Thanks for putting things in perspective, guys.


To add a little fuel as well, the ADI-2 DAC is much better than the Modi (any variant). I’d advise against taking such a big step back on the source in order to potentially improve the amp a bit.

If you want something better for the Sennheiser HD6xx, consider something like the Garage1217 Project Sunrise III. That’s what I have for mine and it’s excellent with them.

The Massdrop Cavalli Tube Hybrid (MCTH) is also a nice one for those, or you could start thinking about a proper step up to the Cavalli Liquid Platinum or Schiit Lyr 3.

I’ve done exactly the sort of thing you’re pondering (1-2 steps back, 1-2 steps forward), and it just ends in more money being spent.


For anyone considering the MCTH ($250), look at the Loxjie P20 instead ($100, twin tubes, balanced output). I sold my MCTH because the high end is fuzzy and flat relative to the Loxjie, and the MCTH is pretty lean (less tube-like). See extensive discussion in other threads.


Hi Torq!
I have a silly question for you. I am getting an RME ADI-2 DAC arriving today. I loaded most of my music to an iPad Pro (based on reading what you did). However, the iPad has an USB-C connector. What did you use to connect the iPad to the RME? Any generic wire or do you use something specific?



When I tested it, I wasn’t using anything fancy … just one of these USB-C to USB 2.0 Type B (printer) cables.


Yes I see. I ordered one similar. Thanks.


Yikes, double yikes, fudgesicles!

Then RME is one pain in the “dupa” to set up. Dupa is in Polish…


Hi Torq!

How do you register the RME and keep updated of new firmware? I’m lost.
By the way, it sounds beautiful with my Focal Elegia. Eventually, once I run REW in my audio room, it will replace my Theta Casablanca III.


If by “register” you mean for support/warranty purposes, then either send in the card that came in the box, or email your details to RME.

Firmware updates, and their notifications, are posted here.

Firmware updates are done over USB. If you’re on macOS then you can simply run their updater tool - no drivers are needed. For Windows I believe the drivers have to be installed first.


I have to say I quite like my ADI 2! I eventually got it updated,

some griefs I’ve had, AUTO Ref also changes the attenuation on the LINE out, so I’ve turned AUTO Ref off and manually set output to lock at 0.0 dB my REF Out is like +1 atm from the RCA outputs into my Project Ember x Noise Nuke.

I’m doing most of my listening tonight with the WRONG Tube for my HE 560, but I run my HE 560 full Silver with BrainWav Angled Velours [really dark pads with a flatter bass response] and my Psvanne is a thicker tube, that said… I’m finding my self more and more surprised by the system as a whole the more I listen! Filter wise I’m running Sharp

I think the real aha! Moment for me is listening to “ceilito lindo” by Marta Gomez.

I gave it a listen on my old system for about a solid hour straight right before I took my system apart to bring up to a Head Fi Meet… listening to it for the first time on this system [RME Dac] and whoa… the track… sounded little flat before. Dynamically there but really lacking in tactility. Not so any more! There’s some detail [fret buzzing and other string noise] I hadn’t noticed before either!

I also have to say the HD 800 faults stand out a bit more so too!


Have you tried using the ADI-2 DAC’s PEQ with the HD800? I found it to be very enjoyable.


Marta Gomez Cielito Lindo is an obscure music choice! I have the CD somewhere behind me. Entre Cada Palabra!


I dislike EQ, it’s a useful tool but having to “remember” to disable when I plug something else in just bothers me. Frankly the Slow Filter helps and I find it’s not detrimental with any of my other amps

I actually prefer drier sounding cans to wetter, same for my amps so in all honesty the Slow filter does what I need it to and helps minimize some of the faults of the HD 800.


As for Cielito Lindo, I actually review with about 9 tracks. I use music that has 1 or 2 instruments at most so I can really focus in on how said headphones perform with that instrument. Cielito Lindo is an excellent vocal and guitar showcase track!

usually after running through those 9 simpler tracks to get a feel for the individual timbre and tone throughout the audible spectrum, I’ll listen to a more intense mix to see how well the headphone is voiced when there’s a more involved mix featuring much more content through the entire spectrum

That Said Cieltio Lindo was the first track to really catch my attention!


What was the change that felt to make a big difference? The firmware update? The sharp filter?


Neither, I listened to a different track

again I spent all of a day listening to it before I took my system apart for the Meet. Last thing I heard before I packed up. When I heard it again on the RME ADI 2 that was the AHA moment, there was just little bits of detail I hadn’t heard before in that track