Topic: RME fac Bright and Fatigueing for anyone else?

I am sensitive to hiss and high end distortion and hisses, and have been running and ADI-2 DAC for 2 weeeks, from qboz on my computer to DAC, straight into main in on my Yamaha a-s1000 (max V in 2.8v, use ato ref on rme, usually at -5dbu and volume from -40 to -18 dbfs and  when somewhere around -19 or higher goes to +1dbu)

I am running it into totem acoustic Hawk’s wirh transparent bi-wire cable, and audioquest usb cable to dac. I have tried my transparent musiclink plus rca XL and MY transparent MusicLink Plus MM2, as well as cardas crosslink, and zu audio oxyfuel. All produce a sound that is too beight and hisses on s’s a lot.

I found my peachtree dac itx much more pleasant to listen to.

Right now I have a hi-cut filter on band 5 and set it at about 13.5k and that seems to solve some of the issue but it puts a real veil over the music.

Do others find the sound bright? It isn’t thin, bass is good, but very bright.

I also tried it into my line in and amp as preamp, no chnage but dac sounds better as pre.

Also, is this true balanced design or just has XLR’s? Thanks, cause am thinking kf getting a true balanced tube amp and want to be sure this is not just some gimmick connection

Re: RME fac Bright and Fatigueing for anyone else?

Hi! It is true balanced design throught XLR, of course...

The ADI-2 DAC does not sound "bright" or "fatigueing" for me. And to be honest, the differences between 2 DACS are really thin nowaday, if it is just for home listening (I've compared the ADI-2 DAC with the one in my amp, Cambridge CXA80, blind testing with 2 friends, it is very hard to tell...)

And I really don't think cables are an issue here... (audiophile USB cable LOL)

3 (edited by betweentheframe 2019-01-23 16:08:25)

Re: RME fac Bright and Fatigueing for anyone else?

First off if you can’t tell diff from cx80 dac and this you have bad hearing or crappy speakers or something going on.

The diff between dacs is easy to hear and is mostly a product of thier analog output domain, ie opamps, circuit designs, filtering etc.

Based on your response I would not trust that this is true balanced, vs just opamps boosting the signal for balanced outs 6db. True balanced designs have completely seperate signal paths for each half of the sine wave, which serve to cancel and reject noise. Vs some that just boost an unbalanced signal for an xlr connection. Given that it does not supply balanced headohone out I would doubt it is true balanced.

Also, I did not say audiophile usb, I said audioquest, just to be clear that I have good shielded cables not picking up ground noise or otherwise, and my cables are all visible with my rack so I prefer a nice looking cable for $30 vs a cheap black standard cable.

Re: RME fac Bright and Fatigueing for anyone else?

Dude, RME is making professionnal gears, XLR are not here for the design: the 2 XLR are balanced connexions.
Page 37 of the manual:

19.3 Line Out XLR
The ADI-2 DAC has two balanced analog outputs

And I persist: differences between 2 well conceived DACs are hard to hear... Try, in double blind test, to differenciate two DACs : it'not that easy. And it seems logical: to convert digital signal into analog one is not rocket science in 2019...

5 (edited by ramses 2019-01-23 16:38:35)

Re: RME fac Bright and Fatigueing for anyone else?

I run an ADI-2 Pro FS in my studio corner together with Geithain RL906 studio monitors and Audeze LCD-3 headphones and an ADI-2 DAC in my HiFi corner with Accuphase E-600 Class A amplifier and B&W 803 D3 speakers.

I know the ADI's very well now to be able to say that they are really top class.

If you have a problem with the sound, it can have different causes.

Some general examples:

The better the components of a hi-fi system are, the more likely it is that errors in the recording chain or music production will be exposed. The overall quality results from the quality of the individual components.

It could therefore be due to the song that the "S"'s are perceived by you as exaggerated. Perhaps the ADI-2 FS simply draws more accurately, which its previous DAC may not have done.

What is also important in my opinion: the combination of amplifier and loudspeakers, as well as the room acoustics or a mix of all these things. That's IMHO more worth a check than to put the ADI-2 Pro / DAC into question.

In short: I can't imagine that it's the ADI-2 Pro / DAC. That would be beyond my experience with these devices.

