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MDAC First Listen (part 00111001)

Discussion in 'audio' started by ti33er, Sep 12, 2017.

  1. adamdea

    adamdea pfm Member

    I spose but I'm baffled where that leaves the 1st mdac2 variant- not worth going into the Fdac and not available for the time being. Still everything seems to come back around eventually.
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2017
  2. Rune

    Rune pfm Member

    I suppose that the 1st mdac2 option is for the very very cost conscious. It will deliver >= what was initially promised.

    Personally I will go for option 3. DDA MDAC2 to keep me happy until VFET and FDAC happens.
    adamdea likes this.
  3. EIffel

    EIffel Cereal Killer

    Until we know more, it is difficult to draw too many conclusions, as each variant of the MDAC2 has its unique set of compromises (for someone who is looking for a master/slave DAC setup, the 'basic' variant seems to offer the most flexible set-up, removing the need for a pre-amp when playing DSD signals for instance. It may also be the best slave option to the FDAC at a later stage, despite its sonic limitations).
  4. JohnW

    JohnW Trade: Lakewest

    So I've had a rather worrying day!!

    Last week I manage to source a used (but it great condition) professional BQA rework station complete with 60 nozzles and LOTS of spares from a leading F1 company that seems to have dragged it around the world with them in a couple of huge travel cases!

    They wanted GBP20K but I was able to negotiated the price down to GBP15K (last week was a VERY expensive week with the new solder paste printer costing over GBP7K & another GBP6K spent on other production equipment)... :( it hurts!!!

    So the unit was shipped in two "travel cases" of 60Kg each (120kg total) - today only one case arrived without the paperwork so I was not sure if Renata's mother had signed for both!!!

    So after a very worrying call to UPS, it seems that when one of the cases arrived in Germany its shipping label was missing - so it was sent back to the UK!!! (Typical this happens to a 60Kg shipment).

    So at the moment I have half a GBP15K BGA rework system (the main unit but without controller / computers etc.) - but atleast UPS knows where the second case is! So nervous times...

    The BGA rework system will allow us (presuming it arrives) to offer the larger memory options on the streamer boards - sadly there is no escaping designing with BGA devices as we move forward... :(
  5. JohnW

    JohnW Trade: Lakewest

    Yes :) - Direct Digital 2 Analogue.... there is no "Active" Analogue stage..... just passive components with no feedback etc.

    Output impedance varies, but at any setting below -12dB is about 5 ohms so VERY decent for a "simple" passive design*

    * Subject to further optimisation.

    The beauty is in the designs simplicity - the simplest cleanest signal path.
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2017
  6. HarryB

    HarryB pfm Member

    The thread that keeps on giving.
  7. misterdog

    misterdog Not the canine kind

    Though without your constant positive input I fear that the world would end.

    Have you the new Brooklyn + on order ?

    Perhaps you could start a thread about it.

    Keep the faith.
    Steven Toy likes this.
  8. JohnW

    JohnW Trade: Lakewest

    I've just ordered the first batch of bare PCB's from China for 20 MDAC2 streamer PCB's and 15 DEVDAC PCB's.

    A variant of the streamer will be available as a standalone device with USB output to add streaming support to existing USB DACs' (such as the MDAC). The MiniStreamer also features a Detox'ed USB Bypass Input (Which routes an external USB signal (say form a PC) to the DAC).

    PCB's / Standalone Streamer to ship within 30 days :)


    https://www.dropbox.com/s/8zhb5g2qpevdhvj/DevDAC A02.jpg?dl=0

    MDAC2 Streamer PCB:-

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/3pf7llp7ebg45q1/Streamer A04.jpg?dl=0

    USB Output Mini Streamer (DSD128 & PCM 384) Bit accurate:-

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/l866avdv4kazug7/Lakewest Mini Streamer - Front.jpg?dl=0

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/llfhf7tvjrvi5o6/Lakewest Mini Streamer - Rear.jpg?dl=0

    If your interested in the first units please confirm here.
  9. misterdog

    misterdog Not the canine kind

    Does the Dev Dac fit the MDAC case, or is it a case of breadboarding (ply dac ing :) ).

    Does the MDAC 2 streamer, piggyback the Dev Dac board.

    Does the MDAC Wall PSU power the Dev Dac, can those with Calex or other LPSU's adapt them for the Dev Dac.

    What are the prices for the above ?
  10. Rune

    Rune pfm Member


    I have already ordered two streamers so I would be interested in one from the first batch and a devdac to test it with.

    And I expect some added cost added to the steamer since you have added memory to the design.

