Topic: ADI-2 DAC Preamp

In a recent YouTube video John Darko (audio reviewer) recommended you add an external preamp to dacs that have built in preamps.  He thought the external preamp help the sound.  It appears that the RME dac has a very good preamp.  Do you think you need to add and external preamp to the RME dac?  Thanks for your help.

Greg

2

Re: ADI-2 DAC Preamp

Not at all. It will only tamper (means degrade) the quality of the output signal.

Regards
Matthias Carstens
RME

3 (edited by KaiS 2020-12-17 09:25:13)

Re: ADI-2 DAC Preamp

taipan1013 wrote:

...  Do you think you need to add and external preamp to the RME dac?

No, only complicates the setup.

Tell us what you want to connect to ADI-2, power amp/loudspeaker (which) or headphones, and we give you hints how to get the best out of ADI-2.

Meanwhile look here, post #14:
https://forum.rme-audio.de/viewtopic.ph … 21#p161721

Re: ADI-2 DAC Preamp

Thank you very much for the input regarding the preamp.  I had assumed that I would be better off not adding an external preamp.  Thanks for the confirmation.

I appreciate your willingness to provide tips to setup the RME dac. I am using some vintage equipment.  I have a modified (Musical Concepts mod kit) Hafler 200, Gale 401C speakers (British speaker from the 80's, Raspberry Pi (running Ripeee) and music source is a Mac running Roon.

Thanks again for your comments and help.  Greatly appreciated.

5 (edited by KaiS 2020-12-18 02:51:43)

Re: ADI-2 DAC Preamp

taipan1013 wrote:

... I am using some vintage equipment.  I have a modified (Musical Concepts mod kit) Hafler 200, Gale 401C speakers (British speaker from the 80's, Raspberry Pi (running Ripeee) and music source is a Mac running Roon.

Thanks again for your comments and help.  Greatly appreciated.

Key component for interfacing with the ADI-2 is the Hafler DH-200.

As far as I can see it has no input level controls.
Therefore I strongly suggest to get switchable passive attenuators to adapt ADI-2 and DH-200, that's essential to max. quality.
https://forum.rme-audio.de/viewtopic.ph … 42#p120442

Re: ADI-2 DAC Preamp

Thank you for your suggestion regarding passive attenuators.  I will check that out.  Again thanks again for suggestion.  Greg

Re: ADI-2 DAC Preamp

Thanks again for the suggestion regarding passive attenuator.  Which attenuator would you recommend for unbalance rca.  Thanks again for your kind help. 

Greg

Re: ADI-2 DAC Preamp

Look here, there are a few.
Should be switcable:

https://forum.rme-audio.de/viewtopic.ph … 42#p120442

Re: ADI-2 DAC Preamp

Thank you again .  What db value you recommend for the attenuator?  A couple of the recommendations from the link you recommended are in Europe and shipping cost more than attenuator.  I can get Harrison Lab attenuator in USA but it is a fixed value.  Thanks again for your help.  Greg

Re: ADI-2 DAC Preamp

Further review I found on ebay an IMG Stage Line ILA-1020 level attenuator that is variable with reasonable shipping.   I plan to order today.  Thanks again for you kind help.  Appreciate the tip.  Really like the RME dac.

Greg

11 (edited by KaiS 2020-12-20 08:51:20)

Re: ADI-2 DAC Preamp

taipan1013 wrote:

Further review I found on ebay an IMG Stage Line ILA-1020 level attenuator that is variable ...

Looks reasonable.
Place it directly at the inputs of the power amplifier for best results.

Re: ADI-2 DAC Preamp

KaiS,

Thanks again for all your help.  I appreciated your reply and willingness to help.  I reviewed the link you provided but am still confused what setting I should use on the attenuator. As I mentioned I purchased a variable attenuator.  It has positions at -10db, -15db and -20db.  What setting do you recommend?  Thanks again for your help.

Greg

13 (edited by ramses 2021-01-11 08:57:48)

Re: ADI-2 DAC Preamp

Set attenuator to -20dB as this attenuates most (ear protection) and I would guess that you keep it at that level.

Then see Kai's posting, thread #3. There is a URL, take use case 2, working with auto ref level.

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

14 (edited by KaiS 2021-01-11 12:01:17)

Re: ADI-2 DAC Preamp

taipan1013 wrote:

KaiS,

Thanks again for all your help.  I appreciated your reply and willingness to help.  I reviewed the link you provided but am still confused what setting I should use on the attenuator. As I mentioned I purchased a variable attenuator.  It has positions at -10db, -15db and -20db.  What setting do you recommend?  Thanks again for your help.

Greg

The setting depends on your normal listening level:

• Set ADI-2 DAC’s volume dial to -18 dbr (note the “r” that appears after “dB” when Auto Reference Level is ON).
• Set the passive attenuator to achieve your “normal” listening level or a bit above.

15 (edited by Curt962 2021-01-11 18:20:11)

Re: ADI-2 DAC Preamp

Taipan,

Your mention of the Hafler brought back many happy memories. smile 

I built one (DH-500) from a kit in 1982...on the day my first Child was born!   I'll never forget the old Hafler, and Man!! They were fantastic!  Typically, they were Over-achievers, and even the Snobby, Self-Important Subjective review Journals of the time had to agree that the Hafler could play right alongside the best audio gear they'd ever encountered. 

I thought you might like to see this re-review of your DH-200 after all the years have passed.  Memories!

https://www.kenrockwell.com/audio/hafler/dh-200.htm

Best!

Curt

Vintage 2018 ADI-2 DAC. "Classic AKM4490 Edition"
Cables:  Red, and White Ones.
Speakers:  Yes

Re: ADI-2 DAC Preamp

Thanks everyone for your help.  Curt thanks for info Hafler Amp.  Greg

Re: ADI-2 DAC Preamp

Taipan,

Be certain that you review the Auto-Ref capability of your RME!   Auto-Ref is your Friend, and can assist in extracting the Highest DR, and Optimal S/N Ratio from your RME/Hafler pairing.    This is no HiFi gimmick.  Auto-Ref helps with gain-staging at the Highest Level of Quality. 

You've got some fine listening in your future!

Enjoy,

Curt

Vintage 2018 ADI-2 DAC. "Classic AKM4490 Edition"
Cables:  Red, and White Ones.
Speakers:  Yes

Re: ADI-2 DAC Preamp

Curt

Thanks for heads-up on auto ref capabilities.  I will definitely check it out.  Thanks again for bring to this to my attention. To me it is amazing all the features the ad-2 has.

Greg

Re: ADI-2 DAC Preamp

Taipan,

That's what we like to do here on the RME Forum.   Help you better enjoy your new RME.

To that end, and knowing what your next question is likely to be...  wink

Drop in here!   

https://forum.rme-audio.de/viewtopic.php?id=32263

C'Mon Man!   We have you covered!  smile

Best!

Curt

Vintage 2018 ADI-2 DAC. "Classic AKM4490 Edition"
Cables:  Red, and White Ones.
Speakers:  Yes