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Thread: Any experience of the RME ADI-2 DAC ?

  1. #31
    Join Date: Aug 2009

    Location: Staffordshire, England

    Posts: 30,770
    I'm Martin.

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    I think it will be quite a different presentation.
    Current Lash Up:

    *Audiolab 6000CDT* Topping E30 * Philips 22AH380 pre-amp * NAD C320BEE power amp * JM Lab Electra 926 *

  2. #32
    Join Date: Jan 2013

    Location: Birmingham

    Posts: 5,251
    I'm James.

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    I would also be very suprised if the Soncoz preamp sounds better than the Croft. My experience of DAC Preamps has not been good but I know of folk who run their DAC Preamp straight into the power amp and have very good results.

  3. #33
    Join Date: Nov 2020

    Location: Leics

    Posts: 79
    I'm David.

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    Thanks all. I'm still unclear though whether the croft Pre will "see" the Soncoz as a DAC or as a preamp, or will it not make a difference either way. Does this make sense ?
    Mark Levinson 390 CD & Audiolab 6000 CD Transport / Soncoz SGD1 DAC / Croft 25RS Preamp / Croft 7R mono Amps / Neat Ultimatum XLS Speakers

  4. #34
    Join Date: May 2018

    Location: Woking

    Posts: 658
    I'm Chris.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stranraer View Post
    Thanks all. I'm still unclear though whether the croft Pre will "see" the Soncoz as a DAC or as a preamp, or will it not make a difference either way. Does this make sense ?
    Soncoz DAC mode (no digital volume attenuation) is engaged when DAC is set to full volume (indicated by the orange LED's around jog wheel) using either the remote or jog wheel on front. Hope that makes sense. There are no different output/settings to worry about. As soon as you notch one volume step back digital volume attenuation is re-engaged. Definately sounds better to me in full DAC mode (full volume).

    Cheers
    System 1: - Amp - Musical Paradise MP-701 - Neurochrome 686
    - Source: Linn LP12 (AT-OC9XEN) - D-Klimo LAR copy - Novafidelity X12 - Soncoz SGD1 -
    - Speakers: Cambridge Acoustic "Grand Master Evolution" - (Quads are in repair!) Subs: - REL T3's -

    System 2 - Amp: Musical Paradise MP 303 - Custom Pre -
    - Source: Audio Technica LP5 - EAR834p clone - Pioneer N-30K - Topping E30 -
    - Speakers: Loth X BS1's - Sub: REL T3 -

  5. #35
    Join Date: May 2018

    Location: Woking

    Posts: 658
    I'm Chris.

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    Experiment by all means but I would suspect full DAC mode into the Croft will sound best. The Croft is a proper preamp, the Soncoz is just digital attenuation. The other configuration to try is Soncoz in 'pre-amp' mode straight into power amp (cutting out the Croft). Just make sure the volume is low on the Soncoz before hand. The remaining setup is using the Soncoz in pre-amp mode with volume attenuation into the Croft and finding a balance of volumes between both. In my experience this would not sound best but you never know, might be worth a try as others have suggested.
    System 1: - Amp - Musical Paradise MP-701 - Neurochrome 686
    - Source: Linn LP12 (AT-OC9XEN) - D-Klimo LAR copy - Novafidelity X12 - Soncoz SGD1 -
    - Speakers: Cambridge Acoustic "Grand Master Evolution" - (Quads are in repair!) Subs: - REL T3's -

    System 2 - Amp: Musical Paradise MP 303 - Custom Pre -
    - Source: Audio Technica LP5 - EAR834p clone - Pioneer N-30K - Topping E30 -
    - Speakers: Loth X BS1's - Sub: REL T3 -

  6. #36
    Join Date: Jan 2013

    Location: Birmingham

    Posts: 5,251
    I'm James.

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    I would agree, if the Soncoz has a preamp built in I would run this straight into a power amp and try this first. I have used a number of DACs like this with OK results.

    Personally I would not use the preamp in a DAC as they are not usually great unless you buy top end gear where some attention has been made to get the preamp to sound good.

    However you maybe lucky and the Soncox preamp could be great!

  7. #37
    Join Date: Aug 2009

    Location: Staffordshire, England

    Posts: 30,770
    I'm Martin.

