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Measurements of RME ADI-2 DAC and Headphone Amp

Spocko

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I too have been greatly enjoying all the cool features of the new DAC, especially the EQ. Buying an IEM just to try out this specially designed output.
 

Willem

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Indeed, and all those settings can be done separately for left and right channel and separately for headphone and speaker output.
I have only two gripes. First, I would prefer to do the settings from a pc, and second I would like to be able to upload REW files or, perhaps even better, to have Dirac. But for now, this is by far the most versatile DAC
 
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Veri

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I didn’t try Sonarworks Tru-Fi still but interesting what target curve they are using. Headphones curve is much more controversial thing than a house curve. I don’t think my HD650 is muffled.
It's their own tweaked version of the Harman curve for headphones. The HD650 is already quite close to this target so it mostly "fixes" midrange by some dB and sub-bass by a lot. Other than that it still sounds like a HD650 ;)
 
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The RME is a very, very good piece of equipment. And the HD650 with proper eq are very, very good headphones. I really question the need for $4k headphones and such (even though I bought the Stellia which have not arrived) after hearing these properly EQd with a top tier amp and dac behind them.
For a couple of months now I am listening to most of my headphones exclusively with EQ. I used to be a determined opponent, mainly due to past experiences with poor implementations. I have not fully utilized the EQ of the ADI-2-DAC, but am mostly relying on EqualizerAPO/Peace. Usually, I am aiming for a moderate version of the Harmann target (bit less bass, bit more treble). So not unlike your taste.

While I agree with you that the HD650 can sound very good with EQ, I can only urge you to try the HD800(s) if this is an option. In my experience one of the best headphones to eq. In combination with the ADI-2-DAC these deliver amazing low end without noticeable distortion. Also the highs are no longer fatiguing, but remain their character.
 

MRC01

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With the HD800, I found that -6 dB @ 6 kHz, Q=2.0 flattens the treble resonance nicely. After that simple EQ I found it a linear headphone overall. The HD800 still attenuates the bottom bass octave, but lifting that to neutral just made it sound soft and bloated. Same with the HD600 and HD580. What sounds best to me is lifting the bass by 3-4 dB below 50 Hz. While not restoring it to neutral, this is enough to be a noticeable improvement, without being enough to make it sound bloated.
 

Dialectic

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A few months ago, I purchased the RME ADI-2 DAC because I expected it to be a highly accurate headphone amplifier that lasts longer than, for example, a Topping DX3. Suddenly today, while the unit was still fairly cold, I got an "Overload / Short Detected" error message after listening through the 1/4" headphone jack in high-power mode for perhaps five minutes after powering up. Now the 1/4" headphone jack is inoperative: if anything, including a bare adapter, touches the 1/4" jack, the error message shows up and the sound cuts out.

The IEM jack is unaffected. I haven't tested the analog outputs on the back, but I suspect that they are unaffected.

Kudos to the dealer that sold me the unit, @suttondesign, which has been extraordinarily responsive in addressing the issue.
Following the demise of my first ADI-2 DAC apparently as a result of a defective op-amp, I received my replacement ADI-2 DAC from the U.S. distributor, Synthax, after the dealer, @suttondesign, provided superbly responsive service.

Synthax swapped out my broken DAC for a fully functional, ADI-2 DAC with some marks on the top--clearly a B-stock or returned unit. (No, the marks do not wipe off.) My six-month old unit didn't have any cosmetic issues, so I'm not totally satisfied with this.

Though I have also been the totally satisfied owner of a Babyface Pro, my view of RME is diminished after this experience.
 

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suttondesign

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Following the demise of my first ADI-2 DAC apparently as a result of a defective op-amp, I received my replacement ADI-2 DAC from the U.S. distributor, Synthax, after the dealer, @suttondesign, provided superbly responsive service.

Synthax swapped out my broken DAC for a fully functional, ADI-2 DAC with some marks on the top--clearly a B-stock or returned unit. (No, the marks do not wipe off.) My six-month old unit didn't have any cosmetic issues, so I'm not totally satisfied with this.

Though I have also been the totally satisfied owner of a Babyface Pro, my view of RME is diminished after this experience.
This is disappointing. I am going to address it further with synthax and rme. what a bummer.
 

VintageFlanker

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Synthax swapped out my broken DAC for a fully functional, ADI-2 DAC with some marks on the top--clearly a B-stock or returned unit. (No, the marks do not wipe off.) My six-month old unit didn't have any cosmetic issues, so I'm not totally satisfied with this.

Though I have also been the totally satisfied owner of a Babyface Pro, my view of RME is diminished after this experience.
I understand perfectly (And I would ask for another mint unit if I was you). But in that specific scenario, Synthax is to blame, not RME.
 

Dialectic

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This is disappointing. I am going to address it further with synthax and rme. what a bummer.
I didn't mean to kvetch but am very grateful for the excellent service that you've provided. @suttondesign is a first-class dealer and is unbelievably responsive. I'm just glad to have a working unit again.

I understand perfectly (And I would ask for another mint unit if I was you). But in that specific scenario, Synthax is to blame, not RME.
You're probably right.
 

SpyB

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I understand perfectly (And I would ask for another mint unit if I was you). But in that specific scenario, Synthax is to blame, not RME.
I ask you this question because you seem experienced with the RME ADI -2 Dac /having sold one recently,

and I believe have the intention to purchase the Latest version with the AK4493,if you have not already done.

So my question is, does one have to be concerned about the quality of finish on the RME ADI -2 Dac,

like if purchased with the shrink wrap in place/absolutely unopened.

