Beginner - HQPlayer setup

I thought I’d try HQplayer

  1. I have HQPlayer embedded on an Innuos Pulsar and it’s switched to HQ endpoint mode
  2. I have Roon running on a TS-473. I added an HQplayer in Settings
  3. I downloaded HQ Player on a MacBook Air and set the output device

It says “Playback failed because Roon couldn’t connect to HQPlayer”.

That’s all I’ve done because I have no IT knowledge and I don’t know what to do next.

There is something called HQPlayer Client. Do I need to load it?

Any help appreciated.

Did you remember to press down the “Allow network control” button in HQPlayer toolbar? Please see the official instructions here:

Can you play something with HQPlayer standalone?

The network button was not switched on. I switched it on, restarted HQP5 and the Pulsar and still the same.

I found some music on my hard drive, loaded it, it plays it but I can’t hear anything coming out of my audio system.

Some good news! Music is coming through from the standalone player. It’s very quiet, but it’s coming through.

I don’t think there is any network issue as I can use Roon in endpoint mode to Innuos, HQplayer is just another endpoint mode.

These were the output settings:

There was an error message when I changed settings:

Currently I have input as “None”.

Any further possible reason or settings? I’m in demo mode, get it going and I’ll sign up!

If you have music playing in standalone mode and the network control button selected then that is all you need on the HQPlayer side .

Open roon settings go to the setup page, select ADD HQPlayer, and then add the HQPlayer Server’s IP. After it is added, then you select HQPlayer as the output for Roon.

Many thanks.

I’m sure that side was also OK. Deleted and started again, screenshotting as I went along.

Streamer IP set correctly, that worked in standalone mode.
Pulsar selected and it has the HQPlayer logo.

Just get the same error message every time.

Your HQPlayer server is not on the Pulsar, that is just an endpoint, your server is on the Mac, from your description. You need to make sure that HQPlayer Desktop is running on the Mac and add the Mac’s IP address.

Roon sends stream to HQPlayer server running on your mac, which processes and sends it to your endpoint which is running on the pulsar and then it sends the audio to the Holo.

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You’re a super-hero!

I have sound. I realise I will need another computer. I don’t suppose HQP can be run on the QNAP?

Off to have dinner. More to follow.


Here HQPlayer volume is turned down to -60 dBFS. You may want to turn it up… Roon can also do it for you once it works. But please never turn it higher than -3 dBFS! (to leave headroom for inter-sample overs)

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I spent some time watching the tennis highlights and reading up on the fact that I would need a computer.

It will have to be a Mac and sit in a cupboard with my other hardware (modem, switch etc.). The intention would be to convert PCM to DSD256 and leave it alone. I don’t like fiddling with audio, I prefer to listen to music. It would not run anything else. Roon would still be on my QNAP.

Is there a recommended Mac?

Many thanks

MacMini with Pro CPU should be enough for most cases. I recommend to take the higher RAM option as it improves overall performance.

Going a bit higher tier for heavier cases, Mac Studio with Max or Ultra CPU provides more power. And only slightly bigger form factor.

Thanks. That’s a minimum £1,700 machine for the M2 Pro!

I was reading some of your recommendations here for PC’s - it’s all spaghetti to me because I’ve not used a Windows PC for 20 years.

You could save price of a Windows license with a Linux one.

Desired use case and form factor defines a lot, affecting price as well. MacMini gives you roughly highest performance per Watt, in a small form factor. This is good for a cupboard placement. But it also affects price.

If your DAC is to be directly connected to the HQPlayer server over USB, then it cannot be far from the DAC. While if it would be connecting over network to a NAA network endpoint, then the server could be placed in a basement or somewhere else within the home network infrastructure. And then the form factor is not as critical.

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It’s going in a cupboard and will be plugged into my main network switch. Then over fibre to the Innuos Pulsar endpoint on another floor of the house.

By higher RAM option, do you mean the 32gb vs 16gb standard? I only want to go to DSD256.

There are good deals on refurbished MACs, bought loads of them for my business, but they are all standard spec. So 16gb would be preferred.

HQPlayer is quite an expensive option for a system that already sounds very good!

I have a basic 16GB Mini M1 for PCM to DSD256 with poly-sinc-gauss-* filters, ASDM7EC-light modulator, and Holo DAC corrections. It does the -super version of the modulator without DAC corrections, but DAC corrections take it over the limit, so I backed off to the -light modulator. If you can find a refurb 16GB M1, go for it, they aren’t easy to find currently.

Many thanks. There is a 16gb M2 (not pro) available locally at a fair price. I have a Holo May L2, no corrections so nothing to worry about!

Good. I own both a Spring 2 and a May (different locations). HQPlayer Desktop 5.7.2 offers corrections for Spring 2, Spring 3/May, and Cyan 2. Those are @jussi_laako’s “secret sauce” that I found beneficial with both Spring 2 and May. For me, with my sources and analog gear, ASDM7EC-light + corrections > ASDM7EC-super.

It all depends on the modulators and filters chosen. The heavier the options chosen the more horsepower the PC needs.

For Pro, it would be 32 GB. But it is more critical for the non-Pro base model, where the difference between 8 GB and 16 GB models is bigger. Maxing out the RAM takes all RAM channels into use improving practical memory bandwidth. So it does have a performance impact too.

The best I can find at a price that is worth trying is this:

Mac mini Apple M2 Pro with 10‑Core CPU and 16‑Core GPU 16gB unified memory

Is that going to handle PCM to DSD256 with corrections and recommended filters?

Will this go to DSD512 ?