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

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

  1. mikebirtill

    mikebirtill pfm Member

    I’ve already said it’s a very bad look. Would you mind if I re post your post on the lake west fb page?
  2. gints

    gints pfm Member

    e-mail is good way how to communicate
  3. Stunsworth

    Stunsworth pfm Member

    I’d guess, with close to 200 participants, it’s well north of £100k. The VFET buyers paid thousands.

    As I’ve just said on Facebook, I’ve lost all confidence in the project.
  4. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    Feel free. He’ll have read it anyway. I am however very conscious that I don’t want to make anything worse for those who have invested, so please make sure to distance my personal viewpoint from the investors in the project. I am merely a publisher and in this case have (maybe unwisely) let slip a little editorial comment. I do not speak for anyone else.

    I have no stake in this beyond being absolutely livid that it occurred to some degree on my website. My own business reputation is absolutely flawless, I have never not delivered anything I promised in my life, and I am debt averse to an absurd extent. Basically I just don’t borrow money (I saw what it did to people in the poverty of an unemployment blackspot in the ‘80s) and I never charge for anything until I’m ready to take it to the post office. I even pay my tax in April FFS as I can’t bare the feeling of owing money! As such this situation has freaked me out to a very large extent. It is about as far from ‘me’ as it is possible to be.
  5. Spike

    Spike pfm Member

    I don’t for one second hold you or PFM responsible for any of this. You have gone above and beyond what could be expected to maintain your reputation.
    Timcat and HarryB like this.
  6. mikebirtill

    mikebirtill pfm Member

    Tony, I have always found you to be scrupulously honest and fair. PInk fish has always been the most level headed and best run forum
  7. Reenberg

    Reenberg pfm Member

    A pair of V FETs and a the big DAC. Must be in the 3000pound range. And I'm not a face book member
  8. hluga

    hluga pfm Member

    As VFET and MDAC and DTOX and DEVDAC investor i am one of those with 3k+ and here since the beginning. I know from the start that advances are not refundable.
    I'm not agree with tonyl that we need to ask johnw for full accounts. Johnw speciality is electronics and we all know he is highly skilled. I want him to use its time to make progress on the designs/production. I think that he's sad of the situation, has loose paths manytimes in the project and i'm not ready to push him as far as he just let it go.
    I still believe that some top quality products will be delivered.
    uwe061, Bob L, ttier and 3 others like this.
  9. radamel

    radamel Music Fiend

    I just paid the development fee of a Detox, so I paid £50.
  10. JohnW

    JohnW pfm member

    In light of the current situation I can propose some steps that can be taken "today""-

    1. a couple s weeks ago I met with a vendor on China who would manufacture the Detox Chassis so in theory Detox can now be manufactured, HOWEVER Detox is now a rather outdated design:-


    Detox was designed to be used specially with MDAC (original MDAC with USB1.1) the Detoxed Isolated USB only supports USB1.1 which does not support HighRes Audio / DSD etc (no XMOS devices etc). Detox does feature a Detoxed USB2.0 output but its not isolated.

    The pending MDAC 1.5 / 20 / FDAC have the Detox feature built into the unit with more advanced features such as isolated HiRes USB support and remote control of settings and more advanced Detox’ing (not only is the USB Detoxed, but also the fully digital system).

    So while it is possible to manufacture Detox – its really better to fold the design in to the pending DAC’s to ease time resources – but I happy to follow sponsor suggestions

    DEVDAC II is on the lab bench now and is so far looking good.


    Discrete FPGA based Balanced DAC Array

    Dual frequency Discrete Clock (no ASRC with USB input)

    Galvanically Isolated USB / digital domain.

    Native DSD support to 512 (MIGHT be possible to extend to 1024)

    Balanced Analogue domain attenuation (no digital manipulation of Data) – pure path DSD (DAC / PreAmp mode)

    USB, SPDIF and Optical input.

    Balanced and signal ended audio outputs

    SE and balanced headphone outputs

    Colour LCD display for UI

    Supports PCM to 768KHz 32Bits, DSD64, 128, 256, 512 (Might be possible to extend to 1024) and MQA (subject to MQA blessing).

    A chassis has current not been design for the DEVDAC2, but the vendor I recently met in Asia would be able to manufacture a Detox style solid chassis.

    Its feasible if all the stars align to start shipping this design by say Christmas – if this where to become a DAC then I’d like to expand the DAC array to increase audio performance, but this is something we already have on the lab bench.

    This DEVDAC design is a very decent design (Discrete FPGA based DAC) – its not the full MDAC2, but its advantages are it meets the original GBP300 – GBP350 budget, comes with its own CNC case (no need to donor MDAC) and the design is essentially ready and can be turned into a shipped product within 2-3 months – early units can be shipped to help debug software and hep gain trust.

    Its can be offered as a stop gap design for those who still want the full blown MDAC2 / FDAC, they can still take up there production option when development is completed… or just stay with the DevDAC.

    The DevDAC technology meets the original design goals of the project – an far upgraded MDAC design, although it will come its own chassis.

    The ADC / Phono Stage / DSP will still be offered as options on the FDAC.

