RME ADI-2 DAC

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

  1. cskippy

    cskippy Creamy warmpoo

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    @craigl59 The noise happens with the IEMs plugged in even with no source input connected so just the power from ADI-2 DAC.

    @gepardcv I'm retarded. The power connector is actually two prong so a cheater plug and @AllanMarcus suggestion won't work.

    Ugh. I did try it with my Furman but the AC was on so it wasn't quiet enough to check. I'll double check this later.

    Any way to do a trickle charge from powered battery bank or something to completely eliminate the grid power?
     
  2. Grahad2

    Grahad2 Red eyes from too much anime

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    You can try a piece of tape on the VCC line of the USB connector. Maybe it'll work without (USB) power. Otherwise you will need a Y cable to try the power bank method if you're suspecting the USB interface. Unless of course you want to try power the unit using batteries, in which case it's still possible, but you'll need a higher voltage output powerbank than usual.
     
  3. cskippy

    cskippy Creamy warmpoo

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    What I'm saying is with nothing connected except power there is noise. It's power related. Thanks though.

    I use spdif optical for the reason you mentioned.
     
  4. mitochondrium

    mitochondrium Friend

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    @cskippy

    I would try the following:

    Unit in a different building
    Unit with a different external SMPS (given the wide range of voltage the ADI accepts you probably have one) at home and in a different building

    If you can get your hand on a suitable battery that would be another test (own a car )

    If you know someone nearby owning an ADI you could invite them to your house and check whether their unit shows the same behaviour at your place


    If none of the abovementioned option rid you of the problem I would ask RME if they consider this to be normal behaviour or not. Might be something is wrong with the internal switcher

    Best of luck
     
  5. Grahad2

    Grahad2 Red eyes from too much anime

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    Are you somewhat handy with wires? You could technically do this with 2 powerbanks by wiring up the 5V outputs in series and get 10V out, which is within the RME's range. USB power banks are fairly noisy though so you might be better off using a typical 9V battery or AA cells in series.
     
  6. mitochondrium

    mitochondrium Friend

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    Yes 5 V powerbanks are dirty. I placed one feeding an Odroid C1 near the router in the basement once, the HF noise was enough to significantly attenuate the WiFi in the whole house. Since then I only use it in order to charge my mobile phone.
     
  7. Erikdayo

    Erikdayo Friend

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    Thinking about picking one of these up sooner or later, but I'm not sure it's a good match as I seem to prefer a warmer sound. How good is the NOS filter compared to a DAC that's designed solely for NOS like a Metrum Amethyst or Onyx? I'm curious about the DAC sound but also the DAC + amp.

    I wouldn't expect this to match my current setup, but I might be looking to downgrade/downsize at some point. Sibilance and harsh highs tend to bother me a lot so a warmer sound is preferred. Prior to using Metrum DACs I found myself getting fatigued a lot more quickly. Perhaps the EQ function of the ADI-2 DAC could also assist with that.
     
  8. Arun Kumar

    Arun Kumar Friend

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    I don't have experience with proper NOS dacs myself, but will chip in. I like the slow/sd-slow filters myself better than the rest as it sounds most organic. To me the NOS setup (with the HE560, HD600 using the in-build amp) sounds a little off. It feels like sound seems to come out of thin air and is very visible with vocals. It almost sounds like the singer is a point in space and has no chest. I'm not sure how it would sound with a better amp. The slow filters sound much better to me than the NOS filter in this regard.
     
  9. craigl59

    craigl59 Rando

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    Erikdayo:
    Feel the same about RME converters as I do about Heil-type amt drivers as regards treble response -- they are very bright but without any fatigue. Never find that the ADI-2 DAC sounds strident although the NOS filter option can be so accurate it can tire the ear after a while.
    Arun:
    Vacillate between the Short Delay Slow and Slow filter options and mostly end up with the latter. Did some checks with the NOS option on my best stereo system with acoustic popular feeds and found that it favored percussive sounds but was not quite as good with timbral and vocal accuracy.
    cskippy:
    Why don't you call up RME/Synthax in Florida and talk with Derrick. He is very knowledgeable about the DAC product and has substantial experience with RME in general. Their general number is 754-206-4220. Good luck. Have talked with RME's German engineers in the past and they are very good in the end, but it is very hard to communicate with them directly.
     
  10. craigl59

    craigl59 Rando

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    cskippy:
    Just noted you are in Tempe and that is just down the road from me here in Phoenix. If you wanted to stop by you could bring your unit and compare it with mine. Not sure how to contact you outside of this thread.
     
  11. data.noodle

    data.noodle Acquaintance

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    I'm a long time metrum fan and a current owner of the amethyst and onyx as well as the adi-2 dac which I recently purchased. To my ears the adi-2 dac sounds very clear (more so than any of the low end metrums or CMA600i for instance) but lacks "texture" to the mids and bass in a way that if you switch back and forth directly from the onyx -> adi-2 dac on the same amp (currently using a NFB-1) is noticeable.

    The onyx sounds smoother, softer and more rich (in lower freqs) in comparison to the adi-2 dac and the onxy also has more spatial clues in it's sound (it sounds more like you're in a room) where I can't pick up any "staging" info from the adi-2 dac. The adi-2 dac to me sounds like a super good / clear / non-harsh delta sigma implementation, and it's features are what really set it apart, and I do like that you can change the filters (I prefer the NOS filter).

    The last thing I will say is that when things get very busy and crowded in fast tracks, the adi-2 dac sounds a bit more sloppy (if that's the right word) compared to the onyx or chord 2qute which are both smoother and seem to separate instruments more clearly during these moments (which are rare). At the end of the day I think the adi-2 dac is a good standard dac and the onyx is a good quirky dac, I like them both and will be keeping them both lol =)
     
  12. Poleepkwa

    Poleepkwa Friend

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    Since things have slowed down here and people have had this for a while now. How big is the difference between USB and SPDIF on this? Does it makes sense to invest in a better "transport" or better of saving up for some better headphones?
     
