Help in attempting to use HQPlayer with Roon in my system


I need help in the initial planning stages of attempting to integrate HQPlayer in my digital stream. I have a RME ADI-2 FS (version 2) DAC.

I tried reading material online for a few hours but got confused (probably not reading the right material). :frowning:

Current system:

Qobuz on NUC8I7BEH1 running Roon ROCK → ethernet cable connected to router → WiFi → Auralic Aries (Femto) → connected by USB cable to RME ADI-2 FS DAC → Parasound P6 Preamp → Parasound A21 power amp → Focal Electra 1038Be speakers. The P6 is also connected to twin powered subs.

Currently, I use the Auralic Aries streamer as it is a Roon Ready endpoint. The Auralic Aries is connected to network via WiFi as that is Auralic’s preferred method. I only stream from Qobuz & have no digital music stored.

I want to try integrate HQP. I plan on ‘upsampling’ to DSD256 using HQP.


My existing NUC (NUC8I7BEH1) is probably not powerful enough to run Roon and HQP for the purpose of upsampling to DSD256 and using the popular HQP filters. I am fine with buying another NUC to run HQP and connecting that to the network via Ethernet cable. If so, can I do away with the ‘expensive’ Auralic Aries? If so, what are my options given my DAC? Is the use of an NAA preferred (over connecting this new NUC (that has HQP) via USB to the RME ADI-2 DAD FS?)? If so, what inexpensive NAA do you recommend?

A more broader question: do I need Roon if all I want to do is (1) stream from Qobuz, and (2) Use HQP to convert to DSD256 and use HQP’s filters?

Thanks in advance for you help.

You can add NAA later if you wish, no need to begin with it.

NUC may not be best possible computer for running HQPlayer. Since NUCs are based on mobile processors, they are not particularly powerful and they also have small fans that can get loud under heavy load. You can try HQPlayer on your current NUC and see how it works.

When you run ADI-2 with DSD, remember to set it to DSD Direct mode. Note that this means you cannot use the headphone outputs because ADI-2’s volume control is gone.

Thanks jussi_laako.

I shall probably get a used NAA as I do not want to connect my home-office PC (running HQP) directly to my DAC via USB.

If it works, I’d love to try using HQP and Roon on that NUC I mentioned. However, I’d need documentation on how to do that (currently, that NUC is optimized to run Roon ROCK only).

Using Roon, I am currently sending DSD256 DoP as a trial. You mentioned that I should set RME ADI-2 DAC FS to accept Native DSD (&, presumably, send native DSD256 from Roon). Is that because we don’t want RME to change incoming DSD256 DoP to DSD256? In other words, what are explicitly the advantages of native DSD over DSD DoP with regards to the Adi-2 DAC FS?

I’d love to try the HQPlayer, especially given that my aim is to ‘upsample’ music to DSD256. However, apparently, it only comes with a 30 minute trial. I’m fairly confident that with my rookie level expertise, I won’t be able to configure HQPlayer to work properly with my existing Roon NUC, upsampling to DSD256 with the right filters in 30 min. :slight_smile:

OK, it is not possible with Roon ROCK.

No, I meant enable DSD Direct mode in ADI-2 settings (through it’s front-panel menu). This is not related to use of DoP. With ADI-2, only way to send DSD there is to use DoP.

It is 30 minutes per run, and then you need to restart HQPlayer to have another 30 minutes and so on…

Thanks jussi_laako! Your advice helped - I got it up and running.

I have a fairly resolving system (especially the speakers). When I compare sound from Roon (upsampled to DSD256) vs HQP (upsampled to DSD256), it is a big difference with HQP being better.

Currently using a 7 year old laptop - can upsample to DSD256 with it (well, atleast with some filters).

So, Signalyst just got a new customer! I shall promote the Roon / HQP combo to my fellow members in some popular social media audiophile groups that I am in.

I need a bit more help. Some questions:

  1. Would a NAA connected via USB to my DAC (RME ADI-2 DAC FS) sound better than my laptop (running HQP) connected via USB to my DAC? Or is using the NAA just a convenience issue?
  2. Is there a list of commercially available NAA devices?
  3. Headroom management for DSD256 upsampling: Currently, my HQP max volume is set to -3dB. Do I still need to reduce the volume in the ADI-2 DAC by 3dB?
  4. What are you favorite filters while upsampling to DSD256?
  5. Is the sound quality difference between upsampling to DSD256 and to DSD512 audible to you?
  6. If I wanted to try upsample to DSD512, is there a website / forum that suggests among currently available laptops / PCs / Macs?
  7. Currently, my laptop is connected to the network via wifi (5G in a gigabit network). Should I buy an ethernet cable instead for better SQ?
  8. Do you know if the HQP license is transferable after I buy it? That is, if I buy and install HQP on my 7 yr old laptop and later buy a new PC, can I transfer my HQP purchase to the new PC?

Thanks in advance!

It is very system dependent. In some cases a good NAA can help performance.

Some devices I’m aware of are listed on my web page.

No, ADI-2 should be set to “DSD Direct” mode which disables it’s volume control. If you want both PCM and DSD paths of ADI-2 have equal volume, you can set ADI-2’s volume to -3.5 dB.

My current favorites are poly-sinc-ext2, poly-sinc-short-mp(-2s) and sinc-S.

To me, modulator makes more difference. EC modulators vs non-EC modulators at DSD256 make bigger difference than DSD256 vs DSD512 with non-EC modulator. But this always also depends on the DAC in question.

Most of the discussions are around building a custom server. But the computer choice depends a lot on the the settings one wants to use.

If you don’t experience drop-outs, using cable doesn’t necessarily change anything.

Yes, you can move it to a new computer.