HQP and not HQP related - upsampling

First off, I went thru a lot of hassle to get HQ to work. When I finally did, it played MQA at PCM 384khz. No MQA and no OSF. I had it set to play back at 7.1 but could no difference to when I just press that function on my AV.

I began to wonder why I would need such an expensive add on. Anyone know what Missed?

When I went back to my DAC for my listening, it failed to connect. After various testings of this and that, I just deleted the HQ, restarted the MBP and hey presto it’s all back to normal.

I discovered what Roon Radio does and like it. Haven’t yet discovered any artists I am thrilled by but am enjoying most of what is played. I don’t reach for the off switch. I don’t mind that sort of music as background but not to just sit and listen to. I really have to be into n artist to do that, just listen.

I have read that upsampling is always the best route. So I have upsampled all I play(tho it has no affect o MQA). Do I hear a difference? Yes. It sounds cleaner. It’s the best way I can put it. My husband thinks the same and when I get him to listen he doesn’t know what he is listening to until I ask which he prefers.

I am also finding his classical music quite pleasant. It doesn’t move me like my music does but it is pleasant which I have not thought in the past. You never know one day it might move me.

So in short; what is the point of HQ and is there a real benfit(or harm) to upsampling.

Oh and despite the fact my DAC plays up to DSD 256, Roon seems not to agree.

Do you mean HQPlayer?

Assuming you are talking about HQ Player (HQP):

  • HQP doesn’t support MQA. Jussi has made his thoughts regarding MQA very clear. The mqa filters in HQP are designed to overcome the problems he perceives with MQA source material not to implement MQA;

  • Are you playing a source file in 7.1 format or just setting HQP playback ?

The main benefit of HQP is that it performs the intensive digital signal processing associated with upsampling to DSD, apodising filters and custom modulators in a general purpose computer rather than in the DAC. Depending on the particular DAC you are using, this can result in greater linearity and better SQ.

But in my view HQP is not for everyone so if you’ve tried it and it doesn’t do anything for you, I wouldn’t try to talk you into it.

Thank you for your kind reply.

Yes I did mean HQ Player.

No. I have no source files in 7.1. I have one in 5.1, Tubular Bells, and for the life of me I cannot think where I bought it from. Maybe from Pono or Onkyo as they both now defunct.

However, I thought HQ would turn the files into 7.1 for playback. Meaning, not redo the files but process the sound. However, I guess I am wrong about that. I played, thru Roon only, setting my AV RX-A3080(Yamaha) to surround and it sounds very good. It is like having the singer in the room with you, them centre stage and instruments all around. The speakers are 3 pairs of Monitor Audio Silver 8 floor standers with two REL subs and 1 Monitor centre speaker. In a 23ft by 13ft room, mainly triple glazed glass. This is our living room. Wityh a 65"tv stuck on the wall just above all the equipment, including a Pro-Ject Expression 10 record deck.

The DAC is Audiolab’s 8300CDQ which plays MQA. However, although I have a few MQA albums, and they are cheaper than 192khz, I am not convinced. Qobuz won’t sell them. HighRes only sell those they deem worthy. I don’t fully understand what it is. I had thought it meant it was the original sound in the studio before any farting about was done. I am wrong. So I don’t see how they can be authenticated as original source files. Surely all music is unless it has been copied. Like If I record a cd and then sell the files it would be wrong to say they were the original source files because they are are copies from another source.

I have the HQ Client and the Desktop 4. Client I can’t figure out at all. Desktop 4 doesn’t want to play my library. It only works thru Roon. But to what end?

I can get Roon to play back all my files, mainly FLAC as DSD128. Or I can use dbConverter to convert files to DSD. I thought the DSD versions sounded clearer.

Clearly you understand the tech side whereas I do not. Your ‘main benefit’ paragraph is almost gobbledegook to me EXCEPT I think you are saying HQ does a better job at turning AIFF or FLAC into DSD?

If that is the only reason, then I am not going to spend that amount of money on it as much as I would love a different ‘toy’. However, since I went and subbed Roon for a year, I find I am not using anything else. Audirvana and MC26 being the other two.

BTW if HQ doesn’t support MQA why are there settings for it?

As I understand it, in order to achieve true 7.1 playback you need to use 7.1 mix source files, otherwise the most that can be done is mapping stereo or 5.1 channels onto 7.1. That doesn’t mean it will sound bad, it’s just that if you want true 7.1 you need a 7.1 mix source. I only use stereo mix files though so I can’t speak from experience about multichannel.

The manual for your DAC says:

“This versatile digital player now accepts inputs from a variety of digital sources right up to 24-bit/192kHz (USB even high to 32-bit/384kHz) resolution and decodes them utilizing the high-end Sabre 32-bit DAC with Audiolab’s precision filters.”

I believe this means that you would need to use the USB input on your DAC to receive DSD 256. How is your Roon Core connected to your DAC ?

I couldn’t see any reference to DoP in the manual. Try setting Roon to DoP in device settings and see if that makes a difference to receiving DSD 256.

