Should I buy this 2,000$ A/D D/A Converter? Will I notice an improvement in sound?

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KVRist
52 posts since 19 Mar, 2016

Post Fri May 07, 2021 10:15 pm

I'm thinking of buying an RME ADI-2 PRO FS, my current interface is Audient EVO4.

Would I notice a different in sound? Is it snake oil? Would I be able to make better mixing decisions?

I don't understand how it would improve the sound. It's 2,000$, 1,000$ ea. for the A/D and D/A converters inside, compared to my 100$ interface which has preamps, jfet DI, phantom power, A/D D/A Converters.

The A/D D/A Converters in my 100$ interface only cost like 20$ I guess since it has so much included, upgrading to 2,000$ converters, surely I would notice a difference in sound right? It must be able to let me hear EQ/Compression alot easier, and imaging and detail in songs right? Does anybody upgrade from cheap to expensive notice big difference?

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KVRAF
12790 posts since 8 Mar, 2005 from Utrecht, Holland

Post Sat May 08, 2021 1:06 am

In the GettingStarted section the answer is no. You won't notice any difference. The audio interface is very seldom the weakest link.

But have you compared the specs? How does it hold up to specs of your monitors?
That RME interface is out of production. Do you know why?
Google says the price is €600, not $2000.
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KVRian
1374 posts since 10 Oct, 2018

Post Sat May 08, 2021 1:13 am

According to "Streaky" on YouTube it gives you that "analog airness.."
But when I wrote "analog airness... c'mon" my comment was quickly removed.

Bllcks.

KVRAF
28415 posts since 11 Apr, 2010 from Germany

Post Sat May 08, 2021 1:29 am

excuse me please wrote:
Sat May 08, 2021 1:13 am
According to "Streaky" on YouTube it gives you that "analog airness.."
But when I wrote "analog airness... c'mon" my comment was quickly removed.
I think they will be hidden when they have too many dislikes.

On the topic, if you need to ask the question whether or not you should buy an audio interface, or if it will improve your sound, I think the answer is already pretty clear. ;)

Apart from that, I highly doubt that a $2.000 audio interface is anything but snake oil. It also creates a whole string of consequences. How are you supposed to hear the 1% difference if you don't buy a $10.000 monitor set, to accompany your super high quality audio interface? How are you supposed to be able to fully judge it on your $10.000 monitor set, if you don't treat your room for thousands of dollars.

I don't think I'd have much fun with that. Not to mention that I don't have the money for that either, of course.
Plugins and a DAW. On an operating system. Which runs on a computer.

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KVRian
1374 posts since 10 Oct, 2018

Post Sat May 08, 2021 1:43 am

Well, first it was "fatness" now it's "3D audio."
I repeat my statement: c'mon

KVRian
941 posts since 9 Jul, 2014 from UK

Post Sat May 08, 2021 1:59 am

excuse me please wrote:
Sat May 08, 2021 1:13 am
According to "Streaky" on YouTube it gives you that "analog airness.."
But when I wrote "analog airness... c'mon" my comment was quickly removed.

Bllcks.
He is one of the most pretentious people on youtube. Hes a wannabe tv presenter. I dont even think his opinions are very useful, certainly doesn’t teach me anything new 🤷‍♂️

To the OP. If you’re a bedroom producer, to spend $2k on converters is a complete waste of money. I use a Steinberg UR44. Sound is crystal clear. Used to use a $150 focusrite. Same crystal clearness. IMO
I wonder what happens if I press this button...

KVRist
63 posts since 4 Aug, 2020 from Montreal, Canada

Post Sat May 08, 2021 9:13 am

Stepping up your room treatment (quality bass traps, wall panels, ceiling panels) is likely to give you the most bang for the buck, if you listen on monitors. If not, get a pair of good monitors.

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KVRAF
2069 posts since 8 Dec, 2008 from Global Cowboy

Post Sat May 08, 2021 4:36 pm

You may not hear a real improvement in sound,but you will see a real depreciation in your bank balance :)
Sorry - I don't use auto-tune....

KVRAF
3256 posts since 2 Jul, 2005

Post Sat May 08, 2021 9:41 pm

I'd grab a Babyface or AIO pro and a ada8200 if you want a nice little rig. For a grand. The rest depends on your connectivity. I've never noticed much special about the rme converters to make them worth the cost. The actual soundcards from RME are great though.
Don't F**K with Mr. Zero.

3ee
KVRAF
3816 posts since 8 Mar, 2006

Post Sun May 09, 2021 1:30 am

If one has good speakers well placed in a well treated room these differences can be more easily spotted.

What I noticed for example when I switched from the Babyface Pro to the RME Adi-2 Pro FS R was:

- increased depth and stereo image precision
- solidity in the low end
- seemingly better extension in the highs and less of ‘digital’ edge
- overall resolution simply seemed to have gone up

There are more but these are the ones I remember at the moment, even though the differences are fairly subtle they are surely noticeable! Especially if one uses a particular interface/converter for quite some time and then makes the switch

KVRist

Topic Starter

52 posts since 19 Mar, 2016

Post Sun May 09, 2021 3:46 am

3ee wrote:
Sun May 09, 2021 1:30 am
If one has good speakers well placed in a well treated room these differences can be more easily spotted.

What I noticed for example when I switched from the Babyface Pro to the RME Adi-2 Pro FS R was:

- increased depth and stereo image precision
- solidity in the low end
- seemingly better extension in the highs and less of ‘digital’ edge
- overall resolution simply seemed to have gone up

There are more but these are the ones I remember at the moment, even though the differences are fairly subtle they are surely noticeable! Especially if one uses a particular interface/converter for quite some time and then makes the switch
Interesting, I know it's hard to compare with converters since there's no easy way to a/b them, but have you noticed yourself making better mixing / mastering decisions, or being able to notice super slight eq/compression changes better?

I'm on adam a7x's and AKG K702's. My room is half treated though, I was planning on getting the cheaper DAC only version for the headphone amp and d/a converters and hook it up to my audient id22 through optical input.

3ee
KVRAF
3816 posts since 8 Mar, 2006

Post Sun May 09, 2021 5:10 am

I’ve also considered the DAC only version, go with that if you don’t need the extra stuff, also wait for a sale or something..

Not sure what to say how much it helps me work better... the changes are fairly subtle but enough to be clearly perceivable, I’d say that every bit counts when it comes to monitoring especially if you want to do mastering work. The headphone amps are great too btw!

KVRAF
1736 posts since 28 Sep, 2012

Post Sun May 09, 2021 5:22 am

No. In order to leverage the DAC quality, every link in chain must also be improved, especially room treatment.

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KVRian
517 posts since 31 May, 2015 from the Iberian Peninsula

Post Sun May 09, 2021 6:12 am

No

KVRist
343 posts since 25 Aug, 2019

Post Mon May 17, 2021 10:59 am

HREQ wrote:
Fri May 07, 2021 10:15 pm
Does anybody upgrade from cheap to expensive notice big difference?
I've. From $200 to $2000 interface that considered a mastering audio interface.
Noticed a difference of course, but it's not huge. Not snake oil.
Mostly more balanced sound, deep, high clarity on transients in all frequency ranges.
If you're planning to get mastering monitors, then it worth it.
Otherwise get a mixing audio interface, but not the cheapest like scarlet.
I'm talking about D/A. In A/D there should be much more difference, but I haven't checked this.
By the way, interesting comments above. I bet most of these guys have never worked on a $2000 interface.

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