Sony HAP-Z1ES‎ music streamer/DAC review

Well I just got this yesterday and have been playing with it all day. I have a few 192 albums loaded up and it sounds really good. I am awaiting delivery of a Sony Experia tabled to use the interface as the remotes stupid and cheap. Surprisingly the interface is real easy to operate.

The real gem about this unit is the playback of cd's as it sounds better than the perfectwave transport. On tracks I am familiar with it sounds way better than the ps audio mk2 and wyred4sound dac 2. The bass is fuller and it has a much more analogue quality of tone all around,8tzyj3ysgfjx.jpg
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Comments

  • That's really cool. I was just looking at the Sony HAPS1 today. Its about half the price though. Enjoy!
    KEF Q50 mains, M&K center, Boston Acoustics surround, Marantz SR6007 pre, Emotiva UPA-700, Pioneer DV-46AV, Samsung BD-j7500, Sunfire HRS12 subwoofer
  • polkfarmboy
    polkfarmboy Posts: 5,703
    I have not heard that one or read about it yet. If it has the same dac and dsd conversion then I would say go for it. I need to log enough hours on the unit to really get a feel it. Redwine audio has crazy mods for these inluding tube output stages and all sorts of reasonably priced upgrade package deals. My Sony experia tablets coming tommorow and I am going to pair it up with a krell 550 integrated and some Electromotion speakers in the theater room.
  • erniejade
    erniejade Posts: 5,612
    Can that unit take an external drive with flac attached to it? How do you rip a cd to it if it doesnt have a built in ROM drive?
    T+A PA 1530R,Wireworld Silver Eclipse SC, Tyler Highland H2, High Fidelity Reveal RCA, Innuos Zen MK3 , W4S recovery, LKS MH-da004, Grant Fidelity Tube Dac11

    Have but haven't used in a while: LH Labs VI Dac, Cayin SCD50T,Aries Mini, Technics 1200, Denon DL160, Jolida D9
  • polkfarmboy
    polkfarmboy Posts: 5,703
    You can port your music from any hard drive using the sony hap app. It can also take an external hard drive but I have not gotten that far or needed to do so.

    I did get the sony experia tablet and downloaded the sony hdd audio remote and its the ultimate. I get a beautiful interface that makes it so effortless to use and have full control over.
  • BlueFox
    BlueFox Posts: 14,638
    So far, all the press I have seen on the new Sony digital players has been very positive. However, I would prefer the option of a unit without a DAC, or at least a digital output, so I could use an external DAC.
    Lumin X1 file player; Sony XA-5400ES SACD; Pass XP-22 pre; X600.5 amps
    Magico S5 MKII Mcast Rose speakers; SPOD spikes

    Shunyata Triton v3/Typhon QR on source, Denali 2000 (2) on amps
    Shunyata Sigma XLR analog ICs, Sigma speaker cables
    Shunyata Sigma HC (2), Sigma Analog, Sigma Digital, Z Anaconda (3) power cables

    Mapleshade Samson V.3 four shelf solid maple rack, Micropoint brass footers
    Three 20 amp circuits.
  • BlueFox
    BlueFox Posts: 14,638
    True, although 'obsolete' might be a bit harsh, since it is more than enough for 99.9% of the population. The real problem is Sony is now being run by MBAs, and it is showing in their products, and their profit.

    "Major rating agencies Fitch and Moody's have downgraded the company to "junk" status. Standard & Poor's has warned it could soon do the same. The company has announced plans to scale back its smartphone business.

    On Friday, Sony reported a second quarter net loss of $1.2 billion, and the company confirmed it's on track to lose a staggering $2.1 billion this fiscal year. "

    http://money.cnn.com/2014/10/30/technology/sony/index.html?hpt=hp_t4
    Lumin X1 file player; Sony XA-5400ES SACD; Pass XP-22 pre; X600.5 amps
    Magico S5 MKII Mcast Rose speakers; SPOD spikes

    Shunyata Triton v3/Typhon QR on source, Denali 2000 (2) on amps
    Shunyata Sigma XLR analog ICs, Sigma speaker cables
    Shunyata Sigma HC (2), Sigma Analog, Sigma Digital, Z Anaconda (3) power cables

    Mapleshade Samson V.3 four shelf solid maple rack, Micropoint brass footers
    Three 20 amp circuits.
  • F1nut
    F1nut Posts: 46,028
    Oh snap, we should have released our entire music catalog on SACD like we said we would ten years ago.
    Political Correctness'.........defined

    "A doctrine fostered by a delusional, illogical minority and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a t-u-r-d by the clean end."


