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Sony HAP-Z1ES Hi-Res source (new 2014) ?
Sony HAP-Z1ES Hi-Res source (new 2014) ?
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Old 5th June 2014, 12:48 AM   #11
kevinkr is offline kevinkr  United States
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Sony HAP-Z1ES Hi-Res source (new 2014) ?
I actually haven't heard or seen the Pioneer N50, it's a relatively different product using external storage, and doesn't support DSD which was a consideration for me.

I liked the HAP-Z1ES when I heard it at Son et Image in Montreal, this was a major consideration in my decision to purchase.

The relative simplicity and the generous internal storage and ability to play all of the high rez formats at a high level of performance cinched the deal for me.

I can't vouch for the HAP-S1 as it is an entirely different machine and afaik was not designed by the same group of people. It does not have the DSD remastering engine, and most of the other engineering features that appealed to me. (Power supply architecture, audio path implementation [dual dacs] etc..) I heard one briefly but did not feel it was in the same league, though not bad for its intended purpose.
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Old 5th June 2014, 01:24 AM   #12
head_unit is offline head_unit  United States
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I listened to this Sony at T.H.E. Show this past weekend, with Sennheiser 700s and DSD files. The whole experience was fantastic. How much was due to the Sony vs. the DSD files vs. the headphones? Can't say. But particularly listening to Alan Parsons' I, Robot, there was just detail I had never heard before, and more importantly the tracks just "breathed" more. Sounded more open, or more fluid, I don't quite know how to describe it.

There may be cheaper or "better" ways to do this, but if you get this Sony then you're kinda done, don't have to think about it too much.
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Old 5th June 2014, 01:38 AM   #13
kevinkr is offline kevinkr  United States
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Sony HAP-Z1ES Hi-Res source (new 2014) ?
I am frequently surprised by little details I have not heard before when playing music through mine.. Voices are particularly natural sounding in some recordings, and the processing and effects employed are obvious in others. I guess the greatest complement I can give it is it gets closer to good analog (I am a vinylphile at heart) than I have heard digital do in the past. Interestingly this is particularly true of files ripped from CDs many that I had come to consider tolerable are actually engaging in a way they were not previously.

It is really intuitive in use as well, just well thought out. It's quick and responsive during navigation and playback, great user experience.
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Old 5th June 2014, 08:14 PM   #14
Bigun is offline Bigun  Canada
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Sony HAP-Z1ES Hi-Res source (new 2014) ?
Quote:
Originally Posted by kevinkr View Post

I can't vouch for the HAP-S1 ... I heard one briefly but did not feel it was in the same league, though not bad for its intended purpose.
If I get the chance over the coming weeks I'll try and audition both units. I would hope that the price difference is reflected in the sound quality, but I would be hoping to meet my needs with the less expensive unit - I suspect that this would not be the limiting factor in my system.

Did you compare the two units with external amplifiers, the cheaper unit has it's own amplifier and that could be a quality bottleneck. I'd want to take the analogue outputs to an external amplifier.

Anybody else heard these units yet ?
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Old 6th June 2014, 10:43 PM   #15
kevinkr is offline kevinkr  United States
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Sony HAP-Z1ES Hi-Res source (new 2014) ?
I heard the HAP-Z1ES with an external headphone amplifier the brand and model of which I unfortunately no longer remember. (It was a very good one, that I do remember) The S1 I heard through its own amps.
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Old 30th June 2014, 06:23 PM   #16
Bigun is offline Bigun  Canada
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Sony HAP-Z1ES Hi-Res source (new 2014) ?
bump... - anybody else heard these new products from Sony yet ?
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Old 30th June 2014, 11:27 PM   #17
kevinkr is offline kevinkr  United States
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Sony HAP-Z1ES Hi-Res source (new 2014) ?
I belong to a local diy tube audio club and despite a large number of members (a few sufficiently well healed to be able to afford one of these) I remain the only one who owns one. No one is beating a path to my door to hear it either which is fine with me. (but I am a bit... surprised)

The serious digital folk think it is too cheap to be any good, the serious analog folk think because it is digital it can't possibly sound good. I have gotten this argument or a variant of it from several people I have recommended it to.

My guess is that there will not be many here able, interested or willing to spring for one of these.

It still gets my recommendation, and the hype in the audio press based on living with it for a while is largely true. It is certainly the best digital I have yet heard admitting to fairly limited exposure. (Benchmark, Ayre, Cambridge Audio, Asus Xonar, my expensive diy PCM1794A based effort which it very easily outclasses)

Nothing at all exotic about this box, just well engineered and competently executed, just about what you would expect of a statement consumer product from a large engineering corporation like Sony. It is super easy to use which is one of its charms.
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Old 1st July 2014, 01:03 AM   #18
Bigun is offline Bigun  Canada
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Sony HAP-Z1ES Hi-Res source (new 2014) ?
well I expect to have auditioned one by the end of the summer, one way or another
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Old 23rd February 2015, 11:29 PM   #19
kjlonergan is offline kjlonergan  United States
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KevinKR wrote: I should also mention that it was purchased with the full knowledge that I will eventually modify the crap out of it.. lol

Just wondering if you have gone down that path? I have had one of these for almost a year now, and although I would have thought the same about modding it at one time I have found I really have no need or desire to change it now. I don't find any fault in its sound that needs to be "improved".
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Old 24th February 2015, 12:26 AM   #20
kevinkr is offline kevinkr  United States
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Sony HAP-Z1ES Hi-Res source (new 2014) ?
I'm not terribly motivated either, it seems pretty good as is. I do think from time to time that there is a quartet of electrolytics I'd like to deal with at some point..

I'm wrestling with so many other system problems at this point that it has dropped off of my priority list.

My impression is a recent Weiss 202 dac (one version back) might better it by a small margin, but at a huge increase in cost...
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