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how to downgrade firmware 18120R on SONY HAP-Z1ES


thomasha
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Recently there's been firmware update 18120R (https://esupport.sony.com/US/p/swu-download.pl?mdl=HAPZ1ES&upd_id=11059&os_group_id=29) which brings the following improvements over version 18033R:- Improves playback quality for the USB digital output function.- Improves Network connections with HDD Audio Remote and HAP Music Transfer applications.- Improves communication security. HOWEVER - I'm facing an issue with the new firmware version 18120R. It seems that they added support for USB 1.0 as my Wadia 151 finally plays via USB even without conversion from USB>SPDIF, but it plays extremely silent !!! Has anyone experienced it? To get normal/standard volume level i need to max wadia out. Unbelievable, they managed to fix USB downwards compatibility but completely broke the volume level. It stays the same low level even after conversion from USB>SPDIF so it's definitely the output level of Sony's USB output.

 

Can anyone advise how to downgrade the firmware (e.g. to the previous version 18033R)? Thanks for any suggestions

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Recently there's been firmware update 18120R (https://esupport.sony.com/US/p/swu-download.pl?mdl=HAPZ1ES&upd_id=11059&os_group_id=29) which brings the following improvements over version 18033R:- Improves playback quality for the USB digital output function.- Improves Network connections with HDD Audio Remote and HAP Music Transfer applications.- Improves communication security. HOWEVER - I'm facing an issue with the new firmware version 18120R. It seems that they added support for USB 1.0 as my Wadia 151 finally plays via USB even without conversion from USB>SPDIF, but it plays extremely silent !!! Has anyone experienced it? To get normal/standard volume level i need to max wadia out. Unbelievable, they managed to fix USB downwards compatibility but completely broke the volume level. It stays the same low level even after conversion from USB>SPDIF so it's definitely the output level of Sony's USB output.

 

Can anyone advise how to downgrade the firmware (e.g. to the previous version 18033R)? Thanks for any suggestions

 

I have my HAP-Z1 connected via USB to an external DAC and have no issues using the latest firmware release, but I'm not familiar with your DAC. Something simple, try another USB cable

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Computer Audiophile

 

MAIN SYSTEM - SST Ambrosia 2000 Second Edition Preamp and Son of Ampzilla II Amp, dCS Debussy DAC, Bricasti M5 Streamer, PS Audio P3 Power Plant, Aurender ACS10 Server/Streamer, Focal Sopra No. 1 Speakers, JL Audio F112 Subwoofer, Elac SUB3070 Subwoofer, 20TB Synology NAS, Small Green Computer i5/1TB SSD running Roon

HOME OFFICE SYSTEM - NAD M10 Integrated Amp/Streamer/DAC, Auralic Altair Streamer/DAC, Oppo BDP-103 SACD, KEF LS50 Speakers

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I have my HAP-Z1 connected via USB to an external DAC and have no issues using the latest firmware release, but I'm not familiar with your DAC. Something simple, try another USB cable

 

 

Since you're not familiar with Wadia 151 (my external DAC), and since you missed the info that i tested the USB output both directly as well as indirectly (via conversion USB>SPDIF) with identic results, i'll just ignore the USB cable swapping advice.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I've read in a few forums that some USB devices won't work connected directly to the HAPZ1ES, but instead you need to get a USB Hub and connect to the HAPZ1ES, then connect your devices to the Hub (this seems to be the case also if you want to connect multiple USB devices, like an external Drive and a CDROM reader).

 

Hope that helps your quandary. Please don't dismiss well-intentioned advice sent your way if you want your posts addressed constructively.

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On 3/23/2017 at 6:48 AM, davehg said:

I've read in a few forums that some USB devices won't work connected directly to the HAPZ1ES, but instead you need to get a USB Hub and connect to the HAPZ1ES, then connect your devices to the Hub (this seems to be the case also if you want to connect multiple USB devices, like an external Drive and a CDROM reader).

 

Hope that helps your quandary. Please don't dismiss well-intentioned advice sent your way if you want your posts addressed constructively.

hi davegh,

 

great thanks for a good point - i'll try once again the USB hub but, honestly, i don't expect it to increase the volume. With the latest firmware update Sony had managed to communicate with Wadia 151 even via USB interface (prior to that it was not possible as Wadia was not detected). All Sony needs to fix in the following firmware update is the issue with extremely low volume of the output to some devices. There are standards as to output level for USB output therefore i really have no clue what's happening ;(

 

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I have the same issue as volume is too low and I have tried few DACs with the same results. If you send the player to Sony, they will downgrade to previous firmware. I will just wait for the next firmware update and hopefully they will fix the issue. However, I found the RCA output is a little better than before the firmware upgrade. Since my DAC is much better than Sony's, I really hope that they can fix the USB output issue.

