Several weeks ago, I posted a request for help about an issue I was having with controlling my integrated amplifier's volume when using a new Sony HAP-S1 as a source. The problem was that I did not have much useful volume range. Several members responded with clear and good explanations for the problem and a suggestion: add an attenuator. Today, I want to post a follow-up, so here goes.
I'm happy to report that adding an attenuator completely fixed the issue; I have full range volume control again when using the HAP-S1. Some members suggested I try in-line attenuators that are installed directly between the amp's line inputs and the interconnects. But I decided to try the "attenutor-in-a-box" from Schiit, their SYS. It works great and has no effect on the sound that I can detect.
While I'm at it, I want to give some notes about the HAP-S1 as a source. Previously, my source was a Sony CA70ES, an older 5-disc carousel, used with a Classe CAP 101 integrated and Harbeth Monitor 30 speakers. Good recordings sounded good, and not-so-good recordings were at least listenable. A very non-fatiguing system, smooth and polite, perhaps a bit too much so, for my music collection that consists of redbook cds. I do not use the amplifier in the Sony.
The HAP makes every disc sound better! Good recordings sound excellent, and the not-so-good recordings are much improved. Overall, the sound is much clearer. Instruments sound more real and voices can sound uncannily live. Bass is better defined and hearable, and the interplay among instruments and voices can be heard much more easily. All are located more precisely in the sound stage.
Despite the problem that I had with the volume that wasn't addressed in the documentation or in any on-line forum that I could find, installation was easy. Yes, as everyone else has said, transferring music to it takes a while but, as everyone else has also said, it should only need to be done once.. After I climbed the usual learning curve, I've found the HDD Audio app that allows control of the unit from a mobile device to be easy to use.
In short, I like the HAP S-1 very much. It has helped me organize my music, which was one reason why I wanted to buy it or a similar device. More importantly, I am listening to more of my music, and I'm getting more pleasure from it.
Thanks again to the members who responded to my earlier post and to you for reading this.