    President of Club Polk

  • polkfarmboy
    polkfarmboy Posts: 5,703
    I think you guys along with many others are looking at this product from the wrong angle. I used a laptop with a usb cable that costs $700 to connect it to the dac and thats nearly half the price and forget about inflated ethernet cables and it never sounded as good as the sony.

    The Sony is just like a high end jukebox for your stereo rig, I am sick of having the clutter next to the components or having to be dependant on wifi etc. Think of the z1es as Dac that just happens to have a harddrive, the analog output stage is fantastic on this unit and the proof is in the sound. I have very popular dacs on hand and they get beaten up by the sony. The z1 just sits on the rack next to the pre and amp and thats ityour done.
  • BlueFox
    BlueFox Posts: 14,638
    PFB. I agree. However, all things must pass, and the lack of digital out, or a similar unit with no DAC, just shows the short-sighted vision of Sony management.

    I too would love a single box for file player and DAC. The savings in power cords and digital cable alone would add great value to the unit, but I need the option to upgrade without having to scratch the entire player.
    Lumin X1 file player; Sony XA-5400ES SACD; Pass XP-22 pre; X600.5 amps
    Magico S5 MKII Mcast Rose speakers; SPOD spikes

    Shunyata Triton v3/Typhon QR on source, Denali 2000 (2) on amps
    Shunyata Sigma XLR analog ICs, Sigma speaker cables
    Shunyata Sigma HC (2), Sigma Analog, Sigma Digital, Z Anaconda (3) power cables

    Mapleshade Samson V.3 four shelf solid maple rack, Micropoint brass footers
    Three 20 amp circuits.
  • polkfarmboy
    polkfarmboy Posts: 5,703
    BlueFox wrote: »
    I need the option to upgrade without having to scratch the entire player.

    When you buy a dac you generally scratch it after a few years anyways is my school of thought. From listening I would pay $1500+ for this unit if it sounded the same being just a stand alone Dac.

    When I listen to the same track on the ps audio mk2 and ps transport it does not sound as good and that combo alone on the used market today is going to cost at least $3100. Although the transport can be used with the new 6k retailing ps audio direct dac it wont do dsd from a burned disk. With the sony there is alot of trickle down tech from high end mastering equipment and take into consideration all the isolation of the stages inside and the hefty transformers and build quality of the 32lb beast.

    Its 2k and mostly people just focus on it not having digital outs but thats because they have not heard it. Once you have then its a diff story and you look at everything else that comes with it as a bargain. Maybe sony does not want to have people upgrade the dac as then they sell less units of the next implementation or it would have cost to much to design it that way who knows.
  • tonyb
    tonyb Posts: 32,310
    BlueFox wrote: »
    PFB. I agree. However, all things must pass, and the lack of digital out, or a similar unit with no DAC, just shows the short-sighted vision of Sony management.

    I too would love a single box for file player and DAC. The savings in power cords and digital cable alone would add great value to the unit, but I need the option to upgrade without having to scratch the entire player.

    This ^^^
    Spot on Fox, and more to the point is telling of what troubles Sony in general.
    HT SYSTEM-
    Sony 850c 4k
    Pioneer elite vhx 21
    Sony 4k BRP
    SVS SB-2000
    Polk Sig. 20's
    Polk FX500 surrounds

    Cables-
    Acoustic zen Satori speaker cables
    Acoustic zen Matrix 2 IC's
    Wireworld eclipse 7 ic's
    Audio metallurgy ga-o digital cable

    Kitchen

    Sonos zp90
    Grant Fidelity tube dac
    B&k 1420
    lsi 9's
  • HHStuart
    HHStuart Posts: 263
    The price point would have to come down before I bought this. Maybe at $500.
    Front - Polk LSiM 705, Center - Polk LSiM 704c, Rear - Polk LSi 7
    Subwoofer - Epik Legend
    Receiver (as Preamp) - Sony STR-DA3400 ES
    Amplifier - Outlaw 7125
    Television - 58" Samsung Plasma PN58B860
    Blu Ray - OPPO BDP 83
  • WLDock
    WLDock Posts: 2,906
    BlueFox wrote: »
    True, although 'obsolete' might be a bit harsh, since it is more than enough for 99.9% of the population. The real problem is Sony is now being run by MBAs, and it is showing in their products, and their profit.

