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RME ADI-2 Pro
Old 2 weeks ago
  #331
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Hansest's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by thermos View Post
I think you are misunderstanding it. The Solaris only allows for 2 channels of output, but those outputs are mirrored. You can assign channels 1+2 to both sets of outputs and use that for parallel processing, but you can't assign channels 1+2 to one output and 3+4 to another. That would make it a 4 channel converter, which in the manual it states its a 2 channel converter. Anyway I'm interested in that piece too so I was doing some research.
ok, i believe you. Thanks for the clarification. Anyway, there are a bunch of other options that have been mentioned that DO cover 4 outs 2 in

It´s a shame that having 2 stereo DACs on board, RME opted for balanced headphone out, INSTEAD of 2 stereo balanced outs... OR balanced headphone out
Old 2 weeks ago
  #332
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As I said before Apogee's new ensemble and Roland's Super UA both offer 32 bit floating point D/A playback. The key here is that the converter in those interfaces is 32 bit floating point, not integer like the RME. Thanks for the info.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #333
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maxwelldub View Post
As I said before Apogee's new ensemble and Roland's Super UA both offer 32 bit floating point D/A playback. The key here is that the converter in those interfaces is 32 bit floating point, not integer like the RME. Thanks for the info.
Did you read my previous reply?
The key is, you're wrong, there's no audio DAC chip with floating point conversion.

Michal
Old 2 weeks ago
  #334
121
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Quote:
Originally Posted by msmucr View Post
Did you read my previous reply?
The key is, you're wrong, there's no audio DAC chip with floating point conversion.

Michal
"Our newly developed S1Lki DSP engine and high-resolution DACs delivers the latest in high-resolution audio playback. The Super UA's high-end DAC supports 2.8 MHz/1-bit DSD and 192 kHz/32-bit floating point PCM playback - so you can experience the full resolution of your DAW's 32-bit audio engine."

https://www.roland.com/us/products/super_ua/
Old 2 weeks ago
  #335
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Quote:
Originally Posted by msmucr View Post
Did you read my previous reply?
The key is, you're wrong, there's no audio DAC chip with floating point conversion.

Michal
Not according to Roland...

"The Super UA's high-end DAC supports 2.8 MHz/1-bit DSD and 192 kHz/32-bit floating point PCM playback - so you can experience the full resolution of your DAW's 32-bit audio engine."
https://www.roland.com/global/products/super_ua/

I remember when gearslutz was an open educational community dedicated to discussing new developments in recording technology in a polite and informative matter. Now it seems like a grumpy sound guy echo chamber dedicated to know it alls who are more into being right all the time than learning new stuff. If you're not open to learning and being corrected I really don't know why you'd post on this site, I think KVR is much better these days. Lame.

Last edited by maxwelldub; 2 weeks ago at 04:35 AM..
Old 2 weeks ago
  #336
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Maxwelldub,

The point I'm trying to make (indeed trying to educate about) is that industry-wide, the best a/d conversion figures hover around true 20 bit conversion.

When one talks about a certain dac's ability to decode 32 bit, this is certainly not referring to giving the listener 32 bit sound quality. It is referring to IT talk about how wide the computer bus is.

So you Roland and your Apogee examples are examples of marketing bits boxes. You would be fortunate to be listening to barely (and rarely) 20 bit sound with your 32 bit boxes.

This is the crux of the corrections aimed at you here.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #337
Gear Maniac
 

Early days: ADI-2 Pro

First impressions: wow. I wish it had microphone inputs.

Using it via USB through a USB isolator and the latest ISO-REGEN because that is what sounds best on my system with the Solaris. RME states in their manual that using the optical input has the benefit of providing "galvanic isolation" and that is recommended for critical measurements at high sample rates. So yes, USB isolators are a good thing in general. Whether you hear an issue or not will depend upon the degree of "galvanic" issue you have etc.

It appears as though I can use the breakout cable to experiment with clocking from the Grimm CC2 via a BNC to RCA adapter.

There are credible reports that the fixed output on the Solaris is next level superior to the variable outputs, I will do my best to test that in the days ahead.

