1 (edited by TDD99CA 2021-03-30 06:53:28)

Topic: XLR vs RCA Output Level?

Hi All.

Just got my ADI-2 DAC today.  I've been playing all day!

I'm using XLR outputs only and the auto reference level function.

From the unit, I see levels of -5/+1/+7/+13, with the unit currently set to -5.

The output level for XLR should be 6 dB higher, so +1/+7/+13/+19 of course.

I don't see this range presented to me so wondering what is up?  I don't believe the unit auto-senses the connection so it looks like these are RCA values.  Is there a setting somewhere that I missed that kicks all of this up by the 6 dB?

I've reviewed the manual so much I can recite it now.  This is a mystery.

PS:  What is the recommended setting if it has to be manually set?  It's going right to my power amp.

TY.

Kev.

2 (edited by KaiS 2021-03-30 12:13:50)

Re: XLR vs RCA Output Level?

XLR out is balanced, this means additional to the normal signal on Pin 2 there is an inverted signal on Pin 3, the power amp uses the differential.
This doubles the Voltage, hence 6 dB more level.

There is no sensing mechanism, so the XLR level is not shown in the display.
Balanced only makes sense if your power amp has balanced inputs too.


For best setting refer to this post, Case 2 is for you:
https://forum.rme-audio.de/viewtopic.ph … 21#p161721

Re: XLR vs RCA Output Level?

I am using balanced.  My ask is why don't the new set of values show up in the DAC?  I don't see the higher range ending at +19.

Kev.

Re: XLR vs RCA Output Level?

Shall I assume that I just add +6 dB in my head to all values since it is XLR?  It seems that is the solution here?

Kev.

5 (edited by KaiS 2021-03-30 18:09:23)

Re: XLR vs RCA Output Level?

TDD99CA wrote:

I am using balanced.  My ask is why don't the new set of values show up in the DAC?  I don't see the higher range ending at +19

Because the ADI-2 DAC is made for home use, where RCA unbalanced is the norm.
Therefore level display is referenced to RCA.

The ADI-2 DAC does NOT sense if RCA or XLR is in use.
There wouldn’t be a practical way to do so.

TDD99CA wrote:

Shall I assume that I just add +6 dB in my head to all values since it is XLR?  It seems that is the solution here?

Exactly!



Finally it doesn’t matter too much.
You set the level by listening, and usually power amps are too sensitive anyway, so passive attenuators are necessary to make full use of the DAC chip‘s full dynamic range if the power amp has no input level control.

See the linked posting, please!

Re: XLR vs RCA Output Level?

I'm enjoying the unit very much as I work through old favorites.

With my connection now direct to my amp, I have been using the auto volume referencing and find that I never hit any ranges where it will level-up past -5/+1 (I use XLR).

Is ultimately the best play to insert passive attenuation and drive the output much higher at a fixed level to get the best S/N (which will be 0 dB I assume) at a typical listening level?

I don't really expect that my worn ears will discern much of a difference either way.  Just curious.

TY.

Kev.

7 (edited by KaiS 2021-04-08 06:26:20)

Re: XLR vs RCA Output Level?

TDD99CA wrote:

With my connection now direct to my amp, I have been using the auto volume referencing and find that I never hit any ranges where it will level-up past -5/+1 (I use XLR).

Is ultimately the best play to insert passive attenuation and drive the output much higher at a fixed level to get the best S/N (which will be 0 dB I assume) at a typical listening level?

If you make full use of the Auto Reference Level function’s dynamic switching range you get almost maximum quality - while maintaining ADI-2’s advantages when using it’s digital volume control.

Passive continuous attenuation isn’t necessarily better, als continuous controls in a low impedance load configuration tend to introduce distortion and noise.
In a (i.e. XLR) balanced configuration passive continuous attenuation kills the symmetry of the balanced signal, which may introduce hum.


Here’s how to do digital volume control, Case 2 is for you:
https://forum.rme-audio.de/viewtopic.ph … 21#p161721