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MDAC First Listen (part 00111001)

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

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  1. Stunsworth

    Stunsworth pfm Member

    Well, every so often John explains the design and various options. Then it all changes.

    Has this latest transformer coupled design been mentioned before? Like you I try to keep up.
    HarryB likes this.
  2. mattgbell

    mattgbell Stop worrying!

    You really do have a problem here.
    People are drifting away from the project in larger numbers. A lot of people have given up hope of the MDAC2 ever being produced.
    It's essential that you commit to a FINAL specification and a FINAL timeline. Otherwise you're just not going to have enough customers to cover the expense of producing any MDAC2s at all. The MDAC2 will die because your funders have lost faith.
    Please understand this as constructive criticism from a LONG-TERM supporter (well, aren't we all?)
    adamdea, BE718 and HarryB like this.
  3. Sibbers

    Sibbers pfm Member

    I am also a long term supporter, but I have no enthusiasm left. I feel saddest for those that tried to do the right thing and keep John honest but got chased off or dismissed as trolls. It’s far easier to just cosy up. Ah well. C’est la vie.
    BE718 and HarryB like this.
  4. DimitryZ

    DimitryZ pfm Member

    it is a fascinating phenomenon in group behavior. I could not possibly have waited this long...
    Jason_PFM, BE718 and HarryB like this.
  5. BE718

    BE718 pfm Member


    Dont you think it is about time you stopped supporting this activity and closed this thread down?

    I pass by occassionaly to see whats going on and its an endless loop of design change and broken promises of delivery. I was lucky, probably one of the few to sell my stake well over a year ago. It was clear then, as it is now, that John has no ability to deliver, even if there is intention to.

    You are doing forum members a disservice by allowing this to continue. I wont use any libellous language here regardless of what I privately think of the debacle.
    Stilgoe1972 likes this.
  6. Errol

    Errol pfm Member

    I agree, and have previously asked why it is not in the trades section, however it is a fascinating read each time I dip in, almost better than a soap!

    Mr ED
  7. HarryB

    HarryB pfm Member

    I don't see any actual "support" here from Tony. I think the way he's handled this thread has been exemplary and that's speaking as someone who finds the whole thing bizarre and exasperating to the point I have the occasional dig even though I know it's wrong to do so.

    I think closing the thread down would lessen the chances of those who have invested significant amounts of money in this strange project getting a product. That would be rubbing salt into the wounds IMHO.

    Also, I'd guess that John W running off to Facebook (despite most of his backers having an aversion to Facebook) suggests he'd be happy to see Tony close the thread down. Draw your own conclusion from that.
    Sibbers likes this.
  8. ti33er

    ti33er pfm Member

    I do believe this DAC will still happen, but I agree that John needs to finalise a design and stick to that for this run

    There can always be new boards/upgrades at a later date, if need be (such is the world of technology)

  9. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator


    For absolute clarity pfm is not ‘supporting’ or ‘opposing’ (if that is the appropriate stance) anything. To be bluntly honest I don’t even know what the various items being discussed are beyond at least one apparently being a DAC!

    pfm’s involvement is purely that of publisher of a lengthy conversation between a designer and the wider audiophile community. pfm has absolutely no financial stake in any project being discussed here. Basically I have no dog in this race and I feel if I canned the thread at this point I would be seen as taking sides (though I’m not quite sure which side!). I am not prepared to do that. The moderation stance has been to remove bad behaviour as defined under the AUP along with any snide trolling from non-stake-holders and allow those who do have a stake to communicate their views and continue their discussion with John W.

    My sincere hope is that things will be resolved promptly as I would very much like to see these threads concluded.
    HarryB and Sibbers like this.
  10. JohnW

    JohnW Trade: Lakewest


    I can understand your feelings, but a few here have made it too toxic to post (the few are not even project sponsors), so the FB group where people have a public profile and are then less likely to troll is currently the main point of contact.

    As you know I have worked long and hard on the MDAC2 design but have been increasingly unhappy with the sound quality of ESS DAC's - while the latest Hyperstreamer2 devices are a "Small" improvement over the ES9018 used in the original MDAC they do not bring the step change in sound quality I aim for the MDAC2.

    This was confirmed this Christmas past when an old Pink Triangle customer shipped a Dacapo based design for repair (the customer begged to have his unit repaired as in his words it still outperformed everything that he has tried since). Well listning to the Dacapo was a revelation - it indeed just wiped the floor clean - a massive stepup from the ESS DAC's and I've heard many many many ESS based designs, not just my own.

    The decision was taken earlier this year that the MDAC2 DD2A DAC would be reworked to be a fully discrete design - and this has been the direction we have been working on since the new year.

    The DevDAC design has been "upgraded" for those who insist on ESS DAC's (Dual ES9038Q2M) - but the discrete DAC is the only version offered for the MDAC2 chassis upgrade.

