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Measurements of RME ADI-2 DAC and Headphone Amp

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#61
Have been very happy with the performance of the RME connected to JBL 308MkII. Great combo!

My only wish would be that the DAC changed sampling rate automatically.
 

amirm

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#62
So what's the input voltage when at 1W for atom here?
I can't tell you that from the saved measurement. It is a sweep though from 1 millivolts to 2 volts. So it is something close to 2 volts.
 

amirm

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#63
My only wish would be that the DAC changed sampling rate automatically.
Wasn't this fixed in later revisions of the firmware and driver?
 
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#64
Not that I am aware of. I had it for a month now and when using Qobuz/Tidal the unit stays fixed at what I set it at in W10 sound preferences. If someone has a fix I am all ears.
 

amirm

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#65
Oh, that is how it is supposed to work. You need to use ASIO/WASAPI for it to match the source. Otherwise Windows will resample everything before the RME DAC (or any other DAC) sees the bits.
 
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#69
@amirm I see the listening test portion of the review is missing. I actually enjoy reading the listening tests you do since they are often very informative about how the measurements translate to real world use application. If you still have the unit, I hope you can do some listening with both your hd650 and He400i for the sake of consistent comparison.
 
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#70
when using Qobuz/Tidal the unit stays fixed at what I set it at in W10 sound preferences.
To configure exclusive mode in Qobuz:
- Tap your name in top right
- Select "Music playing" tab
- Set "Audio output device" to "Wasapi (Exclusive Mode) - RME ADI-2 DAC"

To configure exclusive mode in Tidal:
- Tap hamburger icon in top left corner
- Select File/Settings
- Select "Streaming" tab
- Select the ADI-2 DAC under the "Sound Output" setting
- Tap "(More settings)" that should appear shortly after the above selection is made
- Select "Use Exclusive Mode" and "Force Volume"

BTW: Tidal has started having trouble switching to exclusive mode on my PC. Tidal tech support has been notified. It's not an RME issue because other music players on my PC switch to exclusive mode and set sampling rate automatically.
 

amirm

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#72
@amirm can you measure SINAD for the IEM output?
I packed the thing already. It was a very tight fit so I am hoping to not have to go back to it. :)
 
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#73
I packed the thing already. It was a very tight fit so I am hoping to not have to go back to it. :)
I won't ask you to unpack it again, but did you at least get to do some listening through it? If so, I would appreciate knowing how it compared to other amps in your experience.
 

MC_RME

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#75
On this point, I did not realize IEM port being different until later in the test. So I measured it with my external dummy load which is not meant for absolute low level of noise. I repeated the measurement with direct cabling and got 2 more dB out of it:

As to difference between it, and 94 dB, I think I and the membership will accept your word for it. :) SNR measurements are subject to so many vagaries that as long as we are close, it is good enough for me.
Thanks for redoing the measurement, much appreciated! And thanks for taking my word for it. :)
 

MC_RME

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#76
The JDS Labs manages to stay quiet without a gain switch. So if you operate it from mid to high levels, it comes out ahead. If you can deal with using different settings/jacks the RME can be better with respect to noise.
I would like to clarify this a bit more because people often ask about using the Atom or THX with the ADI, seeing that those devices have partly much better specs. The Atom (and THX) are both analog devices and are measured that way. The ADI's Extreme Power stage can not be measured like that, as one always has the included DAC in the signal path. The ADI's phones output stage is much better than the values the DAC provides. If not then we would not be able to deliver the DAC's data sheet specs at the phones output.

Putting the Atom or THX behind the ADI, connected via RCA or XLR, will limit their performance to that of the DAC. In this regard the above comparison of noise between Atom and DAC might be a bit misleading. Connecting the Atom to the DAC's XLR output would not result in less noise at all. Nor would one get to see the super low THD values of the THX.

Therefore the Atom behind the ADI-2 Pro or DAC is a setup that brings no improvement at all (instead it bypasses the various protection mechanisms that the Extreme Power stage offers). The THX on the other hand has more power and offers balanced operation, which can be a valid reason to add it to a setup.
 

MC_RME

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#77
Hi @MC_RMEMaybe you could cast some light on the use of different filters (Sharp, SD Sharp...). The documentation doesn't explain why one should use one filter rather than another and in which situation. Which one do you advise?
- The Short Delay filters are typically used in low latency environments (studio). While Slow has a bit earlier frequency drop than Sharp many users will not be able to reliably hear the difference.

- The standard filters have the advantage of being linear phase. While there exists lots of proof that phase distortion at such low values is not audible, it gives some peace of mind to just know it all works as perfect as possible. The Sharp filter therefore is my personal favourite, providing full frequency response and no doubts.

- The NOS (Super Slow), which has a tiny bit of oversampling filter, can be used to have a nice roll-off at higher frequencies. This is easily audible. Just make sure the power amps and speakers can handle the high-frequency noise that this mode spits out.
 

VintageFlanker

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#78
Not that I am aware of. I had it for a month now and when using Qobuz/Tidal the unit stays fixed at what I set it at in W10 sound preferences. If someone has a fix I am all ears.
As far I'm concerned. I have absolutely no issue with sample rate using Roon and Foobar with the RME driver...
However, like you, the sample rate is locked at 44.1Khz using Tidal app. I guess this could be fixed by a driver or firmware update.
 

Willem

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#79
Since my own DAC/preamplifier may well have died, I am interested in this unit. I have two questions/issues. The first is if this will also serve as preamplifier, i.e. with a variable output. The second concerns the narrow range of input options. I use three sources (CCA, BD player and television) and they all have optical outputs.
 

daftcombo

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#80
I have two questions/issues. The first is if this will also serve as preamplifier, i.e. with a variable output.
Yes.
The second concerns the narrow range of input options. I use three sources (CCA, BD player and television) and they all have optical outputs.
Only one optical in. Perhaps associated to a RME Digiface just before? It has 4 optical in.
 
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