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REVIEW: HLLY DMK-IV DAC / headphone amp / pre-amp)

Discussion in 'Dedicated Source Components' started by skylab, Jan 25, 2010.
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  1. Guy

    As much as I love my DMK-IV as a DAC the LCD display on mine has developed issues where the illumination is very uneven. I am glad it's only cosmetic but still annoying every time I look at it...
  2. niekos


    Can anyone describe how to achieve 24bit/96 Khz with the old PCB? Or is there any description what to do to achieve this? I read by switching pin 2 and 3 on DAC it should be supported, but it was not tried (@depres). Can anyone confirm this approach?
    @david-goa: can I modify the components/PCB so my version is like the new version?
  3. inter voice
    I noticed that the appearance of HLLY DMK-IV DAC looks almost the same as Fidelity Audio's DAC-150 from the UK and the circuit design of both DACs are very close.  Fidelity Audio used better opamps and electronic components and has 24 bit 96Khz Isochronous USB input since its launch.  DAC-150 has been in the UK market for quite some time.  
    This is DAC-150
    and this is HLLY DAC
    There is no way that two different brands at two parts of the world can have so similar appearance and circuit design and to me the answer is very obvious !!
    I strongly believe that HLLY products are all made in China by a Chinese manufacturer. I will be very surprise if the products are HLLY's own design.  See the following eBay link and other products from this eBay seller on HLLY products:
  4. eggontoast

    I think you already know the answer to this. It has been confirmed by Fidelity Audio that their DAC-150 is a slightly revised version of HLLY's DMK-IV and that HLLY manufacture the DAC-150.
  5. inter voice


    The following is quoted from a reply from Fidelity Audio in another forum:
    "The DAC-150 is in fact built by HLLY for Fidelity Audio to our design change and specification (we were impressed by the HLLY version and set about changing it to meet the sound quality we were looking for). There are changes to the power supplies, opamps and many different capacitors. We also re engineered the USB input to use the 24bit chip. Hlly simply build it for us. They have however been a bit naughty and started stating a few of our specs on their own version eg the 24bit USB. All other aspects of the unit remain different. We have gone down a legal route with them but it is proving difficult."
    I will let the reader to judge who is copying who.
    I have also searched this forum and there are many discussions suspecting that HLLY products are stealing designs of other companies, such as this http://www.head-fi.org/t/438761/little-dot-mkiii-and-hlly-mkiii and this http://www.head-fi.org/t/436031/hlly-tube-amp-little-dot-clone and also this http://www.head-fi.org/t/515376/what-seller-do-i-buy-the-m-stage-from.  Again I will let readers to find it out and judge by themselves.
    To me my main concern is not on HLLY production quality but rather on the respect of Intellectual properties rights.  If there are many companies trying to steal other's design then there will not be companies putting money into R&D any more.
  6. eggontoast


    Your not being impartial and are currently making a decision based on half of the information, you need to get a quote from HLLY to make an informed judgment.
  7. inter voice


    I can only see David Gao's reply on technical issues and so far can't find any response on copy right issues raised.  At least Fidelity Audio could provide a quick reply on its DAC-150 in relation to HLLY DAC.  HLLY should have responded to the many queries if there are so many copy right questions around in this forum.  I am not being impartial and it is up to HLLY to defend itself and provides information to readers here. I make my judgement based on the available information in hand.  Now HLLY should have seen this thread and we are all very interested to hear the explanation.
  8. mrarroyo Contributor
    Interesting, just for the record "should" is a permissive not a mandatory. We may want/wish a manufacturer to respond to a question(s) but nothing forces them to do "defend themselves", at the end of the day we must make our own decision based on the information we have and buy or not buy from a given manufacturer/vendor.
  9. inter voice

    I know that in all International Conventions and Treaties, the word "shall" is mandatory while "should", "would" and "may" are all recommendatory.  I really "hope" this manufacturer has the courage to respond to copy right issues and give his explanation.
    If I have doubts on a product that may have infringed other's copy right this product will certainly not on my purchase list, but unfortunately a lot of people just do not do that for various reasons, say they might not aware the product is copied or modified from the design of others or may be price is a more important consideration for them.
  10. Powderclear
    You went to them to produce merchandize with improvements over their existing retail products...................unless you copyright or patented over the specific improvements you created.........in the region of point of sale, or you have firm contractual language in print......................otherwise, just let it go..............
  11. stopeter44
    I just have installed a DA-150 in my system. I have a couple of headphones (Sony MDR-V7 & V55), but I'm not really a headphone user.
    I communicated with Fidelity Audio (Brent) who wrote that they had been impressed with HLLY original product but asked for changes to the circuit layout, the OP amp choices and said that the usb connection was completely reworked. Not anything different than what has been previously been reported in this thread.
    I feel I have a good deal, it replaced a Hotaudio Wow, which is a nice dac, but doesn't have the finesse of the DA-150. I chose the DA-150 over The Yulong D100 MKII and the Audio GD 2.32, I could get the Yulong in Europe at a good price, and priced in Euros, but what swayed the balance for me, was being able to buy a European sourced product and having, kind of, local support.
    It also has an analogue input and a remote control, which means I can reduce box count in my main system (I used to run a mega box naim rig, anybody that's been there will understand me).
    Haven't yet tried the Headphone function, nor the preamp out.
  12. inter voice
    Hi, how do you find the SQ of DAC-150 including its headphone amp ?  I noticed that FA has provided an upgrade path for your DAC-150 recently.
    I previously owned Yulong D100 MKII but I foud it a bit on the bright side and eventually I sold it in the Bay.  Now I got Yulong D18 which is really in a different league, the sound is so analogue and pleasant I am seriously considering its A18 headphone amp as well.
  13. FireLion
    Did anyone's headphones blow up with this? :beyersmile:

    JK have the opportunity to buy one and I think I have a v5i dual opamp that should work.
    Last edited: May 13, 2019
  14. FireLion
    Guys I have a green pcb version, any way to get 24-bit on it? Sounds impressive as is.
  15. FireLion
    NEED SCHEMATIC PLEASE! Anyone! :L3000:
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