Soekris DAC 2541

Realized there wasn’t a separate thread for the new soekris yet, got to try one a few times now, and it’s a pretty great upgrade to the 1541 depending on your amp, and also works with a much wider range of amps imo. Some quick notes on it over the 1541 is that overall the signature has actually shifted from a bit more neutral brighter leaner leaning to something a bit more neutral smoother but fairly neutral while improving on the speed and detail the 1541 had to offer, still a bit lean though. Generally a step forward in resolution, more impressive impact and grip, transients feel a bit slower but also more realistic than the 1541. Generally dynamics get a nice boost but it’s more a boost in microdynamics and only a slight bump in macrodynamics. It does also feel a bit less raw than the 1541. Timbre is a nice bump as well but not super organic still, and it’s still leaning on the lean side of things when it comes to body. Spatially it’s still very sharp imaging wise, but stage is a bit wider and more open sounding overall which is a welcome change. Also comparing the se vs bal, the se are almost as good as balanced so that’s good news if you want to run it with a bal and se amp. Internal amp is still very meh to bad leaning, it’s much more a dac than a dac/amp

I think the biggest upside to the 2541 is how well it synergizes with other amps now, the 1541 was very limited on what it paired well with, where the 2541 really isn’t as hard to pair now, which makes it a much more viable option imo. Still really pairs well with vio gear but I actually think the 1541 might be a bit better synergy wise with the 281/280 since I think it’s characteristics complement a bit better, but the 2541 is more technically capable in that pairing. It actually somewhat felt as if it was made to be more paired with the new style of vio like the v590/550/530, hmmmmmmmmmm…


Thank you M0N! Looking forward to comparing your notes with my impressions whenever it arrives!

On the other hand, my self restraint just took a hit when you implied that it might be a good match for the new Vio’s.

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It’s not one of those > $1500 dollar DACS that you don’t hear any difference with is it? :smiling_imp:


It’s just funny that the new vios shifted in a bit of a different direction, so did soekris to compensate I guess lol

What dacs are you referring to?

I read something like that about the 2541 with the remark that it is more analytical than the 1541.
Can you confirm this?

Maybe one more question on the side.
There is also the Ares 2, how would you classify it in your opinion? Rather below or above?
Are all 3 Dacs 2R2 in terms of construction?
And I’m also asking because I might consider using one of the 3 in a combo with a tube amp.

I would personally strongly disagree on this one, the 2541 is a bit less analytical imo, still slightly ahead leaning of neutral, but not far enough where I’d call it analytical like the 1541 was. It still clearly has the soekris house sound, but further refined and matured imo. Perhaps when the dac was warming up it was just as analytical sounding as the 1541, but after it’s been on for a day it really does seem more neutral focused rather than neutral-analytical of the 1541

When it comes to technicalities, I think the 2541 is a step above the ares ii, but I think it will really come down to preference. The ares ii has much more body and tonal density, more impactful low end, and a bit more emphasized sound overall, but lacks the refinement, texture, detail, microdynamics, and some extra realism the 2541 can offer you. But it will end up coming down more to synergy and preference I feel, as some may find the 2541 lacking body and meat and also too unforgiving of poor recordings or poor synergy matches

I am not sure what this question is asking. In terms of build? the 1541 and 2541 build are almost identical, sturdy but not premium feeling, the ares ii is smaller than both and feels a tad less cheap but both are fairly well built for the cost (personally I don’t care about this much)

With your feliks amp? What aspects do you like about that amp and what would you want to change? I would already eliminate the 1541 though as that doesn’t sound all that good with the feliks but I have a feeling the 2541 will fare better


I have already written something about Feliks here.

I don’t have a bad impression of him.
I’m beginning to understand it and realise that it’s quite solid and well-built, and the sound is a bit tricky.
With a good set of tubes you quickly warm up to it.
It does have one shortcoming when it comes to planar headphones, that it is too neutral and has to help a bit.
But when that is eliminated, it sounds damn good with planar headphones.

I haven’t quite finished the test yet.
But all in all, it’s really very solid and its sound is even better than the Singxer Sda2.

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Could you describe what you mean by analytical in this context?

So are you looking to add more body, impact, and weight to your amp? Are you looking to make it less laid back and more forward?


In this case, the 1541 is analytical to me because it’s more forward and aggressive with it’s detail, it’s brighter signature also lends to it pushing more in your face, it’s very clean and clear focus overall sacrifices a bit of organicness to achieve it, it’s speed is very fast and attack is quick and decay is short which isn’t as realistic but it makes things feel more pinpoint, it’s not forgiving of poor source material that it’s fed, and generally the stage is tighter but it gives you more sharpness in placement of that stage. the 2541 still has a fair amount of these characteristics but dialed back to where it’s almost more neutral leaning and I wouldn’t call it overly analytical leaning


Yes, more force in Body would certainly not be wrong. Maybe a bit more attacks.
The Ps Vane Gold Edition, which Feliks offers, is mainly able to deal with the too far forward direction.
It wasn’t really my taste.

I see, so I think the 2541 would help in the more attack and tighter sound, but I think you might find it to not really improve the situation when it comes to body and impact, so in that case, I might look more toward the ares ii imo for what you are considering, I think that might end up being a more satisfactory pairing for your cases

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Yes, I also had the impression, especially your words stuck in the Ares, which you wrote somewhere back then :blush:.

Hello Mon, I read what you said in the Hd800s discussion page, you recommended the soekris 1451 dac with vio 280. I got the soekris 2541, since the 1451 isnt avaible anymore. i would like to ask you if the 2451 still pair as well with v280 for the Hd800s.
Also i wanted to ask, when you said 1 day warmup the sound changed means i need keep the dac on everytime?

Absolutely, the 2541 is an upgrade to the 1541

It’s preferable to keep it on 24/7 if you can, but if you can’t, allow it a day or so to burn in, and after that it should take around an hour to two to warm up for use if you have to turn it on and off

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I asked because above you said isnt as good as 1541, and maybe better for the the v5xx amps.

Does it need to be playing something or just on doing nothing. Sorry if the question is obvious, im new to this.

I also read you would go for v281 over v280. I see the v281 is out of stock. Is it a lot of improvement?

So I did say that initially, but after more time, I don’t know if I would still say the 1541 is a better choice even with a v2xx amp, mainly because I think that increase in technicalities has kinda swayed me towed the 2541. I do still think that if you have a 1541 and a older vio I wouldn’t rush to upgrade it, but I think if you are making the decision now, I would end up leaning toward the 2541

Just being on should work

Yes, it’s kinda the 280 but boosted quality wise, more power, a bit higher level of sound quality, and more io options

Yes, it’s been discontinued in favor of the new vio, but the 280 remains due to high demand so they keep that one alive for now

It depends on the headphones, for an 800 I wouldn’t be super worried about having a 281, the 281 would be an improvement but not a super large one

Oh well, better for me because i already ve the 2541. :joy::v:

Well in that case i will be getting the v280. Thanks for reply.

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@M0N you mentioned that 2541 is better/easier in terms of amp pairing. Are there any combinations you find good in particular? On the other hand any amps to rather avoid?

Hmmm, stand out wise it’s still the vio + soekris, a moon 430 ha might be a good pairing, xi broadway for neutral and control, a bryston bha-1 might play pretty well