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post #136 of 389
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheGrumpyOldMan View Post
 

Sorry, the above issue thread is getting long, so I haven't read every post, but here's a bit of my experience.

 

I have the HAP-1ZES which I believe is very close functionally, so I want to point out that the software is entirely optional, mostly to automagically transfer new additions. Once I realized that, I have never used it since.

 

The Sony HAP will (eventually) mount as a standard network drive (at least in OS X), and if you have your music organized on your existing HD in a halfway reasonable fashion (regardless of player software), you can then simply drag & drop folders, subfolders and/or files over on the HAP network drive, maybe starting with your favourites rather than everything at once. This transfer is the first part, then once the files are transferred, the HAP will analyze the files on the internal HD and organize & add them to the internal database.

 

Depending on the amount (both in size & # of files) the whole process can take a loooooooooong time.I have tried & verified every possible connection and the interfaces do not come remotely close to their theoretical speeds, even with an internal SSD mod. I have a long-ish post planned for the whole HAP experience but am too busy these days. Just want to clarify that despite the above shortcomings, once everything is settled in, the experience and SQ are really great (and I don't say this lightly if you read some of my other posts)


Putting aside the transfer / folders issue. ( Which I'm still very confused by, for reasons previously explained. ) I'm really disappointed with the sound experience so far. I finally decided to buy the HAP-S1, because I was so impressed with my Hi Res Walkman F886 / Fiio E12, combo, especially after the recent firmware update, i.e. DSD capable playback.

I'd converted flac files 44.1 to DSD 2.8MHz. I was blown away by the sonic quality. I've never heard by portable music sounding so good !! So I bought the HAP-S1, thinking it would replicate the sound signature.....and of course, giving me more storage space.

Tonight, I've transferred one album, that's flac 44.1 & also a conversion to DSD 2.8MHz. I am hugely disappointed. ( at this point. ) It's not a patch, on my Walkman / PHA  combo ! The flac 44.1 / 16bit tracks sound better than the DSD conversion.

The sound signature to me lacks warmth, too much treble & tinny sounding. ( I don't have high end equipment, but even so, was expecting a far better sonic experience.....especially as I have read such positive views.

It's early days, but unless something improves, I can see that I might return the player. I can't understand why a £300 + portable combo, sounds so much better than a player that costs £800 ???

post #137 of 389

Really? DSD files sound really good to me on my S1, but not a huge step above pcm 44.1 once they run through the DSEE engine. Where it really shines is upscaling from 256 through the DSEE.

What is in your chain? Are you listening to headphones or speakers?

post #138 of 389
Quote:
Originally Posted by sluker View Post
 

Really? DSD files sound really good to me on my S1, but not a huge step above pcm 44.1 once they run through the DSEE engine. Where it really shines is upscaling from 256 through the DSEE.

What is in your chain? Are you listening to headphones or speakers?


Good morning. ( I've had less than 6hrs sleep, and already up early, trying out my new HAP-S1. ) In the early hours of this morning, the sound signature was growing on me, a little more, and so far, on this listen. Obviously, I need to transfer more music, which seems to be a long winded process, especially has my music isn't in folders, ( and the poorly explained HAP-Transfer softwear doesn't help !

The album I'm listening to is a flac file. ( 44.1 ) converted to DSD ( 2.8MHz ) As I said, these music files sound amazing with my portable Hi Res combo, and was the reason I went ahead and purchased the HAP-S1. Is a converted file ( to DSD ) the same as buying from a Hi Res site, or is it just some kind of upsampling process ??

DSSE, doesn't operate with DSD files, it does with the flac ( 44.1 ) if that's what I assume you're saying ? I'll try to get more transferred today, but at this moment in time, i'll have to transfer my music in alphabetical order, ( as is on my laptop. ) seeing as I haven't sorted out folders, or figured out how to use the HAP softwear properly !

