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RME ADI-2 DAC FS - Quick reference for interested parties or buyers


Mar 2, 2021
I have focused on the following things - so please add if it fits the topic.

The very nice and therefore also very successful RME ADI-2 DAC (FS) was tested here

with DAC AK4490

with DAC AK4493

with DAC AK4493 vs DAC ES9028Q2M
If you are unsure whether a used RME ADI-2 DAC FS with DAC AK4493 might be better for you than a new unit with DAC ES9028Q2M:
AK4493 vs ES9028Q2M from RME

ADI-2 Remote for Mac, iPad, Windows
Control of an ADI-2 DAC (FS) via the USB interface from the first series of ADI-2 DAC / PRO *1), which came onto the market in 2017/2016 - currently we have July 2023!
*1) Soon also for ADI-2 PRO | ADI-2/4 PRO SE
MacOS and iPadOS
Old computers running Windows 10:
Notebook Dell Latitude E6530 works with ADI-2 Remote - but with high CPU load:

Product page of RME ADI-2 DAC FS [manual, driver, firmware, (ADI-2 Remote)]
Also use the search function of your computer to quickly read the pdf-file of the very detailed and permanently updated manual.
For non-experts:
Since explanations/graphics for the terms "peak, low shelf, high shelf, low cut, high cut" are missing in the manual, here is a little help:


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Mar 2, 2021
The link "AK4493 vs ES9028Q2M from RME" under #1 no longer works. Therefore use the left attachment "adi2dacr_e_fw_fpga78_...". And if you need more details *1) search the manual - User’s Guide ADI-2 DAC v3.1 - Copyright Matthias Carstens, 04/2022. Version 3.1 - with the characters "AK" | "ESS" and activate upper/lower case.

*1) Hits on texts for small displays (e.g. for mobile users). For graphics, use the manual:
Page 21:
DA Filter
Short Delay Sharp, Short Delay Slow, Sharp, Slow, NOS, SD LD (only AKM), Brickwall (only
Notes for AKM units: NOS deactivates the option De-Emphasis. At sample rates higher than 192 kHz the DA Filter selection is no longer available. The DAC then uses a fixed Slow filter.

Page 27:
DSD Direct (Line) – not available on ESS units
OFF, ON. Default: OFF. When activated a DSD playback will use DSD Direct mode over the rear outputs 1/2. As DSD Direct bypasses all DSP calculations and volume control, the only way to change the output volume is by setting different reference levels. Therefore in DSD Direct mode outputs Phones and IEM are disabled.

Page 28:
14.1.5 Expert Settings
This menu only exists for ADI-2 DACs with an ESS DAC chip. It provides access to specific configuration parameters of the chip, such as THD compensation and fine adjustment of the output level. It is mainly intended for engineers and technicians. All settings are automatically stored in the device and automatically loaded when the menu is activated.

Page 34:
Units with ESS chip
These chips do not support DSD Direct. Instead word is that the included, extensive volume control was designed so that it can even process DSD data without PCM conversion. Unfortunately official information on this topic is either vague or non-existent.
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