Another remark: I see that you pursue your hobby very seriously. But sinfully expensive USB cables are only for the optics. It brings really no benefits, as the digital transmission of digital audio Data is not being influenced by cable quality.
Zeroes and Ones during transmission do not look worse or better, depending on what cable you use.

See also here: https://www.forum.rme-audio.de/viewtopi … 75#p137775

According to people with technical knowledge also Bi-wiring doesn't bring audible benefits. Plain 4mm copper cable, thats it. More is not required. If you want to do it because the cables look smarter, ok.

BR
Ramses
X10SRi-F, Win7 Prof, Nuendo 8.3, UFX+, Octamic XTC, ADI-2 Pro FS BE/DAC, RayDAT, ARC USB

Re: RME fac Bright and Fatigueing for anyone else?

Having a balanced out does not mean that the signal path is “true balanced”, lots of equiptment that is not true balanced has xlr in and out for convenience. Look up “true balanced”.

It is not the D/A conversion that differentiates dacs, it is the amplification and filtering of the analog signal post d/a that makes a big diff.

It is also not hard in 2019 to make an amplifier, do you think that all well conceived amplifiers are hard to differentiate? Because if so, I suggest some more listening. Try a BAT REX amp vs a MC275 even, mc 275 is not true balanced but has xlr inputs(to accomadate long runs of cable and to make life easier for people) BAT is a true balanced amp and has no unbalanced connections.

Re: RME fac Bright and Fatigueing for anyone else?

ramses wrote:

I run an ADI-2 Pro FS in my studio corner together with Geithain RL906 studio monitors and Audeze LCD-3 headphones and an ADI-2 DAC in my HiFi corner with Accuphase E-600 Class A amplifier and B&W 803 D3 speakers.

I know the ADI's very well now to be able to say that they are really top class.

If you have a problem with the sound, it can have different causes.

Some general examples:

The better the components of a hi-fi system are, the more likely it is that errors in the recording chain or music production will be exposed. The overall quality results from the quality of the individual components.

It could therefore be due to the song that the "S"'s are perceived by you as exaggerated. Perhaps the ADI-2 FS simply draws more accurately, which its previous DAC may not have done.

What is also important in my opinion: the combination of amplifier and loudspeakers, as well as the room acoustics or a mix of all these things. That's IMHO more worth a check than to put the ADI-2 Pro / DAC into question.

In short: I can't imagine that it's the ADI-2 Pro / DAC. That would be beyond my experience with these devices.

Another remark: I see that you pursue your hobby very seriously. But sinfully expensive USB cables are only for the optics. It brings really no benefits, as the digital transmission of digital audio Data is not being influenced by cable quality.
Zeroes and Ones during transmission do not look worse or better, depending on what cable you use.

See also here: https://www.forum.rme-audio.de/viewtopi … 75#p137775

According to people with technical knowledge also Bi-wiring doesn't bring audible benefits. Plain 4mm copper cable, thats it. More is not required. If you want to do it because the cables look smarter, ok.

Thanks for your exoerience with rme, it is true almost no one knows how to record or master music, Walter Sear has some great writing on this, now passed away, of sear sound NYC.

Ok, i get you on usb, but usb is not a digital signal and does not transmit 1’s and 0’s, it transmits voltage, below 2.5v is a 0 and above a 1 to the reciving component. It is an analog signal(voltage) not a “digital” signal like an optical cable is.

Also biwiring has measured benefits, and one if them is that my wbt posts on my speakers are missing their post connections so it is easier to just use the bi wire cables I have instead of spending money on matching connectors or jerry rigging something. That is a measurable benefit to me.

If you don’t think speaker cabkes make a diff I agree at a certain point, but they def do, especially in regards to their design in rejecting noise and how they work between diff components. So do RCA’s, Like I put a cardas crosslink RCA between rme and my amp and it was so bright I could barely listen to it. Putting the transparent musiclink plus MM2 back in the loop tamed the brightness greatly.

