Topic: ADI-2 DAC settings for Dynaudio BM6A "MKI"

Hi,
Just got my ADI-2 DAC in house and wondered about how to best set the DAC for a pair of BM6A's.
I've tested it a little bit and found it sounded "right" at +7 dbu with auto ref off and the speakers input level switch set to +4dBm, using the volume control going between -35db to -20db.

Is this safe and/or do you have any recommendations for better matching?
I use them for mixing home recordings equally as much as stereo/media playback for entertainment through via my RME AIO btw.

RME AIO -> RME ADI-2 DAC FS "V2"
Sennheiser HD 650
Dynaudio BM6A "MKI"
Mogami Gold Studio XLR cables

2 (edited by ramses 2020-06-26 22:38:41)

Re: ADI-2 DAC settings for Dynaudio BM6A "MKI"

BTW .. we had already a few threads with this topic...

If you set auto ref level to off, use reference level of +7 dBu, set the level in the front to -35 dB then you loose 35 dB SNR and dynamics: 120 - 35 = 85 dB SNR / dynamics.
Cross check with the example in the manual ch 19.3 and pls try to understand the dependencies.

What you need to know 1st of all is, what max voltage the other side of the cable / analog input supports in terms of V (eff) .. check their manual or ask their support.

BR
Ramses
X10SRi-F, E5-1650v4, Win10 Pro 2004, Cubase 10.5.20, UFX+, XTC, ADI-2 Pro FS R BE, ARC USB

Re: ADI-2 DAC settings for Dynaudio BM6A "MKI"

Use "Auto Reference Level" and let ADI-2 do the rest.
Dynaudio BM6A setting +4 dB.

That's it.

Re: ADI-2 DAC settings for Dynaudio BM6A "MKI"

Sorry I misread, active monitors ..

Check also this link: https://forum.rme-audio.de/viewtopic.php?id=25399
An attenuator might help if it becomes too loud ...

BR
Ramses
X10SRi-F, E5-1650v4, Win10 Pro 2004, Cubase 10.5.20, UFX+, XTC, ADI-2 Pro FS R BE, ARC USB

5 (edited by Curt962 2020-06-29 17:05:48)

Re: ADI-2 DAC settings for Dynaudio BM6A "MKI"

Jaz!   All Hail Auto Ref!!

Amidst all of the features of your new ADI-2 DAC..."Auto Ref" must surely be the Crown Jewel!!

I've been an Auto Ref afficianado since my first day!!

Not a "Gimmicky" Hi-Fi Prank, but rather a VERY SERIOUS TOOL to assist you in obtaining the BEST S/N Ratio you can from your set up.   You will appreciate it!

Let IT do the Math.   If you still find things a bit loud...some attenuators might be the answer...but don't lose sleep!   If you dont HEAR system noise...dont bother fixing that which isnt broken. 

Above all...

ENJOY!

Curt

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

Re: ADI-2 DAC settings for Dynaudio BM6A "MKI"

So I've had some time to test out different configurations now, and here's what I found to work best:

- Auto ref = Off.
- Manually set reference level to +7 or +1 dBu (depending on source material).
- Use the "Sharp" filter as default and the "NOS" filter for tracking and as a mixing/mastering tool.
- All EQ and other effects = Off.

I found all the "Short Delay" (SD) filters had a audible phasing/distortion like quality and sounded hollow and artificial with some loss in detail and dynamics. The "Sharp" filter did not have this and sounded good across the board and seems the most balanced. The "NOS" filter has a obvious roll-off in the top frequencies but this seems to draw attention to and accentuate the upper-bass/lower-mids and present what's going on there more clearly (kind of like a "Sennheiser veil" effect), good for listening to modulation effects, reverb amount/wetness, oscillator beating and LFO movement in analog synths etc and is of course the best filter for pure tracking monitoring because it has the lowest latency.

