Topic: Asking kindly for your help to configure ADI-2 DAC solely as DAC

Hi Everybody(the kind people of RME Community),

currently, I am using the ADI-2 DAC only as DAC to feed a Musical Fidelity MX-HPA(fully balanced). As mentioned, the DAC is connected via XLR cable to Amplifier. Directly quoted from MX-HPA Manual:

These  inputs  accept normal line-level  signals  of  300mV  nominal  (suitable  for  30mV->3V) from a wide range of equipment.

Line input of MX-HPA Amp:

  • THD+N     <0.005% typical, 20Hz to 20 kHz

  • Signal /noise ratio     >120dB  ‘A’-weighted

  • Input impedance   50k Ohms

  • Frequency response     +0, –0.1dB, 10Hz to 20 kHz

Currently, My settings are as follow:

  • the Ref Level ist @+7 dBu

  • Auto Ref Level is OFF

  • Volume is locked @ 0.0 dB (based on ADI-2 Manual)

I have tested +13 dBu @ 0.0 dB which caused distortion. How should I config the ADI-2 DAC to fully utilize my amp?

I would appreciate any input from you. I am also pretty noob in this field, thus I would also appreciate any explanation of your suggestions.   

Best regards and thanks in advance,
sam

Re: Asking kindly for your help to configure ADI-2 DAC solely as DAC

You could try to calculate it like I did.
https://forum.rme-audio.de/viewtopic.ph … 24#p155724

BR
Ramses
X10SRi-F, E5-1650v4, Win10Pro20H2, Cub11Pro, UFX+ (v0.9735), XTC, 12Mic, ADI-2 Pro FS R BE

3 (edited by KaiS 2020-08-07 10:57:29)

Re: Asking kindly for your help to configure ADI-2 DAC solely as DAC

+13dBu equals 3.5V, that's 0.5V above what your amp can work with.

Set ADI-2 DAC Reference Level to +7dBu, 0dB volume.
This equals 1.7V, well inside the range your amp can work with.

Re: Asking kindly for your help to configure ADI-2 DAC solely as DAC

KaiS wrote:

+13dBu equals 3.5V, that's 0.5V above what your amp can work with.

Set ADI-2 DAC Reference Level to +7dBu, 0dB volume.
This equals 1.7V, well inside the range your amp can work with.


Thanks for your suggestion. I followed the suggestion ramses' and  calculated the ref and volum level
.

5 (edited by samdDark 2020-08-10 01:08:10)

Re: Asking kindly for your help to configure ADI-2 DAC solely as DAC

ramses wrote:

You could try to calculate it like I did.
https://forum.rme-audio.de/viewtopic.ph … 24#p155724

thanks for your response. I used your post + the Tontechnik-Rechner Sengpielaudio and calculated mine.

Based on the online-convertor, Ref Level 13 dBu equals 3.46v and 10.78 dBv. Using your excel sheet and the convertor, I came to this conclusion:
Ref Level 13dBu (+7dBu on XLR output)
Volume -8 dB

These numbers should put out 2.91v on the XLR input of my amp which is capable of 3v and set the SNR @ 118.5 dB RMS unweighted.

The difference which I can literally hear/notice is the dynamic range, and that I can turn up the volume knob without distortion and hearing loss.

I think I have a better understanding of it now and became more knowledgeable on this topic, thanks to you for pointing me in this direction and not giving me a straight answer.

Now my questions are: are my numbers correct? should I put the volume level about -0.5dB lower to put lower voltage, namely 2.75v, on the amp input or is it safe as long as it's under 3v?

my calculation partially:
dBu    Volt (eff)  Volume    SNR @+13 dBu Ref Level
13       3.45          6.5               120
.
.
.
12        3.08          7.5               119
11.5     2.91           8                 118.5
11        2.748        8.5               118

Thanks in advance.

6 (edited by ramses 2020-08-10 07:30:05)

Re: Asking kindly for your help to configure ADI-2 DAC solely as DAC

> Ref Level 13dBu (+7dBu on XLR output)

I do not understand what you mean by " (+7dBu on XLR output)".
If you set the Ref Level to +13 dBu, then you have 13 dBu on the XLR outputs, when Volume is at 0.
On the Cinch outputs you have always 6 dB less, like described in the manual.

