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Review and Measurements of RME ADI-2 DAC

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#41
Seems like a dream DAC.

I wonder:
1. If it can be stackable for doing multichannel (2 units or more) using the USB ASIO driver, the ADI-2 Pro manual hints little about this capability ("multi-interface", if I'm not confusing it) and the ADI-2 DAC hint even less. Could then be just about the best Multichannel DAC/opAMP at about $800 less than the closest contender (exaSound e38) if only 5.1ch is needed (or $1800 less for 2.2ch), with much more features and probably a better headphone AMP(s, as you get more than one unit at this price).

2. How would the $599 iFi Micro iDSD BL be compared in both DAC and headphone AMP section. Benefits are a native DSD to headphones (unlike conversion to PCM as in the RME) and MQA support.
I would guess that channel balance would be less performant due to an analog volume control, compared with the DSP based one in the RME.
 
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RayDunzl

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#42
So this is only for usb wasapi playback?
The S/PDIF input receiver locks to the rate of a synchronous input "stream". Byte-byte-byte-byte comes in, the receiver figures out the clock rate to use by the rate of the data input.

S/PDIF does not talk back to the sender.

---

Asynchrous/isochronous USB is another animal entirely. There is two-way communication. That's where the drivers come in.

The data rate might be specified in some packet field, but the DAC is in charge of its sample clock rate, and pulls data in chunks from the source as it needs it, maybe a chunk per millisecond (my simple view of it).

So, something may need to "tell" the DAC what rate set itself to, to receive, buffer, and play the chunks that are going being sent.

Somebody else can explain it better than this. I'm somewhat blissfully ignorant of the overall process.
 

SIY

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#43
FWIW, the drivers worked perfectly in two of my Windows 7 setups (laptop with 7 Pro 64 bit, desktop with 7 Home 32 bit), unlike some other drivers for otherwise-excellent DACs that caused all sorts of crashiness. Also FWIW, here's how it works with a 42 tone cluster and 32 ohm load.
 

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#44
I think under Windows its best to use an audio application with ASIO driver support. If you look for good players:
- very "generic" but customizeable: foobar2000
- beautiful and flexible: MusicBee

MusicBee I like the most from its beautiful presentation and downloading of song texts and infos about the artist.
It can also act as UPnP/DLNA server and can be remote controlled by an Android App called MusicBee Remote.
With MusicBee Remote its fun to remote control MusicBee by Smartphone app.
It also supports me to convert my FLAC files to MP3 320kbps and to normalize volume, because the HiFi in my car is unable to playback lossless files.
Maybe this comes closest to something like Roon without being a streaming service. The good thing is, its for free.
 
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Rod

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#45
Screenshot (2).png
I am currently using windows 10 with Fedilizer Pro. In the screenshot it shows that it is using a filter under processor priority policy(is that the right description, a filter?). Should I not use this with the RME Dac since it has its own? Also I have a ipad that was released last year. I dont use it for anything unless on vacation, would it be better to use with the RME dac instead of windows because I can use it only for music? Still waiting for my Dac to arrive, maybe next week.
 
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Rod

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#46
Using Fidelizer pro does slow down my main computer, that was why I was wondering about using the ipad for tidal.
 

watchnerd

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#47
I had a chance to run the ADI-2 Pro through a set of measurements- if not perfect, then as damn close as you'd want. Nice to see that the cheaper one looks just as good.
As a Pro owner, I would love to see those measurements. Are they available online?
 

SIY

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#51
Interesting and likely true.

The NOS thing is wack, but I guess that there's an audience for that sort of thing.
 
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amirm

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Thread Starter #52
I am currently using windows 10 with Fedilizer Pro. In the screenshot it shows that it is using a filter under processor priority policy(is that the right description, a filter?). Should I not use this with the RME Dac since it has its own?
I don't know how it can insert any filter if you use bit-exact output using ASIO.

That selection also has to do processor priority and not any kind of audio filtering. I searched but could not find any documentation on it.

The whole fidelizer thing is without value in my opinion. I ran all of my tests on my everyday laptop with tons of stuff running and as you see, performance was superb. This is what you pay for. High quality DACs are immune to computer activities. So you don't need anything that fidelizer does.
 
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amirm

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Thread Starter #53
As a Pro owner, I would love to see those measurements. Are they available online?
I plan to compare my Pro version against the DAC.
 
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amirm

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Thread Starter #54
The measurements look impressive. How about a hardware look? Did you get a chance to do any listening?
Listening impressions are in the original review. This loaned unit is brand new so I don't think the owner will give me permission to open it up. I will tear open my ADI-2 Pro though and see what is inside.
 

Jinjuku

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#55
Another example of why I've held the opinion for a long time know that the go to DAC's for consumer audio should really be pro-audio products.

From the low cost $79 Behringer to the $999 RME we see time and again that there is no smoke and mirrors. Pro audio products are strictly a meritocracy of engineering at work.

What do people expect an audiophile DAC to do better than the RME? At ANY PRICE POINT (don't care if it's $10,000 or $100,000).
 

Jinjuku

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#56
Seems like a dream DAC.


2. How would the $599 iFi Micro iDSD BL be compared in both DAC and headphone AMP section. Benefits are a native DSD to headphones (unlike conversion to PCM as in the RME) and MQA support.
You need to ask yourself why, in the pro audio market ADC/DAC interfaces, none of the giants support DSD/MQA.
 

RayDunzl

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#58

Blumlein 88

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#59
Another example of why I've held the opinion for a long time know that the go to DAC's for consumer audio should really be pro-audio products.

From the low cost $79 Behringer to the $999 RME we see time and again that there is no smoke and mirrors. Pro audio products are strictly a meritocracy of engineering at work.

What do people expect an audiophile DAC to do better than the RME? At ANY PRICE POINT (don't care if it's $10,000 or $100,000).
It appears my two main audio interfaces will measure about as well as the RME. One cost more, but records. One costs less, but records. Pro companies seem to be a safer bet.
 

Wombat

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#60
It appears my two main audio interfaces will measure about as well as the RME. One cost more, but records. One costs less, but records. Pro companies seem to be a safer bet.
What are your interfaces? What do they record? Sounds interesting for me.
 
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