Topic: Looking to purchase new DAC. Give advice

ok

Looking to purchase "FUTURE PROOF" DAC.

I see high end dacs have depreciating return.

I was inclined throw my fortune on  chord qutest as it is new BUZZ word with  FPGA dac and cleaner sound.

Anyway i am here because i saw video comparing qutest vs rme dac. i found rme sounded better. Never heard of this dac until now.

Why this dac sounded better than other millions dac?

I need legit dac with linear psu ( high current) and ak499eq chip

I know people comparing FPGA vs R2R vs Chip Dacs.

I am not getting clear honest review on youtube channels. Some are just sales man for the products because they get free product from manufacturer as a commission.

Please tell me why i should buy RME dac over others.

Thanks much.

Re: Looking to purchase new DAC. Give advice

Hello,

I posses Mytek Brooklyn Bridge (which is also streamer), NuPrime DAC-10H, Chord mojo, and RME ADI-2 DAC. In the performance I do not see any big difference between Mytek and RME and Mytek is considered to be pretty good DAC. Mytek is also a kind of Swiss knife, but in this department RME really excel with its loudness control, crossfeed, and other features. For the money this in unquestionably best DAC. Also aesthetic is OK, but if you really want refined design, maybe much more expansive dacs are nicer to watch... but for listening... just grab one...

Headphone out is ok, dedicated headphone amps costing 1000$ and more are better, but it is really good, especially IEM out. The latter beats Chord Mojo.

3 (edited by ramses 2020-06-08 12:06:22)

Re: Looking to purchase new DAC. Give advice

1st of all .. a youtube listening test is IMHO no valid test.
AFAIK the audio files become modified and can't be regarded as lossless anymore.
I do not know what exactly they do .. but I would at least be careful taking these sound samples as a reference.

> Please tell me why i should buy RME dac over others

Well, my perspective as satisfied RME customer since 6+ years:

I could tinker with you in technical terms, but I don't. You are welcome to read the manual of the ADI-2 DAC or Pro, the first few pages will give you a good overview of what the units can do.
https://www.rme-audio.de/download/adi2dacr_d.pdf
https://www.rme-audio.de/download/adi2dacr_e.pdf
https://www.rme-audio.de/download/adi2profsr_d.pdf
https://www.rme-audio.de/download/adi2profsr_e.pdf

I'm happy to recommend RME to others, because I feel that I'm in good hands with this company as a customer. Why ? RME has earned its spurs in the studio business and can rightly be considered one of the most innovative challengers in the market. There is no other manufacturer that offers such a good package of reliable hardware, drivers, features and software.

The products are designed with great attention to detail and are maintained afterwards for a long time. Additional ideas / demands from customers have been implemented by firmware updates across the last years and it also led to product refreshes for stuff that could not be anticipated years ago.

Some RME devices have been supplied with current Windows and Apple drivers for nearly almost 20 years now.

RME is also not a company that wants to talk the customer into buying a product with questionable ("HiFi voodoo") features. They are also very open in communicating technical data, which can be achieved by their products and be validated by everyone. As HiFi Customer you also benefit from the know-how that this company gained in the studio area.

That's why RME devices enjoy a good reputation and even have very good resale prices.

In my opinion the most important features of the ADI-2 * product-line are:
- RME gets surely everything out of the DAC chip (simply good overall design)
- High Audio quality to drive my Gaithein Monitors, Audeze LCD-3 and Accuphase Class A HiFi
- For the communication with the PC no 3rd party communication chips are used, all being done by RME in the FPGA
- FPGA based design, everything can be fixed / flashed
- RME's SteadyClock feature eliminates the outer influences of clock jitter, refreshes the clock signal and performs the D/A conversion with the internal Femto Second Clock in high quality. This eliminates any clock jitter, be it from USB or SPDIF/ADAT.
- Support for different reference levels (4) and the auto reflevel feature. DAC: the four reference levels adjusted more to HiFi devices usual demands
- 5-band PEQ to correct / adjust certain "faults" of your phones
- Great features, e.g. Slow Volume Ramp-up when plugging in/out the Phones, Dynamic Loudness, Remap Key Feature, the super status overview with which problems with digital connections can be easily troubleshooted, real manuals in very good quality and even the printed manuals you get in two languages, ..
- ...

