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

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

  1. davidjt

    davidjt pfm Member

    Speaking for myself, I haven't been perspiring more than usual. And I fail to see how a couple of polite enquiries are going to hold anything up. YMMV
  2. ti33er

    ti33er pfm Member

    So I don’t know if it’s been said here; may only be on the FaceBook Group - the DevDAC was preferred to the £16K DAVE combination ...one cannot copy text from that Group (May just be my iPhone but it does not give me the option to Copy/Paste)!
  3. killie99

    killie99 pfm Member

    can you screen shot it and post?
    Would be nice for once to be kept up to date.
  4. Stuart Frazer

    Stuart Frazer pfm Member

    Below is the post and write-up from Facebook:

    David Woodward
    March 13 at 5:02 PM
    Let me do my best to give everyone on here an update. First off this was my first time meeting John and Renata. They are the most delightful, kind and genuine couple.

    The demo sessions involved listening to dave’s chord dave with blu mkII m-scaler. We didn’t listen to the Hugo TT.

    We concluded that there was more bass from the dave, but it didn’t sound good. Was that the amp struggling with the load imp of the ESL’s or the speakers struggling with it. Not sure. Dave has top of the range b&w and I have an old but rather good (In my view) Impulse H2. Both can do low controlled bass. So this wasn’t a good rig to appreciate this aspect.

    The mid range and top sounded harsh. Some of that we felt may have been we were over driving the amp. But some of it was (We think) due to the dac and how it matched Johns other components. It should be said that dave dac in his setup does sound like that. (B&w and krell).

    We then spend most of the day today listening to the devdac. Switching between two modes controlled by a jumper. We got through lots of tracks. And overall the sound was superb. The short video shows the devdac playing the first cd I purchased - Robby Robinson. Sounded really great. The vocals were outstanding, resolving subtly and more detail on some tracks than I have ever heard before. The standout for me was Dreams / fleetwood mac rumours. Stevie’s vocal took on a whole new level of realism, with the jumper set the other way the sound was still excellent but more like how I’ve heard that well played track sound before on good systems.

    The standout for me was the soundstage. Again with the jumper the way we had it making stevie sound real the width and I guess you would say holographic sound stage was super impressive.

    So overall super exciting and super impressive. Just can’t wait to get one and listen to it in our systems.

    Other photos shows Dave made a friend and just how much kit John has accumulated. Huge investment to create the lab.

    Thank you John for being the perfect host

    Rosewind, Bob L, fred sonnen and 7 others like this.
  5. BrianPK

    BrianPK pfm Member

    David Woodward...
    “The standout for me was the soundstage... the width and I guess you would say holographic sound stage was super impressive.So overall super exciting and super impressive.”

    I do like the sound of that.
    Thanks lads.
    Rosewind and Bob L like this.
  6. fred sonnen

    fred sonnen pfm Member

    Yeah, that sounds realy promising!
  7. StephenB

    StephenB pfm Member

    OK, elephant in the room time

    @John W

    early panicky days I know, but do current events put a financial strain on yourself or negatively impact development and timelines ?

    I think failure of the projects now would be enough to consider a personal exit strategy or at least some self harming :)
  8. ti33er

    ti33er pfm Member

    Apparently China have Covid under control now btw...
  9. Coll

    Coll pfm Member

    John said sometime ago that anyone who wants to drop out may get their money back by other taking up the dac who did not originally pay development costs.
    But if this is a closed forum how will they know that the product is available to purchase.
  10. fred sonnen

    fred sonnen pfm Member

    PFM is not a closed forum. Not even this threat.
    It is only moderated. Meaning, that the admin might clean up this threat if needed. ;-)
  11. StephenB

    StephenB pfm Member

    The vaccine is being tested by their military is what I was told yesterday.

    I work for a company who has a factory 300k from Wuhan and tending to believe what I hear via this source for the time being.

    But yes its good news nonetheless
  12. moosemeat

    moosemeat pfm Member

    Below is the Facebook write-up from the other Dave present at the Chord Dave demo sessions (a little bit more exciting than all this COVID-19 angst!):

    David Walsh[​IMG] Hi Ian, all,

    I’m happy to share what I thought, for what its worth, and happy to answer any questions I can.

    I'll start by saying I’ve no axe to grind on this, Dave just dragged me along for beer & hifi in the Czech Republic - I wasn’t going to say no! I wholeheartedly second his comments that John and Renata were excellent, kind hosts throughout our sadly truncated visit. Thank you both so much!

    Secondly, for a bit of context, my normal listening is in a roughly 14' x 13' dining room (it doesn’t see any dining..) with Roon (music on NAS + Tidal) > Dirac room correction > Chord Blu MkII via USB > Chord DAVE via dual BNC > Krell FPB 700cx via balanced > B&W 800 D3’s via Chord Signature cables. I like the sound of my system, and am not a fan of vinyl(!), I like ‘full range’ music, i.e. happy to hear full-on bass and treble, and different genres of music.

