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Alan B

Any users of the RME ADI-2 DAC?

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I currently have in my primary system an Ayre QB-9 (24/96 version, tried to get it upgraded, but after 3 years of the run around gave up).  Have any of you compared it to an Ayre QB-9 or any of the better quality DAC's on the market today?  What are your thoughts?  At $1099 it appears to be a good buy considering all the features it has.  I do want to upgrade to something that will play higher rez files (absolutely no DAC's that support MQA, please!).

 

Thanks

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Have you tried SRC with software like Roon or HQPLAYER? Very good results with Roon’s conversions between DSD256 and 176.4 PCM, let software do the hard work and let the DAC do what it does best.

 

 

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I do use Roon but have never tried to HQplayer.  but mu current DAC is limited to 24/96.  That is one reason why the need for an upgrade.

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My only comparison of the RME ADI-2 Dac to another Dac is to the one I replaced it with:  the Benchmark DAC2 D.  In my system, the RME is a definite step up in sound quality.  I purchased the RME for other reasons (mainly the PEQ functions) with no expectations of it besting the Benchmark.  But, to my pleasant surprise,  it did...

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Thanks @chetthejet, I also have a Benchmark DAC1 USB in my second system.  The Ayre QB-9 was an upgrade to that unit too.  But the Ayre is showing it's age now.  The RME has quite a few options that can be selected.  What have you found that you liked?

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1 hour ago, chetthejet said:

My only comparison of the RME ADI-2 Dac to another Dac is to the one I replaced it with:  the Benchmark DAC2 D.  In my system, the RME is a definite step up in sound quality.  I purchased the RME for other reasons (mainly the PEQ functions) with no expectations of it besting the Benchmark.  But, to my pleasant surprise,  it did...

 

Hi chetthejet, can you describe the main differences to your ears, between Benchmark DAC2 and RME ADI-2?

 

 

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4 hours ago, Alan B said:

Thanks @chetthejet, I also have a Benchmark DAC1 USB in my second system.  The Ayre QB-9 was an upgrade to that unit too.  But the Ayre is showing it's age now.  The RME has quite a few options that can be selected.  What have you found that you liked?

Primary for me was the aforementioned PEQ functions in order to deal with room mode issues not solve-able via any other means (severe WAF restrictions!).  While it's not an option per se, the continuing adding of features/upgrades, etc. via internet-available firmware upgrades is something that many dacs simply do not offer.  The product is continually evolving, and the owner/designer is a constant participant in the RME forums and does listen to and implement customer suggestions (where possible via firmware).  He can be a bit surly at times but, that aside, the reality is that his participation and direct action are a major plus in my book.

 

I've played around with the filters, enjoy the ability to program the remote, get guilty pleasure from the very cool display, and have really enjoyed the option of configuring the "loudness" settings for increased low volume performance.

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3 hours ago, Em2016 said:

 

Hi chetthejet, can you describe the main differences to your ears, between Benchmark DAC2 and RME ADI-2?

 

 

Clarity, clarity and clarity.  Realism of instruments/voices, better separation of elements in complex music (choral/orchestral works, for example Mahler 2,3,8).  Just an all around cleaner sound.

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Hi ,

I do use RME adi 2dac fs since Christmast as replacement for Nuforce uDAC 3 (asynchron) and also had a posibility to intensive comparsion with Lampizator DAC (dont ask me which model ,rather a modest one )

RME adi 2 dac sounds in my configuration as High-End gear should - it has no own sound (unless You wish it and use PEQ or play with filters)

All this old audiophil tales about removing veil ,black silence between notes - all that I have found. Great precision , endless dynamic. Fantastic for complex music (King Crimson - Live in Chicago). For 1K$ it is a bargain. 

IMHO it is a great transfer of pro seriousness to audiophiles room. 

No Woodoo 😀

 

J. Lewicki 

Warsaw. Poland 

MBP (tidal , extrernal HD)over usb/RME adi 2 dac -xlr -UREI JBL 6260-Electro Voice Sentry III 

or alternativ  over RCA /Kimber PBJ- Radford Woodside sta 25

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13 hours ago, chetthejet said:

Clarity, clarity and clarity.  Realism of instruments/voices, better separation of elements in complex music (choral/orchestral works, for example Mahler 2,3,8).  Just an all around cleaner sound.

 

Thanks much to you & ShockDoc too - I am also interested in the RME.

 

Beating the Benchmark DAC-2 is no mean feat.

 

 

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Hi Alan B ,

right choice IMO. 

By the way - RME comes delivered with great manual. Small book describing not only  all settings which are numerous but also with a lot of background info . Great  read. And quite seldom nowadays. 

 

I was about to buy Mytec and hesitating between Brooklyn and Liberty as I’ve  found some critical question on forum (dont know which one anymore) about a lack of information on RME adi 2 DAC

This made me searching. 

