Metrum Adagio


The Metrum Acoustics flagship DAC with volume control. Connect this digital pre-amplifier directly to your power amplifiers or active speakers. Volume control done right by steering the DC voltage of the R2R ladders.

Color: Silver
Voltage: 120V
Inputs: USB
DAC Chip: DAC 2 Module

We were aware that our flagship DAC, the Pavane, is hard to beat. Adding a neutral volume control out of the signal path further improves performance and user experience.

Experiments on the Pavane were done and we found that the best sound was coming directly from our proprietary DAC modules. Adding a potentiometer and buffer, no matter how superbly implemented, would result in audible differences. Fortunately, our R2R ladder DAC modules permit us to control the analog output voltage by changing its reference voltage. To fully integrate volume control into the ADAGIO, dedicated DAC boards were designed to get the best regulation possible.

Like in the Metrum Pavane, proprietary forward correction techniques are used to drive both mono DAC boards. The result of this process is low noise and an extremely high linearity, right down to -155 dB, which gives the Adagio a realistic 24 bit dynamic range; information from the most delicate lowest bits is extracted. The ADAGIO is a step forward as an analog pre-amplifier can be omitted. ADAGIO, like the Pavane, has separate oversized toroidal power supplies for analog left, analog right and digital circuitry, ensuring that digital noise can't creep into the analog parts. Dividing the analog supplies results in better channel separation. ADAGIO uses larger and higher voltage transformers than Pavane for the analog circuitry, in effect also lowering the impedance of the power supply, while lowering noise and increasing linearity. The result is that the ADAGIO has weight and pace; transients are effortlessly projected into the listening space. It is musical, honors the non-oversampling (NOS) principle and simultaneously incorporates the technological progressions that have been made over the years. A solid aluminium IR remote control with 4 buttons completes the listening experience.

Review and awards:

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Data sheet

Digital To Analog Converter Type
Non Oversampling
Audio Bit Depth (Resolution)
24 bits per sample
Correction Type
Forward (FPGA) corrected
Metrum DACTWO Transient chips per channel
Noise Floor
-155 dB
Output Impedance
RCA 100 Ohm, XLR 320 Ohm
2x RCA (stereo), 2x XLR (stereo)
1x Optical, 2x Coax, 1x AES/EBU, 1x USB or I²S
Total Harmonic Distortion
0.006% THD
Sampling rate Optical
44.1 - 96 kHz
Sampling rate Coax and AES/EBU
44.1 - 192 kHz
Sampling rate USB
44.1 - 384 kHz
Products Dimensions
44 x 32 x 85 cm
Product Weight
Remote controller
YES, with volume control

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