RME ADI-2 DAC Thread
post-15103522
Post #1,546 of 2,919

Quinto

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Apr 7, 2009
Messages
3,960
Reaction score
2,440
Joined
Apr 7, 2009
Posts
3,960
Likes
2,440
@mixman Have you looked into the SPL Phonitor series? If you appreciate solid states it's a notable improvement to go to something like the Phonitor XE. The Phonitor 2 or E should be close to the XE or X for less money (the 2 can go used for under $1000, and the E can be had new for little over $1000). Some folks have noted that the Phonitor E sounds roughly as good as the X, although I've never compared them and I would assume the bass delivery isn't quite as good (just given the size of the power capacitors if nothing else).

I personally fell away from solid state amplifiers a few years back after owning an Audio-GD Master 11 for a while and making the switch to tube amps and tube hybrids. It took the SPL Phonitor XE coupled with the RME ADI-2 DAC to impress me enough to make me pull the trigger on a solid state headphone amplifier again.

..I'm still happy with my ADI-2 and V280, it does look a bit understated though compared to your SPL lol Bet it sounds awesome
I have their phone stage (phonos ) which is really good in many ways, great brand
 
     Share This Post       
  • Like
Reactions: Darthpool
post-15103620
Post #1,547 of 2,919

Darthpool

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Oct 18, 2017
Messages
638
Reaction score
1,533
Location
Seattle, WA
Joined
Oct 18, 2017
Location
Seattle, WA
Posts
638
Likes
1,533
..I'm still happy with my ADI-2 and V280, it does look a bit understated though compared to your SPL lol Bet it sounds awesome
I have their phone stage (phonos ) which is really good in many ways, great brand
I also love the synergy between the Phonitor XE and the ADI-2DAC, it is my go to for evaluating headphones. For distortion happiness I go RDAC and one of my tube amps lol
 
     Share This Post       
  • Like
Reactions: PoSR77 and Quinto
post-15103787
Post #1,548 of 2,919

Allanmarcus

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Jan 15, 2014
Messages
4,552
Reaction score
1,659
Location
New Mexico
Joined
Jan 15, 2014
Location
New Mexico
Posts
4,552
Likes
1,659
I also just received the ADI-2. In all honesty, I think the RME's headphone amplifier sounds pretty terrible with my HD600s, at least compared to my Bottlehead Crack. Hell, even my original Schiit Magni sounded better. The RME sounds thin, hollow, and coarse. I've activated high power mode and played with the filters, and neither fixed the issues I'm hearing with the headphone amplifier. It's possible that the EQ and crossfeed settings could help, but I'm not too interested in tinkering with those. I didn't buy the RME to function as a headphone amp. I bought it to serve as a DAC, and as a DAC, it's phenomenal.
Ty using the loudness option. It will bump up the bass a bit at lower volumes, then reduce it if you play the amp louder. You can google loudness to learn about the history of the loudness option in home receivers and amps.

The easiest way to start experimenting with EQ is the with bass and treble knobs on the RME. The next easiest is to the use the EQ on your computer. If you are using iTunes or jRiver, eq is trivially easy. Play with it in software first as the RME interface for EQ is not great for an experienced person, let alone an experienced person Maybe one day they will put all the controls into software accessible on a computer, but I'm not holding my breath.
 
     Share This Post       
  • Like
Reactions: Darthpool
post-15103848
Post #1,549 of 2,919

technobear

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Oct 27, 2010
Messages
2,013
Reaction score
546
Location
Glastonbury, UK
Joined
Oct 27, 2010
Location
Glastonbury, UK
Posts
2,013
Likes
546
The typical Chord sound could be described as effortless and holographic without even a tiny hint of sibilance, but having a very well extended treble at the same time with near perfect bass and mids. I was wondering If my RME could emulate such a sound/better it.
Yes, the ADI2-DAC can sound like this. All you have to do is use it for 200 hours. I also recommend the 'Slow' filter.
 
