I’ve been using AIFF 16 bit with iTunes, and the sound has seemed very good. Yesterday, I used FLAC lossless at the default 5 compression with dBpoweramp, and noticed more detailed sound. If I re-rip my discs in FLAC using dBpoweramp, what settings should I use, e.g., 24 or 32 bit with 0 compression? I seem to be using little disc space on the Sony, so I think that’s not an issue for the number of discs I want to rip. Sound quality is most important. The Sony connection to an Ayre K-5xeMP preamp is balanced.
I think I read that I could use the USB port of the Sony to record directly to it without going through my iMac and the HAP transfer app. Would that give even better sound?
I haven't found any advantage to ripping CDs direct via USB connection to the HAP-Z1es. It's certainly no faster, and not really more convenient. If you like AIFF 16 bit rips (as do I), try out some high-rez DSD recordings . . .