The wealth of high quality equipment available these days is stunning.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #338
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How does the RME ADI-2 Pro compare to the Benchmark DAC3?
I've read most of this thread, and besides the quote by nelsona (thanks!) from Headfonics, no users here have yet commented on how it compares to the DAC3 from their direct experience.
Really curious !!

Quote:
Originally Posted by nelsona View Post
Hello Everyone,

If anyone's interested, Headfonics.com did a review on the Benchmark DAC3 and had this to say about the ADI-2 Pro:

"Pulling my writer’s choice 2016 RME’s ADI-2 Pro into the mix, also with a dual 6.3mm head-amp, I must say there are two completely different motivations behind the products. The Benchmark DAC3 is a device that simply works – a wonderful plug ‘n’ play DAC. The RME, however, might bother the user with firmware upgrades, different DA filters, dual EQ settings, different settings for different outputs, etc. And then it doesn’t even have regular RCA connections.

Sonically, the RME is somewhat of a chameleon but never loses a more musical touch thanks to the AKM chips. The DAC3 will always sound more transparent, though. This should be an easy pick. Either you are looking for a desktop solution for monitoring and tweaking, or you need a carefree package that will be the heart of your stereo system for a long time."


Benchmark Media DAC 3 Review

So it looks like the ADI-2 Pro is close to the DAC3, while offering more features.

Nelson
Old 2 weeks ago
  #339
Gear Maniac
 

Update on early days: ADI-2 Pro vs Solaris

First conclusion: In my setup, as a USB interface, both units benefit from an external USB isolator (Schiit Audio Wyrd Decrapifier) and the latest ISO-REGEN (Uptone Audio)

Second conclusion: In my setup, the gain structure affects sound quality quite a bit. It takes quite a bit of fiddling to get things set up for reasonably quick A/B testing. The need for allowing a changeover that does not involve altering preamp levels means that neither unit is operating in its "sweet spot" as far as gain structure for the system is concerned.

Third conclusion (preliminary, subject to more extended experimentation):

My system more resembles an audiophile setup than a working studio, so your results could be different. I can get both units to sound really good, to the point that it becomes a matter of mood, genre or taste as to which I preferred.

My plan is to keep both the Solaris and the ADI-2 Pro. Further experimentation will determine which unit winds up being the most often used for monitoring, but I plan to often use the Solaris to pitch into an external processor and then into the A/D of the ADI-2 Pro. This is very simply because the Solaris has no A/D function.

I apologize for not being able to give a definitive answer on which unit is "best" for D/A. They do have different presentations that makes choosing difficult. I can see how someone with a different setup can be forgiven for making an absolute thumbs up or down judgement. This could be due to taste, genre, or simply because they have a production chain that does not allow for finding the "sweet spot", the way I do with my fiddly audiophile style setup.

Both units are awesome. In my setup, both units benefit from USB treatments. Each unit has a personality.

Update from extended listening:
As the system has warmed up over several hours (hot swapping USB connections) and without trying all the various filter settings, my tentative conclusion is that the Solaris is my preferred monitor D/A. I find my ears relaxing more and I catch myself smiling more. Again, this is early days and there are many different things to test with the ADI-2 Pro. I still plan to keep it, I just have not found the sweet spot with its many different settings. It has also not broken in yet. (assuming that it will break in over time, just as the Solaris did) Both are still awesome.

Last edited by DigitalGrease; 1 week ago at 02:39 AM.. Reason: Additional update:
Old 1 week ago
  #340
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I bought one of the RME ADI2 Pro's quite a while ago and ended up returning it after about a week. Wasn't for me, it's quite a flat converter but a bit boring and not as musical or as engaging as the Solaris and Forssell converters at least at 1x SR's which is primarily where I work and where I tested the ADI2 Pro.

It's great for the money given the feature set and quality for sure but for a pro set up, I find it a bit fiddly and sonically a bit underwhelming. The Solaris DA was a big step up sonically in my system and it still remains the one to beat currently. AD wise I'm still preferring the Forssell AD most of all and occasionally the Pure2 AD. IMHO YMMV etc.
Old 1 week ago
  #341
mpr
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Plush View Post
The point I'm trying to make (indeed trying to educate about) is that industry-wide, the best a/d conversion figures hover around true 20 bit conversion.