    The DevDAC is available Mid June (without chassis) - and we are working with a chassis vendor on a universal chassis solution for both the MDAC2 (for those without donor units) and DevDAC - I hope that the first universal chassis will be also be ready Mid June, but this is beyond my control.

    WRT the MDAC2 DD2A, I just received the 4th version of the custom transformer at the heart of the design - I'll test today... the 3rd version was almost there with just a little fine tuning required, so I have high hopes that we can goto production with the latest transformer design.

    The MDAC2 DD2A PCB is design to be also used in the FDAC, the FDAC will offer internal PSU and extra Modulator options (and a DSP card later).

    MDAC2 DD2A will support 2 modulator / filter options (maybe more later) - these can be swapped by the user. One Modulator / Filter options follows the original DaCapo solution while the second is a more upto date solution (but not necessarily sonicaly better).

    Unless we has any major issue, MDAC2 should be available in beta release around mid August - The DevDAC will be available before then for those who need a solution sooner or who doubt that we can do better then ESS...

    The MDAC2 DD2A supports everything promised WRT features of the original MDAC2 designs (aside for ADC & DSP which is reserved for FDAC with its larger chassis).
  11. JohnW

    JohnW Trade: Lakewest

    I should add there there will be various "Grades" of MDAC2 DD2A offered - think options of Vishey resistors etc. The PCB is common to all quality variants just different grade components...
  12. JohnW

    JohnW Trade: Lakewest


    If you can post a list of questions to help clarify and I'll answer each one in order (best I can at this time).
    Last edited: May 16, 2018
  13. s1h1

    s1h1 performing within expectations

    John, Thanks for the update.

    Do you have any idea of the interest in the DevDAC or Universal Chassis? Perhaps these are an unnecessary distraction.
  14. BE718

    BE718 pfm Member

    Giving it "air time" implicitly supports the activity and lMO actually damages PF reputation. Dont you think you should take a side? Dont you think that those that have spent money should get something in return? Or is the site traffic the thread generates an influence on your position?

    My advice to anyone would be to continue a group "conversation with the designer" via a legal representative.
    Last edited: May 16, 2018
    HarryB likes this.
  15. JohnW

    JohnW Trade: Lakewest

    The Universal Chassis (shown in DevDAC variation):-


    The Rear panel and Base is customsied for the DevDAC / MDAC2 DD2A, all other panels remain the same allowing simpler sourcing and helping meet the MOQ requirements.

    MDAC2 DD2A PCB can be used with the existing MDAC chassis OR installed in the Universal chassis.
  16. BE718

    BE718 pfm Member

    I dont think this thread has the slightest bearing on the product, any product whatever form takes Johns whim, being actually delivered. 4+ years of threads have demonstrated that.
    Last edited: May 16, 2018
    HarryB likes this.
  17. JohnW

    JohnW Trade: Lakewest


    The "Universal" chassis started life as a quick solution to house the MDAC2 streamer PCB & DevDAC for the early Beta testers - its was later that I realised we should also consider the solution for the MDAC2 DD2A for those who have since sold there "Donor" MDAC's.

    To avoid the detox sourcing issues, the chassis is based on a ready solution from China, with custom front / rear / base panels.


    The basic chassis with our custom panels fitted:-


    I am working along two sourcing paths for these chassis - the first (and for sure the most expensive) is to order the standard chassis from China and manufacture the front / rear panels here in Europe and a longer term path to have the Chinese vendor manufacture the complete design - however MOQ become an issue (and I worry about QC).
  18. Stunsworth

    Stunsworth pfm Member

    Threads die when people have nothing left to say. Unless a thread breaches the AUP there’s no reason to close it. If you wish the thread no longer existed, perhaps the best solution is for you to ignore it.
    TimR, misterdog, BrianPK and 7 others like this.
  19. JohnW

    JohnW Trade: Lakewest

    Trouble is that the thread has started to be trolled by none project sponsors -the CONSTANT negative posting by these few has driven me to creating a FB group where Trolls are less likely as they have a public ID and I can just block them if they start to be nolonger constructive to the group.

    I'd very much prefer to post here on PFM as I don't like FB, IMO its really aimed at the selfie posting generation - PFM is far more professional but these certain trolls kill it for everyone.

    A reoccurring topic of conversation at Munich was "I've not posted on the PFM forum recently as its become too toxic" and I agree - its such a shame for the 99% of decent followers.
    TimR and ti33er like this.
  20. fred sonnen

    fred sonnen pfm Member

    Hallo John

    Thanks for your explanations.
    The FB situation is apparently not only for me an unsatisfying one. Just come back here more often with news!
    A few key words in regard to the FDAC from the past with the request for comments:
    * PMD100 / 200
    * Valve output stage
    * REQ
    * CD-DRV

    Thank you
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