The best introduction into "RME" as company you can find here in this interview, it tells you a lot about the spirt of this company: https://www.rme-audio.de/interview-matt … stens.html

Finally the over 19.000 postings of Mr Carstens alone on user forum speak a clear language, that RME is very customer oriented. Only this way good ideas/demands from customer can flow back into product maintenance and development.

In terms of sustainability after purchase, what you are looking for, RME products give you a very high value.

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

Re: Looking to purchase new DAC. Give advice

alexk345 wrote:

ok

Looking to purchase "FUTURE PROOF" DAC.

I see high end dacs have depreciating return.

I was inclined throw my fortune on  chord qutest as it is new BUZZ word with  FPGA dac and cleaner sound.

Anyway i am here because i saw video comparing qutest vs rme dac. i found rme sounded better. Never heard of this dac until now.

Why this dac sounded better than other millions dac?

I need legit dac with linear psu ( high current) and ak499eq chip

I know people comparing FPGA vs R2R vs Chip Dacs.

I am not getting clear honest review on youtube channels. Some are just sales man for the products because they get free product from manufacturer as a commission.

Please tell me why i should buy RME dac over others.

Thanks much.

Hi Alex!
In 2020, the difference in matter of sound quality between 2 good DACs is really tiny and really not decisive...
https://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/hi … 33-19.html
http://archimago.blogspot.com/2019/05/b … gital.html

And for linear PSU, it's all audiophile's bullshit...
https://www.audiosciencereview.com/foru … dacs.7021/

The RME ADI-2 DAC is a bargain not because its sound quality (perfect for human ears, as the Chord Qutest...), but because all of its DSP functionalities: Bass/Treble, 5 bands EQ (room correction!!), dynamic loudness, automatic source detection... And for the beauty of its spectral analyzer and the very good remote...

ADI-2 DAC (with stock PSU) - Neumann KH 310 A monitors - Cheap USB and XLR cables

Re: Looking to purchase new DAC. Give advice

Thanks. when is ak4499eq rme dac is coming? I need future proof. I dont want to look for dac in next 3 years.

6 (edited by Curt962 2020-06-07 23:20:32)

Re: Looking to purchase new DAC. Give advice

Alex,

Ramses, and Noob have explained thoroughly why they, myself, and so many others have chosen the RME.

It seems you are more interested in having the most fashionable DAC Chip. Yes??

We could go on endlessly with this.

My suggestion:  Buy an RME, or sell all of your HiFi, and simply hire the Artist to perform at your home.   smile

Best in your seeing of the future!

PS:  My Crystal Ball is out for upgrade, and my Palm/Tea Leaf Reading skills are lacklustre.   

Curt

https://i.ibb.co/FWBrsLx/glowing-crystal-ball-picture-id874639574.jpg

Crystal Ball Mk 2 shown

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

7 (edited by ramses 2020-06-08 00:46:41)

Re: Looking to purchase new DAC. Give advice

alexk345 wrote:

Thanks. when is ak4499eq rme dac is coming? I need future proof. I dont want to look for dac in next 3 years.

For me personally there is also no audible difference between the previous and current DAC generation (AK4490 -> AK4493). Both sound excellent.

Therefore I have doubts that this high end DAC chip would sound any better.
With measurement equipment you will see a difference, but you still hear with your ears ...

Also consider, using this high end chip would have a significant impact on price. See MCs comment in this thread:
https://forum.rme-audio.de/viewtopic.php?id=28717

I think the past and current quality of ADI-2 Pro/DAC devices can be regarded as sweetspot between price and performance which is still payable.

I think the current DAC chips can definitively be used more than 3y ... everything plays already on a top quality niveau.

From the web ... "The dynamic range of human hearing is approximately 120 decibels. Signals over 90 dB may cause permanent hearing damage." .. I think 120 dB SNR should be fair enough ...

My tip to you is to focus more on the complete product offering that you get already with the current RME devices.
Look how many firmware upgrades have been released for ADI-2 Pro/DAC in the past years with not only fixes,
but also product enhancements and where also the 1st generation of DACs had benefits from.
I think this is much more important than a few dB SNR more and this to a still affordable price.

