R2R Showdown. Denafrips Ares VS Soekris 2541

Hey everyone. I really don’t have experience in this domain higher end dacs. Not really interested in a non R2R on the high end there just aren’t many that interest me I’d probably go Topping D70s and call it a day [Something in that vein roughly] Between these two or some other suggestions. I wouldn’t want to go over $1500 usd unless its some kind of crazy value by spending a bit more.

So please if you have either one please weigh in. I keep seeing reviews for the Ares but none for the Soekris. Would love to hear from you.

For reference currently running Geshelli JNOG 2. Nothing fancy but its flexible and doing a good job.

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Me too. I’m happy with the j2 and erish but want to know the sound differences I can expect.

The two aren’t exactly at the same level. For 2541 you’d probably be looking at Denafrips Pontus II, for Ares II you’d probably be looking at 1321 or 1421

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What amplifier are you wanting to match it up with? And what sound do you prefer?

I prefer a warmer sound but still want detail, clarity, dynamics and speed. I’m using a Soekris dac1541 with a Violectric V281 in my main setup. The V281 leans to the warmer side and the Soekris - I would not call it analytical does lean more neutral and compliments the amp for the sound I prefer. I was using a Bifrost 2 with the V281 and I found that having a warmer leaning DAC paired with the warm leaning amp was a bit too much. Obviously there are other factors to consider that played into to that (speed, dynamics etc.) But the point of me saying this was to get you to think about the synergies of the gear so you can look for qualities that fit your preferences.

Note: I have not heard an Ares II, or a dac2541 so I can not speak to their unique qualities or synergy with other gear. I know @WaveTheory has had both a dac1321 and Ares II, along with a few other DACs - I looked for the articles but did not find them fast.

Edit I found the link:

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Thanks for the impression, I love class A warmer amps. Personally loving my hybrid TA-30. My main amp I run is my Darkvoice with swapped tubes for my dynamics. ZMF aeolus, Focal elex etc.

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Very interested in the Soekris 2541. Waiting on new units to arrive.
Coming from a B1/B2 for years and now a iFi Pro DSD Burr Brown implementation.

Lots of good comments on the Soekris…

I purchased the 2541 several weeks ago after a long wait:

Soekris DAC 2541 - #73 by lost33


Superb dac. Decent headamp.
3 yr warranty!

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Been test listening the Soekris 2541 against the iFi iDSD Pro dac AIO.
Level set.
Fast switch using Foobar 2000 (which is excellent handling window switching between two enumerated dacs) between the two.

Using BP “filter” and BP+…after many switches with know test tracks, ie Jazz at the Pawnshop and the good ole “Limehouse Blues”…

The amp I used was the PassLabs HPA-1 and the iFI Signature iCAN pro…Final Audio D8000 Pros were the cans used.

These two dacs are VERY VERY similar…very hard to differentiate ANY real world differences. Both amazingly great dacs.

If you dont level set its easy to “think” one is “better” than another…

Tone, Timbre…depth etc…both right up there with the best I have heard…

So ask yourself…$1299 Soekris or $3249 iFi iDSD ??
Do you need the exotic upsampling or DSD re-mastering etc and the filters in the iFi?
Tubes? MQA?

You get more bells and whistles…but are they really needed??
I have both…

Interesting questions eh?

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