1. Luckbad

    Luckbad Thinks this is blogspot.luckbad.com

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    Impressions forthcoming. Stream of consciousness will start sometime tonight and something more comprehensive might be ready by the end of the long weekend.

    I've been reading the manual for a couple of weeks on and off because I love comprehensive manuals. So far, it's a very impressive little unit.

    http://www.rme-usa.com/adi-2-dac.html
    https://www.rme-audio.de/en/products/adi_2-dac.php



    IMG_20180112_153113.jpg

    Digital Inputs
    General
    • Lock Range: 28 kHz – 200 kHz
    • Jitter suppression: > 50 dB (2.4 kHz)
    • Jitter when synced to input signal: < 1 ns
    • Accepts Consumer and Professional format

    SPDIF coaxial
    • 1 x RCA, according to IEC 60958
    • High-sensitivity input stage (< 0.3 Vpp)
    • AES/EBU compatible (AES3-1992)

    SPDIF optical
    • 1 x optical, according to IEC 60958
    • ADAT compatible

    Analog Outputs

    XLR

    • Output level switchable +19 dBu, +13 dBu, +7 dBu, +1 dBu @ 0 dBFS
    • Signal to Noise ratio (SNR) @ +7/+13/+19 dBu: 117 dB RMS unweighted, 120 dBA
    • Signal to Noise ratio (SNR) @ +1 dBu: 115,4 dB RMS unweighted, 118,9 dBA
    • Frequency response @ 44.1 kHz, -0.1 dB: 0 Hz – 20.2 kHz
    • Frequency response @ 96 kHz, -0.5 dB: 0 Hz – 44.9 kHz
    • Frequency response @ 192 kHz, -1 dB: 0 Hz – 88 kHz
    • Frequency response @ 384 kHz, -1 dB: 0 Hz – 115 kHz
    • Frequency response @ 768 kHz, -3 dB: 0 Hz – 109 kHz
    • THD @ -1 dBFS: -112 dB, 0.00025 %
    • THD+N @ -1 dBFS: -110 dB, 0.00032 %
    • THD @ -3 dBFS: -116 dB, 0.00016 %
    • Channel separation: > 120 dB
    • Output impedance: 200 Ohm balanced, 100 Ohm unbalanced

    Cinch
    As output XLR, but:
    • Output: 6.3 mm TS jack, unbalanced
    • Output level 6 dB lower than XLR (-5 dBu to +13 dBu @ 0 dBFS)
    • Signal to Noise ratio (SNR) @ +13 dBu: 117 dB RMS unweighted, 120 dBA
    • Signal to Noise ratio (SNR) @ +1/+7 dBu: 114/116 dB RMS unweighted, 117/119 dBA
    • Signal to Noise ratio (SNR) @ -5 dBu: 109 dB RMS unweighted, 113 dBA

    Phones
    As Cinch but:
    • Output: 6.3 mm TRS jack, unbalanced, stereo
    • Output impedance: 0.1 Ohm
    • Signal to Noise ratio (SNR) @ +22 dBu: 117 dB RMS unweighted, 120 dBA
    • Signal to Noise ratio (SNR) @ +7 dBu: 116 dB RMS unweighted, 119 dBA
    • Output level at 0 dBFS, High Power, load 100 Ohm or up: +22 dBu (10 V)
    • Output level at 0 dBFS, Low Power, load 8 Ohm or up: +7 dBu (1.73 V)
    • THD @ +18 dBu, 32 Ohm load, 1.2 Watt: -110 dB, 0.0003 %
    • THD+N @ + 18 dBu, 32 Ohm load: -107 dB, 0.00045 %
    • THD @ +14 dBu, 16 Ohm load, 0.94 Watt: -110 dB, 0.0003 %
    • Max power @ 0.001% THD: 1.5 W per channel

    IEM
    As Phones, but:
    • Output level at 0 dBFS: -3 dBu, 0.55 V
    • Signal to Noise ratio (SNR) @ -3 dBu: 115 dB RMS unweighted, 118 dBA
    • Max power, 8 Ohm, 0.001% THD: 40 mW per channel

    Digital
    • Clocks: Internal, SPDIF In
    • Low Jitter Design: < 1 ns in PLL mode, all inputs
    • Internal clock: < 800 ps Jitter, Random Spread Spectrum
    • Jitter suppression of external clocks: > 50 dB (2.4 kHz)
    • Effective clock jitter influence on DA conversion: near zero
    • PLL ensures zero dropout, even at more than 100 ns jitter
    • Additional Digital Bitclock PLL for trouble-free varispeed ADAT operation
    • Supported sample rates for external clocks: 28 kHz up to 200 kHz
    • Internally supported sample rates: 44.1 kHz up to 768 kHz

