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Question about digital connections

milyagu, modified 3 Years ago.

Question about digital connections

Youngling Posts: 3 Join Date: 8/14/20 Recent Posts

Hello all, I am on the ropes about purchasing the RME ADI 2 Pro for my recently new 8340’s. I am focusing on connecting via AES so that I don’t have an additional D/A conversion with a separate DAC. Currently I am using the Gustard U16 and it sounds great.

I would like to know if I can expect to hear a difference between these 2 products or any product in general when I am bypassing the external DAC entirely and connecting digitally via AES. I am trying to figure out if it is worth investing in a high end device if I am not using the DAC itself. I’m sorry if this is a rookie question, but I am new to this world and learning everyday and appreciate any responses! 


ensoniq, modified 3 Years ago.

RE: Question about digital connections

Padawan Posts: 47 Join Date: 5/30/15 Recent Posts


I don't know the "Gustard" DAC, but if the device runs stable and your connected computer can transfer the audio data to the Gustard via USB  with no problems, you should not hear any differences compared to the RME ADI .

However, the RME ADI is of course much higher built quality and has a nice display, as well as ASIO drivers and comes with additional Studio Controll Software for professional Recording Studio use cases. You should not compare the Gustard DAC with the RME ADI. Because the RME ADI is a Studio grade Audio Recording Interface. The RME ADI Pro is both, a DAC and (!) an ADC - with digital and analoge Inputs/ Outputs, including seperate Headphone amps an additonal software for professional use in a Recording and Mastering Studio.  In contrary to the ADI Pro, the Gustard is a pure DAC, with no analogue signal path = 100 % digital in / out.   

But just from the aspect of listening  via AES you wouldn´t hear any difference in combination with your Genelec 8340, between the RME and the Gustard as long as you would directly feed your Genelec by by the AES/ EBU signal. The Genelec Looudspeaker convert/ re-clock again the  incoming AES / Signal from your  DAC  anyway,  for its internal DSP - usage (GLM) and analog transfer to the built speakers

janne-koo, modified 3 Years ago.

RE: Question about digital connections

Padawan Posts: 73 Join Date: 10/26/15 Recent Posts

I'll second that all the way; Should be no audible difference, if even measurable. There's no reason to assume the Gustard wouldn't do its job very well.
​​​​​​​One is a pure and simple USB DDC (no DAC in it!), the other is a studio grade audio interface, DDC+DAC+ADC+preamp+lots of stuff... Apples and oranges.
​​​​​​​I'd happily take either - the RME especially since I want that ADC... If you do go that route, check out the newest version, ADI-2 FS Pro R BE. Less ugly than the earlier ones, too. :)

milyagu, modified 2 Years ago.

RE: Question about digital connections

Youngling Posts: 3 Join Date: 8/14/20 Recent Posts

Thank you guys for the inputs, very informative and helpful! I’ve pretty much made up my mind after demoing the ADI-2 FS Pro R and will be keeping it :) Although I won’t be using it for professional studio work, I figure it’s a much more appropriate fit for my use case with connecting  my TV as well as DJ equipment in my living area, and won’t require an upgrade for years to come. The unit oozes quality as well and I wouldn’t want anything less to pair with these beautiful monitors. The Gustard can be used in my home office at some point in the future :)