1. Join Now

    AVForums.com uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Getting the best from RME

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by ChrisOH, Jul 23, 2005.

  1. ChrisOH

    ChrisOH
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2005
    Messages:
    402
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Cardiff
    Ratings:
    +7
    Hi Folks

    I am using an RME 9632 soundcard and wonder if i am getting the best out of it in terms of soundquality.

    I am using the analogue out into a preamp and depite the reputation of the card find the treble somewhhat bright and unforgiving.

    There does not seem to be too much in the way of configuration that i could benefit from but then, i dont know my ar*e from my elb*w when it comes to PCs

    Is anyone else using this card? How have you set it up?

    All the best

    Chris
     
  2. The Dude

    The Dude
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    May 21, 2004
    Messages:
    4,826
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Location:
    Beverley, East Yorkshire
    Ratings:
    +1,172
    What pre-amp are you using?

    I don't use the RME ( nearly did, but that's another story ) but....
    In my recent experience the Analog Outs on even a cheap soundcard such as the M-Audio 2496 are leaps ahead of the analog PreAmp stage of say the Denon AVR3803.

    Hooking a decent soundcard DAC into such a processor absolutely ruins the sound quality!
    Obviously your PreAmp will be much much better, but it would still have to be INCREDIBLY GOOD to match the RME from everything I've read so far..?

    I have a fairly 'ruthless' ( I use the word 'honest' ;) ) system (see sig)...
    I've just swapped my interconnects from Mark Grant LV61S to Mark Grant LV77S....

    I can now play much much louder without my ears hurting :D, I'd say it's definitely worth tinkering around, on the basis of what you've spent on the card!!

    You might wanna PM Owain_Thomas.... he's just installed an RME9632.

    :)
     
  3. RobsterD

    RobsterD
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2000
    Messages:
    870
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Southampton
    Ratings:
    +12
    Well I've been messing for what seems ages reaching digital nirvana with the 9632
    I'm using Foobar with an ASIO DLL plugin and Secret Rabbit Code resampler (SRC) output is @ 32bit fixed point,nothing else works in Foobar,I thought it was a 24bit card or have I got some setting wrong
    Get some audio dropouts when I sample to 96khz as well,tho it does sound good :)
    Gonna buy a DAC and use the digital out of the card and see what improvements that brings,probably a NOS DAC as recommended by the guys on the HiFi forum
    What settings are you 9632 users got in Foobar?
    Owain interested how you found the RME for 2 ch and what your Foobar settings are as I'm really not that impressed with the analogue outs(compared to my T/T) hence the DAC ugrade.
    Upgraded firmware to 152 and drivers to 2.94 it does seem to sound better..............probably the second bottle of red :zonked:
    Regards
    Rob
     
  4. owain_thomas

    owain_thomas
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2002
    Messages:
    1,937
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    51
    Location:
    Manchester, England
    Ratings:
    +81
    I'm running my RME with foobar using the ASIO plugin, all works fine (I've not had to use the SRC plugin). I'd agree that the top end is pretty unforgiving (I've got a similar setup to the Dude) and find that with certain badly recorded CDs its downright painful, however on better recordings it sounds better than anything I've ever listened to. I don't think the room its in helps much with this either - lots of glass, hard walls and laminate flooring.

    For movies I find it to be absolutely spot on using theatertek 2.1 and the analogue outputs of the RME.

    My system (and life!) is in a bit of flux at the moment, we are hopefully moving soon so my system will be split up, I'll have a room dedicated to home cinema and just normal two channel in the main living room. My plans when I get to this stage are to have an RME driving a 5 channel power amp (quite possibly by adding another 3 channel aaron) in the cinema room, plus a second one driving a stereo amp in the living room. I will probably go for quite a warm sounding stereo amp/speaker setup to try and broaden the range of music it does a good job with.

    One thing you could have a go at doing (and I'd be interested to know what you think) is messing with the equaliser plugin for foobar (it should be in the DSP section of the pref's, turn it on in DSP manager first then mess with the settings). I've tried cutting the very high frequency sliders a bit but I'm not sure how much difference it's made - I need to do more testing.
     
  5. RobsterD

    RobsterD
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2000
    Messages:
    870
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Southampton
    Ratings:
    +12
    Owain
    What is your playback output set to ie mine is @ 32bit fixed point.
    Rob
     
  6. owain_thomas

    owain_thomas
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2002
    Messages:
    1,937
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    51
    Location:
    Manchester, England
    Ratings:
    +81
    mine too, not sure if it works at other values but I'll try it in a minute.
     
  7. Branxx

    Branxx
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2000
    Messages:
    801
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    London, UK
    Ratings:
    +1
    Chris,

    I also have been using RME HDSP 9632 for a while. Infact this is my 2nd card after RME DIGI96/8.

