Sony HAP-Z1ES Music Server

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Gzerro

Re: Sony HAP-Z1ES Music Server
« Reply #20 on: 7 Feb 2014, 05:38 pm »
I don't see that this player has a digital out either and that's a deal breaker for me as well. Is DSD conversion the same as up sampling?

My bad. I had read a review somewhere that said it had a digital out. With no digital out it isn't an option either. Sorry for the misinformation.

I am honestly not sure on the technicality of DSD "Remastering". From the description it seems like upsampling and conversion to DSD, both of which would alter the original file in an artificial way - although it seems from the reviews that the effect is pleasing to some so not necessarily a bad thing I suppose.

Ric Schultz

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Re: Sony HAP-Z1ES Music Server
« Reply #21 on: 7 Feb 2014, 06:36 pm »
Almost all DACs use "cheap DACs".  The Happy 1 uses 2 DACs in mono mode.  The only DACs that cost any money are the ESS big 32 bit jobbie and mono 1704 DACs ($75 each!!).....all other DAC chips are under $10.....most under $5.00.  The $7,000 Lumin player uses two "cheap" Wolfson DACs.  The Empricial Audio DAC uses one "cheap" DAC.  Cheap DACs can sound good.....really good.  Just depends on implementation. 

Meitner and Playback Design use upsampling to double speed DSD in all their DACs and players.  They have for years.  Now other people are trying it.  Seems to work well from what I have read.  And since you can defeat it, well, you be the judge.

The reason Sony was confused about being able to turn off the upsampling is that the player originally could not do this.  A later software upgrade allowed this ability.  Originally the only thing you could control was the DSEE mode.

sta

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Re: Sony HAP-Z1ES Music Server
« Reply #22 on: 10 Feb 2014, 03:39 am »
I just read the review in the absolute sound - it basically echoes what "stercom" has said - it kind of makes me want to purchase one

i have had sony products in the past and was not that impressed (especially sacd players)

but im very attracted to this piece especially after reading what stercom says and steven stone

Having just read the Absolute Sound review of the Sony HAP-Z1ES UDD Audio Player, I'd like to add to the discussion by adding more details as to what Steven Stone concluded.  The review says it is a deal breaker for $1999 (MSRP), and he was impressed with the ability of the "DSD remastering engine" to convert any PCM file into DSD128 format, regardless of the original sample or bit rate.  As to sound quality, Stone A/B compared the Sony to a Sonos ZP100 feeding a Mytek Stereo 192 DAC via a coaxial digital connection and a Mac Mini running Pure Music into the Mytek Stereo 192 via its USB connection, and found that it took several sessions before he could consistently recognize the Sony from the other sources (using Ethernet cable).  He stated any conclusion as to whether the sound quality was more neutral or preferable will very likely depend on the rest of your system. Otherwise, he could not tell the difference in hearing the music files in native output, i.e., 16/44.1 or 24/96 PCM and did not hear any difference when switching between the DSD Remastering Engine and PCM on standard Red Book or higher definition digital files.     

As configured, the Sony does not allow the integration of an external DAC however, as it is only connected to your home network via Ethernet cable or Wi-fi.  In addition to a 1 terabyte hard drive enclosed in the player for the transferred music, you also can add additional hard drives connected via USB.  It's only outputs to the speakers (or the rest of your system) is via RCA analog plugs unbalanced or XLR balanced connectors. 

My set up to hear my music (FLAC) from my computer is via a Squeezebox transporter via an external Eastern Electric tubed DAC through a preamp/amp.  Unless I am missing something, the setups A/B compared by Stone did not include using stand alone preamp/amp/DACs or he chose not to disclose what those components were.  If that is the case, perhaps he has provided incomplete information to understand how he appraised the sound quality of the HAP-Z1ES used in a traditional two channel system.

