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RME DAC Question

MarioSH

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#1
Hello,

This is my first post here. I’ve been reading through Amir’s reviews the past few days while looking into what I should get.

For the past few years I’ve been using the Schiit Jotunheim with Focal Elex headphones, but I recently got the THX 789 so I would like to purchase a balanced DAC for it.

I understand the RME ADI-2 DAC is a top of the line product that would be very hard to replace, but what worries me about it is that I’m no audio expert, and the stuff I’ve read about it having a long list of settings scares me a little.

So my question is; is the RME ADI-2 DAC good out of the box to pair it with my THX 789, or do you NEED to dial it in for it to work properly, and if you do, how hard is it?

Thank you very much!
 
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soundwave76

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#2
To me it sounds that ADI-2 might NOT be your cup of tea, if you are afraid of it’s vast set of features. How about buying just recently reviewed, very well measured, Grade DAC balanced and save A LOT of money?
 

suttondesign

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#3
So my question is; is the RME ADI-2 DAC good out of the box to pair it with my THX 789, or do you NEED to dial it in for it to work properly, and if you do, how hard is it?
Not to worry; it's cinchy. The complexity is opt-in stuff which you only see if you start drilling down into menus. My kids operate an audio/video system using the simple remote control supplied with the unit, and they have no trouble at all.
 

MarioSH

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#4
Thank you both for your answers!

I have looked into different units as well such as the SU-8 which seems pretty good with the 789.

I figured the RME would be a good choice since I wouldn’t have to worry about upgrading any time soon considering how good it is.
 

pierre

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#5
If you buy the RME sell the THX. You will not hear a difference with most (all?) headphones.
 

Rja4000

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#7
And the RME ADI-2 Pro, by the way, may be used as "balanced" headphone amp, with a separate DAC per channel...
You'll need a cable adapter though (outputs are 2 1/4" TRS).
RME is a bit overkill, if you (really) want to keep the THX.
 

Willem

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#8
What source(s) do you use?
I am very impressed by my ADI 2 Dac and use it as a pre amp for a hefty power amp. However, if you already have an excellent headphone amp with volume control like you do why not just get a basic Dac like the JDS OL dac with both usb and optical input?
 

MarioSH

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#12
If you buy the RME sell the THX. You will not hear a difference with most (all?) headphones.
Oh really? I’ve seen so many people running the RME + THX Stack.

Since I’m not an expert or anything regarding audio, here’s a question, since you are all mostly telling me to get a different product;

Is there an audio difference / Quality between the following setups;

THX + SU-8
THX + RME

Will there actually be any quality difference in audio? If not, what’s the main reason people go for a stack like RME + THX?

Thank you.
 

pierre

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#14
...
Is there an audio difference / Quality between the following setups;

THX + SU-8
THX + RME

Will there actually be any quality difference in audio? If not, what’s the main reason people go for a stack like RME + THX?

Thank you.
I do not think there are audible differences between both solutions. I believe people stack both because they can not because you would here a difference. possibly for some pathological headphone like he6 you may need more power and then thx could make sense.

I have a RME UFX 2 and a THX. I did an A/B test but couldn’t hear a difference. I kept the thx but use it at work where my MacBook is not powerful enough for my 250 ohm headphone.
 
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Joined
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#15
Hello,

This is my first post here. I’ve been reading through Amir’s reviews the past few days while looking into what I should get.

For the past few years I’ve been using the Schiit Jotunheim with Focal Elex headphones, but I recently got the THX 789 so I would like to purchase a balanced DAC for it.

I understand the RME ADI-2 DAC is a top of the line product that would be very hard to replace, but what worries me about it is that I’m no audio expert, and the stuff I’ve read about it having a long list of settings scares me a little.

So my question is; is the RME ADI-2 DAC good out of the box to pair it with my THX 789, or do you NEED to dial it in for it to work properly, and if you do, how hard is it?

Thank you very much!
You don’t need to worry about most of the settings, and IMO it’s worth investing in a product like the RME versus a Topping or SMSL DAC due to quality control and warranty differences.
 

Tks

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#16
Let me put an end to these questions. The following is from the guy who runs RME and lays out the answer to these questions perfectly:

I would like to clarify this a bit more because people often ask about using the Atom or THX with the ADI, seeing that those devices have partly much better specs. The Atom (and THX) are both analog devices and are measured that way. The ADI's Extreme Power stage can not be measured like that, as one always has the included DAC in the signal path. The ADI's phones output stage is much better than the values the DAC provides. If not then we would not be able to deliver the DAC's data sheet specs at the phones output.

Putting the Atom or THX behind the ADI, connected via RCA or XLR, will limit their performance to that of the DAC. In this regard the above comparison of noise between Atom and DAC might be a bit misleading. Connecting the Atom to the DAC's XLR output would not result in less noise at all. Nor would one get to see the super low THD values of the THX.

Therefore the Atom behind the ADI-2 Pro or DAC is a setup that brings no improvement at all (instead it bypasses the various protection mechanisms that the Extreme Power stage offers). The THX on the other hand has more power and offers balanced operation, which can be a valid reason to add it to a setup.
 
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