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RME ADI-2 DAC Thread

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  1. Slaphead
    OK you need a 101 on EQ

    So check this out - https://www.wikihow.com/Use-a-Graphic-Equalizer

    Once you've read that you can then play with the PEQ in the ADI-2. Each press of the volume rotary encoder will move you to the next higher frequency band (or slider) and then twist the volume encoder to either increase or decrease the gain in that frequency band.

    Once you've got that you can the start using the other rotary encoders to define Q - the range of frequencies that will be affected, and F where you adjust the frequency points where the gain is centred

    Remember very left is bass and very right is treble.

    Just play with it and you'll get it.
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2019
  2. MagnusH
    Speaking of EQ, I use Roon for digital room correction (measured and convolution filter generated from REW), and that works good but for one little annoyance: clipping. That is of course solvable by giving the sound some headroom in Roon, but would that be needed if I did the left/right PEQ in the RME ADI-2 DAC? I seem to recall reading about some internal headroom in the DAC.
  3. technobear
    In much less time than it would take to explain, you could just try them and see what happens. You get instant feedback from the graph after all!
  4. MikeW
    Once you've figured out the frequency range of Bass, and Bass Instruments, Vocals, Male and Female, and high sounds like Cymbals, and you've played with the EQ a bit, you can then either measure your room with a mic and software to see were it may have Peaks, related to room size, and position of speakers. Then you can EQ them out, or you can look up Frequency curve's of your headphone, and also adjust accordingly. It's incredibly powerful and can really nail down the experience, once you get it right. This the whole idea behind SonarWorks TrueFi .. which I tried and did like, but it's buggy as ****, and does not bypass the windows mixer.

    Edit: I found the program "SineGen" to be really helpful when manually EQ'ing peaks, and just generally learning what a given frequency sounds like. It's freeware and very simple to use. It's a tone Generator that will play specific frequencies, using it I quickly identified very loud and obvious room peaks at 60 and 130 HZ on my power monitors. I was able to apply a large cut to those area's and greatly increase my enjoyment of the monitors. The bass now sounds impactful and sharp, punchy, with no room added muddiness. This is applied, systemwide, at the hardware level, without any special software, and without regard to content, it works on games, youtube, spotify, or tidal... it just works. That's why you buy a device like RME-ADI 2 DAC.
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2019
  5. pororom
    I took advantage of a JRiver Master offer to try it on my Mac Mini.
    So far I have used Audirvana plus 3.
    It is leaving me very impressed (configured in improved sampling with Sox mode to 192).
    More details and more amplitude than Audirvana and better management of background noise inherent in the recordings.
    Enjoying with ADI, my first equalization experiment and my Denon AH-7200 connected to Iem output...
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2019
  6. mixman
    How do most of you hook up an external head amp like a THX 789 to your RME’s? i use my XLR outputs to feed my Adam A5X monitor speakers, So can I use the 1/4" headphone out to the THX input?
  7. MikeW
    The unit also has single ended rca output in addition to balanced output. I’d use the rca line out.

    Using the headphone out is not recommended, you’d be double amping. And adding the RME’s head amp flavor to your THX. Not a good idea
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2019
    cardeli22 likes this.
  8. mixman
    I read the manual, but did not see where if you have the RCA output going to a head amp, that the XLR output would mute. I have my speakers on the XLR outputs and obviously I don't want them playing at the same time as I am using the THX and I don't want to have to physically turn off my speakers manually every time I use the RCA's.
  9. captblaze
    I believe you are correct regarding being unable to switch the analog outputs off independently and would have to power down your speakers
  10. mixman
    That’s what I thought. Which is the reason why I mentioned using the head amp output, but I guess that would be overkill as far as doubling up on sound signatures and maybe signal?
  11. captblaze
    can you use the head amp as a preamp to power the speakers and have headphone out?

    I have a tube amp that cuts the analog out when a headphone is attached
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2019
  12. Phoniac
    I disagree. The headphone out does not have any flavour, it is absolutely clean, and can operate as perfect line output (that is also mentioned somewhere in the manual). Just unbalanced, but due to 0.1 ohms better than any other line output, as it completely takes the cable quality out of the picture.

    Adding the THX789 at this output lets you change the output at the DAC and gives volume ramping etc.

    Personally I think the 789 makes no sense behind the DAC, unless you use exotic low sensitivity phones like the HE-6 and K1000. You even loose all the protection circuits/functions that RME added to the ADI-2 DAC, because the output no longer draws current. From what I read the 789 has some protection too, but due to its much too high output power it will fry your phones in case of error even with protection... IMHO...
    Giacomino and bidn like this.
  13. MikeW
    Do whatever you want, if you don't mind your signal going though an additional dozen op-amps and who knows what cap's before it get's to your 789, more power to you. Listen to them and make up your own mind.