    The other streamer will be used for a DDA MDAC2 when that becomes available. :p
  11. adamdea

    adamdea pfm Member

    I imagine that, all else being equal, I will go for whatever arrives first. The DDA sounds intriguing but who knows? I’ve lost track of the options, and as with new receptionists, I can’t see the point in trying to remember their names til they’ve been around for 6 months.
  12. JohnW

    JohnW Trade: Lakewest

    The DEVDAC is a "custom" design its not been designed to fit within the MDAC chassis - although a Miterdog Plywood case would work well :)

    The Streamer PCB is designed to be located next to the DEVDAC PCB, although a longer ribbon cable could be used to place above the DAC Board if you wanted a narrow case style.

    The DEVDAc needs to be powered via a single rail 12V PSU - so one of your Calex's would work well.

    One of the purposes of the DEVDAC is to help finance MDAC2 production etc. as we need to purchase components in bulk ahead of production - our up front costs add up very quickly....

    The MDAC Streamer PCB is GBP250 (+shipping)

    The DEVDAC PCB is GBP300 (+shipping)

    When purchased together as a per then GBP500 + (+shipping)

    With the Dual ESS9038 Q2M's The DevDAC sounds better then the MDAC and supports DSD and HiRes formats but:-

    1. Currently shipped without display - instead the DevDAC is controlled via Android / IOS App / Phone / Tablet / Browser / HDMI monitor + Keyboard. Later I Hope to offer a touch panel LCD that plugs into the streamer board. We could also offer a simple OLED front panel (for little extra cost) like we use on the Pro_Ject DAC.

    2. No headphone output

    3. Asides from the Streamer support - the DEVDAC has 1 optical and 1 SPDIF input

    4. Shared USB with the streamer section, so you can connect your PC via USB but the USB port will be deselected when the streamer "input" is selected.

    5. in the interest of low EMC "local" to the HiFi system, no onboard WiFi is included on the steamer PCB - a separate "recommended" USB dongle is required for WiFi (Wired Ethernet connection is recommend)

    6. USB CD reply (via CDROM) will be offered later via a software update

    7. We will offer a "discounted" price Streamer PCB for the DEVDAC when the MDAC2 streamer board is required for the MDAC2.
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2017
  13. hluga

    hluga pfm Member


    As stated before i'm interested in devdac + streamer for testing/debug.

    Have you an idea about the PSU i can order ?

    We have also discussed about the loan of two amps to replace my eclipse small amps.

  14. stephengrenfell

    stephengrenfell pfm Member


    As mentionned previously I am also interested in a devdac + streamer for testing/debug

    I've not been following the thread over the past month or so (no time).

    What exactly is the MDAC2 DDA ?.

    I recall there were 3 MDAC2 variants ;
    - descrete DAC or ESS9028 - interchangable daughter board for the DAC but same mainboard.
    - ESS9038 full monty - not same mainboard as the other two options.

    Is there now a fourth variant (aka DDA) ?.

    I've see people "ordering" a DDA version - do we need to tell you now what MDAC2 variant we want ?.

  15. fusion5

    fusion5 on the dark side of hifi...

    No, the ESS9038 (4x) based variant features the DDA output stage.

    Edit: You don't need to order anything at this point:

  16. stephengrenfell

    stephengrenfell pfm Member

    Ok, thanks.
  17. Steven Toy

    Steven Toy L3 Toy

    As they 'all sound the same' you may as well plump for the first!
  18. jadidih101

    jadidih101 pfm Member

    Hi JohnW,

    I am trying to figure out what it is you are trying to do here with these 'development kits'. What exactly are you expecting the people who buy these kits to do with them?

    Do they develop new software component or just test software that is on the kit or pushed onto the kit? Do they do listening test or functional testing and give you, and us, feed back? Or is this just a way to raise fund by giving people early previews of what you already have designed? Or all of above? :)

    Also, how and when (a final date for end of testing phase) is all this going to be concluded, resulting in a version of MDAC2 any time soon?

    One thing I am noticing, and please correct me if I am wrong, is that you seem to be developing and shaping everything around the streamer, as oppose to the streamer be just a 'optional' component of the DAC. If this is your new thinking then so be it. If you believe this is the best way to get the best result then you need to clarify that. And we, as contributors, will have to decide if this is what we want too.

    Just to be clear I appreciate that you are working you ass off at the moment, not to mention spending a lot of your own money, but in my case I am beginning to doubt if I still want to be part this project anymore because I do not recognize what you are trying to achieve here and how you are planing to achieve it.
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2017
  19. adamdea

    adamdea pfm Member

    Well there's still features, price and looks.
  20. ti33er

    ti33er pfm Member

    I didn’t think they would all sound the same...!?! The Discrete DAC is unique sounding as far as I understood things...?

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