BTW, when doing the calculations, pls also read KaiS's comment:
https://forum.rme-audio.de/viewtopic.ph … 5#p157735:
"This way there are some few dB headroom for the amp's input electronics. Soundwise it's usually better not to drive electronics very close to clipping."

@KaiS: question: wondering whether a Ref Level of +7 dBu is maybe a little too low ?
The difference between 11,5 and 7 dBu (2,91 and 1,73Vrms) appears to me quite high.
Is such a high threshold really required ?

BTW .. the other similar thread is maybe also interesting for you
https://forum.rme-audio.de/viewtopic.php?id=31285

BR
Ramses
X10SRi-F, E5-1650v4, Win10Pro20H2, Cub11Pro, UFX+ (v0.9735), XTC, 12Mic, ADI-2 Pro FS R BE

Re: Asking kindly for your help to configure ADI-2 DAC solely as DAC

Thanks for the response . I have read the comments of @KaiS and I am going to follow his suggestion for clipping and leaving headroom for AMP.

I do not understand what you mean by " (+7dBu on XLR output)".
If you set the Ref Level to +13 dBu, then you have 13 dBu on the XLR outputs, when Volume is at 0.
On the Cinch outputs you have always 6 dB less, like described in the manual.

@ramses: Now, I am a little confused. My ADI-2 DAC is on the latest Firmware 27/34. On the I/O menu, under Ref Level, I can go only up to +13 dBu and not further. Based on the Manual, that XLR output is always 6 db higher, so I assumed that with XLR, I should add +6 db to the Ref Level.
Is my DAC faulty?!!!!
Now I am also worried.
I have connected my DAC to the amp using the following cable:
https://www.highend-audiokabel.de/somme … kabel.html

I look forward to hearing from you.

Re: Asking kindly for your help to configure ADI-2 DAC solely as DAC

Hi SamdDark,

I think what he means is that if you are using XLR outputs from the RME DAC then it will automatically be +6 to whatever setting you have it on. For example, it will say +13dbu on your RME screen but in reality will be +19.

I've been playing around with my RME DAC using XLR output. I'm using it as a DAC only, not a preamp, but found that +7dbu and auto reference on gives me the best sound with the best dynamic range. It also lets me use the loudness feature which is very cool. The volume on the RME DAC seems to veer between -3 and -8, depending on the source. I tried using volume locked at 0 but found this decreased dynamic range on my system.

Once you've got these basics out of the way, I encourage you to start trying the EQ. I mostly use the SD SHARP filter but sometimes change to SD SLOW and, with the help of a forum, managed to change the EQ so the SD SLOW didn't have so much treble roll off. I'm very happy to have both sound options at my fingertips.

9 (edited by ramses 2020-08-11 08:57:04)

Re: Asking kindly for your help to configure ADI-2 DAC solely as DAC

kbrooke wrote:

Hi SamdDark,
I think what he means is that if you are using XLR outputs from the RME DAC then it will automatically be +6 to whatever setting you have it on. For example, it will say +13dbu on your RME screen but in reality will be +19.

Sorry, neither I wrote this, not this is documented this way in the manual.

In Posting #6 I said clearly

ramses wrote:

If you set the Ref Level to +13 dBu, then you have 13 dBu on the XLR outputs, when Volume is at 0.
On the Cinch outputs you have always 6 dB less, like described in the manual.

Here a screenshot from one of the I think two manual sections which state this clearly.
I added a tabular with the supported reference levels for XLR and the 6 dB reduced values on the RCA/Cinch output.

I also added Vrms values in the tabular below, for whatever value it may bring to you.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/yd70jn5szwony63/2020-08-11%2008_39_30-adi2dac-reflevel-Vrms.jpg?dl=1

BR
Ramses
X10SRi-F, E5-1650v4, Win10Pro20H2, Cub11Pro, UFX+ (v0.9735), XTC, 12Mic, ADI-2 Pro FS R BE

10

Re: Asking kindly for your help to configure ADI-2 DAC solely as DAC

@ramses: some confusion here. If you set +13 dBu (visible in the display) you get +19 dBu at the XLR output. The DAC does not have a +19 dBu setting in the display. The RCA is not 6 dB less than this setting, the XLR is 6 dB +.