This DAC is one of my absolute best buys in my quite long High-End live. 

 

JL

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The DAC performs especially nice when running at 705.6/768k rates, because then it runs twice higher than what the DAC chip's internal digital filters can do (352.8/384k). Or even better when set to DSD Direct mode and running at DSD256...

 

At 44.1k input you can see images around multiples of 352.8k on-chip digital filter output rate:

ADI2-sweep-44k1-sharp-wide.thumb.png.67cc266a96f6b204e39d58d8ed2f3e65.png

 

Same upsampled to 705.6k input you can see the first image is now around 705.6k and much lower level:

ADI2-sweep-705k6-wide.thumb.png.2b5a31550f5edf893d18080cfda5554a.png

 

And upsampled to DSD256 (in DSD Direct mode), even lower level and now just totally uncorrelated noise instead of PCM's directly correlated images:

ADI2-sweep-dsd256-xtr2_asdm5-wide_50k.thumb.png.d0e1dfb2a8a86f1019fd4fdd672965f8.png

 

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@Miska,

 

 did you compare different inputs?.  I ask because recently I purchase a micro umik-1 and tested my Wadia 121 DAC using a Gustard U16 digital interface. Results: performance was different in every input. 

 

 

 

 

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39 minutes ago, Cortes said:

 did you compare different inputs?.  I ask because recently I purchase a micro umik-1 and tested my Wadia 121 DAC using a Gustard U16 digital interface. Results: performance was different in every input. 

 

I'm not sure how umik-1 is related, but others have tested the ADI-2 with different digital inputs and it performs the same with all. But I use the digital inputs only for feeding data into computer through USB.

 

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@Miska those are nice graphs!  I do want to try DSD, but as a Roon user need a good tutorial in setting up HQPlayer in Roon.  Is there a good link you can point me to?

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Thanks @firedogI should have been more detailed in what I was looking for.  From what I have been told there are many options to chose from, filters etc.  I just need a good baseline to start with.  In fact some say not to even go down the road as it is quite confusing.  It really did not matter to me so much as my Ayre QB-9 (96/24) was not capable anyway.  Now that I have the RME ADI-2 coming, I would like to try some DSD.

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11 minutes ago, Alan B said:

Thanks @firedogI should have been more detailed in what I was looking for.  From what I have been told there are many options to chose from, filters etc.  I just need a good baseline to start with.  In fact some say not to even go down the road as it is quite confusing.  It really did not matter to me so much as my Ayre QB-9 (96/24) was not capable anyway.  Now that I have the RME ADI-2 coming, I would like to try some DSD.

The users manual for HQP explains the basics of each filter and how the  different types differ. You can probably get an idea there which ones you might like.  But  the only way to really know is to try different ones and see which ones you like better.

It really isn't difficult. You just go into the settings of HQP and pick from a list. Try two very different types and see if you prefer one. Then compare that one to another, etc. I think most people find one or two preferred ones  without much trouble and then stick with those.

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2 hours ago, Ralf11 said:

I'd like to know how the  RME ADI-2 DAC sounds vs. the Yggy...

 

who cares on sound, puting RME and Schiit in the same line is kind of a joke. One of these companies has even sold products without proper grounding.  Guess what?. 

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4 hours ago, Ralf11 said:

I'd like to know how the  RME ADI-2 DAC sounds vs. the Yggy...

 

Here are a couple of posts where 8 critical listeners, six of whom are trained musicians who have been in the business for 30 years, one is a sound engineer, compare the RME ADI-2 DAC to the Yggdrasil:

 

https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/review-and-measurements-of-schiit-yggdrasil-v2-dac.3607/page-41#post-147945

 

https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/review-and-measurements-of-schiit-yggdrasil-v2-dac.3607/page-42#post-148467

 

TL;DR the Yggdrasil sounds significantly better than the RME ADI-2 DAC to professional musicians.

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9 hours ago, exdmd said:

 

Here are a couple of posts where 8 critical listeners, six of whom are trained musicians who have been in the business for 30 years, one is a sound engineer, compare the RME ADI-2 DAC to the Yggdrasil:

 

https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/review-and-measurements-of-schiit-yggdrasil-v2-dac.3607/page-41#post-147945

 

https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/review-and-measurements-of-schiit-yggdrasil-v2-dac.3607/page-42#post-148467

 

TL;DR the Yggdrasil sounds significantly better than the RME ADI-2 DAC to professional musicians.

 

The second line of the report makes me want to give up reading: "The natural analog reproduction of the instruments". Really?

And later: "the RME is able to present great measured values"...

This is playground level...

 

I wouldn't call it worthless but take it with a ton of salt nonetheless.

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