Topic: Best settings on speakers (KH 120) when used with ADI-2 DAC?

Hello all,

I have a shiny new ADI-2 DAC coming my way. I’ve studied the manual a bit, but I have one question the RME manual can of course not answer:

The Neumann KH 120 A have an input gain dial, from -15 to 0 dB, and an Output level switch with 4 settings (94, 100, 108, 114).

With my current (analogue) pre-amp, I‘ve set the “Neumänner” to 0 input and 100 output.

Is there any golden rule how best to set up speakers  with the ADI-2 DAC, provided I want to use auto-ref and loudness? Or does it not matter at all?

Thanks a lot in advance.

Markus

2 (edited by vinark 2022-07-27 11:27:41)

Re: Best settings on speakers (KH 120) when used with ADI-2 DAC?

Simple way is to set the Neuman on their lowest volume setting so -15db and 94. If you then have volume enough for all your listening needs this is the best setting. If you need more volume (with the dac at 0dbfs) raise the level of the Neuman.  You could listen up very close to the tweeter (without audio running of course) and see if either the input level or output adds noise when raised. Use the one that has no or less noise to raise volume if needed.
But with the way the ADI handles volume and its quality it would probably be fine to set whatever.

Vincent, Amsterdam
https://soundcloud.com/thesecretworld
Babyface pro fs, HDSP9652+ADI-8AE, HDSP9632

3 (edited by ramses 2022-08-01 12:38:37)

Re: Best settings on speakers (KH 120) when used with ADI-2 DAC?

In addition to that: use ADI-2 DAC/Pro's feature “Auto Ref Level”. It will always choose the proper reference level to optimize for highest SNR/dynamic (out of 4 ref levels). It also considers any potential level changes due to dynamic loudness-, B/T- and PEQ-settings.

Max input level of KH120 is +24dBu, so don't worry, its inputs don't get overloaded by ADI-2 DAC which has +19dBu when using the XLR outputs. Tech specs of Neumann KH-120, see: https://en-de.neumann.com/kh-120-a-g.

Here you see the resulting SNR and output levels for ADI-2 DAC/Pro FS according to the selected volume
— col. D for ADI-2 Pro FS
— col. I for ADI-2 DAC FS.

Tip: if fonts are too tiny, then open this diagram in a new browser window or by using Windows photo view app.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/amzll4kli9z7i8z/Overview%20ADI-2%20DAC%2BPro%2C%20dBu%2C%20Auto%20Reflevel%20ranges%2C%20SNR%20v002.jpg?dl=1

BR Ramses
UFX+, 12Mic, XTC, ADI-2 Pro FS R BE, RayDAT, X10SRi-F, E5-1650v4, Win10Pro22H2, Cub12Pro

Re: Best settings on speakers (KH 120) when used with ADI-2 DAC?

Thanks a lot, both of you. I am not entirely sure I understand everything you have written, ramses,*but I will try, and get back to this thread for reference.

*Blatant lie. I absolutely know I’ve not understood everything. smile

5 (edited by ramses 2022-08-01 12:37:36)

Re: Best settings on speakers (KH 120) when used with ADI-2 DAC?

What's unclear?

Incidentally, further information about auto ref level, see manual 19.3:
https://www.rme-audio.de/downloads/adi2dacr_d.pdf
https://www.rme-audio.de/downloads/adi2dacr_e.pdf

BR Ramses
UFX+, 12Mic, XTC, ADI-2 Pro FS R BE, RayDAT, X10SRi-F, E5-1650v4, Win10Pro22H2, Cub12Pro

Re: Best settings on speakers (KH 120) when used with ADI-2 DAC?

vinark wrote:

Simple way is to set the Neuman on their lowest volume setting so -15db and 94. If you then have volume enough for all your listening needs this is the best setting. If you need more volume (with the dac at 0dbfs) raise the level of the Neuman.  You could listen up very close to the tweeter (without audio running of course) and see if either the input level or output adds noise when raised. Use the one that has no or less noise to raise volume if needed.
But with the way the ADI handles volume and its quality it would probably be fine to set whatever.

If you also have the KH 750 I suppose you should be using an ouput level of -94dB with an input gain of -12 for maximum SNR?

7 (edited by ramses 2022-08-01 12:36:58)

Re: Best settings on speakers (KH 120) when used with ADI-2 DAC?

As a side note, I am doing the same here as vinark proposes.
Turning down the volume knob of my Geithain RL906 to minimum.
Then the volume is just right with ADI-2 Pro in a volume range from -15 - -55.
Low Vol Ref (for dynamic loudness) is set to -55, so loudness kicks in at -35.
-30 is my normal listening level, when making music, mixing and mastering ~ -20 with some headroom for louder levels.

BR Ramses
UFX+, 12Mic, XTC, ADI-2 Pro FS R BE, RayDAT, X10SRi-F, E5-1650v4, Win10Pro22H2, Cub12Pro