Replace HDD in Sony HAP Z1ES with an SSD

I'd like to replace the (original) HDD in my HAP Z1ES with a solid state drive of perhaps 2.5 TB capacity. I'd appreciate any advice/caveats/taboos?
Easy job.  I replaced the internal drive on my HAPZ1 with a 2TB SSD Micron drive ($297.00 on Amazon). Once the drive is replaced, power up the HAPZ1 and you will be prompted to format the SSD.  Follow the instructions and let the drive finish formatting.  When the formatting is done copy your music onto the new SSD.  Done!

There are step-by-step instructions online to swap out the drive if you need them.  Just use google.
One note, the HAPZ1 will only recognize an internal drive up to 2TB.  My understanding is a USB drive can be larger, but I haven't tried that.
Thanks for your help. As it turned out, I had the work done by Modwright with their upgrades. I can barely bring myself to turn it off! 
Very easy to do with the instruction on the web sfseay mentioned . Takes about 15 minutes . I did it as well .


Have you tried SSD over 2TB? I was hoping to make it 3-4TB, but it seems it is not an option.

I had to speak to a colleague who's an engineer (I teach Liberal Arts, meaning I'm clueless). He said firmware likely limits the amount of real estate the HAP Z1ES will recognize - though that is a generality, not specific to any particular app. He also mentioned that a NAS (RAID 6/4 disks) can be connected via USB. I have done this, and I can hear no degradation of performance through Audible Illusions m3a Pre/MC 275 VI monoblock/Harbeth 40.1/REL Britannia.
That makes capacity a non-issue - 4 3tb disks in RAID 6 yields 9+ TBs, or about 10,000 cds. If you have more than that, please invite. I'll bring Macallan 18!

Thanks. I am as clueless as you so I thought I would ask. Especially because my car instructions say it takes only up to 128GB SD card and I am using 512 with no problem. I do not have 10000 CDs, though. However, I may multiply them on a hard drive to apply for that Macallan 18.


Nice system. Another +vote for acquiring 10000 CDs.  Macallan 18 or Johnnie Walker Blue Label?

Happy Listening!

How do you connect the RAID setup. I might get a Sony HAP Z1 if I am able to do that. I sold mines because I ran out of HD space.
ott, I am intrigued by your mention of having had the Modwright upgrades done on you HAP Z1. Have you done a write up on your experience anywhere? If not, do you have time to reflect on what you think of the affect of the upgrade on the audio quality?
I'm self employed, so my boss is a jerk. He sends me to places like Crudistan on short notice for weeks at a time. Never anywhere like the South of France or Ibiza.

I can tell you that my tastes in music are rather narrow, so my experience is to be taken with a grain of salt.

I think the Modwright upgrade greatly improved the dynamic contrast of music and enhances my experience of large ensemble music; inner detail seems to have exactly the right heft and music like the Poulenc Harpsichord Concerto have astonishing depth. Roxana Panufnik's "A Violin For All Seasons" is breathtaking. I play violin (badly). The timbre and pitch are  very close to the real thing. Subtle arpeggios are clear and distinct. If you listen to complex music, the HAP mod will be a revelation.
If you have specific questions, I'll do my best to answer them. 
I, too, play violin (badly) and am wondering about the BIG expense of modding the HAP Z1 (just purchasing one now). I want to expand internal storage to 2TB with an SSD, but am wondering if it really sounds $3000 better when getting the 'serious guts' modded?  I listen to classical and orchestral and some jazz.  With eyes closed/blind test, is the difference really 'night and day' between the unmodded and the modded player?
I've been able to do A/B comparisons with an Aurender N100h (similar in price to the HAPZ1 + mod) and a Melco. The Melco came close, but lacked the last measure of bass articulation and heft. The Aurender has superb timbral accuracy, but blurs a bit in complex passages or highly arpeggiated music, such as Wuorinen Bearbreiten.

You're probably aware of Presto Music, but they have an excellent selection of Hi-def flac downloads at reasonable prices.

Get the Mod and be as happy as you deserve! 
I bought a 2.5" Samsung EVO 960 SATA hard drive (the size of the hard drive in the machine) and am flummoxed how to even REMOVE the old drive and replace it with the new.  So many screws, difficult to figure out how to physically get the old drive out.  ANY HELP SO MUCH APPRECIATED--especially if it has PICTURES showing which screws to remove, etc.  

