Mobile Hifi 3.0 - Pulled the trigger on Sony NW-WM1Z

Emre posted:

Bert, i got the Utopia trading in with my Elar and as a birthday gift form my family , strogly reccomend it,  they are Great with sp1000 but i suspect will be better with 1z

 

I will let it sink in. What you are proposing is a double investment on top of the investment I made. Not that I argue it’s not worth it, I first want to settle a bit with the machine and explore what it can do and what works for me. In my use case, mostly in office listening I have to reflect if over ears like the focal work and of course if I am prepared to take the cost and add an expensive cable as well....

A price and performance level lower but just to post my experience of Astell + Kern here.

I bought an AK70 MkII in Jan. Used with good 'phones it was a revelation in terms of any other portable I had ever heard with AAC files. I did have issues (unsolved) getting it to connect to my networked NAS files but I was happy enough using it as it was however 2 months ago one channel dropped out. Sent back to iRiver in Germany it was fixed promptly but a few weeks ago the same happened. Credit due to the retailer (advancedmp3players) who offered a full refund without quibble at this point.

I have now got an A+K Kann on the way. Hopefully it will be more reliable and with the extra storage capacity I can store my whole collection in full resolution FLAC if I cannot solve the NAS connection issue. It also has a lot longer battery life.

Hopefully it will sound as good! Will let you know.

Bruce

Bruce Woodhouse posted:

 

 

I have now got an A+K Kann on the way. Hopefully it will be more reliable and with the extra storage capacity I can store my whole collection in full resolution FLAC if I cannot solve the NAS connection issue. It also has a lot longer battery life.

Hopefully it will sound as good! Will let you know.

Bruce

🔹 Bruce,.....I am very interested in hearing your listening-impressions,and other things about the Astell & Kern Kann.

/Peder 🙂

Bruce Woodhouse posted:

A price and performance level lower but just to post my experience of Astell + Kern here.

I bought an AK70 MkII in Jan. Used with good 'phones it was a revelation in terms of any other portable I had ever heard with AAC files. I did have issues (unsolved) getting it to connect to my networked NAS files but I was happy enough using it as it was however 2 months ago one channel dropped out. Sent back to iRiver in Germany it was fixed promptly but a few weeks ago the same happened. Credit due to the retailer (advancedmp3players) who offered a full refund without quibble at this point.

I have now got an A+K Kann on the way. Hopefully it will be more reliable and with the extra storage capacity I can store my whole collection in full resolution FLAC if I cannot solve the NAS connection issue. It also has a lot longer battery life  

 

It’s a shame you couldn’t get the A&K to work reliably with your NAS (presumably it uses UPnP?) I’ve heard of others having the same problem with A&K players. At the risk of sounding smug, my Sony works flawlessly via a UPnP app, and will find and play music on my network reliably. Not that I use this much, as for me, the whole point of a portable player is to use then I’m not at home, so storage capacity is more important for me. 

ChrisSU posted:
my Sony works flawlessly via a UPnP app, and will find and play music on my network reliably. Not that I use this much, as for me, the whole point of a portable player is to use then I’m not at home, so storage capacity is more important for me. 

Which Sony model are you using as the current flagships 1Z and 1A cannot connect to networks.

Are you using an older model?

ChrisSU posted:
Not that I use this much, as for me, the whole point of a portable player is to use then I’m not at home, so storage capacity is more important for me. 

On a slightly related note, I ordered a 400Gb card this morning to try in my ZX2. Sony support weren't a lot of help with such a simple question as to the max memory supported.

I thought I'd just try one and see what happens.

glevethan posted:
ChrisSU posted:
my Sony works flawlessly via a UPnP app, and will find and play music on my network reliably. Not that I use this much, as for me, the whole point of a portable player is to use then I’m not at home, so storage capacity is more important for me. 

Which Sony model are you using as the current flagships 1Z and 1A cannot connect to networks.

Are you using an older model?

Mine is the previous generation ZX2 which, unlike the new players, runs a version of Android. This makes it very versatile in that you can run Tidal, BBC iPlayer, and loads of other stuff, even the Naim app. Not really what I bought it for though, as I’m away from home a lot and just wanted to be able to take my own music collection with me. Seems like the new Sonys are more optimised for this. 

james n posted:
ChrisSU posted:
Not that I use this much, as for me, the whole point of a portable player is to use then I’m not at home, so storage capacity is more important for me. 