When one talks about a certain dac's ability to decode 32 bit, this is certainly not referring to giving the listener 32 bit sound quality. It is referring to IT talk about how wide the computer bus is.

So you Roland and your Apogee examples are examples of marketing bits boxes. You would be fortunate to be listening to barely (and rarely) 20 bit sound with your 32 bit boxes.
Correct, in the end its all getting dithered down (or better be), and ultimately getting eaten by the dynamic range of the amps driving your speakers.

Who here has a speaker system with a true dynamic range of 100dB or greater? Crickets.

So theoretically 17 bits is all we need to recreate the 100dB range of our amps / speakers, but in practice 20 bits will do, with an extra 4 bits thrown in for safe measure at 24 bits (144 theoretical).

A 32 bit float output is strictly for the numbskull in all of us who thinks digital 0 shouldn't exist. The "Lets just blast right by it and let the tech correct it later" type mentality. There is no audible advantage of 32 bit to anyone outputting healthy level, and these companies know it.
Old 1 week ago
  #342
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MattGray View Post
Wasn't for me, it's quite a flat converter but a bit boring and not as musical or as engaging as the Solaris and Forssell converters at least at 1x SR's which is primarily where I work and where I tested the ADI2 Pro.

It's great for the money given the feature set and quality for sure but for a pro set up, I find it a bit fiddly and sonically a bit underwhelming. The Solaris DA was a big step up sonically in my system and it still remains the one to beat currently. AD wise I'm still preferring the Forssell AD most of all and occasionally the Pure2 AD. IMHO YMMV etc.
Did you try the different filters?
Old 1 week ago
  #343
Gear Maniac
 

ADI-2 Pro with iPad Pro:

There were several reasons in mind for bringing in the ADI-2 Pro for testing. The iPad interface option intrigued me for the various soft synths that I had. I purchased the Apple camera connection adapter. When connected to the iPad for the first time, a dialog box pops up immediately asking if you want to "update the camera connection adapter". It does not specify whether this is firmware in the adapter or software on the iPad. I am assuming it is firmware on the adapter because a plain lightning to USB connection cable did not work at all, so you really do need the Apple device.

As a matter of convenience, I plugged the iPad into the full USB chain connected to the ADI-2 Pro: iPad to isolator to ISO-REGEN to ADI-2 Pro. Listening through the headphone output on Beyer Dynamic DT1770s, I was completely stunned. Rich, tight, punchy, bubbly, lush. Suddenly, the iPad felt like a legitimate instrument. To be clear, not all soft synths sounded professional quality, but many of them exhibit professional chops.

I got curious about what could be causing such a difference, so I re-connected to the ADI-2 Pro directly, bypassing all of my normal USB treatments. Suddenly I was back to being underwhelmed by the iPad synths. It sounded ok, but certainly not something I would put into a production.

Seriously, the industry needs to pay more attention to these issues of galvanic isolation and re-clocking (or signal integrity in general).

My iPad has gone from a "casual noodling and experimenting" platform to a legitimate instrument (for those soft synths that cut the mustard). It really is a stunning difference (if you are doing critical listening with an ear toward professional use).

I will test this with the iConnectivity device, but the ADI-2 Pro, in its out of the box configuration presents an almost ideal analog output for these soft synths. I would characterize it as a ruthlessly flat, tight, clean, detailed and transparent output platform. (filter choice could influence this greatly I assume).

This alone may be enough reason to keep the ADI-2 Pro, even ignoring its other strengths. Testing continues.
Old 1 week ago
  #344
Gear Maniac
 

More testing with ADI-2 Pro and Solaris:

I was trying to get the ADI-2 Pro to recognize the Grimm external clock on the SPDIF coax connection, but I had no success. So, on a whim, I decided to try the AES out of the ADI-2 Pro into the AES input on the Solaris and let the Solaris drive the analog output.