Before thinking about HQP I’d suggest getting DSD 256 working with Roon and then experimenting with the different digital filters built into Roon and your DAC. If you hear a difference between those filters and would like to experiment further with upsampling and filters then you might consider HQP.

Jussi (the author of HQP) has an adverse view of MQA. He has expressed concern that the MQA encoding process uses leaky filters that may enable audible digital artefacts. The filters in HQP designated mqa are designed with sharp cutoffs to avoid such artefacts. They are not an implementation of the MQA process.

You will find a number of threads debating the pros and cons of MQA on the Forum (ad nauseum). For my own part I prefer Qobuz 96kHz or 192kHz source files. Listen for yourself and work out what sounds best for you and your husband.

Have checked the included PDF manual and the Quick Start Guide?

Hi Andrew-yes I connect via USB.

Your question about Roon Core I don’t understand. The Roon program is on my MBPro. It reads my library or Qobuz and when I choose play within Roon, it plays thru my DAC.

My husband and I prefer high res from Qobuz to MQA. I have 4 MQA albums, two of which I know very well as had them since 75 and 80! Neither of us can tell the difference. No that’s not true. We can tell no difference between the MQA and 44.1. We can tell a difference with MQA vs 192khz. 192khz sounds better.

I don’t need or want pity but I am brain damaged. I find it hard to keep up with stuff. usually I do not need help to figure out programs. I am also stubborn and fight the limitations my problems set me. It took five serious head injuries last year, plus 3 bone breaks before I accepted using a wheelchair full time and an effing zimmer frame!

I’ll go and look and the PDFs etc

But since you are here, please put simply the benefits I could gain. I would only want the consumer version if I bought it. I just don’t know what it is for. I have assumed it is a another music player that for some reason Roon has enabled to be used as a Core. (I don’t get the Core business).

I now think I have no understood what HQP is. It must be more than a music player.

Yesterday, when I couldn’t go back to using my DAC as the core to compare the HQP and it, I then resorted to deleting the core from Roon and still Roon failed to open my DAC. Then I restarted the MBP and all was well again.

I don’t give up easily so am willing to try again. I just don’t know what it is I am trying. Is the HQP taking the place of the Roon program and using it’s own files for playback sound? I know it uses the same library, that is not what I mean.

I am going to stop because I am getting befuddled and I think you will understand what I am asking.

Thank you kindly.


The Roon Core is on your Mac Book Pro. See here for an easy introduction to the different parts of Roon.

Try setting the DSD Playback Strategy in the Audio Device setup for your DAC Zone to DSD over PCM (DoP) and see if that exposes 256 DSD.

HQ Player is music playing software. It does not replace the Roon Core. Roon treats HQ Player as an Output Zone and HQ Player then does digital signal processing and sends the music to your DAC.

Hi Colin

If you are new to both Roon and HQPlayer, my strong advice is to start with Roon only.

HQPlayer is a ‘super’ high quality music player, working closely together and supported by Roon, to be able toimprove your music experience if you want/need to.
You do not need HQPlayer . But you can get amazing results when you do use, but it requests quite some time and effort to get the most out of it. I am a very happy user of Roon + HQPlayer.

But again, you do not need it, and you should get to know Roon quite in detail first, before going on an HQPlayer journey. Also, the free trial time offered by both Roon and HQPlayer are not tied together
as it are and remain 2 different applications (working closely together) with each their own license to pay.

So try to setup Roon as good as you can, and try to play and understand the configuration options offered by Roon. Once you get there, do enjoy listening to music through Roon for some time in order to see if you are happy with the signal quality.
Then, if you want to explore furhter, take a trail with HQPlayer and start playing with that.
I wish you a lot of music listening pleasure


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It only gives me the choice of 64 or 128. Have always had it set to DoP. I also have Integer mode enabled nut no idea if I should or not. I don’t know what it is except that Audio Midi calls each number setting integer.

I also don’t know what channel mapping is. I take it that down mixing when needed means to down sample? Now I’ve written it it doesn’t sound right. So I guess I don’t know what that means either. I think I was assuming it meant down mixing from 7channels to 2 or something.


Thank you kindly. I thin k this is a very wise response and I shall follow it.


Okay, it seems I made a mistake. I have been fiddling all evening. I played various different ways of playing the same piano sonatas for John. He was not happy with any of them until I played thru HQP at DSD 128 although he was happy with DSD64 and the unaltered 44.1khz tho he preferred the DSD’s. Even I could hear the bum high n notes on the piano. Set my teeth on edge.

Why the screen shot? Well, the DAC is supposed to play DSD 256. Look what HQP does at the last hurdle. I don’t understand that at all. I can’t even get that far directly thru Roon as it doesn’t give me a 256 option.

Any ideas?

Thank you kindly.

It looks like you are upsampling in both Roon and HQP. You should only do upsampling in one of them.

If you want to listen to DSD 256 upsampled in HQP only then:

  • disable sample rate conversion in the Roon DSP Engine; and
  • set the HQP Settings/SDM Defaults/Bit rate to 44.1k x 256.

You also have the Roon Parametric EQ enabled. If you did not intend to use the Parametric EQ then you could disable everything in Roon DSP. Otherwise you can use Parametric EQ in Roon and upsample in HQP.

