Weiss 501 DAC

With great caution, just set up my new Weiss 501 DAC.  Why pray tell with great caution? Because I'm running ATC 40 actives and did not wish to mistakenly cook them by incorrect hookup while using the unit as a DAC and single source preamp/volume control.

Far too soon for evaluation, but not too soon to observe and appreciate the incredibly small footprint of it all.  Naim Core server, Weiss 501, Decware power conditioner all sitting on Quadraspire Reference X stand, appropriate cabling, PCs and done.  Compact civilized aural pandemonium! 



Looking forward to your impressions!   I’m looking at the Weiss also.  Wondering if it is more like a $5k DAC with premium price being Swiss and with a lot of DSP functions I may or may not use - I don’t intend to be negative, just that at $10k it’s pricey.  The reviews are very favorable, unfortunately nowhere to listen.  But I like the characterization of the DAC being neutral and letting the music come through (“breathe”) with a certain naturalness  - that seems to be a common thread in the reviews, and is what I am looking for now in a digital front end.  Since they have been raising prices at nearly $10k now you get into other promising and newer contenders like the Esoteric N05xd and Lumin P1.  Currently I’m trying out a Mytek Manhattan, which is nice.  

@jimmy2615 i have tested the Weiss vs some of the more popular ~$5k and ~$10k DACs; Bricasti, Chord, Rockna, PS Audio, Audiobyte and I can say this it is far less compromised than those ~$5k units. It is definitely competitive with the Bricasti M1 SE, Chord Dave, MSB Discrete, etc…. It has its own sound signature which may or may not be preferred vs. the others but it is quite at home with those more premium DACs.

@verdantaudio great info, thanks.  That’s a very relevant/appropo concept - “compromised”, which better fits what I was trying to get at with things like “neutral” or “natural.”  Many DACs sound mostly fine, but it seems many at a certain price point do something wrong - Grit or grain, timbre, tonality issues, etc.  

Update with perhaps 50 hours break-in and listening.  I've never owned a piece so instrumental in organizing everything.  It will seem odd to some, but it's as if a top notch business manager hired from outside the company has arrived and forced order onto the entire operation.

Great recordings sound even better and less than optimal are at least made listenable.  The Swiss have truly struck onto something special.


i really really like my dac501 --- great sound, great ergonomics, great features, all around a top notch package, simply beyond reproach

I’ve had mine now for a few days. Usually I’d wait a while to post any opinions and will post again after a while, but I have to say this DAC is unusual in that it is truly transformative with regards to my system. I’ve owned a lot of good DACs and CD players and they all have sounded more similar than different.  This one is different, the whole system seems elevated to a higher notch which is something I’ve never experienced with a front end. It’s definitely not a $5k DAC with Swiss pricing…. Very positive initial impression. Clean, clear, precise, controlled, smooth and musical are initial thoughts.

The Weiss 501 DAC is a gamer in any arena. Any quest for the foreseeable future suspended as this piece simply transforms everything around it. It has not revealed any shortcomings, it simply effectively organizes the participants into cohesive reproduction. In my estimation I did not overpay for Swiss engineering, design and manufacture.

Agree with the other owner thoughts in this thread (clean, clear, dynamic). I listened this morning to the Weiss 501, Igor Levit's Piano Sonata No. 30 (Beethoven), which I just heard Levit play at Carnegie the other week. No stereo is going to match Carnegie acoustics, but in terms of musical engagement, the Weiss is delivering. I agree with the Stereophile review's comment to the effect that it's as if you're looking at a picture that just has more pixels -- that's what's giving you the additional musical detail, not artificially upping the contrast settings on the picture. 

Love the small form factor as well -- ergonomics on this are perfect, as I personally don't want a hulking 20+ lb. box for a DAC.

@celtic66  said ”In my estimation I did not overpay for Swiss engineering, design and manufacture”…. Agreed, and in fact I’d say it’s a bargain.  Some of the other DACs or CD players I’ve owned also required a good streamer to get the best out of them.  I had the Luxman D08u with a Lumin U1, a Mojo Mystique with an Aurender N20, etc.  I went with Weiss to eliminate two boxes and so far this is at least as good using as a Roon endpoint, at half the price.  It’s just delightful to listen to.  Still early but after 100+ hours the detail And precision I heard at the beginning is now complimented by more natural presentation and tone, and a little more warmth.



i too have ATC speakers, albeit scm19v2’s and am considering a streamer dac. the Weiss has entered my view, though it’s stretching the budget and may prevent an upgrade to scm40 passives.  