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

8 (edited by N00b 2020-06-08 00:52:11)

Re: Looking to purchase new DAC. Give advice

alexk345 wrote:

Thanks. when is ak4499eq rme dac is coming? I need future proof. I dont want to look for dac in next 3 years.

"Future proof"... is in your head.

You won't hear the difference between a good implementation of the AKM 4490 vs a good implementation of the AKM 4493, and you won't neither vs a AKM 4499.
I have the first ADI-2 DAC (AKM 4490) for 2 years and I won't change for the improved ADI-2 DAC AKM 4493, because I won't hear any difference. And I don't give a f... of a new AKM 4499 model.
But I will look into a new model with HDMI in or with an integrated streamer for example...

Changing DAC every 3 years because of the chip... So useless... What matters? Speakers and room... But audiophiles listen to cables, DAC, drives and PSUs... So sad... sad

ADI-2 DAC (with stock PSU) - Neumann KH 310 A monitors - Cheap USB and XLR cables

9 (edited by Curt962 2020-06-08 01:44:32)

Re: Looking to purchase new DAC. Give advice

Audiophile insecurities.  The Boutique Audio Industry has thrived on them for decades.   Don't fall for the "Emotionally Engineered" Bullshit they're selling. "Pace, Rhythm, Timing...Chocolatey...Honey-Like...Voluptuously Velvety...."   What does any of that really mean?  Granted, those terms DO mean "something" to that group that lays awake at night fantasizing about the Length, and Girth of some new Audio Cable...imagine where THOSE thoughts go...!!!  "Oh! My!!  It's so LARGE!!!" big_smile

In a more Sane World...

Buy an RME, and be confident.  Stop worrying.  Buy the "DAC of the Month" elsewhere?...and be uncertain always. (Your Audio Dealer will love you though, because you'll be buying another in just a few weeks)

We're a Vocal, and Enthusiastic Group for a reason Alex. We're happy RME users, not Reviewers. WE paid to be here.  Nobody paid us for our thoughts.

RME !!!

Curt

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

10 (edited by KaiS 2020-06-08 11:27:31)

Re: Looking to purchase new DAC. Give advice

alexk345 wrote:

Looking to purchase "FUTURE PROOF"

...

I need legit dac with linear psu ( high current) and ak499eq chip

I know people comparing FPGA vs R2R vs Chip Dacs.

...

Please tell me why i should buy RME dac over others.

Future prove to me means I can use something for a very long time.

This is for sure true for any RME product:
• Top notch quality.
• Flawless and well thought out design.
• Literally decades long user support and updates.
• The current line of ADI-2s has tech spec's that are way beyond good and bad, that's not just because of the DAC chip used, but all through no compromise design.


Future proof, of course, means to buy a product that you will not need to replace because of missing features.
Therefore I would suggest to think about going the ADI-2 Pro route:
• Very high quality analog inputs / DAC to make use ADI-2's DSP functions even for analog sources.
• Balanced headphone outputs.
• Two separate, fully DSP'd output pathways, two DACs built in, for versatile connectivity.


If you insist using a linear power supply this is absolutely possible with the ADI-2's, even battery powered.
The ADI-2 line of converters has internally linear power regulation and will accept a wide variety of power supply sources.


I had a look at the AK4499EQ DAC's data sheet, the figures look amazing.
A question is, if with a practical implementation, these figures can be kept up to the outputs of a device.
E.g. with usual OPA outputs 140dB S/N it's hard to achieve, even if you go for an output level of 10V, which would overdrive most following amplifier inputs.

BTW, the chip's naming is a bit missleading, because the "...EQ" in the chip's name lets you assume there is some equalizer built in, which is not the case.


R2R DAC it's nice if you like old school "digital" sound from "faulty" DACs.
R2R DAC technology is outdated, had reached the edge of what's doable this way with 16bits and doesn't make sense for any higher bit rate.
Even if laser trimmed R2R ladders are used, the drift over time renders the lower bits completely useless.


Why you should buy the RME ADI-2 (Pro):
Because you will love it.
You will use it a lot and it will awake some of your headphones or speakers.