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9 hours ago, Yu8114 said:

I have the same issue as volume is too low and I have tried few DACs with the same results. If you send the player to Sony, they will downgrade to previous firmware. I will just wait for the next firmware update and hopefully they will fix the issue. However, I found the RCA output is a little better than before the firmware upgrade. Since my DAC is much better than Sony's, I really hope that they can fix the USB output issue.

I have two amplifiers and when using RCA output, everything is fine and works as designed. 


However firmware 18120R (https://esupport.sony.com/US/p/swu-download.pl?mdl=HAPZ1ES&upd_id=11059&os_group_id=29) introduced some fine tuning "Improves playback quality for the USB digital output function" - which turned out to be a mishap.

 

I'll have to wait for the upgrade and stop using Wadia for a while. 

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  • 8 months later...

Hello, 

A few months later... this has happened to me too, with another external DAC:

I got a M2tech hi face two, which I know it worked with the Z1ES because I tested it successfully last year.

 

I downgraded to 18033R from the last 18120R.

 

18120R brings improvement to 32bit WAV,  and this causes issue with almost all 24bit or even 16 bit files: all files, even 24bit or 16bit files, are read with the Z1ES on external DAC as if they were 32bit, and thus causes a divide by ten (I forgot the maths behind that, sorry) of the volume.

 

Simple thing to do at home, without sending to repair center:

put the Z1ES in standby (off)

press the Home button while pressing briefly on the Standby button, to bring it on.

after some seconds, you are in the service menu.

there you can restore previous firmware (as well as restart, reindex database)

 

Hope it helps.

Hope another firmware update too correcting this only issue.

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I don’t see the problem you mention on my DACs.  You must have a problem with your DAC. You might try turning off up sampling on the Sony.  I haven’t seen problems with my Auralic Vega or Directstream DACs

 

MAIN SYSTEM - SST Ambrosia 2000 Second Edition Preamp and Son of Ampzilla II Amp, dCS Debussy DAC, Bricasti M5 Streamer, PS Audio P3 Power Plant, Aurender ACS10 Server/Streamer, Focal Sopra No. 1 Speakers, JL Audio F112 Subwoofer, Elac SUB3070 Subwoofer, 20TB Synology NAS, Small Green Computer i5/1TB SSD running Roon

HOME OFFICE SYSTEM - NAD M10 Integrated Amp/Streamer/DAC, Auralic Altair Streamer/DAC, Oppo BDP-103 SACD, KEF LS50 Speakers

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By the way, if one Sony guy ever land there :

 

in a Z5ES, I would like :

-a greater processor, to give a snappy feeling

-a greater DAC, like AK4497, which brings better dynamics. I loved BB DAC though, but strangely, not like it has been implemented in the Z1ES, maybe because the sound was not enough generous, plentiful

-audio filters like in the XA50ES or in the JA20ES (Plain, Sharp, Normal) which could suit different persons, but also different individual mood

-Spotify Hifi (lossless)

-Google Chromecast support (one more licence!) it is everywhere now

-one inch less in height

-a widescreen horizontal 18:9 (no need of 4K!!, 1080p is far enough) with fonts and layout optimised for reading 3-4meters away

-a bit more buttons on the remote to navigate in the menus (not too much buttons though!)

-navigate inside favorite radio channels with the remote

-same quality build

-a better app, like the NT-505 (based on screenshots, since it is still not available)

 

Season greeting’s!

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One other thing :

I like DSD, but I like also perhaps more some legacy DACs.

Why when playing DSD with an external DAC there is no DSD to PCM conversion to the DAC? Instead the player throws an error message. This player has all capacities to do that.

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I'm a Sony fan and own a HAPZ1, but I'm certainly not a fan of the DAC in the Sony, which is why I connect it to the Auralic DAC.  I want to hear the DSD files I have on my Sony via a decent, modern DAC.

 

MAIN SYSTEM - SST Ambrosia 2000 Second Edition Preamp and Son of Ampzilla II Amp, dCS Debussy DAC, Bricasti M5 Streamer, PS Audio P3 Power Plant, Aurender ACS10 Server/Streamer, Focal Sopra No. 1 Speakers, JL Audio F112 Subwoofer, Elac SUB3070 Subwoofer, 20TB Synology NAS, Small Green Computer i5/1TB SSD running Roon

HOME OFFICE SYSTEM - NAD M10 Integrated Amp/Streamer/DAC, Auralic Altair Streamer/DAC, Oppo BDP-103 SACD, KEF LS50 Speakers

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  • 2 weeks later...