    If DevDAC II proceeding to production is not a preferred option, then MDAC1.5 which is a development of DevDAC but re-housed into the MDAC chassis is the next possible project but many original sponsors have requested custom chassis as they no longer own original MDAC chassis. The MDAC1.5 would also share digital filter cards with MDAC2 / FDAC – otherwise it’s essentially the DevDAC – the DevDAC design is now on the bench and can be delivered sooner

    The MDAC1.5 will still be put into production irrespective of DevDAC, however it’s a question of longer timelines, and depending on the response to DevDAC maybe AFTER MDAC2 / FDAC.

    My strongest recommendation to those who want to see a DAC ASAP is the DevDAC, its beyond the performance of the original project, but has its own solid CNC chassis and is realistically possible to start manufacture of PCB’s this side of Christmas (unknown is CNC chassis / production shipping times (chassis has not been design yet, but it would be a taller version of the Detox (taller due to the height of the XLR’s)) – I believe complete units can be shipped this side of Christmas)

    For those holding onto MDAC / donor units, then the MDAC1.5 would follow DevDAC…. then MDAC2/FDAC.

    Please consider the options, also that if DevDAC is purchased at cost it does NOT effect your “at cost” MDAC 1.5 ./ MDAC2 FDAC production option – it’s purpose is to deliver a DAC in a short timescale that outperformance the original project goals… and reinstall confidence in the project.

    The DevDACII is based on the Core Discrete DAC technology, the MDAC1.5 / MDAC2 / FDAC designs add extras (advanced clocking, Detox, Streamer, ADC, DSP etc) - but the core discrete DAC technology is common for DevDAC to FDAC....

    Think of the DevDAC as a Pure DAC, simple but not lacking.

    MQA would be enabled via a software update pending approval - it is subject to MQA approval and thus its final incorporation cannot be 100% guaranteed by me... but we have worked with MQA in the past so have a high confidence level...
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2019
  11. Spike

    Spike pfm Member

    Over the years I’ve become completely confused with all the changes and developments.
    Even your last post is not exactly clearing my understanding.
    To keep it simple can you just confirm what can go into the MDAC donor that I purchased from you? And when it’s likely to be completed?
  12. radamel

    radamel Music Fiend

    What prevents the Detox design to incorporate the isolated Hires support present in the MDAC 1.5/ 20/ FDAC Detox feature?

    Please bear in mind that some of us, me included, have paid the Detox development fees and may not be interested in the MDAC 1.5/ 20/ FDAC.
  13. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    Just for my own curiosity and to keep the thread a readable resource could someone please explain in fairly simple terms what a DevDAC is and where it sits in relation to the MDAC 2, 1.5, FDAC etc?
  14. gints

    gints pfm Member

    O, yes, that is what we all want from John - redesign something what is already finished.
  15. Ian M

    Ian M pfm Member

    I just wish any notion of putting anything inside an old MDAC would go away. I sold mine years ago and have no intention of wasting money on another one.
    paulski likes this.
  16. JohnW

    JohnW pfm member

    For those with donar MDAC's with me here, then the design would be MDAC1.5 - which is the DevDAC but reformatted to use the MDAC chassis and original display. To be honesty its only real purpose is to reuse the MDAC chassis as the DevDAC solid CNC chassis with Colour display just looks and feels higher quality (based on the Detox style solid CNC chassis) - the the MDAC units are an legacy issue that requires a solution = MDAC1.5
  17. JohnW

    JohnW pfm member

    In answer to your first question, USB2.0 is a very complex high speed interface protocal requiring an FPGA / external PHY to facilitate the solution and USB level.

    With DevDAC / MDAC1.5 / MDAC2 / FDAC the entire analogue stage is galvanically isolated from the digital domain - including the USB input, this is accomplished partially by DAC FPGA... so we bypass the issue of isolating the high speed USB, we isolate the WHOLE digital section.

    We cannot isolate USB 2.0 interface - we side step the issue...

    Its takes the same amount of effort to but the Detox into production as the DevDAC and i'd guess 98% of development sponsors would rather have a DAC - with the Detox feature incorporated and there Detox development sponsorship fee being included within the MDAC1.5/MDAC2/FDAC.

    So either I can give you a DevDAC at a good discounted rate to factor your Detox development sponsorship... refund the detox sponsorship once we start to ship DevDAC's etc. or you holdout for a pending DAC design incorporating the Detox.
    Morph3R and radamel like this.
  18. JohnW

    JohnW pfm member

    Answered in depth in my post 110 above.

    in short is a far more advanced design then to original MDAC upgrade concept based the ESS, Its a discrete FPGA based DAC design.
  19. Steven Toy

    Steven Toy L3 Toy

    Late to the party:

    My original investment was the MDAC L3 Toy.

    This gave me a £300 credit.

    I then paid another £100 and I can't remember when.

    In May 2017 at the Munich show I handed over some euros in cash to pay for a streamer board.

    I am still in the project and fully support it.

    I'll take the DevDAC in the next couple of months or so and the MDAC2 when it is ready. I am in no rush.
  20. dtd

    dtd pfm Member

    @JohnW i'll take a devdacii in the meantime, have emailed.

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