An unexpected benefit to my audio gear to the right of my desk is I now turn to it, and don’t browse on my computer as much which leads to more enjoyable listening sessions.

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What a beautiful set-up! I really need to add a tube amp to my collection. Impressive looking headphones.



They are fun! Tubes are such a different rabbit hole to go down…but a very enjoyable one, highly recommend!

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Are there any plans in the future to add a signature option? On Head-Fi I have all my past and present gear listed. It is interesting to see what people have. If they share your equipment list, or music tastes, you might listen more when they recommed a certain addition.

Just a thought.

Shane D


I put my gear list in my profile. I think @Torq and some of the others do the same


Putting gear lists (etc.) in signatures messes up search behavior (instead of finding posts with, say, HD800 references, you also wind up getting every post from everyone that has an HD800 in their signature regardless of what the actual post is about), so I would highly discourage this practice.

As @DarthPool says, the proper place for this sort of thing is in your profile details.


Under About me?


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Yes, that’s the spot.

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Cool. Thank you.


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I should have gotten this device a long time ago. This is so much fun to mess with.

I re-measured the Elex and then ran REW’s EQ wizard tool and made the changes to the ADI-2 DAC and this is the new measurement. The sound change is extremely subtle but does smooth out the treble ever so slightly.

@torq - also changing to High Output mode makes the headphone output sound quite good!

I have mixed feelings on the Loudness mode so far, as it really seems to make the treble a bit too bright as you go up in volume.

The manual is a fun read. Still working my way through it. :slight_smile:


Have you tried lowering the Loudness treble boost?


I have my Loudness bass boost at 5 and treble at 2.5. I also set the minimum volume (the point at which it makes those values out) set below the point that I actually listen.

Works great! I use it somewhat infrequently, but it’s nice when I want it.


I hadn’t gotten around to that yet. But I will play with that setting today. Will try out @Luckbad settings and see how it goes!


Since a few members here own this and the THX789, I am interested if someone has compared the headphone output of the RME unit with the THX789.
While I do like the RME unit, I am pondering if going for a Modi Multibit and THX789, might be be more dynamic sounding.

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It’ll depend on what headphones you’re driving.

While I would say the THX789 is better than the native headphone output from the RME ADI-2 DAC, the degree to which the dynamics alter, and the ability to hear the difference is going to be partly dependent on what headphones you’re driving.

The difference isn’t audible for me with IEMs. And it is minimal with easy to drive cans like the Focals (and mostly only audible there because the Focals are SO dynamically capable to begin with) but becomes a progressively bigger issue the more demanding the headphones are.

Even then, it’s not a “big” issue.

The comparison is also not just about dynamics. While those will improve with the Modi MB/THX AAA 789 combination, other factors will change also. Resolution/detail and blackground will be better with the ADI-2 DAC for example.

Also, the “High Power” setting for the headphone output on the RME unit makes a difference here too, making the difference in dynamic presentation moot with a good number of cans.


Thanks! My headphones are easy to drive, with the most demanding the HDD650. So in that case it will probably not really be an improvement and more of a side-grade ( or downgrade).

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As @Torq said, it is more of a side grade for the headphones you specified. I don’t have the Schiit Multi-Bit, but I had the Modi for a time. I think that the RME ADI-2DAC would be all you need, and allow for bigger and better amps as you get them. The ADI-2DAC is just the more flexible solution with in my opinion a better DAC (due to EQ, and technology solutions for getting things the way you want).

I enjoyed my THX-789, but it is on the shelf right now and will shortly be sold off I think. The RME ADI-2DAC will be with me for awhile, it is just too versatile to get rid of at this point.


To be honest, with my current gear (HD650, Emu-Teak, Oppo PM-3, Focal Spirit Pro and various IEM’s) the RME will do me just fine for a long time. It does so much in such a small package, I was just interested in other owners thoughts. Torq seemed rather less enthused about the headphone out of the RME, and that it was hard for me to find at what price-range one should be looking at to really improve on it. I do like the look of the THX -789.
I have been looking for a upgrade for the HD650 for a while now and I think an Elegia might fit the bill, but even that is pretty easy to drive, with another option the Verum One. I also just received my Modi 3 for usage with a DIY Butte, so I think I am probably pretty settled for a while.

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I agree, I think what @Torq was talking about with the amp side is for more demanding headphones, and how the built in amp doesn’t necessarily struggle per-say but isn’t as good as a dedicated amps potential could be. But if you already have the RME ADI-2DAC then I would just look at different headphones first, then down the line grab a dedicated amp, be it a Solid State or tube as desired.

I find the ADI-2DAC super functional, and I enjoy using my Elegia with its onboard amp and my dedicated amps.

I am eagerly awaiting my Verum 1s also (backer 154 I think?, I chose carbon fiber though, so the wait is long). Hopefully I get a shipping notice here in the next couple weeks.

I also was notified of a two weeks or more delay on my ZMF Aeolus =’( Can’t wait to get both in and have some solid listening time with them.


For me … it’s less about the ADI-2 DACs built-in amp “struggling” (I know that’s not what you’re specifically referencing); it’s not specifically a power issue. Instead it is more that its dynamics seem a bit compressed overall and this is more obvious with more demanding cans than with easy to drive units.

Some people may not notice it/or do and don’t care.

It may be more, or less, apparent with different headphones. I find it easy to discern with very dynamic headphones, such as the Focal line-up, and with headphones that require more “oomph”. And it is ameliorated somewhat in “High Power” mode, but it is not specifically about drive/power.

As much respect as I have for, and enjoyment I’ve gotten from, the Modi MB and Massdrop THX AAA 789, I wouldn’t swap out an RME ADI-2 DAC for them unless I was running planar cans or more demanding, and dynamically adept, cans.

And while I think the strengths of the ADI-2 DAC are more in the realms of it’s DAC performance and features, it is still extremely hard to beat, value and performance wise, even if you don’t use its built-in headphone outputs.