RME ADI-2 DAC

Discussion in 'Headphone Amplifiers and Combo (DAC/Amp) Units' started by Luckbad, Jan 12, 2018.

  1. Junki

    Junki Acquaintance

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    Digital filters on DACs are low pass filters that are more interesting as a matter of signal processing, even though they're (unsurprisingly) marketed to audiophiles (see the LG V30 cell phone). They are just different ways to cut off ultrasonic frequencies during signal reconstruction. All fast filters (whether minimum phase, linear phase, apodizing) do their work in the ultrasonic spectrum (22.05 KHz for 44.1KHz sampled digital audio), and the differences lie in how they govern ringing artifacts, which are also in the ultrasonic spectrum.

    So it's normal you can't hear any differences. You can google blind tests performed around these common filters.

    The slow filters, especially the AKM "Super slow filter" begin attenuating within the sonic spectrum. The effect is usually subtly softened highs. This can pair well with very bright headphones, like the HD800.
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2018
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  2. Vtory

    Vtory Illogical Spock

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    Well, it took me almost more than one month to confidently say my filter preference.. (I always admit having untrained ears)

    Of course at the first day I tried to compare.. "heck are they really different?" was my first thought. Even now, filter difference was more subtle than dac difference. But brain load is much less.. because you don't have to rely on memory. That's good thing (to play with). Having more options is never bad imo.

    Honestly for both dac difference and filter difference, I believe everybody hears difference. Perceptions or statements of such difference may take different time and energy for different people.

    TL;DR - We're splitting hairs.
     
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  3. maverickronin

    maverickronin Acquaintance

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    These should be available on Sweetwater again soon.

    I just got an email and the one I reserved will be shipping today.
     
  4. Colgin

    Colgin Friend

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    I have had my ADI-2-DAC for a little over a week. Previously I had listened to the ADI-2-Pro on a few occasions with my PMx2 both SE and balanced and with and without PRT. It had seemed to have very good synergy with the PMx2 and I found the SE to be almost as good as the balanced out.

    Thus, I was initially a bit disappointed when I received the ADI-2-DAC and it did not seem to have the same magical synergy with my Audio Zenith headphones. While it is possible this had to do with differences between the DAC and Pro versions, I suspect such differences were minimal or nonexistent. Rather, this was perhaps the opposite of the honeymoon period and I had built this combo up so much in my head that it invariably disappointed a bit. Mind you, the combo was by no means bad and was enjoyable. But while very clear and articulate, the overall presentation seemed too flat for me (at least flatter than my prior recollection of the Pro). So, I went back to my Liquid Carbon balanced but using just the onboard DAC of my Sonos streamer. I have not been a super-fan of the LC, but it is OK. Switching back I found a fuller/rounder, less flat presentation but a little bit duller too. I began to think that the maybe the amp on the ADI was letting down the DAC the way that the humble Sonos DAC was letting down the LC.

    Due to some space constraints I had been trying to use the ADI as an AIO and had not hooked it up to the LC. So, wanting to give every benefit of the doubt before considering a return, I hooked up the ADI to the Liquid Carbon running the PMx2 balanced. Voila! That was the sound I was looking for. The ADI was a huge improvement (no surprise) over the Sonos DAC and the LC gave me a fuller sound (perhaps too warm for some tastes) than the ADI head amp section. I really enjoyed this system and found listening addictive. Given that I had been meaning to sell off the LC for a while and had been considering a return of the ADI, it was nice to find that they seem to synergize so well -- at least to my tastes -- with the PMx2. I have not tried this combo yet with my HD600 or 650M.

    I then hooked up the DAC to my speakers and again, huge improvement. Keep in mind I had been using whatever cheap DAC chip was thrown into the Sonos so an improvement should not be surprising, but I felt the increased clarity and staging abilities were more than I had hoped for.

    Given that my interest in the ADi-2-DAC had been as an AIO solution for headphones I did wonder if the $999 price was steep for just using the DAC section and could I have gotten just as much improvement (or more) from some of the Schiit offerings at lower price points. But I need at least 2 analog outs (one for head amp and one for speaker amp) so Mimby and Bimby would not really do. Then I am looking at at least a Gumby I think. So, given the small form factor, remote control (FTW!) and abundant features (which perhaps some day I will tap into), it seemed like this is a good unit for me after all. Once we renovate our living room and have more room to stack larger components, I might revisit something like a Gumby or Yggy, but I think I will be happy for now having the ADI-2-DAC as my converter for both speaker and headphone amps.
     