    Does anyone here want to sell me their ‘spot' in this particular queue?

    We went straight chez John from the airport, set the DAVE and Blu up playing just to warm up, and that was the next 4 or 5 hours gone. This was new room, amp, cables, speakers to me - and for this first session so was a lot of the music, as John got his aural ‘calibration' of the Chord gear in his own system and space.

    The overall presentation of the music in the room / system with the Chord kit was very different to what I’m used to even with, but basically the Blu / DAVE sounded 'hard' and never got better - it doesn’t sound that bad at home, honest! We could spend a long time pondering whether there was incompatibility, playing too loud, John’s system is that much more revealing, etc. Whatever the reason, the undeniable bottom line is it was ‘hard’. I would love to get that DEVDAC at home in my system, to minimise the number of variables, and I’d listen to a LOT of music :)

    After the obligatory excess of beer that evening, we re-convened next morning for maybe 6 or 7 more hours before we had to 'get out of Dodge'.

    We started again with the Blu / DAVE c.f. DEVDAC, same results. Our main task for the day, though, was to determine which of two ‘jumper’ settings we preferred on the DEVDAC. Can’t divulge (or claim to fully understand) what the difference was, but it was switching in & out a crucial aspect of John’s design philosophy from the signal path.

    The good news is that it was genuinely a blind test as John didn’t know which setting did what, due I think to some firmware change, and managed to restrain himself from checking until just before we left and well after we had each formed our opinion. So it was jumper ‘on' vs jumper ‘off'. I did feel slightly chiller with jumper 'off’...

    We spent a fair time listening to some of John’s trusty test tracks, and then Dave and I mainly took over ‘DJ’ duties - as John surmised we have built up our own library of tracks over the years that we have listened to on many systems and ‘know’ the sound of well. So we romped through a lot of music that is well known to Dave and I, but a fair amount of it was new to John.

    The upshot of all this is that with John’s secret sauce circuitry switched into the system, it was unanimous that the sound staging (front to back and left / right) and detail, ‘texture' of vocals and instruments, and insight into the vocal performance were better. In absolute terms I thought these aspects were exceptional; no question better than the Chord combo 'on the day’ and very different and (grits teeth) very probably better than when its at its best at home with me. The stereo sound-staging was very impressive, and when we played the mono track to remove that from the equation, obviously the image stayed where it should be centrally but had more front to back depth, as well as the improved ‘texture’ of each aspect of the music described before.

    DEVDAC, dressed properly with its jumper, was insightful and musical without being hard or fatiguing. Classic hours of ‘ooh let’s hear what this one sounds like’. I want one.

    It was a delight to meet John (and Renata!) and experience the expertise, insight and passion he brings to both the design and listening aspects of what he is doing, not to mention the crazy amount of kit he needs to enable him to do it.

    From my Chord DAC experience (TT, DAVE, Blu) I’m a fan of what they do. From what I heard, John's design philosophy / principles and his execution will take things even further. Bravo.

    So - does anyone here want to sell me their ‘spot' in this particular queue?
    BrianPK, EIffel, ti33er and 2 others like this.
  13. Coll

    Coll pfm Member

    My spot is for sale I paid £500 total and am desperate to get some cash due to family problems.
  14. gints

    gints pfm Member

    Good to know that visitors liked it very much, that is promising. What about John? Does he feel the same, was he happy about sound. Was there any chat about is it a finished design or something still left to do, needs to be changed?
  15. Stuart Frazer

    Stuart Frazer pfm Member

    The recent progress is very encouraging. I hope this can now be pushed through to completion and that will be one down for John and the Lakewest team. There are hurdles to get over though - CV19, a final board revision that John is happy to release, a case design and a manufacturer etc. Given the present circumstances, if we got something by Christmas, then I would be happy. Actually, I would be happy with a working board and a case to follow - if that can be done.
  16. ti33er

    ti33er pfm Member

    Chat in the FaceBook Group indicates the Bass was better on the DAVE so John is working on this area... that’s all I know :)
  17. Stuart Frazer

    Stuart Frazer pfm Member

    From Facebook: We concluded that there was more bass from the dave, but it didn’t sound good.

    More is not always better.
  18. sq225917

    sq225917 situation engineer

    But did more bass from the Dave sound bad because of the poor integration of the MLs, because of room effects, because it deviated from flat, because it over taxed the amps or because it was simply not as well resolved.

    A sample size of one is pretty much useless.
  19. ti33er

    ti33er pfm Member

    John himself has mentioned very recently that the DAVE has ‘better’ Bass; if that’s anything to go by
  20. moosemeat

    moosemeat pfm Member

    John said "The one area where the Chord was clearly superior was its Bass - but thats one area which should improve with the PSU updates to the A03 PCB - I was impressed with the Chords Bass".

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