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RME ADI-2 DAC FS + Topping A90 OR ADI-2 PRO FS R BE?


Jul 25, 2021
I'm looking at reducing the footprint on my desk used up by audio hardware by getting a ADI-2 Pro FS R BE. But, I wanted to know if I'd be getting significantly less output power by using the two front ports for a balanced headphone out instead of using a ADI-2 DAC FS & a Topping A90 with it's balanced output?


Active Member
Jun 17, 2022
Scandinavian peninsula
This is from ADI-2 PRO manual: Balanced Phones Mode

Output level is doubled. With the ADI-2 Pro +22 dBu would rise to +28 dBu (a gain of +6 dB). Now only few might have a headphone that requires that level, a scary 19.5 Volts in output voltage. But when the phone is driven at the same volume and effective level as before, the driver stages now operate at a 6 dB lower level. This can have a positive effect on THD and linearity.  Output power is quadrupled. A driver stage that was designed for 1 Watt will deliver 4 Watt when a second such stage is used with inverted input signal. That is a significant rise, which would allow to either achieve output powers that even bassheads would fear, or allows for the use of less powerful or simpler output stages than usual.  Complete ground-free operation will prevent EMI and floating voltage level problems in certain (seldom) cases.
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