SA-Z1 Hi-Res Near Field Powered Speaker System Signature Series
- Precise driver time-alignment with custom FPGA architecture
- Coaxial layout drivers work as wide-range single driver unit
- I-ARRAY™ tweeters, for up to 100-kHz frequency response and wide directivity
- Horizontally opposed woofers and side ducts for wide and deep sound stage
- D.A. Hybrid Amplifier Circuit with GaN power device
The pinnacle of near field listening
The SA-Z1 is meticulously crafted to sit on your desk and provide you with a reference listening experience, whatever your choice of music. Play music from your laptop or PC, hook up your Walkman or Xperia, or use with a dedicated digital music player.
Sony expertise in precision-engineered powered speakers
The SA-Z1 brings together Sony's legendary audio expertise, with first-of-its-kind custom componentry and benchmark audio technologies. Thanks to a trio of accumulated acoustic, electronic and signal processing technology, SA-Z1 recreates music with exceptional presence and coherence.
Coherent impulse response
Well-designed multi-way speakers have a flat and broad frequency response, but disengaging the impulse response (time-coherence) risks a compromised soundstage. Conversely, single driver units offer excellent impulse response but sacrifice frequency response. The SA-Z1's custom digital processing and coaxial layout delivers both — the sonic realism of a precise impulse response, along with a wide soundstage and frequency presentation. [1. Input signal (impulse) 2. Accurate wave form 3. Incorrect wave form]
The SA-Z1's multi-amplifier system and unique Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) perfectly synchronizes the wave front between driver units. The precisely aligned wave front and broad frequency response are capable of delivering both the power of an expansive orchestral sound stage or the focus of an intimate solo.
Coaxial driver layout
For reference-quality near field listening, the SA-Z1 features a coaxial speaker layout. Combined with the FPGA for time coherence, this design offers ideal acoustic centering across the frequency range. The result is phase coherence — essential for clear stereo imaging.
Horizontally opposed woofers, 'Tsuzumi' layout
Inspired by a traditional Japanese 'Tsuzumi' drum, dual woofers are placed back-to-back. This layout hugely cuts unwanted vibration — the vibration from each woofer cancels out the vibration from the other. By reducing the enclosure resonance so significantly, SA-Z1 delivers supreme resolution and a precise sound image.
Bass expansion duct
The unique 'Tsuzumi' design also supports wide sound dispersion. Unlike conventional speakers, the rear bass expansion duct lets bass radiate to the sides as well as forward—just like sound sources in nature—so you experience a natural, realistic sound field that describes an even depth and height of sound space.
Innovative air control behind the woofer
For the SA-Z1 we developed our woofer from the ground up. Large aperture slits behind the diaphragm prevent turbulence that causes wind noise and disturbs the linear motion of the diaphragm. The breathable magnet layout is a new idea to suppress the turbulence around the voice coil. These structures deliver low distortion and faithful linearity for clear sound and tight response.
More linearity and purity
The woofer offers supreme linearity with very low distortion. The zinc die-cast basket holds the motor system firmly so that it can suppress vibrations from piston motion. Powerful neodymium magnets preserve the linearity and the copper sleeve reduces distortion.
I-ARRAY™ tweeters for wider frequency and off-axis response
Sony's acclaimed I-ARRAY™ high resolution tweeters combine a main tweeter with two smaller assist tweeters, for both impressive frequency extension and wider directivity. The large balanced dome main tweeter ensures excellent high-frequency realism, while the smaller assist tweeters expand the off-axis response, delivering high-frequency harmonic overtones up to 100 kHz for acoustic realism only possible with High-Resolution Audio.
New balanced dome tweeter unit
The balanced dome structure suppresses break-up mode—which disturbs high frequency response—so that it can reproduce 100 kHz to release the full potential of High-Resolution Audio. The voice coil drives at a point where the weight of the diaphragm and air load balance — which is why the structure is called 'balanced.'
Titanium sputtering diaphragm
The surface of the tweeter dome is coated with titanium sputtering for lightweight rigidity and a high-velocity rise. The high internal loss reduces resonance and results in a tightly defined transient response, even at high frequencies, for natural sound all the way up to 100 kHz.
Featuring body parts using two different alloys of aluminum, the SA-Z1 effectively minimizes noise distortion caused by resonance from the enclosure.
For the SA-Z1 we've updated our renowned frame and beam chassis with a new wall structure made from a solid aluminum block to isolate the circuit board from vibrations from the speaker. This suppresses structural resonance for a clean, uncolored sound with high-end audio authenticity.
