GBP110 + VAT) - hence the reason there cannot be a common display if there is to be a real bare-bones costed down version.

    The best option would be no real interest in the Bare-bones MDAC2, but with the transformers costing GBP350 + VAT, obviously costs have escalated...

    The transformers are the audio output transformers and premium quality transformers (a very custom design) and do not come cheap...

    Its been very painful to developing these transformers, with each spin costing over GBP400. Off the top of my head I can count about 8 spins... that's over GBP3000 in transformer prototypes... I'll be happy when this project is finally over..!
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2019
  20. JohnW

    JohnW pfm member

    The GBP50 Detox development sponsorship can be transferred to the likewise development sponsorship of the option for the DAC - I'll have to workout how to structure these payments...
     
    ti33er, fred sonnen and uwe061 like this.
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