Filter/Track discussion thread

With many people having access to Tidal we have the opportunity to demonstrate to each other why we like particular filters by reference to particular tracks.

In this thread people are invited to specify an album/track available on Tidal along with particular HQP settings and comment about what they are hearing and why they like it. I’ll post a couple of mine later tonight.

Given that we will all have varying DAC’s there is, of course, no guarantee that we will all hear the same thing. But it should be interesting nevertheless.

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I can guarantee there will be dac driven issues. With my pi+hifidigi+ and hqplayer set to sync and gauss things sound really good.
Hqplayer with my dddac is, to put it nicely, not a success, regardless of filter settings (at least i’ve tried several to no avail).

But will indeed bevinteresting to see your observations (let us know (via signature)) what you are running on).

Hi rg,

Profile sig has my setup.

Got called away from home, so haven’t set out tracks/filters/observations yet. Will backfill over weekend.

Slightly off topic, but the USB regen is intriguing, will give that a glance over.

OK. Let’s get started.

I love upsampling Tidal to DSD128. Makes me feel like I’m getting away with something.

My go to filter/mod combo is poly-sinc-short-mp/ASDM7. A track that really brings out that combo to me is “Dream” on Ry Cooder’s “Jazz” release. This combination really allows the detail to come through. Tuned percussions, plucked guitar, piano, brushed snare and cymbals. The decays are all full and long.

Sometimes, however, I prefer space and then I like poly-sinc/DSD5v2. A track I like with that is “Dievaines” on Elina Garanca’s “Meditations”. A huge sound with everything in it’s own special place. I also like closed-form with this track.

Another album I like in closed-form/DSD5v2 is “Vissi d’Arte: Opera for Orchestra”.

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Nice topic Andrew. Not much time to listen today, but I will contribute for sure. I noticed throughout the years that differences are subtle and you really have to learn listening to notice them. Examples like this could help us. Thanks

There is no way I am going to switch filters for each track with this sounds best for A, this best for B etc. etc. Thats an audiophile thing and I prefer to listen to music. That said for almost everything I listen to, which is almost every genre, I like (again PCM only as my DAC does not do DSD) minringFIR, NS4 which will sample redbook up to 24/176, my second favorite is Poly-sinc-shrt-mp, and NS4 or NS9 that allows upsample to 24/192. Those do it for me with minringFIR probably getting 90% of my music time. minringFIR gets the pace and drive of music right, high transparency, great dynamics and a walk around soundstage. Zero edge or hardness as the NAD has been said to possess, the jitterbug and regen cleanup any issue there.

Macbook air (i5 2013) battery, Roon/Tidal/HQplayer, jitterbug, regen, NAD M51, Wyetech 211A, Flex speakers D’Appolitto version.

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Dirty Three - Toward the Low Sun

This really shines with closed form, ASDM 7 upsampled to DSD 128.

Edit: These tracks in particular:
Sometimes I Forget You’ve Gone
Moon on the Land
Rain Song


Well my Hugo TT has arrived and is busy on a 24 hour a day burn-in schedule.

Now I know nowt about HQPLAYER but with all the talk on here it does interest me and rather than using SBT I could put my NUC in the Hifi rack and try out Roon.

What I listen out for and what usually makes me like or dislike a musical presentation is the drum sound. The clearer they are in the mix, the more obvious they are and the more differentiated the various elements of the drum kit are - this is what rocks my boat.

Are there any filters that achieve this? I have read the manual but I’m afraid the language of transients and such like is a foreign one to me.

Another bug bear of mine is brickwalled over compressed music. Is there any filter that makes this a little more bearable?

As I’m totally new to me I’d really appreciate some screenshots of these filters rather than just text.

Thanking you all in advance.



No screenshots (will try tomorrow), but there are three main “go to” filters that I use in HQP so I’ll talk about those.

Firstly for drum sounds (jazz or rock/pop) the filter I like is poly-sinc-short-mp. This is a minimal phase filter, meaning it is optimised so that the signal spends the shortest possible time transiting through the filter. The advantage is that enables detailed dynamic transients like explosive drum sounds. The disadvantage is that because higher frequencies transit faster than lower frequencies there is some blurring in the time domain, affecting sound staging. The soundstage is still very good, but not as wide as the choices below. I use this filter most.

For classical or some live recordings I like poly-sinc. This is a linear phase filter meaning it is optimised so that all frequencies in the signal spend the same time transiting the filter. This enables a wide spacious soundstage at the expense of slightly less dynamic transients.

The other filter I use is closed form. This is the same kind of filter that Chord use in the Hugo TT so will be interesting in your setup as it will let you compare how the greater computing power in your server affects the sound. HQP dynamically allocates available resources to use as many “taps” (think of them as data points approaching a limit) as it can. I like closed form a lot, it sounds spatially deep and broad and is very detailed. Good for classical and saxophones. I also like the Dirty Three in closed form.

Try them out and let us know what you think.

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Hi andy

Thanks for the very detailed explanation.
I will try these.
Does it matter if they are used with PCM or DSD? Do they keep their “character” regardless of PCM or DSD?
With what do you combine these filters in the second dropdown field (dither/modulator) and could you as well characterize these options?

I haven’t done a lot of listening to PCM out from HQP so can’t say from experience. I recall Jussi saying that a lot of the “harm” arising from filtering in DACs occurred in the first few stages as the signal was upsampled in PCM before the SDM stage, on that basis I expect you would hear the same types of effects in PCM.

I prefer the ASDM modulators as I think they are a little “darker” and my system can tend to bright with DSD. At one stage I preferred ASDM5 to ASDM7, but lately 7 has grown on me. I think it is a bit more detailed.

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I had a Sony CDP once with 4 filters and trying to figure out which one was best in each instance nearly drove me bonkers, so whether HQP is a good or a bad thing for me is very debatable as there are not too many recordings that I consider perfect, that I wouldn’t like a little more bass, drums higher in the mix, less brittle, more attack etc.

… off to play some more with some of the more extreme filters to get a feel for this.