RME ADI-2 DAC

Discussion in 'Headphone Amplifiers and Combo (DAC/Amp) Units' started by Luckbad, Jan 12, 2018.

  1. NekoAudio

    NekoAudio Acquaintance

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    Confirmed in the RME forums that the ADI-2 DAC uses one AK4490 while the ADI-2 Pro uses two AK4490s (for managing two signals independently, not because it is a dual mono configuration).
     
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  2. GoodEnoughGear

    GoodEnoughGear Evil Dr. Shultz‎

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  3. SquiGGlez

    SquiGGlez Acquaintance

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    So the way it works on the pro is you can run two unbalanced headphone outputs at the same time, one headphone output and the outputs on the rear of the unit at the same time, or you can use both of the headphone outputs in a balanced mode which if I'm not mistaken uses both dacs and prevents you from using the rear outputs.

    It's very flexible.
     
  4. Clemmaster

    Clemmaster Friend

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    It's a pro device. No nonsense, maximum flexibility.
     
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  5. sorrodje

    sorrodje Carla Bruni's other lover - Friend

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    The pro version can be used as a digital interface in front of one or several dac(s) as well. you can also use ADI2-pro as a simple USB to SPDIF converter but also apply DSPs and different settings.

    For example, I plan to use a SMSL AD18 ( Full digital amplifier) for my speakers and apply room correction with my RME :)
     
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  6. Luckbad

    Luckbad Traded in a unicorn for a Corolla

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    The ADI-2 DAC has changed my mind about delta sigma chips being inherently crap. I really love this little thing.

    Even without exotic magic like crossfeed, loudness, or parametric equalization, I actually think it sounds very good. By sounds, I mean it seems about as neutral as a DAC can get if you apply no changes to the signal with it.

    The USB is good enough that paying for a Lynx or Focusrite product is unnecessary.

    The headphone amp is actually quite good. Neutral, powerful. It works well with the Sennheiser HD650, Audeze LCD2 Classic, and Future Sonics Spectrum G10. Am I also coming around to the use of op-amps?

    I grabbed what looks to be a decent power supply (but not the RME PSU because it ain't cheap) and will try to lug this back and forth to work throughout the week.
     
  7. Collusion

    Collusion Friend

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    So I take this it sounds analytical, but not clinical?
     
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  8. SquiGGlez

    SquiGGlez Acquaintance

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    The ADI-2 uses new TI chips (OPA1688) which were designed for audio applications. I don't think I've seen them used elsewhere yet, not sure why but in any event I agree RME's implementation here is very clean and powerful.

    This thing kind of erases a lot of old notions about hi-fi gear as you've pointed out and let's not forget it's doing it with a switch mode power supply as well lol.
     
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  9. Taverius

    Taverius Smells like sausages

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    RME is big in live music, the gear runs on 12v dc - and cleans it up, hard - so it's easy to power from whatever is at hand.

    I mean, petrol/diesel generators (or running cars) don't particularly make the cleanest audiophile power y'know :D
     
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  10. gbeast

    gbeast Mighty Moral Power Ranger

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    I confirm this.

    This is an awesome little unit.

    Very clean and clear with no grain and the headphone amp has control with the 650 and others. Now I don't feel so bad about eventually having to sell my pavane.

    Possibly the most impressive unit for the price I have heard on a first listen. More time will see how it holds up.
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2018
  11. Biodegraded

    Biodegraded Friend

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    I must respectfully disagree. I was lucky(?) enough to spend Thanksgiving 1998 in the late-lamented Mountain Top Surf Club in Choteau, Montana (motto/bumper sticker: Clinton slept here, but not with me). Thanks to an early hunting-season drunk driver taking out the one critical power-pole, the bar was run all night from the generator of the owner's truck. The locals were unanimous that the evening's entertainment - a cowboy one-man band playing Beatles songs in waltz time - had never sounded better.
     
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  12. Colgin

    Colgin Friend

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    Any chance you tried this with the PMx2. At the NY mini-meet I love the ADI-2-pro running balanced with the PMx2. Would love to save money by not paying for pro features I don't need (and would love a remote as well), but am wondering whether magic would be lost not having the balanced option.
     
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  13. Luckbad

    Luckbad Traded in a unicorn for a Corolla

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    Couple notes...
    • @Colgin Given that it does a surprisingly good job powering HD650s, I imagine it can hand PMx2s. How demanding and amp-picky are they? The HD650s are better from the Liquid Crimson for sure, but they sound great from the ADI-2 DAC. Audeze LCD2 Classics sound nearly as good from the RME as the Cavalli (blasphemy). It looks like in Hi-Power mode it can pump 1.5 Watts into 32 Ohms (vs. 100mW in Lo-Power).
    • Someone on HF was complaining about click/pop sounds when you change digital filters. I never mentioned it because I assumed it was normal. It is. It's inherent to the DAC chip and there's nothing RME can do about it. Don't worry about it. You'll get a momentary click sometimes when switching to a different filter.
    • Speaking of filters, I find myself migrating to the Short Delay Slow filter most of the time. No particular reasons I can enunciate other than "it sounds good to me."
    • I've started transporting it in a carrying case to work daily because I miss it when I don't have it around.
    • It's been great with my Future Sonics Spectrum G10 IEMs.
    • I mentioned that I often use Crossfeed and Loudness. I only use Loudness when I listen at low volume (I just turn it all the way off otherwise). Crossfeed I do tend to use with the LCD2Cs but generally not with the HD650s.
    • I've been trying to decide if I hear any clear differences between its USB alone and having a Schiit Wyrd in front of it. Maybe the Wyrd combo sounds a little more clinical? Probably in my head. I'm just leaving the Wyrd out of the chain because it seems unneeded.
    • I picked up a Chanzon 12V 5A power adapter for work so I can disconnect the power at home and transport the unit alone. It's been working great for me so far and is actually UL listed unlike a lot of the PSUs I saw on Amazon.
    • The optical input is even surprisingly good coming straight out of my motherboard. Magical jitter correction or some such.
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2018
  14. Taverius

    Taverius Smells like sausages

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    I've noticed that in other gear that supports ADAT, I guess the 4ns jitter built into toslink aren't in any way suitable for pro work.
     
  15. cskippy

    cskippy Creamy warmpoo

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    Does this require external power or can it be run off USB?
     
  16. GoodEnoughGear

    GoodEnoughGear Evil Dr. Shultz‎

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    9-15 volt required, 8w.
     
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  17. mitochondrium

    mitochondrium Friend

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  18. GoodEnoughGear

    GoodEnoughGear Evil Dr. Shultz‎

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    I stand corrected, I was just looking at the labeling on the power socket:

    [​IMG]
     
  19. mitochondrium

    mitochondrium Friend

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    Then RME are missing one, too. ;)
     
  20. mitochondrium

    mitochondrium Friend

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    Maybe but Tungsten Carbide is so angular and cold, actually when I run my hand over my ADI-2 PRO it has a nice warm feeling to it and it is not angular at all. Given the fact that the PRO and DAC are more or less two of a kind I am thinking of two Qi Gong balls which are warm to the touch because they have been circulating in a warm hand for some time, brass balls of course, brazen enough to cause a little stir in the hifi world and a juicy pair they are.
    After all what would a golden schlong be without a pair of brass balls?
     
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