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RME ADI-2 DAC Thread

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  1. tekkster
    One other problem I have with a lot of gear that the ADI-2 and H2 does well.

    Some instruments aren't easily recognizable on some songs. Like light cymbal staccato hits, snare drum rim taps, etc. For these also, just like with detail retrieval. The ADI-2 does a much better job than many other DACs I have. But the H2 does edge out the ADI-2 just a wee bit.

    Again, that's similar in my subjective scoring.
    - H2 - 93/100
    - ADI-2 - 90/100
    - iFi DSD BL - 78/100
    - Jotunheim - 76/100 (gen 1)
    - MacBook Pro - 63/100
    - iPhone 8 - 60/100
    unmaker and alphanumerix1 like this.
  2. GrussGott
    My lord, this is probably the greatest reply i've ever gotten on any forum - gold standard stuff here, @tekkster , thank you so much for such a thorough, thoughtful, valuable response!

    Arniesb, alphanumerix1 and tekkster like this.
  3. alphanumerix1
    Considering the price gap between the H2 and adi2 thats quite good.

    What headphones did you use to come to that conclusion above?
    tekkster likes this.
  4. tekkster
    Hd800, utopia, kse1200, t1, and cascade. Thos are my fastest headphones.
    Hoping to one day add stax sr009s...one day...maybe...maybe i’ll win the lottery too....
    alphanumerix1 likes this.
  5. tekkster
    I'm actually hoping that in 2020, RME uses all the same sound shaping features + visualization features and base it on the newer Verita AK4497EQ chip. I probably wouldn't notice a big difference, if at all. Single chip would be fine for me, of course, as dual chip usages like in the Gustard A20H is not really a big deal for me. What impresses me most about RME is their ability to get the most out of a chip, and really leverage all of its capabilities. I suspect (without knowing) that other DAC manufacturers focus on getting a singular sound from a DAC chip and don't focus as much on finer capabilities of the DAC chip to get the most out of it, and also adding that wonderful pre-DAC DSP processor.

    For example, the DAC I mentioned about, the Gustard A20H, uses two AK4497EQ chips, and yet it doesn't have many EQ features or a visualizer, doesn't have preset saving ability.

    As much as I love the RME ADI-2 DAC and reach for it every day despite having more expensive gear, I'm constantly looking for how my experience might change with whatever is on the horizon....It's probably some kind of mild mental disorder.

    One last note: I feel pretty lucky to have discovered the ADI-2. And it's thanks to head-fi, and this thread in particular. If not for everyone here, I never would have bought it.
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2018
    unmaker and GrussGott like this.
  6. Tsukuyomi
    I want RME to use USB-C hahaha, actually i want everyone to make USB-C standard. its kinda ridiculous now a days that it isnt standard. i can only see benefits when it comes to data transfer, usability and build quality and durability.
    tekkster likes this.
  7. oqvist
    Hade my RME ADI-2 for some days. I read here that there is some kind of hifi mode where you disable all processing or something after some firmware patch. But I can´t find any info how to activate it from downloading manual from homepage or reading the readmes?
    As for the DAC I can´t tell the difference from my Audio GD Reference 9. It´s a good sign. I could fit what 6-8 ADI-2s in that beast with it´s triple R-cores :)
  8. Phoniac
    If you have a ADI-2 DAC then the 'HiFi mode' is the whole unit. A special setting for home use is only available on the ADI-2 Pro, which lets it work like the DAC, so to say.
  9. AlanU
    I'm currently not looking for a headphone amp but if you own a Mytek Brooklyn I'd suggest ditching the IEC cord and purchasing an Sbooster or go DC battery.

    I recently just bought a Mytek Liberty for the purpose of using an inexpensive solid state dac with my Simaudio amp stereo setup in my home. I was extremely impressed modifying a Lithium 10,000 maH 12V battery pack to feed power to the DAC. The change in sound quality was dramatic!!

    I will say the Brooklyn Dac + is very impressive in refined sound. I just recently auditioned an Aurus Audio HA2 SE feeding it with a Liberty dac and it was pure bliss. This was with using the IEC cord too so that wasn't even maximizing SQ.

    At the end of the day your ears get accustomed to a sound signature so if your happy that's all that matters. I wish the RME was in stock :frowning2: it's sold out locally.
    Anaz and knopi like this.
  10. Captain Koons
    How is the sound quality of the RME compared to the LP RS-06? I've narrowed my search down to these 2, with the RME ticking the right boxes on features but I've read comments about the RME sound 'lacking' in something. I don't need the amp, I'll be feeding my tube amps so that's not a problem. At roughly the same price, is the RS06 sound THAT much better to overlook the features of the RME?
  11. Dave S
    Can't compare with the LP as I do not own one but the RME ADI-2 DAC has replaced my Hugo 2 and Gungnir Multibit.

    The sound is neutral and very precise, the ADI-2 does not add anything or take anything away, this is exactly what I was looking for in a DAC.

    This is my current system:-

    Simaudio Moon 260D CD Transport - RME ADI-2 DAC - Naim Nait XS 2 - AE Reference 1 - Sennheiser HD800
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2018
    IneffableMusic and bidn like this.
  12. Anaz
    How would you compare the ADI-2 to the Hugo 2 when both are used as a DACs. I like the ADI-2 for being accurate and detailed but I also like the sonic signature of a Mojo (my typical useage is connected via Toslink and used as a DAC) and was thinking of getting a Qutest or Hugo 2.

    I think the Mojo is more grainy / conveys less detail than the ADI-2. However, to my ears, the Mojo increases treble, which for me works well with a Focal Clear.
    bidn likes this.
  13. Dave S
    They are very close, but I would say that the mid range is more detailed in the ADI-2 with the treble in the Hugo 2 being a little more airy, but I feel this is a little unnatural and synthetic...

    The problem with the ADI-2 is it is not plug and play, it took some time to get it to play nice with my Naim amp, the factory defaults are very good but with some tweaking it is now exceptional!

    I listen mainly through speakers...
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2018
    bidn, tekkster and Anaz like this.
  14. Anaz
    Thank you for the feedback. What settings have you changed with your ADI-2? the only setting I’ve stayed with as standard is the slow filter (plus RME’s posted EQ settings when listening to 44.1 or 48 kHz).
  15. Dave S
    As I am feeding the CD input of my amp and not headphones the main change was from +7dbu 0.0 to +13dbu -6.0, with +7dbu 0.0 I had issues with sound stage and minor distortions, with +13dbu -6.0 the sound opened up and there was zero issues with the sound. I need to ask RME about this, very strange!

    I am still playing with the filters so will report back.

    What are the RME EQ settings?
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2018
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