HQP v. Roon DSP

Nailed my feelings exactly!

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I don’t want to beat the proverbial horse too badly, but I just have a few more comments:

If you don’t indicate what upsampling/filtering settings you’re using, it’s hard to make sense of any comparison between Roon and HQP DSP. Based on @DrTone’s suggestions, I’ve switched my HQP filter to poly-sinc-xtr/mp (with everything else as described above). As I’d expect, this results in a bigger difference between the way things sound in a comparison between Roon and HQP DSP, with HQP sounding a bit warmer/fuller and Roon sounding a little more detailed/airier, though overall, the differences still aren’t huge. (That characterization is completely subjective, of course, and is the kind of thing that makes me more than a little uncomfortable to attempt to express.)

However, even with the basis for comparison well defined, it’s important to recognize a host of other variables that include differences between components/systems, room acoustics, and personal taste. Consequently, I’ll just urge folks (especially HQP fans) to make these comparisons themselves and come to their own conclusions.

Differences in individual filters or differences between HQP and Roon’s filters have a rather small impact on sound/feel. But IMO with digital, every little change no matter how minute can vastly improve the listening experience.

My speakers sound best with linear phase filters. Timing is more important than transients in my case. The xtr and ext poly-sinc variations are where things are for me. Adaptive modulators are warmer,fuller or rounder sounding to me in comparison to the non adaptive ones. Differences between 5th and 7th order modulators is probably more DAC dependent than anything.

HQPlayer Poly-sinc DSD7 sounds so similar to linear DSD7 in Roon, I would most likely just use Roon for simplicity if they were my only options. Fortunately Jussi has given us many more options.

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I agree. The differences are subtle, but that’s the name of the Audiophile game. That’s why I think HQPlayer is great bang for the buck. The last time I achieved such a leap forward in sound quality was a much more expensive upgrade to my preamp. I can see myself upgrading my processor / CUDA as HQPlayer’s algorithms get more complex, but that’s part of the fun!

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I am not following “headless server version.” What is that exactly? I run Roon on either a mini or a w10 server (which is in the shop)-both are headless.

Why does this other version work better? Less CPU demand?

Which Mac Mini are you using? I thought HQP did not support 512 for Mac. Is this new functionality?



Using the terminology on the download page, the two versions are Roon and Roon Server. “Roon” includes the control stuff, so it has all the UI and graphics stuff. “Roon Server” doesn’t, so it uses fewer computing resources.

Hello! I really found interesting your settings, I probably underestimated some filter in HQ Player. Just a question, if I may ask, do you think that the -2s option for the filters could lower the quality of the sound? Thanks a lot

I do think the full filters sound better than their 2s counterparts. Same with closed-form vs closed-form-fast. With CPU constraints though, better to use 2s filters at max rates vs dropping down to use full filters. My meagre system can run them but initialization times are a bit slow. Upgrading cpu/gpu to be capable of running these full filters with fast initialization + low cpu load% is relatively cheap in terms of this hobby though.

Thanks a lot for the help, actually my CPU is a bit old, core i5 4670K @ 4,3 GhZ, but the GPU is ok, 1080 Nvidia. I am going to do some test with non -2s filters.:slight_smile: If may I ask do you use them with some other application open or just hqplayer running? Thanks!

I’ve read some comments that when sampling to DSD512 some preferred the sound of the -2s variants.

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that’s interesting! I need to do a lot of tests now :wink:

P.S. my DAC is a micro IFI - so nothing special but I think it’s ok for my use.

In my system, when I did the comparisons, I could hear a slight difference favoring the non-2s versions. I agree with @lorin, though — If all you can run is the -2s version, better to do that than to drop down below maximum input rate of your DAC. (From my perspective, though, it would certainly be worthwhile comparing the -2s version with the best combination of Roon’s upsampling/filtering settings you can come up with.)

thanks again for your answers! Last question, should I keep not activated the Direct SDM, right? Thanks!

I can see preferring 2s especially without an NAA in play, cutting down on all that extra electrical activity.

One more thing @Sam_Hall I found that a machine on the edge of using a particular filter would sometimes crackle, especially after long listening sessions. Even though it seemed capable, maybe something about running at 200+% CPU over time? It took me a while to realize this was the source of these intermittent, faint, vinyl-like noises. I was blaming my Cubox NAA which turns out was perfectly sound, and with 2s filters never a problem.

Typically, DirectSDM should not be checked. If it is checked, a DSD stream won’t be processed (that is, not upsampled or filtered) at all.

Hi Lorin, right now I am using these settings without problems:

poly-sinc-xtr (non -2s)

DSD 7 256+fs

Using Roon as music manager (only DSP active is the headphone algorithm)

DSD 256 - I tried 512 but it started crackling like a crazy!

I agree with you, if you put under stress the CPU after a while some crackles happen, the strange thing it that observing process lasso I never reach the +90% of CPU usage, nevertheless I can’t push too much :slight_smile:

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Hey. From your post here, it looks like you might be able to answer a question I have. Do you know what is the point of activating the Roon dsp engine when using HQP? When I was setting all this up, I could not get HQP to play without activating the Roon dsp engine. However, that never seemed right to me given that they both do the same thing. Is it possible to run HQP with Roon and not activate the Roon dsp engine? Let me know if you or anyone else has this figured out. Thanks.

Yes, it’s definitely possible. Not sure what kind of problem you encountered, but if you post screenshots of your HQP preferences and DSF settings, someone will likely be able to figure it out.

Can you play files straight from HQP without Roon in the picture?

My problem is using too much CPU (even though I have a W10, i7 6700, quad core box which should be up to the task. I suspect that by enabling both Roon dsp and HQP that I am unnecessarily increasing the demands on my server. @Sam_Hall’s p[ost seems to suggest tthat it is not necessary to enable the Roon dsp when using HQP. I could be wrong. Just asking.

I am only interested in playing HQP through Roon. I do not like the HQp interface and will just give up on it if I can’t use the Roon integration.


Yes, you’re correct about that. As noted in this thread, I’ve been switching back and forth between using Roon DSP and HQP DSP. When I use HQP DSP, Roon DSP is entirely disabled. (It doesn’t need to be, but it certainly can be.)

Understood. I asked if you could play files directly from HQP (with no Roon involvement) as a step in troubleshooting the problem.