I think it depends on what you are after. Do you want a more accurate sound or fun sound? If more analytical accurate sound is what you are after, the Soekris dac1321 is probably the way to go. If you want a more fun/slightly colored yet still accurate sound, the Schiit Bifrost 2 or Denafrips Ares II is probably the way to go. All 3 DACs are pretty damn good.
I own a soekris dac1321 and a schiit bifrost 2. I know a few who own the denafrips also and they have had positive feedback on the ares II as well.
It isnt too colored, just in comparison to the the soekris dac1321, the bifrost 2 has a thicker sounding bass. It also has better dynamic range IMO.
The soekris dac1321 is just more accurate in comparison, but that doesn’t mean the bifrost 2 is this inaccurate playtoy…it is accurate but less “in your face” about it than the soekris, if that makes sense?
I’m trying hard not to quibble with this. But I really dislike the use of accurate as a description.
Accuracy implies correctness, while I’d probably agree the Bifrost2 is warmer sounding than the Soekris, but what makes the Soekris accurate?
I put no weight in it, but I’d be willing to bet the Bifrost2 would measure better than the Soekris.
How do we even know what accurate sounds like?
Its a big word. especially to me lol. Whether its accurate/detailed/analytical i want that DAC. People have been saying the r2r dacs are better than delta sigma. so now i want to get one. i have the SU8 and a RNHP so i would like to get an upgrade to accompany the RNHP. And detail is a big deal to me.
If detail is important to you then the soekris dacs would make sense. I personally dont think you could go wrong with the bf2 either…but when comparing the bf2 and soekris dac1321 against each other, the soekris is more analytical sounding to me. It isnt a huge drastic difference between the 2 though. I also believe that the bf2 is the most natural sounding dac and it is just as revolving, but isn’t as aggressive about it, in my humble opinion.
Revisiting the Denafrips site, I just realized the Ares is balanced. I’m guessing the price differences probably has to do with which ones are balanced vs SE. $725 for Ares II, $700 for Bifrost 2, $450 for Soekris - assuming it ever shows up at Mod House
I’m really looking for an SE DAC to output to my Cavalli Tube Hybrid and Archel2 Pro, so I’m probably going to choose Soekris, regardless of sound. I do appreciate detail, but I like to have fun too. Is that too paradoxical?
Would $450 - $500 for a 1321 be a noticeable jump in quality over the $250 I paid for the Modi a year ago? I don’t want to side-grade if it’s going to cost almost twice as much.
Shall I fan the flames? I already have a balanced R-2R DAC/amp, an Audio-gd R-28 that I bought used. It’s cool and all, but just a tiny bit boring. I wouldn’t really call it a huge step up from cheaper DACs. Changing the oversampling modes is a PITA - I have to open the dumb thing up and move jumpers. But the R-28 is a nice contrast to my SMSL balanced delta-sigma DAC. The SU-8 (I think it’s the first version) is cool because it lets you dial in a little different color with the different sound modes - @ZeosPantera’s video really inspired me on that one. I like a little color now and then, and I like a “pure” sound sometimes too.
Audio Gd r2r dacs sound pretty bad imo. I think the soekris is definitely an upgrade compared to the audio gd or the Modi mb. I will say that I didn’t care for how it paired with my Archel 2.5 though, so that’s something to consider.
Balanced versus single ended are equal. But it is up to the manufacturer of each product to implement them properly/well. Sometimes they’ll skimp out on one or the other to save on costs. It really is unique to each individual product, at least in my opinion.
That’s interesting that it didn’t play nice with your Geshelli - too bad. Well, I definitely have options to mix and match at this point, and I can always sell off the loser(s). I’ll be keeping an eye on the Mod House web shop and probably pulling the trigger when the Soekris is back in stock.