Hi, I am new to Roon.
My system is rather simple. My music files reside in a Synology NAS (fully dedicated), Roon core runs in a fully dedicated laptop striped down to virtually nothing and “Fidelized”. They both are in a separate room away from my listening environment. They are connected to my Network player / Dac via ethernet with fiber isolation in between.
I am purist! By that I mean I play my music “bit-perfect”… no DSP, no upsampling, nothing.
In a couple of threads I remember reading about HQ Player improving SQ… Here is I would like your opinion / view:
If I load HQ Player on my dedicated laptop and channel Roon output through it (HQ), BUT without any filters, DSP signal processing etc (is that possible?), will there be any improvement in SQ?
Hi, I am new to Roon.
In my view there is no point running HQ Player in the way proposed.
The SQ benefits of HQP arise from shifting processing from your DAC to a general purpose computer. The more powerful computer can run more intensive modulators and filters, including apodising filters that shift noise out of audible frequencies. The benefits depend on your DAC and it’s capabilities. HQP works best with DACs that can accept high resolution input and bypass internal processing.
I use an R/2R native DSD DAC (Holo Audio Spring 1) in NOS mode. All the work associated with upsampling, filters and modulation is performed by HQP in a dedicated server in another room. The DAC just converts from DSD to analog.
The best news, however, is that HQP has a trial mode. You can try it out and see what you think.
Which network player and which DAC?
According to this review they used AKM 4490 DAC chips. So it depends what you mean by ‘pure’.
It is possible that HQPlayer’s digital filtering is better than the AKM chip’s, at least for the range of sample rates supported on input.
Only 2 ways to find out, measure and/or listen.
HQPlayer is free to try as @andybob mentioned.
In the time spent discussing it, you can easily have it up and running and deciding by hear for yourself with your own system.
Their product spec page says USB input supports PCM764kHz but I assume they’ve made a typo there…
Thank you @dabassgoesboomboom. By “pure” I mean I don’t use any DSP before the signal enters Ayon S-10 II. Once it is inside the DAC, then the only thing I do is PCM to DSD128 (a capability offered by S-10 II).
The reason I am entering this conversation asking advice from you guys (and thank you for this), is that as I understand HQ Player has a learning curve and it appears to be a complicated piece of software… So it appeared easier for me to pose the question!
Noted, so then the question is can the external DSP be better than that inside the DAC?
Inside DAC processing capability is limited by space & cost…
Some people have a multi thousand DSP machine for HQPlayer , where you have far less processing constraints.
Whether that makes things better or same or worse, you will need to try.
You will have posts from people on both sides, so in the end better to try yourself in your system, otherwise things will just go in circles.
Better to make posts about trying to get HQPlayer working for the free trial and people will help you if you get stuck !
Or just continue to enjoy the music without.
Understood! Thank you
I’m back to Holo – Spring 2 KTE – and after playing with 2x upsampling in Roon for 44.1 and 48 material I’m leaning towards upsampling for those lower sample rates. However, Roon’s upsampling options are limited, so I’d like to experiment more with upsampling filter options. Where do you start with HQPlayer? Thanks!
Install HQPlayer Desktop on a PC or Mac, preferably (but not necessarily) the same computer that is running Roon Core.
This Kickstart Guide should assist with setting up HQP and this HQP Setup article should assist with creating an HQP Zone in Roon. If you are using a network device such as a microRendu set the software to NAA and choose the NAA backend in HQP settings. HQP should detect your device. Try rebooting if it doesn’t auto detect.
Set the Spring to NOS mode and start experimenting with PCM or DSD and different filters and modulators.
I like DSD 256 with ASDM7EC and ext2. Try ASDM5EC or DSD7 if that is too intensive for your computer.
So how did the comparison Roon vs HQ player upsampling turn out?