1 (edited by jiggy 2021-09-11 19:08:56)

Topic: ADI-2 Pro FS BE + UFX II

Hi folks, I'm currently thinking of buying ADI-2 Pro FS BE to pair up with my UFX II and Ferrofish 16. However I'm wondering how to connect everything with my Mac.

My use case: I have lot of hardware synths that I connect to the analog ins in my UFX II and Ferrofish 16. Ferrofish is connected via ADAT to UFX II and UFX II via USB to Mac. I want to be able to multitrack and record everything in my DAW on separate tracks and this works well for that.

My question: How I will bring in ADI-2 Pro FS BE to this so I could use its better AD converters to record selected instruments as well monitor the Main out through headphones/speakers?

Potential solution: I was thinking that I would plug in both UFX II and ADI-2 via their own USB to the Mac to be able to use the AD conversion of the ADI-2 for recording selected instruments + monitor the main outs via headphones/speakers while still being able to multitrack other instruments via UFX II. Is this the right way to go? I understood they would use the same driver so I could just create an aggregated device for them. If I would use AES from ADI-2 (instead plugging it via USB to the Mac) into UFX II, I could not use ADI-2 AD conversion as it would then use UFX II AD conversion for everything, right?

Hopefully this makes sense and all comments and suggestions are welcome if this is a bad idea and other alternatives would make better sense.

Re: ADI-2 Pro FS BE + UFX II

What you said is possible, but the UFX II and ADI-2 will not have clock sync unless you make a digital connection.

I would rather connect the ADI unit to the UFX via AES/EBU instead of the USB connection. This way you have every audio channel together in TotalMix FX for the UFX II. Whatever signal you want to send to the ADI unit just gets routed to the UFX II's AES output channel.

Regards,
Jeff Petersen
Synthax Inc.

3 (edited by jiggy 2021-09-15 08:05:19)

Re: ADI-2 Pro FS BE + UFX II

Jeff wrote:

What you said is possible, but the UFX II and ADI-2 will not have clock sync unless you make a digital connection.

I would rather connect the ADI unit to the UFX via AES/EBU instead of the USB connection. This way you have every audio channel together in TotalMix FX for the UFX II. Whatever signal you want to send to the ADI unit just gets routed to the UFX II's AES output channel.

In this situation, how does the digital processing work? I watched this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sBOADUtZ7qc

So would it mean in this case the analog input I send via Total Mix to AES Output will use the ADI Pro's AD conversion, sends it back digitally to UFX and then via UFX USB to my Mac. Will the recorded audio then be fully processed by the better converters and SRC by the ADI Pro and the UFX does not do Digital to Digital conversion again as it stands as a hub between the mac and ADI Pro?

Or how does this exactly work? Sorry a bit confused and not tech-savvy enough to understand the logic so bare with me. smile

Re: ADI-2 Pro FS BE + UFX II

Anyone? Jeff? Ramses?

5 (edited by ramses 2021-09-21 18:32:40)

Re: ADI-2 Pro FS BE + UFX II

https://www.tonstudio-forum.de/blog/ind … our-Setup/

As Jeff says, if you want to use USB to send audio to your ADI-2 Pro, then the devices need to be clock synched.
For this you can take either AES or SPDIF/ADAT between UFX as clock master and ADI as clock slave.

But you do not necessarily need to create an aggregate / to route audio directly to the ADI.
I would connect USB only for the purpose to be able to perform flash upgrades on the ADI.

Otherwise you could send e.g. audio to AES OUT (assumed ADI connected through AES)
- alternatively use ADAT, as you like -
and the ADI will use steadyclock and remove any potential clock jitter, so to say refresh the clock signal,
and finally perform D/A conversion with it's own internal DAC.

And as your active monitors and headphones will be e.g. connected to ADI .. then you have have all the nice sound and advantages of your ADI for the monitoring section....

BR
Ramses
X10SRi-F, E5-1650v4, Win10Pro21H2, Cub11Pro, UFX+, XTC, 12Mic, ADI-2 Pro FS R BE, RayDAT

Re: ADI-2 Pro FS BE + UFX II

Thank you Ramses for this. So if I want to use the better quality AD in ADI, it would work the same way ie. plug my synth to ADI line in, send it via ADI AES out to UFX AES in and then via UFX USB to my mac?

7 (edited by ramses 2021-09-21 19:48:21)

Re: ADI-2 Pro FS BE + UFX II

Connect the synths to the UFX's 8 analog inputs, it's perfect and optionally you can also use the ADI's two analog INs.
You seem to have the expectation/imagination, that everything that you connect to the ADI sounds much better, but the
ADI is no "sound washer" adding "mojo".
It has the same characteristic as every RME device to make a transparent AD/DA conversion as good as possible to
capture/record/keep as much of the characteristic/sound of the original signal.