The reasoning was that I had all my USB treatments going into the ADI-2 Pro, it was applying its Steady Clock process, then sending that out to the AES. The Solaris has sub-picosecond jitter on its internal clock, so let's see what happens.

What happens is that I get the best sound I have ever had in my system.

I do not have an AES card in my computer to test against the USB/RME Steady Clock chain. It may be that the AES input would yield all of the benefits, however, I suspect that all of the re-clocking is doing something worthwhile.

This is very Rube Goldberg, but I can not argue with success. I get levels of transparency AND musicality that I have never had before. Superior to either converter by itself. Very strange, but very wonderful.

If somebody tried to tell me this, I would have thought they were crazy, but I can't stop listening to the system.....
Old 1 week ago
  #345
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 121 View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by maxwelldub View Post
Not according to Roland...

"The Super UA's high-end DAC supports 2.8 MHz/1-bit DSD and 192 kHz/32-bit floating point PCM playback - so you can experience the full resolution of your DAW's 32-bit audio engine."
https://www.roland.com/global/products/super_ua/
Sorry guys for my late reply, I've somewhat missed your posts in this thread.

That's IMO more related to marketing than anything else as Plush already mentioned..

It's bit OT, as it's not directly related to ADI-2 Pro, but anyway, I'll try to explain that.
I wrote, there are no converter chips (aka ICs) with floating point PCM conversion, not that you can't find audio interfaces, which doesn't accept floating point format at driver level.
Actually quite a few ASIO drivers can do that. And typically a client application (like DAW or some player) can adapt to that. That means, those applications use floating point audio representation for internal DSP duties, that's its native format, then during opening of audio driver it will query its supported formats and automatically adapt to the closest available PCM format.
So if it advertise float 32bit, application will likely send it at this format out of box. Some applications could be forced to specific format (eg. 16, 24 packed, 32 filled with zeros at last byte, 32 bit, 32 bit fp). Of course, it might require appropriate conversion.. Say DAW can use double precision 64 bit float internally at its summing engine and buses and the closest one is 32 bit float, then it will cast those numbers and reduce precision, but it will be still in float.. If it will be some integer format, then it will be also converted according to used ranges (say float is -1 to +1 and signed 16bit output is -32768 to 32767).. In that case some programs automatically apply output dithering, some uses straight truncation and you have to explicitly use some dithering insert plugin at the bus.. like with Reaper or Pro Tools for instance.

Now to Maxwell's question, whether to switch Reaper mixbus precision to 32bit float to match max format of output ASIO driver. No, it doesn't make sense, because that way, you'll unnecessarily reduce numeric precision and accuracy for summing and plugin I/O across whole DAW, instead of implicit conversion from 64 to 32bit float at single place, where Reaper sends audio data to ASIO driver.
Not that I'd believe, it will make any audible difference, but conceptually, it's wrong and akin to wordlength reduction at every submix, instead of working at highest precision thorough and putting dither at the end.

Back to the converter chip.. I touched that in one of previous post there, which I pointed to fixed 32 bit used there, which was introduced by vendors (AKM, TI, ESS) mainly because of increased precision for internal calculation of reconstruction filters, volume control, sigma delta modulation etc. Additionally they also opened this "pathway" for designs with external DSP or SRC chips.
There are currently no chips with floating point digital I/O or conversion to analog. Again.. doesn't make much sense, because no matter what, you still have fixed reference and boundaries set by analog stages (both maximum level and noisefloor), so main advantage of float with its huge dynamic range thanks to its exponential nature won't be utilized.

