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RME ADI-2 FS DAC loudness feature

svx12

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Hello, I am looking for a DAC/interface with a volume knob that I will use to connect my Macbook Pro M1 to Genelec 8331a speakers.
I narrowed it down to 2 options cheaper SMLS d6s and much more expensive RME ADI-2 FS DAC. Both devices have excellent reviews on this forum.
I will be listening at < 1m to the speakers. I live in an apartment with thin walls so I will be listening with a low volume of 60-70 dB and I will not use a subwoofer.

SMLS D-6s
+ has USB-c input
+ much cheaper at 200$
+ smaller and looks better in my opinion

RME ADI-2 FS DAC
+ loudness function
+ probably more reliable
- 5 times more expensive at 1000$
- only analog outputs for Genelecs connection

For headphones I have Sennheiser HD 560S which works very well with Macbook M1 DAC so headphone output is not necessary for me.
I am aware RME DAC has also parametric EQ but I am not sure how useful it can be for me as I can use Macbook software with the same functionality.
Does anybody use the RME ADI-2 FS DAC loudness feature? Is it worth paying much for a DAC with this functionality given my listening volume levels?
 

Ported

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I use the RME loudness ... It is quite tunable and to my ears does a more transparent job than the SMSL equivalent as the threshold can be set. On top of that it's possible to add room eq.
Never regretted paying the price but I understand how it may look difficult to justify.
If it can easily be manipulated in other devices then a cheaper transparent DAC would be just as good I suspect.
 

Soniclife

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The other option, as @Ported says is to use some DSP to do the loudness curve, not that I know what filters should be used, but I'd like to, if someone else knows.
 
OP
S

svx12

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Thanks for the pointers about using DSP. I have found software that apparently has the same exact functionality as RME ADI-2 DAC FS.
The Loudness filter is intended to be used as a volume control, similarly to the Volume filter. See the Volume filter for a description of how it is used. The difference is that the Loudness filter applies loudness correction when the volume is lowered. The method is the same as the one implemented by the RME ADI-2 DAC FS.
https://github.com/HEnquist/camilladsp#loudness

However, I understand this software function applied before the signal reaches DAC will not work when I change the volume using the DAC knob.
 

sleepy.sock

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I have a pair of Genelecs 8331As and an RME ADI-2 Pro FS and happy to share my experience.

I highly recommend the combo and wouldn't hesitate to buy the ADI-2 Pro again. Sounds superb, works very reliably, and the features of the ADI-2 Pro are great. I went with the ADI-2 Pro because I wanted to use the digital output to drive the Genelecs. This was mostly OCD on my part -- I am sure using the analogue input would sound the same.

Some thoughts on using the ADI-2 (and same would apply to ADI-2 DAC):

1. The RME EQ is super useful for headphones, but likely redundant for the 8331As -- GLM is a much better way to EQ them
2. The RME loudness feature is brilliant. To my ears, it makes a big difference listening over headphones at lower volumes. However, I found the difference listening over monitors at low volume is much more subtle. It's just about audible to me, but not game changing.
3. The bass/treble controls on the RME are extremely useful. These provide a quick way to compensate for differences between recordings while listening. Doing this over GLM or in software is more clunky.
4. The RME remote control is very handy
5. The RME graphic equaliser display is excellent -- it is surprisingly helpful to see instantly where the sound energy
6. The RME headphone amp is absolutely awesome, don't underestimate it
 

sleepy.sock

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Thanks for the pointers about using DSP. I have found software that apparently has the same exact functionality as RME ADI-2 DAC FS.

https://github.com/HEnquist/camilladsp#loudness

However, I understand this software function applied before the signal reaches DAC will not work when I change the volume using the DAC knob.
Yes, that is correct. The RME DAC is I think unique in this respect. Loudness compensation elsewhere in the signal chain won't be as effective, as the degree of compensation cannot be modulated with the volume level.
 

sleepy.sock

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NB. there is no magic to the loudness compensation filters -- it is just a PEQ applying a smiley face to the signal. The key thing is that the amount of bass and treble boost being applied varies with the volume level (lowest listening volumes receive maximum boosts). It works really well!!
 

radix

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RME ADI-2 FS DAC
+ loudness function
+ probably more reliable
- 5 times more expensive at 1000$
- only analog outputs for Genelecs connection
I would not worry about the analog out to Genelec. As long as you're not running analog cable like 100's of feet or over florescent light ballast, you should be just fine.

The headphone amp on the RME is top-notch, but I don't think the HD560 is particularly hard to drive.

So yes, if you are playing from computer and can do EQ there and really just want a digital volume control, digital out to Genelec, and headphone amp, you could do something less expensive.

BTW, the RME does remember your EQ settings per output (headphones vs line), so you can EQ the speakers and if you switch to HP, it will automatically switch to that EQ profile. Again, you could work around that on the computer as an extra step.
 