    "Major rating agencies Fitch and Moody's have downgraded the company to "junk" status. Standard & Poor's has warned it could soon do the same. The company has announced plans to scale back its smartphone business.

    On Friday, Sony reported a second quarter net loss of $1.2 billion, and the company confirmed it's on track to lose a staggering $2.1 billion this fiscal year. "

    http://money.cnn.com/2014/10/30/technology/sony/index.html?hpt=hp_t4
    Well, Sony has been struggling for years...and the tsunami did not help things one bit. They actually offer some nice products but in today's market its hard for many to pay the premium for the Sony name. Take their phones for example. Nice products but its so much more easy to go for a Samsung or Apple product over theirs.

    Then like you said....why offer a $2K Hi-Res Music Player without digital out, that only maybe 2% or more of the niche high end market might even consider buying? The same market that likes to upgrade and rotate DACs like a a fashion diva rotating wardrobe!

    Still, I so briefly listened to that Sony player at a show. I though the system using it mated with Rogue Audio pre and tube monoblocks driving the Sony SS-AR1 speakers was outstanding and a standout of the show for me personally!
    http://smg.photobucket.com/user/WLDock/media/AXPONA Chicago 2014/P1040025.jpg.html?sort=2&o=1

    Yes, the session was brief and the system is waay out of my income bracket but I would buy that sound if I could. However, would I really spend $2K on the Z1ES and $27K on the SS-AR1's? That much for Sony? Probably not! Would more or less be something like the $1200-$1400 for the Oppo 105 and a harddrive, or the Cocktail Audio X40 as my source (Even they were smart enough to include digital out for those that want it: http://www.cocktailaudio.com/overview_x40.php) with a custom set of $8K Saulk Soundscape 8's.

    Another case of cheaper high performing options and another loss for Sony....well not really($$$???) but you get the point. The Sony name is not what it used to be.



  • polkfarmboy
    polkfarmboy Posts: 5,703
    Here is me using the sony app to control my music during my morning dump.fjevrw57ddqn.jpg
  • Mikey081057
    Mikey081057 Posts: 7,128
    Did you log in or log out first?
    My New Year's resolution is 3840 × 2160

    Family Room| Marantz AV7704| Usher Dancer Mini - 2 DMD Mains |Usher Dancer Mini-x DMD's Surrounds | Usher BE-616 DMD Center | SVS Ultra Rear Surrounds | Parasound Halo A21 | Parsound Halo A52+ | MIT Shotgun S3's | Dual SVS SB 4000 Ultras | Oppo UDP 203 | Directv Genie HD DVR | Samsung 75" Q8 QLED | PSAudio Stellar GCD | Mytek Brooklyn DAC+ | Lumin U1 Mini | HP Elite Slice PC | ROON'd for life |

    ManCave: HT:Polk LSiM 706VR3 LSiM 703's LSiM 702's|| Marantz AV7002 AV PrePro Sunfire TGA-7401| Sony PS4 Pro| Sony PS4 Pro|SVS PB13 Ultra| Oppo UDP 203 | Music Hall MMF 5.3se TT w/ Soundsmith Carmen | Samsung 55" SUHD TV | Sony PS4

    Patio | Polk Atrium 8's | Yamaha R-N303BL |

    Office BlueSound Node| KEF LS50 | Peactree Nova 125SE |

    Bedroom | Focal 905's | Chromecast Audio |

    Garage | Polk Monitor 5B's

    Closet Yamaha M80 | 2 Polk MP3K subs| Yaqin MC100B with Shuguang Treasures KT 88's & CV181Z's | Tesla E83CC's | Marantz 2252B | Marantz 2385 |Polk SDA SRS 2.3 | LSiM 705's |
  • tonyb
    tonyb Posts: 32,310
    Seriously ?? Your taking pics while on the toilet ? WTF is wrong with you ?
    HT SYSTEM-
    Sony 850c 4k
    Pioneer elite vhx 21
    Sony 4k BRP
    SVS SB-2000
    Polk Sig. 20's
    Polk FX500 surrounds

