HQPlayer NAA on Raspberry Pi 5

I want to use Raspberry pi as a HQPlayer Endpoint using NAA. The HQPlayer PCM upscaling will be done by my desktop and the upsampled signal then sent to rpi 5 via USB. I have a few doubts :-

  1. Will there be any difference between using Raspberry pi 5 or pi 4 if they are being used in NAA such as sample rate limitations? what would be max sample rate ( both PCM and DSD ) that RPI 5 can output in NAA?
  2. will the RAM size of the raspberry pi matter?
    3)Is there any limitation on pi HATs that can be used with rpi 5 is used as NAA ? I want to add a SPDIF output board to the raspberry pi that can output 384Khz via coaxial and I wonder if it is compatible with HQ Player embedded NAA.( R19 Digital Audio Board 32Bit PCM384KHz DSD512 Coaxial DOP128 For Raspberry Pi | eBay )

At the moment, RPi4 is better option. There are some hardware/OS issues with RPi5 and 48k x512 and higher output rates.

Not really, but minimum 2 GB is my recommendation if the price doesn’t become problem.

The ones supported by official RPi kernel are supported if I’ve picked up all correctly.

That page refers to HifiBerry DAC overlay which is supported, but since I have not tested that particular board I don’t have information whether it will work as intended or not.

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Well my local hardware store has only Rpi 4b 1GB boards and Rpi 5 boards.
I will have to use a 1GB pi 4b board then.

I guess it should not affect sound quality.

I have been using a 1G version of rpi4 as a NAA with zero problem whatsoever.


Hi Jussi, is that issue on pi 5 related to i2s output only or USB as well? Thanks!

That issue is specific to USB output. I have not tested very recently, if it has got fixed. There have been both firmware fixes and kernel updates for RPi5 since. So it would need to be tested again.

Thanks! I was going to use RPi5 just to run NAA end-point using Ropieee and do all upsampling on a separate server. Do you think that it would still be an issue? I pulled a trigger and got RPi5 8GB which I understand will be overkill but just to be kinda future-proof…

Can I ask another quick question: it seems like my i5 12400 is capable of running DSD512 poly-sinc-gauss-long with ASDM7ECv3. I’m looking to upgrade my server to run better quality filters (are there any?) or move to DSD1024 since my DAC allows it. Do I go all in with i9-14900K (6.0GHz) or i7-14700KF (5.6GHz) would not be much worse? At this point I’d rather get higher CPU than buy a separate GPU - seems it provides higher benefits for money… Thanks a lot!

If you don’t do higher than 44.1k x512, it should work. Or higher than 705.6k PCM. I hope this will get fixed over time, and that it is not some hardware limitation.

You can also get somewhat lighter load with the newer modulators. My 13900T can do DSD1024 with ASDM7EC-light and default filters. While 14900K can do DSD1024 with ASDM7EC/super and default filters. If you want to push things a bit more, 14900KS is likely the choice.

Choice between i7/i9 depends also on your configuration choices and E-cores setting. Difference between maximum clocks between 14900K and 14700K and number of E-cores are the most notable things. Without a GPU, those E-cores are your “GPU”.

With my T+A 200 DAC I can go up to for DSD 1024. I just installed Popieee and able to run DSD 512. I think that I’m getting crazy but the sound from my MS Surface laptop with T+A driver on DSD sounds better (at least different) than Ropieee with linear power supply. Is it possible that Ropieee does something to the stream and it becomes not bit perfect? The DAC is showing DSD 512. I think that I’m getting crazy but my wife hears the difference as well… Help!

The laptop plays MUCH better, level of detail is way higher with wider soundstage. With Ropieee it feels like I’m back to PCM :frowning:

These things are not always simple and straightforward. Your laptop is likely floating from PSU perspective, while the RPi is not.

I hope I will soon get NAA OS with RPi5 support out…

What if I try to use power bank to power RPi? Also, can I try using your NAA image for RPi4?
One more question so I understand. If I feed DSD512 to RPi and the DAC is showing DSD512 - it means that it is bit perfect or there is a chance that the stream could be somehow altered by software/Linux? Thanks!

That is one option, although RPi5 requires quite a bit current, so you’d need at least 2.4A or similar capacity. Challenge is that these use cheap switching regulators.

Current images work only on RPi4. RPi5 hardware is rather different.

Very unlikely that RPi would have processing capacity to modify it in a way that it would sound even remotely OK…