V280 Dac pairing

So, after looking at the used market I’m thinking about going with a one stop V280 or V281 to pair with my Arya and Clear (probably get a Liquid Platinum later). However, the main dac I see recommended is Soekris 2541 (1541) and that seems to be a little more difficult to come by. It’s sold out on Modhouse and the used market is a tad slim. So, I’m curious what other dac options do people recommend, in the 1,000 - 1,500 range, for these amps/headphones? Thanks in advance.

Generally something on the analytical leaning side of things to help bring the Vio closer to neutral, and perhaps a little narrower stage to help bring the Vio in and sharpen imaging to make the staging more realistic. I haven’t tried the pairing myself, but I believe the Chord Quetest or Hugo 2 would in budget and be fairly good pairings and you don’t lose too much by using the RCA input vs. the XLR.

Yeah, those were other dacs I was thinking about. I wonder if anyone had paired them with a v280/281 and how that sounds.

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@WaveTheory has a Hugo 2 and V281, I believe. Might be a couple others who’ve tried that or with the Qutest.

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I’ve had both the V280 and V281, just not the Chord stuff, as I had it paired with a Soekris 1541

Since you have experience with the V281. How is it as a preamplifier? Does it add anything to the sound of the speakers?

i have a V280 Final Edition with an Yggdrasil A1. I can say this pairs quite well.

i currently also have an xDuoo MT-604 in the chain as a tube preamp. And i use warm HPs. That means neutral/warm-ish + warmth + warmish + warm. I’m a gooey mess right now. And i love it.


@FiCurious is correct. I have tried Hugo 2 + V281. I was very happy with it until my Berkeley Alpha S2 came along, lol. His advice is sound. Dacs with a more incisive and intimate presentation pair best with Vio amps. Vios are warm, wide, and smooth, almost to a fault at times. Soekris and Chord are likely your best options in your price range. If you’re OK with the width, I found Spring 2 to pair reasonably well with the V200 as well.

It’s a very solid pre-amp, but I didn’t use it much for speakers since I don’t use speakers much. I didn’t really notice much coloration through it, but possibly just a touch of warmth.

Great idea using the MT-604 as a pre.

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yes, at least my ears highly approve of it. I only bought the MT-604 due to the hype, the price and because i already own a pentacon to XLR cable. Hooked this way, i can connect all my unbalanced HPs to the V280. Next thing on the list are balanced cables where it’s possible, then i can compare the outputs of the chain via V280 and directly out of the MT-604. I have to say … comparing the V280 with and without the 604, i currently prefer it with the 604. It definitely adds something really pleasant. If i take it out, everything gets sharper… but less pleasant. I defintely need a high-end tube amp at some point now. Doh.

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I know what you mean. I am just getting my first real taste of a tube HP amp as you may have read in other threads, and I am really enjoying it. Granted, the TA-20 is a hybrid, but the tubes are making their presence felt in a way I never expected. There could be a full-on tube coming down the road now, but back to the V280 pairing…

I suspected that the MT-604 would add a wonderful flavor to a good amp. Enjoy, Sir. Again, brilliant move.

A couple days ago I contacted mod house regarding the soekris dac 2541 and this is their reply


We actually just made them available to order now and they will ship mid/late July.”

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