8 (edited by ramses 2019-01-23 20:25:55)

Re: RME fac Bright and Fatigueing for anyone else?

betweentheframe wrote:

Ok, i get you on usb, but usb is not a digital signal and does not transmit 1’s and 0’s, it transmits voltage, below 2.5v is a 0 and above a 1 to the reciving component. It is an analog signal(voltage) not a “digital” signal like an optical cable is.

USB is digital transmission. A certain range of voltage is regarded as Zero and another one as One.
This is the same in computer circuits, DRAM, etc.
What value this exactly is doesn't matter as long as it stays within the specified range and
as long as the circuit behind it can recognize it as a Zero or One.

BR
Ramses
X10SRi-F, Win7 Prof, Nuendo 8.3, UFX+, Octamic XTC, ADI-2 Pro FS BE/DAC, RayDAT, ARC USB

Re: RME fac Bright and Fatigueing for anyone else?

ramses wrote:
betweentheframe wrote:

Ok, i get you on usb, but usb is not a digital signal and does not transmit 1’s and 0’s, it transmits voltage, below 2.5v is a 0 and above a 1 to the reciving component. It is an analog signal(voltage) not a “digital” signal like an optical cable is.

USB is digital transmission. A certain range of voltage is regarded as Zero and another one as One.
This is the same in computer circuits, DRAM, etc.
What value this exactly is doesn't matter as long as it stays within the specified range and
as long as the circuit behind it can recognize it as a Zero or One.

Dude, voltage is not digital. And cables that carry voltage, and have grounds, can carry noise and receive other interferences, simikar to why it is risky to use an internal audio card etc, because there is a lot of noise inside a computer, which is why good sound cards have shielding and good dacs and soundcatds use galvanic isolationa nd other power cleaning tools like duscrete power sources for diff operations to avoid noise and interference

The communication of using voltage to comm a 1 or a 0 is just a convenient tool to transmit data. But calling it digital is like calling class D amps digital amos, they are not, power is analog...they may use digital devices in their operation but the AC current coming out of their binding posts is not digital.

Just an FYI. Like if you use a digital camera ans then make an inkjet print, the print is not digital, it is ink on paper, no diff than any other ink on a piece of paper.

10 (edited by ramses 2019-01-24 06:41:34)

Re: RME fac Bright and Fatigueing for anyone else?

Dude ? Would be nice to discuss this in a more friendly way.

The voltage is only to form a logical 0 and 1.
It's not even a fixed voltage level it's a range which is regarded as valid to form a 0 or 1.
The audio transmission is purely digital.
It has no impact on the sound.
As long as CRC errors do not happen.
But these do not happen even with a very cheap cable.
Otherwise your computer DATA would be corrupted as hell and think a while about it, how many data you transmit digitally over USB and you have zero data corruption by this.

BR
Ramses
X10SRi-F, Win7 Prof, Nuendo 8.3, UFX+, Octamic XTC, ADI-2 Pro FS BE/DAC, RayDAT, ARC USB

11 (edited by betweentheframe 2019-01-23 22:14:01)

Re: RME fac Bright and Fatigueing for anyone else?

ramses wrote:

Dude ? Would be nice to discuss this in a more friendly way.

The voltage is only to form a logical 0 and 1.
It's not even a fixed voltage level it's a range which is regarded as valid to form a 0 or 1.
The audio transmission is purely digital.
It has no impact on the sound.
As long as CRC errors do not happen.
But these do not happen even with a very check cable.
Otherwise your computer DATA would be corrupted as hell and think a while about it, how many data you transmit digitally over USB and you have zero data corruption by this.

I don’t need manners, you need to use your brain.

It is not data errors I or anyone worry about IT’s the ground and electrical noise that can be carried into the power amplifier and audio signal, as they are both producing and utilizing electrical fields/signals etc to produce sound. If you din’t believe me look at how much engineering and design went intk the RME’s power and ground cleanup for the usb input.

Seriously dude, get an education or something, because I don’t have time to explain basic physics to you, I asked questions to which you gave some input,
and a bunch of your half baked idiotic rantings on “digital voltage”.

Just stop, and think, for a minute, if usb was not a source of noise and intereference and did not affect the audio signal, why is 20 percent of what is inside this 1100$ box dedicated to solving that problem.

Think first, speak later

Re: RME fac Bright and Fatigueing for anyone else?