OK, the ADI has higher SNR .. but all devices are already on such a high standard, that your ears won't be able to recognize any noise .... The quality of the UFX analog section is already superb as you can check yourself (by making blind tests).

Pls do not assume problems where no problems are, there was already "life" / quality before ADI-2 Pro wink

The qualities of the ADI with its DAC is the combination of DAC / highest quality and the ADI specific features, that make this unit shine ... High SNR, different AD and DA filter, 4 different reference levels, Auto Ref Level selection, Extreme power phone outputs, option for balanced phones, slow ramp-up of volume when plugging headphones or switching between output channels, support to act either as a converter or an USB dac, SRC, PEQ, PEQ per channel, and and and.

But to record something from a synthy .. a normal analog input like from the UFX * is fully sufficient and I am pretty sure that the analog output section of your synthy will have technical specs below ADI and UFX *.

BR
Ramses
X10SRi-F, E5-1650v4, Win10Pro21H2, Cub11Pro, UFX+, XTC, 12Mic, ADI-2 Pro FS R BE, RayDAT

Re: ADI-2 Pro FS BE + UFX II

Thanks for your insights Ramses, much appreciated! smile

Re: ADI-2 Pro FS BE + UFX II

jiggy wrote:

Thanks for your insights Ramses, much appreciated! smile

You're welcome, and pls report your findings :-)

BR
Ramses
X10SRi-F, E5-1650v4, Win10Pro21H2, Cub11Pro, UFX+, XTC, 12Mic, ADI-2 Pro FS R BE, RayDAT

Re: ADI-2 Pro FS BE + UFX II

ramses wrote:

You're welcome, and pls report your findings :-)

After making long research on this topic and comparing different DAC and amp options, I made my mind and will get the ADI Pro FS R BE. What was also troubling me was that some people say it can't drive Hifiman Arya's but I guess it is bollocks.

Ramses: do you know how long the AES cable that comes with it is? I was wondering would it be long enough or do I need to use ADAT cables instead. I guess there is no difference in signal quality or the way it is processed between those?

11 (edited by ramses 2021-10-09 21:45:35)

Re: ADI-2 Pro FS BE + UFX II

You get the digital breakout cable for AES/SPDIF (BO968), see manual ch 2.

AES, SPDIF, ADAT have no difference in signal quality, it is pure digital data transfer.

Whether you want/need AES, ADAT or SPDIF depends on the capabilities of the device that you want to connect and if there are multiple options take that which supports the needed cable length.

On my UFX+ I use AES to connect the ADI-2 Pro for two reasons:
- to keep my ADAT ports free for other purposes
- I have no other application for AES than that
perfect match, so I use AES.

For the connection to my 2nd ADI-2 Pro in front of the HiFi I use ADAT (optical SPDIF)
- because there is an Optosel 4:1 Mk II TOSLINK switcher in front of the other ADI-2 Pro which supports only ADAT/optical
- it gives me galvanic isolation
Besides that RME ADAT ports support (15+1) 16m up to 192 kHz (15m up to the Optosel, 1m from Optosel to ADI-2 Pro).

BTW the mentioned HiFiman is a magnetostatic headphone with 35 Ohm. I see no reason why this should not work.

BR
Ramses
X10SRi-F, E5-1650v4, Win10Pro21H2, Cub11Pro, UFX+, XTC, 12Mic, ADI-2 Pro FS R BE, RayDAT

12 (edited by KaiS 2021-10-10 01:37:56)

Re: ADI-2 Pro FS BE + UFX II

jiggy wrote:

...will get the ADI Pro FS R BE. What was also troubling me was that some people say it can't drive Hifiman Arya's but I guess it is bollocks.

It is, there are so many strange opinions on the net.

My ADI-2 Pro drives my Hifiman HE 1000 with ease.
So does it drive my Hifiman HE 4XX and 5XX, and so many other, much “harder to drive” ‘phones.

Re: ADI-2 Pro FS BE + UFX II

KaiS wrote:
jiggy wrote:

...will get the ADI Pro FS R BE. What was also troubling me was that some people say it can't drive Hifiman Arya's but I guess it is bollocks.

It is, there are so many strange opinions on the net.

My ADI-2 Pro drives my Hifiman HE 1000 with ease.
So does it drive my Hifiman HE 4XX and 5XX, and so many other, much “harder to drive” ‘phones.

OK thanks for this. Do you know if the balanced mode would drive Arya's better and make a difference compared to Single Ended?

