HQPlayer blows me away once again

At the risk of sounding like an ad, I just had to post this. Had been using Roon without HQPPlayer for the past few week due to some hardware issues with my PC which runs HQPlayer and was finally able to get that rig up and running today and listened to Roon feeding HQPlayer and it’s like I’m listing to a whole new system! Sound no longer sounds flat and feels as though I’ve upgraded one component or two. Yes, it’s that noticeable. For those who have not experienced, try it!


I would love to try this but i have no idea on how to set it up.

Would love a video link explaining it if one is out there?


I think easiest way is to install on a Windows machine unless you’re familiar with Linux. A Pi 4 with RopieeeXL makes for a great NAA to connect to your USB DAC so no need to have the PC near your stereo system. Or you can connect your DAC directly to PC. In Roon, under settings, add HQPlayer using the IP address of the PC and select that as output in Roon. Make sure to enable the network control icon on HQPlayer so it can be controlled by Roon.

Is it better because your are upscaleing?

Can the perceived improved SQ be identified when you don’t know it was upsampled? By what test rate are listeners able to tell it’s basic / original or upsampled? 10 out of 10? Anything nearer to 5/10 would mean placebo effect, of course.


What’s the best way to install this on a MacBook air M1 if I have 2 endpoints, one is a raspberry Pi 4 and the other is a roon ready Cambridge CXN V2.

I just want HQP to basically be set-up once and Run in the background.

Problem is the Raspberry pi 4 setup supports DSD512 and the Cambridge upsamples everything to pcm 384khz. So most I can send to it is pcm 192 , after that it double that to 384khz… DSD64 works fine over DoP.

… you can’t run HQP NAA on it …

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In my current set up I have a headless 16Gb Mac Mini M1 running Roon Core (nothing else on the Mac Mini). Not currently using HQPlayer.

However, I am in the process of purchasing a new DAC, the Gustard A26 which includes a onboard streamer that has NAA. This DAC has the AKM4499EX chip. I would like to try HQPlayer after I receive the DAC.

A couple of questions:

  1. For performance reasons, is it OK to install HQPlayer on the existing Mac Mini or should I have it running on a separate machine on the same network?
  2. Since the Mac Mini is headless (I only attach monitor and keyboard for OS updates), can you add/change filters using the HQPDcontrol app instead of through HDPlayer Desktop?
  3. Anything else I should be considering?

Thanks in advance for your help.

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  1. You can run both on same machine, Roon takes some varying amount of CPU time as well, so you may periodically be more restricted on what you can do in HQPlayer. You can however set Roon to do background scan activities at lowest possible priority level to minimize disturbances.
  2. You can change active filters/modulators etc from HQPDcontrol, or from remotely running HQPlayer Client. You can also change matrix profile (if necessary) at least from remote HQPlayer Client. But for changing fixed settings, you need either local access, or remote desktop connection. Apple’s Remote Desktop also works well, I’ve used it over internet from another Mac through SSH tunnel.

Gustard A26 should work fine with this combination running at DSD256 from HQPlayer. Remember to set it to DSD Direct mode (IIRC, it has such setting).

Thank you for the feedback. I didn’t think about Remote Desktop so appreciate that suggestion. The A26 does have a DSD Direct setting. Will be back after I get everything set up seeking filter recommendations.

Thanks again.


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Does HQPlayer make sense for headphone listeners?

Just as much sense as it does for those who listen to speakers!

That is a strange question…why wouldn’t it?

Let me know how it works out for you. I want to do the same if it’s worth it. But probably with a raspberry pi and a topping E70 Velvet

I will do that Marc. It will be a few weeks before I receive the DAC and get everything set up.

IMO, yes. While writing this, I’m listening HQPlayer output at DSD512 to T+A HA 200 and their Solitaire P headphones with headphone correction EQ running in HQPlayer too.

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I’ve listened to DSD recordings and while it does seem that there’s a difference in the way DSD sounds vs CD or Hi-Res PCM, I don’t know if it’s necessarily better.

One thing I’d like is a better and more feature rich Stereo-to-Binaural plugin. Goodhertz has a plugin called CanOpener that works much better than the implementation that is in Roon, natively. It has tons of customization and some of the presets really improve the listening experience (especially older stereo recordings where the left and right channels are noticeable far apart).

Other than that, I think the greatest affect on perceived sound quality are the actual headphones and the quality of amplification. And, maybe even more importantly, the work done by the sound engineers for the particular recording.

W/R/T the headphone EQ, I only have a few headphones and I’m using the harmon curve corrections for my headphones that are available on the internet.

The source content I was listening to was streaming from Qobuz in various PCM resolutions, but output of course at DSD512.

If you are using oratory1990’s PDF, in the bottom right he has notes on how to adjust bass and sometimes treble to personal taste.

So with HQPlayer I can make many bass profiles for all my headphones and switch on the fly as music is playing.

Can’t do this on the fly as music is playing with Roon.

HQPlayer makes as much sense with headphones as speakers… makes lots of good sense !

For some recordings I like Harman neutral. For some newer recordings I like to reduce bass 1dB or 2dB or sometimes 3dB.

You can do whatever EQ adjustment you want obviously

Yes, an ability to modify EQ on the fly would be wonderful if it was native to Roon. However, I couldn’t justify the $220 price tag for that. Since I’m not interested in upsampling or PCM to DSD conversion, I guess I’ll pass on it.

I wish Roon allowed you to add VST plugins the way JRiver does. I have a plugin by Goodhertz, called Canopener that is without question the best Crossfeed tool I’ve ever encountered. It’s powerful and very customizable.

Oh well. Thanks for your reply.

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