How does it sound with headphones to you?

13 (edited by betweentheframe 2019-01-23 23:32:00)

Re: RME fac Bright and Fatigueing for anyone else?

lewis71980 wrote:

How does it sound with headphones to you?

Great question, should have thought of it, use it in my living room 2 channel system and have never used headphones.

Not even sure where my adapter is for my audiotechnica ath m50’s are, I’ll have to find or buy one. Great suggestion. Elminates some variables.

14 (edited by Luckbad 2019-01-24 03:59:10)

Re: RME fac Bright and Fatigueing for anyone else?

I'm very sensitive to listening fatigue. For years I was only able to use either non-oversampling or old school analog DACs (my favorite was the Sonic Frontiers SFD-1 MKII SE+).

With the RME ADI-2 DAC, I can sometimes feel the fatigue using the standard SD Sharp filter.

I usually use SD Slow or Slow, and sometimes NOS.

Have you tried any of the filters?

15 (edited by Robertm394 2019-01-24 04:02:48)

Re: RME fac Bright and Fatigueing for anyone else?

Question for MC or others:

Do the balanced XLR outputs on the DAC still benefit from being balanced aside from the decibel increase? If so, how?

Trying to clarify the OP's comments about the DAC not being "true balanced."

Re: RME fac Bright and Fatigueing for anyone else?

Robertm394 wrote:

Question for MC or others:

Do the balanced XLR outputs on the DAC still benefit from being balanced aside from the decibel increase? If so, how?

Trying to clarify the OP's comments about the DAC not being "true balanced."

Exactly, is it a true balanced design? Wherein the entire signal path is seperate for each half of sign wave. I bet it is not or they would mention this like PS Audio does etc.

There is no benefot Per se for 6db gain as the balanced input would be made for balanced signals which are 6db higher than inbalanced, and it would be a deficit in quality if it was a cheap opamp boosting an unbalanced signal

Re: RME fac Bright and Fatigueing for anyone else?

If you read the manual, you will note that it says it is "fully balanced" and "symmetrical." RME is predominantly part of the pro audio world, where properly balanced equipment is actually vital. The balanced signal is converted to unbalanced directly at the output so you get most of the benefits of the symmetrical design even unbalanced.

PS Audio is a high end consumer audio company, and "true balanced" is a marketing term that is useful to them.

If you're highly technical, you can see what this looks like in some wonderful internal shots: http://prosound.ixbt.com/interfaces/rme-adi2dac.shtml

18 (edited by jiw 2019-01-24 05:26:22)

Re: RME fac Bright and Fatigueing for anyone else?

Luckbad beat me to it. However, I have included references to the manual.

For your question about the signal path being symmetrical, see section 4 of the manual (p. 6).

"The unit uses a fully balanced and DC-coupled circuit design [...]"

Also, along the balanced signal path, the signals differ only in polarity.

I can only guess what you mean by "half of the sign[sic] wave" (I presume you mean sine) but it sounds more like a description of a duty cycle than a signal path.

Regarding the advantages of the balanced output relative the unbalanced output, see section 31.13 in the manual (p. 62).

"Do the advantages of the ADI-2 DAC's fully symmetrical design still exist when using
unbalanced connections (RCA)?
Yes. [read the manual for explanation]"

Manual: http://www.rme-audio.de/download/adi2dac_e.pdf

Re: RME fac Bright and Fatigueing for anyone else?

jiw wrote:

Luckbad beat me to it. However, I have included references to the manual.

For your question about the signal path being symmetrical, see section 4 of the manual (p. 6).

"The unit uses a fully balanced and DC-coupled circuit design [...]"

Also, along the balanced signal path, the signals differ only in polarity.

I can only guess what you mean by "half of the sign[sic] wave" (I presume you mean sine) but it sounds more like a description of a duty cycle than a signal path.

Regarding the advantages of the balanced output relative the unbalanced output, see section 31.13 in the manual (p. 62).

