RME ADI-2 DAC Thread
May 28, 2020 at 3:57 PM Post #2,491 of 4,643

Xoon

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Hi Guys,

I been looking about this DAC/AMP for months. Recently I've sold my NFB11.28 and I'm going to probably buy this. Is the AMP section good enough? I've always felt that with High Impedance headphones the NFB11.28 was kind of weak (HD800/HD600). When I paired NFB11.28 with Asgard 3 it performed amazing. so I'm trying to figure out if using this with Vali2/A3 is good pairing or is it a waste of money and i'm better off with just a DAC only?
 
May 30, 2020 at 9:36 AM Post #2,492 of 4,643

dakchi

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Hi,
Interested in this DAC. However, I am wondering, as a DAC only, what is the difference between ADI-2 FS and ADI-2 DAC FS (a part from the screen)?
Has anyone compared ADI-2 DAC FS with Denafrips Ares II? again I am interested only in the DAC performance
Thanks
 
May 30, 2020 at 10:41 AM Post #2,493 of 4,643

Tuneslover

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When I was researching a DAC upgrade I was planning on using the XLR and SE outputs from that DAC to pass on to my external amps. Initially when I became vey interested with the RME ADI-2 DAC I didn't even realize that this unit had a built in amp. I now own the RME DAC and yes I have auditioned it's amp but only out of curiosity. I do appreciate the IEM output and will probably focus on it. The RME amp sounds pretty decent actually but for now I'm sticking with my standalone amps.
 
May 31, 2020 at 10:40 AM Post #2,495 of 4,643

InstantSilence

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Recently got a Hugo 2. While having moved out from rme adi-2 dac fs.
The Hugo 2 has much more increased detail, resolution and clarity.
I thought I'd miss the eq and tone control of rme as I was always adjusting something, but Hugo2 gets it right never bright. With the 4z,a nice match indeed.
I do however miss the rme spectrum screen. And for price to performance rme dominates the Hugo 2.
But if sound was the only thing that mattered the Hugo 2 is a few miles ahead, at least to me.
 
May 31, 2020 at 11:04 AM Post #2,496 of 4,643

Slim1970

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Recently got a Hugo 2. While having moved out from rme adi-2 dac fs.
The Hugo 2 has much more increased detail, resolution and clarity.
I thought I'd miss the eq and tone control of rme as I was always adjusting something, but Hugo2 gets it right never bright. With the 4z,a nice match indeed.
I do however miss the rme spectrum screen. And for price to performance rme dominates the Hugo 2.
But if sound was the only thing that mattered the Hugo 2 is a few miles ahead, at least to me.
I have them both as well. The RME can be made to sound better than the Hugo 2 with the 4z's with adjustments of course. You're right about one thing. The Hugo 2 is more pure in its presentation. You don't have to worry about any adjustments, just plug and play for excellent sound.
 
May 31, 2020 at 11:36 AM Post #2,497 of 4,643

InstantSilence

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I have them both as well. The RME can be made to sound better than the Hugo 2 with the 4z's with adjustments of course. You're right about one thing. The Hugo 2 is more pure in its presentation. You don't have to worry about any adjustments, just plug and play for excellent sound.
Don't you find overall clarity, resolution, transparency, detail better on H2? I immediately noticed it all on first track.
Even Tidal is better
 
May 31, 2020 at 11:44 AM Post #2,498 of 4,643

Slim1970

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Don't you find overall clarity, resolution, transparency, detail better on H2? I immediately noticed it all on first track.
Even Tidal is better
Absolutely, it is. But they are both enjoyable.
 
May 31, 2020 at 11:48 AM Post #2,499 of 4,643

betula

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Don't you find overall clarity, resolution, transparency, detail better on H2? I immediately noticed it all on first track.
Even Tidal is better
I can't compare the H2 and the RME directly, but about two years ago I had a Hugo2 for a few weeks with me and I loved it. I also used to own the Mojo and the TT2. I generally like Chord sound. From memory the H2 was very detailed and well balanced.
What I like in the RME is the extra dynamism, slam and bass quantity. Chord devices are somewhat more refined and more lifelike in general, but not as punchy and 'bassy' as the RME. With electronic music the RME is a joy. With acoustic I would probably go with Chord.
I wish I could directly compare the RME and the H2. I am actually getting so curious, I might buy a secondhand H2 to see which one I would prefer now.
That said, I don't really need a transportable and battery powered device, regardless how fabulous Chord stuff sounds.
And the RME is absolutely insane value for money, for sure.

If Chord put a headphone out on the Qutest or came up with a similar device, that would probably be a tough call.
 
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May 31, 2020 at 11:57 AM Post #2,500 of 4,643

gimmeheadroom

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+1 about not wanting a battery powered device despite liking the Chord sound. And Chord means no MQA...
 
May 31, 2020 at 11:57 AM Post #2,501 of 4,643

Swisshead

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With RME you always have to see the price. It's simply unique, what's offered for the money, plus Made in Germany in excellent quality.

What I really appreciate is like a Swiss Army pocket knife. You can really do everything with it and everything possible and impossible can be adjusted. That's what I appreciate. The amplifier is also excellent, certainly not by far the most powerful, so the iCan offers me much more power, but is definitely enough for 90% of all headphones. In addition, there is an IEM output. It doesn't rustle, doesn't make any noise and has many finesses, which it reveals only at the second glance.