Stercom

Re: Sony HAP-Z1ES Music Server
« Reply #23 on: 10 Feb 2014, 11:59 am »
I should have given more explanation in my original review. This is a music server meaning you store your music on the built-in 1TB hard drive. There is no need to stream your music from a computer or use an external DAC. You can add hard drives via USB port ( I have another 3 TB drive attached to mine for a total of 4 TB of storage).  The DAC is built-in. It can decode basically ANY format including DSD (DSF,DSDIFF), PCM (44.1k/ 48k/ 88.2k/ 96k/ 176.4k/ 192kHz·16/ 24/ 32bit) DSD(2.8/ 5.6MHz), WAV, AIFF, FLAC, ALAC, ATRAC Advanced Lossless, ATRAC, MP3, AAC, and WMA. The HAP-Z1ES includes a Remastering Engine which converts ALL its signals to DSD.  You can turn the Remastering Engine off if you want.  It does not have a digital output and even if it did you could not transfer DSD or the DSD signal from the Remastering Engine. Sony provides excellent software to transfer your music from your computer and then access it via IPad or tablet. Once your music is stored on the HAP-Z1ES the software will transfer via WiFi (wired or wireless) any music you add to your computer automatically if you want it to. Others may disagree, but in my opinion, its an excellent value at $1,999 based on its features, build quality and sound quality. Plus it has a 5 year parts and labor warranty.

smargo

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Re: Sony HAP-Z1ES Music Server
« Reply #24 on: 10 Feb 2014, 02:58 pm »
Others may disagree, but in my opinion, its an excellent value at $1,999 based on its features, build quality and sound quality. Plus it has a 5 year parts and labor warranty.

so for me - the sound quality is the most important - does it really sound good? or are you a little disappointed

i like the fact that it stores all of your music files and you can add a hard drive thru its usb port

Stercom

Re: Sony HAP-Z1ES Music Server
« Reply #25 on: 11 Feb 2014, 01:54 am »
As to sound quality - its the best digital playback I have had in my system. I have owned the following digital sources: Sony SCD-1 (both stock & professionally modified); SACD 777ES; Olive 4HD music server; Cary 306; Shindo Arome; Metrum Acoustics Octave NOS DAC; Eastern Electric DAC+; Sim Audio 100D DAC; Sony NS-755V (professionally modified); Monarchy Audio DIP/Upscaler; Sheng DAC-01A DAC; Logitech Squeezebox Touch with linear power supply,  and various other digital sources by EAD, Denon etc., going back many years. The HAP-Z1ES presents a very large and relaxed soundstage. There is a natural decay to the notes and the leading edge of the note is properly rendered. If you have ever compared a good quality, properly set-up analog system to most digital sources you know exactly what I'm trying to say. The Remastering Engine in no way hurt the sound and in almost all cases made the soundstage wider and even more natural sounding. If you don't like the Remastering Engine then turn it off.  Will you like it in your system? I don't know - "sound quality" is very subjective and system dependent.

smargo

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Re: Sony HAP-Z1ES Music Server
« Reply #26 on: 11 Feb 2014, 02:23 pm »
As to sound quality - its the best digital playback I have had in my system. I have owned the following digital sources: Sony SCD-1 (both stock & professionally modified); SACD 777ES; Olive 4HD music server; Cary 306; Shindo Arome; Metrum Acoustics Octave NOS DAC; Eastern Electric DAC+; Sim Audio 100D DAC; Sony NS-755V (professionally modified); Monarchy Audio DIP/Upscaler; Sheng DAC-01A DAC; Logitech Squeezebox Touch with linear power supply,  and various other digital sources by EAD, Denon etc., going back many years.

thanks for the dacs and cd players you have used - sounds similar to me - albeit different dacs and cd players

want to purchase the sony even more now

harri009

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Re: Sony HAP-Z1ES Music Server
« Reply #27 on: 11 Feb 2014, 04:00 pm »
I personally have the remastering and DSD up converter turned off.  I felt it softened the music just slightly which was not appealing to me.  If you listen to Rebecca pidgeon sing Auld lang syne there is a horn a couple min into the track.  Literally every time I hear this horn come in I smile.  One of my tests for the ability of a new component is if I am smiling after this song.  The remastering engine softens this just enough that it loses its sparkle for me.  Luckily you can disable it and all is good :)

sta

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Re: Sony HAP-Z1ES Music Server
« Reply #28 on: 11 Feb 2014, 06:25 pm »
As to sound quality - its the best digital playback I have had in my system.

My question is does the Sony provide the practical application when you are listening to Internet radio through the player of not only listening to it, but saving it as a track as a DSD file and/or as the original file as configured by the radio broadcasting source on the 1 terabyte internal hard drive.

Otherwise, you are paying a lot of money for a radio.