    General
    • Included power supply: external switching PSU, 100 - 240 V AC, 2 A, 24 Watts
    • Standby power consumption: 120 mW (10 mA)
    • Idle power consumption: 7 Watts, Max. power consumption: 18 Watts
    • Idle current at 12 V: 570 mA (6.8 Watts)
    • Dimensions (WxHxD): 215 x 52 x 150 mm (8.5" x 2.05" x 5.9")
    • Weight: 1.0 kg ( 2.2 lbs)
    • Temperature range: +5° up to +50° Celsius (41° F up to 122°F)
    • Relative humidity: < 75%, non condensing
     
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  2. Luckbad

    Luckbad Thinks this is blogspot.luckbad.com

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    Stream of Consciousness Day 1
    • DA Filter options including FR curves and impulse responses to show you what they do (in the manual). I might prefer "Slow," even over NOS.
    • Crossfeed works on line out, not just headphone outputs
    • You can diagnose your USB! Super useful for peace of mind. USB diagnosis field right in the MADIface driver control panel. Bit Test will tell you if anything went wrong when you playback their super quick test files.
    • The best manual I've ever seen for any hi-fi product. OMG I love reading it. They also give you a nice glossy-paper ringed manual with it. Something fun to thumb through while listening.
    • Exceptionally clean, even from USB.
    • Built-in 5 band parametric equalizer that shows you exactly what it's doing. Has 20 slots to save and the ability to instantly recall previous settings (back and forth) to listen for changes.
    • Nice remote with programmable buttons.
    • Independent settings for line out, HP out, and IEM out for volume, crossfeed, etc. It automatically mutes the line out (you can change that) and recalls the volume of the appropriate output. Also quickly ramps volume up, but takes long enough that you can change the volume or take off your headphones if you're about to deafen yourself
    • 9 Setups that you can save (and factory default) and recall. You can set and save every setting on the thing apart from EQ, then program these to the 4 programmable remote buttons to very easily swap between settings. Do I prefer the Slow filter with a bit of Crossfeed or SD Sharp with no Crossfeed? One button, boom.
    • Display settings can be changed to have a dark background instead of the default light. You can swap the default state screen between State Overview (cool stats), a really nice FR spectrum display, or a simple display that shows volume and basic output info. You can also turn on auto-dark to turn off the display 10 seconds after you adjust something on the unit (3 seconds if you change something via the remote).
    • I'm liking this more than any DS DAC I can remember. Could be because it's paired with better gear otherwise.
    • As a transportable unit, this thing is unbelievably good. You can run it off a battery pack (not included) if you need to use it in a portable situation. Doesn't need a nice power supply because it cleans everything up internally.
    • This is probably the best single unit setup I can imagine for using at the office. It's compact, cleans up USB, cleans up power, works with full-size cans and IEMs, and doesn't look garish at all.
    • For PRT fans, you can invert phase of both or either channel on the unit instead of doing it in software. The DSP is before the DAC, so the DAC and anything its connected to should benefit from the Phase Reversal Trick.
    • A feature I won't use but that would be great for some is that you can record S/PDIF (coax, optical, or AES with an adapter) into the USB. I think this means you could use a CD player to record stuff? I dunno. Might be useful for some guitar FX units.
    • Neat feature: The faster you turn a knob, the bigger steps the value takes. One notch, when turned slowly, is 0.5dB of volume. Turn it fast, and one notch is several dB.
    • The headphone output on this is quite a bit better than I was anticipating. Better than most solid state amps I've used. It's a shame that the size of the unit doesn't allow for an XLR output since the DAC is balanced. Maybe in a v2 in a few years, they can relocate the power button and squeeze a balanced headphone out in.
    • The intelligent Loudness function is pretty slick. Basically, you set the bass and treble gain levels of the loudness feature, then set the minimum volume at which it reaches those boosts. As you approach the threshold, it interpolates how much boost is needed to retain some punch and sparkle even at lower volumes.
    • Bug: If you rapidly swap between coax and USB inputs (for me, that means swapping inputs every couple of seconds to compare their sound), after several swaps the USB goes into robotic music through spring-loaded tin cans mode. I think that means it loses sync with the clock (it uses the internal clock for USB and slaves to external input via coax). If I go back to coax for a couple of seconds then back to USB, it corrects itself (as does stopping/starting the music).
    • Quirk: It seems to present itself as a different device to Windows for every sample rate. I noticed because switching to a 96kHz album from 44.1 suddenly started piping the Overwatch League game I was watching through the ADI-2 DAC because Windows always makes new devices the default (simultaneously with JRiver ASIO, so kinda cool that it can do that). Checking my playback devices showed that it didn't have the custom icon (RME logo) or name I gave the device, then I noticed that 96kHz was the only sample rate shown. Sure enough, it does this once for each supported sample rate (then Windows remembers your settings for that SR from then on). Doesn't seem to do it for DSD.