About the "Auto Reference" mode, I found it to make the sound somewhat soft and muted with slight loss in detail and impact, this might have to do with, in my case, how the BM6A's built in amps respond to the signal coming in and might like to be hit a little harder than the auto ref mode is set to provide. I'm not concerned with coaxing the max SNR out of the ADI-2 since it's SNR rating is absolutely outstanding and at -35/-20 db there is no audible noise introduced, here the concern is rather that the auto ref mode changes the sound signature negatively so I'd rather set it manually and adjust the volume by myself. This isn't a problem for me since the auto ref (thankfully!) is completely optional and this is how I prefer to do it and always have anyways, only thing I'm a bit annoyed with is that there isn't a +4 db reference level setting which is fairly standard in a lot of audio equipment and is what my BM6A's expect over XLR.

Over all I must say I'm extremely pleased with this unit for use with my studio monitors and will continue to try and tweak further to suit my kit.

Setup I use for testing is:

- RME AIO Sound Card with Win 10 exclusive RME ASIO driver.
- Reaper DAW set to "bit-perfect" 44.1 kHz/16 bit with ripped uncompressed WAV files from CDs.
- RME AIO -> SPDIF -> RME ADI-2 DAC -> Mogami Gold Studio XLR -> Dynaudio BM6A's "MKI".

RME AIO -> RME ADI-2 DAC FS "V2"
Sennheiser HD 650
Dynaudio BM6A "MKI"
Mogami Gold Studio XLR cables

7 (edited by ramses 2020-07-11 16:12:41)

Re: ADI-2 DAC settings for Dynaudio BM6A "MKI"

> Manually set reference level to +7 or +1 dBu (depending on source material)

Not sure whether I misunderstood something in your writing ...

But "depending on source material " makes IMHO no sense ..

I think the objective is more
a) not to overload the analog input on the other side of the cable
    (and to keep a little headroom just for the case, that you still want to use B/T)
and
b) to optimize / maximize SNR on both sides.

BR
Ramses
X10SRi-F, E5-1650v4, Win10 Pro 2004, Cubase 10.5.20, UFX+, XTC, ADI-2 Pro FS R BE, ARC USB

8 (edited by KaiS 2020-07-11 17:27:53)

Re: ADI-2 DAC settings for Dynaudio BM6A "MKI"

Jazm wrote:

- Auto ref = Off.
- Manually set reference level to +7 or +1 dBu (depending on source material). ...

.. . About the "Auto Reference" mode, I found it to make the sound somewhat soft and muted with slight loss in detail and impact, ...


... the concern is rather that the auto ref mode changes the sound signature negatively so I'd rather set it manually and adjust the volume by myself. This isn't a problem for me since the auto ref (thankfully!) is completely optional ...

It's impossible that "Auto Ref Level" per se does change the sound in any way.

The audio does not run through different electronics or is processed in any way by "Auto Ref Level".
The audio paths for the level stages stay exactly the same, manually or automatically switched.


This is pure imagination, or maybe the resulting listening levels were different when you switched it on and off for comparison.


"Auto Ref Level" just does automatically what you do manually, saving you from having to deal with level switching all the time.

Please read again manual page 49 to fully understand how "Auto Ref Level" works.

9 (edited by ramses 2020-07-11 17:47:25)

Re: ADI-2 DAC settings for Dynaudio BM6A "MKI"

Maybe confusion arose because there is a general rule for our ears .. louder sounds genereally better.
And the other thing is psychoacoustic .. once you think there is a difference, then you will hear the difference based on your expectation, requires blind or double blind tests to get valid results.

BR
Ramses
X10SRi-F, E5-1650v4, Win10 Pro 2004, Cubase 10.5.20, UFX+, XTC, ADI-2 Pro FS R BE, ARC USB

Re: ADI-2 DAC settings for Dynaudio BM6A "MKI"

Kai/Ramses...INDEED!!

Auto-Ref is a Wonderful Tool.   The notion that it "changes" audio in any way is crazy.   Our Human Hearing Mechanism does that.  Louder is ALWAYS better to us Humanoids.

+1 for Auto-Ref

Curt.

Long Time Auto-Ref Proponent

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

11 (edited by Jazm 2020-07-11 21:46:07)

Re: ADI-2 DAC settings for Dynaudio BM6A "MKI"

ramses wrote:

But "depending on source material " makes IMHO no sense ..

