1 (edited by Rodney_Ferguson_75 2019-01-07 23:56:50)

Topic: ADI-2 DAC and RME UCX

Hello,

Could someone check my understanding of how I am going to use these two devices together please.

My hardware is:

MacBook Pro 13" High Sierra OS + Logic Pro X 10.4.3
RME UCX - Record Input - Output through ADAT Optical to ADI-2 DAC
ADI-2 DAC - Monitoring with Genelec 8030b, Closed and Open Back Cans and Shure SE846 IEMS 

Set Up:

Only RME UCX connected to MacBook Pro via USB
RME UCX connected to ADI-2 Pro standalone via ADAT Optical, 8 Channels. ADI-2 DAC powered by mains.

TotalMix software outs routed to ADAT 8 channel outs at 44.1/48kHz.

Questions:

1. Will the ADI-2 Pro upsample 44.1/48kHz from the UCX to a higher sample rate without having to change UCX or Logic Pro project settings?

2. When recording through the UCX into the DAW should I keep the clock source as 'Internal'?

3. Do I have to change the clock source when playing back through the ADI-2 DAC?

4. Is there anyway I could use the superior clocking of the ADI-2 DAC with recording through the UCX?

5. Can anyone recommend a good ADAT optical cable to run from UCX to ADI-2 DAC please? (Question added as edit)


Hope you are able to help as I am looking to purchase the ADI-2 DAC this week.

I just want to check my understanding, so that I can getting everything up and running from the start.

Kind regards

Rodney Ferguson
Leicester, UK

2

Re: ADI-2 DAC and RME UCX

The DAC only supports 2 channels, even on the 8-channel ADAT format. Upsampling is not supported, and doesn't bring any advantage anyway. The DAC will be clock slave to the UCX which runs on internal clock.

2. You have no choice.

3. You have no choice. The DAC is always slave to the SPDIF/ADAT signal if that is the signal source.

4. No. And again it doesn't bring any advantage. The SteadyClock in the UCX is more than good enough for the AD/DA conversion happening in it.

5. Any TOSLINK cable will work.

Regards
Matthias Carstens
RME

Re: ADI-2 DAC and RME UCX

Hi Matthias,

Thanks for replying.

I am a little bit confused over the advantages that monitoring with the ADI-2 DAC will have over the UCX now : )

What will the ADI-2 DAC bring to monitoring/mixing/mastering that is better than the UCX? (Sonarworks reference 4 is also being used in my system)

Are these marginal gains or is there a big difference in the quality of sound even at the same sample rate?

Not trying to test you! Just need to be informed. £838 is a lot of money.

Kind regards

Rodney Ferguson

4

Re: ADI-2 DAC and RME UCX

The ADI-2 DAC is a specialized High-End DA converter and headphone amp. It easily outperforms the UCX DA section in several ways, and adds better/more/independent features than what TM FX includes.

The question is - do you need all that? If you have a perfectly fitting monitor system plus an easy to drive headphone it might not bring much advantage.

But I guarantee that once you have the ADI-2 DAC you will not only use it as you mentioned, but in multiple ways, and enjoy it every day!

Edit:

ADI-2 DAC - Monitoring with Genelec 8030b, Closed and Open Back Cans and Shure SE846 IEMS

Perfect application base for the ADI-2 DAC, that is! Lots of advantages over using only the UCX, like connecting everything and just switch between it, having independent EQs for all outputs, perfect level adaptation, additional Analyzer, and even remote control...

Regards
Matthias Carstens
RME

5 (edited by ramses 2019-01-08 07:59:49)

Re: ADI-2 DAC and RME UCX

The ADI-2 DAC has a very nice audio quality. You will have advantages for phones and monitors.

A friend of mine got a ADI-2 Pro and was very exited of it's better D/A conversion quality.
Even with his not so expensive Yamaha near field speakers he said he can hear a difference and he likes it much.

I am enjoying an ADI-2 Pro FS BE (connected to UFX+) in front of my Geithain RL906 / Audeze LCD-3 and I can only say that it's a big win. If you have good recordings you get an amazing presentation of room information in the music material and music details. I have an ADI-2 DAC in front of a high-end HiFi and also there it's a winning team and I can make good use of dynamic loudness or to pimp up Bass by +2 to make some quick general corrections which do not require the PEQ.