    Cables-
    Acoustic zen Satori speaker cables
    Acoustic zen Matrix 2 IC's
    Wireworld eclipse 7 ic's
    Audio metallurgy ga-o digital cable

    Kitchen

    Sonos zp90
    Grant Fidelity tube dac
    B&k 1420
    lsi 9's
  • gudnoyez
    gudnoyez Posts: 7,674
    tonyb wrote: »
    Seriously ?? Your taking pics while on the toilet ? WTF is wrong with you ?

    Tony I never laughed so hard in my life. Hey PFB it's not often we get pics of someone during the morning dumpage, are those kneecaps we see or are you just happy to to see us Lo effing L. I am still laughing :o

    Home Theater
    Parasound Halo A 31 OnkyoTX-NR838 Sony XBR55X850B 55" 4K RtiA9 Fronts CsiA6 Center RtiA3 Rears FxiA6 Side Surrounds Dual Psw 111's Oppo 105D Signal Ultra Speaker Cables & IC's Signal Magic Power Cable Technics SL Q300 Panamax MR4300 Audioquest Chocolate HDMI Cables Audioquest Forest USB Cable

    2 Channel
    Adcom 555II Vincent SA-T1 Marantz SA 15S2 Denon DR-M11 Clearaudio Bluemotion SDA 2.3tl's (Z) edition MIT Terminator II Speaker Cables & IC's Adcom 545II Adcom Gtp-450 Marantz CD5004 Technics M245X SDA 2B's, SDA CRS+

    Stuff for the Head
    JD LABS C5 Headphone Amplifier, Sennheiser HD 598, Polk Audio Buckle, Polk Audio Hinge, Velodyne vPulse, Bose IE2, Sennheiser CX 200 Street II, Sennheiser MX 365

    Shower & Off the beaten path Rigs
    Polk Audio Boom Swimmer, Polk Audio Urchin B)
  • txcoastal1
    txcoastal1 Posts: 11,744
    tonyb wrote: »
    Seriously ?? Your taking pics while on the toilet ? WTF is wrong with you ?

    lol

    Coming from the guy outside the house in his undies

    2-channel: Modwright KWI-200 Integrated, Dynaudio C1-II Signatures
    Desktop rig: LSi7, Polk 110sub, Dayens Ampino amp, W4S DAC/pre, Sonos, JRiver
    Gear on standby: Melody 101 tube pre, Unison Research Simply Italy Integrated
    Gone to new homes: (Matt Polk's)Threshold Stasis SA12e monoblocks, Pass XA30.5 amp, Usher MD2 speakers, Dynaudio C4 platinum speakers, Modwright LS100 (voltz), Simaudio 780D DAC

    erat interfectorem cesar et **** dictatorem dicere a
  • gudnoyez
    gudnoyez Posts: 7,674
    Classic just classic this one will go down in the Polk Audio archives as another PFB classic, hey PFB just don't expose yourself or post a pic of the aftermath, I don't want this thread to end My stomach hurts from laughing so hard, forgot this thread is about a Sony music streamer and is now about you taking care of your apps!!!!
    Home Theater
    Parasound Halo A 31 OnkyoTX-NR838 Sony XBR55X850B 55" 4K RtiA9 Fronts CsiA6 Center RtiA3 Rears FxiA6 Side Surrounds Dual Psw 111's Oppo 105D Signal Ultra Speaker Cables & IC's Signal Magic Power Cable Technics SL Q300 Panamax MR4300 Audioquest Chocolate HDMI Cables Audioquest Forest USB Cable

    2 Channel
    Adcom 555II Vincent SA-T1 Marantz SA 15S2 Denon DR-M11 Clearaudio Bluemotion SDA 2.3tl's (Z) edition MIT Terminator II Speaker Cables & IC's Adcom 545II Adcom Gtp-450 Marantz CD5004 Technics M245X SDA 2B's, SDA CRS+