On a slightly related note, I ordered a 400Gb card this morning to try in my ZX2. Sony support weren't a lot of help with such a simple question as to the max memory supported.

I thought I'd just try one and see what happens.

I seem to recall that the blurb says up to 128Gb but I’m sure Bert had a 200Gb card. I’ll be interested to hear how you get on with a 400Gb card though. I find swapping between internal memory and SD card a bit clumsy (maybe it’s just me!) but with 400 I could probably fit everything I want onto the card. 

ChrisSU posted:
james n posted:
ChrisSU posted:
Not that I use this much, as for me, the whole point of a portable player is to use then I’m not at home, so storage capacity is more important for me. 

On a slightly related note, I ordered a 400Gb card this morning to try in my ZX2. Sony support weren't a lot of help with such a simple question as to the max memory supported.

I thought I'd just try one and see what happens.

I seem to recall that the blurb says up to 128Gb but I’m sure Bert had a 200Gb card. I’ll be interested to hear how you get on with a 400Gb card though. I find swapping between internal memory and SD card a bit clumsy (maybe it’s just me!) but with 400 I could probably fit everything I want onto the card. 

To be honest I haven’t yet plugged in the card. I quickly threw some music on my 8nternal memory to be in business as quick as possible. When I have a bit of time I will properly organize my music across cards and memory. The 400gb card will work, no worries.

ChrisSU posted:
james n posted:
ChrisSU posted:
Not that I use this much, as for me, the whole point of a portable player is to use then I’m not at home, so storage capacity is more important for me. 

On a slightly related note, I ordered a 400Gb card this morning to try in my ZX2. Sony support weren't a lot of help with such a simple question as to the max memory supported.

I thought I'd just try one and see what happens.

I seem to recall that the blurb says up to 128Gb but I’m sure Bert had a 200Gb card. I’ll be interested to hear how you get on with a 400Gb card though. I find swapping between internal memory and SD card a bit clumsy (maybe it’s just me!) but with 400 I could probably fit everything I want onto the card. 

That's the plan Chris. I've got 740Gb of music (ALAC) and want to try and get as much onto as few a cards as possible so i'm hoping that the 400Gb will work. I'll let you know.

I'd be interested to know if the 400Gb card works in the 1Z if you get the chance to try it Gregg. 

James

ChrisSU posted:
Bruce Woodhouse posted:

A price and performance level lower but just to post my experience of Astell + Kern here.

I bought an AK70 MkII in Jan. Used with good 'phones it was a revelation in terms of any other portable I had ever heard with AAC files. I did have issues (unsolved) getting it to connect to my networked NAS files but I was happy enough using it as it was however 2 months ago one channel dropped out. Sent back to iRiver in Germany it was fixed promptly but a few weeks ago the same happened. Credit due to the retailer (advancedmp3players) who offered a full refund without quibble at this point.

I have now got an A+K Kann on the way. Hopefully it will be more reliable and with the extra storage capacity I can store my whole collection in full resolution FLAC if I cannot solve the NAS connection issue. It also has a lot longer battery life  

 

It’s a shame you couldn’t get the A&K to work reliably with your NAS (presumably it uses UPnP?) I’ve heard of others having the same problem with A&K players. At the risk of sounding smug, my Sony works flawlessly via a UPnP app, and will find and play music on my network reliably. Not that I use this much, as for me, the whole point of a portable player is to use then I’m not at home, so storage capacity is more important for me. 

I have two NAS (one is back up)) and it worked perfectly with one and not the other. Irritating as i just could not figure it out.

The Kann can have 256Mb microSD plus 512Mb SD plus 64Mb internal memory so storage covers my entire collection in FLAC full res. Solves the issue for home use anyway.

Bruce

Congratulations on the 1z Bert ive been loving mine for about a year.  I found the balanced output to be the way to go with my Nobel encore customs.  the sound is stunning. i have some great cables from Toxic Cables but the most versatile was the DITA audio Truth cable which allows you to switch between 4.4mm and 3.5mm connectors.  The unit also provides fun at airports as after going through the scanner the solid copper body always gets me pulled over for further inspection 

Bruce Woodhouse posted:

A price and performance level lower but just to post my experience of Astell + Kern here.