This, at least, is what happened to me.

I do use and make the best out of headphones from my collection that I hadn't used a lot before.
ADI-2's extremely versatile equalizer can correct their faults and makes them shine in what they can do best.
Have you ever wondered what a STAX SR-009 or a Sennheiser HD-800 would sound like if it had the right amount of bass?
Or an AKG K-1000 if it really had a deep bass and you could could get rid of this annoying 2kHz bump?

Re: Looking to purchase new DAC. Give advice

Thanks for replies. Its one time expensive purchase for me , i have to put lots of thoughts into it.
I also need a dac that shows input signal sample rate and output sample rate.
This is a must for any high quality dac and it has to be transparent. No poly tab magic.

Re: Looking to purchase new DAC. Give advice

Alex,

The $$ involved are precisely the reason why the Proven RME is your best choice.   Go for it!

Curt

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

13 (edited by ramses 2020-06-08 19:23:51)

Re: Looking to purchase new DAC. Give advice

As KaiS already mentioned, you only need to draw a decision whether to take
- ADI-2 DAC FS or
- ADI-2 Pro FS R BE

The additional advantages of getting the ADI-2 Pro FS R BE:
- has two D/A converter instead of one
   - allows for symmetric phones setup
   - two equal phones outputs allow for quick A/B checks when comparing different phones
- A/D converter for digitizing analog sources
- different digital input and outputs (AES, ADAT/SPDIF, coax. SPDIF)
- Sample Rate Converter (SRC) to be able to connect external digital devices with fix / different sample rate

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

Re: Looking to purchase new DAC. Give advice

If you're serious about future proofing, then look for companies that build their DACs with future proofing in mind, i.e. that build them with the expressed purpose of making them upgradeable.  One such company is Schiit Audio and their top of the line Yggdrasil DAC, which they claim they will support into the future and provide purchasable boards to upgrade it as technology advances.

Note: they currently don't think much of DSD or MQA, thus only support DSD over PCM and no support fro MQA (see their FAQ) here:

https://www.schiit.com/products/yggdrasil

15 (edited by alexk345 2020-06-15 03:43:56)

Re: Looking to purchase new DAC. Give advice

bought chord mojo temporarily. will check out when new rme dac comes with ak4499eq chip and ability to reduce low amplitude signal frequency. The reason fpga sound cleaner because they program it to remove low amplitude signals ( mainly noise created by  microphones and stuff)

Every dac should have attenuation knob that reduces very low volume signal ( do not matter frequency).  0db -5db.

This is especially needed for chip dac. FPGA dac this is programmed i think. Its all the trick chord mojo has i think.

16

Re: Looking to purchase new DAC. Give advice

That sounds like you misunderstood something. What you say here is that the Chord Mojo includes a noise gate or expander. Do you have references for this claim?

Also you just declared high resolution completely worthless and want to have radio dynamic range as new audio standard...

Regards
Matthias Carstens
RME

17 (edited by alexk345 2020-06-15 08:07:25)

Re: Looking to purchase new DAC. Give advice

I am only speaking user point of view. How its implemented in chord mojo  , i do not know.
From the demo point of view i heard rme and quetest , i see voice from quetest dont have the metal (high pitch high frequency) sound attached to voice sound  like in rme or any chip dac.

This is only possible that they filtered those frequencies.

FPGA DAC theory
https://ntnuopen.ntnu.no/ntnu-xmlui/bit … sequence=1
i dont have patience to read all that.

Most filters and equalizer only suppress frequencies or enchance it

For me its not about filters. Its about removing any noise created by recording instruments. It could be low amplitude or it just attached to voice. They probably employ several technique to remove those noises or instrument high frequency sound piggy back on voice (in midrange) that do not have good clarity.

I think we need a way to custom programme through mobile app

That is future proof dac. You create your own complex custom filter steps and apply.

Also different type sound different custom filters can be employed. People can create those custom filters and sell it as well.

Key here is a platform. Ease of use. That means it need a mobile app that can download custom filters to dac.

That is my future proof. After 192khz sample rate , you really cant improve the sound signature. All you have to do next is remove unwanted frequencies through attenuation knob or custom filters.

