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The Sony HapZ1ES is best useds with a tablet as the remote control. You can use Android or Apple based. The tablet will show you all the music with the artwork in an easy to use format. I went from an Aurender N100H and a Wyred4Sound Dac2 DSD to the Sony and kept the Sony. I now have 2 of them, one in each system. Yes, it's that good.
I can say the Sony Hapz1es is great . I previously used a MacMini optimized for 2 channel playback used with dacs up to $3000 with Audirvana . The Sony is so much better . Have heard good things about the Aurrender too. Now the Sony can be used with standalone dacs as well ,Bonus !! Will be trying this out soon with a Exogal comet da/pre. Having a second Hap would be nice !!
With the HAP-Z1ES, additional memory can be added via USB. For example, a multi-TB drive to expand the stock 1 TB hard drive. The Sony retrieves music files automatically from a computer, which in my case is located away from the music room. I've loaded my CDs to the computer, and the Sony has relocated them to its hard drive. They are backed up, in other words, on my computer at all times because the music files had to be saved first to my computer before the Sony will retrieve those files. Hope that makes sense. It works well and sounds quite good, although I'm pondering the ModWright or perhaps a better DAC, which can also now (thanks to Sony firmware update) be used via USB.
The Sony app works via WiFi on tablet devices. I use both iPad and iPhone as a remote. The Sony can also be powered on/off with the app. Music selection is convenient via the app and quite easy to use. I especially like the search function on the app, which allows for easy location of album, artist, or song.
turn on and off via app? that's cool.
my main system is in the dedicated basement section but looking to somehow "merge" my digital server with my living room system (Marantz AVR).
If I was to place the SONY in the basement (connected to pre-amp via XLR) and then run CAT6 cable from SONY to the Marantz receiver - would I be able to access all the files from Sony unit ?
I know my Marantz has wireless and wired connectivity...so I assume the communication protocol would be compatible between Sony and Marantz ?
I was thinking the hdd in the SONY could be readable by other network enabled equipment.... Are you telling me that Sony doesn't work like a real media server?
I was hoping that besides reading data files and outputting to the pre-amp, the Sony unit can also share the files via standard networking protocols, just like a computer.
I would really want to be able to have a single server that can serve the music to both; my main system via XLR to the pre-amp and to any other networked device in my home...like to my Marantz AVR or anything else I may decide to connect to my network...to fetch and play back the files.
I need analog outputs - prefer Balanced XLR connection.
Just to repeat my "ideal" features:
- the unit has internal DAC of high quality with analog balanced outputs
- the unit has large screen (4inch)
- the unit has networking capabilities and can stream the files to other devices...besides just serving music "locally " to my main system
thanks and Happy New Year !
So I decided to go the PC server route - in order to keep single source for all my files....
Plan is to get an old PC/laptop, connect it in the basement to my storage drive with all the FLAC coded music and run it to a switch.
From that point I can connect my Marantz AVR for Living Room and SONY or Bryston BP-2 for my main listening system.
This will also give me a flexibility to later add an additional system for my patio with outdoor speakers....
I really was hoping to just get the SONY or Bryston but clearly neither one would work for house-wide music distribution.