14 (edited by ramses 2021-10-12 07:45:35)

Re: ADI-2 Pro FS BE + UFX II

jiggy wrote:
KaiS wrote:
jiggy wrote:

...will get the ADI Pro FS R BE. What was also troubling me was that some people say it can't drive Hifiman Arya's but I guess it is bollocks.

It is, there are so many strange opinions on the net.

My ADI-2 Pro drives my Hifiman HE 1000 with ease.
So does it drive my Hifiman HE 4XX and 5XX, and so many other, much “harder to drive” ‘phones.

OK thanks for this. Do you know if the balanced mode would drive Arya's better and make a difference compared to Single Ended?

Most headphones have already a parallel routing of the cable, e.g. my Audeze LCD-3.

My expectation of the result is, that it will become louder, but the few dB higher SNR won't result in better sound at exactly the same listening level.

You can try it, but I personally would save the cost/effort and enjoy to have the possibility to have a 2nd phones output of same quality for quick headphone comparisons.

@KaiS: did you ever try balanced mode?

BR
Ramses
X10SRi-F, E5-1650v4, Win10Pro21H2, Cub11Pro, UFX+, XTC, 12Mic, ADI-2 Pro FS R BE, RayDAT

15 (edited by KaiS 2021-10-12 15:23:47)

Re: ADI-2 Pro FS BE + UFX II

ramses wrote:
jiggy wrote:
KaiS wrote:

It is, there are so many strange opinions on the net.

My ADI-2 Pro drives my Hifiman HE 1000 with ease.
So does it drive my Hifiman HE 4XX and 5XX, and so many other, much “harder to drive” ‘phones.

OK thanks for this. Do you know if the balanced mode would drive Arya's better and make a difference compared to Single Ended?

Most headphones have already a parallel routing of the cable, e.g. my Audeze LCD-3.

My expectation of the result is, that it will become louder, but the few dB higher SNR won't result in better sound at exactly the same listening level.

You can try it, but I personally would save the cost/effort and enjoy to have the possibility to have a 2nd phones output of same quality for quick headphone comparisons.

@KaiS: did you ever try balanced mode?

I did.
Adjusted to the same level (balanced is exactly 6 dB louder) I couldn’t hear any perceived sound difference.

Due to the fact that you have to switch cables and settings, immediate blind A/B comparison is not possible.
So the only way is, to listen over a prolonged time, then change and listen again.
If you follow opinions spread all over the net, the difference should be night and day - but this is certainly NOT the case.


One thing can happen, although I didn’t detect it here:
In some unbalanced cable / headphones impedance configurations the stereo image is up to about 20% wider.

This effect is a result of a possible cable’s L/R common ground wire and a low headphone impedance.
In this case phase inverted crosstalk widens the stereo image.
Something similar can happen with dirty connectors making bad sleeve contact.

Re: ADI-2 Pro FS BE + UFX II

ok thanks Kai.

BR
Ramses
X10SRi-F, E5-1650v4, Win10Pro21H2, Cub11Pro, UFX+, XTC, 12Mic, ADI-2 Pro FS R BE, RayDAT

Re: ADI-2 Pro FS BE + UFX II

BTW:
I do use balanced when driving high impedance headphones in my portable configuration, iPhone + Qudelix 5K.
But only because of the 6 dB greater headroom that is needed for EQ corrections.

18 (edited by jiggy 2021-10-12 17:19:24)

Re: ADI-2 Pro FS BE + UFX II

KaiS wrote:

I did. Adjusted to the same level (balanced is exactly 6 dB louder) I couldn’t hear any perceived sound difference.
If you follow opinions spread all over the net, the difference should be night and day - but this is certainly NOT the case.

Thanks Kai for the comments. OK I guess it makes no sense to have separate balanced cable for the Arya. Btw, I have the new Stealth Edition version and its impedance is 32ohm and sensitivity 94db/W which are improved from the earlier versions so this should make the cans more easier to drive than the previous versions.

Although I think I read someone saying somewhere in the RME forums that "high power output to be practically reasonable, you need headphones less sensitive than 95dB/V".

I have my ADI-2 Pro FS BE arriving later this week/early next week so can report my findings then. I also updated my UFX II to UFX+. It would be awsome if the UFX+ could already drive Arya's but unfortunately with it the sound is very "muffled".

19 (edited by ramses 2021-10-12 19:17:08)

Re: ADI-2 Pro FS BE + UFX II

> Btw, I have the new Stealth Edition version and its impedance is 32ohm and sensitivity 94db/W
> which are improved from the earlier versions
> so this should make the cans more easier to drive than the previous versions.

