Resonessence Mirrus vs Sony HAPZ-1ES


Both of these units would allow me to eliminate a computer in my living room. I just heard both at The Show 2014 in Newport.

The Sony was played in many rooms with top notch gear and speakers. So that was a good endorsement for the Sony. I think the convenience factor of the Sony also played a role in why it was used in many rooms. All the systems sounded very good. I spent close to an hour in the Sony room listening to their top of the line speakers with he HAPZ. I could not get the demo person to turn off the DSD up-sampling. So the up-sampling must have been considered the way to go.

The Resonessence Mirrus DAC was played directly to a new 108 watt class A Resonessence stereo amp that has not been released yet. The DAC has a digital volume control that is supposed to be very good. The speakers that were used were 15 year old B&W, purchased by Resonessence from eBay for $400. I was quite blown away by how good the sound was and the fact that they did not purposely use top notch speakers. I was thinking wow what would this system sound like with some top notch speakers. The SD-Card feature of the Mirrus is maybe a better solution than the fan based eSata hard drive of the Sony. The theoretical limit of the cards the Mirrus supports is 2 tera-bytes. I think today you can buy 256 giga-byte cards.

I cannot directly compare the Sony and Mirrus since I have not heard them in the same system, but if I had to bet money, I would place it on the Mirrus based on my cursor listen. Has anybody compared the 2 DAC's in their systems? If so, I would appreciate any feedback.

If I go with something like the Mirrus I can eliminate by very good pre-amp and go directly to my amps. Has anybody with a Mirrus done this? Did you prefer it direct vs a analog pre-amp?

The Sony is very good sounding unit, 50%+ cheaper, extremely convenient, and I would keep my pre-amp. Which I am happy with (BAT VK-42SE).
yyzsantabarbara
No experience with the Resonessence. I bought the HAPZ1 in early April, burned it in for 3 weeks and it is now undergoing the ModWright upgrade. In my opinion, the stock HAPZ1 was very good, and yes, the DSD up-sampling stayed on all the time.
Dan Wright says the ModWright package takes the HAPZ1 to a reference level piece. He also mentioned that it would be technically feasible to add a volume control, if you really wanted to go direct to your amps.
I haven't seen any reviews on the Modwright HAPZ1 yet. I'm guessing that may be a ways off, since the caps and transformers take 400 hours to really burn in.
I have ran my mirus dac directly to luminance audio kst 150. I have a great sound. This is a great dac. It has plenty of body and extension in the treble. Great Mids as well I'm very happy
@yyzsantabarbara. This dac at its price competes and beats a lot of the best.
Hi calvinj, what are you useing for a transport?
@audiolabryinth. The dac does these little sd cards. 128gb. I can put 30 or more albums in dsd or 40 or 50 in wav albums on one small sd card. I don't have to be hooked up to a transport or a computer. I love that part of it.
Calvinj, Now that is impressive!, that idea of sd cards is awsome!, always remember though to keep your music on a computer hard drive because you will have to buy new sd cards over a period of time because sd cards deteriorate, I seen on another thread that you like running this Mirrus dac straight to the amplifier, on that matter, welcome to the club!, it would take one hell of a active exspensive pre-amp to beat out digital straight to amp, however, it can be done, tell me, check the specs on that unit and tell me what the volts max out-put is for the volume control is, then tell me what the ohms out-put in balanced domain is, and then single ended RCA ohms out put domain is, cheers.
@audiolabryinth. I will be taking a look into that and will get that to you a little later. It sounds great without the pre in the equation but I will try another one anyway pretty soon to compare.
Thankyou calvinj, I could not get that info from their site.
@brownsfan. How is the modwright hapz-1es sounding.
After much consideration, my Sony HAPZ-1ES is at MW for the mod. I'm intrigued by Dan's transformer coupling design and simplicity of the HAPZ-1ES.

It replaced 3 boxes/2 pcs/computer/digital cable with 1 box/1 pc and HOPEFULLY much much superior sound.
Keep me updated. I'm moving away from my CD player the parasound cd1. It's a great player on of the best CD players I have ever heard. However I'm going towards the dac route more with my Mirus
10-11-14: Calvinj
Keep me updated. I'm moving away from my CD player the parasound cd1. It's a great player on of the best CD players I have ever heard. However I'm going towards the dac route more with my Mirus
Sure, I will. Got my Synergistic Research RED Quantum Fuse, 5U4GBs and e88cc/6922s warming up in the bullpen.
calvinj, Sorry for the slow response, I didn't see this post.

My ModWright HAPZ1 is doing fine. Over the last couple months, I have added an Audio Magic Illusion umbilical, which in my opinion is a must have for the ModWright Sony. Going from the ModWright truth umbilical to the AM Illusion umbilical was a very substantial improvement. As substantial as the ModWright modification over the stock Sony (and for a lot less money). Also, I picked up a pair of NOS Telefunken 6922 output tubes from Upscale audio. They are as good as Upscale claims.

I have about 1000 albums loaded to the hard drive now. One of the things I find surprising is how good some music sounds that was ripped from awful sounding CDs. Almost everything sounds really good through the HAPZ1, and there is a lot that is just ravishingly beautiful.

I love the convenience. While my CD collection is well organized, you just can't beat the convenience of having it all right there on my tablet.

No regrets. This has been a great way to go for me.
Brownsfan, Can you download to the hard drive and play internet radio concurrently? This is my plan to breaking in and downloading my music to the Sony.

BTW, I agree with you comments on Upscale NOS Telefunken 6922 but 60's Siemens e88cc is my favorite. It's more musical and less dry.