Finally that Roland.. It's bit specific piece, I've noticed about it year ago or so.
It has one "specialty", it uses mid range AK4414 chip, which supports DSD64 and PCM audio up to 192k, although at driver level you can send higher sample rates there, if you enable that.
They use DSP chip in interface, which can do usual low latency mixing, some effects in PCM mode. Besides of that, it has also SRC with DSD modulator to DSD64, which converts from any input rate, even higher ones that DAC chip otherwise can't handle.. eg. up to 352.8k or DSD128. So basically they "upsample or downsample" anything to hit converter with DSD64.
PCM coming to that DSP chip, can be also 32bit floating point. Whether it actually bring something to the table, is highly debatable. 32bit FP numeric representation has about the same precision as 24bit fixed, albeit it retains accuracy over larger range. As previously mentioned, 24bit wordlength is completely sufficient for transfer of real-world audio and advantage of listening to audio peaking over digital zero with additional attenuation at interface level is very unlike, because you'll have problems with bouncing from DAW, so you still have to keep it under 0dBFS. Very low values below range of 24 bit audio on the other hand likely contains just noise from real-world sources. With some test signal measurements, if you use properly dithered 24 bit source, then good DSD modulators already performs very well, so all artifacts are bellow analog noisefloor of any imaginable DAC.
Anyway, SA Super Audiophile description of this compact interface seems to be based more on features expected by tweakers and audiophiles and not on some exquisite components or performance (which is understandable given its pricepoint).

Quote:
I remember when gearslutz was an open educational community dedicated to discussing new developments in recording technology in a polite and informative matter. Now it seems like a grumpy sound guy echo chamber dedicated to know it alls who are more into being right all the time than learning new stuff. If you're not open to learning and being corrected I really don't know why you'd post on this site, I think KVR is much better these days. Lame.

Also in the posts before, I tried to be honest with you and explained things in some context.. When you find it condescending.. well how can I know your level of knowledge, to me you just seemed to be triggered by common marketing higher number game, so I just felt, some explanation come useful.
If you expect from me to don't apply some gathered knowledge and critical thinking, then sorry.

Michal
Old 1 week ago
  #346
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MattGray's Avatar
 

Verified Member
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kimotei View Post
Did you try the different filters?
Of course, I tried all permutations, some of the filters sounded better than others but the general overall sound still a bit 'IC' sounding is the best way to describe it. I'm wondering if a lot of it has to do with the analog input/output stages and what they're using there.
Old 1 week ago
  #347
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DigitalGrease View Post
I was trying to get the ADI-2 Pro to recognize the Grimm external clock on the SPDIF coax connection, but I had no success. So, on a whim, I decided to try the AES out of the ADI-2 Pro into the AES input on the Solaris and let the Solaris drive the analog output.

The reasoning was that I had all my USB treatments going into the ADI-2 Pro, it was applying its Steady Clock process, then sending that out to the AES. The Solaris has sub-picosecond jitter on its internal clock, so let's see what happens.

What happens is that I get the best sound I have ever had in my system.

I do not have an AES card in my computer to test against the USB/RME Steady Clock chain. It may be that the AES input would yield all of the benefits, however, I suspect that all of the re-clocking is doing something worthwhile.

This is very Rube Goldberg, but I can not argue with success. I get levels of transparency AND musicality that I have never had before. Superior to either converter by itself. Very strange, but very wonderful.

If somebody tried to tell me this, I would have thought they were crazy, but I can't stop listening to the system.....
Could we use Solaris' outputs at the same time? (for using different monitors at the same time or first outputs for monitoring and second outputs for feeding adc.)
Old 1 week ago
  #348
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bug_Hill View Post
Could we use Solaris' outputs at the same time? (for using different monitors at the same time or first outputs for monitoring and second outputs for feeding adc.)
I don't see why not, I will test that this evening.
Old 1 week ago
  #349
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DigitalGrease View Post
I don't see why not, I will test that this evening.
I will be waiting for your test and reply. Thank You.

Regards.
Old 1 week ago
  #350
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bug_Hill View Post
I will be waiting for your test and reply. Thank You.

Regards.
No worries.

I remember watching the graphic equalizer display bouncing energetically on the ADI-2 Pro, while listening through the Solaris. I will verify it tonight, but I am pretty sure that you could use all of the following at the same time:

ADI-2 Pro:

- Main variable out.

- One of the headphone outs (possibly both, but one of them would be slaved to the output level of the main output, if I understand correctly. These are excellent quality.