According to your wording you still seem to think there might have been an issue, but this is not the case.
With such a low impedance you have ZERO problems.
When headphones have around 20-80 ohms, then they can even be driven by a smartphone
like e.g. Audeze LCD-X with 20 Ohms and those values are not that far from each other.
And now compare the power out analog outputs between a Smartphone and the ADI-2 Pro ....
So please relax on this topic, you have no issues in that regards.

BR
Ramses
X10SRi-F, E5-1650v4, Win10Pro21H2, Cub11Pro, UFX+, XTC, 12Mic, ADI-2 Pro FS R BE, RayDAT

20 (edited by KaiS 2021-10-12 20:51:05)

Re: ADI-2 Pro FS BE + UFX II

jiggy wrote:

...Although I think I read someone saying somewhere in the RME forums that "high power output to be practically reasonable, you need headphones less sensitive than 95dB/V".

Too many people spread numbers without knowing what they mean.
Very few headphones would fit into that range.

Anyway, ADI-2 Pro drives almost every headphone on the market with ease.
There’s a “Low Power”-mode for very sensitive ‘phones, too.

Only extremely sensitive, read “very, very loud” In-Ears would need ADI-2 DAC’s IEM-output, or external attenuators, as these could make ADI-2’s very low self-noise audible.


Nothing to worry about at your side with your Ayra, which is quite “normal” on that behalf.
All my Hifiman’s (and many others) sound great out of my ADI-2 Pro.
The Parametric EQ works wonders on some, and a little bass boost fits my taste for most.

jiggy wrote:

... I also updated my UFX II to UFX+. It would be awsome if the UFX+ could already drive Arya's but unfortunately with it the sound is very "muffled".

Very ”muffeled”?
I’ve yet to stumble across a headphone amp that significantly changes a headphone’s tonality, and I’ve a huge collection.
Something is wrong here in your setup!!!

Or do you listen very loud (please don’t!) and simply overdrive the amp?

What is the reference you are comparing UFX+ to?

21 (edited by jiggy 2021-10-12 21:17:24)

Re: ADI-2 Pro FS BE + UFX II

KaiS wrote:

I’ve yet to stumble across a headphone amp that significantly changes a headphone’s tonality, and I’ve a huge collection.
Something is wrong here in your setup!!!

Or do you listen very loud (please don’t!) and simply overdrive the amp?

What is the reference you are comparing UFX+ to?

With "muffled" I mean it sounds that the UFX+ can't drive the Arya's enough. In low gain mode I need to bring up the volume quite close to 0 to get enough drive and the volume is not too loud then to listen. I have eg. Spotify in this case max volume and and in best quality setting so the source is fine.

I don't have any other reference to compare UFX+ to as it is my only DAC/Amp. I had UFX II prior that. My DT 1990 and 1770 sounded good with them before I sold them to fund Arya's.

Are you saying that UFX+ DAC/headphone amp should be able to drive the Arya's well enough and ADI-2 Pro won't bring any major improvement to the overall quality?

22 (edited by ramses 2021-10-12 21:23:38)

Re: ADI-2 Pro FS BE + UFX II

> In low gain mode I need to bring up the volume quite close to 0 to get enough drive

But for exactly this reason you have two different reference levels there.
And how does it sound when you set it from "Low" to "High" ?

DA - Stereo Monitor Output Phones (9-12)
As DA, but:
- Maximum output level at 0 dBFS, High: +19 dBu = 16.78 dBV = 6.90 Volt eff
- Maximum output level at 0 dBFS, Low: +2 dBV = 4.21 dBu = 1.25 Volt eff
( http://www.sengpielaudio.com/Rechner-db-volt.htm )

If you look at Volt eff, thats quite a difference !

BR
Ramses
X10SRi-F, E5-1650v4, Win10Pro21H2, Cub11Pro, UFX+, XTC, 12Mic, ADI-2 Pro FS R BE, RayDAT

23 (edited by KaiS 2021-10-12 22:27:55)

Re: ADI-2 Pro FS BE + UFX II

jiggy wrote:
KaiS wrote:

I’ve yet to stumble across a headphone amp that significantly changes a headphone’s tonality, and I’ve a huge collection.
Something is wrong here in your setup!!!

Or do you listen very loud (please don’t!) and simply overdrive the amp?

What is the reference you are comparing UFX+ to?

With "muffled" I mean it sounds that the UFX+ can't drive the Arya's enough. In low gain mode I need to bring up the volume quite close to 0 to get enough drive and the volume is not too loud then to listen. I have eg. Spotify in this case max volume and and in best quality setting so the source is fine.

I don't have any other reference to compare UFX+ to as it is my only DAC/Amp. I had UFX II prior that. My DT 1990 and 1770 sounded good with them before I sold them to fund Arya's.

Are you saying that UFX+ DAC/headphone amp should be able to drive the Arya's well enough and ADI-2 Pro won't bring any major improvement to the overall quality?

