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RME ADI-2 DAC Thread

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  1. Satcher
    Gotta say, it's amazing how any listener can interpret their audio gear in completely different ways, but that's what makes this hobby interesting (and frustrating at the same time).

    I had the iFi Micro BL and while I enjoyed the hell outta the thing, the brief moments when you pause a song and start playing something else and encounter the cut off due to its energy saver mode (I vaguely recall that was the cause of the songs not playing immediately after a pause, correct me if I'm wrong) was a real deal breaker for me. I also recall in these sorts of instances, there was audible hiss in the background with sensitive IEMs like the Andromeda. This was easily fixed if you used the IEmatch feature, which I did use, but because I felt like I wasn't getting the "punch" I wanted in my music like I did on normal mode, I didn't use it often. The extra bass boost switch and 3d settings were fun to use, but I wanted more control.

    The RME ADI-2 DAC is just so seamless and customizable, and it lends itself wonderfully to really detailed oriented headphones/IEMs. While it isn't as powerful as other headphone amps/dacs I've tried over the past year or so, I find it to be very sufficient and plenty loud with the likes of the HD 800 at around -15db in hi-power mode and it's able to keep that impressive feat while retaining a black background when I wanted to use the Flamenco via the IEM port (I really love how it tracks the last settings you used when using a particular port, a really awesome/understated feature in my eyes); I can't emphasize enough how hard it is find a headphone amp that's able to juggle both without introducing that annoying hiss due to amount of power drawn for sensitive gear, even those that are advertised as IEM amps (I'm looking at you CMA400i / WA8 Eclipse, I could still hear that hiss). The RME ADI-2 DAC is the only one I found to be legitmately pitch black. The overall sound signature doesn't stand out, but I feel like that's something a solid state amp should strive for when you're wanting something truly transparent in a studio type of environment, and this thing does it easily while giving you plenty of options to tweak it that a lot of users aren't really taking advantage of.

    It's just a little disappointing that some of the common complaints about the RME ADI-2 DAC stem from people saying there isn't anything that "wows" them about the unit, but they gloss over all its features or ignore the benefits it brings compared to other offerings. At the current price point, this thing really is a steal and I absolutely adored it since I first got it.
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2018
  2. Hellraiser86
    The RME has a awesome integration of the 4490 AKM converter (the headphone amp is also good but not at the same level) and that's why even mastering studios (another example Sonarworks.they use it for headphone measurements for their Reference software which is also used in many studios) around the globe appreciate this little beauty - but of course mostly the pro edition because of the ADC.
    yogibeezwax and bidn like this.
  3. yogibeezwax
    Absolutely loving this gem of a DAC (that's how I'm using it now) and in comparison to my Ha-1, this beauty is silent.regardless of cranking it to the max or turning it way down low...just so clean! Glad your happy with it too @Satcher
    alphanumerix1 and bidn like this.
  4. lucadoc
    Hi all,

    I'd like to find a good dac with pre function to directly connect to my power Amp Arcam P 1000 (it has rca and xlr inputs). My source is a pc with foobar so I can use USB or optical out.

    Do you think that this rme could be a good option or there are other Dac pre like topping or gustard that I could choose?
  5. Collusion[FIN]
    FYI: There's a new alternative for the ADI-2 DAC ( from RME ): ADI-2 FS


    It omits the DSP functionality, as well as some HP functionality. But it actually ads an A/D stage. The D/A stage seems to be identical to ADI-2 DAC ( specifications wise at least ). It is also somewhat cheaper than ADI-2 DAC at 700€.
  6. boxerlc
    I compared Adi2 DAC and chord 2qute before, both using USB as input.

    I think 2qute has better sound quality. The reasons are: Both DACs have enough detials, however 2qute has more control over the sound when music gets complicated and fast; 2qute is more transparent and light providing more convincing texture of the instruments, while Adi2 sounds plain and even a little dull.

    Adi2 has a really good amp section which I think is really good for grado headphones, my GH2s never sound better on my standalone amp. The interface, functionality and the build quality are both really good.

    I bought Adi2 DAC thought it might be an upgrade to my original 2qute, but it's not, so I later got rid of both of them and got a quest. Didn't compare quest with either of those 2, but I think it's a conservative upgrade.
    alphanumerix1 likes this.
  7. cerilia
    I don't know if I have something misconfigured or if it's just a really poor pairing, but I find the ADI-2 DAC unlistenable through the Focal Clears. This is coming from the HD650.
    alphanumerix1 likes this.
  8. yogibeezwax
    Would you mind clarifying?
    What's the input?
    Is it a issue of volume?
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2018
  9. kino lau
    Welcome to the club. I played with the 2 DAC for a couple weeks and sent it back. I read in an earlier post that "People are always looking for a Wow factor out of new equipment." Well YEAH...that's the ONLY reason I spend $1K on a new piece of gear. If I wanted to continue to hear marginal...I'll bring my Gen I X5 in from the car and use that as my desktop...lol
    alphanumerix1 likes this.
  10. sodesuka
    FWIW, I prefer ADI-2 than Hugo 2 right now. And yes, the difference is marginal (and highly subjective), or at least it's not $2K worth.

    It's all about what you want to hear out of your setup and pairing of course, ADI-2 is transparent as it doesn't add or take away anything to the recording which is a negative for some people. Hugo 2 is all about clarity through the roof... and will make it abundantly clear to you just how laser focused it is at its task especially with bright-ish cans.

    It's also really easy to mess up the sounds with the setting on ADI-2, I once set width or smth to 0 thinking 100 was not the correct neutral one, but turned out it turned everything to Mono. So yeah, RTFM is pretty essential with ADI-2.
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2018
    bidn and Anaz like this.
  11. Anaz
    I'm listening to music right now on a Focal x Massdrop Elex through an RME ADI-2 DAC and I think the sound is perfectly fine.

    Edit: For the record the ADI-2’s amp is too neutral for my taste without activating the “loudness” setting and I usually use a separate amp anyway, but I wouldn’t call the ADI-2’s amp unlistenable by any stretch. Try switching on the ADI-2’s loudness setting for a more euphoric sound.
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2018
  12. chungjun
  13. tekkster
    I don't see the ADI-2 listed as among the devices this firmware will update.
    Have you applied the firmware to the ADI-2?
  14. devante1977
    DAC = ADI-2
  15. tekkster
    Ahhh, of course. Thanks.
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