RME ADI-2 DAC Thread
Nov 23, 2019 at 1:11 PM Post #1,741 of 5,991
I think maybe it comes down to ESS vs. AK. The ESS is more analytical (so is my Chord Mojo). The AK is warmer. Kinda like the Sennheiser of DACs.

Not so sure about that as the Gustard X20U (ESS 9018) I have is more full bodied and euphonic sounding than the RME ADI-2, which is definitely more analytical sounding in comparison. The Gustard X20U just doesn't have quite the black background or ultimate clarity of the RME ADI-2 (but not too far behind.)
 
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Nov 23, 2019 at 1:14 PM Post #1,742 of 5,991
I think maybe it comes down to ESS vs. AK. The ESS is more analytical (so is my Chord Mojo). The AK is warmer. Kinda like the Sennheiser of DACs.
Definitely agree. And some cans pair better with the ESS-based DACs than AKM ones, and vice versa. Finding the best match for everything is the challenge (fun?) of this hobby. Speaking of which, I said I was using USB for the LUMIN, well I’m back to S/PDIF Coax between the U1 Mini and the RME ADI-2 DAC. I’ll spare everyone my reasons, but for now, this is what sounds the best to me. Maybe after more burn-in I’ll do another comparison.

Back on-topic: the universal remote control capabilities of the RME ADI-2 DAC (using a Harmony Elite remote) really made it a joy to try out the different permutations of gear and connections.
 
Nov 23, 2019 at 1:18 PM Post #1,743 of 5,991
Not so sure about that as the Gustard X20U (ESS 9018) I have is more full bodied and euphonic sounding than the RME ADI-2, which is definitely more analytical sounding in comparison. The Gustard X20U just doesn't have quite the black background or ultimate clarity of the RME ADI-2 (but not too far behind.)
Your DAC has 2 9018s in fully balanced config. That could also be contributing to the difference. The Oppo 205 only has one 9038Pro.

Cheers,
Gus
 
Nov 25, 2019 at 5:08 AM Post #1,744 of 5,991
Just to let you guys know, the ADI-2 DAC has been updated with the AK4493 and an improved remote. Very few units are available yet. Full availability will be around January from what I've heard.

I have shared some more infos here: https://www.klauseulenbach.de/2019/11/24/updated-rme-adi-2-dac-november-2019/

title_rme-768x403.jpg
 
Nov 25, 2019 at 6:01 AM Post #1,745 of 5,991
Just to let you guys know, the ADI-2 DAC has been updated with the AK4493 and an improved remote. Very few units are available yet. Full availability will be around January from what I've heard.

I have shared some more infos here: https://www.klauseulenbach.de/2019/11/24/updated-rme-adi-2-dac-november-2019/

title_rme-768x403.jpg

Thanks for the info. More options / progress coming into the market. Hopefully implementation of the new AK4493 will inject something different (and better?) into RME's line-up.
 
Nov 25, 2019 at 6:20 AM Post #1,746 of 5,991
RME ADI-2 DAC FS.jpg


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Horrible tablet pic...
 
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Nov 25, 2019 at 8:18 AM Post #1,747 of 5,991
Hey guys! I’ve been trying to find some comparisons but have been unable to find anyone doing a direct head-to-head so I figured I’d ask here-

Has anyone compared the RME directly to the Modi 3 as a pure DAC? If so, how do they compare to one another? I’m looking to upgrade my DAC section of my amp and have been eying an RME; but the Modi3 is pretty good and for $100 it’s pretty hard to beat. Looking forward to hearing what you guys have to say!
 
Nov 25, 2019 at 9:08 AM Post #1,748 of 5,991
Nov 25, 2019 at 10:16 AM Post #1,749 of 5,991
Hey guys! I’ve been trying to find some comparisons but have been unable to find anyone doing a direct head-to-head so I figured I’d ask here-

Has anyone compared the RME directly to the Modi 3 as a pure DAC? If so, how do they compare to one another? I’m looking to upgrade my DAC section of my amp and have been eying an RME; but the Modi3 is pretty good and for $100 it’s pretty hard to beat. Looking forward to hearing what you guys have to say!