Also if you have purchased the latest version,could you give your opinion on it,I understand this is a

objective forum / although I believe when making a decision to purchase,when you can not have a home demo

with the ability to return if not happy that objective measurements and subjective opinion are both required

to make a confident decision/Thank you

P.s anyone else feel free to comment
 
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Willem

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Mine (old version) was immaculate from the box. The same us true for the sound. There is nothing to listen to because it is completely transparent. This is true for both the old version and the new. The real advantage compared to the competition is in the impressive range of features like tone and balance control, dynamic loudness etc. Those make a real improvement to what you hear.
 

SpyB

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Mine (old version) was immaculate from the box. The same us true for the sound. There is nothing to listen to because it is completely transparent. This is true for both the old version and the new. The real advantage compared to the competition is in the impressive range of features like tone and balance control, dynamic loudness etc. Those make a real improvement to what you hear.
Thank you, for your comments / very helpful
 

DivineCurrent

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On the RME website, it shows the dimensions for the ADI-2 DAC to be: 8.5" Width, 2.05" Height, and 5.9" Length.
This is a lot smaller than I expected, the same width as your typical sheet of paper! Can anyone confirm that these dimensions are correct?
 

Schackmannen

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On the RME website, it shows the dimensions for the ADI-2 DAC to be: 8.5" Width, 2.05" Height, and 5.9" Length.
This is a lot smaller than I expected, the same width as your typical sheet of paper! Can anyone confirm that these dimensions are correct?
I don't know the exact dimensions but it's indeed a lot smaller and lighter than you expect it to be, if it's of any help it's pretty much the same width as the Massdrop THX 789 but not as deep.
 

Tks

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I don't know the exact dimensions but it's indeed a lot smaller and lighter than you expect it to be, if it's of any help it's pretty much the same width as the Massdrop THX 789 but not as deep.
Just looking at my stack quickly now

Excluding knobs, it's depth is about 3 inches less than the 789, and it's width is about 4mm more than the 789 on each side (I think the Monoprice 887 is a tad wider and would suit the RME a tad better in that respect, though the finishing on the 789 is more in line with the RME).
 
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This is a question outside of my knowledge base so I’m hoping some of you “science” folks here at Audio “Science” Review can help me. I don‘t own a voltmeter and my knowledge of the differences between dBu, dBFS, output voltage, and output wattage, is limited (but growing) thanks to this website and google searches.

So here’s my question: should I be worried about using a high-quality but affordable Hosa 15-foot headphone extension cable out of the IEM jack when I’m connecting 16-24 ohm over-ear headphones (i.e., not IEMs)? It sounds great and I only go up to -10 on the volume (anything more would be too loud), so it would seem to be just fine power wise. How about noise concerns?

I know the values posted in the RME manual about max power per channel, and output level at 0 dBFS. The IEM specs of max power into 8 Ohm of 40 mW per channel seemed like that could be low for a 16 Ohm headphone over a 15-foot extension cable. Thoughts?

On the “Phones” jack I have a Hosa 25-foot extension cable that I connect to a pair of 64 Ohm headphones. I listen at volume levels ranging from -40 to -25 (max due to loudness) with Auto Ref set it’s always in Low Power. I’m not too worried about the extension cable on the Phones jack ;-)

Thanks. Best regards,
Gus
 

pozz

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This is a question outside of my knowledge base so I’m hoping some of you “science” folks here at Audio “Science” Review can help me. I don‘t own a voltmeter and my knowledge of the differences between dBu, dBFS, output voltage, and output wattage, is limited (but growing) thanks to this website and google searches.

So here’s my question: should I be worried about using a high-quality but affordable Hosa 15-foot headphone extension cable out of the IEM jack when I’m connecting 16-24 ohm over-ear headphones (i.e., not IEMs)? It sounds great and I only go up to -10 on the volume (anything more would be too loud), so it would seem to be just fine power wise. How about noise concerns?

I know the values posted in the RME manual about max power per channel, and output level at 0 dBFS. The IEM specs of max power into 8 Ohm of 40 mW per channel seemed like that could be low for a 16 Ohm headphone over a 15-foot extension cable. Thoughts?

On the “Phones” jack I have a Hosa 25-foot extension cable that I connect to a pair of 64 Ohm headphones. I listen at volume levels ranging from -40 to -25 (max due to loudness) with Auto Ref set it’s always in Low Power. I’m not too worried about the extension cable on the Phones jack ;-)

Thanks. Best regards,
Gus
Hi Gus. It's not a concern. The additional resistance/capacitance is negligible.
 

DivineCurrent

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The ADI-2 DAC (V2) has now replaced my Tone Board + Atom setup, and I couldn't be happier. It takes some time to get used to navigating the menus but man, it is the most versatile piece of audio gear I've ever used. Switching between EQ settings is quick and simple, and crossfeed for headphones really enhances the experience. Plus, I can connect to any digital source with optical and coaxial inputs, and still have access to parametric EQ and crossfeed. Only thing I would want more from the RME is analog inputs, but I understand it's a DAC and not a standalone amp.
 

ahofer

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The ADI-2 DAC (V2) has now replaced my Tone Board + Atom setup, and I couldn't be happier. It takes some time to get used to navigating the menus but man, it is the most versatile piece of audio gear I've ever used. Switching between EQ settings is quick and simple, and crossfeed for headphones really enhances the experience. Plus, I can connect to any digital source with optical and coaxial inputs, and still have access to parametric EQ and crossfeed. Only thing I would want more from the RME is analog inputs, but I understand it's a DAC and not a standalone amp.
Get an ADC :)
 
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