The RME ADI 2-DAC 32Bit/768kHz


RME is a German Pro Audio company that's been around for 20 years. This is their first real step into home audio. Not only is it a DAC it also serves as a extreme power Headphone output and has a low noise IEM output. RME's Steady clock FS reduces jitter down to a quadrillionth of a second. Most clocks use pico seconds which reduces jitter to a trillionth of a second. The DAC is compatible w/Windows7 and up also MAC and I/Os devices. It has a 5 Band Parametric EQ. For headphones and speakers you can do dual EQ. Being no two ears are the same you can adjust for both ears individually. It also has a detailed Loudness functionThe user can decide how much maximum gain in bass and treble should occur at the lower volume settings. The user also sets the low volume Reference where maximum gain is achieved. The book that comes w/this is 65 pages and I'm still trying to digest it all. The sound stage is big w/plety of air between singer and instruments. The bass is ruler flat. For $1099 it can compete w/many DAC's at twice the price. 
luxmancl38

luxmancl38:

Have been using this since it came out; got one of the first units from Synthax in FL.

It is superb, period. Have been using RME products in the studio since the 1990s and have most of their offerings. This home variation of the ADI-2 Pro is spot on. Many do not know that RME is one of the first to master AD/DA conversion and that their products are as or more sophisticated than anything on the market. They are regularly compared to home product leaders such as Schiit and Benchmark on Gearslutz and have never lost to my knowledge.

Glad you started a thread; will enjoy hearing from others. Synthax told me last week that their latest shipment also sold out (to dealers) immediately and suspect that they will not stay on the shelves long.

My dealer had 3 and he sold out in one week. He has ordered more. He laughed and said, "well there goes the sale of the Chords". My current setup is a Bluesound Node, Bryston 2.5 sst2 amp, Aerial 5T's and a Luxman CL38U-SE. Ihave a small Paradigm Monitor 8 sealed sub and w/this DAC it's sounds like a huge sub. This is truly a great DAC.
My dealer had 3 and he sold out in one week. He has ordered more. He laughed and said, "well there goes the sale of the Chords". My current setup is a Bluesound Node, Bryston 2.5 sst2 amp, Aerial 5T's and a Luxman CL38U-SE. Ihave a small Paradigm Monitor 8 sealed sub and w/this DAC it's sounds like a huge sub. This is truly a great DAC.

BTW, they have gone up in price $100 in the last couple of months. Synthax told me that was not a price increase but, rather, the result of less favorable exchange rates with the Euro.

RME's other products are controlled by a computer interface called TotalMix. It is superb in its flexibility, accuracy, and stability. The ADI-2 DAC, in contrast, uses only the buttons on the front of the unit for operational changes. Germans and "friendly ergonomics" have never been known to mix...

There is, consequently, a learning curve to the DAC and I refer to p. 9 for assistance in menu control.

The DAC allows you to select/specify impulse response and I know of no other unit that does so. See the options on p. 55 of the manual. It is online so prospective buyers can see this extraordinary option.

After some experimentation with orchestral music styles I often listen to, have settled on the "Slow" response that improves the problem of ringing markedly. As a result, dense orchestral textures become clearer and more precise.

I'm trying to digest the Info. I've had it for 4 days. Paid $1099 which seems to be the price on line. I'll check out p.55 Thanks for the info.
Yes this is a fantastic bargain DAC for the quality. The FS version measures absolutely superbly (unlike Schiit products). It can compete with DACs twice the money (Benchmark, Mytek, Bryston, Auralic etc.).
Are the balanced and RCA outputs both live at the same time? I may like to run RCAs to subs and balanced to my Belcanto.

dsycks:

No, its one or the other -- know this only by the manual, haven't tried it myself. Both balanced and RCA circuits are a class A preamp.

