RME ADI-2 DAC and Setup for Itunes

Hi All,
Just took the plunge with Audrivana and was wondering what settings I should use to optimize the sound going into my ADI- DAC from my MacBook Pro. I’m not really knowledgable when it comes to settings and I have approximately 2000 songs in my itunes ranging in quality. Wanted to start getting some DSD and hi res files from HD Tracks but what should I set my Audrivana settings to?
Any help would certainly be appreciated.

You shouldn’t really have to do much, just make sure it’s not limiting the resolution to 24bit.

Once you start playing DSD files, you can take a look into the caching settings.

Thanks bitracer. So I confirmed that DSD is going to DAC from MacBook. I notice that the audio cuts out intermittently on tracks. The files are .mp4 and I should have plenty of memory it’s a new MacBook Pro. Any ideas of what I can check?

Are you upsampling to DSD?

Yes I am up sampling from both mp3 and mp4 to DSD256

Don’t do that. Find a real DSD file and test with that.

For the other files, it’s best to leave them as they are (sound quality wise).

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So I should not force upsampling? I was going to buy some DSD tracks to experiment.
Any other settings I should set? I really appreciate your help! Thanks so much!!

Audirvana does not upsample DSD file… it plays them like they are…
for upsampling pcm files, try reducing your memory allowed at Audirvana in preferences…
move it lower to 1024mb approx, and see if it still cut.

So the forced up sampling setting from 16/44 to DSD is that not a good quality or good idea?

You can try it yourself, A/B test with upsampling and without upsampling. Let us know what sounds better.

If you can’t hear the difference or the upsampled reproduction sounds worse, you know what to do.

At DSD256 we’re talking about some serious resolution. To upsample from MP3 or 16/44.1 to that just doesn’t make any sense. You’re just making your computer work hard and in the worst case generating extra electrical noise that can sip through to the DAC.

Thanks I am new to digital music so I really appreciate the information. I’ll try that and also buy a few DSD music songs to try out at high res.

Upsampling is just not necessary, especially with the excellent DAC you have. Depending on your amp etc. you may not be able to hear any benefit from anything better than 16/44.1 - or maybe 24 bit - anyway. Check out audiosciencereview.com if you want to learn more from professional audio equipment engineers.

Thanks MediumRare, Are you familiar with the RME setup? I am running balanced out into my Krell Digital Vanguard, (the RME DAC is just so much better). Was wondering what I should do in terms of output level of the RME and potentially taking advantage of the dynamic loudness function if that is even worthwhile.
I appreciate the help!! Oh yes I also tried my first DSD Blow by Blow. Jeff Beck. Awesome!!!

You can also convert all of your itune files to ALAC 16/44 in itunes which will give you cd quality but it will also take up disk space. Then play them through Audirvana and the RME ADI-2 DAC without up-sampling.

Hi bongobill,
My files are MP4s so I will try that. Thanks

No, he won’t get CD quality files. These are AAC (compressed, similar to MP3 but arguably a bit better) encoded files and by simply changing the encoding he won’t get any improvement in quality. The only thing he’ll get is a larger files and occupy more storage space.

@audiosaurus If you want to do your DAC justice, start building a collection of true 16/44.1 and up files. It’s a serous piece of equipment and needs quality content (both musically and technically) to really show what it can do.

You can start by ripping some CD’s to FLAC, ALAC, or some other lossless format.

I stand corrected about the Itunes conversions. It does seem a waste to actually increase the file sizes without any sound quality improvement. Thanks

Thanks Bitracer, I have just purchased my first DSD Jeff Beck BlowbyBlow, Just amazing compared to my iTunes library. So I think I’ll remove many of my MP3 files from iTunes and try the lossless formats, What is the best format not caring about file size? Want to take advantage of the quality music in my collection.

Go for DSD128 or even DSD256, if you can find recordings you like in that resolution. Also well recorded SACD rips at DSD64.

PCM can also sound pretty good, from 16/44.1 to 24/192. Beyond that it’s DSD territory.