I bought an AK70 MkII in Jan. Used with good 'phones it was a revelation in terms of any other portable I had ever heard with AAC files. I did have issues (unsolved) getting it to connect to my networked NAS files but I was happy enough using it as it was however 2 months ago one channel dropped out. Sent back to iRiver in Germany it was fixed promptly but a few weeks ago the same happened. Credit due to the retailer (advancedmp3players) who offered a full refund without quibble at this point.

I have now got an A+K Kann on the way. Hopefully it will be more reliable and with the extra storage capacity I can store my whole collection in full resolution FLAC if I cannot solve the NAS connection issue. It also has a lot longer battery life.

Hopefully it will sound as good! Will let you know.

Bruce

I’ve owned my KANN for best part of 12 months. It has been 100% reliable and connects (via AK Connect) to my Synology NAS every time of asking (normally daily). I use it with Shure 846 earphones connected via 2.5mm balanced Fiio cable with sensational results. Battery life is minimum of 14 hrs before recharging necessary, and am using 256 Gb micro and regular SD cards with no trouble. Let us know how you get on. 

james n posted:

The 400Gb card arrived today. The ZX2 reports 367Gb but i've loaded about 60Gb of music onto it which plays fine. I'll fill the card right up and see what happens. 

Having had time to fill the card (SanDisk Ultra 400GB) fully, i can report it works fine. Even though my ZX2 reports 367Gb, i've filled the card up (397 GB in all) and the ZX2 updated it's database and can read and play all the files.  

Just need that 1Z now to give me a bit more storage 

Timmo1341 posted:
Bruce Woodhouse posted:

A price and performance level lower but just to post my experience of Astell + Kern here.

I bought an AK70 MkII in Jan. Used with good 'phones it was a revelation in terms of any other portable I had ever heard with AAC files. I did have issues (unsolved) getting it to connect to my networked NAS files but I was happy enough using it as it was however 2 months ago one channel dropped out. Sent back to iRiver in Germany it was fixed promptly but a few weeks ago the same happened. Credit due to the retailer (advancedmp3players) who offered a full refund without quibble at this point.

I have now got an A+K Kann on the way. Hopefully it will be more reliable and with the extra storage capacity I can store my whole collection in full resolution FLAC if I cannot solve the NAS connection issue. It also has a lot longer battery life.

Hopefully it will sound as good! Will let you know.

Bruce

I’ve owned my KANN for best part of 12 months. It has been 100% reliable and connects (via AK Connect) to my Synology NAS every time of asking (normally daily). I use it with Shure 846 earphones connected via 2.5mm balanced Fiio cable with sensational results. Battery life is minimum of 14 hrs before recharging necessary, and am using 256 Gb micro and regular SD cards with no trouble. Let us know how you get on. 

I'll let you know when it is eventually delivered.

Bruce

An update for Peder and others as requested about the Kann. I'm not a very analytical HiFi reviewer so apologies if this is a bit vague.

The AK70MkII went back a few weeks ago so I'm relying on memory in comparing them. I also have a FioX3ii and an ancient iPod Classic. All listening through Grado 325e phones.

My first reaction was a bit disappointing. The AK70 immediately impressed when it arrived. It was fresh, dynamic and pacy. Lots of detail but nicely presented, not too 'busy'. Very enjoyable.

By comparison the Kann sounds a bit polite. Very, very clean, and no doubt the detail is all there. The highs are especially well resolved but overall it seemed to lack a bit of pace. Perhaps more 'classic series' than' olive'? After a couple of days it does seem to have got a bit more life but I think the character difference is still there. What this does mean is a very unfatiguing listen and a very balanced one. It is growing on me.

One other difference is that the AK70 seemed more or less equally good at playing files in various formats or resolutions. The Kann seems to deliver a lot more with the bigger files from my NAS ie FLAC at CD quality or higher. This might be important if people are going to be using it as a main system source.

So on balance I think it is a very good player. Maybe I prefer the AK70 sound but the Kann definitely scores hugely on battery life and perhaps is a better player for high res files. it might also be running in to deliver a bit more yet too. I am happy with the size and weight but like the AK70 I cannot get it to talk to my main NAS.

Finally the FioX3 sounds pretty grim by comparison, compressed and muddy with a rather crude dynamism and the iPod Classic still holds up remarkably well as an enjoyable listen, albeit with a fair bit less detail.

