As of this morning, there was limited stock still left at SGD$1,100.
Edited by Mauricio - 4/4/12 at 12:42am
I'm pretty interested in this too. I would try myself but to do so I would have to do it right and spend about £170 when I could easily save that for the upcoming PSU (Any thoughts on this?).
I'm waiting for the upcoming PSU unit as well.
I'd imagine you'll be waiting a while. John Westlake is not getting down to the nitty and gritty of the M-PAX until he has done his 'budget DAC' (not an Audiolab product). This is one thing that puts me off the M-DAC - at £599 it's good value, but once you start with all these planned upgrades of the mainboard and the additional PSU, you could have probably bought something like an Anedio D2 that's 'ready to go'.
Exactly, just because he offers an update doesn't make the dac absolute.
Indeed, the M-DAC has been well-reviewed and most people seem to regard it highly. What I'm saying is that if Westlake sees so much 'room for improvement' with his own board component upgrades, software updates and a full blown PSU unit to replace the power brick type thing, and one is tempted to get them, considering the wait, the cost (and invalidated Audiolab warranty in the case of the first two), it bumps the price up to the level of several other DACs that wouldn't have invalid warranties and have better power supplies as standard.
If someone is looking for a combined DAC/headphone amp, the M-DAC looks to be a great choice at it's price point and bar the D18 I think it's the cheapest way to get a Sabre-based DAC, at least here in the UK. What I'm saying is that for £599 + another £400 or whatever it was for all the upgrades... that you're stepping into territory occupied by several other well-regarded newish DACs that don't have these potential hazards. If my budget only covers the M-DAC as stock then that's all I'd be thinking about, but if I had £1000 to spend, it wouldn't.
If you have the budget for the D2 and your concerned about the upgrade path and costs offered by the M-DAC then I'd say just go and get the D2. Either that or buy a few different items, try them side by side, decide which you like, then sell or return the others.
I'm probably just going to get the stock M-DAC + a £30 USB isolator (since Audiolab's USB input is not galvanically isolated). It costs just a little bit less than my active speakers and I think it's generally a good idea to spread the cost of my set up fairly evenly, especially as there's other things I want (like a portable rig). I'm building some Linkwitz speakers this year and once they're ready I may sell my current speakers and then match with an endgame DAC (curious to see what Schitts q4 'statement DAC' will be like - not the Gungir), but for the time being I think performance-wise the M-DAC will be plenty good enough.
Heh, I'd still buy them, well, until I got a perfect pair. Both are fantastic... but complete overkill in an untreated room. DIY some broadband panels and natural diffusion from home clutter and yeah, heaven... at least if you don't mind hearing recordings warts and all.