  13. Vtory

    Vtory Illogical Spock

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    Interesting opinions. I don't know how Onyx sounds, but kinda agree with many of your points. Found similar weaknesses when directly compared to better dacs.

    But want to point out some:

    1. Let's suspect if NFB-1AMP disturbs micro-details (including texture and spatial cues) of ADI-2. I have used that amp last year, and tried to like it (convenience-wise it was great), but couldn't. That amp (particularly their early 2017 edition) committed "sins of omissions" a lot (along with slight "sins of additions"), compared to more honest amps. I've experienced to lose too much details (in bass and mid) with that amp. I sold it before I got ADI-2, but highly suspect nfb1 would make adi-2 sound worse.

    2. To me NOS of ADI-2 was too vanilla.. and couldn't bear loss of information compared to other filters - to my liking, iir slow and fir slow were way better (NOS has some technical disadvantages, and decent nos dacs seem to address these problems in their own ways. And I suspect RME was not very interested in doing so) So I was a bit surprised you said you liked NOS over other filters. Maybe it's just my preference though.

    3. I couldn't hear particular slowness with ADI-2 when compared to midhigh dacs (not summit-fi ones). At least it handles busy passages better than old Hugo (not 2). So again, I am suspecting NFB-1..

    Haha.. as you see, I dislike NFB-1. I wanted it be a better alternative to Jotenheim because I liked NFB-1's easy+convinient output switching and digital volume display.. but it was not the case. I got these features with ADI-2 anyway haha.
     
  14. ilcg1

    ilcg1 Acquaintance

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    When I had my Modi Multibit/Vali2/Eitr stack I briefly compared MacMini—> Adi-2 Pro USB vs MacMini —> Eitr —> Adi-2 Pro coax and couldn’t hear any difference playing Auditvana+/Tidal.
     
  15. ilcg1

    ilcg1 Acquaintance

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    Couldn’t agree more. NOS is the softest filter on Adi-2 Pro and other filters provide more details. Adi-2 is not slow by any means.

    I didn’t own Onyx, but owned Amethyst for a couple of months and to me the only part where Metrum was better was timbre of certain instruments - drums in particular.
     
  16. data.noodle

    data.noodle Acquaintance

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    to be clear i never described the adi-2 dac sound as slow and Vtory said that he "couldn't hear any slowness", no one said the dac was slow. =)
     
  17. ilcg1

    ilcg1 Acquaintance

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    I guess I came to the conclusion reading that it was sloppier than other DACs listed during busy passages and @Vtory mentioned this as well in his point #3.

    In any case, Adi-2 (I have Pro be soon) is an excellent DAC and works very well for my needs as DAC/amp combo.
     
  18. data.noodle

    data.noodle Acquaintance

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    So the NFB-1amp is your favorite amp right? =p

    I am aware of how the NFB-1amp sounds and I prefer it to a more lean, forward or brighter sources. I have several other amps (like the HP-1) that do not have the same laid back presentation as the NFB-1amp and have spent a lot of time listening to the HP output of the adi-2 dac directly (which to be honest is a bit thin and lean for my tastes). To me the nfb-1amp sounds a bit distant and takes the edge off / adds some smoothness. I would never call the bass in the nfb-1amp loose though, it's not hugely impactful / close though. I'm mostly listening through the lcd-x, eikon, elears and aeon atm (fyi).

    I think that the "vanilla"~ness of the NOS filter is probably what I like about it, although I will spend some more time listening to the slow filter. The default sharp filter I can confirm that I do not like at all, it's interesting to hear you describe "loss of information" with the filters as I don't think any of them sound more detailed than others (just more sibilant or bright imo). To me the 2qute/Hugo still sounds slightly smoother and more resolving IMO. Compared to the onyx I feel like the adi-2 dac has lost a lot of detail in the bass and lower midrange which might be why I think there's less "texture", but that's just my opinion. I own them all and like them all

    My guess is that you just like a more lean / clear sound signature than me, which is totally fine. My original post was more a response to a specific question about the onyx vs the adi-2 dac (in NOS mode), not a review / assertion.
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2018
  19. data.noodle

    data.noodle Acquaintance

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    I'm glad to hear you like your Adi-2, me too (currently giving the slow filter another chance)! =)
     
  20. Colgin

    Colgin Friend

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    I spent a little time (very little time, in fact) last night alternating between the DAC filters. Until then I had left it on the default option the entire time. Again, very little time on this exercise, but I could not hear any difference among them. To be clear, I am not suggesting there are no differences. I think they may just be too subtle for me, at least with the music I was listening to (rock, pop and acoustic/folk). I have always believed I am a bit DAC-deaf anyway, which is one of the reasons I have been hesitant to spend too much on a DAC.

    I am wondering though whether the differences among the different filters are more subtle than the differences between different DACs themselves. Like, if I cannot appreciate the difference between the various ADI filters, would it be a waste for me to contemplate differences among the ADI versus, for example, Gungnir Multibit, Yggdrasil or Chord Qutest (or whatever). I have heard and enjoyed all of the aforementioned DACs but sometimes wonder if I would be able to tell much difference if switching between them. Sometimes I wonder if I need to go all in for sortieing TOTL where presumably improvements would be quite noticeable, or just stick with good enough. I think that ADI-2-DAC solidly fills the "good enough" space for me and perhaps is even more than I really need, although at this price and given features I am tempted to keep it regardless.
     

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