The album I've transferred so far is 3T "Brotherhood", which in it's self is very digitised, drum / electronic programming sounding, so to speak, so if I'm thinking the sound signature is lacking a little warmth, it may be down to that ?? My initial impressions, listening as I type, are more favourable than yesterday evening......but it had been a very long day !! I'll get a better impression, when I get round to transferring my favourite music / artists, which could take some time !! ( given the alphabetical process, at present ! )

I really want to grow to love this player, the way I love my portable set up....I just hope I do ! ?

post #139 of 389

Congratulation Rob on getting a HAP-S1.  Sorry it did not impressed you right away.  

 

Are you using any type of headphone adapter for converting 3.5mm to 1/4"?  I used a Sony YPC234S adapter at first and it was horrible.  All my headphones sounded like there is a wall between me and the music.  Since then I bought a Audio Technica one and I can finally hear what I supposed to hear.

 

Hopefully this can improve the sound you are hearing.  I love my S1 and transfer music file into it is fairly fast too if you connect S1 with ethernet cable not wireless.  Yes I do agree the HAP transfer software is confusing and can definitely be improved.

 

One more thing, make sure you update to the latest firmware.  Since I bought my S1, I already be prompted to upgrade firmware 3 times.  It is good to know Sony is working on improving its product even after it is released.

post #140 of 389
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bu11dog View Post
 

Congratulation Rob on getting a HAP-S1.  Sorry it did not impressed you right away.  

 

Are you using any type of headphone adapter for converting 3.5mm to 1/4"?  I used a Sony YPC234S adapter at first and it was horrible.  All my headphones sounded like there is a wall between me and the music.  Since then I bought a Audio Technica one and I can finally hear what I supposed to hear.

 

Hopefully this can improve the sound you are hearing.  I love my S1 and transfer music file into it is fairly fast too if you connect S1 with ethernet cable not wireless.  Yes I do agree the HAP transfer software is confusing and can definitely be improved.

 

One more thing, make sure you update to the latest firmware.  Since I bought my S1, I already be prompted to upgrade firmware 3 times.  It is good to know Sony is working on improving its product even after it is released.


Hello Bu11dog, thank you.

 

Firstly, I'd only connected my headphones. ( Sony MDR-1RNC ) to the headphone amp of the HAP-S1. ( Didn't think of trying from the AVR ? ) I will later. ( I only have one adapter.....hopefully more thoughts will change later today....? )

My router is in another room, and that's why I've gone with the wireless option. I know it's very very slow, but my main problem is the softwear, and consequently knowing how to put my music into folders ??

I suffer from a condition called M.E. which affects cognitive function, i.e. what appears to be simple instruction to others, is complex to me ! ( Without the M.E. I am illiterate where computers, and technical stuff is concerned. )

All my cd's have been ripped to flac 44.1 and I have converted some of these files to DSD64. ( using JRiver ) I'm presently experimenting with conversion of Adele's album 21....mainly because that is first in my transfer list, so to speak. I've almost finished the conversion, so I'm going to give flac 44.1 DSD64 & DSD128 a listen, and see what I prefer ? I had initially transferred the first six songs, in flac 44.1 and was quite happily impressed. Is it any better than listening to flac on my Oppo ? I haven't compared yet....

There was an immediate firmware update, after initial set up.

 

Adele 21 is currently transferring ( 33 files....I wonder how long this will take ! ?....one thing for sure, i'm probably going to have my fill of her, sometime later today !! :bigsmile_face: Hopefully, ( sonic wise. ) my thoughts will be more positive after my experiments today ?.....will post later.....


Edited by Rob49 - 5/9/14 at 3:19am
post #141 of 389

A couple of things spring to mind (all IMHO of course):

 

- generally, the sound signature ones likes is not always related to the cost, in your case, the cheaper portable combo may well sound "better" i.e. more pleasant. It happens. But it could also be for now that the familiarity with it plays a large role why you think it sounds "better" since you're used to that signature...