18 (edited by ramses 2020-06-15 10:01:17)

Re: Looking to purchase new DAC. Give advice

Morning Alex

> For me its not about filters. Its about removing any noise created by recording instruments.
> It could be low amplitude or it just attached to voice. They probably employ several technique
> to remove those noises or instrument high frequency sound piggy back on voice (in midrange)
> that do not have good clarity.
> I think we need a way to custom programme through mobile app
> That is future proof dac. You create your own complex custom filter steps and apply.

The reproduction of the original music signal should have priority. On the one hand you look for ak4499eq grade quality and then next you want to rely on automatic filters to alter the music signal even automatically?
Sorry, but this makes no sense to me.

The RME products deliver excellent music reproduction for my High End HiFi, this is what counts most.

Future proofness you have by FPGA design, excellent driver/firmware support and after a couple of years the product reached high maturity and now even both products (ADI-2 DAC FS and ADI-2 Pro FS R BE) have a very nice remote. I can not think of any feature that is missing in this product.

The opposite is the case, if you look at the competition you will find products that do not have the advanced and proven features of RME (and most likely not the experience of RME from their long history in the studio sector).

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

Re: Looking to purchase new DAC. Give advice

Music reproduction? who can be judge of that? each person ear has different sensor grade. I like instrument laid on layers so i can hear each instrument. 100% music reproduction is shade area. Because where ever it recorded , the recording instrument play crucial role.

I believe the choice sound should be left out the person who hears it.  For me a person has more choices has more freedom.

For me future DAC is integrated digital platform.

Not long ago all amplifiers came with 10 band equalizer. Human mind changes with time.

Things go back and forth though.

I am looking for crystal clear dac.  Not really into bad music reproduction.  RME may reproduce near perfect music reproduction. Sure price / value  , it probably better than qutest. But if people have money they will chose qutest.

Reason is simple. Clarity.

I take clarity over music reproduction. The clarity choice given to user it has better value. But you cant give too much choices. Humans are monkeys. Giving flower to monkey ...you know what happen.

I do think there should be some kinda tinkering to be allowed by user. Before bass treble was in most reciever.

Dac should have attenuation filter not by frequency but by amplitude of the low signals. anything below 2 db cut it off. It is mostly not hearable by human ear. Better remove it.

I do not know chord do that internally. Based on youtube demo i think the voices are human voice and no microphone noises in there.

RME dac will reproduce noises as well. We must evolve. Produce sound that gives eargasm.

I become audiophile only when i heard celestion ditton 100 first time. My mind blown.  first time i heard speaker sings. It was possible because they eliminated unwanted frequencies get into speaker.

Same with dac. Music reproduction may be first priority but with options for user to magically improve the sound to their ears by removing instrument noises in recording.  These noises are low amplitude signals and its not part of the music.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IjqloZ18RE0&t=66s

It sound same to most ears. Chord volume little low i think.  RME sound live , chord sound personal.

Re: Looking to purchase new DAC. Give advice

> I believe the choice sound should be left out the person who hears it.  For me a person has more choices has more freedom.

I would say it depends a little bit.
For me it is a difference if you say there is something generic in the firmware that automatically modifies audio and removes stuff that belongs to a music signal.

Things like B/T, PEQ, dynamic loudness are for me different things that serve a certain purpose: like adoption to a specific room, phone and music level.

If I understood you correctly, that what you expect goes too far for me to remove certain frequencies from audio and this maybe even automatically. Which (payable) software should have the intelligence inside, to judge what belongs to the music and what is noise. Shall it maybe even remove the noise when a guitar player moves with the fingers over the strings, which gives a little kind of "ugly" noise (why some guitarists use flat strings, but which are not useable for all styles), but which simply belongs to the authenticity of a played instrument.

Maybe I misunderstood you partially .. but I do not have a feeling that your wishes go into a direction whats
a) currently available
b) working solution
c) to an affordable price
d) desired solution

By this you might narrow your selection criterias too much and I fear that you won't find any satisfactory solution for you.

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

21

Re: Looking to purchase new DAC. Give advice

I think we can close this useless thread. It's clearly a waste of time and does not belong here.

Regards
Matthias Carstens
RME