    Stuff for the Head
    JD LABS C5 Headphone Amplifier, Sennheiser HD 598, Polk Audio Buckle, Polk Audio Hinge, Velodyne vPulse, Bose IE2, Sennheiser CX 200 Street II, Sennheiser MX 365

    Shower & Off the beaten path Rigs
    Polk Audio Boom Swimmer, Polk Audio Urchin B)
  • tonyb
    tonyb Posts: 32,310
    txcoastal1 wrote: »
    tonyb wrote: »
    Seriously ?? Your taking pics while on the toilet ? WTF is wrong with you ?

    lol

    Coming from the guy outside the house in his undies

    Yeah well, you didn't see me posting pics of it did you ? Not only is it wrong to share pics of yourself taking a c r a p, it's also wrong on many levels that one can't seem to put down the media while doing so.
    HT SYSTEM-
    Sony 850c 4k
    Pioneer elite vhx 21
    Sony 4k BRP
    SVS SB-2000
    Polk Sig. 20's
    Polk FX500 surrounds

    Cables-
    Acoustic zen Satori speaker cables
    Acoustic zen Matrix 2 IC's
    Wireworld eclipse 7 ic's
    Audio metallurgy ga-o digital cable

    Kitchen

    Sonos zp90
    Grant Fidelity tube dac
    B&k 1420
    lsi 9's
  • gudnoyez
    gudnoyez Posts: 7,674


    [/quote]

    Yeah well, you didn't see me posting pics of it did you ? Not only is it wrong to share pics of yourself taking a c r a p, it's also wrong on many levels that one can't seem to put down the media while doing so.[/quote]

    Gone are the days when guys took the Sunday paper into the throne with guys it's all hi tech these days every one does it but 99.9% of those that do don't post pics of it then there is always that one who likes to share!!!!! Still laughing my a$$ off.

    Home Theater
    Parasound Halo A 31 OnkyoTX-NR838 Sony XBR55X850B 55" 4K RtiA9 Fronts CsiA6 Center RtiA3 Rears FxiA6 Side Surrounds Dual Psw 111's Oppo 105D Signal Ultra Speaker Cables & IC's Signal Magic Power Cable Technics SL Q300 Panamax MR4300 Audioquest Chocolate HDMI Cables Audioquest Forest USB Cable

    2 Channel
    Adcom 555II Vincent SA-T1 Marantz SA 15S2 Denon DR-M11 Clearaudio Bluemotion SDA 2.3tl's (Z) edition MIT Terminator II Speaker Cables & IC's Adcom 545II Adcom Gtp-450 Marantz CD5004 Technics M245X SDA 2B's, SDA CRS+

    Stuff for the Head
    JD LABS C5 Headphone Amplifier, Sennheiser HD 598, Polk Audio Buckle, Polk Audio Hinge, Velodyne vPulse, Bose IE2, Sennheiser CX 200 Street II, Sennheiser MX 365

    Shower & Off the beaten path Rigs
    Polk Audio Boom Swimmer, Polk Audio Urchin B)
  • tonyb
    tonyb Posts: 32,310
    LOL...oh yeah...I remember those newspaper days. Ya know though, what happens on your throne should stay on your throne.
    HT SYSTEM-
    Sony 850c 4k
    Pioneer elite vhx 21
    Sony 4k BRP
    SVS SB-2000
    Polk Sig. 20's
    Polk FX500 surrounds

    Cables-
    Acoustic zen Satori speaker cables
    Acoustic zen Matrix 2 IC's
    Wireworld eclipse 7 ic's
    Audio metallurgy ga-o digital cable

    Kitchen

    Sonos zp90
    Grant Fidelity tube dac
    B&k 1420
    lsi 9's
  • polkfarmboy
    polkfarmboy Posts: 5,703
    edited November 2014
    Using the Sony app for music is easier than wiping ones a$$.
  • Moose68Bash
    Moose68Bash Posts: 3,790
    Yes, as Wittgenstein said, "What we cannot speak about, we must pass over in silence."

    Some things are better left unsaid, unseen, undisclosed.