 

- You haven't mentioned the most important part in the post I've read, the one making the actual sound: your headphones which play the biggest role. And in the case of the HAP-S1, are you using the same ones (I assume)? Or speakers? If it's the same headphones, it's more likely the head amp section in either is influencing your perception rather than the actual digital section...

 

- DSD does not inherently sound better than PCM, at least in discussions where cooler heads prevail; it is more a matter of trading off different drawbacks and advantages. And that's without even getting into any real audible benefits of HD audio. One reason the  DSD version may sound better to you on your portable setup may have more to do with the DAC's perhaps different conversion process than the actual data file.

 

- You are right that in terms of actual digital audio information, the converted 2.8 DSD file is not magically adding more detail or range etc to the original lossless 44.1/16-bit, it just produces a larger, up-sampled version. Worst case it may introduce some artifacts due to the conversion process but that would not be an improvement per se. But as above, the audio produced by the DAC from DSD may sound nicer to you than the PCM process.

 

On the Z1ES at least, doing a conversion like that upfront would be especially pointless since that is precisely what the DSD Remastering engine does on-the-fly, if enabled (separate from the DSEE function)

 

My only personal use/purchase of DSD material so far is one album because it's DSD all the way through from the recording. But I have converted it to a PCM-based HD ALAC file for my non-DSD devices and to be frank, can't hear much of a difference.

 

- I'm using the Z1ES balanced out into a balanced-by-design headphone amp so it would be easy for me to just chalk up the great sound to fancier/pricier equipment but I don't think that's the case. The sound ending up in my headphones has not been noticeably altered by coming from the Z1ES instead of the nice DAC(s) I used before. Which is a good thing, I want my source to be as clean, detailed and & neutral as possible, and leave any coloration/sound signature to the headphones/speakers & the amplification they're attached to.

 

So in your case, since you said you liked the sound of the Walkman piped through the FiiO E12, have you tried to hook the amp up to the S1's RCA out with an appropriate cable? (adjusting the volume carefully) Assuming you were using your headphones, i.e. E12 HP-out vs. S1 HP-out?

 

- Lastly, for me the great thing about the HAP is that I can have *all* my music in one place, and have a great interface to it (the remote app of course, the included remote is a joke). On a player that plays back pretty much every format under the sun (*) and does so without any stutter and assorted issues due to things like WiFi interference, network congestion, server hang etc.

 

(*) Okay, no .ogg which I haven't used since experimenting with it in the late 90s... same for .ape (which at least can easily & quickly be converted to one of the supported lossless formats)

post #142 of 389

Thank you for your thoughts / feedback, TGOM. You & most of the Head - Fi community are far more knowledgeable than myself. ( I'm certainly no audiophile....but I do have a pair of 50 year old ears....perhaps, that may be the problem ! ? :bigsmile_face:

I'll briefly explain my experience of portable listening, as I said I've got a Sony F886 / Fiio E12 combo. I've listened to flac 44.1, ( for a brief spell, listened to 192/24....further impressed.....and after the latest firmware update listened to converted DSD64.....which I think was even more impressive ! )

I can honestly say that I could hear more detail in the music, ( or I should say it was more enhanced ? As you say, you can't ADD DETAIL. ) with each step up. I don't think it's my imagination, I could pick out if I was listening to DSD playback, if I put different conversions on the Walkman.

As you indicate, it's what I have got use to....there's not one album that I haven't been impressed by.....and you also mention the DAC of the Walkman, which I'm sure is a factor, along with the Fiio amp....which definitely adds something to the listening experience !

To be honest, I haven't really given headphone use a proper chance yet. ( I'm still waiting for 33 Adele files to transfer....at present.....47 !!!....I've got engrossed in this discussion !!....I better go and stop the transfer, and give her a listen....in flac / DSD64 & DSD128. ( A first experience, regards the latter.

Will be back later, with my thoughts.....50 year old ears, don't fail me now !! :bigsmile_face:

post #143 of 389

Just a brief initial thought.....listened to Adele 21 with the conversions, flac 44.1 / DSD 2.8 MHz & DSD 5.6MHz.