I decided to get the Modwright upgrade to my HAP Z1ES, and I had them install the SSD. So, I can't help you. Sorry. I can speak in general terms.
The HDD native to the HAP will look nearly identical to the one you bought.  
HDDs are usually mounted in fitted racks with (I think) four screws on each rail (that is, each side). The screws go through the rail into threaded holes in the HDD case. The drive will have a ganged connector for power and another for the data bus. Unplug these first. Do this only with the HAP powered off AND unplugged. Remove the screws in the rail and the HDD will slide out easily. Note how it was oriented in the anchor rack and orient the SSD the same. Plug in the connectors, being sure they're properly seated, and slide the SSD in the rack until the mounting holes align. You want the screws tight, as vibration will degrade the performance of the drive. 
Again, that's how it works inside a computer; I'm assuming the HAP is the same, but I've never seen the innards of the HAP myself. 
If you live near an audiophile retailer, you may be able to get advice from someone there. Remember, these things are assembled by people working cheap. If they can do it, you can too. 
Sorry I can't be more helpful. 

OTT,  that was so kind of you to try to help out. I've built many computers and installed lots of hardware inside boxes, so I guess I'll just have to power through and figure it out.  First tries aren't always successful.  It's a LOT of screws to even get the cover off, let alone remove the hard drive from where it's pretty tightly installed.  I'll let you know what happens and maybe take some pictures along the way to help others contemplating the job.  Apparently, there was once a detailed how-to on HiFi-Insider, but that's no longer available (unless someone can help with reposting that article with its detailed photos. MUCH OBLIGED if you can!).

Bakemann, if you go forward with the drive replacement, let me know how it goes,,,pics would be nice.  There is mention of it on Steve Hoffmann’s website blog but I can’t find the website with the pics that was referenced:

I completed SSD installation in about 20 minutes. Five screws to remove the HAP's top cover. The HDD is in the front R/H corner, mounted to a metal bracket with a cooling fan attached. Detach 2 connectors on the HDD and 1 on the cooling fan. Four screws detach the HDD mounting bracket from the main chassis, and the sub-assembly extracts easily. Four screws detach the HDD from the bracket.  SSD installation is this process reversed. Elsewhere in this thread and in service manual are instructions to format and factory reset the HAP. File transfer is faster when HAP is connected to network via cable instead of wi-fi. Drag-n-drop files to "HAP_Internal" directory is faster than using Sony's music transfer app. Also used app "freac" ( to rip CDs into *.wav format -- easy, fast, & free.
Just checked back in on this thread.  Thanks so much streborx2---this is exactly the info I was looking for.
Many, many thanks, Streborx2.  Got the job done with your helpful instructions, but I forgot to take photos as I did the 'operation.'  The HAP-Z1 works flawlessly, and I didn't even lose the sample music that came installed on the HDD (making me wonder: there must be some internal memory somewhere that can hold firmware + some music!). Anyway, I'm beginning the LONG project of ripping about 1300 CDs into FLAC files using DB Poweramp version 16.  So far, album art and cataloging have gone great; it's preselected settings make sense for classical music collectors, of which I am one.  So, multiple recordings of the same symphony, or collections spanning several discs, are no problem with default settings.  whew!

What is the “Modwright upgrade”. How much does it cost?  Is it worth it?  I will replace my hd this weekend. If I put in 3 TB u guys say the Sony will only recognize 2 tb?  The “Modwright upgrade” has nothing to do with expanding this right?


Ten thousand CD’s????  Wow!  I want to buy an airplane ticket, bring a few hard drives and a case of McCallum. Wow!  As long as it isn’t the Beatles or Neil Young I am up to hear anything lol

I ordered a 2 TB internal EVO. I had a 6 TB external kicking around. When the Skny formatted it there was 1.4 TB available 

I want to make friends with you guys who have thousands of songs of lossless! Lol

I can confirm that HAP-Z1ES storage capacity is limited to 2TB. Even though you install a larger capacity HDD, it will still just make use of 2TB space, while ignoring the rest