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MDAC first listen (part VII)

Discussion in 'audio' started by ridney, May 10, 2012.

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  1. ridney

    ridney Member

    guys, when you say that you are experiencing bigger and wider soundstage, more clarity and deep tight bass with your mdacs, at what volume level are you listening to? are you experiencing the same with low volume levels?

    i am asking these questions as i think i am not experiencing what you guys are talking about, i think there's a problem with my setup somewhere and i am at a loss as to where it is.

    here's my gear:

    pc-usb > mdac > rotel rb-1562 amp > b&w 683s

    i tried the filters but it doesn't make a difference at all. i'm using flac btw, 16/44.1 and 24/96

    is it the amp?
  2. JohnW

    JohnW pfm member

    The questions been asked many times and the answers always the same - it depends upon the system how the loading of each output effects each other. Nobody so far has reported any significant degradation...

    Beyond a certain level measurements tell us very little about sound quality - its all too easy to start getting hung up on measurement results.

    LP and Studio Tape's sound far better then CD IMHO - yet with "convectional measurements" and our interpretation of these measurements they should sounds far worst.

    I'll be modifying a couple of MDAC for PFMers - with these modifications there is a significant leap in audio quality - but nothing I can measure directly on the audio output.

    I'm expecting (but yet confirmed) that the BDAC will sound better then MDAC due to the more advanced circuit designs around the DAC. My only real concern about the ESS9023 is its horrid "Fast" Digital Filter - although we will pre-process the input Data hopefully to lessen the sonic impact... How suspenseful this will be remains to be seen.

    I'll never use the ESS9018 again as an integrated DAC solution in our designs its SO FULL OF BUGS. We pull our hair out, its REALLY REALLY Buggy, some issues are more serous then others... ESS should really have re-spun the silicon to resolve the bugs.

    Luckily for audio we are only concerned about short-term phase noise / close in carrier noise - thus we do not require complex and expansive temperature control etc.

    Maybe due to old age, I missed the boat with MDAC - I already developed a simple circuit topology that dramatically improves LF noise performance many years ago, but I simply forgot about it while designing the CD/CDQ/MDAC.

    To meet the BDAC's price point and yet also meet the performance level, I've had to go fully discrete in almost every circuit block - this requires much greater design time and knowledge, but I've got peace here in Europe to design, not having to deal with what can only be described as daily "Crap" while based in China - not to mention being permanently hungry and ill due to the bad food quality...

  3. JemHayward

    JemHayward pfm Member

    Its vinyl, warts and all. Its much more transparent than my previous setup (prefix, NAC82 + 2xHICAP, NAP250), so it was more revealing of mistracking due to the worn stylus on my Zu DL103. Some of this may be due to greater transparency further down the chain, as my system is now MDAC - EAR890, but I was expecting the EMU to really mess up the sound and it doesn't. A friend uses one in a high end active Meridian system, and he's similarly impressed. I doubt it is totally neutral and transparent, but its close enough not to worry about. I'm still more likely to get up and dance to my LPs than anything off CD or streamed (this may not be a good thing at my age!).
  4. rbroer

    rbroer pfm Member

    I'll be modifying a couple of MDAC for PFMers - with these modifications there is a significant leap in audio quality - but nothing I can measure directly on the audio output.

    Hi John, is this for the "lucky few" ? I (and probably fellow PFMers) wouldn't mind my MDAC to be brought to highest standards :)
  5. JTC

    JTC PFM Villager...

    Form an orderly queue :)
  6. JohnW

    JohnW pfm member

    What level do you listen with the MDAC? (Whats the MDAC level set to?)

    I've also never heard a pair of B&W speaker that image well... (I don't know your pair)
  7. JohnW

    JohnW pfm member

    I'd not say a lucky few - rather a couple of PFMers who's MDAC's have died!! - so to compensate I'm also applying a few tweaks :)

  8. JohnW

    JohnW pfm member

    I'll offer a "FULL" update service with MDAC Mainboard Mods when we have the MPAX in its "Plus" configuration... otherwise its just half hearted tweaks...

  9. Gefilus

    Gefilus pfm Member

    Once upon a time when I was young, I used to design VCOs for telecomms applications. I discovered that with very small tricks in deed, the close in carrier noise could be improved dramatically.

    I think you should hire some workforce to cope with the forthcoming rush of MDACs into your lab and get them upgraded to the highest standards. Perhaps even plan to get some compensation for it :)
  10. JohnW

    JohnW pfm member

    Problem is trying to measure the close-in phase noise with decent Dynamic Range. I bought a high end WaveCreast system - but its pretty useless at LF... and that cost over US$200K.... I think I've powered it up maybe 5 times... just useless...

    We will be opening a Design, Servicing, recording studio and Warehouse here in Czech.

    Dominik's just been over - we are trying to locate within the mountains (we have made a offer on a location), otherwise it will be located close to Bruno.. We hope to have a small support staff in Czech...

  11. Chronic

    Chronic pfm Member

    Been a while since ive been on the forums... has the lakewest firmware been released yet?

    My M-DAC's working fine (unless i use the hoover while playing back via USB!) but i really would like to get the 'screen off' function working... right channel hasn't cut out for months which is good.

    Im currently using the beta firmware update that JohnW sent me around the new year

  12. JohnW

    JohnW pfm member

    Audiolab version has been released a while back - next week we are about to release an updated version - might as well wait for this release.

    Still no movement on the Lakewest version.

  13. JemHayward

    JemHayward pfm Member

    If you could add in some holiday accommodation, we could all spend our summer holidays getting our MDACs upgraded!
  14. Carlos68

    Carlos68 pfm Member

    Haha great idea

    It could be called "Lakewest land" :D
  15. JohnW

    JohnW pfm member

    No kidding, we are building that in our plan - I own a ski resort 100m from the building we have made an offer on.

    Thinking is, Guys (and of coarse any??? ladys) can come over to listen to our designs, and meet us - while the rest of the family enjoys the weekend in the mountains...

    BTW - I cannot ski, I hate the cold, but its beautiful in the summer...
  16. Space is the Place

    Space is the Place pfm Member

    Not a bad idea, skiing winter, mountainbiking summer, then having a bit of laugh and listening to music in the evening, Lakewest studios has got a familiar ring about it! :cool:
  17. fusion5

    fusion5 on the dark side of hifi...

    Can you give us some hint on the contents? Bugfixes? Feature?

    Well, this leaves more time for listening to music :cool:

    Although you have to finish the M-AMP first so you can enjoy your Martin Logan speakers (and demonstrate!) ;)

  18. Tiggs

    Tiggs Member

    I am thinking of getting an M-dac sometime soon, and was wondering what the options for the m-pax power supply upgrade will be and what the price will be, and when it is due to be available. Thanks and sorry for all the questions!.
  19. Clerenlas

    Clerenlas Well-Known Member

    Many thanks, John. Look forward to hearing further.

    Perhaps I should add that I was running in an admin account, that I tried it with Norton uninstalled, and that the updater application window was accepting character input - it ended with "Press any key to continue" and closed after I pressed a key.
  20. The Moog

    The Moog Member

    Any chance of some better images of the M-PAX and M-Power?
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