    Hear no evil, see no evil speak no evil!
    Family Room, Innuos Statement streamer with Morrow Audios USB cable to DirectStream DAC w/Bridge II; AQ Sky XLRs, McIntosh MC 220 Tube Pre; AQ Sky XLRs, CAT 600.2 Dualmono Amp, Morrow SP7 Speaker Cables, SDA SRS 1.2tls (RD0198s, Dreadnought, Black Hole 5, Acousta-Stuf, Dynamat Extreme, JBWeld. Vr3 Mods: "The Abbot" Monastery-Level Xovers, Custom Internal Wiring, Binding Post Plates, & SDA ICs).

    Exercise Room, Wadia 171 iPod Dock, PS Audio PerfectWave Transport, Innuos Streamer with Cat 6 cable connection to PS Audio PerfectWave MkII DAC w/Bridge II, AQ Sky XLRs, Perreaux PMF3150 Amp, Dreadnought, Supra Rondo 4x2.5 Speaker Cables, SDA 1Cs (Vr3 Mods Xovers).

    Synology 713+ NAS on Gigabit LAN serving PW MkII DAC & DirectStream DAC.
  • txcoastal1
    txcoastal1 Posts: 11,744
    Using the Sony app for music is easier than wiping ones a$$.

    If anyone visits PFB don't touch the remotes

    2-channel: Modwright KWI-200 Integrated, Dynaudio C1-II Signatures
    Desktop rig: LSi7, Polk 110sub, Dayens Ampino amp, W4S DAC/pre, Sonos, JRiver
    Gear on standby: Melody 101 tube pre, Unison Research Simply Italy Integrated
    Gone to new homes: (Matt Polk's)Threshold Stasis SA12e monoblocks, Pass XA30.5 amp, Usher MD2 speakers, Dynaudio C4 platinum speakers, Modwright LS100 (voltz), Simaudio 780D DAC

    erat interfectorem cesar et **** dictatorem dicere a
  • Mikey081057
    Mikey081057 Posts: 7,128
    PFB if you took a ****...Put it back!
    My New Year's resolution is 3840 × 2160

    Family Room| Marantz AV7704| Usher Dancer Mini - 2 DMD Mains |Usher Dancer Mini-x DMD's Surrounds | Usher BE-616 DMD Center | SVS Ultra Rear Surrounds | Parasound Halo A21 | Parsound Halo A52+ | MIT Shotgun S3's | Dual SVS SB 4000 Ultras | Oppo UDP 203 | Directv Genie HD DVR | Samsung 75" Q8 QLED | PSAudio Stellar GCD | Mytek Brooklyn DAC+ | Lumin U1 Mini | HP Elite Slice PC | ROON'd for life |

    ManCave: HT:Polk LSiM 706VR3 LSiM 703's LSiM 702's|| Marantz AV7002 AV PrePro Sunfire TGA-7401| Sony PS4 Pro| Sony PS4 Pro|SVS PB13 Ultra| Oppo UDP 203 | Music Hall MMF 5.3se TT w/ Soundsmith Carmen | Samsung 55" SUHD TV | Sony PS4

    Patio | Polk Atrium 8's | Yamaha R-N303BL |

    Office BlueSound Node| KEF LS50 | Peactree Nova 125SE |

    Bedroom | Focal 905's | Chromecast Audio |

    Garage | Polk Monitor 5B's

    Closet Yamaha M80 | 2 Polk MP3K subs| Yaqin MC100B with Shuguang Treasures KT 88's & CV181Z's | Tesla E83CC's | Marantz 2252B | Marantz 2385 |Polk SDA SRS 2.3 | LSiM 705's |
  • The remote control app looks nice. However one goes about using computers for their source, a remote app to tablet is such a winning play. Such control over your music. Once you go there there's no going back.

    Two Channel Setup:

    Speakers: Wharfedale Opus 2-3
    Integrated Amp: Krell S-300i
    DAC: Arcam irDac
    Source: iMac
    Remote Control: iPad Mini

    3.2 Home Theater Setup:

    Fronts: Klipsch RP-160M
    Center: Klipsch RP-160M
    Subwoofer: SVS PB12NSD (X 2)
    AVR: Yamaha Aventage RX-A2030
    Blu Ray: Sony BDP-S790
    TV Source: DirecTV Genie
  • Emlyn
    Emlyn Posts: 3,144
    edited November 2014
    I got one of the HAP-Z1ES units last week and have some initial observations. It's very heavy, especially on the side where the dual power supplies are located. Transfer times for tracks are slow, but I knew that already before I bought it. I'm getting a rate of about 1GB per minute to transfer tracks and update the unit's database. My CD rips are all in uncompressed WAV format, so that has been equaling about 120 songs per hour to transfer and join the internal database. Seems to be the same for me whether directly connected by Ethernet or wirelessly.

