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RME ADI-2 DAC Thread

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  1. acguitar84
    The Phonitor X looks intriguing. Love that picture in the above post of Luckbad's system!!

    I'm definitely going to put it on the list of "to buy" items for this fall or the first part of next year. It's seems it would be either the Phonitor or Benchmark for a nice SS amp. Currently on my headphone rig, I'm using the RME Adi-2 DAC (I also have mimby hooked up) to the Jotunheim and mostly the Grado PS1000E (Sometimes my trusty HD650 as well).

    Impressions so far of the Adi-2 are mostly positive. I did take it to the downstairs speaker rig and see how it fared against Yggy A1 (hooked up with Lynx Soundcard AES). I had another person listening as well, and we both agreed the Yggy was best on the speaker system. One caveat though, I hadn't (and still haven't) had much time on the Adi-2, there's a lot to learn. I think I've figured out pretty much everything up to the EQ menus after working with it for a few hours Sunday, but hadn't figured out much of anything by Saturday night, it only showed up a day earlier (I got it Friday)! So I hooked it in straight away and just went with the "out of the box" settings when comparing it to Yggy.

    More impressions in comparison to the Yggy, the Yggy seemed punchier and more resolving and the Adi-2 more compressed maybe? We didn't spend much time comparing, and in hindsight, I was only using one of the filters in the Adi-2, the default one. This weekend, I tried all of the filters over headphones on the upstairs system, I think it was the "slow" one that I enjoyed the most. Those differences seem really subtle though (switching between filters). I didn't try any of the other filters on the speaker system.

    On the headphone rig, I really like the Adi-2. I compared it with the mimby, and while the mimby holds it's own, I was really enjoying the Adi-2. It was fun to use the PS1000e on the Adi-2. On mimby to Jotunheim, it seemed that the PS1000e had too much high end (this is over the past year or more, in fact I had put the PS1000e away for a long time, and just used HD650 because the high end brightness between the 3 of them kept getting worse), but with the Adi-2, it was fun to listen on those cans again. HD650 sounded good too.

    I can only begin to imagine what the Phonitor X might sound like. It must be a pretty big step up from the Jotunheim. The only thing that worries me about the Phonitor, other than the price tag, lol, is they seem pretty touchy. Stuff about the 1/4 inch headphone jack and turning down the volume or you can burn up the amp! I also read a recent post from a guy that had his VU meters stop working. So, I'm going to keep monitoring posts to see how people's Phonitors hold out.

    In any event, back to the Adi-2. It's a keeper. Maybe it's not on par? with Yggy ,or at least wasn't in the first brief "shootout" we had Saturday night over the downstairs speaker system (using Freya as the preamp), but it's certainly great fun over the headphones. It's fun to dabble around with the settings too. The differences between Jotunheim and Adi-2 as far as headphones, it seems like plugging directly in Adi-2 with the PS1000e results in a cleaner, maybe more sterile? sound, where the Jotunheim has a teeny bit more punch and umph behind it, but isn't quite as clean. From what I've read about Phonitor X, (and I presume the Benchmark) they'd have the best of both worlds.