Regards
Matthias Carstens
RME

11 (edited by ramses 2020-08-11 11:14:37)

Re: Asking kindly for your help to configure ADI-2 DAC solely as DAC

Yes, you're right, and I know now what confused me..

I think the confusion is based on copy/paste from the Pro manual, where we have only XLR ports.

1. Please look at the technical data for XLR, there you find:
"Output level switchable +19 dBu, +13 dBu, +7 dBu, +1 dBu @ 0 dBFS"

With all other RME devices you can see from this/such info, which reference levels can be set on a device, but unfortunately not for this device. This information belongs IMHO to the RCA section.

2. further down at Cinch you will find
"Output level 6 dB lower than XLR."

In my opinion, 1+2 together gives the impression that the higher values for the XLR output are the configurable reference levels and at the RCA output the values are simply lower. But in fact this is not the case.

Therefore the following proposal for a little change in the manual section to make it possible again, to draw valid conclusions from technical information about the device capabilities in terms of configurable reference levels:

1. For the XLR section the information:
"Output level 6 dB higher than RCA."

2. For RCA section the information:
"Output Level switchable between +13, +7, +1, -5 dBu"

3. remove what doesn't fit.

I am reading a lot out of this brilliant technical data section. Such a change would be really helpful to make things clear.
Many thanks upfront Matthias.

BR
Ramses
X10SRi-F, E5-1650v4, Win10Pro20H2, Cub11Pro, UFX+ (v0.9735), XTC, 12Mic, ADI-2 Pro FS R BE

12 (edited by KaiS 2020-08-11 19:45:05)

Re: Asking kindly for your help to configure ADI-2 DAC solely as DAC

@Ramses:
You're right, the manual should more clearly state how the figures shown in the devices are connected to the real output levels.
Specially as the 6dB difference XLR to RCA (6.3mm on Pro) is handled different on both ADIs.


In general:
People here tend to determin their optimum levels from reading factory specs.

That's a mistake, as these specs aren't reliable (outside RME) and doing so based on theoretical values is prone to errors too, as we could see here.


How to reliably find the optimum level:

• Get youself a test signal, sinewave 400 or 1kHz, digital full scale "0 dBfs", from the internet, test CD, App or any other source, e.g.:

https://archiv.rme-audio.de/old/download/0_16.zip

• Run it to your system, dial up the ADI level until audible distortion appears.
Note down this clean reference level.

• Then dial back few dB's, as audio electronic likes a bit of headroom to work best.

Every other method is guesswork at best and no engineer in the world would skip that test.

13 (edited by ramses 2020-08-11 11:53:13)

Re: Asking kindly for your help to configure ADI-2 DAC solely as DAC

Many thanks for this information Kai.
I assume sine wave is being used as distortion is much easier to be recognized compared to a complex waveform like "music".

BR
Ramses
X10SRi-F, E5-1650v4, Win10Pro20H2, Cub11Pro, UFX+ (v0.9735), XTC, 12Mic, ADI-2 Pro FS R BE

Re: Asking kindly for your help to configure ADI-2 DAC solely as DAC

ramses wrote:

I assume sine wave is being used as distortion is much easier to be recognized compared to a complex waveform like "music".

With a sinewave the slightest bit of distortion caused by hard clipping becomes immediately obvious.

With music clipping distortions are covered by the music contained overtones.
Even worse, lots of contemporary masters are hard-clipped to stupidly squeeze out the last bit of loudness.

Re: Asking kindly for your help to configure ADI-2 DAC solely as DAC

Re manual changes, I suggest also clarifying the ADI-2 DAC FS manual right up front where the Volume Line Out display image first appears.

5.3. Operation at the Unit
Useful information for a smooth start:
Turning the big VOLUME knob brings up the Volume screen of the currently active output. The status bar at the bottom of the display shows the current volume settings' dB value.

Please mention that Line Out in any display screen always refers to Cinch/RCA output.

Having all Line Out displays refer to Cinch/RCA outputs (rather than XLR) is, in my opinion, most appropriate for multiple reasons in this product.

16

Re: Asking kindly for your help to configure ADI-2 DAC solely as DAC

It is wide spread HiFi standard that everything relates to RCA, and the XLR just give 6 dB higher level. That's why we did that in the ADI-2 DAC as well.