@vrdsp0 - thanks for the sequence for restoring the previous firmware. only after you sent it i realized that it's included in the official Sony documentation :)

 

Following the steps I managed to downgrade to 18033R from the last 18120R, yet with no improvement regarding sound volume (with my Wadia 151). It seems there's currently no difference which firmware i use with the setup Sony<>Wadia. Hope further firmware updates introduce a change.

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  • 7 months later...
On 1/4/2018 at 5:15 PM, thomasha said:

@vrdsp0 - thanks for the sequence for restoring the previous firmware. only after you sent it i realized that it's included in the official Sony documentation :)

 

Following the steps I managed to downgrade to 18033R from the last 18120R, yet with no improvement regarding sound volume (with my Wadia 151). It seems there's currently no difference which firmware i use with the setup Sony<>Wadia. Hope further firmware updates introduce a change.

I got same problem 

Anyone can help me?

I got Z1es  with  only one firmware inside (181220r, it is impossible to downgrade),does anyone know any DDC I can use so I can make usb signal become coaxial signal ,thank you very much

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On 12/23/2017 at 3:31 AM, vrdsp0 said:

Hello, 

A few months later... this has happened to me too, with another external DAC:

I got a M2tech hi face two, which I know it worked with the Z1ES because I tested it successfully last year.

 

I downgraded to 18033R from the last 18120R.

 

18120R brings improvement to 32bit WAV,  and this causes issue with almost all 24bit or even 16 bit files: all files, even 24bit or 16bit files, are read with the Z1ES on external DAC as if they were 32bit, and thus causes a divide by ten (I forgot the maths behind that, sorry) of the volume.

 

Simple thing to do at home, without sending to repair center:

put the Z1ES in standby (off)

press the Home button while pressing briefly on the Standby button, to bring it on.

after some seconds, you are in the service menu.

there you can restore previous firmware (as well as restart, reindex database)

 

Hope it helps.

Hope another firmware update too correcting this only issue.

Sir,But M2tech hi face two still support 18120r?I am looking for DDc for 18120r ,good to convert dsd file in hard-disk to coaxial signal?Thank you

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Hello Otto,

I understand your HAP-Z1ES has been bought last month and only 1 firmware is shipped inside.

 

I would say bad luck, I’m not aware of any unofficial downgrade solution. Maybe Sony could help with that, under the rationale it breaks compatibility with M2Tech Hifave Two (third party for Sony), and you bought this Z1ES for the sole purpose of doing that, but you certainly would have to reach level 2 or level 3 support team, if it exists... again good luck with that.

 

I still use sometimes the M2Tech hiface Two plugged in the Z1ES with 18033R, but I now prefer the onboard DAC, as there are two analog output for feeding two different speakers, with no complexities, and which is still a good DAC.

 

you want DSD to coax :

-not sure it can be done with existing products.

if you want DSD DOP, M2tech hiface two, even the ‘evo’ version is ruled out. I do not know other devices that would do that.

=>why do you want DSD over  coax?

 

-USB is now better and more flexible to transport DSD signals. SPDIF has been designed for PCM.

From that perspective Z1ES only does DSD DOP over USB, in other words, no direct DSD possible through USB.

 

There certainly now are other better streamers, but all are out of my budget.

Though I would be curious if the NT-505 has been improved and polished, so that it removes all known and less highlighted flaws of the previous iteration NT-503. Distribution of this product is now done by Onkyo in the US, so coming months will tell. No known changes in Europe on the distribution side.

 

But Z1ES is still a keeper for various reasons

you got your own music collection you still like Spotify

you got no broadband connection

 

But reasons to change are increasingly important :

you want TIDAL, Qobuz, or Other online services inside one box.

you need Direct DSD

you badly want the trendy MQA (not for me, thanks)

 

Still there are no affordable 2.0 or 2.1 pre amp in the digital domain available, with a DAC and the processing power for post-processing the signal (volume control, filtering, equalizing, DRC). Alternatively a digital ‘tape monitoring’ open standard that would permit the chaining of digital boxes on the signal path would be an innovation...

One interesting example, but not complete, is the prosumer Rme ADI-2 Pro, which could show to the legacy hifi industry the right things to integrate.

NAD has begun to do that sort of things in the M series but the resulting prosumer devices are far too restricted for me. 

 

So you may prefer want a combo streamer+pre amp for simplicity sake. NT-505 do that with all the right formats. But again no digital outputs.

 

Sorry I diverted the subject :

-why do you want DSD over coax?

