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RME ADI-2 FS Version 2 DAC and Headphone Amp Review

Maxicut

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...If all DACs sound the same, i'll choose the cheapest one, correct?
Here's an example of a good Dac that was tested today https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/soncoz-la-qxd1-balanced-dac-review.13459/

It looks to be awesome at it's price point & you would be more than happy with it, but the problem is that to keep the price down, somewhere in the chain they would've used cheap caps or whatever, so you will find that it would probably go out of spec &/or die relatively quickly.
 
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Here's an example of a good Dac that was tested today https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/soncoz-la-qxd1-balanced-dac-review.13459/

It looks to be awesome at it's price point & you would be more than happy with it, but the problem is that to keep the price down, somewhere in the chain they would've used cheap caps or whatever, so you will find that it would probably go out of spec & die relatively quickly.
Ok they might be cheap and have cheap components, but if it stops working in 3 years, you just need to buy another one as cheap and as good!
And it scored better than the ADI-2 DAC v1.
It willl still be far from the price of other more expensive DACs with almost the same measurements.
I liked this part:
"Usually balanced output comes at a cost of higher price as it is considered a premium feature. Not the case here."
I'll try to demo the RME.
 

VintageFlanker

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The simple philosophy I hold is `Look measurements, and then price to buy`. RME is clearly not strong against these two habits. You can always find out a better alternative to ADI for less.
Ok. Now, you completly forgot features... :facepalm:

Tell me, which device can do all these things in one package? DAC, Extremely precise Preamp up to 7V output (with Auto Ref Level), powerfull and clean headamp, very clean IEM out, DSP (double EQ, crossfeed etc), very good screen and firmware updates, perfectly stable USB, all fitting in a 20 X 13cm enclosure and costing 989€?... Not only there's no "better alternative for less", but no alternative at all.

Sure, if all your needs are only a fixed 2V RCA out, then get a Topping E30 and be happy. If you use all the features of the ADI-2 like some do...
 
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Maxicut

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Ok they might be cheap and have cheap components, but if it stops working in 3 years, you just need to buy another one as cheap and as good!
And it scored better than the ADI-2 DAC v1.
It willl still be far from the price of other more expensive DACs with almost the same measurements.
I liked this part:
"Usually balanced output comes at a cost of higher price as it is considered a premium feature. Not the case here."
I'll try to demo the RME.
Whatever you're happy with is what you should buy, that's what it's all about! Just be aware that things like this go out of spec VERY quickly, so it won't measure the same for very long at all. It's a common problem, especially with AVR's.
 

DeepSpace57

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Ok. Now, you completly forgot features... :facepalm:

Tell me, which device can do all these things in one package? DAC, Extremely precise Preamp up to 7V output (with Auto Ref Level), powerfull and clean headamp, very clean IEM out, DSP (double EQ, crossfeed etc), very good screen and firmware updates, perfectly stable USB, all fitting in a 20 X 13cm enclosure and costing 989€?... Not only there's no "better alternative for less", but no alternative at all.

Sure, if all your needs are only a fixed 2V RCA out, then get a Topping E30 and be happy. If you use all the features of the ADI-2 like some do...
respect for your comment. Bunch of unnecessary things, many waffles i see on it. Cleanness? Lol, To be honest, 789 is much cleaner. Anyway, lets shut the discussion down. Himm! BTW i would like to say (to all RME users) please do not use an external amp cause your rocket science implemented RMEs sounds cleaner then everything . LMAO
 

VintageFlanker

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Anyway, lets shut the discussion down. Himm! BTW i would like to say (to all RME users) please do not use an external amp cause your rocket science implemented RMEs sounds cleaner then everything . LMAO
Sure. I won't feed the troll any further...:cool:

Cheers.
 

Joachim Herbert

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Himm! BTW i would like to say (to all RME users) please do not use an external amp cause your rocket science implemented RMEs sounds cleaner then everything . LMAO
You're welcome.
 

DeepSpace57

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Anyway guys, love you all! Who knows? When RME decides to go for AK4499, i might be one of lovely commenters and comment-likers here. Wish you all best experience...
 
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Ok they might be cheap and have cheap components, but if it stops working in 3 years, you just need to buy another one as cheap and as good!
I can‘t resist: Yes, what we need in these times is a lot of cheap garbage which does not last long and has to be replaced with new cheap garbage. Great! I can support you with lots of comparable ideas which similarly exploit nature, people, society, etc.
:facepalm:
 
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I can‘t resist: Yes, what we need in these times is a lot of cheap garbage which does not last long and has to be replaced with new cheap garbage. Great! I can support you with lots of comparable ideas which similarly exploit nature, people, society, etc.
:facepalm:
Are you saying Amirm measurements are garbage?
You can call it an upgrade instead of replacement.
 

Jim777

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Ok. Now, you completly forgot features... :facepalm:

Tell me, which device can do all these things in one package? DAC, Extremely precise Preamp up to 7V output (with Auto Ref Level), powerfull and clean headamp, very clean IEM out, DSP (double EQ, crossfeed etc), very good screen and firmware updates, perfectly stable USB, all fitting in a 20 X 13cm enclosure and costing 989€?... Not only there's no "better alternative for less", but no alternative at all.

Sure, if all your needs are only a fixed 2V RCA out, then get a Topping E30 and be happy. If you use all the features of the ADI-2 like some do...
I'll echo that, using the ADI-2 DAC as a pre-amp, I benefit from its lower distorsion at higher levels instead of paying for a preamp that'll probably just add noise instead. And whenever I get to it, I'll also do some measurements and dial in some crude room compensation. (I tried one of the standalone room correction solutions and it was a piece of junk.)

Most importantly, it does all I need (and more) and it sounds great. Sometimes, less is more (no additional preamp device, no external dsp, etc.).
 
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I'll echo that, using the ADI-2 DAC as a pre-amp, I benefit from its lower distorsion at higher levels instead of paying for a preamp that'll probably just add noise instead. And whenever I get to it, I'll also do some measurements and dial in some crude room compensation. (I tried one of the standalone room correction solutions and it was a piece of junk.)

Most importantly, it does all I need (and more) and it sounds great. Sometimes, less is more (no additional preamp device, no external dsp, etc.).
So, you do measurements in REW and do the correction on the RME DSP?
What is junk? Sonarworks?
 

A.West

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I received my ADI-2FS yesterday. I really like the sound I'm hearing. I listen via Amazon Prime HD via my PC, using Senn HD800 primarily.

Setup and driver installation was more difficult than usual. Even the power cord that plugs into the back had to be shoved and twirled simultaneously to go in. That's the first time I saw this so the quick start instructions should highlight this feature or issue. Driver installation was also confusing at first, as I had to download, unzip, and install a program. In the old days windows audio settings would allow me to change my Fiio dac settings, it took me many pages of reading to find where the RME program that controls this setting resides. I think I had to watch a video to discover this part.
Then I set up EQ for my HD800. Creating and saving and naming and recalling was again, confusing, but after doing it once, losing it, and doing it again, I got it done. I dont know how to recall multiple eq settings via the remote, yet, so that I could quickly switch between 2 headphone eq settings. Allowing a Q lower than .5 would have been better, allowing me to match an EQ template more perfectly. perhaps in a future firmware update.

In the end the effort was worth it. Clean pure and powerful sound, with useful adjustments. With and without EQ. I will experiment with crossfeed in the future.
Anyone have a crossfeed plus eq combo setting that would resemble IFi's "3D+" setting that sometimes helps open up claustrophobic headphones/recordings?
 

ShiZo

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The learning curve is a little steep. A couple of weeks and you'll know it like the back of your hand.
 
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