Regards
Matthias Carstens
RME

Re: Asking kindly for your help to configure ADI-2 DAC solely as DAC

@MC, @KaiS, @ramses and everybody else, many thanks for your feedback and clarification. I am really enjoying the ADI-2 DAC, because it has so many thing to learn from and configure.

I have another related question: what does it mean for my amp, if I set the adi-2 dac @Ref  Level +7dBu with volume @ 0dB(XLR in/output)?


I look forward to your feedback.

18 (edited by Luckbad 2020-08-12 07:00:15)

Re: Asking kindly for your help to configure ADI-2 DAC solely as DAC

It means you are feeding up to ~3.46 volts (RMS) or +13dBu via the XLR outs.

If you want to be sure you don't distort your amp with any music, you need to reduce that by ~1.5dBu.

A reference level of +7 (on the front of the ADI-2 DAC, which really means +13 balanced) needs to be at -1.5 dBr to stay below 3 volts.

To keep your amp's input happy (max 3 volts):

3 VRMS
3000 mVRMS
9.542425094393248 dBV
11.760912582051235 dBu
8.485281374238571 VPP

That's the maximum dBu you can feed it. You're giving it 13, so reducing it by 1.5 dBr gets you to 11.5 dBu or 2.9112240182327254 VRMS.

19 (edited by KaiS 2020-08-12 11:28:30)

Re: Asking kindly for your help to configure ADI-2 DAC solely as DAC

The above calculation is correct, but I would go down from that another 3dB for the electronics to handle peaks that origin from phase shift.

My suggestion:
Reference Level: +7dBu
Volume control: -4.5dB


Explanation:
Complex signals like music can peak a bit higher than sinewaves if the analog path has phase shifts, caused e.g. from the very common DC blocking and HF filter caps.
These phase shifts "shift" higher frequencies on top of lower ones, thus resulting in higher than nominal overall peak amplitude.

Then there is the effect of Intersample Peak, that causes the DA-converter to, again, put out up to 3dB more than with a pure sinewave.
Intersample Peak appears on heavily limited music masters.

20 (edited by samdDark 2020-08-14 23:06:29)

Re: Asking kindly for your help to configure ADI-2 DAC solely as DAC

"Hervorragend". Many thanks @KaiS @Luckbad for your detailed answers. Now I get the relation between Ref Level and Volume level.

My next questions are about SNR.

From ADI-2 DAC Specs:

Signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) @ +7/+13/+19 dBu: 120 dB RMS unweighted, 123 dBA

does this mean that the SNR is 120 dB if Ref Level for example @ +13dBu and volume @ 0dB?

If I set my Ref Level @ +13dBu and Volume@ -4.5dB, the effective SNR at XLR output should be 120 dB - 4.5 dB = 115.5 dB. Is this correct?

wouldn't the sound quality and dynamic range be better, if I'd set the Ref Level @ +7dBu and the volume @ 0 dB to get the highest SNR?

After reading all of your suggestions and explanations, especially the one from @KaiS, I came to the conclusion that I don't intend to overfeed my amp with voltage, but I want to have a better sound quality and less distortion.

There is another point which is not clear to me. I have noticed when I turn the auto ref on, the dac shows dBr instead of dB when i dial the volume knob. @Luckbad had mentioned this also in his post. What is this? dB relative to what?

From @Luckbad:

A reference level of +7 (on the front of the ADI-2 DAC, which really means +13 balanced) needs to be at -1.5 dBr to stay below 3 volts.

I look forward to hearing from you and learn further.

Many thanks in advance

21 (edited by ramses 2020-08-13 09:22:22)

Re: Asking kindly for your help to configure ADI-2 DAC solely as DAC

If you reduce the volume from 0db by -3dB then you also loose 3dB SNR and by this theoretically also a little dynamic, but to this later.

So if I put all these things together there seems to be a certain tradeoff between highest possible SNR when you "measure" and to "operate" a device with the aim not to overload the input circuit of the pre- or power amp.

But this is IMHO not that tragic for several reasons.