-you my want to exchange the z1es with an older one if you want to use your hiface two

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1 hour ago, vrdsp0 said:

Hello Otto,

I understand your HAP-Z1ES has been bought last month and only 1 firmware is shipped inside.

 

I would say bad luck, I’m not aware of any unofficial downgrade solution. Maybe Sony could help with that, under the rationale it breaks compatibility with M2Tech Hifave Two (third party for Sony), and you bought this Z1ES for the sole purpose of doing that, but you certainly would have to reach level 2 or level 3 support team, if it exists... again good luck with that.

 

I still use sometimes the M2Tech hiface Two plugged in the Z1ES with 18033R, but I now prefer the onboard DAC, as there are two analog output for feeding two different speakers, with no complexities, and which is still a good DAC.

 

you want DSD to coax :

-not sure it can be done with existing products.

if you want DSD DOP, M2tech hiface two, even the ‘evo’ version is ruled out. I do not know other devices that would do that.

=>why do you want DSD over  coax?

 

-USB is now better and more flexible to transport DSD signals. SPDIF has been designed for PCM.

From that perspective Z1ES only does DSD DOP over USB, in other words, no direct DSD possible through USB.

 

There certainly now are other better streamers, but all are out of my budget.

Though I would be curious if the NT-505 has been improved and polished, so that it removes all known and less highlighted flaws of the previous iteration NT-503. Distribution of this product is now done by Onkyo in the US, so coming months will tell. No known changes in Europe on the distribution side.

 

But Z1ES is still a keeper for various reasons

you got your own music collection you still like Spotify

you got no broadband connection

 

But reasons to change are increasingly important :

you want TIDAL, Qobuz, or Other online services inside one box.

you need Direct DSD

you badly want the trendy MQA (not for me, thanks)

 

Still there are no affordable 2.0 or 2.1 pre amp in the digital domain available, with a DAC and the processing power for post-processing the signal (volume control, filtering, equalizing, DRC). Alternatively a digital ‘tape monitoring’ open standard that would permit the chaining of digital boxes on the signal path would be an innovation...

One interesting example, but not complete, is the prosumer Rme ADI-2 Pro, which could show to the legacy hifi industry the right things to integrate.

NAD has begun to do that sort of things in the M series but the resulting prosumer devices are far too restricted for me. 

 

So you may prefer want a combo streamer+pre amp for simplicity sake. NT-505 do that with all the right formats. But again no digital outputs.

 

Sorry I diverted the subject :

-why do you want DSD over coax?

-you my want to exchange the z1es with an older one if you want to use your hiface two

Thank you for your help

Because my dac  usb input is not "happy" with the latest version firmware,and it's coaxial is okay with dop 2.8 ,so m2teac hiface 2 is okay with dop output signal from latest version z1es but not okay with pcm?Cause almost most of song in hard-disk is dsd file thank you

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*If your DAC does understand dsd dop, then it has an usb input that is dsd capable : plug it this way if you can. Scenario where you can’t would be that you have two sources with USB output, then buy another DAC or wait for a DACwth dual or more USB inputs? unless it is a more exotic configuration?

 

*m2tech hiface two supports only PCM, afaik.

Though, maybe try their latest firmware: (I’ve not tried it yet. Do it with enough free time, you can brick your device when doing a firmware update)

https://lnx.m2tech.biz/fr/firmware-update/

 

*Z1ES is not configured to convert DSD to PCM on the USB output, sadly but understandably for the Sony ecosystem, development cost, and almost certainly ip protection

 

 

 

In my opinion, if you have DSD64 rips, the internal DAC is more than enough.

 

 

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On 12/23/2017 at 4:00 AM, vrdsp0 said:

By the way, if one Sony guy ever land there :

 

in a Z5ES, I would like :

-a greater processor, to give a snappy feeling

-a greater DAC, like AK4497, which brings better dynamics. I loved BB DAC though, but strangely, not like it has been implemented in the Z1ES, maybe because the sound was not enough generous, plentiful

-audio filters like in the XA50ES or in the JA20ES (Plain, Sharp, Normal) which could suit different persons, but also different individual mood

-Spotify Hifi (lossless)

-Google Chromecast support (one more licence!) it is everywhere now

-one inch less in height

-a widescreen horizontal 18:9 (no need of 4K!!, 1080p is far enough) with fonts and layout optimised for reading 3-4meters away

-a bit more buttons on the remote to navigate in the menus (not too much buttons though!)

-navigate inside favorite radio channels with the remote

-same quality build

-a better app, like the NT-505 (based on screenshots, since it is still not available)

 

Season greeting’s!

Sir,teac 505 supports z1es with latest firmware ?