Thanks for the clarification

 

Stercom

Re: Sony HAP-Z1ES Music Server
« Reply #29 on: 11 Feb 2014, 07:29 pm »
I have not used the internet radio function yet but it does not save radio signals as a DSD file on the hard drive.  (I think that's what you are asking)

sta

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Re: Sony HAP-Z1ES Music Server
« Reply #30 on: 11 Feb 2014, 07:40 pm »
I have not used the internet radio function yet but it does not save radio signals as a DSD file on the hard drive.  (I think that's what you are asking)

Thanks for the quick reply.  If this Sony does not record radio signals as a file (DSD or otherwise), what equipment in the market fulfills this function for internet radio or even broadcast FM radio?  Thx.

jriggy

Re: Sony HAP-Z1ES Music Server
« Reply #31 on: 11 Feb 2014, 08:14 pm »
Thanks for the quick reply.  If this Sony does not record radio signals as a file (DSD or otherwise), what equipment in the market fulfills this function for internet radio or even broadcast FM radio?  Thx.
That sounds like a question for another thread. There might be a recording program or app that will record internet streams. You should start a new thread for this, I'm sure you will get good answers from the good people around here.

k6davis

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Re: Sony HAP-Z1ES Music Server
« Reply #32 on: 11 Feb 2014, 08:40 pm »
I don't doubt that this is an excellent sounding unit, but as it typically the case with Sony (SACD, Mini-Disc, DAT, etc), it's their marketing and design decisions that I don't understand.

From what I understand, this unit cannot be connected to a computer to be used (passively) as a DAC. Instead, it insists that you use its internal operating system to manage your music library and control playback. That may be simpler for some, but it's a deal breaker for me.

JRiver (and other media player applications) offer DSD128 upsampling and it works extremely well for DACs that excel at DSD decoding vs PCM. Futhermore, a computer based system offers superior functionality, flexibilty, expandability, upgradablity and far greater control over the user experience.

Furthermore, where is the DSD content that Sony has said they'll be offering? Thriller & Abraxas, etc. They've only released a few albums that were already available on SACD years ago.

Sony's greatness (goodness?) seems to be limited to their engineering IMO.

mr_bill

Re: Sony HAP-Z1ES Music Server
« Reply #33 on: 11 Feb 2014, 08:49 pm »
Marketing driven yes - simple to use, will pull over and store and play your entire library.
This concept will serve 98% of their target market.

Their target market is not technophiles that want every different type of option or ability to use in an infinite number of computer or software variations.

k6davis

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Re: Sony HAP-Z1ES Music Server
« Reply #34 on: 11 Feb 2014, 09:51 pm »
Marketing driven yes - simple to use, will pull over and store and play your entire library.
This concept will serve 98% of their target market.

Their target market is not technophiles that want every different type of option or ability to use in an infinite number of computer or software variations.

You're absolutely right. Different strokes for different folks.

mr_bill

Re: Sony HAP-Z1ES Music Server
« Reply #35 on: 11 Feb 2014, 11:38 pm »
I'd love to have a digital input and volume control - but alas, nothings easy in this hobby  :|

smargo

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Re: Sony HAP-Z1ES Music Server
« Reply #36 on: 12 Feb 2014, 12:03 am »
Marketing driven yes - simple to use, will pull over and store and play your entire library.
This concept will serve 98% of their target market.

Their target market is not technophiles that want every different type of option or ability to use in an infinite number of computer or software variations.

I think this a great marketing ploy by sony - because its so user friendly and easy - its making it so much easier for me to take the digital plunge - without having to have a nervous breakdown - i like the fact that i just download the music on my computer and the sony just retrieves it and stores it on its on drive - and it sounds good too - and i have the option for dsd or not. I dont have to see a therapist because i have computer music phobia

My head doesnt have to spin with the terms usb inputs, server/nas system, usb powered, raid data, ethernet cable, smb mode, dlna software, dts codecs, seagate nas drive

gapless, j river streaming, asynchronous usb, double dsd, spotify, htpcmicro - usb, foobar, wasabi push and etc...

mr_bill

Re: Sony HAP-Z1ES Music Server
« Reply #37 on: 12 Feb 2014, 12:27 am »
You nailed it with that post

martinr

Re: Sony HAP-Z1ES Music Server
« Reply #38 on: 12 Feb 2014, 03:14 am »
Waiting for more reviews and dac comparisons.......I wonder how long it took for Sony sacd players mods to be offered?   Definitely an interesting device.  May be my way out of disc changing

pearsall001

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Re: Sony HAP-Z1ES Music Server
« Reply #39 on: 12 Feb 2014, 04:07 am »
They lost me with no digital input. That seems like an oversight that just might lose them quite a bit of potential customers.