    I'm thinking of sending in my PS1000e to get a balanced cable put on, so I can hook into Jotunheim balanced. I already have a balanced cable for the HD650 and I like it! I'll just get an adaptor for when I want to go single ended, for instance when I want to play guitar using the Focusrite Scarlett, and I want to use PS1000e or HD650 to monitor.
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2019
  2. Kitechaser
    The ADI-2 needs a lot of fiddling around to sound it's best with speakers, I've been playing around with it for a bit now, and with my JRIVER player, I am using headphone standard settings, 0 on the crossfeed. Your system will obviously need different settings, but this DAC is not plug and play.
    It sounds incredible with my system now, but it took a bit of work.
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2019
    acguitar84 likes this.
  3. acguitar84
    That's good to know! On a side note, I've tried JRiver, and went back to Winamp as my media player, to my ears it just sounded better overall. My guess is I just need to fiddle around with everything more in JRiver, lots of study to do! I might go ahead and buy JRiver this time (I've been trying it out again on a 30 day trial), and give it a thorough try to see if I can replace Winamp. I like JRiver's UI better that's for sure. As for the ADI-2, I'll keep tweaking as well. For the foreseeable future it's job will be to stay on the headphone rig anyway, so I don't have to worry about speakers right now. One other thing I've enjoyed about the ADI-2 is how clean parts are, it's a great little DAC for transcribing and figuring out music, which is what I do all of the time!
    Kitechaser likes this.
  4. Kitechaser
    JRiver once you figure it out is very nice, it's the best audio player application that I have come across so far. And the ADI-2 combo is exceptional.
    There are so many options with this DAC that you can basically get whatever sound you want out of it. I am in the process of DIY upgrading my speaker internal wires and binding posts, but the sound is already to the point where this setup is a showstopper.
    I am also going to be getting a Buchardt S400 for my bedroom, and I am so impressed with this DAC that I will be buying another one :)
    That's the best compliment I can pay RME.
    acguitar84 likes this.
  5. bryceu
    Focal was using lots of Phonitors at their booth for SoCal CanJam. Listening to the Clear and Utopia on the Phonitors was really nice, but I couldn't really make any valid comparisons to the ADI or 789 from a one-time listen in that setting. Really cool looking amps for sure!
  6. bryceu
    I also finally went in on some JBL desktop monitors yesterday. I've been speakerless on my desk since getting rid of my 10 yr old Logitech 2.1 system about a year ago lol. Excited to hook them up to the ADI tomorrow when they arrive!
    Kitechaser likes this.
  7. mixman
    Love the way that lights up! I will put the SPL on the shortlist. The only thing is they do not seem to be mentioned much anymore and I rarely see them used. Tried the Liquid Platinum and while it was pretty good I just felt it was missing some detail, while trading off better dynamics and better bass over the THX and RME amps. I didn't feel it was a big enough step up. Would like a nice tube amp like a WA 22 that doesn't cost an arm and a leg. I have mostly Planars so OTL's won't really work for me. Don't want one of the budget tube amps as it seems if you do tubes you have spend good money to do it right. I was thinking about picking up a used ICAN Pro to maybe tide me over till I get something like a GSX mini, Vio V281 or something else in that price range.
  8. Platinum777
    Always wanted to try the new RME stuff, compared to Mytek Brooklyn< is it similar? clarity wise and also is it similar to UAD converters.
  9. captblaze
    sold my Brooklyn + after purchasing the ADI2 DAC and doing a side by side comparison

    my ears prefer what the ADI2 DAC does in my use case (I wont give a more detailed description because I have old analogue ears)
    acguitar84, bidn and Kitechaser like this.
  10. acguitar84
    Just checking in again here. I've been living with the ADI for nearly a week now, got it last Friday. I really love this thing! In fact, I'm in that, well I need to get to sleep now, but just one more tune mode right now. It's really addicting. One more tune then I'll shut down. Then another, and another and so on.

    I'm using Winamp, USB to RME, into Jotunheim Balanced, and HD650 balanced out of the Jotunheim. A fun pairing! I'm using the HD650 exclusively tonight, my PS1000e are on their way to New York to have a balanced cable installed. I really like the "slow" filter in the ADI DAC. Really fun listening.
  11. bryceu
    I agree, most of my time is spent on slow filter.
    acguitar84 likes this.
  12. CaptainFantastic
    What is the sound difference between the Slow and SD Slow filters supposed to be? To my ears the Slow sounds a little smoother. But the difference is very slight.
  13. bflat
    You can reference the manual and also read up on minimum phase (slow) and linear phase (sharp) filters. Audibly, it's easier to pick out the differences with a snare drum recording. What I have experienced is:

    Sharp - good attack (higher frequency) and good impact (lower frequency), but the timing of the snare and drum was slightly off. Unless you have heard a lot of snare drum live, you may not notice it. It sounds as if the impact starts just ahead of the attack which is not how it's suppose to be. Overall a slightly fuller sound.
    Slow - timing was good, but loss a little bite on the attack, and amount of impact. Overall slightly leaner sound.
    SD Sharp - timing was ok, impact was good, attack a little soft.
    SD Slow - timing was good, attack good, impact just a hair less than Sharp so I decided to stick to this setting.
    bryceu and Kitechaser like this.
  14. Kitechaser
    I am using the same settings, and agree with this characterization of the sound differences completely.
    Also SD Slow has a more natural non fatiguing treble.
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2019
  15. bryceu
    The best way I could describe it is that slow is a more developed sound (slightly busier) while SD slow sounds a tad preciser?
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