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

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

  1. Space is the Place

    Space is the Place pfm Member

    "I have access to a Timepod and I also have a full HP3048 / E550X Agilent phase noise system...

    ....I'd be happy to make independent measurements of your FifoPi, as I say I have a Timepod, full HP3048 / Agilent E550X & Wavecreast phase noise systems."

    John perhaps it would be better if instead of taking on extra work for others, you can use the £100+k trusting backers gave you to build something for them? just a thought...
  2. russel

    russel ./_dazed_and_confused

    Especially as there is a good chance the equipment was funded by us.
    Darren and torstoi like this.
  3. Stuart Frazer

    Stuart Frazer pfm Member

    Latest update from John on Facebook today:

    <Lakewest Facebook Page>

    Its been a busy couple of weeks - with the added pressure of my wife Renata being ill with a "very bad cough + difficulty breathing" - two Covid test came back negative. It turned out to be whooping cough, but with the concerns about Covid we where very worried... endless nights of little sleep, constant worry and self isolation (limiting my travel)... Anyway thankfully “ONLY” Whooping cough!!! Thankfully, Renata's doing much better - now "just" bad back / chest pains from the constant coughing! Apparently with Whooping cough its common to fracture your own rib cage though the intensity of coughing!!!

    The new software programmer is remotely located and we predict its only a matter of time before Covid once again limits travel so we have been setting up remote measurements of the design (via transferee of captured data) – the software programmer has no audio measurement experience so is learning (very fast it must be said) as he progress with the project.

    We now have developed a method to instantly share each others results over the internet – so as he works on the software / firmware we can share findings from our own testing of the hardware.

    Attached is an example measurement of the ProJect S2 DAC hes working on – while getting to grips with Audio testing / XMOS / MQA / Digital filters etc.

    The Graphs can be zoomed etc. in realtime + the analyzers settings are stored for future reference. (The interface / data dump from the audio analysers required custom software which we had to write).
    Asides for setting up the remote audio testing and performing audio measurements’, he is finding his way around the XMOS code and environment… starting with something “simple” the UI engine, proportional fonts / anti-analysing, correct button / encoder denouncing etc. This weekend we will work on level meters (Digital decimation filters are required for DSD mode) this requires working with the audio bitstream and digital filters etc – next step will be moving from “Simple” Project S2 hardware to DevDAC hardware…

    He has so far proved to be by far the best software guy I’ve worked with, and I can really see having the first beta of the “full” MDAC2 code within the next couple of months – which is good news [​IMG]:) we still have to work on the digital filters but he’s really REALLY good so I have few concerns…
    I should have the advanced clock circuit completed in the next couple of weeks (for PCB release / then testing) – intime for MDAC2, so expanding the current DevDAC PCB performance.

    Things are also going well with the partner factory, once the covid test came back negative and Renata was more stable I was able to spend 3 days at the factory, setting up an office / lab onsite… I’m really happy with this direction as this eases MDAC2 manufacturing / MDAC2 / VFET / FDAC custom chassis etc.

    I’ll spend more time at the factory next week, I'm planning to work on the MDAC2 ID design.
  4. fred sonnen

    fred sonnen pfm Member

    About every 2 weeks you can see a strange spectacle here. A handful of boys organize a always same colorful hustle and bustle. It almost always starts with the same harmless question: "Any updates on Facebok? Don't get me wrong. This is a legitimate question, because even after years John is not able to distribute regular updates via email. Though offered several times himself. No matter if a quote about his current work is posted, the following postings always follow the same content.
    It is to be read by cheaters, liars, whiners, selfish prioritizing, ignorant etc. If at least "the boys", who eloquently said goodbye to the project or wrote it off, would leave it out... Far from it.
    Obviously "the boys" have not achieved anything in all this time, let alone changed anything. How could they, they are on John's ignore list for a long time. Since your mental outpourings only contain repetitions, are counterproductive, don't achieve anything and in the long run are not even original, but only tiring, it goes on and on. One inevitably asks oneself why? Do "the boys" get so little on in real life that they need this spectacle here for self-affirmation? Every two weeks, from anonymity to another pointing and dumping. Self-reflection? What for. It is better to damage or rather annoy the project and everyone involved and to throw up and feel important at least every two weeks...
    What a pity. But in this life "the boys" will probably never change. Then you must at least be able to deal with public opposition.
  5. davidjt

    davidjt pfm Member

    The 'Ignore' function removes the irritation - and hence the compulsion to respond.;)
  6. russel

    russel ./_dazed_and_confused

    Ah Fred, this thread has been sadly lacking in you ersatz psychology lecture welcome back!. However the whole point of posting for me, who is on Johns ignore list, is not for John to read it, it’s to make sure the thread stays in his mind, which it won’t if no one posts. Just accepting what John says only resulted in an ever expanding feature list with a delivery time accelerating into the distance, it’s only when enough people screamed at him to get his act together did the spec then resemble a) something close to what was originally promised and b) something he has very little wiggle room for excuses not to deliver. I would like to also remind you of the following post, from AudioZephyr who posted twice, the original post below withdrawn.

