Thanks for posting your initial impressions here. It sounds like your RWA-Z1ES-1 is doing its thing!
We look forward to your posts after you put more burn-in time on it (and if you try tube rolling). Glad you like the thumbscrews
for easy open/close of the top cover.
I've been saying for years that Higher Rez PCM still was'nt (& is'nt) enough by itself to make the music sound more detailed with out leaving some artifacts of the PCM processing on the music file. There has been a lot of talk about how the DSD Remastering is'nt changing the actual file size. That may be so, but what may be happening is the restructuring of PCM files to how the files are structured in DSD is enough to not leave the errors that the multiple bit sampling leaves behind after each sampling. Not everyone is bothered by PCM artifacts & they are so used to how it sounds some might say that DSD has a soft treble response sometimes. I'm pretty glad that some person(or persons) at Sony was innovative enough to make this DSD Remastering feature available. Was'nt "Sony has a better idea" one of their catch phrases ?
I really comes down to implementation. The d/a converters used, the analog output stage filtering, clocks, power supply, etc.
With the DSD Remastering turned ON, the PCM files are translated over to DSD, which is then fed to the DSD data inputs of the d/a chips. Different digital filtering is used, the d/a conversion going on in the d/a chips is done in the DSD domain, and it is going to change the sound even though the file size is approx. the same. In the case of how the Sony player is doing it, I really like it!
Overall, I do not have a preference between DSD or PCM, but I will say that in THIS Sony player, with the way they implement things, native DSD files can sound extraordinarily good, and Redbood and high resolution PCM files converted with the DSD Remastering engine sound better to me about 85% of the time compared to leaving them as PCM files. Again - for this particular player this is the way I'm hearing it. To my ears, it's a breakthrough... especially for the $2K asking price of the stock player!
The HAP-Z1ES is one heck of a solid "foundation" to build upon modifications that really do make a substantial improvement as smargo mentioned above. I also have a burned-in, stock Z1ES that I sometimes switch over to in order to evaluate the mods, and it is hard to go back. Not because the stock player doesn't sound good - it does. But because with the modifications it jumping into real high end territory and I get even more enjoyment from Redbook, High Res PCM, and DSD. A LOT more!
One more comment then I'll stop yapping. While some DSD recordings sound amazing & some are just ok
has more to do with how some recording teams make better recordings than other teams . Being a Classical music listener if given a number of choices of the same piece of music I will pick a release by which label made the recording . Not all recording labels place the same amount of importance in the SQ of their recordings
This is very true in my experience!
Thanks for your posts,