RME ADI-2 DAC Thread
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technobear

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Ok as a relatively new RME ADI-2 FS owner I could use some advice. It seems like I need to crank up the volume knob on the RME more than I thought I would have to. Listening with Arya's, HD800s, and ZMF Verite Closed. On low power I find myself at around -1 db and on high maybe -12. My first question is this normal? I don't feel like I listen at high listening levels. I mean there is volume there but I am middle aged (omg did I just say that?) so its not hearing loss and I am not a youngin cranking it up to 11. I also could have messed with something that I shouldn't have touched. Second does this mean I should be looking at external amps? On all of my past gear I would rate the power based on how far I need to turn the nob. Maybe if some people could share their volume levels with similar headphones? or what setting I touched that I shouldn't have?

Any advice would be appreciated. I guess I should have started with wow this unit is amazing. I am unbelievably impressed impressed with the performance and I haven't even gotten to far into the menus. This product should get a lot more love then it does.
I never engage the Hi-Power setting and I can't get higher than -10dB with the 600 ohm T1. That's full rock concert level!

My money is on the DIM function being engaged.
 
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Me too. The sound is just more dynamic and punchier that way which I enjoy.
For my cans it’s hi power as well. Lo drives them but hi is definitely more dynamic.
 
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FullBlownEargasam

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Thank you all for the feedback. I checked and DIM was off but it was a good thing to check. It looks like what I am experiencing is in line with all of you. The low power mode will drive all my cans but at the upper end of the volume knob. On high power all is well. I just thought having to use high power may have been pushing the amp too hard and I would benefit from an external amp but maybe the way RME uses low power and high power is different than others using high and low gain. From my understanding of amps it is always better to use low gain if possible but that may not be the case here.
 
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The low power mode is really for highly sensitive IEMs in order to enable a complete noise free background, and while you can drive full size headphones in low power mode the volume reached may not be sufficient - although I've not had a problem with low power mode it will depend on headphone and personal preferred listening levels. However I must say I've barely listened to headphones since I got the ADI so take my comments with a pinch of salt.
 
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↑ True. This is my experience as well on other amps and DACs too. Low gain is often specifically meant for IEMs. Most full sized headphones open up to their full potential in high-gain regardless their impedance or sensitivity rating. Even if means keeping the volume knob on a relatively low setting.
 
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Ethan Chlan

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I've been searching for an endgame DAC and I think this might be the product I'm looking for. I always thought I would go rack-mounted for my audio gear but the ADI-2 has a lot of features that are more difficult to find in other products, especially at this price. Currently running an O2 DAC/amp with a receiver I will eventually upgrade. I'm expecting my socks to be blown off, so please tell me to lower my expectations if they are set too high. I have a set of JBL 590's which covers over 90% of my listening needs, but this DAC seems to be more for headphones than speakers. I imagine that I won't experience a difference so tell me if there's anything better out there that might be a better fit.

Also, let me know if there's a deal on this. $1200 on a DAC is a big boy purchase and the pill might be easier to swallow if a deal is out there with my name on it
 
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I don't have experience with this Dac and Speakers but I really do not think you have to lower your expectations. I was upgrading from a headphone setup that was a much smaller jump than your o2 dac and it honestly took me a few days to understand what I was hearing. The details that you will hear WILL blow your mind. I had high expectations given the reviews that I have read on the RME and was still blown away. This was all before even touching any of the Dac's features. I think with speakers this will absolutely shine. The DSP corrections that you will be able to perform with his unit is going to be killer. I don't think there are any deals to be had at this time and they don't seem to come up frequently on the used market and I can see why. The RME is never leaving my desk.
 
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betula

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I've been searching for an endgame DAC and I think this might be the product I'm looking for. I always thought I would go rack-mounted for my audio gear but the ADI-2 has a lot of features that are more difficult to find in other products, especially at this price. Currently running an O2 DAC/amp with a receiver I will eventually upgrade. I'm expecting my socks to be blown off, so please tell me to lower my expectations if they are set too high. I have a set of JBL 590's which covers over 90% of my listening needs, but this DAC seems to be more for headphones than speakers. I imagine that I won't experience a difference so tell me if there's anything better out there that might be a better fit.

