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

Rja4000

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dfuller

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Maybe an obvious question but does the pro version take “regular” RCA cables for analog in and out (I’m not familiar with the connections I see in the photos)
It has 1/4" TS for unbalanced outs - a TS to RCA would work fine there. As far as inputs, I've only ever used mine in a balanced format.
 

Sir Sanders Zingmore

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Amir's measurement of the improved SINAD at higher levels than 4 Volt output inspired me to show the superiority of the ADI-2 DAC's multiple hardware reference levels, that anyone can use without having to think about it by using the default AutoRef setting. What happens is that when you lower the volume every 6 dB (4 x ) the discrete hardware lowers its amplification and the DAC's digital level is ramped up again. So lowering the volume will not make you loose all the THD+N, or SINAD.

View attachment 63801

First I replicated Amir's measurement (pretty much identical), then added the SINAD states that occur when the hardware level is changed. That didn't fit completely into the measurement, and also requires a logarithmic scale on the x axis for the lower levels. Then I set the reference to +19 dBu and schwuppdiwupp had the SINAD that one gets when changing the volume at the unit. Finally I added the ref levels in balanced and unbalanced mode on top as text. I hope this is understandable. Also please don't get confused: this is about manually setting volume digitally at the unit, not about a swept generator with automatic output level action - that would make no sense.

View attachment 63806

So what it shows is that when you use a standard DAC and only look at the SINAD at 0 dBFS you miss it all. How often do you use 0 dB volume? Most of the time people lower the volume, definitely so when using phones. You can take the best DAC ever measured at ASR- it has no chance against the ADI-2 DAC at a real-world volume setting of (for example) -20 dB.

Hi @MC_RME can you please tell me if this is also the case with the RME ADI-2 Pro model (not the current ADI-2 Pro Fs model, the one before it)
 

Rja4000

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MC_RME

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Hi @MC_RME can you please tell me if this is also the case with the RME ADI-2 Pro model (not the current ADI-2 Pro Fs model, the one before it)
Yes, the ref levels and therefore the behaviour is identical. The older models just had everything shifted a bit down as the DAC has 3 dB less SNR.
 

PcChip

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Hello,

I'm interested in buying the newest v2 version of the ADI-2 FS, however I notice that the visualizer color is now Amber instead of green/blue, can that be changed in the settings to look like the original version?
 

Matias

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Hello,

I'm interested in buying the newest v2 version of the ADI-2 FS, however I notice that the visualizer color is now Amber instead of green/blue, can that be changed in the settings to look like the original version?
You can choose in the menu between green, cyan and amber.
 

Matias

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Or just make it RGB synched to the computer's RGB LEDs too since we are at it. :D

images (6).jpeg
 

cistercian

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I am alone in the house and tried the new DAC with some Matrix soundtrack heavy bass tracks. LOUD.
Ridiculously fantastic! Bass is much better now as well. The RME is the best piece of audio
gear I have ever purchased.

I have enjoyed trying the many different features and the menus. I find it fairly straightforward
and the manual is superior as well. All in all a compelling product. Epic performance.
 

Matias

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+1 red spectrogram.

RME ADI-2 DAC FS v2
Focusrite Scarlett 6i6 2nd gen
Apollon NCore NC502MP
(speakers are Monitor Audio Platinum PL100, UMIK-1 + REW => JRiver 18 band PEQ)

IMG_20200809_122023.jpg
 

Matias

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I have yet to compare them when possible.

So I just did a quick comparison back and forth from USB into the Focusrite 6i6 2nd analog ouputs (TRS=>XLR) and USB into the RME ADI-2 DAC FS v2 (XLR=>XLR) into the Apollon NC502MP. First I thought that the 6i6 had something wrong as the noise floor was so loud even without playing music, and indeed I had forgotten to mute the analog inputs, duh. When muted, listening to some nice music (high res on my PC, not the YouTube link), specially the busy parts, yes, the ADI-2 sounds "cleaner" and "purer" than the 6i6. Not blind, not level matched, I don't have time to do a more scientific test, so that's it.
 
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PcChip

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I finally gave up on trying to find a used RME ADI-2 FS for sale (missed a several by just a few minutes), and figured if there aren't many for sale then that means people love them too much to sell them, so I just bought a new one and am eagerly awaiting it to arrive!

Unrelated, but part of the reason I purchased it was because I recently picked up a set of Audeze LCD2-ClosedBacks , and as soon as I put them on I absolutely hated the sound. I'm curious if it was because I was running them from the same FiiO K3 that I run my Fostex TR-X00 from (which sounds amazing) - perhaps it doesn't make enough power. So this RME DAC will prove once and for all if I just don't like the sound signature of the Audeze
 

ReaderZ

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I finally gave up on trying to find a used RME ADI-2 FS for sale (missed a several by just a few minutes), and figured if there aren't many for sale then that means people love them too much to sell them, so I just bought a new one and am eagerly awaiting it to arrive!

Unrelated, but part of the reason I purchased it was because I recently picked up a set of Audeze LCD2-ClosedBacks , and as soon as I put them on I absolutely hated the sound. I'm curious if it was because I was running them from the same FiiO K3 that I run my Fostex TR-X00 from (which sounds amazing) - perhaps it doesn't make enough power. So this RME DAC will prove once and for all if I just don't like the sound signature of the Audeze
I have only read bad things about LCD2 closed(Same goes for LCD-XC) so I didn't try them, but wouldn't be surprised it's the headphone itself you don't like.
 

Matias

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I have only read bad things about LCD2 closed(Same goes for LCD-XC) so I didn't try them, but wouldn't be surprised it's the headphone itself you don't like.
XC is my favorite of their line when I compared them all (2, 3, X, XC) side by side back in the day (2014). So there's a sound for everyone I guess.
 
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