Finally got around to playing with Roon’s Sample Rate Conversion. Wow, wow, wow.
Your mileage may vary, but I’m loving the audio I’m getting on my system using sample rate conversion! No need for me to use HQPlayer now!
Roon Core - Win 10 PC (quad core i5 CPU with 64Gb memory)
Playing via USB to my Emotiva XMC-1. Amp - Parasound A21. Speakers - Paradigm Studio 100 v5.
Glad you found musical nirvana. Curious, did you compare HQP with Roon? I’ve been meaning to get around to this but I really like the various filters HQP has and frankly dont want to mess around too much and probably end up breaking something!
I compared Roon’s upsampling to HQPlayer, and found HQP is still much superior to my ears.
FWIW, for PCM I am using Roon’s EQ and crossfeed, then handing off to HQPlayer for conversion / upsampling to DSD256.
For DSD, I am manually disabling Roon’s DSP engine, then handing off to HQPlayer for conversion / upsampling to DSD256.
I assume you have a headphone setup? Is that why you crossfeed?
Have you considered using HQP’s (or Roon’s) convolution engine instead of EQ?
Yes, primarily a headphone listener - in my “speaker” zone, I use volume leveling, different EQ, and no crossfeed.
I’ve previously tried HQPlayer’s convolution engine, but it’s much easier to use sliders and graphics (in Roon’s DSP module) than to generate WAV files, etc., for use in HQPlayer.
At the end of the day, Roon’s DSP is much easier to use than HQPlayer’s solution, and HQPlayer’s upsampling / filtering is much better for the final conversion to DSD. So you get the best of both worlds, really
@tboooe - To be honest, HQP and Roon upsampling sound the same to me. And, I don’t have the audio engineering experience to mess with the filters. I limit my tweaking to adjusting the Dirac house curves.
Just curious, I am learning here. Why use sample rate conversion / upsampling? I would think bit-perfect is the way to go, with minimal processing/resampling/etc unless absolutely necessary?
That’s what I thought too, but in blind tests, the upsampled material sounds better to me.
I found it hard to compare Roon and HQP’s upsampling because I was altering headroom and changing volume so wasn’t sure the volumes were matched. In any event, I like the closed form filter in HQP.
Currently I am convolving in Roon and then sending the signal to HQP for upsampling (DSD 512). With PipelineSDM and CUDA, HQP is a more efficient upsampler than Roon can’t (for now). Roon’s DSP engine currently uses one core per zone (or group). Multi-core (like PipelineSDM) is coming.
Hey Dan…I also run via USB to an Emotive XMC-1.
Are you also using the XMC built in Dirac room correction?
With this kit it is an easy way to have Dirac in the new Roon workflow. I still find Dirac makes the biggest improvement to sound whilst listening through speakers.
re: upsampling - the idea is that your PC has much more resources / flexibility to upsample, which your DAC does anyway internally.
Most DACs upsample all incoming PCM, then convert to 1-bit (basically, DSD) before conversion to analog for output. Similarly, any incoming DSD is upsampled to the maximum supported rate before conversion to analog.
By upsampling / converting outside the DAC to the highest DSD (or PCM, for some select DACs that do not use 1-bit internally) rate your DAC will accept, you have much more control over the filters and modulators used, and can get much “better” results than possible with the very limited processing power inside your DAC.
Are you guys using a Roon Client to send audio via USB to the Emotiva XMC-1?
Can you pass DSD?
I currently use a Squeezebox to feed the XMC-1 via digital coax. Roon is the interface
I pass DSD to the XMC-1 using a Oppo BDB-103 via HDMI - have to use JRiver for that
In about 99% of DACs, bit perfect is a myth. They almost all upsample PCM to high res DXD PCM rates internally and then convert to a DSD type file before outputting analog. If you send them DSD they may also upsample it to a higher DSD rate if that is their “native” rate. This is true even for DACs that claim “no upsampling”.
It’s simply the way DAC chips work, and why good DACs don’t cost above $10000 like they once did. Basically, if your DAC works from a DAC chip: ESS, AKM, TI, etc., it works as I described.
The exceptions to this are Schiit multibit DACs and some NOS/R2R DACs. These don’t use DAC chips. The NOS/R2R group are almost all expensive.
I personally found that the upsampling, filtering and modulation thru HQP sounded noticeably better than doing the same with Roon. Same HW. I’m usually upsampling everything to DSD 64; sometimes to 24/192 instead.
IMO, HQP has the best filtering and modulation on the market. Jussi just knows his stuff and has been working on his proprietary solutions for years - so his results are superior to all the “off the shelf” solutions others use.
I have noticed exactly the same. Therefore I have disabled Roon’s DSP.
Thanks for the excellent explanation. I run a Shiit Bifrost Multibit in my main rig so I will leave the DSP turned off.
As far as the Emotiva XMC-1 goes, I’m using my same Win 10 PC as the Roon controller, and sending audio via USB from my PC to the XMC-1.
I tried the Roon upsampling feature over the weekend, using the “Max PCM” selection. I have an Acoustic Plan DAC that doesn’t do any upsampling on its own, nor does it do DSD. I found that while the upsampling seemed to increase the image density, it also dulled the music line. I found the same results when I tried HQ player with Roon. In my rig, sticking to the native sampling rate seems to work best. IMHO, FWIW. – David
I like upsampling feature implemented in Roon much better. I have HQPlayer installed in my mac for a couple of months. It gave me some disconnection problems sometimes. I’m glad that Roon was able to include this feature. So far so good. Well done roon!
I’m also finding HQP has much better up sampling than Roon at the moment. However I’m very impress Roon that it is more like a complete solution. People who look for more simple get thing done and enjoy with in 30mins Roon would sure be the one to go.
Someone like myself who look for the best possible can will keep on digging anyway.
Currently using HQP upsample to dsd512 with Dave. Often will do just dsd256 or pcm 768 as well.