    “I've known John personally for many years and recently met with him again. We discussed this issue.

    John is a genius in his field but business and handling finances are not his strong suit.
    The reason why he is such a remarkable audio designer is partly due to his ability to be obsessively focused on it.
    Unfortunately, this obsession had lead him a bit astray, purchasing all kinds of equipment in a kind of "collector" zeal.
    Equipment, only marginally useful for this project and IMO marginally useful for any purpose.

    It's time to accept the fact that the money we invested is long gone, and there are no realistic avenues leading to production, since that would require significant funds, funds that John does not, and will not have available.

    John is not malicious, he did not set out to deceive, he merely handles stress badly and he is not perfect.
    Rest assured, this whole thing affects him dearly but he sees no way out.”

    I am afraid I suspect that was John posting and if it is it’s quite clear he would rather forget about the whole thing.

    So since you are so critical perhaps you would like to offer an alternative, bearing in mind just accepting what John says has shown no evidence of working. Perhaps you could also apply those incisive psychology skills of yours to explaining how John has managed to deliver several products, some of which bear a remarkable similarity to ones he was supposed to be developing for us.
  7. Timcat

    Timcat pfm Member

    Fred, I think I understand where you are coming from. I think that you are of the view that, if left alone and not constantly reminded of his failure to deliver what he has promised by (rightly) frustrated customers of his, John will deliver at least some product. I do have some sympathy for this view. However, I think that this approach has been shown to be ineffective. After all, this is the approach we all took for the first few years of this saga and it achieved nothing.

    I do agree, however, that John is also most unlikely to respond to negative and critical posting here.

    I actually suspect that the explanation from AudioZephyr, quoted by russel, is probably close to the truth.

    An objective analysis of John's posts both here and on FB suggests, strongly, that we are no nearer receiving any product than we were 4 or 5 years ago. All we have received is a stream of excuses for why John has not moved the project on (the latest excuse even lays the foundation for the next one!), plus some details of the products John has designed or updated for others, notably Project.

    The upshot is that we are most unlikely to receive any product.

    So what to do?

    Personally, I knew that the money I invested was at risk when I made the investments (total £400). So if John were to come here and explain why the project has failed and to apologise for his failure to deliver, I would accept this. I also think that John should agree to refund those who paid thousands for the VFET power amps (I did not); I say this because the sums involved are significant and I do not recall there being any suggestion of this being risk capital. After all, designing and building power amps is not a difficult task for a skilled audio engineer.

    For those investors who feel disinclined to put this down to experience, and don't get me wrong, I have every sympathy with you, it is time to do as Tony suggests and to get together and instruct lawyers. I would be happy to contribute towards a reasonable fee for initial advice, should the majority wish to proceed along this path.
    brumjam, Mission75 and torstoi like this.
  8. eevo1969

    eevo1969 pfm Member

    Please give a date or even a rough idea as to inform the “boys” when you’ll consider it acceptable to complain after waiting what is now 6+ years?

    “cheaters, liars, whiners, selfish prioritizing, ignorant etc“ Oh that’s nice, you can be rude cos’ you’re annoyed at the “boys” but the boys can’t be rude because....we’ll, they’ve only waited how long...?
  9. fred sonnen

    fred sonnen pfm Member

    I am more for decency in dealing with people and self-reflection in my own actions. People with more life experience say, "if you point with your fingers at others, at least three fingers will point at you".

    Of course I grant you the right to choose the quote that supports your one-sided view. Therefore a different opinion: Project Sponsors who could met J. Westlake personally describe him as a sincere person. Who also knows what he is talking about... From my point of view, who has never spoken to J. Westlake personally, or even met him, I have little or no understanding for the hostility that is being poured out on him!

    Even constant repetition does not make the truth any higher. And the continuous ignoring of facts is not very helpful either.