I was wondering if you’ve found the Weiss to be too cold with the ATC’s?  


admranger  Not in the least is the Weiss 501 analytical.  It is simply magical in its ability to organize the whole affair.  As far as budget, I cannot speak to anyone’s financial affairs.  

I will submit that purchasing once with great satisfaction, enjoying that purchase for years, is fiscally better than years spent sneaking up on the prize with multiple purchases on the way.

My years experience with ATC includes ATC 19As, ATC 40As and now ATC 50As.  Sense a theme?  Active is where I live.  The very best of luck sorting the whole thing out.  Doubtful you can make a mistake here.  Ciao

Thanks @celtic66 !  I do sense a trend with your speaker selections.


What streaming app are you using with the Weiss?  I currently use the Lumin app to stream from my NAS.

While not as robust as Roon, it works and I don't really need all the features Roon offers.

Is there any way to deliver Spotify to the Weiss?  I know it does roon, which works for me most of the time.   It for Spotify, does one need a bluesound or some other (reasonably priced) streamer?


WEISS only supports UPnP, or your use roon core to see the 50x as roon ready device.

Therefore you can’t use Spotify or Tidal Connect. Tidal & Qobuz can be used through the mconnect (app I don’t like).

I use Lumin U2 mini (+ ferrum hypsos exteran PSU) to stream through RCA to the Weiss, or if you wanna really get the best out of the DAC, use some dedicated music server like Antipodes, Grimm Audio MU1 or Innous.

Personally I’d highly recommend your move to Tidal or Qobuz, as Spotify doesn’t come close to that streaming quality.


Best rgds

Does Weiss even have user support?  I sent them a support query weeks ago, with no response.  

I cannot get a 501 to maintain a stable connection to a WlFi LAN and receive UPnP music.  Anyone domestic who you can turn to?

Does Weiss even have user support? I sent them a support query weeks ago, with no response.

I cannot get a 501 to maintain a stable connection to a WlFi LAN and receive UPnP music. 

in the recent past i have emailed with a question to weiss in switzerland, daniel weiss himself answered me within 24 hrs

that said, you may need a networking tech to solve your local problem, weiss probably cannot help you... their stuff works, in my experience

I had the same experience with getting a response directly from Daniel. The Music Room sells them as well as Bluebird Music—perhaps try them

Daniel Weiss owns and operates the company.  He is a busy guy and can’t respond to every customer issue.  Your first inquiry when having trouble should be to your dealer.  That is literally our job and why we make money on these products. We are your first line of support.    

If you bought it used and don’t have a dealer, the distributor is Bluebird Music and they ought to help.  Send a note to them via the Contact Us link on the site.  

This is going to be a very tough one though as there are lots of variables.  What software are you using.  What mesh system? How far is the node from your core? Etc….  The big issue here is there is a good chance it isn’t the DAC.

what scott (@verdantaudio) says is right

but i will note i have personally found bluebird distinctly unresponsive to retail customers/end users in the past, maybe they have cleaned up their act in the present day...

After running the Weiss 501 DAC for over a year, Tom at Big Ear in Tempe suggested as good as the Weiss is as a standalone, it could use some help from a quality preamp.  So, with unchecked sanity, I plugged in a Luxman C900u and he is/was correct.

Found used, the Luxman cost/performance issue could easily be called into question.  But, the improved performance is there.  Quantifiable in percentage gain, no.  Suffice to say it's shiny and sounds gorgeous.  It comes down to defending the cost of the one month stay in Switzerland.  Not really cost effective to others, and why should we care as they may have spent 10K on a Super Bowl weekend.

I’m wondering if anyone has compared the internal Weiss streamer to having an external streamer like a Grimm M1

I tried several external streamers and preferred direct to Weiss in every case. In the big Gustard R26 thread at head-fi, most preferred direct to R26.