One of them is the automatic recognition of which outputs are used. If you plug in headphones, the volume increases very slowly from ZERO. If it is set too high, you can still react before your ears blow up. Just happened to me yesterday. I was able to unplug it quickly.

If you have the headphones on and turn the unit on, you can't hear anything! With the iFi you always hear a very strong crackling in your ears! Partly very unpleasant. You can see from such details that they have put a lot of thought into the development. Once again, the basic device was a pure studio device, which is actually a somewhat slimmed down version for the consumer sector. Therefore, also optically rather cool, function clearly before design. You can see that. It looks great in the office, but in the living room I'd probably put more emphasis on design. Chord clearly offers more to the eye! That is so. Here you have a clearly technically oriented device.
 
May 31, 2020 at 12:06 PM Post #2,502 of 4,643

betula

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With RME you always have to see the price. It's simply unique, what's offered for the money, plus Made in Germany in excellent quality.

What I really appreciate is like a Swiss Army pocket knife. You can really do everything with it and everything possible and impossible can be adjusted. That's what I appreciate. The amplifier is also excellent, certainly not by far the most powerful, so the iCan offers me much more power, but is definitely enough for 90% of all headphones. In addition, there is an IEM output. It doesn't rustle, doesn't make any noise and has many finesses, which it reveals only at the second glance.

One of them is the automatic recognition of which outputs are used. If you plug in headphones, the volume increases very slowly from ZERO. If it is set too high, you can still react before your ears blow up. Just happened to me yesterday. I was able to unplug it quickly.

If you have the headphones on and turn the unit on, you can't hear anything! With the iFi you always hear a very strong crackling in your ears! Partly very unpleasant. You can see from such details that they have put a lot of thought into the development. Once again, the basic device was a pure studio device, which is actually a somewhat slimmed down version for the consumer sector. Therefore, also optically rather cool, function clearly before design. You can see that. It looks great in the office, but in the living room I'd probably put more emphasis on design. Chord clearly offers more to the eye! That is so. Here you have a clearly technically oriented device.
I agree. The RME's price to performance ratio is unbeatable. And the amount of engineering went into this unit is simply unmatched for this amount of money. RME is clearly and rightfully proud of it when they include a 70 page long booklet as users manual.

The iCan is a great amp, I had the joy of testing them. You are right though, you don't really need an additional amp with the ADI2 with 90% of the headphones unless you are after a different flavour. I am personally not a big fan of 'flavoured' sound, so trying to aim at the highest level of clarity.
 
May 31, 2020 at 12:16 PM Post #2,503 of 4,643

Slim1970

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I can't compare the H2 and the RME directly, but about two years ago I had a Hugo2 for a few weeks with me and I loved it. I also used to own the Mojo and the TT2. I generally like Chord sound. From memory the H2 was very detailed and well balanced.
What I like in the RME is the extra dynamism, slam and bass quantity. Chord devices are somewhat more refined and more lifelike in general, but not as punchy and 'bassy' as the RME. With electronic music the RME is a joy. With acoustic I would probably go with Chord.
I wish I could directly compare the RME and the H2. I am actually getting so curious, I might buy a secondhand H2 to see which one I would prefer now.
That said, I don't really need a transportable and battery powered device, regardless how fabulous Chord stuff sounds.
And the RME is absolutely insane value for money, for sure.

If Chord put a headphone out on the Qutest or came up with a similar device, that would probably be a tough call.
What you just said it what gives the RME the edge in sound over the Hugo 2. Despite all the Hugo 2's innate traits, sometimes I find it lacks some musicality. It's just too straightforward with some headphones. The RME has a much better musical delivery and that's with every headphone I put through it so far.
 
May 31, 2020 at 12:41 PM Post #2,504 of 4,643

betula

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What you just said it what gives the RME the edge in sound over the Hugo 2. Despite all the Hugo 2's innate traits, sometimes I find it lacks some musicality. It's just too straightforward with some headphones. The RME has a much better musical delivery and that's with every headphone I put through it so far.
I am not sure if it is musicality. Perhaps musical intensity?
 
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May 31, 2020 at 12:48 PM Post #2,505 of 4,643

jkpenrose

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What you just said it what gives the RME the edge in sound over the Hugo 2. Despite all the Hugo 2's innate traits, sometimes I find it lacks some musicality. It's just too straightforward with some headphones. The RME has a much better musical delivery and that's with every headphone I put through it so far.

Ive been evaluating dacs and pretty much have things nailed down to RME, Bifrost 2 or Qutest... All have great reputations, fans and slightly different use cases/value propositions and of course price points :)

Interestingly they all eschew the common delta sigma implementation for their own secret sauce.

I came across an interesting interview with Rob Watts of chord dacs about his design philosophy...

He is focused on transients and timing cues, which he says our brain is way more sensitive to than frequency response or bit depth.

Also says important to measure and listen becuase while 'measurements can tell you if something sounds bad, they can't tell you if something sounds good' because certain things we don't know how to measure - but they certainly impact sound quality...

Pretty technical, but I found it very interesting...

 

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