Listening notes on Soekris 2541 DAC and Bricasti M3 DAC

FYI  Listened to a Bricasti M3 DAC and have a pretty good comparison at this point.  Bear in mind that the Bricasti is fully broken in, and the Soekris is not.

The 2541 voicing is more upfront - first couple row seating compared to the Bricasti, and the bass of the 2541 is definitely punchier, more pronounced...sounds like a 2DB rise in the 80Hz region, but really, really nice, as I like deep bass.  The Bricasti bass does seem a bit more organic.

The Bricasti layering of imagery is superior, as the 2541 is a little bit towards the flat side of things comparatively.  Left to right staging is nice for both units, as is the height imaging.  The 2541 really lets one hear the size of the room - even better than the Bricasti for hearing reverb, echo, delay and the audio special effects.

The Bricasti portrays the warmth of closely miked vocals better than the 2541, which tended to smear the voice a bit - overall mids are also just a touch more palpable with the Bricasti.  The 2541 has a nice sustain of guitar work that the Bricsasti lacks.

The 2541 Female vocals can get a touch glared  - especially on opera pieces...the Bricasti is smooth for all vocals.

Clearly, I enjoy the Bricasti more, but the $ to enjoyment equation favors the Soekris.  Lets hope the sound and staging improves over time.



USB input?   Single ended or XLR outs? Filters ?   Just want to get a better grip on how you are comparing the dacs 

I have a M3 w/ network card and the Ethernet input sound much more open than USB. XLR outputs sound better than the single ended etc  

   It’s really cool that a $1300 Dac can be in the conversation with a $ 5500 Dac though. 

there is considerable debate as to whether the 2541 outperforms the 1541 which it replaced... but the 2541 is a decontented 1541 (no longer a balanced dac, but with an op-amp balanced converter at the rca output)


I'm confused abotu what you are saying re: balanced out. My read of the specs is that the 2541 has dual differential DAC ladders inside.  This means no opamp is required to invert the unbalanced for a full balanced output. Can you confirm/elaborate on the topology? My understanding is that some of Soekris' units also run with no buffer/filter after the DACs.


My understanding of a balanced DAC: It uses four D/A converters. Two for each channel. Within the channel, one DAC is used with a one sign bit and the other is used with a zero sign bit. The DAC outputs are summed together. In other words the two DAC's crossover from one to the other at their respective LSB zeroes. This eliminates the massive difference in possible error between the sign bit and the second bit to the MSB or MSB - 1. What do you all say? Is this analogy correct?