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Review and Measurements of Sony HAP-S1 Streamer/Server

amirm

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#41
Now, what I really want to see tested is the Sony DMP-Z1:
You and me both. :) You guys who are on other forums should try to convince any owner of one to loan it to me for testing.
 

folzag

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#42
You and me both. :) You guys who are on other forums should try to convince any owner of one to loan it to me for testing.
Heh. Still listed as Available Soon. Notify Me.

They have a whole line-up of beautiful looking "Signature Series" coming out, which is another classic tell for a brand resting on it's laurels. When they are marketing a bespoke line-up offering the top-notch build and engineering that used to be what their entire brand was known for, it's because their main products have been value-engineered into forgettable junk and their reputation among discerning customers is trashed.
 

RayDunzl

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#44
Sadly there is not one performance spec in there....
Maybe you slowed them down a little.

I can imagine the sound of the conversation, if so.

Ashita?
Iie..
So.
Uh.
Amir-san?
Hai.
Uh.
Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa.....
Dame baka gaijin...
So so so...
Uh.
 
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folzag

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#45
Amir! Thx for excellent comprehensive review! So if u want a machine like this - options are Raspberry Pie and/or PC/Mac ?
There are not many offerings with integrated HDD that I ever found, and all (both) are in the audiophile ($$$) price segment.

Aurender A10, though only TOSLINK for digital in which somewhat limits how future-proof it is
Cocktail Audio X-series, though a local retailer steered me away from the brand for reliability concerns
 

ripvw

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#47
I can remember back to the 1990's when Sony introduced the ES line - very nice looking inside - we had to take a test in order to be "certified" to sell it. Now, my iPhone's dongle massively outperforms the Sony HAP(les)-S1...how very sad
 

Jimster480

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#48
Sad to see a Sony audio product with such poor performance.
I'm young (Under 30) but grew up with a Sony MiniDisc and Walkman and really enjoyed my Sony audio products. This is disasterous to say the least... Atleast their TV's are pretty decent (I have 2 4K HDR models) but even in that department they aren't making their own panels anymore and their top end TV's are using LG OLED tech and the CPU's in the TV's that I have (and the new ones) are so laggy that it takes seconds for the input switcher to appear (even if video playback is totally fine).

I know this isn't a TV or brand review but this just bothers me to see as a person who grew up with the Sony brand standing for quality and performance in engineering.
 

Jimster480

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#49
Please don't blame China for this. We Chinese designed the Khadas Tone Board...
China is a big place, there are plenty of people building garbage even if there are few building greatness.

There are plenty of talented Chinese engineers who are able to produce greatness (such as the assortment of great Topping Products) but the majority of the Chinese factories and their lowly engineers are building very poorly designed and manufactured products (often for western brands).

It might always be this way, who really knows what will happen to China over the next decades.

Either way this specific products failure isn't "China's" fault as Sony could have called great Chinese engineers if they actually cared and didn't want to do it themselves.
 

restorer-john

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#51
As to their specs, I could not figure out what "40 HM" meant. Is it a type for 4 Ohm???
I reckon the space bar was hit too early. 40 HM = 4 OHM.

You need inbuilt error correction to read manufacturer 'specs' these days. :)
 
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#52
China is a big place, there are plenty of people building garbage even if there are few building greatness.

There are plenty of talented Chinese engineers who are able to produce greatness (such as the assortment of great Topping Products) but the majority of the Chinese factories and their lowly engineers are building very poorly designed and manufactured products (often for western brands).

It might always be this way, who really knows what will happen to China over the next decades.

Either way this specific products failure isn't "China's" fault as Sony could have called great Chinese engineers if they actually cared and didn't want to do it themselves.
But this product aren't connected to China in any way, it wasn't even made in China, so why would anyone say something like "made a phone call to China"? Just because it has bad quality? Seems like plain old stereotype to me.

"but the majority of the Chinese factories and their lowly engineers are building very poorly designed and manufactured products"

Yep, just plain old stereotype without fact check, this machine was manufactured in Malaysia, designed by Sony, there's no evidence that Sony even contracted this machine to some kind of Chinese company, yet someone still want to blame China for its bad quality, not Sony itself.

Do me a favor, go count how many items in your home are MIC, I'll wait patiently.

Too bad, most of the affordable products in the world are MIC nowadays, and with a great product, it's X company's victory, it's the great designers; With a bad product, let's blame China as a whole, Sony can't design such flawed product, must be the Chinese's fault, let's also throw some rock at MIC, some people's logic, heh, irresponsible at its best.
 