1. In most cases the ADI-2 * have better values anyway compared to the HiFi Pre- or Power-amp.

2. The other thing ist, that most music material doesn't have that dynamic anyway and is much more compressed, Classical recordings might the be only material with highest dynamic, but you can IMHO only reach a certain dynamic which might already be limited by the capabilities of microphones.

3. also the ear might have some limitations. If you want to listen to the full spectrum of 120dB, I think this would be extremely loud and injure your ear.

Maybe KaiS can explain this better based on his research and studio background or whoever can contribute to this topic.
Many thanks upfront.

BR
Ramses
X10SRi-F, E5-1650v4, Win10Pro20H2, Cub11Pro, UFX+ (v0.9735), XTC, 12Mic, ADI-2 Pro FS R BE

22 (edited by KaiS 2020-08-16 00:08:41)

Re: Asking kindly for your help to configure ADI-2 DAC solely as DAC

The ADI-2 DAC is 24bit and has a resolution of 144dB.
So distortion is a non-issue.

If you don't hear noise, noise a non-issue too.


What remains are distortions at the upper end of the dynamic range from electronics struggling to squeeze out (literally, NFB does) the last dBs before clipping.
Not in the ADI-2, it's constructed with some headroom, but in the following amp.


In the studio, in favour of a cleaner sound, we tend to use a bit lower levels on critical signals like hihats, cymbals and other percussive instruments.

Classical orchestral music recordings are produced with a dynamic range (ppp to fff) of about 30dB at max.
Chamber music much less.
More is considered as unlistenable, as you either won't hear the ppp, or the fff will blow you out of your seat.
This is not a technical decision, but an artistic by the conductor's, BTW, and it's almost the same in the concert hall.


Comming back to your case, you can even go for Reference Level +1dBu and Volume 0dB.
You gain 1.5dB SNR relative to +7dBu/-4.5dB.


With Auto-Reference level the Vol. display's "dBr"-value is referenced to the max. possible undistorted level.
The value is the result of a calculation that even takes into account EQ and other DSP-funktions - clever, isn't it!?

Re: Asking kindly for your help to configure ADI-2 DAC solely as DAC

I'm so much more nooby with this device. I'm used to much simpler devices that are more plug and play, i.e., Topping A90/D90 as my current setup. I also have a Feliks Elise tube amp.

My question is I'm trying to figure out how to connect the RME unit to the Elise, or the A90 as a dac/preamp. In these RME forums I think I'm reading you need to adjust settings in the dac to do so optimally? Also, will all the DAP functions work using it as a dac/preamp (eq,loudness,bass/treble?)

I don't understand a lot of what I read here with the numbers so anyone's help is greatly appreciated!

24 (edited by KaiS 2020-08-13 20:52:50)

Re: Asking kindly for your help to configure ADI-2 DAC solely as DAC

rjley wrote:

I'm so much more nooby with this device. I'm used to much simpler devices that are more plug and play, i.e., Topping A90/D90 as my current setup. I also have a Feliks Elise tube amp.

My question is I'm trying to figure out how to connect the RME unit to the Elise, or the A90 as a dac/preamp. In these RME forums I think I'm reading you need to adjust settings in the dac to do so optimally? Also, will all the DAP functions work using it as a dac/preamp (eq,loudness,bass/treble?)

I don't understand a lot of what I read here with the numbers so anyone's help is greatly appreciated!

Don't worry about the numbers, people are sometimes overly picky on these without gaining much, practically.


Out of the box ADI-2 is already configured to fit most setups automatically, plug and play.
There's some automatism built in, regarding input switching and levels.

Use the Cinch connection with the Feliks Elise, the XLR with the Topping A90.
Set both volumes to a middle position and let ADI-2 do the rest, listen to music.

Once you become more familiar with your ADI-2 you can dig deeper.
The manual is comprehensive.

Loudness, BTW, needs to be activated and adjusted to your listening level, see:
https://forum.rme-audio.de/viewtopic.ph … 83#p157883

Re: Asking kindly for your help to configure ADI-2 DAC solely as DAC

KaiS wrote:
rjley wrote:

I'm so much more nooby with this device. I'm used to much simpler devices that are more plug and play, i.e., Topping A90/D90 as my current setup. I also have a Feliks Elise tube amp.