    • Speaking of DSD... you can do direct DSD via line outs only since you're not allowed to manipulate the volume. It silences the headphone outs if you turn on DSD Direct. I believe it converts DSD to PCM internally if you leave it off, which is default.
    • The menus recall where you last were when you go back to them. The screen is nice and crisp on the unit and menu navigation and manipulation is really nice after you acclimate to it.
    • In addition to the parametric EQ, you have bass/treble knobs. You can define the cutoff frequency and Q factor.
    • I love the integration of some of the old school things like Loudness, Bass/Treble, EQ, and balance controls brought up to modern spec. It's like an homage to old receivers, but reimagined as alien technology.
    • The USB on this thing really is pretty stellar. It's at least in the same playing field as Schiit Gen 5. I'm pretty sure I still prefer the Lynx AES16e feeding it AES via coax, but it's good enough to not get too much nervosa over using it.
    • I'm a little bit in love with this thing right now. It's not just the honeymoon period, it's the wedding night.
    • The tech on the ADI-2 DAC is astonishingly good. It's so freakin' versatile.
    Stream of Consciousness Day 2
    • The USB input on the ADI-2 DAC is very good. While I slightly prefer using the Lynx AES16e with it, it's really unnecessary for all practical purposes (no digitus, it's just a bit less delineated and deft with the "micro"-stuff).
    • USB Nervosa, Solved? This has to be the most reassuring component of any USB driver I've ever used:
      [​IMG]
    • Combined with the Bit Test on the unit that tells me that indeed the bits I'm sending are bitperfect:
      [​IMG]
    • The headphone out on this thing is surprisingly good. Unlike some DAC's that happen to have a headphone output that I've used, this doesn't not sound at all like an afterthought. I have it in Hi-Power mode and it works very well with the Audeze LCD2Cs and more than adequately with the Sennheiser HD650s.
    • I'm using the Jan Meier crossfeed setting as well as inverting the phase on the right channel for the Phase Reversal Trick
    • I still haven't fully settled on a DAC filter. SD Slow, Slow, and NOS are are getting some head time.
    • The noise floor is dead silence. I can max out the volume on the ADI-2 DAC and the Project Sunrise III or Liquid Crimson and hear nothing without music playing on Audeze LCD2 Classics.
    • While I've seen no confirmation that this uses the AK4490, I can't imagine they managed to get the AK4497 in there yet, and the specs largely match the ADI-2 Pro (which uses the AK4490). It also has the right number of filters (4497 has 6), does DSD256 instead of DSD512, etc.
    • I've decided that I like the Loudness function. It'll eventually be one of the main reasons I store Setups (the Loudness floor needs to be different for different headphones and music software). I have it set fairly low both in amplitude and minimum volume required to kick in, but it's nice as I frequently listen at very low volumes.
    • I wish the remote could be programmed with a couple more options. DAC Filter cycling would be nice for testing. I'd also like to be able to assign a button to scroll through the main Meter Screens (the default screen). The only way to do that is press encoder button 1 or 2.
    • Is it as organic and "right" sounding as a really good R-2R DAC? No, not really. But, it's so versatile and appeals way too much to my desire to tweak things I'm currently willing to make that sacrifice. I was looking for black Gumby before, but I'm not right now. Maybe something will strike my fancy again one day (it will) and this will end up as my work unit.
    • Speaking of work... I mentioned this once already, but this the ideal work combo unit for me. Your USB and power can suck and it'll still work great. It's small an unassuming enough to sit quietly off to the side without drawing too much attention. And it works with IEMs. Probably. I still haven't tried anyway with it (okay fine, I just tried some right now and there's no hiss. My G10s are at work). Now I'll need to get myself a second one later in the year just for work...
    Here's an image from some AKM/Teac AK4490 marketing material that is sure to taint your confirmation bias:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2018 at 2:26 PM
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  3. Cellist88

    Cellist88 Friend

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    Where did you buy it from? Seems hard to find where it's available. It's not on Thomann music.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2018 at 4:15 PM
  4. Luckbad

    Luckbad Thinks this is blogspot.luckbad.com

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    In the US you can get it from ZenPro Audio. Synthax is the distributor and would be the place to contact to see if someone local to you has any in stock. ZenPro had it directly shipped from Synthax, so it's possible that they're not in the hands of retailers yet.
     