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    There is no built in pre-amp in the Soncoz. Instead it offers the option of varying the level in the digital domain, before the signal goes into the DAC.
    Current Lash Up:

    *Audiolab 6000CDT* Topping E30 * Philips 22AH380 pre-amp * NAD C320BEE power amp * JM Lab Electra 926 *

  8. #38
    Join Date: Nov 2020

    Location: Leics

    Posts: 79
    I'm David.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Macca View Post
    There is no built in pre-amp in the Soncoz. Instead it offers the option of varying the level in the digital domain, before the signal goes into the DAC.
    Great news ! That's the answer I was hoping for. So I've got a well regarded CD transport and DAC with the ability to control volume remotely into my much loved Croft preamp which I run at a fixed, relatively high "volume" (7 O'Clock on the dials) where it sounds at it's best.
    Should surely be a step up from the Oppo 95 into the Croft.

    The obvious thing would be to experiment of course, but the thought of the Croft being surplus to requirements would be a real heartbreaker.

    All I need is for the Soncoz to wash ashore now.

    Many thanks for the suggestions and reassurance, all. I really should have researched this better before purchase.
    Mark Levinson 390 CD & Audiolab 6000 CD Transport / Soncoz SGD1 DAC / Croft 25RS Preamp / Croft 7R mono Amps / Neat Ultimatum XLS Speakers

  9. #39
    Join Date: Nov 2020

    Location: Leics

    Posts: 79
    I'm David.

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    Pugwash has docked and is negotiating Brexit import duty at The Harbour Cafe , me hearties.
    I'm hoping to be unpacking boxes on Saturday.

    Yarrrrrrrr.......
    Mark Levinson 390 CD & Audiolab 6000 CD Transport / Soncoz SGD1 DAC / Croft 25RS Preamp / Croft 7R mono Amps / Neat Ultimatum XLS Speakers

  10. #40
    Join Date: Nov 2020

    Location: Leics

    Posts: 79
    I'm David.

    Default This should really be renamed the Soncoz SGD1experience.......

    With many thanks again for all the input, recommendations and PMs I received, I've had the Audiolab 6000 CD Transport and SGD1 in place of the Oppo 95 (it might actually be a 105) DVD player, since Monday.
    They're running into the Croft 25RS preamp.

    It took over two hours to complete the swap as, due to cable lengths, I had to dis- and re-connect all the boxes, moving amps up a shelf and sources/pre down. Quite frustrating as I had limited, unsighted access to most of the cables and plugs.

    Got it all hooked up and................. total silence !!

    Pressed all the buttons LOTS, had a ponder and with a heavy heart decided to dismantle it all and start again.
    I gave the Soncoz one last go using the volume knob and hey presto. Sound.
    Turns out it needs more revolutions than an oil tanker steering wheel to adjust the noise which in hindsight is quite a benefit as, unlike the quite insensitive remote control, fine tuning the volume via the knob is easily do-able. Maybe somewhere between the two would be better, but not too much of an aggravation and certainly preferable to the twin pot Croft palava.

    I've probably gone a bit early with my opinions here as it still seems to be running in, but the changes are all improvements so hopefully this will be of interest.

    My go to soundcheck playlist is Spiritualized, Ladies And Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space (if anyone here likes Dr. John he plays some mean keyboards on a coupla tracks) / LCD Soundsystem, Sound Of Silver / Miles Davis, On The Corner / You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead / 70s Bowie and various funk n soul and electronica.

    I don't have the vocabulary or knowledge of many others on here, all I can say is that this is a huge upgrade.
    Several layers of transparency have been added. Each and every instrument can be tracked, the beat of the bass drum, previously unheard backing vocals and guitar lines are revealed.
    Separation and soundstage (biggies for me) are improved and impressive.

    The instruments seem to have a physical weight to them, too. I can't really explain this any better, but I've not experienced it before. This really is different gravy.

    For the first time I'm streaming music too, and am more than impressed.
    I signed up to Amazon and experimented with Donna Summer, I Feel Love / Orange Juice, Rip It Up / Miles Davis (as I'm typing) and The Clash and I'm amazed at the sound quality.

    After 20 years of up (and the occasional accidental down) grades I've got the sound I've been chasing.
    I genuinely believe this will be my system for a good few years to come.

    Cheers again for the assistance and guidance. The Audiolab/SGD1 combo is every bit as good as I was led to believe and with hindsight, a no-brainer.
    Mark Levinson 390 CD & Audiolab 6000 CD Transport / Soncoz SGD1 DAC / Croft 25RS Preamp / Croft 7R mono Amps / Neat Ultimatum XLS Speakers

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