Soekris DAC 1541

So I wanted to start this thread since there is not much info on this DAC on this forum. So I’m just going to try to give a quick intro for those who aren’t familiar, then provide my experience with it, and hopefully give Soekris some love at the same time.

The Soekris DAC 1541 is a 27-bit R2R DAC, with balanced outputs and XLR and 1/4" headphone out. Early versions were released in 2017 and the latest revision is rumored to be released at some point this summer.

I specifically wanted a Soekris DAC for many reasons. I had my eye seriously on the 1541 for 4-5 months (while also researching alternatives) and I haven’t been able to source one until recently. Knowing a new version is on deck, I still took advantage of an opportunity to snag one.

One of the main reasons why I wanted this DAC is because it was an R2R DAC with an XLR headphone out (I’m very aware of the alternatives). I’ll say that the headphone out can drive certain headphones appropriately, but I wouldn’t it as a primary amp.

The other compelling reasons I wanted a Soekris DAC was that they provide OEM R2R modules that are used in many other DACs such as:

XIAudio Sagra DAC (as seen on the LTT/DMS Abyss Video)

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LampizatOr's Atlantic DAC (Soekris DAM 1021)

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Vishine Audio's Discontinued DAC R2R-REF (yes they make the Ares II which does NOT contain a Soekris module)

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Now on to my impressions:

I’ll try to keep this as condensed as possible, and I’ll try to refrain in any audiophile terms such as “extraordinary depth of tone” and “string resonance immediacy”, which I can easily incorporate as accurate descriptions to what I hear out of this DAC.

I have been primarily using the Soekris 1541 DAC with a Violectric HPA V281 amplifier. Those two go well together and play to each other’s strengths to create an extremely balanced experience. The V281’s controlled and impactful bass with its rich mids tend to provide a warm leaning sound. While the Soekris 1541 brings a natural, yet analytical and smooth sound, which my previous parings DAC did not do as well of job.

I can go on and on about what this level of DAC will provide, many people already have written their impressions of their Bifrost 2 and Ares II, and I felt I’d probably use similar descriptions to describe this as well. I don’t want to be redundant as I do think this as capable as any of those DACS. I do think that pairing your amp with a complementing DAC is important, but I also understand that the availability of some DACs can be difficult so compromises may need to be made.

TLDR: If you have a warm or neutral amp such as Violectric/Lake People Amps, I’d nudge you towards trying this combo. If have a cold or brighter amp, you might prefer something else.

I’ve been using a Diana V2/Focal Clear as headphones while doing my listening, I’m not trying to over-hype anything, these were my observations, so YMMV.


Is it really worth $1,299.00 though? Wouldn’t the $768.00 Ares II pair with the V281 just as well?
What would you use the amp for?

Nice write up :+1:

Also the Acuhorn and Lessloss dacs which are pretty great use soekris OEM stuff, along with others

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That is a fair question. I haven’t heard a bf2, ares2, and then at around the same price as the 1541 the Holo Cyan is available.

I can’t speak for those other DACs and how they would work with my amp. I do think they would work fine and offer similar experiences, and I knew if I got a BF2 a few months ago, I would have eventually got a 1541. Tho I did get mine used at a significantly less price than retail.

Well, if you got a significant discount, that’s not bad. An extra amp is never a bad thing. :grin:

Can I ask what it has improved in regards to the V281?

The MHDT Orchid is in the neighborhood of that price range as well. I wish I could audition them all. :slightly_smiling_face:


Yeah I looked at those lines as well as Metrum and Border Patrol DACs. Form factor and I’ve made up my mind months ago played a big part of it.

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As far as improvements, the resolution and natural sound across the headphones I’ve tried is apparent. The Violectric did already has awesome spatial, soundstage, and imaging capabilities, so the Soekris continued to enhanced that. Compared to the Modius, the treble is smoother and less fatiguing and I get a consistent level of bass all my sources from what I experienced (this is with a Diana which can be too revealing in source material).

It is also really nice with my tube and amp as I can play both XLR/RCA at the same time, and volume control is nice to have to fine tune things.


Nice feedback! Sounds like you found a winner.
I would also miss having a volume control in my DAC.

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dac2541 is coming in 5 weeks from now (late august) if anyone interested.


Any idea of specs/price?? Thanks for the heads up!

nope thats all what they told me

Production of their new line have started. They will update their website soon with the new info… Uff the wait :sleepy:


I purchased a dac1541 over the weekend (still shipping so not in hand) with the specific intent and use case to match it up with another recent addition, Violoectric V281. I am super excited.


You are building a Very nice collection! :+1:


The 1541 landed and I have it mated to the V281. Now to spend some time with this setup and get to know it. First impressions are positive.



Long time no see!!

I have a Soekris 2541 and a MHDT Orchid.
Very similar…

Either one will do nicely…