To me, there is one definite difference with the DSD conversions, a definite increase in volume, with the higher sampling rate ! ( I haven't touched the volume control on my receiver. )

I also think there's a degree more of clarity / purity, with DSD 5.6MHz. Logic ( if there's such a thing ! ? ) would tell me, that should be the case ?

I haven't tried with my headphones yet, but will later.....i'll probably never want to listen to Adele, ever again !! :bigsmile_face:

post #144 of 389
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheGrumpyOldMan View Post
 

A couple of things spring to mind (all IMHO of course):

 

 

 

- You haven't mentioned the most important part in the post I've read, the one making the actual sound: your headphones which play the biggest role. And in the case of the HAP-S1, are you using the same ones (I assume)? Or speakers? If it's the same headphones, it's more likely the head amp section in either is influencing your perception rather than the actual digital section...

 

 

 

So in your case, since you said you liked the sound of the Walkman piped through the FiiO E12, have you tried to hook the amp up to the S1's RCA out with an appropriate cable? (adjusting the volume carefully) Assuming you were using your headphones, i.e. E12 HP-out vs. S1 HP-out?

 

- Lastly, for me the great thing about the HAP is that I can have *all* my music in one place, and have a great interface to it (the remote app of course, the included remote is a joke). On a player that plays back pretty much every format under the sun (*) and does so without any stutter and assorted issues due to things like WiFi interference, network congestion, server hang etc.

 

 

I will be using the same headphones.

 

It's possible to connect the Fiio E12 ? I'm not sure what cable I would need ? RCA - I'm assuming a cable with red & white connections, at one end ? ( Please excuse my ignorance. )

 

When I get use to the sound signature ( and work out how to transfer individual albums / files ! ) I'm sure having all my music in one place. ( with a conversion of my choice. ) will be a beneficial / positive thing ! ( Yes, the remote is a bit of a joke, given the build quality of the player. )

post #145 of 389

I can't comment on the sound of your unit, but I believe it has the same internals as my UDA-1 with the extra display.

 

I have found with my UDA-1 that as you'd expect it sounded very different with the different speakers I connected to it; headphones too, often showing up some headphones as poor, when driven by the amp.

 

I must admit I have not tried the upscaling as I really don't fancy the time converting everything :D

 

I listen to my 44.1 flac with DSEE turned on and my hires flacs with it off, as that is how I understood DSEE to work.

 

I found my old Coda 7 speakers to be very tinny, but my mission 780se to be great in the low and mid ranges, but trebles are a little lacking.

 

When I turned up the volume with the missions, I heard a whole new level of clarity :L3000:

 

I am now contemplating a speaker upgrade, but I must admit, whether its real or not, my amp is growing on me the more I play it; so I may not upgrade the speakers.

 

Its a neutral sound which I like and DSEE does seem to make a difference on the cd flacs, at the hi end, but I must admit, not tried my 320k mp3 as yet, where it is supposed to make the real difference.

 

Edit: It seems I should listen to my mp3 with it on and it does't make a difference with cd 44.1

 

Digital Sound Enhancement Engine (DSEE) is Sony’s originally developed audio bandwidth enhancement technology. When original music source is compressed with MP3 (or AAC/WMA), high frequency part of music source will be lost. The technology of DSEE enables to restore high frequency part and reproduces high quality sound which is close to the original CD sound source.”


Edited by mannp - 5/9/14 at 7:32am
post #146 of 389
Quote:
Originally Posted by mannp View Post
 

I can't comment on the sound of your unit, but I believe it has the same internals as my UDA-1 with the extra display.

 

I have found with my UDA-1 that as you'd expect it sounded very different with the different speakers I connected to it; headphones too, often showing up some headphones as poor, when driven by the amp.

 

I must admit I have not tried the upscaling as I really don't fancy the time converting everything :D

 

I listen to my 44.1 flac with DSEE turned on and my hires flacs with it off, as that is how I understood DSEE to work.

