The Weiss DAC was something that impressed me greatly for what it offers for the price. Yes, $9600 is alot of cash for a DAC but a DAC can truly transform your system (if you have a system that is set up correctly) in so many ways. I see some out there building systems in the $30-$70k range and the Weiss would fit right in a system like that. It’s a top tier studio quality reference kind of DAC.
Some say they would never spend a lot on a DAC because the tech is changing all the time. I look at it differently. If you find “The One” and it’s the sound you are after and love then there will be nothing better that comes down the line. A DAC like the Weiss could last me a long long time. Instead of chasing the sound I am after, I would have it. This is better than always going down the rabbit hole is it not?
The Weiss DAC is different from the rest of the competition and harnesses 50 years of experience of the man who designed it. It sounds pristine and musical but doesn’t try to wow us with the exaggerated audiophile tricks that some of the others do.
The Weiss sits among the top two I have heard, regardless of cost and is one I would own if I had a system that needed body and warmth while still keeping detail and midrange purity. This DAC made my system sound like a reel to reel tape system was playing and sounded closer to analog than anything I have heard from digital. EVER.
I would say that this is one of the best DAC’s in the world, even if you do not use any of the useful DSP functions. But they are there if you need them. I also prefer it to the DCS Bartok I had here for a bit. It’s that good.
The noise floor with the 501 is non existent and this allowed the DAC to have a flow and liquid sound that truly was impressive to hear. No, it is not the most holographic or airy of the DAC’s I have heard but that’s not what it is all about. If you want your system to sound more like you are sitting in a studio listening to master tapes, then you really need to hear this DAC.
The build is high end all the way, and the touch screen is simple to use and nice to look at as well. It screams of quality and even the packaging is the best I have ever seen for a DAC. All should be packaged like this one. Not only to avoid damage in shipping but for presentation and pride of ownership. This is a Swiss made DAC and appears that it could last a lifetime.
The DSP options open up a whole new world to us as well. We can now fix issues with our sound and room, all with the DAC. We can EQ, remove sibilance (it works) and this future proofs the device in a way. If you change speakers, you can EQ it to your room. If you change amps, again, the EQ can come into play to get the sound to where YOU want it.
Weiss is said to be working on updates for the DAC as well, adding even more DSP features.
You can also plug in your headphones (did not test as I am not a headphone guy) and its fully ready for ROON. Just plug in your ethernet cable and go. It sounded better this way than using my Lumin U1 mini streamer into the 501 DAC.
It’s a solid World Class DAC and well worth the cost in todays HiFi market for what it brings to the table. In fact, as I spent the days writing this review I have grown quite fond of the 501. So much so I can proclaim it as the most well rounded, best sounding and even most addictive DAC I have ever heard.