    Can you give a few examples of the music that you find overly bright via RME. I would like to listed through my system.
     
  8. owain_thomas

    owain_thomas
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2002
    Messages:
    1,937
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    51
    Location:
    Manchester, England
    Ratings:
    +81
    Hi rob,

    just tried some of the other options (24 bit, 16 bit etc), none of them work, only 32 bit fixed point. the others say they are unsupported formats when i try and play them.

    branxx,

    I'm sure chris will come up with his own examples in a bit but heres a couple from my collection that make me grab for the volume control:

    refugees by The Tears on "here come the Tears" - right from the 1st second

    Supersonic by Oasis on "definitely maybe"

    Vice by razorlight on "up all night" - when it gets to the chorus

    animal nitrate by suede on "suede" - again right from the kick off

    dirty by christina aguilera on "stripped"

    don't know if you've got any of them but I'd be interested what you think of if you do.

    owain
     
  9. The Dude

    The Dude
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    May 21, 2004
    Messages:
    4,826
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Location:
    Beverley, East Yorkshire
    Ratings:
    +1,172
    Hi Owain, just to throw a complete spanner in the works.... :rolleyes:

    I've now completely eliminated any previously percieved 'brightness' in my Aaron/Dynaudio/FW410 system, by getting rid of my Partington Super-dreadnoughts... in favour of some £50 'reclaimed pine' 3-drawer chests..!!

    And I thought the Dreadnoughts sounded good..! :rotfl:
     
  10. owain_thomas

    owain_thomas
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2002
    Messages:
    1,937
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    51
    Location:
    Manchester, England
    Ratings:
    +81
    Now thats just trying to confuse things ;)

    I'd be interested to hear what you think of the tracks I've listed above with your new setup (including the pine bits!)
     
  11. The Dude

    The Dude
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    May 21, 2004
    Messages:
    4,826
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Location:
    Beverley, East Yorkshire
    Ratings:
    +1,172
    I'm working for the next few days... but i'll be back in front of the system from Wednesday onwards.

    Razorlight was one of my first reference pieces (as per another conversation)... still just as hideously produced as ever, but the FW410 is much much kinder on my ears than the 2496, and the new 'stands' ( added after the FW410) have certainly made the whole album basically quite listenable now! :rolleyes:

    I've got Oasis on CD somewhere, and Suede too... I'll get them ripped when I get home and see if there are any painful bits in the tracks where you mentioned..!

    Wooden stands is what It's all about for me mate... no going back now!! :rotfl:
     
  12. spamboy

    spamboy
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    Owain,

    I'm in the same position as you, just moved my multichannel kit into a dedicated hc room and am now building up a two channel system again - just the digital source to go. I've got a pair of speakers (norh 9.0) which are brutally accurate, but a little sharp in the treble too in a room with a lot of hard surfaces, so I'm planning on adding room correction to foobar2000.

    Have a look at http://drc.wildgooses.com/index.php/Main_Page it looks like a bit of a pain, but it could help. I've listened to the Tact amps with room correction and the flatness of the frequency response and the driver \ tweeter integration is extremely impressive.

    btw. I'm wavering between the 96/8 PAD, the 9632 and the Lynx L22 why did people generally go for the card they've got and which one should I go for? Stereo analogue out only...

    Regards,

    SB.
     
  13. The Dude

    The Dude
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    May 21, 2004
    Messages:
    4,826
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Location:
    Beverley, East Yorkshire
    Ratings:
    +1,172
    :offtopic:

    Hi Spamboy,

    I so nearly went feet-first for some Norh 9.0s at one point last year, but bottled it completely...much to my eternal disgrace. :nono:

    Are they anywhere near as good in the flesh as they look in the photos?
    Which finish did you go for? How often do you stroke them?

    there is definitely something missing in my life... I think maybe it's time I got me some Black marble 9.0s and an ACA2b...... :rolleyes:
     
  14. spamboy

    spamboy
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    The Dude,

    They do look lovely, mine are in black with custom marble (unpolished) stands. I have to admit I have found myself running a hand over them from time to time. The sound is extremely transparent, if a little bright, however they do take a lot of power to drive them, I bought them second hand as the first part of my new system and experimented driving then directly through a power amp from a pc (no pre-amp). At the same output level they were 10dB quiter than theb&w cdm2 se's I use in my hc.

    I'd worry about partnering them with a low power tube amp, I've just bought a primare a30.1 to power them, although if money were no object I probably would have looked towards something like a krell 300il \ 400xi.

    If you want to have a look \ listen to them and you're near london drop me a pm.