Solaris:

- Main output (variable)

- Fixed output

- Headphone output (only one, but it is also excellent)

Will verify tonight and reply back.
Old 1 week ago
  #351
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MattGray View Post
Of course, I tried all permutations, some of the filters sounded better than others but the general overall sound still a bit 'IC' sounding is the best way to describe it. I'm wondering if a lot of it has to do with the analog input/output stages and what they're using there.
Ok, interesting. And if you dont mind, how do you feel it measures compared to other converters in its class, below 2000€/$?
Old 1 week ago
  #352
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DigitalGrease View Post
No worries.

I remember watching the graphic equalizer display bouncing energetically on the ADI-2 Pro, while listening through the Solaris. I will verify it tonight, but I am pretty sure that you could use all of the following at the same time:

ADI-2 Pro:

- Main variable out.

- One of the headphone outs (possibly both, but one of them would be slaved to the output level of the main output, if I understand correctly. These are excellent quality.

Solaris:

- Main output (variable)

- Fixed output

- Headphone output (only one, but it is also excellent)

Will verify tonight and reply back.
I have adi 2 pro and i want to buy solaris for monitoring and feeding.. I'm also wondering about headphone out on solaris. Did you compare it with adi 2 pro's headphone out?
Old 1 week ago
  #353
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bug_Hill View Post
I have adi 2 pro and i want to buy solaris for monitoring and feeding.. I'm also wondering about headphone out on solaris. Did you compare it with adi 2 pro's headphone out?
Will compare carefully this evening and report back, rather than relying on memory.
Old 1 week ago
  #354
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DigitalGrease View Post
Will compare carefully this evening and report back, rather than relying on memory.
I will be greatful to you
Old 1 week ago
  #355
Gear Maniac
 

ADI-2 Pro VS Solaris VS both together

I have had some time to acclimate to the ADI-2 Pro, and spent some time critically listening to the headphone outputs on Beyerdynamic DT1770. The results of the headphone test mirror the results from the main outputs, so I will mainly discuss that. I finished off the testing with high resolution audio files played through JRiver Media Center and ASIO drivers at a sample rate of 176.4K. I chose that sample rate simply because it was the most delicious, whether because of the extra care taken in recording or because of the sample rate or both. The results hold true, in my system, even at 44.1 and YouTube videos. (Yes, those are not as delicious.)

I tried both converters straight to the laptop without any USB treatment.

I tried them both with just a USB isolator, straight into each converter.

I tried them both with the USB isolator and the ISO-REGEN straight into each converter.

After doing those head-to-head comparisons, I connected the ADI-2 Pro to the Solaris through the AES and started with just the isolator. I ended up with the USB isolator and the ISO-REGEN into the ADI-2 Pro which passed its Steady Clocked digital stream to the AES input of the Solaris.

In every case where the two converters went head-to-head with the exact same signal chain, the Solaris proved to be a level above in regards to harmonic content of instruments and ambient information. Some of that information was just missing in the ADI-2 Pro. Not "blown out of the water" but there it was. In addition, the ADI-2 Pro had a little more edge, just a bit harsher. Again, not night and day, but there it was. I should also mention that each time I added a new layer of USB treatment, the end result improved for both converters, and to my ears at about the same level of improvement.

When I ended up passing the fully treated USB signal to the ADI-2 Pro and feeding that Steady Clocked signal to the Solaris, it was top of the heap in a very audiophile sense. To the point that I now understand the value of high bit rate music. Not for everyone, and I don't see myself mixing anything at 176.4K, at least not yet.

I should also point out how exemplary everything behaved. The ASIO drivers switched back and forth without causing problems, the sample rate rippled through to both devices immediately and was displayed by both on their front panels. All of the outputs worked on both units, as you would hope. With all the hot swapping of USB connections, no glitches. Nicely done, for all companies concerned, even the isolator and the ISO-REGEN.