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amirm

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#53
If the design was farmed out, it would have been to a Taiwanese ODM, not any company in China. As said above though, given the Malaysian manufacturing, I suspect this is a Sony design.
 
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#54
IMO Sony audio products are like audiophile products (I mean in a bad way). It's like the chief engineers or designers in audio department are like the majority of Japanese audiophiles who like pseudoscience and dislike objective evaluation. Judging from their ads, it seems like they are just similar to smaller audiophiles companies.

It also seems they are way too obsessed with something that most mega-corporations (who know better because they more have smart people like Amir) don't bother to do, like snake-oil-like audio cables.
 

JJB70

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#56
IMO Sony audio products are like audiophile products (I mean in a bad way). It's like the chief engineers or designers in audio department are like the majority of Japanese audiophiles who like pseudoscience and dislike objective evaluation. Judging from their ads, it seems like they are just similar to smaller audiophiles companies.

It also seems they are way too obsessed with something that most mega-corporations (who know better because they more have smart people like Amir) don't bother to do, like snake-oil-like audio cables.
Slightly unfair, when Sony make the effort they can produce truly world class products (or at least they could). My system uses a Sony ES CD player and integrated amplifier bought in the early 90's, both units work fine, are beautifully made (their build quality shames high end products brands costing an awful lot more than these cost) and to be quite honest nothing I've listened to has made me feel like I should upgrade. They weren't cheap but neither were they that expensive, interestingly another member linked a Ken Rockwell test and measurements of my CD player recently and it was quite eye opening that after all these years it still measures very well. I have a pair of MDR-Z7 headphones, they wouldn't be my only headphones as they're a bit bass heavy but with the right music they're terrific and in terms of build quality, materials and overall feel they shame an awful lot more of far more expensive headphones from high end brands. I think the problem with Sony is they just decided that conventional two channel audio wasn't worth the effort and have all but walked away from it. They still make an effort in AV gear, DAPs and headphones, and make some very nice sound bars (or in other words those areas where they seem to see money to be made) but their conventional stereo offering has been reduced to a token.
 
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#57
I loved Sony during the Walkman years. Very sad to see Sony produce this abomination.
Hey Sony why don't you just source out the amp design to Topping and stop destroying your name ! You even own the HI-RES trademark. :facepalm::facepalm::facepalm:
 

PierreV

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#58
That anti-China bias is getting old, really.

Professionally, I dealt with both China, Japan (Sony) ad Kodak at the same time, around 15 years ago, in the digital photography world. China was great to deal with, delivered on time and exactly according to specs, no fuss. Sony was great as well if a bit obsessive (I remember a guy sleeping in his office waiting on a fix). Kodak was a pain to deal with - such a pain it is hard to describe - they were so stuck in their past and so disingenuous that I decided not to pursue the potential deal with them (a significant decision at the time) and one of their engineers told me privately "yes, we are going to hit a brick wall fast"...

On the hobby side, at around the same time, I purchased two optical devices, one from the US and one from China. They performed identically in terms of surface accuracy and light transmission (I tested them), only the US one was 3.5 times more expensive. I got into a discussion with the US designer and he finally conceded that yes, the current performance matched, but that his stuff was way more durable and more cleverly designed. 2 years ago, I retested both devices for fun. The light transmission of the US made device had collapsed (reflective surface tarnished/degraded). I would have loved to tell the US guy of my latest test, but I couldn't because he was out of business... ;) And BTW, almost all of US manufacturers in this area either collapsed, were bought/rescued by Eastern investors or re-oriented themselves to the "more pro" market, whatever that means (most often nostalgic well-heeled older amateurs with disposable income)

That's not a question of having good or bad US/Chinese/German whatever people. Just a question of stubborn arrogance leading to questionable business decisions in the long term IMHO. And just stupid plain racism. Remember when everyone was making fun of Japanese cars?
 

LTig

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#59
There are plenty of talented Chinese engineers who are able to produce greatness (such as the assortment of great Topping Products) but the majority of the Chinese factories and their lowly engineers are building very poorly designed and manufactured products (often for western brands).
If the Chinese produce bad products for western brands then you have to blame the western brands because they wanted it so (they did the specs, probably also the design and the development, and dealed for the cheapest price).

These western brands usually also don't care about the environment, the loss of work places in the west and the problems their custumers have with these products, ... - I should stop ranting here. Best is to stay away of such brands (if this is possible)
 
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