Peppo989

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Hallo, ich suche einen DAC/eine Schnittstelle mit einem Lautstärkeregler, mit dem ich mein MacBook Pro M1 an Genelec 8331a-Lautsprecher anschließen kann.
Ich habe es auf zwei Optionen eingegrenzt: günstigere SMLS d6s und den viel teureren RME ADI-2 FS DAC. Beide Geräte haben in diesem Forum hervorragende Bewertungen.
Ich werde die Lautsprecher in einer Entfernung von < 1 m hören. Da ich in einer Wohnung mit dünnen Wänden wohne, höre ich mit einer geringen Lautstärke von 60–70 dB und verwende keinen Subwoofer.

SMLS D-6
+ verfügt über einen USB-C-Eingang
+ mit 200$ deutlich günstiger
+ kleiner und sieht meiner Meinung nach besser aus

RME ADI-2 FS DAC
+ Loudness-Funktion
+ wahrscheinlich zuverlässiger
- Mit 1000 $ 5-mal teurer
- nur analoge Ausgänge für Genelecs-Anschluss

Als Kopfhörer verwende ich den Sennheiser HD 560S, der sehr gut mit dem Macbook M1 DAC funktioniert, sodass für mich kein Kopfhörerausgang erforderlich ist.
Mir ist bekannt, dass der RME DAC auch über einen parametrischen EQ verfügt, aber ich bin mir nicht sicher, wie nützlich er für mich sein kann, da ich Macbook-Software mit derselben Funktionalität verwenden kann.
Nutzt jemand die Loudness-Funktion des RME ADI-2 FS DAC? Lohnt es sich angesichts meiner Hörlautstärke, viel für einen DAC mit dieser Funktionalität zu bezahlen?
Hallo, ich habe den SMLS D6s und bin sehr unzufrieden, für dich nicht geeignet ohne Kopfhörerausgang. Ich gehe davon aus, dass an meinem Gerät der Jitter nicht richtig funktioniert. Bluetooth Klang ganz schlecht, über Opt. Der Eingang geht zwar so, aber er klingt sehr flach. Wenn man etwas lauter hört, sind Hochtöne zu schrillen und der Bass kommt nicht, wann er kommen soll und abgeschwächt wird. Von meinem Sohn der RME Babyface klingt um Welten besser. Auch bei mir geht das Gerät zurück. Ich habe schon den RME ADI-2 FS DAC gekauft.

Grüße Michael

Translation by Moderator. Please use English going forward. Thank you.

“Hello, I have the SMLS D6s and I am very dissatisfied, it is not suitable for you without a headphone output. I assume that the jitter on my device is not working properly. Bluetooth sound is very bad, via opt. The input works like this, but it sounds very flat. If you listen to something louder, the high tones are too shrill and the bass doesn't come when it should and is attenuated. From my son the RME Babyface sounds worlds better. I'm also returning the device. I have already purchased the RME ADI-2 FS DAC.”
 
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ahofer

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Peppo989

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Ja natürlich je nach Lautstärke. Macht man lauter Sind die Höhen viel zu stark und der Bass zu gering. Die mitten fehlen. Ich denk ich habe ein Defektes Gerät bekommen, oder er soll so klingen. Klar und deutlich ist er, aber kein Natürlicher Sound.

Translation by Moderator. Please use English going forward. Thank you.

“Yes, of course depending on the volume. If you make it louder, the treble is much too strong and the bass is too low. The middle ones are missing. I think I got a defective device, or that's how it's supposed to sound. It is clear and clear, but not a natural sound.”
 
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nagster

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Hello, I am looking for a DAC/interface with a volume knob that I will use to connect my Macbook Pro M1 to Genelec 8331a speakers.
I narrowed it down to 2 options cheaper SMLS d6s and much more expensive RME ADI-2 FS DAC. Both devices have excellent reviews on this forum.
I will be listening at < 1m to the speakers. I live in an apartment with thin walls so I will be listening with a low volume of 60-70 dB and I will not use a subwoofer.
For example, what about these combinations?
The DSP inside the 8331a adjusts the volume. I also use the 9310, and it is easy to use and can be placed anywhere you like, and the operation feels good. It's not an infinite rotary encoder, it's about 300 degrees from minimum to maximum.
The downside is that it doesn't have a loudness function. (as far as i know)
One advantage is that the signal is at full resolution until just before the 8331a's DSP output section. Since you listen at a low volume, it may be more effective. Try setting the DIP switch on the back to the -20 or -30dB position.
 

sleepy.sock

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Bear in mind that if you are using GLM, the DIP switches at the back of the Genelec speakers do nothing. They are completely bypassed. Gain is set digitally through GLM and then stored in the speaker.

@nagster is right that optimal performance is to keep signal at as close to full resolution as possible before going into the 8331a and then use it to scale the signal down. I have gain set to -30dB in GLM, and do control volume between tracks on the RME, typically dropping ~20 dB digitally before it hits the 8331a. Works for me!
 
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nagster

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Yes, it is invalid if a computer running GLM is connected or if the OP selects “STORED”. Valid if OP selects “MANUAL CTRL”.
In addition, the dealer said, ``The rear DIP switch attenuation works even further in the rear section than the volume adjustment on the GLM.'' However, I have not verified whether this is true.
 
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