    Sound quality with the pre-installed DSD files is spectacular. Better than SACD disc quality when I've played tracks through my Marantz SA-8004 SACD player. I also have a bunch of high resolution FLAC tracks which I had previously been running through a Squeezebox Touch into a Wyred4Sound DAC or the Marantz. With the DSEE (DSD engine) enabled the sound quality seems to be slightly improved. More engaging without losing detail. WAV files sound slightly better also, sort of reminds me of something like adding a tube buffer inline before going to a preamp.

    One big plus to me is that the cover art and tag information in the WAV files (ripped using JRiver) all transfer over flawlessly to the Sony unit. The Squeezebox Touch did this also. In the context of using the Sony player there is no reason to avoid using WAV format files out of concern that tag information isn't usable.

    I installed a Western Digital 2TB external drive, but haven't had to use that yet.

    There is information in the Sony user guide that they guarantee stability of the database in the HAP-Z1ES up to 20,000 tracks. I have seen in other forums that some users are going way above that "limit" so I consider that to be a recommendation rather than a firm upper boundary. I have around 27,000 tracks on a computer, but don't really feel the need to transfer that many tracks over to the Sony. Although it would take several days to transfer all of the tracks, the several thousand that I have transferred so far have gone over without any problems at all.

    The control app works very well on an iPad. Not really much different than the Squeezebox app put out by Logitech, which is to say it works very well and is intuitive to me.

    Only negative I can think of right now is that there is a very slight audible hum coming from the area where the hard drive is located. Not audible beyond a few feet though.

    1. Polk L800 + L900, L400, LSiM-703 x4; Dual SVS SB2000 subwoofers; Marantz AV8805A processor; Parasound A31; Outlaw 7000X; Oppo 205; Sony 65" 4K TV; FIOS; PS Audio Power Director 4.7; MIT S2 cables
    2. Magnepan 1.7i or JM Lab 920.1; Sonic Frontiers Line 3 SE+ preamp and Parasound JC5 amp; Sony HAP-Z1ES; Marantz SA8004 SACD; Music Hall MMF7 and Acoustech phono pre; PS Audio P500; MIT S1 Cables
  • Emlyn
    Emlyn Posts: 3,144
    Some more observations now after owning this for around a month now. There is indeed around a 20,000 track database stability limit in this player. It will load more than 20,000 tracks but on mine it would not load cover art once it reached that limit and defaulted to the cover art in Gracenote. Also, it is definitely faster to load music tracks onto this the first time wired directly to a router rather than wireless. It works effectively after that though over a wireless connection to transfer an album at a time.

    The sound is incredible and I think just now opening up to it's potential after around 100 hours of use. The output quality has improved with burn in. I was listening to the SACD/CD version of the 30th Anniversary Edition of Dire Straits "Brothers in Arms" tonight. This always was a great recording, but with playing back the CD layer ripped into WAV format it has become jaw droppingly good through the HAP-Z1ES. I have never experienced a CD player sounding this good, and it actually comes close to the performance of the SACD layer through my Marantz SACD player. Most CDs have again become listenable with this and I don't feel as much of a need to get high resolution recordings, so it is very much worth the money to me.
    1. Polk L800 + L900, L400, LSiM-703 x4; Dual SVS SB2000 subwoofers; Marantz AV8805A processor; Parasound A31; Outlaw 7000X; Oppo 205; Sony 65" 4K TV; FIOS; PS Audio Power Director 4.7; MIT S2 cables
    2. Magnepan 1.7i or JM Lab 920.1; Sonic Frontiers Line 3 SE+ preamp and Parasound JC5 amp; Sony HAP-Z1ES; Marantz SA8004 SACD; Music Hall MMF7 and Acoustech phono pre; PS Audio P500; MIT S1 Cables
  • Is this the same Sony setup at LSAF last year? Asking my fellows Texan's that experienced it.

    If so, not once did I consider this unit.

    Halen