RME ADI-2 DAC or Pro with Roon?


(Magnus) #62

I tried native DSD over toslink but could not get it working, so my guess is DSD over DoP (DoP or native does not matter for SQ though, although DoP takes a little extra bandwidth).

The direct-DSD function in the RME DAC is to make the DAC handle DSD directly (which means disable volume and DSP). That means full volume, so don’t try it if using RME as preamp. The normal DSD handling is like in Roon, i.e. it converts to PCM before volume and DSP is applied.


(Magnus) #63

Some comparisons with Hugo 2 here, which I think you are familiar with: https://headfonics.com/2018/04/rme-adi-2-dac-review/


(Sean) #64

You are potentially comparing different preamp design and digital volume controls . The ADI-2 DAC can be better optimized as a pre, with different gain settings… The Pro-Ject S2 DAC can’t.

But in your case (straight into power amps) it’s definitely a good feature to have.

I’m not a fan of the S2 DAC’s digital volume control, especially when you get down low. But now I use it as a straight D-to-A converter only, fixed at 0dB volume…


(Magnus) #65

From what I read and experienced myself, the implementation of digital volume in RME is excellent, especially in combination with auto-ref which sets the ref-voltage based on volume and sensitivity of amplifier automatically to maximize dynamic range.

Another excellent feature: I often listen when wife is sleeping, so have to listen at low volume. And I absolutely love the configurable loudness function, toggling it on/off at low volume is like going from music over a telephone line to real music.

Here is how it works:

  1. Set lowest level you listen to music, in my case its -57 dB
  2. Set modification to bass and treble at this level, I set +8dB on bass and +5dB to treble
  3. The range of modifications is 20 db, so in this case from -37dB to -57dB

So now when I play at -57dB I get +8dB bass and +5dB treble, and that lowers gradually as I raise volume to -37dB at which point its 0/0. No reason to ever fiddle with it, I leave it on at all time and let it do its magic.

Surprising that not more DAC has this feature, its a total game changer for listening at low volume. But it does require a good display and proper build in DPS, so maybe not so strange.


(Sean) #66

Yeh I’ve had an extensive home demo myself… as a straight DAC (no digital vol. control) and short unbalanced RCA cables to amp, the difference wasn’t so big with the Pro-Ject S2 DAC I have (subjectively, to my ears/tastes).

It’s built-in headphone amp section does subjectively perform better to my ears/tastes than the S2 DAC’s built-in amp, but I use a separate headphone amp anyway (THX 789 amp) so I don’t really care about that particular difference.

The preamp features are much better with the RME. Very useful when connecting to power amps or powered speakers… I may get it as a DAC+pre direct into powered speakers… just waiting on news on a couple upcoming products first, before deciding.

The other very obvious different with the RME is the option to go balanced XLR on outputs… can be a big advantage, depending on overall system and layout.


(Magnus) #67

Got it working now, bought a cheap toslink sound card Delock 7.1 which support everything up to 192khz, and also have both WASAPI and ASIO. I don’t think the sound quality changed (maybe a little added clarity), but playing DSD DoP over toslink to RME now works excellent (RME reports “sync 176,4 DSD 24” on state overview).