Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Dedicated Source Components › New HLLY SMK-III Digital Audio Decoder
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

New HLLY SMK-III Digital Audio Decoder - Page 2

post #16 of 138
Originally Posted by Who? View Post

Is it possible to use the volume knob on this DAC to fine-tune the overall (master)volume when used in combination with a headphone amp?

If you plug the other amp into the headphone jack as this thing doesn't seem to have a pre-amp out on the back.

post #17 of 138
Thread Starter 

Mad Max, the built in headphone amp is IMO very nice. If you read my previous posts above you will get a better idea.


Who? you can not use the volume pot in the HLLY SMK-III as a pre-amp.

post #18 of 138

Is there any pictures of the back of this unit? I understood that the ones posted above were of the DMK

post #19 of 138

No, those are indeed pics of the SMK that David from HLLY posted in the DMK thread when he was announcing the new unit.

post #20 of 138

So what are the stock opamps in the unit?

post #21 of 138

OP275 apparently...same as in the Musiland Monitor serie.



Edited by leeperry - 9/5/10 at 6:45am
post #22 of 138
Thread Starter 

But since the op-amps are on sockets should be easy to find a replacement to your liking.

post #23 of 138

I'm following this thread with great interest, partly because of the promised head amp improvements, and partly because they changed the DAC chip to the very highly regarded PCM1704.


The DMK-MKIV has a CS4396 as the DAC chip, and the SMK-III has the PCM1704.  Any comments or direct comparisons on how the DACs sound?  I know that the sound of a DAC is more than just the chip....but to me this is a great shoot-out.  Premium chipsets from Cirrus and BB, voltage regulation vs. current regulation, and HLLY is building units using both.  AND...a good reviewer has both on hand.


I realize that head-fi is all about the sound, not about debating tech talk, please forgive if this offends.


Still drooling....can't wait for the whole review...

Edited by LeonardS - 9/7/10 at 12:58pm
post #24 of 138
Thread Starter 


Today September 7th of 2010 I decided to try different op-amps, started by replacing one of the OP275 with an LN4562. I did so because the LN4562 is one of my all time favorite op-amps and one that should work well since it has similar operating parameters. I then proceeded to try the AD8620 and I may prefer it over the LN4562. Frankly is more of a different flavor than an outright better sounding op-amp. Later I will also try AD8397, AD743 (two in an adapter) and AD8066. For now I am fine leaving the AD8620 and listen to it.


Here is a picture of the SMK-III board before the OP275 was removed.

post #25 of 138
Thread Starter 

I tried the LM4562 and the AD8620, so far I prefer the AD8620 by a bit. Next the AD8397 and AD8066.


I have also been using the line out of the SMK-III to drive a HLLY TAMP-20. I have used the output of the TAMP-20 to drive an AKG K1000 and a Birgir modified Stax SRD-7 to SRD-7 Pro. I find the TAMP-20 does a very good job of driving the K1000, which is great at only $118 including S&H.  The jury is still out on the way the Lambda PRO sounds, the mids and top end are quite nice but I find the bottom en a bit lacking. Perhaps this is normal but I do not have my Signature 30.2 to compare since it is being upgraded. Here are a few pictures.


DSCN1032.JPG          DSCN1040 copy.JPG

post #26 of 138

Nice pictures.


How's the DAC's timbre?

post #27 of 138
Thread Starter 

If by timbre you mean the ability to hear two identical notes at the same volume and length played by different instruments then I would say far better than a $320 amp/dac w/ S&H should be able to do. Granted I have not rolled the op-amps used in the DAC section only the op-amp used in the AMP section.


Speaking of which I have had the AD8397 playing for the last 24 hours while using a Senn HD580 and various files using a Philips DVD player as a source via coaxial. Although the bass is a bit deeper and punchier the overall presentation has IMO suffered as compared with the AD8620. IMO the AD8620 has more detail/clarity with better micro detail and decay control. For some reason the word elegant comes to mind when describing the sound of the AD8620. I will be sending the unit to skylab and immtbiker next week and I hope to try a pair of AD743 with a single to dual adapter soon.

post #28 of 138

Please also try the AMK-II with the TAMP-20 and see what will happen!

post #29 of 138

Leonard S,


I believe you are mistaken regarding the Dac Chip. Unless I've missed something, the chip utilised in the SMK-III is the PCM1792, which is suposedelly very Good but not a True MultiBit like the PCM1704. Shame...

post #30 of 138


I am glad to finally see your new Dac for Sale. 
I was dissappointed however that you have not 
included a 88.2 KHz Indicator. Does that mean the 
Dac will not support this Sampling Rate? If It 
does, what Frequency will It Display? I strongly 
feel that you should have fitted the 88.2KHz 
Indicator instead of the 32KHz Led, which is 
pretty much Useless. I believe most Users would 
agree with me. Would you consider making a Change 
to the Dac to provide for this? It shouldn't be 
too dificult to do and it would certainly be very 
much Appreciated by your existing Customers and 
Potential Buyers like Myself.

Edited by rocksteady65 - 9/13/10 at 11:00pm
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Dedicated Source Components
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Dedicated Source Components › New HLLY SMK-III Digital Audio Decoder