The Belcanto 3.7 DAC seems to use a Steady clock similar to the RME FS clock. Wonder if they are the same. 
Tried the slow response but I preferred the sharper sound. I have a all tube Luxman preamp and Aerial 5 T's so I lost some of that edge on the horns and guitars that I like. Have not tried headphones w/this unit. May borrow some from my dealer. What brand would you recommend?? Also read a review on the $2400 Schiit DAC and the RME blew it out of the water. Going to try and learn the loudness section next. This is one of the biggest bargains in audio. Glad my dealer decided to carry it. I would have never known.
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the chip is an AK4490
dear lad
Sweetwater has for a limited time the RME pro AD/DA converter on sale for a limited time for $1199. $800 off. a real steal.
The AK4490 DAC Chip is excellent. Esoteric and the Hegel 360 integrated both use this chip. Accuphase also uses AK chips in their DACS.
Micromega M100 integrated amp uses the AK4490. 
would the RME ADI 2 be "better" then a ladder DAC for rock and pop music?
All I can say the RME is excellent for rock and pop music. There are 5 filters to choose from. Sharp, Short Delay Sharp, Short Delay Slow, Slow and NOS (Non Oversampling). If you want to rock out I suggest the first two options. The RME is a very versatile audio tool and has some options that other DAC's don't have. A real steal at $1099.
thanks luxman... i am seriously looking at the Schiit Yiggy and the Denafrips Terminator and more econimic models.... the RME does look like a fantastic option for me as I use XLR cables. I listen to mostly rock, stoner-doom and pop and blues....
Go to Audio Science Review they have an in-depth review of both the Yiggy and the RME. The results will surprise you. Also check out the Sound on Sound June issue on the RME. Sound on Sound is a highly respected pro audio magazine.
luxman...do you have a link to that review? all i get on a Search of Audio Science Review is various forum posts on measurements, but no real review of the two DACs
Go to Audio science Review and Search: Review and measurements of RME ADI 2 DAC. Review and Measurements of Schiit Yggdrasil V2 DAC. At the end of conclusions on the Schiit review he will give an opinion of both.
I found the review of measurements in Audio Science Review between the ADI-2 DAC and the ADI-2 Pro to be very interesting.
I've had this little "bugger" for about a month and I'm really enjoying it. Dead quiet background w/excellent detail. You get the real metal sound w/cymbals and triangles. Piano is very detailed . Snare drums and drum sticks very realistic. None of the features are fluff. All are usable to shape the sound you want. Reading the instruction book is a must. And there will be a learning curve. I'm not saying this is the greatest DAC of all time but it's an excellent option to investigate. For me I give it a big thumbs up. You can get it at Guitar Center or Sweetwater. If your in the NH area my local dealer is selling it at Audio Video Therapy. He has one that he'll loan out for a home demo.
By the way if you have questions about the RME they have an online Forum. A lot of info to help you use your DAC to the fullest. Amazing what you can do.
Hi guys,I have a Accuphase DP430 cd player and plan to use it as a transport with the RME adi-2 dac .Do you think it will be a step up from the internal dac in the Accuphase cd player.
Pro gear can be very good, they are ignored by audiophiles sure, but most of the music we listen are recorded and mixed using pro gear.
I’ve had the ADI-2 for a couple months or so. Man, this is a fun, excellent sounding unit! Compared to the DAC on my Halo int, it’s less "dry" sounding, very rounded and full depending on filter setting. I settled on the NOS filter with the bump up in 14 Khz treble suggested on a forum. I’ll be enjoying this DAC for years to come I think.


Bought the RME back in August and there was a big improvement in SQ. There's a choice of five filters. I like Short Delay Slow. Smooths out the digital hash on highly compressed music. The RME also has a five band Parametric EQ, a feature you don't find in any other DAC. Also very good w/high quality headphones. The instruction book is about 68 pages so there'll be a learning curve. 
How does it compare to the mytek liberty dac?
Both will give you excellent sound. But w/a choice of  headphones a parametric EQ and an excellent loudness control option. I find the RME much more flexible in fine tuning your sound..