     Share This Post       
  • Like
Reactions: Quinto
post-15103857
Post #1,550 of 2,919

technobear

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Oct 27, 2010
Messages
2,013
Reaction score
546
Location
Glastonbury, UK
Joined
Oct 27, 2010
Location
Glastonbury, UK
Posts
2,013
Likes
546
I also just received the ADI-2. In all honesty, I think the RME's headphone amplifier sounds pretty terrible with my HD600s...
There's a clue in the words 'just received'. Come back and tell us how it sounds after 200 hours of use.
 
     Share This Post       
  • Like
Reactions: bidn
post-15103951
Post #1,551 of 2,919

kdickin2

New Head-Fier
Joined
Aug 10, 2017
Messages
13
Reaction score
41
Location
Chicago
Joined
Aug 10, 2017
Location
Chicago
Posts
13
Likes
41
There's a clue in the words 'just received'. Come back and tell us how it sounds after 200 hours of use.
I doubt I'll get that many hours on the head amp total in the unit's lifetime. I bought it as a DAC for my living room speaker set up, where it performs beautifully when fed by an Allo DigiOne Roon endpoint. The DAC section really is phenomenal.

I will admit that my initial impressions of the headphone amp were made based on a first listen a few days ago when it was new out of the box. I listened to a few more tracks over the headphone amp this afternoon, and it does seem to have lost a lot of the congestion that I noticed on first listen. The DAC line out, by contrast, sounded excellent out of the box. I still don't love it as a headphone amp, but I'm willing to give it the benefit of the doubt that it would open up further with some more hours on it.
 
     Share This Post       
post-15104531
Post #1,552 of 2,919

Docharsha89

New Head-Fier
Joined
Aug 3, 2019
Messages
36
Reaction score
23
Location
Coimbatore, India
Joined
Aug 3, 2019
Location
Coimbatore, India
Posts
36
Likes
23
Parametric EQ takes a bit of practice. The User interface of the ADI-2 is pretty good, but not very discoverable, or particularly intuitive. So if your having issue's with that i'd suggest hitting up youtube and finding the manufacturer created tutorials. It's not too bad once you have a grasp of how the interface works. You will need to read some guides on what a parametric EQ is, and how to adjust it. You will need to learn what frequency ranges effect things like sibilance, and bass response, warmth and tonality. It's best that you find a guide/tutorial on EQ's and frequencies, then us try to explain it here.

You also really need to give it a little more time. If you've been listening to something for a long time and then suddenly switch to something else. Particularly two excellent devices like Chord and RME, you need to adjust.

My profile for the EQ on my HD650 is a big bass boost +8DB at 44 hz. a slight 1db boost at 120 hz, a 3.5 boost at 1.2k, followed by a sharp -6db cut at 8k.. well let me just make it easy for you.

Exact settings in the parametric EQ: Specific for HD650

RED band
B1 G+8.0 F44 Q 0.5

YELLOW band
B2 G+1.0 F120 Q.05

GREEN band
B3 G+3.5 F1.20k Q0.5

LIGHT BLUE
B4 G-6.0 F8.0k Q5.0

DARK BLUE
B5 G+0.0 F14.0k Q2.7 - last little line is a down curve, this causes a huge spike at the end of the FR range.

Come to think of it, I was using a bit of a different profile back when I was using the ADI-2 as my AMP. I don't recall the exact settings, you will have to fiddle. The above is my preferred profile with my Liquid Platinum. What is universal, with HD650 is a strong bass boost and cut to 8k. everything else is up for debate. You may start with a +6 DB boost at 44 HZ, and a -5 cut at 8k and see how that sounds before moving forward.
Parametric EQ takes a bit of practice. The User interface of the ADI-2 is pretty good, but not very discoverable, or particularly intuitive. So if your having issue's with that i'd suggest hitting up youtube and finding the manufacturer created tutorials. It's not too bad once you have a grasp of how the interface works. You will need to read some guides on what a parametric EQ is, and how to adjust it. You will need to learn what frequency ranges effect things like sibilance, and bass response, warmth and tonality. It's best that you find a guide/tutorial on EQ's and frequencies, then us try to explain it here.

