Do you run HQP on a separate computer?

Do you guys run Roon and HQP on different machines? I am wondering if it’s worth pursuing separate boxes for each, so HQP has less interference doing its thing in a standalone PC.

I run Roon and HQP on the same machine and use an NAA. I don’t think you would hear any difference with separate boxes using an NAA. There might be a difference with a direct connection, but an NAA seems preferable.


Nah no interference between the 2 servers.

Definitely recommend having a low powered (hopefully silent) networked HQP endpoint (NAA) like anybob mentioned.

Have the server in a separate room to the listening room. Cat 6 UTP ethernet cable in between the server and listening room/s if you can (although people have NAA’s working fine over WiFi too).

Especially useful if your server has a fan that you can hear. In a seprate room, shouldn’t hear it.

So this lowers the noise floor of your listening room :smiley:

Silent fanless servers obviously possible but depending on what you do with HQP, they can be limited in ‘grunt’ (CPU powah).

I run roon on a 7i3 nuc and hqplayer on my 10 core imac. This plays to an naa on an Antipodes EX with usb to a tt2. The separate hqplayer machine allows me to get to dsd256, ext2, 7ec. Why dsd on a chord dac? Sounds good this week. lol

Would you please shortly explain what is NAA (Network Audio Adapter) role in described "one machine " setup?
Usually NAA are used to convert audio signals to high quality digital signals to transmit them over the IP networks, such as LAN or Internet (regardless of the geographical distance) tooperate the distant devices via the network.

@Lonek I’m not andy but while waiting for his reply… the opening post says "Do you guys run Roon and HQP on different machines? "

So question was about 2 separate machines for Roon Core and HQPlayer server.

So I think Andy’s one machine is in reference to Roon Core and HQPlayer server being on one machine.

And he uses an NAA (microRendu from memory !)

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HQP has been set up both ways on my system. One version is on a sonicTransporter i9 (which also runs Roon Core) and another on a Mac Mini. Since I only have one USB-B input downstream (on the preamp/DAC), I can connect only one HQP or the other at a time.The i9 used to feed an NAA (ultraRendu) by ethernet, which then fed the preamp/DAC via USB. The Mini now is connected directly to my preamp/DAC via USB.

As far as I can tell, the choice of these two platforms does not matter much as far as HQP is concerned. YMMV. However, the Mini is where I also run BACCH for Mac, which needs its own USB feed to the preamp. I can pipe both BAACH and HQP together this way. So I’ve disconnected the NAA. Otherwise, if I were not running BACCH, I’d probably just run HQP on the i9 (along with Roon Core).

But I still don’t understand what using Roon and HQP on the same machine has to do with NAA …
If I use them on one machine, do I really have to buy NAA to keep SQ?
Can’t I realise it otherwise - without wasting my money for NAA?

You can connect USB DAC direct to your Roon & HQP server, no worries. You don’t have to buy anything.

Some of us like to seperate server and DAC with UTP ethernet cable.

In my case, I have a powerful i9-9900K doing a lot of DSP and I don’t want to hear the Noctua fan (even though it’s quiet).

So NAA allows me to have server in one room and DAC in another room. A lot of people do this but it’s not the only way !

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I think this discussion is mixing Apples and Oranges…

  1. Using an NAA allows the processing to be done via a more powerful (and potentially noisier) computer outside the listening room, ideally connected via a fiber connection to an NAA running HQPlayer/Roon in the listening room.
  2. The reason for running Roon Core and HQPlayer on two separate machines is that depending on which filters you are running, whether you are conversting to DSD and how much upsampling you are doing (all in HQP) can consume a lot of computing power, running Roon on a separate machine (like your NAS - if powerful enough) can let you do more with HQ player’s filters on a computer with lots of processing power.
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Computing power is one possible reason to run Roon and HQP on separate machines, but I don’t recall ever reading of someone having increased capability in HQP after shifting Roon to another machine. I suspect that if you have a computer that will already run Roon and HQP adequately then the next “step up” in HQP capability is likely to require faster hardware rather than simply shifting Roon.

I was treating the reference to interference in the OP as enquiring about SQ. I thought it might be possible that shifting Roon to another machine might have a discernible SQ effect in a direct connection setup, but was unlikely to do so with an NAA. Just guessing, haven’t tried it out.


I have a custom-built Roon Core PC with HQplayer and NAA built-in. USB out to my DAC.

I also have a Small Green Computer I7 Roon Core. As an experiment, I disabled all functions of the SGC except HQplayer and just used my custom Roon PC for Roon only. Playback now into a Sonore MicroRendu 1.5.

There is a definite increase in sound quality. Not huge but noticeable. Using Ext2, ASDM7EC, DSD256 or SINC-S, LNS15, PCM 768


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Are you comparing a 1 box direct connection setup to a 2 box NAA setup ? That could be a complicating factor. If possible it would be interesting to compare:

1/2 box with direct connection


1/2 box with NAA.

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You inspired me to ran latest Signalist NAA for RPi 3 with hifiberry digi+pro.
It sounds very good! - but every time I start to play it says to me: “I2S SYNC error” and tthen, plays all playlist without any problems, with upsampling I have set…
May be you know what’s the matter?

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No sorry, I don’t. Let’s flag @jussi_laako and see if he knows.

OK - thank you.

As it happens, I have tried those combinations. I didn’t mention it because the e-mail could have gotten complex. To add to the equation I also use a D to D converter sometimes so I can use the I2S input on my DAC.

In summary, one box direct gives me more detail, two box more warmth and a less processed sound, which is a bit odd.

Same with an NAA , if that makes sense to you. Using AQ Diamond Ethernet, USB and HDMI (I2S) cables, which opens up another discussion. It’s all a bit of a First World problem as either way I am happy!

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Some of this depends on the specific DAC. I currently use a small form factor HP (i7 9900) to run just core using linux OS. My naa is an optical rendu and have hqp running on a high end wkst using server 2019. Both core and wkst are in util room next to network rack, and run fiber from switch to listening room.

I have moved the wkst into the listening room and connected direct to DAC (eliminating the OR) for testing purposes. In this case (on the server 2019 wkst) I also run the naa (batch file) so I can still use roon as the interface. One benefit in this config, is that yhe wkst can run native dsd and not DoP on OR. As a result (in this config) I don’t get any of the $#%&* snaps/pops when format / SR changes in HQP.

This may have to do with the DAC’s specific usb FW / model as well. As to SQ, I won’t get into that minutiae and although I like the OR, I would like to try a more optimized wkst that is going direct to DAC as my wkst, although powerful (xeon, ecc mem, quadro etc…) is a “stock type” of computer and doesn’t utilize any LPS, usb isolation etc… That of course is not of concern when using the OR as an naa. However, I’m toying with the idea to replace this wkst with a “audio” type build of wkst as I think using win server OS direct to DAC would be the way to go. Dunno