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RME ADI-2 DAC Thread

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  1. oqvist
    Interesting. I can relate a lot to the THX 789 vs my RME ADI-2 so they 887 is perhaps quite similar to the THX 789
  2. blockchainhero
    I (personally) don’t believe there are audible differences between competent DACs but do nonetheless appreciate you writing up and presenting your impressions.
  3. gimmeheadroom
    Is that an apples and apples comparison? If I understand things the THX 887 is only an amp, and only takes analog in. The RME DAC has no analog in. I don't understand how you can narrow things down just to the amp portion since by necessity, anything you listen to on the RME is going through the DAC and on the THX 887 it's an analog signal that went through some other DAC. I guess you could loop the RME into the THX 887 :wink:
  4. bryceu
    That is correct, the THX 887 is strictly an amp. The RME ADI-2 DAC is a DAC and an amp.

    Perhaps it clears things up that I mention I am feeding the THX 887 with the RME DAC using the same settings via XLR outputs.

    Assuming the only difference between the RME DAC + RME AMP vs the RME DAC + THX 887 AMP is the internal circuitry of the RME vs the external circuitry connecting the RME to the 887 (XLR cables);
    The conclusion posted was for the purpose of comparing the performance of the THX 887 amp as an additional amp/feature, being fed from the RME, versus the performance of the RME ADI-2 as an AIO.

    @oqvist I owned the 789 previously and found the same differences between the RME amp and the 789 amp, as I recently discovered with the RME amp vs the 887 amp. Unfortunately I don't have the 789 and 887 in hand to directly compare, and I don't even have the same headphones I compared them with at the time. I will say that the Verite open makes the differences between RME/887 more easily noticeable than did any previous headphones (Clear, Ether 2, Auteur, Andromeda) when I was using RME/789.
  5. gimmeheadroom
    Thanks for explaining, that sounds like a reasonable comparison. :)
  6. mixman
    Dude, this exactly sums up my feelings of the differences between the RME and THX 789 amps. I generally prefer the THX since it is more airy and has a roomier feel. Also, I feel the THX is more dynamic too.
  7. bryceu
    Yea my memory of the RME vs 789 is exactly the same as RME vs 887.

    Also this:

    No hiding they are basically the same amp.
  8. mixman
    So what do you think now vs the MJ2? Any favorites?
  9. bryceu
    Going back and forth between 887 and Mj2 I find it to be pretty even on a song to song basis, preferring the 887 only slightly more often.

    However I'm quite strongly favoring the 887. It's most notably more linear, slightly wider, and cleaner details. The Mj2 does have slightly more depth, different (not better or worse) imaging, and even more dynamics than the 887.

    The draw of the Mj2 to me is that it offers the tube rolling option which is a very big plus if you don't want the same exact tonal balance and sound characteristics forever.

    I will also mention though, that the improvements feel more substantial going from the RME amp portion to the THX 887, than when going from the RME amp to the Mjolnir 2. Going from the RME amp to the Mj2 I notice improvements but also trade-offs (like the lack of linearity and dynamics that are so good sometimes detail is lost). Where as going from the RME amp to the 887 the only negative is that the mids are slightly less engaging on the 887.

    At this point if I could keep just one amp I would probably go with the 887, but I will wait till the Verite Closed arrives to have an alternative lens to view the amps through before getting rid of all the tubes.

    I think it's fair to say that I am leaning more towards SS characteristics in my search for the most optimal amp.

    I do think I will build a BHC+SB whenever kits go on sale again or I find a deal on one, that amp just had an appeal to the emotions for me. Only reason I got rid of it was to build my own.
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2019
  10. butch111
    I hope someone can explain me , what I have to do when I want to connect 2 balanced Headphones hearing the same content (Movies) over my ADI2DAC - one 789 is coming , do I need 2 789? . And how to connect? THX
  11. bryceu
    You would need an amp with 2x balanced headphone outputs.

    Or two amps with balanced headphone outputs, and an XLR splitter like this: https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/YXM121--hosa-yxm-121-y-cable-xlr3f-to-dual-xlr3m-6-inch (Never personally used one so might want to double check what the cable does to line voltage)

    Or, you can toggle your RME to "Mute Line OFF" and have one balanced headphone plugged into the 789, and another directly into your RME ADI-2 Phones output via an adapter like this: https://www.monoprice.com/product?p_id=4768 (I use this type of cable frequently to convert my balanced headphone cables into 1/4")
    butch111 likes this.
  12. butch111
    Thank you very much for this perfect answer!!
    bryceu likes this.
  13. sysyphos
    Thank you very much for your detailed comparison. I am also looking for an amp to pair with ADI-2 DAC-HD800S combo and one of the amps that I am considering is THX 887. Do you have any experience with RNHP or Vioelectric VA200? I will be very appreciated if I could learn your ideas and thoughts about suitability of these amps with this combo.
    bryceu likes this.
  14. bryceu
    I don’t have any experience with either of those amps I’m sorry. I will say though, if I were to guess the HD 800 S would be a bit on the overly analytical side with the THX887. It’s not a headphone I am familiar with from a personal ownership standpoint, but there’s plenty of information out there to assume that the pairing would not be very musical. Personally I would probably recommend either a ZDT Jr or bottle head crack with speedball to go with HD800s. But again I’ve never owned the 800s or heard those pairings, but I have owned both the ZDT Jr and the BHC+SB.
  15. oqvist
    I don´t mind my hd 800S at all on the THx 789 AAA. Use it as much as my Trafomatic Audio Head One. It just plays to it´s strength may be just as good focus on that. But Kennerton Magni is absolutely awesome straight out of the RME ADI-2. HD 800S plus Kennerton Magni and not a worry in the world it feels like now. RME ADI-2 seem to match Kennerton Magni particularly well. I tend to favour the THX 789 AAA but I am still confused regarding this one.
    bryceu likes this.
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