My question is I'm trying to figure out how to connect the RME unit to the Elise, or the A90 as a dac/preamp. In these RME forums I think I'm reading you need to adjust settings in the dac to do so optimally? Also, will all the DAP functions work using it as a dac/preamp (eq,loudness,bass/treble?)

I don't understand a lot of what I read here with the numbers so anyone's help is greatly appreciated!

Don't worry about the numbers, people are sometimes overly picky on these without gaining much, practically.


Out of the box ADI-2 is already configured to fit most setups automatically, plug and play.
There's some automatism built in, regarding input switching and levels.

Use the Cinch connection with the Feliks Elise, the XLR with the Topping A90.
Set both volumes to a middle position and let ADI-2 do the rest, listen to music.

Once you become more familiar with your ADI-2 you can dig deeper.
The manual is comprehensive.

Loudness, BTW, needs to be activated and adjusted to your listening level, see:
https://forum.rme-audio.de/viewtopic.ph … 83#p157883

Thanks so much for your info!! Does the eq/bass/treble controls still work using this way?

Re: Asking kindly for your help to configure ADI-2 DAC solely as DAC

Yes.
Might be you need to switch it on.

Re: Asking kindly for your help to configure ADI-2 DAC solely as DAC

I use the device now as DAC only, and I also don't really understand all that technical number stuff, but I've read above that I would like to be confirmed.

It's possible to have two different amplifiers plugged at the same time, one on the cinch and one on the XLR without damaging the device (don't intend to listen to both at the same time of course) ?

Re: Asking kindly for your help to configure ADI-2 DAC solely as DAC

Many thanks @KaiS @ramses. You guys are great.  With your Info/explanations + the manual, I have decided to config ADI-2 DAC as follow:

Ref Level @ +7 dBu (+1 dBu for XLR Connection)
Volume Level @ 0 dB

This will feed 1.734v to my Headphone amp. If I want to hear my music louder, I should just turn the volume knob on my headphone amp. Next step is to play around with EQ.

I am enjoying the ADI-2 DAC and learning along.
RME Community rocks.

Best regards,
sam

Re: Asking kindly for your help to configure ADI-2 DAC solely as DAC

bozoleclown59 wrote:

I use the device now as DAC only, and I also don't really understand all that technical number stuff, but I've read above that I would like to be confirmed.

It's possible to have two different amplifiers plugged at the same time, one on the cinch and one on the XLR without damaging the device (don't intend to listen to both at the same time of course) ?

Yes.

Re: Asking kindly for your help to configure ADI-2 DAC solely as DAC

@KaiS Thanks a lot !

Re: Asking kindly for your help to configure ADI-2 DAC solely as DAC

samdDark wrote:

Many thanks @KaiS @ramses. You guys are great.  With your Info/explanations + the manual, I have decided to config ADI-2 DAC as follow:

Ref Level @ +7 dBu (+1 dBu for XLR Connection)
Volume Level @ 0 dB

This will feed 1.734v to my Headphone amp. If I want to hear my music louder, I should just turn the volume knob on my headphone amp. Next step is to play around with EQ.

I am enjoying the ADI-2 DAC and learning along.
RME Community rocks.

Best regards,
sam

Just curious if that's the consensus, to adjust volume with headphone amp rather than the dac. The answer to my post above said to control volume with the dac.

32 (edited by KaiS 2020-08-16 01:33:32)

Re: Asking kindly for your help to configure ADI-2 DAC solely as DAC

rjley wrote:

Just curious if that's the consensus, to adjust volume with headphone amp rather than the dac. The answer to my post above said to control volume with the dac.

Either does work.

Depending on the configuration I do use one or the other.


ADI-2 has such a high quality margin and clever construction that you can dial down the Volume Control by 30dB and more with no negative effects.


Using ADI-2's Volume Control to set the listening level is mandatory for the Loudness function.

BTW: If you use ADI-2's Volume Control for setting the listening level, leave the "Auto Reference Level" function on.
It automaticalliy optimizes ADI-2's dynamic range.


A little hint:
When I do use external amplifiers, while using ADI-2 to control the listening level, I set the ext. amp's volume dial to get the equal level like from ADI-2's headphones output.
Kind of a "Unity-Gain"- approach from studio work.

I can plug headphones in one or the other without changing the Vol setting.