 

I found my old Coda 7 speakers to be very tinny, but my mission 780se to be great in the low and mid ranges, but trebles are a little lacking.

 

When I turned up the volume with the missions, I heard a whole new level of clarity :L3000:

 

I am now contemplating a speaker upgrade, but I must admit, whether its real or not, my amp is growing on me the more I play it; so I may not upgrade the speakers.

 

Its a neutral sound which I like and DSEE does seem to make a difference on the cd flacs, at the hi end, but I must admit, not tried my 320k mp3 as yet, where it is supposed to make the real difference.

 

Edit: It seems I should listen to my mp3 with it on and it does't make a difference with cd 44.1

 

Digital Sound Enhancement Engine (DSEE) is Sony’s originally developed audio bandwidth enhancement technology. When original music source is compressed with MP3 (or AAC/WMA), high frequency part of music source will be lost. The technology of DSEE enables to restore high frequency part and reproduces high quality sound which is close to the original CD sound source.”


Yes, I would suspect speakers & headphones will play an important factor. ( I was already thinking ahead before I received the S1, about buying their matching speakers ? ) I have two other headphones I can try out, but suspect the MDR-1RNC, will be my best option ? I've enjoyed the listening experience more today, than initial thoughts yesterday. I'm presently listening through my headphones, as mentioned above. I've had a fiddle with the tone control, ( I normally leave settings flat, on other equipment. ) and increased bass & reduced treble.

I love the sound of flac 44.1, but It seems I've developed a "DSD mentality"....that this is the only way to listen now, and that thought is heightened mentally, because this is a "Hi Res" player ! You're right about the upsampling !....i'll live to regret it !!....and knowing me....start all over again !! :bigsmile_face: ( The DSSE automatically switches off when you're playing higher resolution, of course ! )

post #147 of 389

Quote:

Originally Posted by Rob49 View Post
<snip>To me, there is one definite difference with the DSD conversions, a definite increase in volume, with the higher sampling rate ! ( I haven't touched the volume control on my receiver. ) <snip>

   Quote:

Originally Posted by mannp View Post

<snip>When I turned up the volume with the missions, I heard a whole new level of clarity.<snip>

It is very important to understand that even slight differences in volume make things sound different, and louder is almost always better (unless pushed to distortion levels) And it's not only a difference in overall volume, our ears respond differently to various frequencies at different volume levels (just one example link) The DSD conversion process may have changed the overall volume (so independent of your own volume setting) and that alone may account for your impression that it is "clearer"

Quote:

Originally Posted by Rob49 View Post
<snip>It's possible to connect the Fiio E12 ? I'm not sure what cable I would need ? RCA - I'm assuming a cable with red & white connections, at one end ? ( Please excuse my ignorance. )<snip>

A simple RCA (S1 line out) -> Mini Stereo (E12 line in) should work, rather than the Mini-Stereo -> Mini Stereo cable I assume you use between the Walkman & the E12. Even if you believe in cable magic, a cheap one still lets you hear the difference in headphone amplification. If you like it, you can then buy an audiophile-grade one for hopefully even better results.

 

 

 

 

 

Re: DSEE, straight from the manual:

Quote:

Select [Auto].
The DSEE function automatically works for compressed audio sources and PCM audio sources with lossless compression. The DSEE lamp lights up while the DSEE function is active.

So it works for everything non-DSD (*) Since the setting is actually "Auto" rather than "On" you can leave it at that, no harm that I could hear. Compressed sources more obviously benefit from the reconstruction than quality lossless files, esp. HD ones. Related: it's a nice benefit that they've enabled DSEE for internet radio with the latest update.

 

(*) because any processing of DSD data is tricky, which is why it is still rare in mastering, and a lot of SACD/DSD albums were actually HD PCM files until the final (and I would say rather extraneous) conversion to the DSD format... thus most newer HD recordings make a point of mentioning if they used DSD throughout the whole pipeline.