  5. Merrick

    Merrick Friend

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    $1000 less to ditch some of the pro features I’d likely never use anyway. This has my attention!

    The big question for me will be should I get this or a Gumby given that I don’t own any DSD files.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2018 at 4:23 PM
  6. Taverius

    Taverius Acquaintance

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    You don't get it for the DSD, you get it for the insane features, and most importantly to put all those late-night sessions reading digital audio erotica (the manual) to good use.

    The interesting stuff - on top of a very good dac - is separate 5-band peq and everything else for each can you have and your speakers, to start with.

    DSD disables all the neat stuff - it's basically a crime.
     
  7. Merrick

    Merrick Friend

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    The features seem great, no doubt. At the end of the day I don’t necessarily need any of the features beyond the digital to analog conversion, hence my comparison to the Gumby.
     
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  8. Luckbad

    Luckbad Thinks this is blogspot.luckbad.com

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    Stream of Consciousness Day 1 up in post #2.
     
  9. uelover

    uelover Rando

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    I needed the balanced headphone amp on the Pro which is why I could never ditch it for this consumer version - I have compared driving my Focal Clear balanced versus single ended and balanced is considerably better.

    I don’t own any DSD file either. It’s conversion ability for PCM is great nevertheless.
     
  10. Hrodulf

    Hrodulf MOT: Sonarworks

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    I hope RME will redefine the feature set people come expect from a circa 1 kilomoney audio device. It basically makes everyone else look like glorified DIY projects. Not to mention that RME have pulled this off without sacrificing sound quality.
     
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  11. sorrodje

    sorrodje Carla Bruni's other lover - Friend

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    I'm not sure it was necessary to create a second thread. ADI2 pro & DAC are similar enough and 2 threads is the best way to spread useful informations.

    But I don't want to merge the threads is someone think 2 threads are useful. Just tell me.
     
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  12. uelover

    uelover Rando

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    If we could confirm that both units sound similar (which I firmly believe they would), then I agree that it is better to have both thread merged than separated.

    The key difference between the two seems to be the removal of the AD section and the balanced headphone amp section.
     
  13. Collusion

    Collusion Rando

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    Thank you for the first impressions! Very interested in this unit.

    Which DS DAC was your previous favourite?
     
  14. mitochondrium

    mitochondrium Rando

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    I for one prefer two threads. I think the two units are different enough to warrant to threads. DAC has only one dac chip Pro has two, dac has Steadyclock FS instead of Steadyclock III. They say better d/a conversion and different output settings:
    13, 7, 1 -5 dBu instead of 24, 19, 13, 4 dBu.
    The thing I find most interesting is that the DAC does the xfeed for the speakers, too. That should be interesting for people who prefer analogue over digital, you can decrease the channel separation to analogue like levels. Would be even better if you could do that to varying extent for different frequency. Should be software implemented and therefore also be possible for the PRO, if I am not mistaken. Good to see that RME figured out that the beside the PRO there was a place for something aiming even more at the consumer market.
     
  15. GoodEnoughGear

    GoodEnoughGear Friend

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    IMO separate threads. There's a pretty big gap, not only in feature but also in target audience.
     
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  16. Luckbad

    Luckbad Thinks this is blogspot.luckbad.com

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    It's been a long time since I had a good DS DAC.

    A few that I've liked:
    • LH Labs GO2A Infinity (only Sabre I've liked)
    • Audio-GD NFB-2.32 (Wolfson)
    • Emotiva Big Ego (Burr-Brown)
    • Schiit Gungnir (AK)
    I've not really liked any high end (kilobuck) DS DACs that I can remember.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2018 at 10:01 AM
  17. gepardcv

    gepardcv Acquaintance

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    When using the headphone out and the balanced out, is there a way to adjust the headphone volume and preamp out volume independently? Or at least adjust headphone volume and keep balanced out at line level? The Pro can do that, the DAC doesn’t seem to based on a skim of the manual, but I wanted to double-check.
     
  18. Luckbad

    Luckbad Thinks this is blogspot.luckbad.com

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    Yep. Headphone, IEM, and Line outs all have independent settings for volume (and most DSP settings).

    Edit: If you mean when you don't have line out mute one and simultaneously listen with headphones and line out, I haven't actually tried that yet. If you mean using its default settings (mute line out with headphones plugged in), the volume control is definitely independent.
     
  19. NekoAudio

    NekoAudio Acquaintance

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    The vast majority of DAC users I interact with would not be able to handle the increased complexity introduced by the RME's features, and would probably mess things up within the first 10 minutes just trying to change the volume correctly.
     
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  20. sorrodje

    sorrodje Carla Bruni's other lover - Friend

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    Roger that
     
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