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Metrum Acoustics Adagio

6850 EUR / In stock.


Following in the musically themed footsteps of the Transient range .... Adagio reaches new levels of performance, in a unique approach to High End Audio. Competing with Analogue Preamp alternatives at twice the price .... Class leading Dac comes FREE !

“We are aware that our current flagship Pavane is hard to beat but one further idea has not yet been implemented ... until now.

That is - having a decent volume control to remove the need for a Pre-amplifier in the audio chain … to improve performance dramatically. However, we also know that introducing such a device in the signal-chain, can also have a negative effect.

Experiments were made and listening results showed, the best sound came directly from our Transient™ modules. Even this digital approach did not convince us entirely but one more idea was yet untried.

In the case of R2R ladder Dacs especially, it is quite easy to change the output voltage of the Dac by changing its reference voltage. But to realize this, dedicated Dac boards had to be designed to get the best regulation possible.

Like our Pavane, “Forward Correction” techniques are used to drive both mono Dac boards".

Cees Ruijtenberg


By adjusting the reference voltage to get higher or lower output means the output impedance remains the same, regardless of the volume position. So nothing stands between the Dacs and the power Amp at all.

By removing the Preamp (and cabling obviously), sound quality is not only improved but low level details are retrieved even further.

Shortest signal pathways possible … are generally regarded as a key objective to better sound.

Fact not fiction ... or marketing Voodoo.


General :

Adagio takes performance beyond Pavane and conveniently performs further Digital processing - by adding a Pre Amplification stage. Signal information can then be passed directly to a Power Amp or (uniquely) Power Amplifiers. As mentioned above, volume is controlled by changing the reference voltage of the Dacs and increases max reference level by a factor of 3.

Adagio is Metrum’s first NOS Digital Preamplifier, incorporating 4 DAC TWO modules per channel. Each of the new modules house 2 condensed DAC ONE + Forward Correction modules (as used in Pavane and Menuet). Removing the separate Forward Correction module allows the space created within the Digital input board, to be used for future options. The new DAC TWO modules are the same size as DAC ONE - about the size of a credit card. DAC TWO doubles the R2R ladders, which means that the Adagio is running 16 ladder Dacs in comparison to the 8 used in Pavane.

The Adagio also doubles voltages to those used in Pavane, 30VA Transformers being used for each channel. The combined result of these improvements typically shows a reduced noise floor of -160dB. Pavane’s already impressive noise floor at -145dB has now been improved, providing better low level information retrieval.


The new module configuration will also enable both singular Analogue outputs and for the first time, optional twin Analogue outputs. Adagio has been designed in this way to augment an enhanced Metrum Audio chain. By removing the need for a Preamp and accompanying I/C, a shorter and more direct signal path is obtained straight from D/A conversion, via Single Ended or Balanced connections to …. Metrum's 'Forte'.

Keeping signal information completely separate for each channel, direct from the Dac boards to separate Amplification stages = maximum performance.

Note :

Adagio can also be used as a straightforward Dac for connection to an Analogue Preamp i.e. with standard output of 2V. Just set the Volume (clock) control to 12 : 15.

Product Specifications

  • Details :: Working principle : Non Oversampling Dac. Forward Correction technology. 4 DAC TWO modules per channel in Differential mode. Refer Developments Page for further DAC TWO information.

    Power : 75 VA via 3 separate Toroidal transformers.

    Mains voltage : 110/115V AC 220/230V AC 60/50Hz.

    Inputs : 1 x Optical, 2 x Coaxial (1 x BNC and 1 x RCA), AES/EBU and USB.

    Outputs : 2 x RCA Neutrik © cinch connectors, 2 x XLR Balanced output.

    Output voltages : RCA : 3 Volts RMS max. 0dB output setting. XLR : 6 Volts RMS max. 0dB output setting.

    Frequency response : 1Hz - 20 khz -1 dB. 44.1 kHz sampling. 1Hz - 65 kHz -1dB .192 and 384kHz (USB).

    Distortion : 0.006 % THD.

    Noise : -145 dB related to 2 Volt RMS.

    Output impedance : RCA 100 Ohm, XLR 640 Ohm 0dB output setting. RCA 100 Ohm, XLR 320 Ohm -10dB output setting.

    Sampling rate : Optical 44.1 - 96 kHz sampling rate. Coax and AES/EBU : 44.1 -192 kHz.

    Dimensions : 440 x 320 x 85 mm.

    Weight : 10 Kg.