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RME ADI-2 DAC Thread

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  1. MagnusH
    Yes, I read that, but those measurements tends to be with a clean signal. Measure the USB output and toslink output from a regular desktop computer, and it will look very different. The reason I like toslink is because it won't carry over any electronic noise, no matter the source.
  2. MikeW
    Perhaps, ancedotal reports of de-crapifier's combined with RME tend to suggest a high end USB implementation as well. I've got a W4S Recovery hooked to mine, but I've not tried disconnecting it and comparing yet. Toslink does have the advantage of innate galvanic isolation, but the disadvantage of higher base jitter. I don't know if the RME's USB is galvanically isolated. Other's have compared the various input options, failing to find any significant difference.
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2019
  3. captblaze
    I am on my second ADI-2 day and I am slowly having all my preconceived notions and beliefs regarding digital audio stripped away and I am ok with that
  4. CaptainFantastic
    End game under 1000€. Perfect.
  5. MikeW
    Been living with Multi-Bit Schiit dac's for a couple years now, so im having a bit harder time adjusting. Wrapping my head around this newer sound profile will take a little time. I can say the ADI-2 does not "Embarrass" the Bifrost Multibit Gen5. It's definitely on another level with regard to detail/resolution. Schiit's multibit products have a nice tonality to them though, and have a more 3D presentation. I love the features so far, lots of fun stuff to tinker with. I really love the way this dac does Bass and Crystal clear high's without harshness, you can really hear deep into the music. It does these things better then Bifrost MB. Bifrost almost sounds "Tubey" or "Holographic". Im not sure that's a desirable trait in a DAC, but I enjoy it. Obviously ADI-2 is in another world when it comes to measurements. I knew that from the beginning. But I don't ascribe to the Measurements > all theory. I don't currently own any tube gear, but i've owned and enjoyed it in the past.

    I've been listening to the Built in headphone amp for awhile, I also have a Jotunheim here, and prefer it to the built in amp, with HD650. Perhaps an unfair comparison, as JOT can put ~800 mw into 300 ohm's vs only 300 mw from the ADI-2. Jotunheim has superior tonality/bass slam/dynamic's, perhaps a bit less resolution. I don't know how the ADI-2's headamp compares to Magni3, JDS ATOM, or Monoprice Spark, I bet those would probably be side-grades more then upgrades though, probably not worth the effort. My Multibit Jot's currently for sale, and I don't have another amp available so will likely use the built-in for a bit. Considering amp options... THX789, Gilmore Lite MK2, LYR3, Monoprice LP, Valhalla, Felik's Elise.. ugh my head hurts. The thought also occured to ditch dynamic's and buy a high end IEM like Andromeda to pair with the ADI-2. But I know nothing of IEM's, never tried one, and don't know how they compare to dynamic phones of similar price.

    I did not buy it for use as an AIO though. While the tiny form factor and slick appearance is awesome, and it would be great to have an AIO. I've yet to find one that meets my performance requirements. Jotunheim also fails at this. The dac module's just are not good enough. If I had to live with one of them as an AIO though, it would be the RME ADI-2. As the discrepancy between it's DAC and JOT's dac is bigger then the discrepancy between their respective AMP sections.

    It's really hard to find an "endgame" AIO. I don't think one exist. I've read the Holo Cyan might be one of the best available.
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2019
  6. captblaze
    I'm not ready to say end game, but file type and power requirements are now irrelevant with this DAC
    Tsukuyomi likes this.
  7. Finale
    I am pairing the Adi2-dac with ATH-A2000Z and Focal Clear, and they sounds great! IMO, there really isn't much coloring to the sound, but that's what I love about the Adi2dac.
    Giacomino and captblaze like this.
  8. captblaze
    I'm on day 3 and still haven't bothered to figure out the PMEQ. been giving my nearfield setup some extra time and funny thing is I haven't gotten any request to slap on a set of headphones.

    have I finally convinced my wife this hobby is harmless? I don't really believe that, but for one day...
  9. MikeW
    The EQ's excellent. I EQ'ed my HD650's to harman curve and it's a huge bump up on sound quality. While the EQ can't erase the "sins" of the head-amp, it definitely helps. I want to try and EQ out some room problems on my LSR305's next. Bass slam improved alot, while not being muddy. Was surprised how well the headamp responded to EQ. Mid-range tonality is still subjectivly not as pleasant as my Jotunheim, but this amp may be a little better then i'd originally thought. I've also been burning the unit in for 3 days now 24/7.

    I do wonder if one would be better off pairing an ADI-2 with a high end 1k-1500$ IEM and using that as an AIO. Forgoing expensive headamp altogether.
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2019
  10. captblaze
    any resource you are willing to share regarding headphone EQ curves? I am looking to profile my collection, but would be willing to take a shorter route if possible
  11. MikeW
    I only EQ'ed my 650's, which have been around for a long time and people already know their trouble area's. Add little sub bass, and mid range with a big cut in the 8k area. If you have specific headphones in mind you can search for the headphone name + EQ and see if someone else has already figured out a harman curve. I found this thread interesting :


    I dialed in his harman settings for HD650 as closely as possible. Really made a difference with built in head-amp, great slam in hip-hop/edm. The EQ on this thing is way to good to ignore, and was a large part of my appeal. Im starting to appreciate the finer elements of the DAC now, I was not initially blown away, but as I get accustomed and spend more head time with the gear im enjoying it more. In my experience if a piece of gear has alot of immediate "wow" factor, that can actually be a red flag as you grow into the gear you may come to dislike whatever was drawing so much attention to itself in the beginning. Im not going to say DS is the king and Multibit is Audiophool BS, I think different strokes for different folks. I do plan to one day try out a Yggdrasil for example. Having spent the last couple of years with entry level Multibit, I wanted to try the other side for awhile. Though perhaps unfairly, as this is the highest end, most expensive piece of gear i've ever owned. I've dabbled and tweaked enough with Software EQ in the past to understand it's potential, but I've always been highly irritated with software EQ's limitations and headaches. Particularly the fact that you can't just dial in an EQ and have it "Just work" across the board, this is alot better on Mac, but really stinks on windows. I get most of my music though Tidal now a days, and I have a offline collection as well, Foobar is fantastic and has some really great EQ options, and even room correction plugins that are outstanding. But you can't apply it systemwide, and Equalizer APO cannot bypass the windows mixer, and I had clipping problems with it too. Not to mention EQ'ing, games, youtube, netflix etc..

    Last edited: Feb 3, 2019
    Quinto likes this.
  12. captblaze
    that is exactly what I am looking for

  13. technobear
    devante1977 likes this.
  14. Tsukuyomi
    So also spending the entire weekend with my RME ADI-2 DAC and i've noticed a few things.
    1. super tiny bit of warmth but only after leaving it on for most the entire day.
    2. the remote is a nice addition but as a desktop solution... i rarely ever use it.
    3. I LOVE THE TWISTY KNOBS! i know they're digital and not proper pots but oh man, such a great build quality feel.
    4. I leave my screen on all the time (i never use auto-dark) honestly its not even that bright to begin with so i dont see why that should matter to most.

    now my questions are as follows.
    Q1: has anyone noticed a sound change switching from USB-B to OPTICAL fiber ?
    Q2: the version is 26 right? just double checking.
    Docharsha89 and captblaze like this.
  15. captblaze
    I don't have an optical source, but I did switch between USB and Coax.

    still accessing which one I prefer, but neither has been an instant NO.

    Link to firmware -----> https://www.forum.rme-audio.de/viewforum.php?id=21
    Tsukuyomi likes this.
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