What rectifier tube are you rolling? In past MWs, my favorite is TS NOS 5U4GBs and I asked Dan to punch a hole in the PS. Surprisingly, JJ GZ34 is also excellent. Mullard NOS GZ34 and GZ32 are too warm for my taste.
KNGhifi, I haven't tried playing the internet radio while downloading, but it should be no problem. I frequently playback from the hard drive while downloading.
I also want to pick up a pair of the Siemens. I have heard great things about them. I do not find the Telefunkens dry at all. I have found them to be very sweet.
Are you using a PS 9.0 or a 9.9? I wasn't aware that 5u4s could be used in the 9.0. I have settled on new production cryo'ed Gold Lion 5AR4s in the PS 9.0. I like it better than JJs (which weren't bad), Create Synergy, and NOS Mullards. If it is OK to use the 5U4Gs in the 9.0, I have some NOS GEs I would like to try.
KNGhifi, I haven't tried playing the internet radio while downloading, but it should be no problem. I frequently playback from the hard drive while downloading.
Brownsfan, that's fantastic. Save me break in time and download.

I also want to pick up a pair of the Siemens. I have heard great things about them. I do not find the Telefunkens dry at all. I have found them to be very sweet.
It's relative. This is my experience in my preamp.

Are you using a PS 9.0 or a 9.9? I wasn't aware that 5u4s could be used in the 9.0. I have settled on new production cryo'ed Gold Lion 5AR4s in the PS 9.0. I like it better than JJs (which weren't bad), Create Synergy, and NOS Mullards. If it is OK to use the 5U4Gs in the 9.0, I have some NOS GEs I would like to try.
Getting the PS 9.0 and it works with 5U4GBs. Thanks for reminding me, now I have to order a Create Synergy.

Are you using after market fuse? Dan told me correct direction is back to front FYI.

Should get my Sony back from MW in ~2 more weeks.
Knghifi, I have not tried any aftermarket fuses with the HAPZ1 yet. I did put an Audio Magic Liquid Air in the PS 9.0 power supply. By the way, I have found the power supply to be very sensitive to power cord selection. I use a VH Audio AirSine with mine.
By the way, I have found the power supply to be very sensitive to power cord selection. I use a VH Audio AirSine with mine.
Currently evaluating PCs and will start with a HiDiamond P3.

BTW, Brent Jesse at Audiotubes has high quality 60's Siemens e88cc MP in stock.
Calvinj, how do you control the playback from SD card? Does remote app allow you to see the list or do you just use the front panel? Thanks

Serge
@serge_s it has a remote. You can control from the front screen. The screen is kind of small but it does have an hdmi out that I will be using to see it bigger. My dealer uses korg audio gate in his conversion process. Sounds excellent. Big 128 gb sd card 30 albums in dsd no computer hookup needed.
My MW Sony HAPZ1-ES arrived Thurs. After 48 hours of break-in, I'm at the point where I can enjoy it. Sound stage is expanding in all directions, images are well defined with solid density, dynamics improving with excellent Bass and High extensions. Still hearing POSITIVE changes so can't wait until it's fully broken in.

Setting up the Sony was SIMPLE. It took me longer to replace the fuse than launch the program and download music to the unit.

The stock fuse was replaced with SR Red immediately. Replaced stock tubes after 24 hours with NOS TS 5U4GB and 60's Siemens e88cc.

Comparing to MW 6SN7, one is not superior but just different. HAP-Z1ES has superior detail, resolution, more neutral and less warm but definitely not bright or SS sounding. Personally I prefer the sound of the HAP-Z1ES. For reference, Shuguang BT cv181-z was my favorite 6SN7 in MW.

FYI, I was also considering Bryston BDP-2 or Antipode with Allnic D5000 ... Dac. Ultimately chose Sony due to simplicity with available reference mods and definitely not disappointed in my decision.

So far the only suggestion I have is it was difficult removing the driver tubes from the unit. I couldn't get a good grip so either increase tube exposure or expand the hole diameter.

Dan clearly hit a HOME RUN with this new transformer coupling design. I look forward to new MW models with this design.

Thanks Dan for the excellent work and service.
@knghifi Sounds exciting. I haven't even used my usb on the resonessence yet. I'm going to probably try pretty soon. What usb cable you suggest?
11-25-14: Calvinj
@knghifi Sounds exciting. I haven't even used my usb on the resonessence yet. I'm going to probably try pretty soon. What usb cable you suggest?
Calvinj, I'm probably the last person to give advice on USB cables.

My HAP-Z1ES preloads all music to internal HDD or external USB drive so don't need USB cables, computer ... love the simplicity and SOTA SQ.

I started a new thread "MW Sony HAP-Z1ES" to share my experience. It has 130+ hours now and will update the thread when time permits.
@kinghifi. I understand. That's why I got the Resonessence I hate being hooked up to a computer period to be honest with you. I use the sd cards to listen most of the time.
@Calvinj, Once all music are downloaded to the Sony, you only need a computer if you have new music. It's basically a cd player with all your music on internal HDD/external USB drive.

Sony has built-in wireless but I have Ethernet drop for connection to the network. I use the free Sony HDD app on my iPhone 6Plus for remote.

I have it configured so all new music, DSD downloads or ripped music is automatically downloaded to the Sony when computer sits idle for 5 minutes.

It's feature rich plus with MW mod, it's a NO brainer for ME.
How much is the modwright mod?
How much is the modwright mod?
$2495 + $275 for ByBee option.

Again, once music is on internal HDD, you don't need a computer. It's a modern day juke box with internet radio. Just plug Sony to Pre and use smartphone app for remote. (There's a remote so don't need smartphone but is much easier) No USB cable, digital cable, LPS for Mac, drivers, off ramp, on ramp, JRiver ...

I suggest hard wired Sony to router for initial download. I think my initial download took 4 to 5 days.
I have a high fidelity ultimate helix power cord on the resonessence mirus dac and it is amazing. The sound is sublime.