A package arrived last week from Bennett Prescott, a reviewer for AudioXpress, with the idea that I’d provide measurements to go with his review (gotta justify holding on to the Audio Precision APx515/1701). I won’t preview his thoughts on subjective performance, but from a functionality standpoint, this is a remarkably cool little unit. Emphasis on “little.” Despite its diminutive size, the ADI-2 Pro packs a full function A-to-D, a DAC, preamp, signal processing (parametric EQ), and a headphone amp. The latter promises to be a killer, boasting a 0R1 source impedance and ability to drive headphones down to 16R impedance to levels of +22 dBu, while staying within its impressive distortion specs. For me as a non-headphone guy, what I like about the RME-2 Pro is the incredible I/O flexibility- AES/EBU, SPDIF, analog balanced and unbalanced, optical, USB, ADAT, DSD… and the controls are all digital, using optical rotary encoders, a plus for potential reliability. Sample rates go up to 768 kHz, 24 bits of signal-to-noise, and full scale output level can be set between +4 and +22 dBu to optimize gain structure. Add a nice mike preamp and this would be a fine recording interface. With Jan Didden’s amazing Autoranger, the ADI-2 Pro offers measurement capability that rivals the top-of-the-line AP gear. I have it set up in my basement lab system as a hifi DAC-preamp, and it’s playing lovely tunes. $2000 does not seem an excessive price for what you get here.
The Markaudio-SOTA Viottis have also arrived. The feature of note here is a larger-than-expected tweeter. Fit and finish are superb. Sound and performance… well, read my review in an upcoming issue of AudioXpress.