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RME ADI-2 DAC vs Chord Qutest

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Hello all.

I've just spent a lot of time doing AB comparisons  between the RME ADI-2 DAC and the other DAC I was seriously considering, the Chord Qutest.

I previously had a £100 generic Chinese DAC and as I'm selling my CD collection and Musical Fidelity A5, it was time to get a better DAC. I got the RME from an online store, incredibly the chap at PuritéAUDIO let me borrow it without taking any card details. The difference between the RME and my £100 box was very apparent, so then went to Richer Sounds to compare the RME with the Qutest. 

The salesperson there set up some Monitor Audios and a Roksan Caspian amp similar to mine. Digital signals were taken out of the CD player to the two DACs and I switched between them with the Roksan remote. I was quite shocked at how almost imperceivable the difference in sound was, and not only that, but it was impossible to say that one was "better" in any way. The sound was almost identical. The sales person there agreed and said I would be wasting 4 or 500 pounds getting the Chord as there was no noteworthy difference he could hear either. Both were effortless with superb separation. 

I took the salesman's advice and did not buy from him! I now own the RME and am delighted with it... at the moment really liking tweaking the loudness function, which is unique as far as I know, in that you set the range for the loudness, for example from -35db to -15db and also the amount of bass and treble to be boosted at low listening levels... Then the magic where the RME ramps the loudness from maximum (according to your settings) when listening at -35db and gradually reducing the loudness to nothing at -15db... this emulates the reverse of what we hear at varying volumes, so in effect you are "hearing the same relative sounds" through the volume range. Love hearing the right amount of bass when listening at low levels!!

Anyhow, the point is, this is a fantastic DAC, up there with the best.

Mark

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Super Wammer

Thanks for posting your summary of your listening with the RME and Qutest.

Can I ask which filter you are using with the RME now that you have it and which filter it was set up with when you listened in the shop?

I found the default filter seemed to have an element of false detail which after a while I found fatiguing. Other filters softened that so it was not a problem.

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Super Dealer

‘False’ detail’ would you care to propose a mechanism that would allow the dac to introduce false detail, you have seen the FR plots for the various filter options.

Keith

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Super Wammer

For your benefit I will use different words. The default RME default filter sounded to me to have a rather bright top end which initially I would have described as having more detail but after a while this was just became fatiguing ( @TheFlash was there with and I think he had a similar impression).

I do not think this was just a matter of frequency response because I have seen comments on the RME forum where others have come to a similar conclusion and have selected a different filter but have then resorted to the RME Eq function to compensate for the HF drop off with that alternative filter.

Edit, @PuritéAudio - Which is your preferred filter with the RME?

Edited by Fourlegs

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Another thread that starts so well...and the the Purite Troll lands and it starts to degrade almost instantly.

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Missed delivery of my RME DAC yesterday. I chose a shop for drop off yesterday hopefully should have one in hand today.

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Super Dealer
42 minutes ago, Fourlegs said:

For your benefit I will use different words. The default RME default filter sounded to me to have a rather bright top end which initially I would have described as having more detail but after a while this was just became fatiguing ( @TheFlash was there with and I think he had a similar impression).

I do not think this was just a matter of frequency response because I have seen comments on the RME forum where others have come to a similar conclusion and have selected a different filter but have then resorted to the RME Eq function to compensate for the HF drop off with that alternative filter.

Edit, @PuritéAudio - Which is your preferred filter with the RME?

If you look at the FR plots for the various filters you will see hat none of them have a rising high frequency response, they are completely flat or with a light HF dip.

Keith

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Super Wammer
2 minutes ago, PuritéAudio said:

If you look at the FR plots for the various filters you will see hat none of them have a rising high frequency response, they are completely flat or with a light HF dip.

Keith

No, some of them are flat. Others have significant HF roll off.

The default filter is SD Sharp and I am telling you that for me this filter is not the optimum for long term listening because I found the sound fatiguing. Relentless would be another way I would describe that filter.

I have asked you which filter you prefer and it would be useful to know this because you have other brands which might be useful in a comparison of the filters. You sell the RME and so you must have listened to it. How do the different filters compare to say the Kii Three or perhaps the D & D sound? Which filter gets closest to your reference brands in terms of sound? Or are you saying you cannot hear any difference between the filters on the RME?

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Super Dealer

The RME is a dac/preamp/headphone amp , the Kiis and 8Cs are loudspeakers really quite different.

Usually I leave the dac on ‘sharp’ the slight roll-off is probably above my frequency I can hear.

Keith

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Super Wammer

Does that mean you cannot hear any difference between the filters?

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1 minute ago, Fourlegs said:

Does that mean you cannot hear any difference between the filters?

He dosen't like answering questions, Ive noticed that too. Very 'Troll-like' behaviour. I think essentially he is only on this forum, rather than the Audio Science one, to sell products he stocks. 

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Super Dealer
6 minutes ago, Fourlegs said:

Does that mean you cannot hear any difference between the filters?

076867-F4-7-FC6-4-B3-F-B16-B-322-D08-C0-

The last time my hearing was tested ( last year) I couldn’t hear much above 16kHz, if you look at the graph, the ‘slow’ filter is less than 2dB down at 16KHz .

Keith

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2 minutes ago, PuritéAudio said:

076867-F4-7-FC6-4-B3-F-B16-B-322-D08-C0-

The last time my hearing was tested ( last year) I couldn’t hear much above 16kHz, if you look at the graph, the ‘slow’ filter is less than 2dB down at 16KHz .

Keith

It dosent mean there arent audible differences that are not currently able to be measured.

Might be worth listening rather than measuring.

How many instruments do you play? I've asked multiple times before. How many albums have you recorded or appeared on?

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Super Wammer
14 minutes ago, PuritéAudio said:

The last time my hearing was tested ( last year) I couldn’t hear much above 16kHz, if you look at the graph, the ‘slow’ filter is less than 2dB down at 16KHz .

Keith

I take that as you are therefore saying that you cannot hear any difference between the filters.

In which case what you are saying is that the inclusion of the various filters on the RME is just marketing fluff because they are inaudible.

On the other hand I and others can hear the difference so we do not think they are just RME marketing fluff. The difference in the sound of the filters is not necessarily down to just frequency response.

You cannot have it both ways though, if you genuinely  cannot hear any difference between the RME filters then your view must be that they are just marketing fluff if you are going to be consistent with your attitude towards other products.

Edited by Fourlegs
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It is wonderfully ironic that a dealer who lectures on auto-repeat about 'fidelity' is also a frequent pusher of products incorporating filters and 'digital correction'...:rofl:

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