Aries, Roon and HQPLayer

With the news from Brian that HQPLayer integration will mean HQP handles the output, I was hoping that Auralic might enable an option in Lightning DS for the Aries and MInis to be HQPlayer NAAs, which would be truly awesome.

But after enquiry I understand they have no plans to do so.

So that leaves me in a position where having had to choose between Roon and Aries for 3 months (and choosing Roon) I may soon have to choose between Roon/HQPlayer and Roon/Aries :cry:

If anyone else would like to be able to send output from Roon/HQPlayer to an Aries or Mini, it might be a good time to let Auralic know.

The same here with PSAudio with bridge II. It looks that it will be either Roon/bridge or Roon/HQP via the usb connection with the bridge out of the equation.

Since the defining feature of both hqplayer and the psaudio directstream are conversion to DSD what are the benefits of using the two together? Presumably a more typical DSD capable DAC would benefit more from HQPlayer? Just curious as I’m thinking of getting the psaudio but also seeing a lot of support for HQplayer on this forum and others.

What you guys need is a “DSP pack” version of HQ Player that could be plugged into Roon and not require HQPlayer to be an endpoint.

We are happy to license than technology but that user-generated-chatter would have to be made in the direction of the DSP creators (HQPlayer, Amarra, etc…).

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You are right. However, I do not know why but the DS with HQPlayer really sounds great. There are others at the PS Audio forum who also remark the same.

Hi Phil,

I haven’t used the PSAudio but many people find the filters in HQPlayer give better SQ than the inbuilt filters on their DAC. I still don’t understand how the DAC knows not to use it’s own filters, but HQPlayer gave me the best Redbook playback I’ve heard on my system. Using it with Tidal through Roon will be great.

Danny’s suggestion is a good one and I will add my voice to those asking HQPlayer to do that, but waiting for third party software development can be an exercise in patience.

I don’t get the HQ Player hype. Maybe someone on this forum can explain to me what HQ Player does to files that overrides what the DAC does do them, or whatever. I just don’t get it. Seems like folks just prefer HQ Player’s filters to others. Doesn’t that change the music?

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The filters are anti-aliasing filters which all digital music requires to cut out noise above half the sampling rate. Upsampling enables gentler digital filtering than the “brick wall” filters required with 44.1 kHz. DSD shifts the anti-aliasing noise way up the frequency spectrum, where an analog filter can be used. The filters in HQPlayer don’t change the music, they avoid artefacts which result from steeper filters such as pre and post ringing. Try HQPlayer on the free trial and see what you think.

HQP has multiple filters of various types. How it works with your DAC depends on the DAC chip and how it is implemented.
On my DAC, if it is given a DSD stream it works directly with what it is given. If given a PCM stream it converts it to DSD, and then converts it to hi-res PCM for filtering and conversion to analog. Almost all modern DACs upconvert PCM to DSD and then to 8X hi-res PCM before conversion to analog. This involves multiple conversion steps inside the DAC - even if the DAC claims it is non-upsampling (obviously ladder DACs are an exception to this rule).

The rationale behind HQP is that all the up converting and filtering (which 99% of modern DACs do) is better done on a powerful PC (server) which is much more powerful than any DAC chip. If your DAC is given less to do (for instance in my case by converting everything to DSD before it goes to the DAC) then the resulting output from the DAC will be superior.

In addition, the filters on HQP are apparently superior to those built into most DAC chips. And there are multiple filters you can choose from - different systems and different ears can result in you having a preference for the sound of one filter or another. HQP gives you this choice.

Change the music? Not any more than any other DAC process. Basically all DACs apply filters to produce analog output. The question then becomes what filter, not if the audio stream will be filtered.

I’ve posted a feature request on the CA thread where Jussi (Miska) participates for a DSP style version of HQP. Hopefully he might see it and respond. I would encourage anyone else who would like to have HQP SQ and Roon I/O to support it.

Not all DACs take the PCM stream to DSD and back out. It is important for people to know how their particular DAC functions before making assumptions. In other words, not all DACs are Delta Sigma. And it is important to know your own DAC. Yggy’s for example are very popular example of a non-Delta Sigma DAC.

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As I noted in my previous post,Yggy and other ladder DACS operate differently. But again, about 99% of modern DACs do operate this way.

So I take it there’s no way to get HQPlayer to stream DSD to an Aries at the moment, and you would need to connect the PC that’s doing the HQPlayer to a DAC directly?

Hi Sydney,

Yes there is no current way to get HQP to stream to an Aries that I know of. I have not heard anything further as to whether Auralic intends to implement an NAA on the Aries, but I haven’t searched to try and find out.

You can either connect the PC with HQP to a DAC directly or send the output from HQP to a Network Audio Adaptor (NAA) as defined by HQP. You can buy a commercial pre-installed NAA such as the SonicOrbiter, or DIY one. There are threads in the HQP section about installing the NAA software on a Raspberry Pi, Beaglebone Black or CuBox-i.

If you are looking to stream DSD from HQP then a CuBox-i NAA is a very good solution.

Brilliant - thanks for the reply and info.
I was hoping to have the HQP do it’s stuff on a PC somewhere on the LAN and then stream that back to the Aries. Oh well.
It sounds like if I like the Roon+HQP solution I really don’t need the Aries, but I’ll need to replace that with a grunty machine to do Roon+HQP -> USB -> Vega DAC

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