Topic: ADI 2 Dac Auto Ref for Speakers - do you use it?

I have my ADI2 connected to Adam A7X and Sub8 speakers (soon will be XLR, now using RCA to the sub).

Do you set Auto Ref on or off if you're using the Dac with speakers and why? I noticed for me it increases the Ref value to +13db which makes the sound amazing and powerful but almost overwhelming at times.

Re: ADI 2 Dac Auto Ref for Speakers - do you use it?

With further experimentation it seems to me that having Auto Ref on results in a clearer, more powerful sound that overall I think I prefer. However, it could just be because once I turn the Dac's volume up to -6db or higher, it increases the Ref level to +13 from +7. But I'm still experimenting. Also, I'm using RCA out from the Dac (XLR cables ordered).

What is RME's recommended/default setting for Auto Ref?

Re: ADI 2 Dac Auto Ref for Speakers - do you use it?

Do you use dynamic loudness ?Then you should use it according to handbook.

BR
Ramses
X10SRi-F, Win7 Prof, Cubase 9.5, UFX+, Octamic XTC, ADI-2 Pro FS BE/DAC, RayDAT, ARC USB

Re: ADI 2 Dac Auto Ref for Speakers - do you use it?

Auto Ref is just an automated switch between the 4 output levels, allowing to optimize the resolution of the DAC.

For example, theorically, it's better to be at level output +1 dBu @ 0 dB (volume command), than +13 dBu (level output) @ -12 dB on the volume command. With the second example, you don't have all the dynamic of the DAC chip (I said "theorically", because you won't actually hear the difference).

So yes, you can use Auto ref and adjust the volume with the ADI-2 knob: the ADI will automatically set the best output level for you.

ADI-2 DAC - Neumann KH 310 A monitors

Re: ADI 2 Dac Auto Ref for Speakers - do you use it?

Thanks. So who here uses Auto Ref for speaker output? And what is ADI's default or recommended setting for this feature for speakers connected via XLR?

6 (edited by ramses 2019-01-15 07:40:32)

Re: ADI 2 Dac Auto Ref for Speakers - do you use it?

See manual chapter 11.

"Line Out defaults to Auto Ref Level enabled. The current volume setting is then shown as dBr (dB relative), and the unit automatically switches to the matching hardware reference level to optimize the dynamic range."

The advantages, see post #4.

BR
Ramses
X10SRi-F, Win7 Prof, Cubase 9.5, UFX+, Octamic XTC, ADI-2 Pro FS BE/DAC, RayDAT, ARC USB

7 (edited by Curt962 2019-01-15 14:50:35)

Re: ADI 2 Dac Auto Ref for Speakers - do you use it?

A7X user here as well, along with a New ADI-2 DAC.   

I let "Auto-Ref" worry about the Math, and am simply LOVING the ADI-2!  Per the Manual, your LOUDNESS function performs optimally with Auto Ref enabled. 

I chose to let the Designers tell me how to go forward, and removed myself from the equation.   The unit performs superbly as a result.

Curt

Re: ADI 2 Dac Auto Ref for Speakers - do you use it?

@Curt, I agree. How have you configured loudness?

9 (edited by ramses 2019-01-15 19:18:41)

Re: ADI 2 Dac Auto Ref for Speakers - do you use it?

Makes no sense to ask others. Fully depends on your Room and HiFi.

The default: +7dB for bass/treble is a good start.

Choose the volume on your amp, so that you can use 0dB on the DAC without impacting your ears.

Then i.e. -13 dB might be a good listening volume where you say, here I don't need loudness, but starting from there.

Then set Low Vol Ref to -13 - 20 = -33 dB,
then loudness starts at levels lower than -13 dB and reaches it's maximum at -33 dB.

If you think Bass/Treble is too much or too few then you can fine tune the max loudness increase for both.

BR
Ramses
X10SRi-F, Win7 Prof, Cubase 9.5, UFX+, Octamic XTC, ADI-2 Pro FS BE/DAC, RayDAT, ARC USB

Re: ADI 2 Dac Auto Ref for Speakers - do you use it?

