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The John Westlake/Lakewest MDAC/FDAC, VFET and Detox

Discussion in 'audio' started by Tony L, Oct 14, 2019.

  1. Stuart Frazer

    Stuart Frazer pfm Member

    I thought we had moved away from the M-DAC chassis as it wasn't big enough to accommodate the proposed board and layout.

    I would be happy to loose some features in order to simplify the project and get something produced. My main goal is to have the best sounding DAC possible. I could live without all the bells and whistles and even the screen if that helps. The recent prototype seemed promising, so if that could be tweaked and put into production in a KISS approach, then that might be an achievable path with a Manufacturer backing?
  2. LittleToast

    LittleToast pfm Member

    I have put down 400 pounds into the development of this project and it has been more than 5 years. I think John should manage this better. He is so much more well off than many of the people who put their money down. After so many years, I will suggest to John to perhaps close the project and return the money. It is the most painful experience I have had in audio as this amounts to a betrayal to trust. By now I am not angry nor am I trying to put anyone down. But if John is in my shoes, if I have taken his money and keep missing my promises to him for more than 5 years and never get in touch w him all this time for any updates, and expects him to somehow follow me in forums, how will he feel? How can this be right under any circumstances? This may amount to cheating, I don’t know.
    Anyway I am number 74 in this page My email is John if you are consolidating to get an answer to your investors, pls add me in. Pls use email. As I no longer come to pink fish media as it is too painful for me. Thank you.
    Mark Dirac and Stuart Frazer like this.
  3. Space is the Place

    Space is the Place pfm Member

    Is Audio Zephyr Jarek? I claim my £5!
  4. Stunsworth

    Stunsworth pfm Member

    Yes, but how does that fit in with the new board, and new case, being commercially manufactured by a third party?
    Timcat likes this.
  5. russel

    russel ./_dazed_and_confused

    Seems a bit of a difference from “you are all screwed” to “John will figure it out”. I don’t understand him not being able to see a way out either, if he has the design the circuit board is the easy bit and he has designed loads before, he has thirty years experience of designing pcbs. As regards software, he only has to deliver a minimally functional board, so what is the real problem?.
  6. Space is the Place

    Space is the Place pfm Member

    The third party Dac will have same back panel layout as the replacement board for the MDAC.
  7. Space is the Place

    Space is the Place pfm Member

    Lets take a look at what the MDAC was supposed to be shall we...

    JW didnt have a hand in designing it apparently, despite him designing the other Dac for Pro-ject, but Project must have been watching this thread with interest, or perhaps it's an incredible coincidence, because nearly every single feature that was mooted for the FDAC is in this... design...

    The Pre Box RS2 Digital is the bigger brother of our award winning and ground breaking (JW Designed) Pre Box S2 Digital. It uses the same excellent sounding DAC chips as the S2 version, proving once again that the Pre Box S2 Digital was already at the very top of high-end DACs and absolutely beyond its competition. Based on the same core-design principles, the feature set is extended and driven to new heights. The result is a fantastic sounding and very versatile box (that actually exists).

    The Hifi News reviews stresses this was an entirely in house design project for er... Pro-ject.


    44000khz likes this.
  8. Stunsworth

    Stunsworth pfm Member

    Yes he did, it was his design for Audiolab.
  9. StephenB

    StephenB Pointy birds...........

    I posted this a few years back and it was deleted, seems even more valid now

    replace the fork with something more phallic and tell me it doesn’t feel accurate

  10. Space is the Place

    Space is the Place pfm Member

    It's involvement in the dac design for Project I'm discussing, everybody knows the MDAC was a JW Audiolab design, which took about four years to materialize from the thread on DIY Audio about the Dacapo...
  11. davidsrsb

    davidsrsb pfm Member

    The photo of the Pre Box shows Bluetooth, Altera CPLD with MQA, XMOS and upsampling. These are man years of firmware development, any box he does here will be similar.
    Add to the fun some of the development may now be owned by Johns commercial customers and not reusable legally
  12. Timcat

    Timcat pfm Member

    Exactly who owns the IP in the development work and who might be licensed to use it, and the extent of any such license, will depend upon the terms of whatever contract John has with his commercial customers and who was responsible for which part of the final product.
  13. StephenB

    StephenB Pointy birds...........