One of the reasons, I suspect, that the Solaris stands out is because of its internal clock. I did a copy and paste below for some of the relevant data to try to rationalize what I was hearing. RME does not show a clock jitter spec for the ADI-2 Pro, but they do for the Fireface UFX+, along with a jitter suppression spec. The jitter suppression spec (improved from 30 dB to 50 dB in the ADI-2 Pro) gives us a hint that perhaps the clock jitter has improved over the UFX+. Compare the 800 picosecond jitter spec of the UFX+ to the .045 picosecond spec on the Solaris. And yet, the Steady Clock of the ADI-2 Pro really does assist the Solaris, boosting it to the next audiophile level. (along with the other treatments).

Fireface UFX+:
• Clocks: Internal, ADAT, AES, MADI, word clock
• Low Jitter Design: < 1 ns in PLL mode, all inputs
• Internal clock: 800 ps Jitter, Random Spread Spectrum
• Jitter suppression of external clocks: > 30 dB (2.4 kHz)

• PLL ensures zero dropout, even at more than 100 ns jitter

ADI-2 Pro:
• Clocks: Internal, AES In, SPDIF In, ADAT In
• Jitter suppression of external clocks: > 50 dB (2.4 kHz)
• Supported sample rates for external clocks: 28 kHz up to 200
• Internal Clocks: 44.1 kHz up to 768 kHz

Solaris:
Outputs: Main output has discrete output amplifiers with a stepped attenuator, the max output it +24dbu
The Headphone Amplifier has its own stepped attenuator
The clock's jitter measured form 10Hz to 20KHz is typically 0.045pS

If you remove the cover of the Solaris, you can see that the clock has been measured and the jitter value is hand written on it. Mine was 0.032pS.

Ultimately, can you make great music with the ADI-2 Pro? Of course. It is better than many other converters out there. I was going to say that the Solaris is the one to beat, but (at least in the USB world) the Solaris driven by the ADI-2 Pro is now the one to beat.

Last edited by DigitalGrease; 1 week ago at 03:14 AM.. Reason: Added a question mark
Old 1 week ago
  #356
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sdbmastering View Post
I'm buying one of this along with the new Mytek Brooklyn DAC. I can try and compare both later.

Though to be honest, I'm buying this because of its features as an interface and not because of the AD/DA. But if the AD/DA ends up being as good as they claim then it will be the bargain of the century.
So how is the ADI-2 Pro?
Old 1 week ago
  #357
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DigitalGrease View Post
I have had some time to acclimate to the ADI-2 Pro, and spent some time critically listening to the headphone outputs on Beyerdynamic DT1770. The results of the headphone test mirror the results from the main outputs, so I will mainly discuss that. I finished off the testing with high resolution audio files played through JRiver Media Center and ASIO drivers at a sample rate of 176.4K. I chose that sample rate simply because it was the most delicious, whether because of the extra care taken in recording or because of the sample rate or both. The results hold true, in my system, even at 44.1 and YouTube videos. (Yes, those are not as delicious.)

I tried both converters straight to the laptop without any USB treatment.

I tried them both with just a USB isolator, straight into each converter.

I tried them both with the USB isolator and the ISO-REGEN straight into each converter.

After doing those head-to-head comparisons, I connected the ADI-2 Pro to the Solaris through the AES and started with just the isolator. I ended up with the USB isolator and the ISO-REGEN into the ADI-2 Pro which passed its Steady Clocked digital stream to the AES input of the Solaris.

In every case where the two converters went head-to-head with the exact same signal chain, the Solaris proved to be a level above in regards to harmonic content of instruments and ambient information. Some of that information was just missing in the ADI-2 Pro. Not "blown out of the water" but there it was. In addition, the ADI-2 Pro had a little more edge, just a bit harsher. Again, not night and day, but there it was. I should also mention that each time I added a new layer of USB treatment, the end result improved for both converters, and to my ears at about the same level of improvement.

When I ended up passing the fully treated USB signal to the ADI-2 Pro and feeding that Steady Clocked signal to the Solaris, it was top of the heap in a very audiophile sense. To the point that I now understand the value of high bit rate music. Not for everyone, and I don't see myself mixing anything at 176.4K, at least not yet.