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With NT-505 you will not need the Z1ES anymore, it is an integrated high-end DAC + streamer, which does PCM and DSD :

https://www.hifi.nl/artikel/26685/Review-TEAC-NT-505-DACnetwerkspeler-en-CG-10M-klokgenerator.html

https://www.spill.hk/audiovisual/teac-ud-505-review/

Difficult to get though.

Plus, you would need to find another solution to rip SACD though, or keep the Z1ES for this sole purpose...

 

I will never switch again to the latest firmware on the Z1ES, sorry Otto.

Maybe if I find an opportunity, I would get the NT-505 some day, but it certainly would mean that I would not own the Z1ES anymore.

 

The UD-501 DAC worked straight right with the Z1ES (but again not tested with latest firmware)

I think I've not tested with the UD-503 DAC, which was better, but support for this DAC has been slowly added in linux kernel, did not work with other DIY systems, and I had to sell it. Z1ES works with a linux kernel, so highly possible it was not compatible.

 

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I’m using the latest firmware and connecting the HAPZ1 via USB to an Esoteric N-05 to take advantage of the better DAC.  No issues at all.

 

MAIN SYSTEM - SST Ambrosia 2000 Second Edition Preamp and Son of Ampzilla II Amp, dCS Debussy DAC, Bricasti M5 Streamer, PS Audio P3 Power Plant, Aurender ACS10 Server/Streamer, Focal Sopra No. 1 Speakers, JL Audio F112 Subwoofer, Elac SUB3070 Subwoofer, 20TB Synology NAS, Small Green Computer i5/1TB SSD running Roon

HOME OFFICE SYSTEM - NAD M10 Integrated Amp/Streamer/DAC, Auralic Altair Streamer/DAC, Oppo BDP-103 SACD, KEF LS50 Speakers

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the only solution is to try the UD-503 or UD-505 (or NT- version as a DAC) with the Z1ES and report if it works with the latest firmware, so.

 

Esoteric and TEAC are intimately tied, both at the hardware and software level.

The Esoteric N-05 DAC share some components with the UD-503. (not all,hopefully for Esoteric owners ;) )

UD-505 is an evolution of the UD-503. NT-505 adds the streaming features.

Of course, features and fine tuning is vastly different.

So we cannot make deduction/inference here.

I suspect the Z1ES firmware has regressed for casual users using casual devices, in part due to feature request from high-end audio device owners such as this Esoteric. That's another debate.

 

Furthermore, in the NT-505 SNPI (Supplemental information) , TEAC says it is possible to read DSD128 and PCM 24bits/192khz from USB port on the front panel. They talk about flash drive, but I guess a low power HDD or SSD could be plugged.

https://www.teac-audio.eu/downloads/3/3/5/2/9/TEAC_NT-505_product_information_EN.pdf

Astonishingly, marketers put forward the dual mono construction, while engineers forget the crosstalk measure...

 

And also, better have a look at firmware release notes:

All issues relating to the volume are ultra important and was a flaw in the previous 503 series.

TEAC looks as if they have worked on this subject :

https://teac.jp/downloads/products/teac/ud-505/E_UD-505_NT-505_RN_vB.txt

 

The NT-503 use the iOS HR Remote application, while the NT-505 use the excellent HR Streamer application (Lumin based).

By the way, very interesting to find a Lumin software on both TEAC/Esoteric devices. It's new for TEAC.

 

 

All that said, the Z1ES is still good sonically and good looking.

Now that TEAC has shown what is possible in such a little device, SONY can COPY that! :0

Sorry, improve the current Z1ES and fill the need of Sony fans + add Spotify Hi-Res exclusivity at launch! + still take care of SACD owners (ripping feature)

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"Esoteric and TEAC are intimately tied, both at the hardware and software level.

The Esoteric N-05 DAC share some components with the UD-503. (not all,hopefully for Esoteric owners ;) )"

 

The above statement is just silly.  The devices are nothing alike and share very little in common.  The Esoteric network streamers are a massive improvement compared to the low-end TEAC NT-503/NT-505 streamers.

 

MAIN SYSTEM - SST Ambrosia 2000 Second Edition Preamp and Son of Ampzilla II Amp, dCS Debussy DAC, Bricasti M5 Streamer, PS Audio P3 Power Plant, Aurender ACS10 Server/Streamer, Focal Sopra No. 1 Speakers, JL Audio F112 Subwoofer, Elac SUB3070 Subwoofer, 20TB Synology NAS, Small Green Computer i5/1TB SSD running Roon

HOME OFFICE SYSTEM - NAD M10 Integrated Amp/Streamer/DAC, Auralic Altair Streamer/DAC, Oppo BDP-103 SACD, KEF LS50 Speakers

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