Re: Asking kindly for your help to configure ADI-2 DAC solely as DAC

KaiS wrote:
rjley wrote:

Just curious if that's the consensus, to adjust volume with headphone amp rather than the dac. The answer to my post above said to control volume with the dac.

Either does work.

Depending on the configuration I do use one or the other.


ADI-2 has such a high quality margin and clever construction that you can dial down the Volume Control by 30dB and more with no negative effects.


Using ADI-2's Volume Control to set the listening level is mandatory for the Loudness function.

BTW: If you use ADI-2's Volume Control for setting the listening level, leave the "Auto Reference Level" function on.
It automaticalliy optimizes ADI-2's dynamic range.


A little hint:
When I do use external amplifiers, while using ADI-2 to control the listening level, I set the ext. amp's volume dial to get the equal level like from ADI-2's headphones output.
Kind of a "Unity-Gain"- approach from studio work.

I can plug headphones in one or the other without changing the Vol setting.

Thanks again.
When people say "use the ADI-2 as a DAC only" does that mean using another external amp as well? Even when using an external amp, isn't the amp portion of the ADI-2 still functioning?

My question is, what's the difference, set up wise, between using as a dac only and using as a dac/preamp?
Thanks!

Re: Asking kindly for your help to configure ADI-2 DAC solely as DAC

You know the difference between preamp, power-amp, integrated amp, which contains preamp and power-amp ?

You can use the ADI-2 * to connect it either as DAC to a preamp or integrated amp or
you use it as a complete DAC/preamp in front of a power-amp.

BR
Ramses
X10SRi-F, E5-1650v4, Win10Pro20H2, Cub11Pro, UFX+ (v0.9735), XTC, 12Mic, ADI-2 Pro FS R BE

35 (edited by rjley 2020-08-17 20:36:08)

Re: Asking kindly for your help to configure ADI-2 DAC solely as DAC

ramses wrote:

You know the difference between preamp, power-amp, integrated amp, which contains preamp and power-amp ?

You can use the ADI-2 * to connect it either as DAC to a preamp or integrated amp or
you use it as a complete DAC/preamp in front of a power-amp.

Thanks, I'm using it with a Feliks Elise or a Topping A90 (strictly for headphone use only)

Re: Asking kindly for your help to configure ADI-2 DAC solely as DAC

rjley wrote:
ramses wrote:

You know the difference between preamp, power-amp, integrated amp, which contains preamp and power-amp ?

You can use the ADI-2 * to connect it either as DAC to a preamp or integrated amp or
you use it as a complete DAC/preamp in front of a power-amp.

Thanks, I'm using it with a Feliks Elise or a Topping A90 (strictly for headphone use only)

Is this a question ? If yes, what question ?

BR
Ramses
X10SRi-F, E5-1650v4, Win10Pro20H2, Cub11Pro, UFX+ (v0.9735), XTC, 12Mic, ADI-2 Pro FS R BE

Re: Asking kindly for your help to configure ADI-2 DAC solely as DAC

ramses wrote:
rjley wrote:
ramses wrote:

You know the difference between preamp, power-amp, integrated amp, which contains preamp and power-amp ?

You can use the ADI-2 * to connect it either as DAC to a preamp or integrated amp or
you use it as a complete DAC/preamp in front of a power-amp.

Thanks, I'm using it with a Feliks Elise or a Topping A90 (strictly for headphone use only)

Is this a question ? If yes, what question ?

Just curious what categories of the above are headphone amps are under? The topping A90 has a preamp setting but the Feliks is strictly an amp (power amp?)

38 (edited by ramses 2020-08-17 21:59:57)

Re: Asking kindly for your help to configure ADI-2 DAC solely as DAC

Sorry, but this is easy to find out by simply reading a few product descriptions:

Topping A90 is a preamp for amplifier and phones.

Feliks elise seems to be a preamp for phones. BTW .. in one review I found this remark: Cons: Not very powerful, not suitable for planar-magnetic headphones, high output impedance

IMHO ... get the ADI-2 DAC and you do not need any of these two.