What you perceive as “muffled” might simply be a few dB’s too quiet?!
Try “High Gain”.

Further, compared to both your Beyerdynamic’s ‘phones, the Ayra (although not treble-shy) sounds much smoother (“muffeled”?).
Maybe you’re not comparing amps, but headphones?
You could use TotalMixFX to boost the treble a bit if you miss some.


ADI-2 Pro is much more flexible as headphones amp.
ADI-2’s DSP functions will allow to match and fine-tune Ayra’s sound to your liking.
PEQ, Bass/Treble and Loudness functions give a lot of options.

24

Re: ADI-2 Pro FS BE + UFX II

jiggy wrote:

With "muffled" I mean it sounds that the UFX+ can't drive the Arya's enough. In low gain mode

Facepalm...

Regards
Matthias Carstens
RME

25 (edited by jiggy 2021-10-13 17:55:36)

Re: ADI-2 Pro FS BE + UFX II

MC wrote:
jiggy wrote:

With "muffled" I mean it sounds that the UFX+ can't drive the Arya's enough. In low gain mode

Facepalm...

I have understood you should use low gain for low impedance headphones and thus avoid using hi gain. So I have understood this wrong?

Well this is a good thing then if hi gain is OK to use with Arya's and it drives them fine, I can return the ADI Pro and save 1,7k eur. smile

Re: ADI-2 Pro FS BE + UFX II

Hi jiggy

low or high gain has nothing to do impedance of the hedaphone. Totally different things.

Adjust gain as needed. Don't bother the RME willl drive your phone.

Peter

27 (edited by ramses 2021-10-14 09:52:22)

Re: ADI-2 Pro FS BE + UFX II

Its also described in the manual, ch 20.2 (different "reference levels") and technical data show that the outputs have a fix output impedance of 2 Ohm and that High and Low differ regarding the output level.

DA - Stereo Monitor Output Phones (9-12)
As DA, but:
-Output: 2 x 6.3 mm TRS stereo jack, unbalanced
-Maximum output level at 0 dBFS, High: +19 dBu
-Maximum output level at 0 dBFS, Low: +2 dBV

-Output impedance: 2 Ohm
-Max power per channel @ 32 Ohm load, 0.1% THD: 210 mW (2.6 Vrms, +10.5 dBu)

If you ordered the ADI-2 Pro I would try it because it has some really nice features:
- slow ramp-up of volume when plugging phones or switching between monitors and phones by a remapped front key
- sets the output volume for monitors and phones like a monitor controller to protect your ears, esp. in cases where your setup should have level mismatches and 0dB output settings in TM FX might harm speakers and ears (see also https://forum.rme-audio.de/viewtopic.php?id=25399)
- dynamic loudness preserves the sound even if you have to listen at much lower volume e.g. when working in home offce, etc
- easy B/T settings to quickly adjust the sound for older mixes which sound somehow flat
- 5-Band PEQ to adjust sound to different headphones / ears
- high quality DAC chip
- Bittest capability to be able to perform an end-to-end test whether you listen to lossless audio
- sample rate converter to be able to connect devices which work at a fix other sample rate like DAT and alike
- with support for AES it allows for longer distances if e.g. HiFi is in another room

You connect it digitally through either ADAT1 or ADAT2 or AES, see here:
https://www.tonstudio-forum.de/blog/ind … our-Setup/

With your nice setup with an UFX+ you could even do the same like me, if you would have such use cases to use your PC with the UFX+ also as player for the HiFi, therefore I use a combination of UFX+ and two ADI-2 Pro (one for the recording corner and one for the HiFi).

Then you couild also try MusicBee with the MusicBee Remore pluging and remote control the playback through Android Smartphone or Tablet with the MusicBee remote app, very nice feature.

The 2nd ADI-2 Pro in front of the HiFi can perform then the D/A conversion entirely for all sources in front of the HiFi, e.g.:
Sound from UFX+, from TV (if it has a digital output), Sound from BluRay
And this you can nicely select / switch with the remote of the Optosel 4:1 Mk II.
This unit is capable to play up to 192 kHz (even with the long TOSLINK cabling)

PC with Musicbee player
|
UFX+ ---- ADAT1 OUT ---- ADI-2 Pro #1 ----- Monitor and Phones
         ---- ADAT2 OUT --------------------------- Optosel 4:1 Mk II ---------- ADI-2 Pro ----- HiFi or Phones
                                                     TV-------+
                                              BluRay-------+
                                    e.g Playstation----+

With RME and Mutec TOSLINK cable you can exceed the standard from ~10m to 15+1m (15m to the Optosel and then 1m from Optosel to ADI-2 Pro). If you have longer distances, then use AES another advantage of ADI-2 Pro over DAC which doesn't have AES.