    SB
     
  15. cameronl

    cameronl
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2002
    Messages:
    1,146
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Ratings:
    +11
    hi there, I have the following

    RME 9632
    Halo C2 (bypass mode)
    Halo A52 (poweramp)
    Quad 21L

    the sound is lovely imho.

    I use Winamp with waveout. I don't touch any of the settings on the RME. I only use uncompressed wav files.

    CaM
     
  16. ChrisOH

    ChrisOH
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2005
    Messages:
    402
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Cardiff
    Ratings:
    +7
    Hi Folks,

    I have been offline a while so it was a pleasant surprise that this topic had attracted a little interest after a slow start and indeed reassuring to see so many of you come out of the closet in terms of the RME. As i said it seems to be well known and rated but there is little i have found written about it in recent times.

    I am using a Uvem PC as a source into an Avondale audio system. Avondale is a company I have been dealing with for many years now and the system is something I treasure when listening to vinyl (a Genesis TT, Kuzma reference arm and Shelter 901 cartridge and an Avondale phono stage for those that know a little about the black arts and this is my reference point).

    The preamp is Les's Graduation One http://www.avondaleaudio.com/ which is pretty well recieved by those that hear it and I believe is not a weak link in the chain.

    Many people seem to think that people prefering vinyl (not wanting to start the debate here) actually like the euphonic stuff that comes with the medium so let's get that out of the way as my comments sprang from hearing a CD cf with my system.

    I was given a coy of a CD which has not been released due to a dispute between the artist and the producer and have heard in in my system and on a modified CD player in the system currently residing at Avondale.

    The comparison did not flatter the RME at all in the treble which was harsh by comparison. The recording is a live one and the ambience was far more clearly portraid by the CD player. Obviusly many things were different ie room, speakers and some elements of the amplification however I honestly believe it is the card or its integration into my system where the problem lies.

    Anyway, I went away after this experienceand rethought my set up (EAC, .ape and Winamp via analogue out to the grad 1) and decided to give Foobar 2000 a go to try some of the secret rabbit code, even though they specifically say that the basic player doesn't sound any better than others about. I also tried .wav files which I do not use as they lack any sort of tagging and I intend to add a SB2 at some point for another system (sooner rather than later since the burglary last week *****!)

    Foobar is raved about and given a little time I hope to find out why other than the fact that it is OS and it can be messed about with to make it look pretty. This is my ignorance (remember I do not know my ar*se from my elbow when it comes to PC).

    I downloaded the "special" install and specified about every option available and had no problems. However, I am not sure whether or not I have made any use of any of its features as I have not played about with it yet. That said I went into preferences and checked kernel streaming even though the RME apparently ignores windows anyway. This along with trying the upsampling which seemed to have no effect (no surprise I suppose given they say it wont!)

    Am I missing something?

    PS the DVD side of things is catered for by TT2 using S/PDIF into a modified Yamaha processor and is cool but precludes the use of a DAC with the RME as it uses the only digital out available and anyway the reason I bought the RME is because of its superior analogue out. I do have 6 channe inputs into the processor so perhaps at some stage this might be worth investigating but not this side of a while yet!

    The rest of the system is 3 Avondale (Front and Centre) and a couple of Kenwood THX monoblocks for the rears driving RMS speakers Revelation 3 speakers and a REL Studio 3 sub.

    All the best

    Chris
     
  17. The Dude

    The Dude
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    May 21, 2004
    Messages:
    4,826
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Location:
    Beverley, East Yorkshire
    Ratings:
    +1,172
    :offtopic: (again)


    Hi Spamboy,

    My Aarons have bags of grunt, and match the 180w/4ohm spec of your Primare.... sounds like we could be onto something here...!
    Are you satisfied with the A30.1 power-wise?

    I'll certainly drop you a PM the next time I'm gonna be nearby, will probably be within the next month or so.. cheers for the offer! :thumbsup:

    I use HTPC for everything too, but fancy something a bit different so I think I'll head down the ACA2b/Aaron/Norh route, if all goes to plan... :devil:

    The ACA2b is so cheap anyway, It's worth having just as some 'hifi-porn' if it doesn't work too well with the Aaron.. :D
     
  18. Branxx

    Branxx
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2000
    Messages:
    801
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    London, UK
    Ratings:
    +1
    Chris,

    It is difficult to compare not having the same piece of music, but I tried the tracks suggested by Owain and I don't detect any side effects that I would attribute to RME.

    To me Oasis "Supersonic" sound bright by it is recorded to be like that. I would guess they meant it to be listened loud at volumes where the hi-fi qualities are not going to be distinguisable anyway.

    "Vice" by Razorlight and "Animal Nitrate" by Suede sound better by has a similar background mood like Oasis.