When I listen to modern "loudness brick" mixed content and then switch to older recorded music or 2.0 channel mixed down blu-ray movies I might want to go from +1 to +7 because of the volume difference in the content and how it hits the active speaker amps, I should maybe made it more clear that I'm still experimenting and unsure of the best setup and I'm now running two separate profiles on the DAC "depending on source material".

ramses wrote:

I think the objective is more
a) not to overload the analog input on the other side of the cable
    (and to keep a little headroom just for the case, that you still want to use B/T)
and
b) to optimize / maximize SNR on both sides.

That's what I'm trying to do, my active speakers are expecting +4 db over XLR reference input, I have +1 or +7 to choose from and try to approximate by compensating volume manually. I'm not too concerned with the SNR noise coming out of the ADI-2 DAC at +7 db with a -35/-20 db roll off, it might not be absolute optimal but it is also inaudible, what is audible is the differences in the way the speakers active amps pick up and represents frequencies at +0, +1, +7, +13, auto ref, even when volume matched. Here the dynamics, soundstage, separation, detail etc sound the most right at +7 or +1, with modern "loudness" mixes coming in a little hot at +7 (this is when it goes from -20 db to -30/-35 db or) and older or less "bricked" recordings sound a little bit too flat, distant and lacking in detail dynamics etc.

This is why I wish there was a +4 db reference level stage, maybe then I could coax the most out of the both the DAC amp's SNR and also get the dynamics more even with contents of varying volume hitting the active speaker amps. Regardless, it works rather great as it is though, the unit is punching above it's weight more than more than I honestly expected.

KaiS wrote:

This is pure imagination. Please read again manual page 497 and get a degree in engineering, hmpf!

Relax, I was not trying to imply that the auto ref feature is implemented in such a poor way that it is useless and negatively colors/deteriorates the units sound for all who use it. I'm just saying it did not work very well in my case, I suspect this is because the auto reference level stage never hits +4 db because it's a stage that doesn't exist in this DAC and the BM6A's being brutally honest and unforgiving active studio monitors calibrated for and expecting only +4 dBm over XLR it will not sound right and I'm much better off setting it as close as possible manually and compensating further by ear.

I somewhat have the same issue with auto ref in the headphone section with my HD650's, there it seems to be a impedance matching issue that the auto ref can't account for and they sound better in "hi-power" mode albeit with typical tell tale signs that they are running a smidge hot (in a fun and complementary way in this case) but there is no selectable ohm/impedance stages to manually set other than hi/lo-power and auto ref.

Not ideal, but it is what it is and It's not really detracting anything from my enjoyment of this little wonderful box.

RME AIO -> RME ADI-2 DAC FS "V2"
Sennheiser HD 650
Dynaudio BM6A "MKI"
Mogami Gold Studio XLR cables

Re: ADI-2 DAC settings for Dynaudio BM6A "MKI"

Jazm, I did an excel job for this ...
Check what level the input on the other side allows and then you can also create such an excel.
Keep in mind that the reference levels of the "DAC" are lower compared to the "Pro" model
and also depend on whether you use XLR or TS outputs.. see manual.

https://forum.rme-audio.de/viewtopic.ph … 24#p155724

BR
Ramses
X10SRi-F, E5-1650v4, Win10 Pro 2004, Cubase 10.5.20, UFX+, XTC, ADI-2 Pro FS R BE, ARC USB

13 (edited by Curt962 Yesterday 17:35:39)

Re: ADI-2 DAC settings for Dynaudio BM6A "MKI"

Jazm...

Take a look at this Database, and THEN tell us about Dynamics. smile

http://dr.loudness-war.info

I really believe your listening perceptions are very "Fletcher Munson-ish"   If you're not using Dynamic Loudness, then PLEASE (Bitte, Por Favor) do!!     It's not a HiFi Gimmick.  It's real science.

Hah!  Maybe it's just me, but I hooked up my ADI-2DAC 18months ago...and never looked back!   It's a Rock Star!

No Quantum Mathematics required.

Jaz...the Box is WAY MORE user friendly than you might think.   Even more Cool?  My Wife LOVES it!    Jaz...I'm living the Dream!  smile

Curt

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