This is my setup: https://www.tonstudio-forum.de/index.ph … Setup-jpg/

BR
Ramses
X10SRi-F, E5-1650v4, Win10Pro21H2, Cub11Pro, UFX+, XTC, 12Mic, ADI-2 Pro FS R BE, RayDAT

28 (edited by Happy_amateur 2021-10-14 12:45:43)

Re: ADI-2 Pro FS BE + UFX II

ramses wrote:

With RME and Mutec TOSLINK cable you can exceed the standard from ~10m to 15+1m (15m to the Optosel and then 1m from Optosel to ADI-2 Pro). If you have longer distances, then use AES another advantage of ADI-2 Pro over DAC which doesn't have AES.

When u say MUTEC cables, do they have an advantage over other tos cables? I have a .5 here I got with some other stuff from Thomann. Mutec has really nice pricing. I have some experience with toslink cables. From that ive never considered going over 5 m. Probably from the shitty quality ive bought

RME ADI2 DAC fs. Digiface USB FF UCXII. HEGEL H80. KEF Ls50. FOSTEX T50RP + alots of other gear.

29 (edited by ramses 2021-10-20 20:32:39)

Re: ADI-2 Pro FS BE + UFX II

Happy_amateur wrote:
ramses wrote:

With RME and Mutec TOSLINK cable you can exceed the standard from ~10m to 15+1m (15m to the Optosel and then 1m from Optosel to ADI-2 Pro). If you have longer distances, then use AES another advantage of ADI-2 Pro over DAC which doesn't have AES.

When u say MUTEC cables, do they have an advantage over other tos cables? I have a .5 here I got with some other stuff from Thomann. Mutec has really nice pricing. I have some experience with toslink cables. From that ive never considered going over 5 m. Probably from the shitty quality ive bought

I myself have had the misfortune of buying Sommer cables, because they generally have a good price-performance ratio and use decent connectors.
https://www.thomann.de/de/sommer_cable_ … bel_3m.htm

The TOSLINK cable from Sommer looks great at first, thick "jacket" (de: Ummantelung) to protect it from damage, nice looking Hicon Plug, but now comes the infamous BUT ...

You have to wind up the cables somehow on the back of a rack and bring them into a suitable position. And this is where the thick jacket of the Sommer TOSLINK cable is a huge disadvantage, because it makes the cable so stiff that it ends up exerting too high lateral pull on the connection socket and this is really bad.

Another disadvantage is when you have to wire TOSLINK sockets directly next to each other on the recording interface. The cables are too close together for this and its not comfortably to plug them in and out, everything is too close together, also because of the thicker Hicon plug on the cable.

So you pay a lot of money for a functionality (sheathing, Hicon plug, the "name") that brings you nothing but disadvantages later on.

The Mutec cables are particularly "praiseworthy" here. The plugs snap in cleanly, are not too thick, you can plug several Mutec cables next to each other in any recording interface and there are no handling problems. The cables can be rolled up nicely, although of course you should not bend or kink the cables too much, as with any cable (especially fibre cables).

And if you have to lay several of such Mutec cables, for example up to 8 pieces on an RME RayDAT, then you can easily twist the cables together. So don't braid a tight braid, but something similar, but light and loose. This gives them a good fit and makes them easy to lay.

The Mutec cables can also be laid much better in a small cable duct, there are some that you can glue onto plaster or tile edges and in room corners you then leave a few cm of space and can then lay around the corner with a pleasing bending radius, you could forget all that with the thickly sheathed Sommer cable.

And should the question come up now, but maybe the shielding is better with the Sommer cable... think again ... this is an optical cable with galvanic isolation, so no special electrical shielding is required. Well and remember, there are no good or bad sounding digital cables, be it a digital copper or optical connection wink

Finally: with the Mutec cable quality in terms of Light transmission and the quality of RME selected TOSLINKs it's proven (at least by me) that you can exceed the specification (10m) up to 15+1=16m and there is no issue even with 192 kHz sample rate.

BR
Ramses
X10SRi-F, E5-1650v4, Win10Pro21H2, Cub11Pro, UFX+, XTC, 12Mic, ADI-2 Pro FS R BE, RayDAT

30 (edited by jiggy 2021-10-20 20:11:39)

Re: ADI-2 Pro FS BE + UFX II

Reporting back.

I have had the ADI-2 Pro FS R BE now couple of days. My initial impressions are that the UFX+ (in hi-gain mode) is very close to the ADI-2.