You also really need to give it a little more time. If you've been listening to something for a long time and then suddenly switch to something else. Particularly two excellent devices like Chord and RME, you need to adjust.

My profile for the EQ on my HD650 is a big bass boost +8DB at 44 hz. a slight 1db boost at 120 hz, a 3.5 boost at 1.2k, followed by a sharp -6db cut at 8k.. well let me just make it easy for you.

Exact settings in the parametric EQ: Specific for HD650

RED band
B1 G+8.0 F44 Q 0.5

YELLOW band
B2 G+1.0 F120 Q.05

GREEN band
B3 G+3.5 F1.20k Q0.5

LIGHT BLUE
B4 G-6.0 F8.0k Q5.0

DARK BLUE
B5 G+0.0 F14.0k Q2.7 - last little line is a down curve, this causes a huge spike at the end of the FR range.

Come to think of it, I was using a bit of a different profile back when I was using the ADI-2 as my AMP. I don't recall the exact settings, you will have to fiddle. The above is my preferred profile with my Liquid Platinum. What is universal, with HD650 is a strong bass boost and cut to 8k. everything else is up for debate. You may start with a +6 DB boost at 44 HZ, and a -5 cut at 8k and see how that sounds before moving forward.
Your EQ parameters helped the HD650 sound more forward, and alive, If I may say that. Coming to the Audioquest Nighthawk, there is a very mild recession in the mids, in B3 (Green Band), could I increase the values given by you (+3.5dB) to +6dB ? Does making use of EQ tamper with the sound, the manufacturer of the headphone originally intended ? Just an honest doubt... :)
 
Last edited:
     Share This Post       
post-15107179
Post #1,553 of 2,919

adeseaso

New Head-Fier
Joined
Jun 7, 2013
Messages
45
Reaction score
35
Joined
Jun 7, 2013
Posts
45
Likes
35
Yes, the ADI2-DAC can sound like this. All you have to do is use it for 200 hours. I also recommend the 'Slow' filter.
I'm usually one to notice changes (willingly accepting that it's often my hearing adjusting) but with the RME I haven't found any difference at all over 500 hours or so. Using the slow filter out of preference as well.

It's been sitting beside a Mojo and Hugo on my shelf and I disagree that the RME can sound like a Chord. Different structure and timbre to the sounds they make. I've scratched my head over why and I assume the difference must be hidden in the time domain because it's certainly not a frequency response difference.

Plenty of wiggle room for subjective takes in a RME vs Chord comparison imho.
 
Last edited:
     Share This Post       
post-15107591
Post #1,554 of 2,919

Soundwave76

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Jul 10, 2013
Messages
213
Reaction score
95
Joined
Jul 10, 2013
Posts
213
Likes
95
I also just received the ADI-2. In all honesty, I think the RME's headphone amplifier sounds pretty terrible with my HD600s, at least compared to my Bottlehead Crack. Hell, even my original Schiit Magni sounded better. The RME sounds thin, hollow, and coarse. .
That's probably the first time you hear a transparent DAC + headphone amp. This is how your music should sound without any colorations from inferior devices.
 
post-15108696
Post #1,555 of 2,919

Docharsha89

New Head-Fier
Joined
Aug 3, 2019
Messages
36
Reaction score
23
Location
Coimbatore, India
Joined
Aug 3, 2019
Location
Coimbatore, India
Posts
36
Likes
23
Have been reading up the manual and digesting the information provided in it.

One thing that caught my curiosity is the "De-Emphasis" option.

Default setting is "Auto". And from what I read, where the "ADI-2 DAC activates the DAC's de-emphasis automatically when the current source is AES or SPDIF". (from the User Manual para. 31.2)



Not clear how it will be implemented when USB is the source (i.e. would it have a way to detect the if source is recorded with "Emphasis" or not?). As I feed my ADI-2 DAC with USB, I set it to "On" and that seems to tone down the high / treble.

