The Top Rated Sony DSD DAC Music Player.
SONY HAP-Z1ES. $2000
hja Sony and Philips introduced the first Compact Disc player, in Japan October 1 1982. To the masses this was quantumn leap in the sound quality and ease of playing music. Billions of CD players have been sold around the world. The CD is de factor standard. A CD plays in any CD player in any country, whether made 36 years ago or today.
     The CD uses PCM, Pulse Code Modulation to record and playback music. The PCM system chops up the music or samples the music. The CD standards uses a sampling rate of 44.1 kHz and assigns each sample a 16 bit digital word.
     But, computer power has advanced over the decades. So  has the ability to record higher quality digital audio. Audio engineers went from 44.1 to 88.2 to 96 and even sampling rates of 192 kHz. Instead of 16 bit samples, 24 bit samples are generally used today.
     Sadly, music you buy on iTunes does not use these Hi Res sampling rates. In fact, song you buy on iTunes are NOT CD QUALITY, a dinosaur of a format introduced 36 years ago!
     Certain on-line music stores sell music in higher than CD resolution. These music files  are now called Hi Res.
     To play these you need to hook up an external DAC, digital audio converter that was able to decode these higher resolution files into analog music. The DAC hooks up to your computer via USB and has RCA analog outputs to hook up to your preamp, amp or receiver.  
    The Super Audio CD. In 1999 Sony introduced a new kind of CD player. A new system of digital recording was developed to capture every nuance of the master tape. Instead of a sampling rate of 44.1 kHz or even 192 kHz, the Sony Super Audio CD uses a sampling rate of 2 million 822 thousand. Original conceived as a way to archive all the aging master recordings, Sony and Philips decide to take advantage of the advances in digital computer power to introduce this new type CD. This digital audio system is called Direct Stream Digital or DSD.
    The DSD Player. A few years ago, Sony introduced the HAPZ1ES DSD player. At a press  conference in New York, Sony announced that they, along with Warner Brothers and Universal Music, would authorized the sale of music in the DSD format. These albums would  be sold via the on line music stores as digital files.
    Now the inventor of the original CD, the leader in both digital audio and digital video, Sony introduces a new state of the art HAPZ1ES. This machine is designed as a no compromise audio component with the absolute highest sound quality.
     The fit and finish, the build quality, the quality of critical audio components found inside the Sony HAPZ1ES are of the highest grade.
     CD Recorder. These days its called rippin CDs. With a low cost CD (or DVD) drive, plugged into the USB on the back, you can record your CDs without using a computer. The HAPZ1ES has two speeds to copy your CDs. Fast and slow, the latter recommended to get all the digital data, all the bits transferred to the internal hard drive.
      Music Streamer. The HAPZ1ES also acts as a music streamer, but a High resolution music source of the highest quality. It streams 192k or
even DSD Super Audio CD quality music through your local area network.
     These days, many home theater receivers have built-in Wi-Fi that can handle these high data rates. So, all the music stored on the HAP can be accessed via your phone, or the on screen menus and played throughout your house.
      You see album artwork on y our TV screen, or your phone, or the color screen on the Sony HAPZ1ES front panel. You see song titles. You can search by Artist, Album, Song title, genre. You can create playlists. You can also access Internet radio and Spotify.
      How It Works. You buy your  music on line, It is downloaded, not streamed to your hard drive. You set the HAP App to look for music in a certain folder on your computer. The App sees new music and it transfers it either wirelessly or via ethernet on your LAN to the internal hard drive of the HAPZ1ES. The internal hard drive is 1 Terabyte and will hold 3000 regular CDs uncompressed!
    You see the music on the HAPZ1ES hard drive with an App. You can search by artists, album titles or even tracks. Hit play and the high quality internal hard drive feeds the digital code into the finest DACs to create analog music.
    The HAPZ1ES has been rated Product of the Year. It is consider by the most serious audio pundits as simply the most advanced digital (and rated by some, better than analog) music player you can buy.
     As an ES model... Elevated Standard, the HAPZ1ES has a 5 year Sony parts and labor warranty.
Ultra high grade audiophile grade DAC
Plays Hi Res DSD Direct Stream Digital
Plays virtually all digital audio files
Sony Digital Sound Enhancement Engine
Internal 1 Terabytes hard drive ; add extra drive
Independent digital and analog power supplies
Frame and Beam construction
Balanced XLR left and right audio outputs; RCA out
4.3 inch LCD front panel monitor
Built-in Wi-fi for wireless transfer and remote control
DSD Remastering Engine converts all music to DSD
5 year parts and labor warranty
Weight: 32 pounds