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MDAC First Listen (part 00111010)

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

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  1. JohnW

    JohnW pfm member

    Just a quick "check in" I'm currently on an overseas business trip since late last week - I'll back in the lab tomorrow AM.

    The prime reason for investing in the larger reflow oven is to be able to manufacture pending the physically larger Amplifier PCB's (our current cheap Chinese IR reflow oven is to small for the large amp boards).

    Tomorrow AM, the carpenters should arrive to install the new lab bench for the reflow oven (which is currently sitting on the floor) - then we will be "technically" capable of manufacturing the amplifiers.

    I'm currently working on the 8200MB+ update PCB design, the forerunner to the full sized VFET's. The intention with the 8200MB+ is to :-

    1. Be able to manufacture amplifiers without worrying about the mechanical chassis (sourcing high quality mechanical parts is currently a massive headache).

    2. Prove advanced sections of the VFET circuit design

    3. We need decent amplifiers in the nearterm for the MDAC2 DD2A audio evaluation

    4. Bring in funds to help cover the VFET chassis (I need to turn the 8200MB's into cash to help pay for the custom VFET chassis).

    5. An "affordable" Amplifier design we can sell beyond the parts limited run of the Reference VFET amps.

    Apart from using the VFET output devices and a fully balanced output stage (Bridged design) - no "expense" is being spared on the 8200MB+ design (Tube front-end etc) - they should be very good amps.

    I have to balance my design time between MDAC2 DDA, 8200MB's and other projects to keep help keep the lights on - it does look like the 8200MB+ will be the first design ready at this time - we might issue a primarily MDAC2 DD2A PCB before to de-risk the design.
    hluga likes this.
  2. adamdea

    adamdea You are not a sound quality evaluation device

    Number of products delivered= 0
    Number of products in production= 0
    Number of designs complete= ?(Detox possibly)
    days since following post=25

    BE718, Sibbers, HarryB and 2 others like this.
  3. Stunsworth

    Stunsworth pfm Member

    Wouldn't it be quicker, and possibly cheaper, to just buy one - or use one that you already have - rather than design one from scratch?
  4. JohnW

    JohnW pfm member

    It missing the other points - this is a stepping stone (milestone) towards the Full VFET's.

    Also, we dont have decent amps - is very hard to find decent amp designs thesedays... Audio engineering skills seem to be degrading - more bling, less performance.
    hluga and Rune like this.
  5. sam_cat

    sam_cat C'est Crounchifique!

    Jump on one (or more) of the very good existing DIY amps that are out there. Pass labs F5, Hypex Ncore 400, Aleph etc... Will give you a stock of 'very good' amps that you can use and then compare against as your developing your own amp, and should save massively on development time for the other projects.

    If the Mdac2/Fdac are dependent on the Vfet then we are going to be waiting for even longer.. A situation most of us don't want to be in.

    Life moves on, systems evolve and personal requirements change.
    Hawtin likes this.
  6. Spike

    Spike pfm Member

    Could I ask for a refund via PayPal?
    BE718 and kennyh like this.
  7. adamdea

    adamdea You are not a sound quality evaluation device

    Would it though?
    As far as I can tell the work flow is
    1. Find something else to do instead of completing project
    2. Pause (rnd*8) weeks
    3. Find something else to do instead of last thing.
    4. Goto 2.
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2018
    BE718, HarryB, brumjam and 1 other person like this.
  8. Hawtin

    Hawtin pfm Member

    Even with the risk of even longer delay with John's posts here I have to agree with recent posts.
    From the top of my head

    1) Buy and make a Ncore or something
    2) Use that as a reference for further developement of VFET's, 8200mb, for sonic evaluation of MDAC2 DDA and whatever
    (3) Finish DETOX
    4) Finish MDAC2 design and produce it
    5) ???
    5) Profit
    6) Continue with amps as planned

    FFS, adamdea's satirical algorithm imitates life disturbingly closely.