Robert,

As our Room, nor our listening habits require more...Our Listening is being at quite low levels.  (-20 is great fun, but getting loud!)

I set my Low Vol Ref @ -40, and trimmed the Bass/Treble Boost back a touch as well as a matter of preference.   The default -35db level, 7db Boost is a fine starting point.  It's completely adjustable, and such a welcome feature, as the music retains Body, and Life even we're listening at a Conversational Level.   

Enjoy!

Curt

Re: ADI 2 Dac Auto Ref for Speakers - do you use it?

Ups, thought it was a HiFi so that you can adjust the volume there as well.

Maybe this helps additionally shall it become too loud: https://www.forum.rme-audio.de/viewtopic.php?id=25399

BR
Ramses
X10SRi-F, Win7 Prof, Cubase 9.5, UFX+, Octamic XTC, ADI-2 Pro FS BE/DAC, RayDAT, ARC USB

12 (edited by Curt962 2019-01-16 15:25:28)

Re: ADI 2 Dac Auto Ref for Speakers - do you use it?

Ramses,

Thanks for the reminder  re: Attenuators.

I'll have a couple selectable Hosa Units arriving tomorrow. 

In the Home Environment, ambient noise levels are surpringly high, even when it "Seems" very quiet.  As such, S/N matters with the Eerily Quiet ADI-2 were never a concern.   

That Said, The Mathematics suggest RMEs direction yields Best Performance.  I am in no position to doubt that.    Further, Volume Control Mishaps could be far less likely when the Unit is Configured per the Manual.    I've already made some adjustments on my Speakers, and Subs to decrease their Sensivity.  Tomorrow, I'll complete the task. 

Thanks for the reminder.

Curt

Re: ADI 2 Dac Auto Ref for Speakers - do you use it?

Hey Curt, are you using XLR or RCA? I just upgraded to XLR and these definitely let our equipment reach its intended potential. Also, just curious, what Sub are you using? I'm using the Sub8 ... and what crossover are you using on the Sub? I've settled on 85hz but I see some positive aspects of using 70-75hz.

14 (edited by Curt962 2019-01-17 17:05:20)

Re: ADI 2 Dac Auto Ref for Speakers - do you use it?

Robert!

Thanks for the inquiry.

Using Balanced Cables. (Canare Star Quad Cable/Neutrik Connections)   

Subs are SVS SB-13s sealed.   Pair.

2300 sq ft room, with Acoustic Treatments throughout.

XO freq is 80hz. 24db/Oct.    ADAMs are run full range, as dictated by my own measurements. This results in the most uniform FR through the XO region.

Take it slow Mate!! 

*Correction made to XO slope

Re: ADI 2 Dac Auto Ref for Speakers - do you use it?

Robert,

Get yourself sounding nice, and then!

I have another Easter Egg for you! 

Re: ADI 2 Dac Auto Ref for Speakers - do you use it?

Robert, und Alle...

My Hosa Attenuators arrived.   Set at -20db, I'm enjoying a nice Audio Volume at 0db on the ADI-2.

Re: ADI 2 Dac Auto Ref for Speakers - do you use it?

Interesting, thanks, that is helpful that you took measurements. I'll give 80hz a try with my Adams ... guess you're not lacking for bass with that setup! My setup is ADI2Dac -> AudioQuest Red River XLR -> Adam Sub8 -> AQ Red River XLR -> Adam A7X. I also run them full range. What sample rate setting are you using in MADIface?

Re: ADI 2 Dac Auto Ref for Speakers - do you use it?

Robert,

Sample Rates are determined by the Program Material as supplied by my SBT via Coax.

Re: ADI 2 Dac Auto Ref for Speakers - do you use it?

Robert, et al,

Installing -20db Pads in the Audio Chain was a wise move for me.   Now, my ADI-2 is operating at/near it's optimal SNR at all times, whilst by the Miracle of "Auto Ref Level"...it all works seamlessly!