New Sony HAP-Z1ES Firmware Out Today

I installed the newest firmware today and was pleasantly surprised that the player now supports an external DAC via the USB connection. It now does DSD over USB2 and there is a provision to turn it on/off. I played a couple of different artists and the player seems to work perfectly with the iPad remote.  Here is the skinny, direct from Sony:

This firmware upgrade (version 18033R) provides the following improvements over version 17384R:

  • Adds support for the Media Server function
  • Adds support for the USB digital output function (USB hub support for connecting each of one HDD drive, one CD drive, and one USB DAC)
  • Adds support for Seek operations
  • Adds support for the Fade In/Out function
  • Adds the Go to genre/artist/album/folder function to the Options menu
  • Adds the following operations:
    • Queuing the track next to the one currently playing, and queuing the track last
    • Deleting the track from the play queue
    • Creating a playlist with the play queue
    • Deleting the playlist
    • Deleting the track from the playlist
    • Deleting the information of a disconnected external hard disk drive

brownsfan, I have 60's Telefunken e88cc and is excellent.    I'll investigate canadian Westinghouse VU-71 ...

I've had MW 6SN7s and agree MW Sony with Lundahl transformer coupling and 6922/e88cc are more transparent and neutral.  I wasn't planning buying another MW except Sony is a completely different design so was curious.

Your description does make me wonder how the Atlantic would pair with a stock sony.

Sony digital out is stock and doesn't need MW tube analog mod so shouldn't matter.   As matter of fact, PS 9.0 is off when I use digital out.
The VU-71 is very hard to find.  There weren't many made and they aren't well known.  Too bad.  This is a great 5U4 tube. I like it much better than any other rectifier I have tried in the PS 9.0.
Any body else who has good experience connecting HAP-Z1ES via usb digital to DAC? Does it worth to get Dac or the HAP-Z1ES' so called remastering engine is already good enough?
I tried it with my Wyred4Sound DAC-2 with DSD and Femto Clock.  The dac cost me 1725.00.  The Sony bettered it in a way that the music really flows and  sounds more organic.  The Wyred dac uses the ESS 9018 dac chip.  Needless to say I sold the Wyred dac and bought a second HAPZ1ES player for my other system. 
I also enjoyed my HAP Z1ES, it is better than my "a bit old" sony XA9000ES SACD/CD player which was rated A+ by Stereophile few years ago.

Stereo5, may I know what interconnect cable are you using to connect your HAPZ1ES to your preamp/integrated amp?

i am using old audience 24es rca and I think it can be upgraded.