I've compared the RME to the Modi 2 Uber (Bad), Modi Multibit (good), Bifrost Multibit (good), Grace SDAC (good), SMSL SU-8 (good), Aune x1s (good), Gumby A2 (Great). RME falls into the Great category as well. The RME has one of the cleanest backgrounds I've heard on any DAC, and very clean/sharp details. The resolution of the RME beats everything else I have compared it to except for the Gumby A2 which offered similar resolution. I assume the Modi 3 is quite comparable to the Grace SDAC or the SMSL SU-8 in terms of resolution performance. Your Verite will definitely be able to extract the extra detail and resolution of the RME ADI-2 DAC. However if I were to buy a new DAC strictly for performance, I would probably favor the Gumby (or wait till early next year for the likely Unison revision). Bifrost 2 has been getting good remarks as well. But the reason the RME wins out for me is that I can use it to pre-amp my monitors, set parametric EQ profiles, a fun visualizer, and it's small clean package. While I don't often use its AMP portion, it adds additional option in case I'm looking for another variation.
 
Nov 25, 2019 at 10:54 AM Post #1,750 of 5,991
A refresh to one of my favorite pieces of gear! Awesome :)

Yes, but it's not like us, owners of the first version, get some sort of trade-in discount. So to benefit from the "refresh", we would have to spend another 1000 euro. Now, don't get me wrong, my ADI-2 is my end-game, I love it. But how many existing owners will spend 1000 euro for a minor upgrade/refresh? Honest question, can some members here offer their views?

I suppose the old units won't sell for more than 500 or something on the used market now that there is a new version.
 
Nov 25, 2019 at 11:04 AM Post #1,751 of 5,991
Yes, but it's not like us, owners of the first version, get some sort of trade-in discount. So to benefit from the "refresh", we would have to spend another 1000 euro. Now, don't get me wrong, my ADI-2 is my end-game, I love it. But how many existing owners will spend 1000 euro for a minor upgrade/refresh? Honest question, can some members here offer their views?

I suppose the old units won't sell for more than 500 or something on the used market now that there is a new version.

As an existing owner: No, transparent is transparent.
 
Nov 25, 2019 at 11:25 AM Post #1,752 of 5,991
Yes, but it's not like us, owners of the first version, get some sort of trade-in discount. So to benefit from the "refresh", we would have to spend another 1000 euro. Now, don't get me wrong, my ADI-2 is my end-game, I love it. But how many existing owners will spend 1000 euro for a minor upgrade/refresh? Honest question, can some members here offer their views?

I suppose the old units won't sell for more than 500 or something on the used market now that there is a new version.
I guess my comment was more from a progression of technology and the greater good of the hobby. As a current owner, no I probably wouldn't justify selling my unit to buy a new unit. Would I take the new one over mine? Yea. Am I still 100% satisfied with my RME ADI-2 DAC? Definitely.
 
Nov 25, 2019 at 11:29 AM Post #1,753 of 5,991
I think a used RME ADI-2 DAC will still hold its value well, even if it's an older revision. Especially in the States where we don't exactly have readily available access. The function of the device remains unchanged, perhaps only a "slightly improved" sound quality. I'm sure it will be marketed as a nice sound improvement by RME and the community in order to promote the sale of new units, justifiably so, but that's going to be up to you to resist the consumerism mindset.
 
Nov 25, 2019 at 11:37 AM Post #1,754 of 5,991
On another note, I finally decided to set an EQ profile on my ADI-2 instead of being lazy and using Eq APO. There is definitely a more noticeable effect from the EQ when using the built-in, and the enhancements sound much more natural. It was actually more intuitive than I expected, just took some referencing the manual. :D
IMG_7292.jpg
 
Nov 25, 2019 at 11:40 AM Post #1,755 of 5,991
I have to admit, the menus are still blowing my mind. I get the right button to twist or push about 10% of the time. :D
 

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