    Another party is the only way to get this finished, however I’m preparing myself for the longest discussions in history to seal a deal if the rest of the project is anything to go by

    anything beyond the very limited but apparently unparallelled skill set of Lakewest seems to take an enormous amount of effort and time
  14. russel

    russel ./_dazed_and_confused

    Don’t need Bluetooth or MQA and xmos have standard sw that works out of the box, he just has to ship a basic DAC if he comes up with an excuse for not doing that then he has some sort of psychological problem finishing the project.
    Mark Dirac likes this.
  15. clivem2

    clivem2 pfm Member

    The world of DACs has moved on so much. £400 upwards gets a really good sounding DAC/preamp. If technology moves again then we just buy the next even greater one. The time for the MDAC replacement is gone, even if Project or whoever is involved it’ll just be yet another high performing DAC in a busy market. This reality won’t help motivate John but that is reality. VFET amps should be a more interesting proposition.
    StephenB and Rosewind like this.
  16. 44000khz

    44000khz pfm Member

    When I left this forum in late 2016, I felt really bad, I felt like I'd been the victim of an elaborate internet scam. I asked myself how could I have been so stupid, so naiive, to wire money on more than one occasion, to some guy on a forum that I didn't know!

    I'll add to this that I do not hold Tony L or PFM in anyway responsible and praise his tolerance for allowing debacle to remain on this site.

    In my opinion there's zero chance that a commercial partner is going to go anywhere near this. JW will just sell off the IP and designs like he's been doing all these years anyway.
  17. Space is the Place

    Space is the Place pfm Member

    It took quite a time for the MDAC to get to market from the original concept, about 4 or so years i think, of course it was a hit for Audiolab. I though it would be a natural sounding Dac like John's earlier efforts, it was a great Dac but a bit synthetic sounding compared to other Dacs, why im not sure, the Dac chips? the output stage? who knows, the MDAC drop in board was supposed to address this.

    So a delay was expected to those who knew about the conception of the original MDAC, then of course it all spiraled out of control with revision after revision, after revision, after revision, until really no one knew what was going on and that's pretty more where we are now, no one really knows.

    I hope you haven't lost to much, i feel sorry for the people that have invested thousands in the VFETS etc, the failure to address this is completely unacceptable IMO, as the amp design should be easier to implement for someone so experienced in electronic design.

    I'm with Clive, everything has moved on in the last 7 years with plenty of Dac implementations to be had for reasonable money (the irony being im getting the most satisfying sound from a JW designed Dac from the 90's).
    Mark Dirac likes this.
  18. mikebirtill

    mikebirtill pfm Member

    This is a real mess. John should refund and drop this project. The world has moved on, and It would give John the opportunity to come of this with some of reputation intact, and allow him to design for companies that can to the production and marketing.
    ducatiman and 44000khz like this.
  19. 44000khz

    44000khz pfm Member

    Thank you, fortunately only £400. I almost transferred another £100 for the L3 version and almost signed up for the VFETs but I was buying and moving house at the time, so couldn't afford it - thankfully!

    I agree, I too feel sorry for the VFET guys, they've been stung really bad. The VFETs were meant to a different project, a different funding stream, so by rights the money should still be there waiting to be used in the VFET development. Though apparently some was spent buying a pallet of old amps for the chassis and some spent buying a component (I forget exactly) which happened to be the entire World's remaining stock of said component - sounds like total BS.

    Perhaps, John Westlake could share a photo of these items, that is unless his camera's broken again?

    What happened to the VFET money?

    John Westlake it's about time you produced a set of accounts detailing where the money is or where it's been spent.
    Hawtin and ducatiman like this.
  20. Space is the Place

    Space is the Place pfm Member

    I don't doubt JW's honesty, he's always come across as a good person, but obviously this has all gone Pete Tong in a big way, i'm sure he's trying his best to rectify the situation, I just think those that have made a significant investment need some clarification and a time scale for what is going on, maybe that's happening behind the scenes, if it's not it should be.

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