I had some difficulties getting better sound out of the ADI-2 compared to the UFX+ but after some testing with slight EQ + Loudness on, Low Power mode, Auto Ref Lev on, and using the Sharp DA filter (IMO that works the best with the planar headphones, NOS being the second best with some treble EQ), I can hear increased detail in the sound. Is this increased quality worth 1700 EUR is something I will need to consider during following days.

If anyone has any tips for best settings for ADI-2 with the Arya's (2021 SE), feel free to share your ideas. smile

Re: ADI-2 Pro FS BE + UFX II

I have UCXII and ADI-2 DAC fs. While UCXII definitely produces great sound and is capable of driving whatever you throw at it, the DAC with loudness and a bit of EQ clearly ouyshines it. Usually going with sharp filter too. Never heard the UFXII, but I recken its pretty close if not the same as UCXII. I wouldent be whitout the ADI-2 DAC fs.

RME ADI2 DAC fs. Digiface USB FF UCXII. HEGEL H80. KEF Ls50. FOSTEX T50RP + alots of other gear.

32 (edited by jiggy Yesterday 09:52:47)

Re: ADI-2 Pro FS BE + UFX II

Been now using it for a week and do really like the ADI-2 Pro so I've decided to keep it. smile

I have been playing around with different setups and for some odd reason I found that when I plug the ADI via USB to my mac mini instead routing it via AES through UFX+ the sound is much more detailed and better. Any ideas why?

So based on this observation I would rather create an aggregated device between ADI and UFX+ to enjoy all the inputs and output in m DAW. In this setup, both UFX+ and ADI are connected via USB to my mac (I need multi-tracking within my DAW). I use AES to share the clock. This has naturally some impact on latency but it is still good (around 9ms in 128 sample rate). Also I would put ADI as clock master instead of UFX+.

Any thoughts on this?

33 (edited by ramses Yesterday 11:50:37)

Re: ADI-2 Pro FS BE + UFX II

jiggy wrote:

I have been playing around with different setups and for some odd reason I found that when I plug the ADI via USB to my mac mini instead routing it via AES through UFX+ the sound is much more detailed and better. Any ideas why?

This has been discussed quite often on this forum already.
There is not quality difference between different forms of digital data transfer (USB, AES, ADAT, SPDIF).

Are you really sure that you did a proper testing not to become a victim of psychoacoustic effects?
Our ear can not remember small sound differences for long, so you need to perform quick A/B tests where you can switch in seconds.

Next for our ears louder sounds better (therefore the well-known "loudness war" in the music industry.
Therefore it's very important to make quick A/B comparisons at the same volume levels.

Another aspect of psychoacoustic is, that we have a certain bias and this also heavily influences sound interpretation of our brain (this is simply how our brain works..)
If you think, that
- device A sounds better than device B, then it will.
- more expensive USB cables sound better, then it will.
- there is a sound difference between USB and AES/SPDIF/whatever - maybe you heard at different sound levels and noticed a difference because of that - then you have now a certain bias and then it will sound better.

Such psychoacoustic phenomens exists and for a valid comparison you need to do everything to exclude them.
One important methodology is to perform blind tests, that you do not know what is in use for playback.
Even more accurate is to perform double blind test where the other person, who performs the switching between A and B also does not know what is currently in use, not to influence your judgement by certain reactions.

I would propose that you check
a) 1st of all with the ADI-2 Pro's Bittest (explained in the manual) that on both computers a lossless transfer of music data between application (music player, daw, ..) and the ADI-2 Pro is guaranteed "end-to-end"
b) that you listen at the same volume level

But you also need to check settings on the application, the computer and the ADI-2 Pro..

Maybe on one of your computers
- the music players volume was turned down
- the music player had some FX active (EQ, sound enhancer)
- the music player didn't use the proper audio driver that guarantees lossless transfer of audio data by curcumventing the sound system of the computer (Windows)
- the computers sound system has some sound enhancers active
- the computers mixer was active and turned down, making sound more silent which does not sound as good
- TotalMix FX faders are not at 0dB position (on SW playback or HW Output channel or both)
- TotalMix FX has some FX active on the HW output

In case you created different profile for playback from USB and AES to prevent automatic switching of modes.
Maybe the settings in the two profiles are not equal: B/T, PEQ, dynamic loudness.
To exclude that I personally perform two things
a) work on one setting and finalize it with everything needed and with B/T, PEQ, Dynamic Loudness turned off
b) save this also as 2nd setting and then make only those adjustments to playback from another source

Also helpful is to use the key remapping, I have mapped the front key EQ to toggle any form of EQing on/off for all four analog outputs (Analog 1/2, Phones 3/4):
Options -> SPDIF / Remap Keys -> EQ (3) - EQ+B/T+Ld 1-4
By this you turn off Bass/Treble, PEQ and dynamic Loudness settings and get feedback in the display whether its deactivated or not for a valid comparison without any EQing.