    @ Phoniac, im curious what you mean by the 789 not being worth it behind the DAC. Are you implying that the built in head-amp is equal to or greater than the 789. If so, how did you come to that conclusion? This is an honest question, I want to be clear that im not being sarcastic, as Im considering pairing these two together myself. If you have experience directly with the two, I'd love to hear it. My main phone right now is HD650.

    As far as my experience, I still don't have as much head-time as i'd like, with a broken in unit. But I have the ADI-2 DAC paired with the Schiit Jotunheim. I have been trying out the built in head-amp, and the Jotunheim. At first I felt the Jotunheim was clearly superior, but i've been burning in the head-amp, and doing more critical listening. Now im not so sure, it seems more a preference of flavor then technical ability. While the Jotunheim is technically capable of pumping more power into a 300 ohm load, neither device is wanting for power/volume.

    I find the bass notes clearer, and the high's also clearer on the Built in amp. Though the Jotunhiem tends to be more "3D", and tends to be superior with regards to image, and placement of instruments. It's bass also hits a bit harder, but is not cleaner.

    Jotunheim is superior with regards to a sense of "Air" and feeling the room. Perhaps slightly more "natural". It's not cut and dry though, as the ADI's built in amp does have superior resolution across the board, with regards to bass and high's. Neither are sibilant or harsh with the ADI's dac driving things.

    I find Jotunheim more musical, and ADI leaving me wanting, for something.. I do want to pair it with a higher end amp. Im considering, THX789, Schiit Valhalla 2, Monoprice Liquid Platinum, Nerochrome HPA-1, LYR3, or perhaps Feliks.

    A quick comparison to my previous DAC, Schiit Bimby GEN5:

    Find the RME to be far more detailed, with more resolution, and a much cleaner presentation overall. The various feature's of the unit are a huge bonus, particularly the PEQ, crossfeed, volume control, multiple out's, etc.

    Bimby simply "falls apart" at certain types of content, this is true for Mimby and Multibit Dac module as well. All three are more "Natural" sounding then RME ADI-2. Though, that said, I find RME-ADI-2 to be warm-neutral, and quite pleasant to listen to, I would not call it Sabre clinical. Certain passages of music cause Bimby/MImby/Multibit Module to fail, spectacularly, the RME-ADI-2 has none of this, for awhile I thought it was Jotunheim, but it's in fact the lower end schiit multibit dac's. A great example of this behavior is in the track "Everyone's looking for home" by Sam Outlaw. At about 2 minutes in, there's a huge horn crecendo, all of the lower end schiit multibit just sounds awful in this passage. To be fair, the bimby sounds far better then the Multibit Module, but it's not close to the RME-ADI-2 here. I found this "issue" with these lower end multibit options particularly irritating. I don't know if the problem persist with Gungnir and/or Yggdrasil.

    According to RME the ADI-2 DAC needs no break in. I don't agree based on what I've heard with the unit. Sounds kind of plastic at first, it takes 100 hours or so before it open's up. (particularly, the head-amp)
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2019
  14. Phoniac
    MikeW, I also don't want to be sarcastic or attacking anyone, just simply present a few easy to research facts.

    But there are not many facts in this statement. You are not aware that the ADI-2 DAC is fully DC coupled? Not a single capacitor in the signal path. Also the number of op-amps in the signal path doesn't differ between XLR output and phones output. What you wrote would happen if inside the unit the phones circuit is getting its signal from the XLR outputs. I am sure this is not the case. The unit has 4 reference levels for the XLR and RCA output, but only two for the phones output. The logical reason for me is that both circuits get their signal directly from the DAC itself, in parallel. I also don't think RME would be so stupid to take the phones signal from the XLR output and pass it through another gain stage - that really makes no sense.

    I have the HD650 as well, the ADI can drive the HD650 into distortion when set to High Power, more power is really not needed. So what advantage can the THX unit give then? Less noise, less THD, more transparent sound? None of them. The limiting factor is the DAC chip of the ADI-2 DAC, not the headphone amp. No matter if you use the internal one or the THX, noise and distortion will be identical, and both are known to be highly transparent sounding. If you need to change the sound colour you seem to look for the wrong amp.

    You are looking for small nuances only. Why not use the tools built into the ADI-2 DAC to give you whatever sound you like? Bass and Treble as well as the PEQ and the different filters gives you a lot to play with. Using it very carefully (1 or 2 dB of attenuation or gain) might give you the small changes in sound that you like.

    Edit: if you want to know the details of internal signal paths you should ask in the RME forum where the designers of the ADI-2 DAC answer questions.
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2019
    BurritoJustice likes this.
  15. Arniesb
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