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  5. kvn864

    kvn864 Rando

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    Just received my unit few minutes ago, listening, clicking buttons ,, for gods sakes, this small piece of hardware has so many features, I am getting lost in them. Can't say anything yet about sound impressions, but first 20 min are positive!
    One thing I need help with: is there a way to program one of the buttons on the remote (1, 2, 3, 4) to switch output to headphone jack, or the line out, without pulling 1/4 inch plug out. I don't want them be ON all the time, but rather one or the other. Thanks guys.

    Magic is happenning here
     
  6. Vtory

    Vtory Illogical Spock

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    Yes you can. Go to p. 25 of the manual and read about "remap keys". Toggle ph/line is what you said.

    Or you can just keep pushing the volume knob for a few seconds (1 sec?) to do so.
     
  7. kvn864

    kvn864 Rando

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    I saw that, and set key 1 to "Toggle Ph/Line", but when pressed, it does nothing. Confused. pushing the volume knob does noting as well.
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2018
  8. kvn864

    kvn864 Rando

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    oh, I finally figured it out .. works well now, and the button 1 switches HP/line out, as I wanted, perfect.
     
  9. Zed Bopp

    Zed Bopp Almost "Made"

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    I’m about to get XLR-cables to connect this into my Adam Sub8 (and from that into a pair of Adam A7 monitors). I didn’t quite understand what kind of cable works, the sub has balanced XLR-inputs - so, is it standard XLR-cables or something else?

    Cheers!
     
  10. gepardcv

    gepardcv Facebook Friend

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    Looking at the Sub8 manual (https://www.adam-audio.com/content/uploads/2018/03/adam-audio-sub8-subwoofer-user-manual-en-de.pdf), it certainly looks like 3-pin XLR cables should work (you should double-check the male-female sides throughout the setup, of course). If you’re worried about the warning in the manual about connecting unbalanced gear to the ADI2 XLR outs, you can double-check the subwoofer and speaker inputs — I think using a multimeter to check for the absence of continuity between pin 3 and ground should do the trick.
     
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  11. Zed Bopp

    Zed Bopp Almost "Made"

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    Thanks a lot @gepardcv I'll look into this. I didn't think it would be this hard to get a couple of XLR cables o_O Maybe I'll just mail RME about this, just to be sure.

    Btw, it's always great to find such helpful people here :)
     
  12. kvn864

    kvn864 Rando

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    I am using the unit connected to my PC via optical interface, and its sounds amazing. Is there any benefit to install usb driver and use that?
     
  13. cskippy

    cskippy Creamy warmpoo

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    If your optical from mobo has no weird phase or excess jitter characteristics then it should be fine. The benefit of USB is that it can play higher sample rates than 192kHz such as DSD. There are issues that USB has such as lack of galvanic isolation and variation in playback quality such as more drop outs or computer related noises.

    Give both a try but also, if you're happy then just leave it and enjoy the music!
     
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  14. Eric

    Eric Rando

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    I've always wanted to try this DAC. If my yggy gives me the slightest of troubles I wouldn't think twice on picking this up.
     
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  15. Zed Bopp

    Zed Bopp Almost "Made"

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    So, I asked RME about which XLR cables to get, here's the response:

    ""Hello,

    yes, this is a regular balanced XLR cable.

    Regards...
    ...RME"
     
  16. maverickronin

    maverickronin Acquaintance

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    Anyone able to get this working on Windows 10 1709 without installing the ASIO driver?

    Windows detects it it as a USB audio class 2 device, installs the new Microsoft driver for that, but then it doesn't work. Code 10. This device cannot start.
     
  17. maverickronin

    maverickronin Acquaintance

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    Just another data point. My Shure SE530s (119dB/mW vs 115 for the Andromoda) have no hum or hiss from either the IEM output or the full size output when in low power mode.

    I saw your post on the RME forum where they blamed it your house's wiring. You every get this figured out?
     
  18. Collusion

    Collusion Acquaintance

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  19. kvn864

    kvn864 Rando

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    I am, as they are, surprised by these results, no wonder I am very found of the unit. it sounds/looks/functions great with Utopias, HD650, TH900. DAC is the best part of the unit, it produces enjoyable sound to my ears, and the built in headphone amp is very good as well, I am tempted to open the unit and see what is inside, can't find the pictures anywhere for some reason.

    oh, and the messenger is safe I think, its a ADI2-DAC thread ..
     
  20. cskippy

    cskippy Creamy warmpoo

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    Yes, I connected another audio component with a grounded power connector via RCA and the low level hum went away.
     

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