Hope this is helpful

Bruce

Bruce Woodhouse posted:

An update for Peder and others as requested about the Kann. I'm not a very analytical HiFi reviewer so apologies if this is a bit vague.

The AK70MkII went back a few weeks ago so I'm relying on memory in comparing them. I also have a FioX3ii and an ancient iPod Classic. All listening through Grado 325e phones.

My first reaction was a bit disappointing. The AK70 immediately impressed when it arrived. It was fresh, dynamic and pacy. Lots of detail but nicely presented, not too 'busy'. Very enjoyable.

By comparison the Kann sounds a bit polite. Very, very clean, and no doubt the detail is all there. The highs are especially well resolved but overall it seemed to lack a bit of pace. Perhaps more 'classic series' than' olive'? After a couple of days it does seem to have got a bit more life but I think the character difference is still there. What this does mean is a very unfatiguing listen and a very balanced one. It is growing on me.

One other difference is that the AK70 seemed more or less equally good at playing files in various formats or resolutions. The Kann seems to deliver a lot more with the bigger files from my NAS ie FLAC at CD quality or higher. This might be important if people are going to be using it as a main system source.

So on balance I think it is a very good player. Maybe I prefer the AK70 sound but the Kann definitely scores hugely on battery life and perhaps is a better player for high res files. it might also be running in to deliver a bit more yet too. I am happy with the size and weight but like the AK70 I cannot get it to talk to my main NAS.

Finally the FioX3 sounds pretty grim by comparison, compressed and muddy with a rather crude dynamism and the iPod Classic still holds up remarkably well as an enjoyable listen, albeit with a fair bit less detail.

Hope this is helpful

Bruce

My Sony requires 200 hours to completely unfold itself, and some argue even more hours. So I wouldn’t be amazed if your Kann also needs a certain time to settle itself. I heard it some time ago at a show and it’s a very good player, not as refined as the Ultimate, but I found it very enjoyable and engaging. So give it some time.

Bruce Woodhouse posted:

An update for Peder and others as requested about the Kann. I'm not a very analytical HiFi reviewer so apologies if this is a bit vague. 

🔹 Bruce Woodhouse,...Interestingly,it always feels better to take advantage of personal impressions than to read professional reviews.
But in a test in Innerfidelity,they wrote like this....

◾ Word on the street is that IRiver,parent company of the Astell & Kern brand,dropped a whole different design team to work on the Kann.◾

That may be,what makes you experience the basic character a little differently....I don't know,it's just a thought.
Then I agree with Bert,long "burn-in"  is important.
My experience is,that on digital products so at least 200 hours.

Thanks for an interesting writing.

/Peder 🙂

Bert Schurink posted:

So far I got the advice to get Noble Kaiser Encore in ears or Oval Utopia’s over ears for my Sony beast. I have now in ears which are even better fitting the bill :-) the base model is only 7000 euros, but of course the reviewer had no critical remark at all. Check it out and read a review....., there is always more

 

http://www.obravoaudio.com

The reviewer called them in ears out of the Hifi Heaven...

I have noble encores. Went for a custom fit. Turns out my canals are very different sizes.  The sound is fantastic. It might be worth   comparing them in universal fit to their Katanas before you decide which sound signature suits you best but their beautiful customs finishes should not be missed out on. 

Audeze is a öpen in ear so be Carefull, as a owner of Encores i say go for it 

they will have a birthday discount around this time or wait for Black friday to get a very but very good deal 

i have the universal ones, they are a good fit but still hassle to get in

so a custom one with their great desings is a very good idea..

shure have a very good fit but encores are big so custom is worth it

encores are neutral so they will be perfect with your music taste that i know a little  

also i always advice to try utopia for full headphones before anything else

 

james n posted:
james n posted:

The 400Gb card arrived today. The ZX2 reports 367Gb but i've loaded about 60Gb of music onto it which plays fine. I'll fill the card right up and see what happens. 

Having had time to fill the card (SanDisk Ultra 400GB) fully, i can report it works fine. Even though my ZX2 reports 367Gb, i've filled the card up (397 GB in all) and the ZX2 updated it's database and can read and play all the files.  

Just need that 1Z now to give me a bit more storage 

Just a final update on this. I've had no problems with the 400Gb card in the ZX2 but did run into an issue with the card randomly ejecting itself when copying files across from the Mac mini i use for music duties - a real PITA when leaving it to copy a large section of my library across. 