If you are using HQPlayer with Roon, it is best to turn off Roon’s DSP for the HQPlayer zone completely, so that it doesn’t accidentally end up doing something.

A post was merged into an existing topic: Setting up HQPlayer within Roon

Jussi and Andy-I was unaware that Roon settings were in play when using HQP.

So I disable all filters in Roon before I play with HQP?

By my mistake I meant giving hearing tests to John using both programs because he prefers HQP which means I will probably have to buy it now!

You have probably figured out we are in our retirement years now. We spent a fortune on our gear. And yes I know i could have spent more. In fact I did spend more because I was taken in b y the first audiophile place I went to and spent many 0000’s on stuff I didn’t like. They didn’t match and some were just not worth it. Like the Arcam AVR400 was a waste of money. I changed that first. In the end everything was changed. So I lost a lot of dosh on trading in. My biggest regret is letting my Oppo 205 go. I did this soon after the first trauma in 14 so wasn’t really aware of what I was doing. I don’t seriously think I am missing anything. It’s just the cost to replace now I am not willing to spend. Plus I still have a modded 105. Someone said I can record SACD using it and a program I can 't recall if that was on this forum or not. Besides do I really need to? I can play the discs.

I believe the new Yamaha, an upgrade on the RX_A3080 is out later this year but I will only replace if the upgrade is sound and not just smart stuff.

I just disabled everything in Roon but got the same playback result using HQP.

When DSP roon presets are disabled it should look like this.
I’m a HQp embedded user.

Okay having really studied the picture I get on my system, I notice it says the settings are those Roon puts on when I make adjustments.

So how do I make adjustments using just HQP? Like using HQP for the equalizers and upsampling?

Also as the sound of violins and piano is better, even to my ears, when played through HQP and using the setting, the upsampling and Parametric Eq., which I now realise is still Roon settings, how can this be? It is NOT our imaginations. The high notes on the Piano and the Violin set my teeth on edge when played just thru Roon via the 8300cdq. Yet is lovely and smooth when using the HQP plug in but with what I now realise are still Roon doing the upsampling and Eq.(Tho the info given doesn’t say that-in the photo of the signal processing. The two pics are very different. Plus it gives me more options than Roon.)

I am confused and maybe what I have just written is confusing too.

I am thinking I am supposed to set up the EQ and upsampling within HQP Desktop4 before it is ‘plugged in’. That doesn’t seem right to me.

Mind you, I can’t play anything thru Desktop4. I have managed to get it to list my whole library but it refuses to play anything. I was hoping to get an idea of how it sounded without going thru Roon.

The sound difference is such using HQP plugin thru Roon that when I told my husband the cost of it his response was ‘well, if it makes my music sound like that, it’s worth it.’ He is a Geordie and not free with his money (unless he is spending it on me. I don’t complain.) So i was very surprised at his response and it also is enormous praise from him for the HQP thru Roon. He doesn’t praise easily and he is a professionally trained Opera singer/pianist though he followed his parents advice and got a ‘proper job’ and is a world renowned historian instead! (In a specialised field so it is unlikely you will know of him unless you have an interest in the same field.)

I am trying to say that despite the sound advice(pun not intended) from Dirk, I am going to have to buy this HQP because John’s comment is remarkable so I can hardly ignore it.

I just want to understand how the bl**dy thing works first.

And to think I started out not wanting to commit to Roon and wanting you ,lot to explain to me why I ought to and I have done it all on my own. I still think the Eq are too hard and could be simpler as it assumes the user has in depth audio/studio equipment knowledge. I just got the sound I liked by chance and saved it. If I lose it, I doubt I could find the same adjustment again . I also can’;t understand why on earth one cannot adjust the EQ whilst listening. That makes no sense.

I also said I wasn’t interested in the opinions of others about my records but in fact have learned a lot by reading the info because they are not just reviews.

It turns out I love Roon despite not understanding it properly and from some of the explanations I doubt I ever will because it is a foreign language to me.

Upsampling in both Roon and HQP doesn’t make any sense. So you should definitely disable Sample Rate Conversion in Roon if you want to upsample with HQP.

HQP doesn’t have built in EQ. If you want to use Roon’s Parametric EQ and upsample in HQP then you can. Some people might prefer a signal that doesn’t have EQ, but it is up to you. You can enable or disable Roon PEQ as you prefer.

To make adjustments to upsampling in HQP you alter the parameters in HQP Settings. Since your DAC says it will accept DSD 256 you can select 44.1 k x 256 in SDM Defaults/Bit Rate. That determines the default output rate from HQP.

In HQP Settings, try SDM Pack/DoP. If that doesn’t work, change it to None. If neither work, then check back here.

The Roon DSP Engine, including PEQ, and HQP are complex. You don’t have to use either of them if you just want to listen to music. If you do want to use them, then there is some complexity. Jumping in the deep end of the swimming pool means deep water.

Edit: I should say for completeness that HQP can process external EQ through a feature known as convolution. This is more complex than anything we have been discussing. It is too complex for me to use to tweak EQ. When I want to use EQ I use the Roon PEQ and upsample in HQP.