Bridge arm structure
A precision-engineered bridge structure decouples the speaker enclosure from the amplifier and digital processing circuitry. The solid aluminum isolation links preserve sound purity for a remarkably focused and coherent presentation.
Composite enclosure structure
The enclosure of the SA-Z1 consists of six pieces of thick aluminum plate. While a monolithic enclosure is strong, it sustains resonance for a long time as a speaker enclosure. By jointing the six plates using a technique inspired by traditional Japanese construction methods, the SA-Z1 effectively suppresses the unnecessary audible resonance.
D.A. Hybrid Amplifier Circuit
Our original S-Master digital amplifier was a revolution with its non-feedback design for pure digital sound. The D.A. Hybrid Amplifier took this one step further, enhancing precision with an analog feed-forward amp to correct digital switching errors. Now, the introduction of a Gallium Nitride (GaN) power device evolves digital amplification to a whole new level.
To achieve ultimate sound reproduction, S-Master HX digitally amplifies the music signal without any resulting transmission loss. However, at the final stage of amplification, the physical limits of the semiconductor unavoidably cause distortion. So, to deliver both high power and accuracy, the D.A. Hybrid Amplifier Circuit combines a new ultra-speed power device, GaN, with an analog amplifier for error correction.
MOSFET transistors are typically used for digital amplifier switching, however they can produce ringing distortion due to slow switching speeds. By using Gallium Nitride (GaN), we can suppress the ringing through high speed switching. This means that amplification errors are significantly reduced, even before the signal is error-corrected by the feed-forward analog amplifier. [1. Ideal 2. GaN 3. MOSFET]
The analog amplifier compares the true signal with the digital amplifier output signal, identifying the error caused by switching. Then it produces an error correction signal to restore the output signal, preserving the purity of the original sound and reproducing the signal with absolute precision. [1. True signal 2. True signal + error 3. Error correction signal]
Custom architecture on FPGA processor
Sony's engineers realized early-on that typical, off-the-shelf DSPs could never draw optimal performance from their unique D.A. Hybrid amplifier and coaxial speaker design. So they built an original architecture on an FPGA (Field Programmable Gate Array) from scratch — the most advanced signal processing for the most advanced digital architecture.
The OFC cable that transmits the high speed differential signal between speakers is engineered to suppress signal reflection and loss, and shut out interference. This ensures accurate time alignment between the left and right speakers — crucial for reproducing spacious sound.
DSD Remastering Engine by FPGA
The DSD Remastering Engine lets you convert all PCM music sources into DSD 11.2 MHz. The technology uses the FPGA to convert any signal into the DSD sound format.
New DSEE HX™ analyzes song type by AI
Audio upscaling is improved even further by our new DSEE HX™ processing, which intelligently recognizes instruments, voices and musical genres. By identifying these and the relative energy of the audio, it can accurately rebuild audio lost during digital compression, for a full fidelity experience, even with compressed formats.
With hybrid amplification you get the best of both worlds — standard or blended sound. In the standard position, the analog amplifier works as just an error corrector. When you select the blended position, the analog amplifier starts to drive the speaker units with the digital amplifier. The blended position gives a slightly more analog sound to the digital amplifier. [1. Standard 2. Blended A. Digital B. Analog]
Assist Woofer Motion
You can choose to lock the assist woofer in place, rather than using it to complement the sound of the main woofer. This adjusts the sound stage to suit your tastes, music and listening environment. [1. Active 2. Fixed]
Assist Woofer Frequency
You can change the frequency range of the Assist Woofer. The narrow position delivers a tighter bass sound. The wide position reinforces the bass sound. [1. Narrow 2. Standard 3. Wide]
Assist TW Time Alignment
You can intentionally change the time alignment between tweeters and woofers. 'Sync' offers you perfectly time-aligned sound. 'Advance' describes a clear-cut sound image by advancing sound from the tweeters ahead of the woofer. Conversely, 'Delay' offers a soft and silky sound by delaying the sound from the tweeters in relation to the sound from the woofer. [1. Advance 2. Sync 3. Delay]
Supported sound formats
Support up to PCM 32 bit/768 kHz and DSD 22.4 MHz.
Analog-In connections include RCA, stereo mini and balanced XLR. Digital inputs include USB-B, optical and micro-USB for Walkman.
Pure Walkman® sound
To realize pure sound from a connected Walkman, the charging circuit can be deactivated.