I have found the Antipodes K50 and Oladra are a step up from the internal streamer.  If you have an external server, K22 as an endpoint would likely be a step up.  

@vinylvalet excellent. Good to hear. I have no complaints going directly into the 501, but one always wonders if the grass is greener. I have a fiber connection to a Sonor to Shunyata Ethernet cable to the Weiss for Roon. Head and shoulders above the USB connection coming out of my Allo Raspberry Pi which I use for Airplay and Spotify when I want background music.

I recently bought a new Weiss 501MKII DAC and during the 400+ hours of (required) burn-in I tested several power cables:

  • Kemp Electronics Reference (no longer made I believe) (with Furutech connectors)
  • Audioquest Tornado Source (with standard connectors)
  • Crystal Cable Diamond (first series) (with ETI connectors)
  • Crystal Cable Ultra2 Diamond (with ETI connectors)
  • and finally Furutech DPS-4.1 (with Furutech 50 NCF connectors)

All in all, I conclude (subjective, I know) that the 501MKII is largely dependant for sound on the quality and matching of the power cable – it can be inductance, resistance or capacitance: I do not know but clearly the Furutech DPS-4.1 is the winner.

The Crystal Cable Ultra2 Diamond was not fully broken-in, so it might not be completely fair to assess this cable premature, but the sound was too analytical and bright to me. The Kemp Electronics and the Crystal Cable Diamond (fully broken-in) were simply not good enough in terms of distortion/noise  levels.

The DPS-4.1 is the only cable - which I tested - that delivers a musical sound in terms of tonality, small variations of music tempi and an atmospheric feel.

Also, the Audioquest Tornado was listenable but the transparency was very limited – especially compared to the Ultra2 Diamond and - of course - the DPS-4.1.

Do any of you 501 owners have similar experiences with the sensitivity of the Weiss 501 DAC (MKI or MKII) to differences in alternating the connected power cables?


Yes!  And it is beyond weird.  I first ran Cullen Crossover ll with good results.  Onto Zavfino Prima, yet better.  Then onto your aforementioned combo.  Bang on!  I've no technical explanation, only my ears.  It's just right.  

I run an entire loom of Furutech 4.1.  Listen on man.  Cheers

@adriaan I only tried Shunyata Delta and Alpha NR 2 PC. Both significantly opened up the sound stage and increased separation. I ended up choosing the Delta because it left a bit more meat on the bones and is what I’ve been running for a year or so. I sure am keen to know how the MK II compares to the MK I—I’ve been considering an upgrade.


The Music Room is a Weiss dealer.

They have a return policy. You would have to pay shipping and restock fee but if you are seriously interested, it might be a good way to confirm or deny whether it's the right DAC for your system.

@adriaan ​​​​@celtic66 and anyone else, thoughts on whether the 50 NCF connectors  are essential with DPS-4.1 or if the regular 50 would do?


Well, nobody will build a set DPS-4.1 with NFC, listen to them, tear them off and build with regular 50 to prove that point.  They both are excellent, just a matter of your dollars and your choice.

Called into question is how good the IEC connector on a receiving piece of electronics is.  Steve Deckert of Deware makes that point by using only the best on his equipment builds.  Quality of solder used is called into question.  It is quite endless...and expensive.....and frustrating to chase every detail.

My Furutech DSP-4.1 power cables were built with NFC 50 connectors on the recommendation of Chris Romeo the builder after requesting from him a no-holds-barred power cable.  They work exceptionally well and I'm done.  End of story.

I hope that is positive and contributory to your quest.  Cheers


@celtic66 thanks for your reply. I wouldn’t expect anyone would do what you describe. But I can think of a few reasonable scenarios that could shed light on my question. I suppose another angle on this is to wonder about the relative contribution of the cable vs. the connectors. But if I move forward on this, I’ll probably go all in anyway.

@celtic66 thanks for your reply. I wouldn’t expect anyone would do what you describe. But I can think of a few reasonable scenarios that could shed light on my question. I suppose another angle on this is to wonder about the relative contribution of the cable vs. the connectors. But if I move forward on this, I’ll probably go all in anyway.

This is a good read: