Topic: Headphone Amp comparison ADI-2 DAC FS and ADI-2 Pro FS R Black Edition

Dear all,

Kindly seeking insight. Hopefully a simple question :

Does the ADI-2 Pro FS R Black Edition when using as usb dac/headphone Amp provide any advantage against the ADI-2 DAC FS beside the balanced mode?

Thanks

Christian

2 (edited by ramses 2020-12-19 17:52:49)

Re: Headphone Amp comparison ADI-2 DAC FS and ADI-2 Pro FS R Black Edition

In general:
- R-model in the name has now also a remote
- models with FS in the name have Femto Second Clock
- BE (Black Edition) in the name has no holes for rack mounting
- ADI-2 Pro: unlike ADI-2 FS has no bypass for analog signals, everything is 1st A/D then D/A converted

Features of ADI-2 Pro FS R BE over ADI-2 DAC FS
- analog inputs for AD conversion
- in general: Pro Model has 1 AD and 2 DA converter, DAC model has no AD and only 1 DA converter
- therefore more routing modes
- 2 full phones preamps (drives either 2 phones or makes phone comparisons easier)
- AES, ADAT, SPDIF I/O (including optical SPDIF, coax SPDIF)
- SPDIF inputs and outputs (coaxial / optical)
- (reference-) levels more oriented on studio levels, i.e. for outputs:
  ADI-2 Pro FS : Output level switchable +24 dBu, +19 dBu, +13 dBu, +4 dBu @ 0 dBF
  ADI-2 DAC FS: Output level switchable +19 dBu, +13 dBu,   +7 dBu, +1 dBu @ 0 dBF
- SRC (sample rate converter) included, allows easier connection for devices with fix sample rate, e.g. DAT recorder with 48 kHz

ADI-2 DAC FS
- cost optimized version
- reference levels more optimized for HiFi use
- doesn't have the additional features listed above for the Pro

ADI-2 FS
- even more cost optimization to provide a good AD/DA converter with good phones output for monitoring
- no USB port, so no USB DAC functionality, simply a very nice 2ch AD/DA converter
- as far as I remember: true bypass of analog signals supported
- 1x High Power Phones output, but no extreme power, no balanced mode (Pro), no iem phones output (DAC)
- only 3 reference levels supported, DAC/PRO support 4
- no advanced Pro/DAC features like PEQ, dynamic loudness, auto reflevel, DAC with selectable D/A filter
- no automatic routing modes
- no remote control
- no DSD support

BR
Ramses
X10SRi-F, E5-1650v4, Win10Pro20H2, Cub11Pro, UFX+ (v0.9734), XTC, 12Mic, ADI-2 Pro FS R BE

Re: Headphone Amp comparison ADI-2 DAC FS and ADI-2 Pro FS R Black Edition

Dear Ramses,

Many thanks.

What about the hearing quality? Does the pro provide better listening experience?

Thanks

Christian

4 (edited by ramses 2020-01-25 00:51:36)

Re: Headphone Amp comparison ADI-2 DAC FS and ADI-2 Pro FS R Black Edition

Its the same DAC chip.

BR
Ramses
X10SRi-F, E5-1650v4, Win10Pro20H2, Cub11Pro, UFX+ (v0.9734), XTC, 12Mic, ADI-2 Pro FS R BE

Re: Headphone Amp comparison ADI-2 DAC FS and ADI-2 Pro FS R Black Edition

Thanks.

But the dac is not everything. So I was unclear if the signal path as such was of another quality.

So the premium price is about the added functionality as written above, but not about the listening experience.

Many thanks for making this clear

Christian

6 (edited by ramses 2020-01-25 16:35:24)

Re: Headphone Amp comparison ADI-2 DAC FS and ADI-2 Pro FS R Black Edition

I would wonder if you could identify differencies when listening to both products in a profesionally held blind or abx test.
Both products ADI-2 Pro / DAC have the same quality.

RME's intention to release the ADI-2 DAC after the ADI-2 Pro was simply to deliver a product for i.e. HiFi Enthusiasts, that do not require interfaces / ports, audio levels, that are more found in the studio.

The goal for the ADI-2 DAC is to build an attractive and affordable product for more people, not to sacrifice quality.

So the ADI-2 DAC offers features that are more for HiFi users by supporting:
- RCA plugs
- IEM output
- analog levels more suitable for the HiFi sector

To make it possible to lower the price some features that you can find on the Pro model have been removed,
which are mostly needed by people working in a studio, like i.e.:
- A/D conversion
- Digital output
- AES I/O
- 2nd DA converter
- several routing options for format conversion
- SRC (sample rate converter) if you have i.e. a DAT recorder with 48 kHz fix sample frequency but want to work in 96 kHz
- support for balanced phones

But some of the Pro features could also be useful for HiFi people like i.e.:
- A/D conversion to digitize analog sources (vinyl, tapes, ..), because this saves you the extra money (and space)
   of an ADI-2 FS
- 2nd phones output for balanced phones

Therefore its nice that RME updated now also the Pro version with some features like: remote, also new AKM chip
to bring the two devices again closer together.

So simply choose what you require.
a) either the ADI-2 DAC FS with new AKM chip and new remote if you need it mainly for HiFi AND an attractive price
or
b) the ADI-2 Pro FS E BE, with also same new AKM chip and new remote, if you need more flexibilty in routing and ports
or need balanced phones or need 2 phones outputs to be able to compare phones.

BR
Ramses
X10SRi-F, E5-1650v4, Win10Pro20H2, Cub11Pro, UFX+ (v0.9734), XTC, 12Mic, ADI-2 Pro FS R BE

Re: Headphone Amp comparison ADI-2 DAC FS and ADI-2 Pro FS R Black Edition

Dear Ramses,

Thank you very much for this detailed and useful help.

It's now on me to drive a decision smile

Thanks

Christian