Have you guys tinker around this? What do you set?

My chain is : PC(USB) > RME ADI-2 > Headphone / IEMs
I use the De-Emphasis setting while using optical input. I use an Audioquest Carbon Optical cable, and from what I'm hearing, I prefer it to the USB input. The USB input sounds a bit warm and coloured when compared to optical. Atleast that's what I'm hearing. USB in comparison is extremely well implemented, when compared to something like the Chord Mojo, which to be frank, SUCKED through USB input. Coming to de-emphasis, I feel its inactive when I'm using Optical input, since it sounds more "mellow" once I turn it on, as it cuts out the HF sounds a bit. What is your take on this..? Is it worth turning it on, at the loss of Treble detail and air ?
 
Last edited:
     Share This Post       
  • Like
Reactions: bidn
post-15109325
Post #1,556 of 2,919

eugenius

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Jul 2, 2005
Messages
1,550
Reaction score
82
Location
București
Joined
Jul 2, 2005
Location
București
Posts
1,550
Likes
82
That's probably the first time you hear a transparent DAC + headphone amp. This is how your music should sound without any colorations from inferior devices.
RME gives you EQ to make your nasty superior device into an enjoyable inferior device. :D
 
post-15110973
Post #1,557 of 2,919

Soundwave76

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Jul 10, 2013
Messages
213
Reaction score
95
Joined
Jul 10, 2013
Posts
213
Likes
95
^ yes, but it’s your choice to use them or not. A key difference. :)
 
     Share This Post       
  • Like
Reactions: Gradius
post-15114496
Post #1,558 of 2,919

Chesterfield

Head-Fier
Joined
Sep 15, 2012
Messages
73
Reaction score
45
Joined
Sep 15, 2012
Posts
73
Likes
45
So much of high end audio seems like it's about frequency swapping: change a cable, or whatever, and you hear new details in one frequency range, but lose others. The RME ADI-2 DAC is the first piece of equipment I've bought in years that I can definitely say I hear more, without frequency swapping. It just sounds more natural--meaning you year so many more of the micro details that make instruments sound like they should. This is a truly massive step up from my Schiit Gungnir.
 
Last edited:
post-15132475
Post #1,559 of 2,919

Gradius

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
May 9, 2011
Messages
159
Reaction score
16
Joined
May 9, 2011
Posts
159
Likes
16
I'm pretty sure it'll drive practically any headphone you could attach to it. Your HD6XX is 300ohms- ADI-2 will output .3 watts at that level of resistance before clipping (.2 watts are the approximate power handling limit for the HD6XX).

Edit: HE400i can handle a nominal 6W @ 40ohm, you might want a THX AAA in balanced output for that...
Sorry for bump, just saw this one.

Depends actually...

The HD650 is capable of 500mW (or 0.5W) continuous max (as per EN 60-268-7 aka IEC 60268-7:2010), so it depends. If RME ADI-2 DAC output under DIN 45580 specs, then, and ONLY then, is 200mW (or 0.2W).

HOWEVER, since RME ADI-2 DAC is a product made in Germany by germanies, I'm pretty sure it uses the most updated Europe specifications (International since 2010), hence EN 60-268-7 and not DIN 45580 (besides, DIN is pretty much dead, that thing is from 1975 and shouldn't be used anymore).

What's more? HD650 is also made in Germany, and they indeed uses the EN 60-268-7 specs.
 
Last edited:
     Share This Post       
post-15134452
Post #1,560 of 2,919

lentoviolento

1000+ Head-Fier
Joined
Feb 17, 2017
Messages
1,118
Reaction score
289
Joined
Feb 17, 2017
Posts
1,118
Likes
289
I have my Adams A5X's on a separate power strip and just turn that off when I am ready to use the THX AAA. If there is a better way I would like to know too.
How does your rme sound with zmf and meze?
 
     Share This Post       

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Users: 2, Guests: 5)

Top