    Why should we care about milestones for VFET's and whatever when MDAC2 is the thing that should be delivered.
    HarryB likes this.
  9. Obi1

    Obi1 Swedish HiFi enthusiast

    I too want a refund!
    BE718 and HarryB like this.
  10. ti33er

    ti33er pfm Member

    I believe John is closing in on some of these things, the physical investment in the Lab must mean he is serious? :)

    One thing I’d prefer is to see this DevDAC skipped and simply the MDAC2 board sent out for evaluation (even if some of it’s not fully populated) - there could be iterations of this as testing goes on with a few of us special Users?
  11. PhilCTTE

    PhilCTTE Senior mumbler

    The main point to consider from Johns post in why he’s producing these 8200mb+‘S

    4 . Bring in funds ....

    And to keep the lights on.

    It’s a shame the chassis costs seem to be a big hurdle in all these designs and the quality of what is output from China has been disappointing with hidden costs. If the detox was put out to market sooner then perhaps this could have helped with funds.

    It’s all been a gamble to some extent. Even with Johns experience in dealing with Chinese companies there have been unforeseen events. Johns drive for perfection and not letting standards drop has forced him to do things himself and at great personal expense. Which is why I can also understand why he had taken on side projects to help with funding.

    For our patience we have been promised at cost designs which should outperform a lot of products costing many times as much.

    My system is crying out for a decent amp and upgraded dac. Unfortunately my money is tied up in this project , so my lovely ML Summit X speakers have been “slumming it” with a multi channel Onkyo power amp for the past 3 years and a variation of quad and audio lab 8200mb for approx 2 years before that.

    Let’s hope that by the end of this year at least the MDAC2 or VFET will arrive ...
    davidjt and Rune like this.
  12. HarryB

    HarryB pfm Member

    If your system is crying out for a decent amp, why have you "suffered" for three years with an amp that is so poor?

    There are plenty of really good second hand amps out there for sale. A few hundred quid would get you something pretty good. You could sell it if the VFETs ever arrive (more chance of me being the next Pope) and lose very little money on the deal.

    I'm at a loss why there are so many people on this thread are prepared to have an inferior listening experience for years on end whilst waiting for something that history suggests is unlikely to ever come.
  13. Sloop John B

    Sloop John B pfm Member

    I’ve no skin in this game but it does hold a certain car crash fascination for me. (Perhaps I’ve even posted that in the thread already- it’s that sort of thread isn’t it?)

    It does seem John is a decent chap perhaps in a bit far over his head which is not a pleasant place for anyone to be.

    Perhaps it’s time to be realistic and do a deal like with any business investment.
    It appears the money invested is gone and it will require many a magical music fairy to rectify that.
    So this either needs a further investment or something like a 10p per pound receivership.

    BE718 and HarryB like this.
  14. clivem2

    clivem2 pfm Member

    It may be that John has a few balls in the air, possibly other projects like the Project DAC and that the PFM projects are there to help the R&D along for the commercial projects.

    It may be that quite a number of people who've invested will have moved on with their requirements, written off their investment and won't take up the final product. What impact would that have for John? I suppose he just wouldn't build until he have commitment of final payment.
  15. Stunsworth

    Stunsworth pfm Member

    I agree, John seems a decent chap. I'm probably stating the obvious, but I think that while John is a brilliant designer it's the manufacturing process that has caused all the problems.
  16. ti33er

    ti33er pfm Member

    I’m not writing anything off, for the record and nobody should be may take time, but LakeWest is a business, with commitments - the agreement was never that you ‘might’ get something with Development fees being non-refundable...that just meant you can’t change your mind and ask for a refund of those upfront fees halfway - John is capable of producing products, wether they are perfect, or not (nobody asked for perfect products to start with as they never are; otherwise there would be no evolution in this industry, which is obvious as there always is evolution)
  17. ti33er

    ti33er pfm Member

    I still believe we will see these products, as long as it’s taking nonetheless
  18. Spike

    Spike pfm Member

    How long is halfway?
  19. PhilCTTE

    PhilCTTE Senior mumbler

    NCores would have been a way forward but I don’t have that sort of money . I moved house three years ago and do not have a few hundred quid spare. All my money is in this project. I tried second hand cheap quad but it’s no better than what I have.
  20. HarryB

    HarryB pfm Member

    Fair enough. I feel your pain. You must be pretty sick as it seems very unlikely you'll see anything in return for your hard-earned cash any time soon.
    BE718 likes this.
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