Figuring this was only happening when writing to the card and having ruled out cables and Micro SD adapters, i wondered if the card was loading the USB bus and causing the problems when copying files. I bought a small powered USB hub to test out the theory and this seems to have fixed the issue with no problems seen since the hub is in place. 

Also a very impressive new player only 6800 euros...

 

High-resolution Sound with the Sony DMP-Z1 Music Player


Combining super high quality sound, premium design and enhanced usability, the DMP-Z1 is a super-charged music player bringing top-end stationary class headphone amplifier sound and power to wherever you desire that fits your personal space. Reaching new sound quality heights, the DMP-Z1 achieves an optimal High Resolution Audio (up to Native DSD 11.2MHz/PCM 384 kHz/32bit) and approx. 1500mW (16Ω) headphone output power for a premium listening experience at your favourite hang-out.

  • Delivering exceptional sound quality with High-Resolution Audio. Compatible for DSD Native up to 11.2 MHz for both balance and single end
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  • Stationary class sound quality and Headphone power output, gold plated rotary volume control customised for Sony with dual DAC and analogue amp
  • Independent battery power system powered by five battery cells
  • H-shaped aluminum chassis and optimised audio circuit design
  • 256GB built-in storage with dual micro SD slots

As the audio signal directly passes through the volume controller, this affects sound qualityand is one of the most important aspects of audio design. The DMP-Z1 uses a Sony customised high-end analog rotary volume controller which is copper plated followed by gold plating and supports the volume for four separate signal paths (L+ / L- / R+ / R-). This ensures signal purity and ensures the DMP-Z1 reproduces transparent and clear vocals as it maximises the DAC chip performance by retaining all audio source information even at low volume levels.

Independent Power System 

The DMP-Z1 has an independent power system using a total of five battery cells providing independent and stable power to both the digital and analog block. The separate digital and analog power systems prevent noise propagation from the digital section to the analog block. The independent analog battery features a simple power circuit to supply clean power to the headphone amplifier. Thus the battery mode delivers noiseless, clean and powerful sound. Users can easily switch the music player’s power mode from AC to battery by simply tapping either the Battery button or AC button on the DMP-Z1’s touch panel user interface.

H-Shaped Aluminum Monocoque Chassis and Frame 

The DMP-Z1’s H-shaped aluminum chassis presents a high rigidity frame structure that eliminates vibration and reduces resistance, thereby delivering clear and powerful low frequency performance. In addition, isolation of the amplifier board by physically separating the amp board and main board using the H-shaped chassis further reduces noise which will affect sound quality. This isolation blocks noise and provides areas for connecting to ground on each board connecting to the chassis. This ensures the listener experiences transparent sound free from distortion.

Your Music Your Way 

A first for digital music players, listeners can personalise their preferred sound with the DSD Remastering Engine which lets users convert all PCM music sources into DSD 5.6MHz. The DSD Remastering Engine can be switched on or off easily in the user interface. The newly developed Vinyl Processor feature recreates via some clever processing, the acoustic phenomenon unique to vinyl playback such as the tone-arm resonance, tiny surface noise and the rich sound from the vibration by acoustic feedback from the speakers to the turntable.
The DMP-Z1 also includes a newly developed DSEE HX™ with an improved algorithm to enhance the supplement ability for highs by an artificial intelligence technology where users need not select the type of enhancement needed but instead this is automatically selected for them based on real time information analysis.

Premium Design 

With its mirror-finished aluminum top plate, spin finished aluminum physical playback control keys and gold-plated analog rotary volume controller, the DMP-Z1 sports a sleek premium design which exudes high-class luxury in every component. With dual micro SD card slots, 256 GB internal storage, USB type C connections and a Bluetooth receiver, the DMP-Z1 provides enhanced usability making it a breeze to use daily.

The DMP-Z1 digital music player from Sony will be available from December 2018 for HK$61,880 or a bargain of 6800 Euros.  Leave your thoughts and comments below and vote in the poll below. Thanks.

Burt

You are missing the even larger part of the announcement

Sony also announced there will be a firmware update allowing the 1Z to function as an external DAC.  It will be able to connect via a USB cable as well as receive streams (ie Tidal, Spotify etc.) Via Bluetooth

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