How To Defeat HQP Volume?

Aloha @jussi_laako and anyone else who knows,

I use a Mac Mini as a server. It’s connected to the TV. For listening, I get Roon and HQP going and then turn off the TV, instead using an iPad to control Roon.

Periodically I will get clipping in HQPlayer, where the volume dial turns red. Dealing with it is a hassle. I have to turn the TV back on and adjust the HQP volume knob to defeat the clipping.

I’d much prefer to only use Roon’s headroom management for clipping because it’s easily manageable on the iPad. How can I disable (if that’s the correct word) HQP’s volume and headroom management to instead only use Roon’s?

My goal is to use my amp for volume control. And only use Roon for headroom management, relieving HQP of those duties.

Guidance much appreciated!

When you use Roon to control HQPlayer, Roon’s volume control control’s HQPlayer’s volume. You can use this.

Although if you set HQPlayer’s volume to -3 dBFS to begin with, as recommended, it should be pretty rare case that you get limiter triggered.

Why don’t use HQPlayer to do the headroom management? Otherwise you just impose extra overhead without benefit…

I’ve tried the -3 in HQP, but was getting clipping often. I’ve since stretched to out to -10 and clipping is more rare, but still happens.

I prefer not to use HQP for headroom management because my iPad can’t control HQP. I much prefer to shut off HQP’s involvement with headroom management and just use Roon’s because Roon works on my iPad. Roon gives me a clipping indication and I can easily adjust it on the Roon app.

But thus far, I don’t know how to relieve HQPlayer of headroom management duties. And if I enable Roon’s headroom management, it doesn’t prevent HQP from going into clipping. And hence my original question about disabling HQP’s headroom duties.


Are these tracks on Tidal? Can you share which tracks are still clipping at -10 dBFS in HQP ?

So i can check at my end

I haven’t cataloged which tracks clip. Yes, a number are from Tidal. I’ll jot some down going forward and report back.

Back to my original question, how can I disable HQP’s headroom duties and rely only on Roon for headroom management?

Ok thanks. Might help to troubleshoot if someone else can reproduce the same issue with same track/s.

I’m happy to try it out.

For instance, “Church” by Lyle Lovett clipped. Basically, the clipping happens several times each listening session. I had to go -12 to avoid it. This is a pain because I have to drive my amp harder to compensate with very inefficient Magnepan speakers.

Nice track.

No clipping at all for me. My HQP volume is at -3dBFS . Roon DSP is off.

Can you show your Roon signal path when you’re getting clipping? Is there some Roon DSP enabled?

Yes, I routinely use the Roon EQ . But it doesn’t show clipping on the Roon side if I enable it’s headroom management. And if I disable HQP entirely, there’s no clipping in Roon at all for the same tracks. It’s a persistent issue with HQP 4, but was not for HQP 3.

Sure it can:

When you use HQPlayer through Roon, the Roon’s volume control controls HQPlayer’s volume.

I wonder which filter and material you use to get such results? With some minimum-phase filters you may need quite a bit of headroom. But once you’ve found the value, just leave the volume at that value and you are done. Not much “management” to do.

Not harder, your amp just does less attenuation. Which is better. Because it is sort of pointless that you have loud signal coming out of DAC, to be attenuated by let’s say -40 dB in pre-amp section, just to be amplified again by +36 dB in power amp section. So closer to 0 dB in pre-amp you can get the better. Less back-and-forth suffling which is just detrimental to SNR.

I’ve been using Ext2, poly sinc short, and Sinc M, all in the PCM realm. The clipping happens with just about any music. And when it happens, I must turn on the TV, bring the Mac Mini back from partial sleep, go into HQP, and adjust the HQP volume knob to remove the clipping. It’s a big hassle. And the TV throws off the low light mood.

“Finding the right value and you’re done” has been far far from my experience. I must adjust HQP’s volume to alleviate clipping several times each listening session. It’s for that reason that I’d like to remove HQP’s headroom management entirely from the equation and just rely upon Roon’s.

Is that possible?

If you have HQPlayer volume set to -3 dBFS and still get that, there is something wrong in settings somewhere. Because I can certainly play 95+% of my music library or anything I try from Tidal with poly-sinc-ext2 without triggering limiter.

Headroom management = setting volume to some value. It is not more complex than that. Relying on Roon’s doesn’t change anything in this case.

I have to go to -10 to -12, and still can get clipping. What setting change will fix this?

Does HQP require the use of it’s volume control? Can I shut off HQP’s volume behavior and instead just use Roon? Or does the use of HQP require that the HQP volume mechanism be used?

Can you play that track that is clipping at -8 and show what your Roon signal path looks like after that track clips?

Just to see what else you’re doing in Roon.

That track doesn’t clip for me at -3 dBFS so there’s something else happening at your end

The only way to know is to see what you see - screenshots of all your HQP settings and Roon settings and Roon signal path. The more screenshots you can share the easier it will be to pickup the issues.

We need to figure out where the problem is why you get limiting still at such levels. Otherwise moving the volume control around won’t solve the problem.

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Do I understand correctly that it’s impossible to turn off HQP’s volume control? To have HQP play no part in headroom management?

You can set HQPlayer volume to 0 dBFS and do volume somewhere else if you think it changes things for better.

Note that doing any DSP in HQPlayer means that you’ll also need dither / noise shaper in HQPlayer.

My idea is to still use dither and noise shaper but turn off the HQP volume so it won’t clip. Does setting the HQP volume to zero do that?

That is as much as can be done to “disable” it. Since it is multiplication by 1.

However, it won’t change the clipping if you still have too high levels for one reason or the other. You need to figure out why you are running into too high levels in first place.