Edited by TheGrumpyOldMan - 5/9/14 at 1:51pm
post #148 of 389
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheGrumpyOldMan View Post
 

   Quote:

It is very important to understand that even slight differences in volume make things sound different, and louder is almost always better (unless pushed to distortion levels) And it's not only a difference in overall volume, our ears respond differently to various frequencies at different volume levels (just one example link) The DSD conversion process may have changed the overall volume (so independent of your own volume setting) and that alone may account for your impression that it is "clearer"

A simple RCA (S1 line out) -> Mini Stereo (E12 line in) should work, rather than the Mini-Stereo -> Mini Stereo cable I assume you use between the Walkman & the E12. Even if you believe in cable magic, a cheap one still lets you hear the difference in headphone amplification. If you like it, you can then buy an audiophile-grade one for hopefully even better results.

 

 

 

 

 

To me there does sound like there's more depth and extension to instruments & notes, with the highest resolution. That perception may be because of the increase in volume, as you say.

I think I've got one of those cables, floating around somewhere ? ( I initially used the supplied cable with the Fiio E12, then after advice from fellow Head-Fi'ers I purchased the Fiio L5 cable.

I hope you're enjoying your HAP-Z1ES ?

post #149 of 389

I am indeed enjoying it. As I wrote, I'd like to give more detailed impressions in a longer post when I have more time. But for now, in a nutshell it's really more about the convenience which finally allows me me to rediscover my music collection in a way I haven't really before, in a more or less future-proof box and long-term solution/investment, rather than any major sound quality improvement.

 

And don't get me wrong, it doesn't sound bad or mediocre, it sounds *just right* which is what I really hoped for. And frankly this has been my experience with any half-way decent digital source component. The real, clearly audible adjustments to getting the most enjoyable sound experience has always been for me at the speaker & amplification level.

 

As such, for example I really fail to see how some of the additional  "audiophile" mods offered at a cost higher than even the Z1ES itself (!) could offer an improvement that even remotely correlates to the cost. At best, any *audible* difference would be coloration and it is debatable whether that would even be an improvement for everybody...

 

I hope you will find a way to enjoy your S1 as well! Even if it's maybe by piping it through external amplification rather than the internal headphone amp (not an option on the Z1ES anyway)

post #150 of 389
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheGrumpyOldMan View Post
 

I am indeed enjoying it. As I wrote, I'd like to give more detailed impressions in a longer post when I have more time. But for now, in a nutshell it's really more about the convenience which finally allows me me to rediscover my music collection in a way I haven't really before, in a more or less future-proof box and long-term solution/investment, rather than any major sound quality improvement.

 

And don't get me wrong, it doesn't sound bad or mediocre, it sounds *just right* which is what I really hoped for. And frankly this has been my experience with any half-way decent digital source component. The real, clearly audible adjustments to getting the most enjoyable sound experience has always been for me at the speaker & amplification level.

 

As such, for example I really fail to see how some of the additional  "audiophile" mods offered at a cost higher than even the Z1ES itself (!) could offer an improvement that even remotely correlates to the cost. At best, any *audible* difference would be coloration and it is debatable whether that would even be an improvement for everybody...

 

I hope you will find a way to enjoy your S1 as well! Even if it's maybe by piping it through external amplification rather than the internal headphone amp (not an option on the Z1ES anyway)

Regards sound, my opinion has completely changed today ! My flac files converted to DSD, sound just wonderful !! ( I don't see the purpose of buying this player to listen to flac 44.1 or less, inspite of the DSSE feature. )

I'm enjoying it more through my headphones, but I think the real pleasure, is through the speakers. The fact that the Z1ES doesn't have a headphone amp, was a deciding factor for me. ( besides the price. )

The most negative things for me are the HAP softwear. ( Could be SO much better !!! ) The most bizarre thing is, quite a number of artists names, are showing as other names, that make no sense at all !!....for example : INXS album X, is displaying, but the artist info is showing as " but immedia ".....many other odd names I've noticed so far !!  

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