Of course you also need to check, whether you use the same D/A filter:
I/O -> Main Output 1/2 -> Settings -> DA Filter

Also check whether you have perhaps erraneously changed some other settings there that also impact sound/dynamic:
Reference Level settings, Mono, Width, Phase Invert, Crossfeed ..

To check for the same volume level its good to cross check with such a measuring device and using sine tones:
https://www.thomann.de/de/digital_sound … _meter.htm

jiggy wrote:

So based on this observation

As I said, your observation is wrong, pls check.

Once music data has been transferred digital and lossless to the ADI-2 Pro three things happen.
1. RME Steadyclock technology eliminates any clock jitter
2. The clock signal becomes "refreshed" by the ADI-2 Pro's internal FS clock.
3. The final D/A conversion is being performed with the ADI-2 Pro's internal FS clock in best quality.

In terms of cabling between UFX+ and ADI-2 Pro (if you want to use it this way):
I personally would avoid coaxial SPDIF and use e.g. optical SPDIF to also get a galvanic isolation between devices.
But also AES is very good eliminating noise as it is a balanced connection and thus can be used for cable lengths over 100m in the studio. TOSLINK allows for 10m according to standard, but with RME also 15+1=16m works fine for me from UFX+ to an Optosel 4:1 TOSLINK Switcher and then 1m between switcher to ADI-2 Pro.

But you can possibly also do the following
a) cabling between UFX+ and ADI-2 Pro (optical SPDIF or AES)
b) keep both devices connected through USB (also useful for performing firmware updates

Then configure two different setup and store them in the ADI-2 Pro, then you can switch between two modes of operation
a) to be used as D/A converter for monitors / phones, getting audio from the UFX+
b) to be used as aggregated device where the DAW can access both devices through their USB connection

Also I would put ADI as clock master instead of UFX+. Any thoughts on this?

You can do this but I personally see it as an operational advantage to use the UFX+ as clock master.
Then applications like Music Player or DAW can set the sample rate.
The main interface will learn the sample race through the driver.
And the connected ADI-2 Pro would learn it through AES or optical SPDIF (which is a 2ch protocol up to 192kHz, so that the connected ADI-2 Pro can detect also higher sample rates automatically.

The final D/A conversion will be performed as I mentioned anyway on the ADI-2 Pro by using its local FS clock.
I personally do not think that you get audible changes (measurable yes) for the A/D and D/A conversion of the UFX+ when being clocked through ADI-2 Pro's FS clock. But it's your decision where your focus is.

I am usually recording in 44.1, so for me it would not be much fiddeling around.
But I have music content in different sample rates, there it would be a burden, having to change the sample rate on the ADI-2 Pro whenever the samplerate changes on playing back stuff randomly.

BR
Ramses
X10SRi-F, E5-1650v4, Win10Pro21H2, Cub11Pro, UFX+, XTC, 12Mic, ADI-2 Pro FS R BE, RayDAT

34

Re: ADI-2 Pro FS BE + UFX II

jiggy wrote:

...for some odd reason I found that when I plug the ADI via USB to my mac mini instead routing it via AES through UFX+ the sound is much more detailed and better. Any ideas why?

Due to the fact that you need to plug some stuff around, quick A/B comparison is not possible in this case.
Therefore I suggest to re-record ADI-2’s output for both configurations on two tracks of your DAW.

Put the original file into your DAW as a reference for how it should be.
Then compare the tracks.
As the quality of all converters involved is so high there should be no other audible difference than volume.


You will soon find out if it’s:
• just a volume difference,
• or maybe something like a setting in the computer (e.g. an EQ in TotalMic) that is different.

You seem to obviously hear it, so there must be something like that, there is no other explanation.

35 (edited by jiggy Yesterday 15:05:13)

Re: ADI-2 Pro FS BE + UFX II

Wow thank you for such detailed walkthrough. I will run some tests and report back. I'm aware of biases what comes to critical music listening and try my best to keep this mind when testing the setup.

Re: ADI-2 Pro FS BE + UFX II

jiggy wrote:

Wow thank you for such detailed walkthrough. I will run some tests and report back. I'm aware of biases what comes to critical music listening and try my best to keep this mind when testing some setups.

I do not mean the usual bias that someone has in terms of personal tastes / listening habits.

I mean psychoacoustic effects, based on how our brain works and interprets music that you listen to, quick examples again:
- louder = better
- own expectations have an influence on our perception

BR
Ramses
X10SRi-F, E5-1650v4, Win10Pro21H2, Cub11Pro, UFX+, XTC, 12Mic, ADI-2 Pro FS R BE, RayDAT