    In total J. Westlake has collected over 100T EUR in development funds here. But even in the Czech Republic you can not live on it for a long time.
    It is therefore understandable that spin-offs in commercial projects were and are used to generate income. But transparency would have been helpful here. Even a J. Westlake can't leave the professional scene for years and only take care of a few dozen fishies.
    Not to forget his advance investments in components, machines and old audio gear. These are also known here in principle. Whether he will ever be able to use them beyond the production of "our" gear remains to be seen.

    We the users have taken care of the looooong feature list. I can't remember any significant resistance or outcry. For example, I am very enthusiastic about the fact that there is an output stage equipped with tubes . John was generally quite transparent about his actions and the reasons for them. Also his turning away from the ESS DAC's was transparent. I cannot think of a big outcry in this respect.

    I am sure that "the boys" will also ignore this facts again and continue with their worthless bluster.
  10. Space is the Place

    Space is the Place pfm Member

    Keep drinking Kool Aid Fred, some of "the boys" or more accurately "the VFET boys" are £3k out of pocket, some of them might have even pass away before any thing is delivered.

    Meanwhile JW managed to developed products for other manufactures that appear with all the features of both the MDAC2 and the Detox on a fairly regular basis.

    Like Tim above i've written off any investment, i'm in a fortunate position to do that, but i feel for those that have invested thousands.
  11. fred sonnen

    fred sonnen pfm Member

    I am realy sorry for the people who put a lot of money into the projects (VFET). Also the people whose living conditions have changed over the years I see quite critically. To demand decency from John at the VFET seems to me to be quite justified.

    I also have no problem with justified criticism. And there are a lot here! But it is more than indecent to put one-sided blame and completely ignore our own.
  12. Space is the Place

    Space is the Place pfm Member

    I agree, but you have to put it into context, no one thought they'd have to wait this long, if JW had said it'll take exactly a year to deliver the MDAC2 board i don't think many would have invested, 2 years no one would.

    Now JW gives the impression that he's a man of integrity, but perhaps it's best to judge someone by their actions, not what they say will happen, who knows perhaps he's in discussion with the investors who put in thousands, reassuring them that they will get their amps and giving them a timeline.

    Perhaps a better more realistic scenario from the start would have been...

    ...I'm going to use the invested money to build a lab where i can develop products for other manufacturers, in 5, or 6, or 7 years time i might build the board when i get round to it...

    Who wants to invest?!

    wow&flutter, Darren, torstoi and 3 others like this.
  13. russel

    russel ./_dazed_and_confused

    eevos post points out the logical inconsistency of your comment.

    “sincere person” is a subjective impression and one not really justified by what has happened, he may have intended to deliver but has consistently failed to do so, despite being able to do so for several companies, this has never been explained by him or anyone else, if he was sincere an explanation would have been forthcoming.

    I have stated several facts, which seem you seem unable or unwilling to take on board.

    He was developing a DAC not a space shot, 100k is easily enough money to develop it.

    He was design lead and resented any attempt to help him if you remember.
    torstoi and 44000khz like this.
  14. 44000khz

    44000khz pfm Member

    It's quite justified for all investors not just the VFET guys.

    And you can't seriously be trying to shift the blame on to the investors, that is a truly ridiculous position.

    The blame is entirely and categorically one-sided. John Westlake took loads of money from people with a promise to design and produce a DAC and those designs seem to have appeared in commercial products instead and the investors have been left with nothing....

    No one can seriously or reasonably defend that position.
    tto, Darren, Wilson and 14 others like this.
  15. tunkejazz

    tunkejazz non-equilibrium listener

    are we talking about the pro-ject s2 devices “only”?
    Sorry, I have no intention of fueling any fires, just have been detached from this thread for too long. Looking at some of the recent posts, I just realized that since I joined this mess, I have got two kids and the oldest is already in 2nd grade.
    dmytro, russel, DimitryZ and 2 others like this.
  16. kon5t

    kon5t New Member

    Any Updates?
  17. nobeone

    nobeone pfm Member

    Stack Audio Link II

    "When it comes to hearing we, as humans, are very perceptive to phase/timing accuracy. Phase accuracy is vital to a true analogue representation of your music. Achieving true phase accuracy was John Westlake’s main focus, when designing the LINK II."
  18. Stunsworth

    Stunsworth pfm Member

    Nothing on Facebook for three weeks.
  19. sq225917

    sq225917 Bit of this, bit of that

    Thats assuming that the Stack2 isn't just the original with their mods, not johns, there's still benefit to them to trade on his name.
  20. russel

    russel ./_dazed_and_confused

    Perhaps we could contact them to see how they extracted any work out of him.

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