"Do the advantages of the ADI-2 DAC's fully symmetrical design still exist when using
unbalanced connections (RCA)?
Yes. [read the manual for explanation]"

Manual: http://www.rme-audio.de/download/adi2dac_e.pdf

Balanced designs have 2 signal wires, hot and cold, each carries half of the sine wave, that is how they reject noise, like in and out of phase. Somehow I missed that is says is fully balanced, but saying you get all of the benefits running unbalanced is incorrect, because the 2 halves of sine waves reject noise, they continue to do so in the xlr cable and then in the true balanced circuit of a true balanced amplifier, like BAT, or KRELL, or some Bryston models etc.

Thanks for poiting that out.

Ps-ps audio is real true balanced in many if not all of their designs. https://www.psaudio.com/pauls-posts/true-balanced-2/

20 (edited by ramses 2019-01-24 07:22:50)

Re: RME fac Bright and Fatigueing for anyone else?

betweentheframe wrote:
ramses wrote:

Dude ? Would be nice to discuss this in a more friendly way.

The voltage is only to form a logical 0 and 1.
It's not even a fixed voltage level it's a range which is regarded as valid to form a 0 or 1.
The audio transmission is purely digital.
It has no impact on the sound.
As long as CRC errors do not happen.
But these do not happen even with a very check cable.
Otherwise your computer DATA would be corrupted as hell and think a while about it, how many data you transmit digitally over USB and you have zero data corruption by this.

I don’t need manners, you need to use your brain.

It is not data errors I or anyone worry about IT’s the ground and electrical noise that can be carried into the power amplifier and audio signal, as they are both producing and utilizing electrical fields/signals etc to produce sound. If you din’t believe me look at how much engineering and design went intk the RME’s power and ground cleanup for the usb input.

Seriously dude, get an education or something, because I don’t have time to explain basic physics to you, I asked questions to which you gave some input,
and a bunch of your half baked idiotic rantings on “digital voltage”.

Just stop, and think, for a minute, if usb was not a source of noise and intereference and did not affect the audio signal, why is 20 percent of what is inside this 1100$ box dedicated to solving that problem.

Think first, speak later

I referred to this statement of yours where you said that USB is not a digital signal.

> Ok, i get you on usb, but usb is not a digital signal and does not transmit 1’s and 0’s, it transmits voltage,
> below 2.5v is a 0 and above a 1 to the reciving component. It is an analog signal(voltage) not a “digital” signal like an
> optical cable is.

It is digital data transmission. It transmits data in a different way compared to optical, but it's digital transmission.
If you do have no issues with your power inhouse cabling then a normal cable of good quality should be sufficient.

Do we have maybe a misunderstanding ? Does your USB cable offer galvanic isolation by optical components ?
I was under the impression that this is simply one of the very expensive USB cables but without galvanic isolation.

> I don’t need manners, you need to use your brain.
> Think first, speak later

RME forum is a usually a peaceful place where we all try to respect and to be helpful to each other. You can be of different opinion or can have made other experiences, but then be so kind to simply write the observations and do not insult other persons. Many thanks for your cooperation.

BR
Ramses
X10SRi-F, Win7 Prof, Nuendo 8.3, UFX+, Octamic XTC, ADI-2 Pro FS BE/DAC, RayDAT, ARC USB

Re: RME fac Bright and Fatigueing for anyone else?

betweentheframe wrote:

I don’t need manners

You may find out that this is an error on your side. Please edit your posting accordingly, else I will do so.

That said, there is no way USB transfer can affect audio in terms of "sound quality".

Regards
Daniel Fuchs
RME

Re: RME fac Bright and Fatigueing for anyone else?

Usb transmits digital data, via an analog medium-VOLTAGE.

Galvanic isolation is inside the RME, or other USB device like an integrated amp etc. helps reduce noise that is transmitted through the signal and ground from usb. Again the issue is not an incorrect 1 or 0, that would be transmitted as a pop or hiss or silence. But the electrical noise the data transmission carries, can carry into the electrical component which is transmitting an analog voltage signal (rca or xlr or headphone out etc.)

Usb is not “digital” transmission anymore than the voltage sent to the speakers or from rca to amplifier is. They are voltage transmissions, isb voltage is then interpreted as 1 and 0 based on a programmed “language” the device understands, 2.5> is 0, 2.5< is 1.

I am discussing facts, you are acting as if your opinions are facts. They are not.