With the ADI-2 DAC as a basement you will have the possibility to enrich your sound even further (does not need to be today but on the long run) by getting better phones and/or active monitors.

My friend from internet ordered now even an Audeze LCD-3 in Alcantara, because he found out after a long listening session, that the quality is really superb in this combination and for him this investment was worth it.
Another friend is also just ordering the LCD-3 in Alcantara and the ADI-2 Pro FS BE because after rehearsal he was extremely excited by the sound quality.

With the ADI-2 DAC you can very quickly enjoy some of the other cool featues besides better sound:
- Dynamic Loudness
- remap key feature
- quick Bass/Treble controls for quick adjustments in situations like this: old mix with too few bass, phones which are weak in terms of i.e. bass or to adjust the treble.
- PEQ if you want/need

I wrote this log article that shows, how to integrate the ADI-2 Pro/DAC into a setup: https://www.tonstudio-forum.de/blog/ind … our-Setup/

This other blog article shows my setup playing ADI-2 Pro into the recording and ADI-2 DAC into the HiFi Corner of my room.
It also explains which Windows and Android tools I use for music playback:
https://www.tonstudio-forum.de/blog/ind … her-EN-DE/

Another tip. You can even use a TOSLINK switcher in front of the ADI-2 DAC to make it possible to connect in total 4 devices to the ADI-2 DAC to use the high end D/A conversion not only for your recording interface but also for other devices.

The ADI-2 DAC in my HiFi corner has also TV and Blu-ray player connected to it. Such units also offer a remote control to switch between these up to 4 optical SPDIF sources. Be aware of that these devices might only support up to 96 kHz, like the one from Oehlback (Optosel 4:1) although they claim to support 192 kHz. They equipped the devices with the wrong TOSLINKs inside. If you can live with it you have a nice looking TOSLINK switcher with good working little remote control.

Oehlbach promised to release a revised version supporting 192 kHz, lets see wink The issue described here (only available in german): https://www.tonstudio-forum.de/blog/ind … lerangabe/

To some of your questions of post #1:
to 5: all that you need is a digital output on your UCX, that is supported by the ADI-2 DAC, in this case i.e. optical SPDIF, which allows you for cable length up to 15m, maybe even 20m. I made a good experience with this cable, I am using several from them (1m, 5m, 15m). This is i.e. the 15m cable: https://www.thomann.de/de/mutec_optisches_kabel_15m.htm
The mutec cable has the advantage not to be too thick, so you can easily lay it around the walls of your room.
And the plug has a tight seat but not too tight to get trouble to plug it in and out. Never had an issue with any of those 10 TOSLINK cables that I have from them.

to 4: I would make the recording interface which is directly connected to your computer to the clock master.
The ADI-2 DAC will then get the clock via optical SPDIF and follow the clock of the recording interface.
It's very practical when you work with a DAW (at least on PC / Windows it's the case) that the DAW sets the sample rate, then the main connected recording interface with TM FX follows this sample rate (in your case the UCX) and the ADI-2 DAC also gets the proper clock. For the final D/A conversion the ADI-2 DAC will use it's internal clock anyway.

BR
Ramses
Win7 Prof, CubPro9.5, UFX+, XTC, ADI-2 Pro FS/DAC, RayDAT, ARC USB, Sonnet USB3-PRO-4PM-E

Re: ADI-2 DAC and RME UCX

Hello Matthias and Ramses,

Thank you for your input.

I was originally looking for a good headphone amp for IEMS. This is what drew me to the ADI-2 DAC, as my IEM's have an impedance of 9 Ohms, which rules out a lot of other headphone amps.

So this is my main reason for purchasing.

The additional features are also a massive bonus which are numerous as you both know.

I think I will record through my Neve preamp into my UCX and monitor through the ADI-2 DAC via ADAT.

When it comes to mixing/mastering or just listening for pleasure, I will probably connect the ADI-2 DAC through USB.

Thanks for replying. When I get everything set up in the next week or two, I'm fairly sure I will be back this way to let you know how things are going.

Kind regards

Rodney Ferguson