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RME’s anniversary reference AD/DA converter, the RME ADI-2 Pro FS is a host of devices all put together into one unit, with a simple and mostly automated way of using it right out of the box. A unit with the industry’s biggest footprint per feature ratio, excellent tech specs, crystal clear and transparent sound signature, and two extremely powerful headphone outputs. RME's anniversary reference AD/DA converter is:
As the most flexible converter available, the ADI-2 Pro offers balanced/unbalanced analog I/Os, double Extreme Power headphone outputs, SteadyClock FS, 4-stage hardware input and output level control, DSP-based signal processing, external power supply operation, Class Compliant USB compatibility, sample rates up to 768 kHz as well as DSD record and Direct DSD playback (256/11.2 MHz).
The ADI-2 Pro includes two servo-balanced analog inputs on combo XLR / TRS jacks, two separate balanced and unbalanced outputs on XLR and TS, two stereo Extreme Power headphone outputs on the front, an optical SPDIF I/O that also understands ADAT, and coaxial SPDIF (RCA) and AES I/O (XLR) via an included breakout cable. This universal set of I/O options offers superior quality and flexible connectivity to those who take a no-compromise approach to audio.
The USB 2.0 port is fully Class Compliant (UAC 2) for connection with compatible iOS devices, and is also used for firmware updates. Including an external switched power supply with lockable connector, the ADI-2 Pro can be easily powered from battery, opening up mobile applications as well as galvanically isolated use cases.
As a computer interface the ADI-2 Pro offers a stereo (2 in / 2 out) and a multichannel mode (6 in / 8 out). Compatibility with Mac OS X comes right out of the box. Under Windows the ADI-2 Pro uses RME's MADIface series driver, for full WDM and ASIO compatibility and highest performance.
Aiming for the absolute reference sound, any detail in the ADI-2 Pro is special and has its own story. The main PCB is an extraordinary 10 layer design with custom copper thickness, guaranteeing finest undisturbed sound as well as ample but separated power for the phones outputs. Internal power supply stages and precise regulators use a super-low-noise design to not degrade performance through the power rails. Selected SoundPlus operational amplifiers maintain highest SNR, lowest THD and high slew rate under all conditions. The whole analog circuit design is fully symmetrical and balanced throughout - and DC-coupled. The only capacitors in the signal path perform DC protection at the analog input sockets, and have been carefully selected to avoid any sonic impact.
The 4-channel AD-converter, supporting 786 kHz sample rate and DSD recording, is used in a dual mono design, with 3 dB improved signal to noise ratio. Two premium DACs are used for two separate stereo outputs. Internal audio processing like EQs, Crossfeed and spectral analysis, is done by a high performance DSP with 2.17 Giga FLOPS (2882 MIPS), delivering enough computing power to work even at 768 kHz sample rate.
For easy operation a high quality Sample Rate Converter has been added, switchable to the AES or SPDIF input, solving any clocking problem between those. And RME’s latest SteadyClock FS technology ensures perfect jitter reduction and stable clocking, no matter if internal or external clocks are used.
RME have incorporated many unique features, not found on any comparable devices, like 5-band parametric EQs for fully individual phones compensation, adjustable Bass/Treble controls with quick access, a binaural crossfeed function, adjustable loudness filter, selectable AD/DA filters, four discrete I/O reference levels, auto reference level setting, auto balanced phones mode, and many more. The display is not only used to control the unit, but also shows warning and guidance messages.
Professional features such as M/S Processing, stereo width and phase reversal up to full control and storage of all settings are included, as well as RME’s famous Spectral Analyzer, a 30-band biquad filtered analysis tool offering unprecedented musical visualization, perfectly complementing the high-resolution IPS display.
There is no use in boasting about -110 dB THD, when such values are not available in real world operation - for example when a 32 Ohm headphone is connected. RME's engineers therefore designed a new headphone output stage that brings the full performance of the premium DAC to the phone jack - even when using low impedance headphones. The Extreme Power design excels with 0.1 Ohm output impedance, a maximum output level of +22 dBu, and a maximum output power of 1.5 Watts - per channel! The two, fully separated stereo headphone outputs deliver the same 120 dBA SNR performance as the line outputs, for a full hum and noise free listening experience. THD is far below -100 dB (0.001%) even at full power, for the most clear and detailed soundstage possible. The Extreme Power design also incorporates current limiting, power surveillance, overload detection and DC protection. A low power mode and a high power mode are provided, for a perfect match from IEM up to planar.
Having two stereo outputs, balanced headphone operation is possible. As RME's engineers were not satisfied with the existing techniques they developed a new Advanced Balanced mode for the ADI-2 Pro, that removes most limitations of standard balanced operation, and turns this mode into a a fully new experience. The exclusive Advanced Balanced mode delivers a balanced signal path from the DAC straight to the phone, with 3 dB gain in Signal to Noise Ratio, smoothed out deviations in components, optimized frequency response, super low output impedance (0.2 Ohms), and a maximum output level of +28 (twenty eight) dBu.
The ADI-2 Pro is RME’s reference AD/DA converter, USB DAC, USB interface and headphone amp. It’s numerous use cases make it an ideal choice in many fields, from the home user appreciating innovative solutions offering highest sound quality, the studio owner asking for reference AD/DA conversion, the Hi-Fi enthusiast demanding a flexible yet high-end headphone amplifier, up to the industry using the portable device as front-end for measurement systems. 20 years of RME - cumulated into a precious unit, that once heard and used one will never give away. Promised.
|Input Connectors||Optical, XLR Combo Jack TRS|
|Output Connectors||Optical, Analog XLR|
|Maximum Sampling Rate||768 kHz|
|Digital Format||ADAT, AES/EBU, S/PDIF|
First, this RME ADI-2 Pro FS R BE is even better than I thought it would be. This DAC is untouchable unless you are willing to spend twice+ the money for something else. Even then, the minute differences in specs and build quality won't be worth the price difference. If I had a complaint, it would be that the menu is at first, a bit difficult to navigate. 'RTFM' and be sure to keep it handy for the first couple of weeks. You WILL need it. I can't stress this enough - RTFM!!
As a retired Audio Engineer and twice retired College Professor that taught Advanced Computer Engineering for a major University for a few decades, I recognize quality gear when I see it. This purchase was a no-brainer and I consider buying this - a WIN.
Second, Customer Service. Having made a few comments regarding this purchase to management at Vintage King I received a phone call from their Customer Support to address my concerns. I was surprised that anybody read it much less take the time to contact me and clarify a few things I wasn't clear on. My point? 99% of the gear Vintage KIng sells can be bought someplace else. Great customer service can't be bought at any price. You either get it or you don't. It's a crap shoot. In my humble opinion, the folks at Vintage King have proven beyond any doubt that their sales/customer service is second to none. You can buy with confidence from them.
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