Good cables have good noise remediation built into their design, some cheap ones are good enough, depends on the environment it is in. The easiest way to learn about noise and cables is to have experience with very weak and sensitive signals like a record player, MM or MC.

Again, the data is not in question, its the noise that can be carried with it into the audio componenet and signal that is.

Besides, digital really is analog when you get down to it, it is a logarithmic analysis(an analog).

Re: RME fac Bright and Fatigueing for anyone else?

RME Support wrote:
betweentheframe wrote:

I don’t need manners

You may find out that this is an error on your side. Please edit your posting accordingly, else I will do so.

That said, there is no way USB transfer can affect audio in terms of "sound quality".

Regards
Daniel Fuchs
RME


Really, then why is so much effort given to the design of the USB transmission, isolation, and noise remediation in your devices??? Hmmmmmm I call BS

Edit all you want, censor all you want, I have no patience for people that don’t respond to my questions with their experiences and feel it nec to expound on their opinions about other crap.

I will return your bright fatigueing piece of shit that sounds like the dac inside my iphone...actually, the iphone may even aound better....

Re: RME fac Bright and Fatigueing for anyone else?

betweentheframe wrote:

Really, then why is so much effort given to the design of the USB transmission, isolation, and noise remediation in your devices??? Hmmmmmm I call BS

Edit all you want, censor all you want, I have no patience for people that don’t respond to my questions with their experiences and feel it nec to expound on their opinions about other crap.

I will return your bright fatigueing piece of shit that sounds like the dac inside my iphone...actually, the iphone may even aound better....

So much aggressivity...
Take you pills bro! And upgrade your full balanced golden plated USB cable, it may improve the sound big_smile

Re: RME fac Bright and Fatigueing for anyone else?

Regarding ear fatigue there are some other factors to take into consideration as well.

Loudness being one of them. I think at 86db a person can listen for up to 6hrs before fatigue sets in. I tend to use a decibel meter app from time to time to check this.

Length of expose to sound. As mentioned previously.

Type of music. Music that is very busy/complex tends to fatigue my ears much quicker.

There are lots of variables to consider, including the ones previously mentioned.

Some speakers and headphones dont always pair up well with DACs.
Have you considered software such as Sonarworks Reference 4.

It may help to tame some unpleasant frequencies.

Kind regards

Rodney

26 (edited by joachim.herbert 2019-01-24 18:40:10)

Re: RME fac Bright and Fatigueing for anyone else?

@betweentheframe: Not meant for you, it seems. Do yourself a favour: Sell it. Quickly. Get something at least 10 times more expensive. This benefits the buyer of your RME ADI2 and the vendor of the new DAC. So it really is win win.

Re: RME fac Bright and Fatigueing for anyone else?

betweentheframe wrote:

Really, then why is so much effort given to the design of the USB transmission, isolation, and noise remediation in your devices??? Hmmmmmm I call BS.

Plenty of good reasons, but "sound quality" is not one. That happens elsewhere. If you don't see that, then I'm not sure you are in a position to lecture others.

Edit all you want, censor all you want, I have no patience for people that don’t respond to my questions with their experiences and feel it nec to expound on their opinions about other crap..

Asking you not to insult others is not "censorship". I will disable this account and remove the thread in the coming days.

Regards
Daniel Fuchs
RME

28 (edited by ramses 2019-01-24 21:31:52)

Re: RME fac Bright and Fatigueing for anyone else?

betweentheframe wrote:

I have no patience for people that don’t respond to my questions with their experiences and
feel it nec to expound on their opinions about other crap.

Moment. It's not the case that I didn't respond to your questions. In post #4 I took the time to give you ideas why you get issues with S-hissing.

Then I had only 2 further comments to your setup to give you some ideas where you indeed could save some money.
Then YOU started to argue and very quickly exploded and finally added to it, that you do not need manners.

If you do not need manners, then you will find yourself very quickly isolated, because nobody has time
and fun to communicate with a person without manners.

And .. no patience doesn't excuse insults.

BR
Ramses
X10SRi-F, Win7 Prof, Nuendo 8.3, UFX+, Octamic XTC, ADI-2 Pro FS BE/DAC, RayDAT, ARC USB