I should also point out how exemplary everything behaved. The ASIO drivers switched back and forth without causing problems, the sample rate rippled through to both devices immediately and was displayed by both on their front panels. All of the outputs worked on both units, as you would hope. With all the hot swapping of USB connections, no glitches. Nicely done, for all companies concerned, even the isolator and the ISO-REGEN.

One of the reasons, I suspect, that the Solaris stands out is because of its internal clock. I did a copy and paste below for some of the relevant data to try to rationalize what I was hearing. RME does not show a clock jitter spec for the ADI-2 Pro, but they do for the Fireface UFX+, along with a jitter suppression spec. The jitter suppression spec (improved from 30 dB to 50 dB in the ADI-2 Pro) gives us a hint that perhaps the clock jitter has improved over the UFX+. Compare the 800 picosecond jitter spec of the UFX+ to the .045 picosecond spec on the Solaris. And yet, the Steady Clock of the ADI-2 Pro really does assist the Solaris, boosting it to the next audiophile level. (along with the other treatments).

Fireface UFX+:
• Clocks: Internal, ADAT, AES, MADI, word clock
• Low Jitter Design: < 1 ns in PLL mode, all inputs
• Internal clock: 800 ps Jitter, Random Spread Spectrum
• Jitter suppression of external clocks: > 30 dB (2.4 kHz)

• PLL ensures zero dropout, even at more than 100 ns jitter

ADI-2 Pro:
• Clocks: Internal, AES In, SPDIF In, ADAT In
• Jitter suppression of external clocks: > 50 dB (2.4 kHz)
• Supported sample rates for external clocks: 28 kHz up to 200
• Internal Clocks: 44.1 kHz up to 768 kHz

Solaris:
Outputs: Main output has discrete output amplifiers with a stepped attenuator, the max output it +24dbu
The Headphone Amplifier has its own stepped attenuator
The clock's jitter measured form 10Hz to 20KHz is typically 0.045pS

If you remove the cover of the Solaris, you can see that the clock has been measured and the jitter value is hand written on it. Mine was 0.032pS.

Ultimately, can you make great music with the ADI-2 Pro? Of course. It is better than many other converters out there. I was going to say that the Solaris is the one to beat, but (at least in the USB world) the Solaris driven by the ADI-2 Pro is now the one to beat.
Thank you so much for your labor! I love my ADI-2 Pro. It's resolution and response are very good for me. But it will be more musical with Solaris!
Old 1 week ago
  #358
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bug_Hill View Post
Thank you so much for your labor! I love my ADI-2 Pro. It's resolution and response are very good for me. But it will be more musical with Solaris!
It was my pleasure. These exercises are a kind of Due Diligence, to make sure we do not wander off the page by accident. I found it helpful because I was beginning to wonder if I really needed all those USB treatments. I was wondering if it was possible to do too much re-clocking. It appears as though each layer of re-clocking the USB signal helps nudge those ducks into a more precise row.

I found the exercise to be a good sanity check, and in the process I gained a new appreciation for high resolution audio files.
Old 1 week ago
  #359
Lives for gear
 
Kimotei's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by DigitalGrease
a sample rate of 176.4K. I chose that sample rate simply because it was the most delicious, whether because of the extra care taken in recording or because of the sample rate or both. The results hold true, in my system, even at 44.1 and YouTube videos. (Yes, those are not as delicious.
Ok, but you are aware that youtubes currently highest audio quality is 44.1khz compressed to 126kbps, right? CD 44.1khz is around 1400kbps, so you could say youtube is 1/10 the the "resolution" of CD files, or more corectly the data amount removed aka file compression.

Vimeo and Spotify (set to high quality) is much better at 320kbps.
Old 1 week ago
  #360
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kimotei View Post
Ok, but you are aware that youtubes currently highest audio quality is 44.1khz compressed to 126kbps, right? CD 44.1khz is around 1400kbps, so you could say youtube is 1/10 the the "resolution" of CD files, or more corectly the data amount removed aka file compression.

Vimeo and Spotify (set to high quality) is much better at 320kbps.
Yes, we agree. I was making an attempt at dry humor when I said in parenthesis that those files were "not as delicious".
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