BR
Ramses
X10SRi-F, E5-1650v4, Win10Pro20H2, Cub11Pro, UFX+ (v0.9735), XTC, 12Mic, ADI-2 Pro FS R BE

Re: Asking kindly for your help to configure ADI-2 DAC solely as DAC

A little hint:
When I do use external amplifiers, while using ADI-2 to control the listening level, I set the ext. amp's volume dial to get the equal level like from ADI-2's headphones output.
Kind of a "Unity-Gain"- approach from studio work.

I can plug headphones in one or the other without changing the Vol setting.

This is a very interesting hint, I am going to try this.

Re: Asking kindly for your help to configure ADI-2 DAC solely as DAC

rjley wrote:
samdDark wrote:

Many thanks @KaiS @ramses. You guys are great.  With your Info/explanations + the manual, I have decided to config ADI-2 DAC as follow:

Ref Level @ +7 dBu (+1 dBu for XLR Connection)
Volume Level @ 0 dB

This will feed 1.734v to my Headphone amp. If I want to hear my music louder, I should just turn the volume knob on my headphone amp. Next step is to play around with EQ.

I am enjoying the ADI-2 DAC and learning along.
RME Community rocks.

Best regards,
sam

Just curious if that's the consensus, to adjust volume with headphone amp rather than the dac. The answer to my post above said to control volume with the dac.

To make it simple, IMO, if somebody owns ADI-2 DAC, no other device is needed to enjoy the music. In my case, I owned my balanced amp, before I bought the ADI-2 DAC. Being some kind of headphone collector, I use my balanced amp only  for my balanced headphones, for all other headphones, I only use ADI-2 and nothing more. I am just blown away by how clean and joyful it sounds. The IEM input has surprised me the most. I recommend, if it's possible, pairing it with Beyerdynamic  dt 1990 pro. Just plug your headphone, turn the dac on and  enjoy your music.

Happy listening. It gave me a reason to go through my music collection again.

41 (edited by KaiS 2020-08-19 21:27:06)

Re: Asking kindly for your help to configure ADI-2 DAC solely as DAC

ramses wrote:

...
Feliks elise seems to be a preamp for phones. BTW .. in one review I found this remark: Cons: Not very powerful, not suitable for planar-magnetic headphones, high output impedance

IMHO ... get the ADI-2 DAC and you do not need any of these two.

Sometimes it's nice to slightly overdrive a tubeamp.

Depends on the construction, but "high output impedance" points to little NFB - resulting in a soft transition from clean to distorted with tubes.
Just right for fun if the headphones and the users loudness demand fits.

Kind of a "one trick pony".

42

Re: Asking kindly for your help to configure ADI-2 DAC solely as DAC

KaiS wrote:

Using ADI-2's Volume Control to set the listening level is mandatory for the Loudness function.

A little hint:
When I do use external amplifiers, while using ADI-2 to control the listening level, I set the ext. amp's volume dial to get the equal level like from ADI-2's headphones output. Kind of a "Unity-Gain"- approach from studio work.
I can plug headphones in one or the other without changing the Vol setting.

This forum needs a Like button...

Regards
Matthias Carstens
RME

43 (edited by Reg19 2021-01-14 21:44:18)

Re: Asking kindly for your help to configure ADI-2 DAC solely as DAC

I need guidance on the right level to set the ADI-2 DAC FS (used as DAC only) at to feed the Parasound P6 preamp. ( https://parasound.com/p6.php ) using XLR ouputs. My amplifier is the Parasound A21 ( https://parasound.com/a21.php )

The RCA outputs of the ADI-2 DAC FS shall be connected to twin powered subs.

Thanks.

44 (edited by KaiS 2021-01-15 00:10:32)

Re: Asking kindly for your help to configure ADI-2 DAC solely as DAC

Reg19 wrote:

I need guidance on the right level to set the ADI-2 DAC FS (used as DAC only) at to feed the Parasound P6 preamp. ( https://parasound.com/p6.php ) using XLR ouputs. My amplifier is the Parasound A21 ( https://parasound.com/a21.php )

The RCA outputs of the ADI-2 DAC FS shall be connected to twin powered subs.

Thanks.

Try this one, Case 1 is the solution you asked for.
For this the subs should be connected to the Parasound P6 outputs.

With the the subs connected directly to the ADI-2 it would be better to use Case 2.
Else there is no common volume control for satellites and subs.

[https://forum.rme-audio.de/viewtopic.ph … 21#p161721]