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RME ADI-2 DAC Thread

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  1. mixman
    What are some other great amp pairings with the ADI?
  2. Relaxasaurus
    So my ADI-2's USB port stopped working today (similar to that other guy's) and a sense of dread came over me, especially since I've just purchased the device about a month ago. Tried optical, it worked. Went back to USB and no dice. Tried exclusive mode in Tidal, then also setting it as the default device in Windows' control panel. Same result. YouTube still had no audio and the graphic EQ was lifeless even though Windows said it was sending an audio signal through:


    So I ran Windows Update and restarted my computer. Then I unplugged the ADI's power supply and waited until the blue light went dark. I pressed the power button on the unit itself to make sure there was no juice. Plugged it back in, turned it on, pressed play in Tidal and EUREKA! We have motion on the EQ. Sound? Works!

    I have a sinking suspicion the issue is with the unit itself vs my computer as I have other USB audio devices that this doesn't happen to. If it happens to you try unplugging the ADI, wait 30 seconds then try again.
  3. Phoniac
    Not at all. The ADI would no longer be shown in the Device Manager then. The fact it was still there points to a simple playback hickup. Maybe you get another chance to figure that one out.
    Relaxasaurus likes this.
  4. bidn

    the ADI 2 DAC (apparently in power, high gain mode at +4 V, ie. the measurements might have even be better in normal, low gain mode) was retested on the audio science site with the newest Audio Precision analyzer:


    What is nice about this is that it allows to compare its SINAD value to many other devices measured with this AP analyzer:

    - Its DAC measured at the XLR out is among the best though not the best of those measurements. The Chord Qutest has a better SINAD, I guess this would confirm Tekster's findings in this thread that his Chord Hugo 2 (same or better DAC as Qutest?) has a better a SQ than his RME ADI 2.

    - Its DAC measured at the IEM output has even better measurements, but I didn't see a comparative SINAD value for that.

    - Its amp has the best SQ measurements of those tested, incl. the THX AAA 789 ( which is still very close) and a Lake People (= Vioelectric) amp . Unfortunately they aren't as many amp measurements as DACs' on this site.
    This confirms the findings of the Head-Fi members of this thread that external amps connected to their ADI-2 have a lower SQ than the SQ of the mere output of the integrated amp of their ADI-2 (I have the same experience when connecting external amps to my RME ADI-2 Pro).

    I wish they would test with the same Audio Precision analyzer the SQ of the balanced (with its 2 DAC chips, one per channel) output of the RME ADI-2 PRO FS versus its single-ended output (using a single DAC chip like the ADI-2).

    All the best,
    Last edited: May 17, 2019
    cardeli22, amirm and CaptainFantastic like this.
  5. Baten
    Aren't you looking at the 50mV table here? This is performance at lower output like for sensitive IEMs. Also, 91/90 dB is practically the same performance anyway.

    The THX still has more power since it has 3 gain switches in single ended, and quadruple the power in balanced. So no I would not say the ADI-2 amp is better than the THX AAA, although one could say the internal amp would suffice for most users.
  6. mixman
    I find that the THX AAA and the RME amp to be on about the same level in SQ. They do sound different, but I cannot say one is clearly better than the other. I want to buy an amp that is better in sound and output, preferably balanced too. Seems like the Monoprice Liquid Platinum is the minimum that fits that criteria. Other than that I cannot think of another amp that meets those different criteria until you hit about the $1,500 range like the Soundaware P1, Audiogd Master 9 and maybe a GSX mini.
  7. protoss
    If you have to pick one. Whats better from the amp section. The THX or RME?
  8. mixman
    I generally use the THX. It has a more tubelike sound. It has better depth and a less analytical sound. The RME is a little brighter, I use that when I want a brighter more analytical sound.
  9. CaptainFantastic
    Funny how differently people hear things. Some reviews say the THX is transparent and analytical, certainly not warm.
    Darthpool and Baten like this.
  10. Baten
    I think honestly it is the lack of distortion that makes it warm/laid-back/unfatiguing. And it's harmonic distortion that makes other devices sound "lively" and "fatiguing".

    On the other hand I'm having a hard time believing someone could listen blind to volume matched RME and THX and differentiate. Their performance should be the same!

    but what do I know.. :)
  11. Relaxasaurus
  12. VRacer-111
    RME is very good for many headphones, but certain ones just don't sync well with it... Fostex biodynas being one of them. My STAX L300 Limited will outdo the Fostex TH-X00 Purpleheart in subbass impact when both using the RME ADI-2 (as preamp for my estat rig). The TH-X00 Purpleheart on Gustard X20U DAC and H10 amp is a whole different ballgame...
  13. mixman
    Didn’t say the THX was necessarily warm but just warmer sounding than the RME. Overall it is probably pretty neutral with the RME being a touch bright. Now bright was the Topping Dx7s. That was just bright.
  14. mixman
    Why, you don’t think amps can sound different?
  15. butch111
    Monoprice Liquid Platinum or THX? hmmmmm............opinions please! :slight_smile:
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