Also, let me know if there's a deal on this. $1200 on a DAC is a big boy purchase and the pill might be easier to swallow if a deal is out there with my name on it
It doesn't get much better than this when it comes to DACs. Unless you are willing to pay 3-4 times more than the asking price of the ADI2.
 
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I've been searching for an endgame DAC and I think this might be the product I'm looking for. I always thought I would go rack-mounted for my audio gear but the ADI-2 has a lot of features that are more difficult to find in other products, especially at this price. Currently running an O2 DAC/amp with a receiver I will eventually upgrade. I'm expecting my socks to be blown off, so please tell me to lower my expectations if they are set too high. I have a set of JBL 590's which covers over 90% of my listening needs, but this DAC seems to be more for headphones than speakers. I imagine that I won't experience a difference so tell me if there's anything better out there that might be a better fit.

Also, let me know if there's a deal on this. $1200 on a DAC is a big boy purchase and the pill might be easier to swallow if a deal is out there with my name on it
I have the Brooklyn DAC+ and the RME 2nd edition. I would say for non-MQA DACs the RME is the top choice for the money.

If you want MQA and a nicer UI and a nicer build then the Brooklyn DAC+ is a top choice at the 2K euro mark.
 
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The Pro model has more features and is not the DAC we're discussing in this thread. RME is a pro audio company and the ADI-2 DAC FS is pretty much the only "consumer" product. That means it is targeted at the hifi buyer rather than studio/production/live performance user. You may or may not want the extra features. Also, the amp is a little more powerful. Personally I prefer to go for a separate amp rather than jam an amp for all seasons in a DAC housing.

The reason is that except for the change from AKM4490 to 4493, the upgraded remote and one additional color option on the OLED display, the units are almost the same.
I own the earlier version of ADI-2 DAC and been using it over the past year. I was able to get a demo model for $900 at Sweetwater.com. After the recent firmware upgrades it added the amber EQ display as an option in the setup menu and another volume display that shows more information i.e. output connection, input signal, volume dBu level, bass/treble levels, EQ preset select and loudness. I appreciate RME providing continued improvements, support and a good manual. So many functions into such a small unit is impressive. My only gripe is I wish it was more intuitive to navigate the menu functions.
 
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I appreciate RME providing continued improvements, support and a good manual. So many functions into such a small unit is impressive. My only gripe is I wish it was more intuitive to navigate the menu functions.
I completely agree with that. I thought the menus were something I just needed to get used to but since you aren't diving in there everyday its taking longer to get used to the navigation than I thought.
 
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betula

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I own the earlier version of ADI-2 DAC and been using it over the past year. I was able to get a demo model for $900 at Sweetwater.com. After the recent firmware upgrades it added the amber EQ display as an option in the setup menu and another volume display that shows more information i.e. output connection, input signal, volume dBu level, bass/treble levels, EQ preset select and loudness. I appreciate RME providing continued improvements, support and a good manual. So many functions into such a small unit is impressive. My only gripe is I wish it was more intuitive to navigate the menu functions.
Menu navigation is not that bad if you consider the amount of adjustable features. I agree though, half of these features are unnecessary. And it is easy to get lost in the menu if you are not sure what you are looking for...
 
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I completely agree with that. I thought the menus were something I just needed to get used to but since you aren't diving in there everyday its taking longer to get used to the navigation than I thought.
Watch their helpful walk-through videos on Youtube, if you haven't already. If it's been a few months since you last used something and need a refresher, they are just a few minutes long. With all due respect, we are grown people spending thousands of dollars/euro on this hobby. IMHO we should appreciate the complexity and not expect dumbed-down Animal Crossings UI from everything.
 
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betula

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I know, RME settings can be really different depending on our headphones and preferred sound signatures, but I still thought it would be fun to share our settings.
What I like with my LCD2C and LCDX is high power mode, width to maximum 1.0, crossfeed on level 2.
 
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