    Christina Agilera sounds fine to me. It has good range of both high and very low tonal range, both overemphasized and probably intended to be like that.

    My system is RME HDSP 9632 based feeding Lexicon MC-12B V4 via analog bypass a set of professional M&K active speakers (MPS-2510P) that are daisy chained into pair of subs (MPS-5310).

    Live recordings frequently sound particularly raw and would often appear more pleasing on the ears if some sort of filtering is performed prior to the output. The custom CD player you mention may have internal logic which properly detects such conditions and alters the original to produce more pleasing output.

    You also mention the use of your vinyl recording as the reference point and those would for various reasons produce very differen sound as directly conducted via RME from digital recordings. An interesting test would be to use RME line-in to record the output of your favorite vinyl and than play them back via RME. I would expect RME in such circumstances to produce identical output. If I am right it maybe worth thinking of recording your entire vinyl collection and getting the convenience of HTPC with the sound attributes of vinyl.
     
  19. RobsterD

    RobsterD
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2000
    Messages:
    870
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Southampton
    Ratings:
    +12
    Branxx
    What are you using for your PC re playback software and what are your settings :)
    Your system is a little more esoteric than mine.I'm still using a valve amp feeding B&W9NT's in the analogue domain.
    Been listening to Madeleine Peyroux "Careless Love" and I found it very harsh.
    Are you saying that the analogue output on the RME should be perfect and any probs are due to users ancillary equipment.
    I'm contemplating using a DAC to improve things via the digital output,what do you use re o/p and have you contemplated using a DAC to improve SQ(probably not applicable cos you got a Lexicon MC-12B V4 :blush: )
    I'm sure we should be able to "scope" the settings for the RME&Foobar as we do for ffdshow/TT2 etc
    irrespective of ancillary equipment.
    Rob
     
  20. ChrisOH

    ChrisOH
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2005
    Messages:
    402
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Cardiff
    Ratings:
    +7
    Hi Branx,

    I suppose I am with Rob here in that I am trying to ensure that my set up is optimised. I have had the card for a year or so now (incidentally it was some of your earlier posts on the subject of soundcards that led me to the RME so thanks are in order) and it was my initial impression that it was better than any CD I have had in my system. However, the comparison to the modded CD player is foremost in my mind and I am hoping to find a way to approach this sound. I was hoping as Rob suggests and I suppose you do in your reference to "internal logic" that there might be some way of setting the software up in a way that was most pleasing to me.

    The idea of ripping all of my vinyl is one which i am saving for my retirement given the size of the collection and the fact that the most exercise I get these days is probably getting up to switch sides!

    What player are you using?

    All the best

    Chris
     
  21. Branxx

    Branxx
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2000
    Messages:
    801
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    London, UK
    Ratings:
    +1
    I have been for a while a happy user of J River Media Center (now at version 11). All my music is losslessly compressed (and about 20% still in WAV).

    Playback is setup via ASIO and HDSP 9632 is connected to Lexicon via unbalanced cables (in complete by-pass mode) as well as with digital which I use for multi-channel music and DVDs.

    As I have been using this setup for a few years now I am used to its sound and people from M&K have recently serviced and calibrated my speakers using their test sound and music. It passed with excellent marks.

    From my experience I am quite sure that the harshness is not coming from sound card and more expensive devices would accentuate this even more (this is why LynxTwo sometimes sound even harder).

    The harshness is the part of the original recording. I don't have good advice how to remove it or reduce its presence but still stay with HTPC. One way is to use amplifier or speakers that would have higher frequencies attenuated.

    For example my Lexicon MC-12B have some attenuation in the higher frequences and after a while one gets used to it and the sound is very pleasant. However, in direct comparison, by switching between the inputs, the difference between the unaltered sound from RME's DAC and the Lexicon's becomes quite obvious. My preference goes to RME.

    In comparisson the sound coming out of LynxTwo is so precise that unless the original CD is perfect every little imperfection comes out. It is technically better card especially for studio monitoring, but may not be everyones cup of tea for leasure listening.

    I haven't listened to Benchmark DAC1 but I have tried Perpetual Technologies P3-A DAC and that sounded very nice (better than Lexicon).
     
  22. Branxx

    Branxx
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2000
    Messages:
    801
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    London, UK
    Ratings:
    +1
    Rob Dear,

    "Been listening to Madeleine Peyroux "Careless Love" and I found it very harsh."

    I bought both "Careless Love" and "Dreamland" CD and found them very enjoyable.

    Thank you.
     
  23. cameronl

    cameronl
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2002
    Messages:
    1,146
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Ratings:
    +11
    imho my RME is very neutral.

    CaM
     

Share This Page

Loading...