HQPlayer / Roon Integration: Ready for Prime Time?

I’d be interested in the answer to this as well, especially in relation to getting DSP256 to the DAC.

Yeah, Merging is one of the rare ones. There could be more though…

What ever ends up as complete system architecture, there can be some usability limitations due to various technical details of the components involved.

It depends on the DAC, there is no single “right answer”. It also depends on the use case. If one wants to have complete safety from DAC disconnects, then some unidirectional interconnect towards DAC may be better choice than USB. With S/PDIF and AES the sender doesn’t know if the receiver is present or not, it just blindly spits out data, so you can pull out the cable at any moment and put it back later at any time and there’s no problem. With USB or ethernet that is not the case… (although ethernet can be made to behave in same unidirectional way, but then it is of course not asynchronous transfer anymore)

Care to elaborate what problems would be introduced? Frankenstein Monster seems a bit strong, so you should elaborate. A complete re-write is not what i have read from the Roon guys if you hand over your output from HQP back to Roon.

Well, Roon guys don’t know how HQPlayer works inside. And I don’t know how Roon works inside. But unless you want to introduce huge lag/delay the HQPlayer output needs to be tightly coupled to the audio hardware. In order to operate, HQPlayer also needs a lot of information about the output hardware and then ensure that the output is passed bit-perfect to the hardware. HQPlayer also needs access to change the output hardware settings and such.

It is not as simple as putting output somewhere. A lot happens before you have any output at all in first place. And then a lot also happens while playback is proceeding and for example when you need to switch the output sampling rate or switch between PCM and DSD modes.

The only output information you would need is RAAT, Roon would control all aspects of the hardware and settings interface.

All I am reading here is that you will not release control of any part of your process. Which I guess is your prerogative. Which in the long term means that HQP is of little use to a dedicated Roon user especially when RAAT and RoonBridge become more mainstream, as it surely will. Your slim association with Roon was brief, but it can go nowhere whilst you do not give Roon the means to make your software of more widespread use. HQP will remain niche for CA nerds.

Roll on Roon and their own DSP implementations.

I don’t know if you understand. I would need to be able to fetch all the needed information and command Roon to do the necessary things. What would you suggest HQPlayer to do when it needs to for example switch output mode or change sampling rate? What rate it would switch to?

That doesn’t happen by just drawing a line from HQPlayer back to Roon. It is a lot of work on both sides, believe me.

It is not about releasing control. There is already much more control possibilities available to Roon (and other applications luke Muso) than those are currently using, and that’s just tip of the iceberg.

I’ve already spent months of my time to get the third party application integration to the level where it is now.

Are you would be sure Roon is ready to spend the time and effort needed? I would need some true assurances before I begin doing something outside of my existing plans which is already much more than 100% of my available time for a coming year at least. I’ve been hit couple of times in past where companies want to do something with me, and me spending lot of time and effort on something that ends up in a dead end. That’s loss of my precious time I cannot get back.

I’m fine with that… My only goal is to make things sound, and technically perform, as good as possible. And introduce new DSP capabilities and completely new products.

Now I’d just like to get my DSC2 DAC design done for a change…

I’ve been working on my DSP stuff for 18 years now and continuing the work while trying not to be drawn too far on other things. If someone wants to catch-up, that’s of course completely fine and normal thing. But I don’t think it’ll happen overnight easily and cheap. While someone is doing same stuff I’ve already done, I’m already doing something else…

Well from what I gather, you have not actually given anything back to Roon, all that has happened is an implementation of your software that allows Roon to hand over their output to HQP which then takes over full control. The time spent has been more in your interest than Roon’s, so it would appear.

Meanwhile quite a few of us who absolutely love Roon, but also like the SQ your program brings, have bought one or more HQP licenses that in the long term (or actually short term when RAAT & RoonBridge are fully implemented in 1.2) which will be of little use to a Roon user, as you steadfastly maintain full control and exclusivity on how HQP works with Roon. As I said before, HQP, NAA and RAAT are mutually exclusive, a user has to opt for one route or the other.

Let’s draw a line there, because I don’t think either of us will agree on anything here. I have wasted the best part of £90 on HQP licenses because, as sure as night follows day, Roon wins here in my book, and I will want one point of control when my equipment fully embraces RAAT. It’s a shame that HQP cannot seem to be part of that journey.

Both Roon and I implemented exactly what we agreed to do, and I have not heard either side being unhappy about the result.

Without speaking for anyone else here, I personally bought HQPlayer for one thing and one thing only: its sheer superiority in audio output and, in particular, its filters when using it to upsample to DXD, DSD256 or similar output. As long as Jussi focuses on maintaining that sound quality lead, and Roon focuses on its outstanding library management capabilities and the two generally play well together, then I’m happy. Yes, there are times when a tighter integration between the two might increase ease of use, but if that ease of use came at the expense of sonic purity, I would pass (and I believe that is largely Jussi’s prioritization as well).

If the Roon team had thought they could get the same sound quality by integrating with Amaarra, JRiver, Audirvana or the like, I’m sure they could have done that. I think they made a wise decision in choosing HQPlayer (and I did not own HQPlayer until after Roon made that choice).

My guess is that easily 80-90% of Roon users are quite happy using it on a standalone basis and Roon’s work on enabling ease of use with lots of devices well serves that 80-90%. Those of us using HQ Player and even more so those using HQPlayer on an NAA, and lastly those also incorporating further DSP processing (like Dirac) are the bleeding edge of audiophilia. As such we should expect the occasional inconvenience in favor of getting the best possible sound.


Agree. I bought HQP for the SQ and Roon for the UI. And I held off buying Roon till HQP integration existed. I’m also using an NAA and find the integration answers all my needs. I use Roon for the GUI and playback, and pretty much never have to mess with the HQP interface, and I’m getting all the benefits of both Roon and HQP. NAA’s are a cheap solution, pretty much anyone can add one to their setup at little cost.

Allen B.- I think you are being a bit harsh. First, you are looking at the situation strictly from your own personal needs. Second, you’re making all sorts of assumptions about how easy it would be for the integration you want to take place, when you clearly understand little about what’s actually going on under the hood. A little awareness of your lack of knowledge would be helpful.

HQP + Roon integration is clearly a niche feature for hard core audiophiles in any case. Other programs with years of developement and larger staffs than HQP behind them (JRiver, for example) haven’t come close to being able to do what Jussi has done with HQP. I doubt that writing all the filters etc., is much of a priority for Roon. They have done a great service to HQP users by getting the integration to where it is today.

@danny2 @sdolezalek I fully knew that some of you would jump to @jussi_laako defence, I fully expected that. Of course I am going to come at it from my own experiences, don’t we all? If you have read some of my other posts here and in CA or Devialet forums, then you will know that NAA does not always play nice with USB connections. @jussi_laako has blamed that on the OS and hardware, not his software. Then it’s suggested that I change half of my system to get a reliable connection for his software. Which tail is wagging which dog here.

I agree that currently, HQP is the best SQ out there, but you have to have knowledge of how it’s being used. I dare to say that HQP’s interface is pretty clunky, we all know that Roon is the one for user interface, otherwise we would not be here. HQP is niche and it seems that Jussi is happy to keep it that way.

I do not have to point you at the other topics where Roon have said they would like deeper integration with HQP, and they think it is do-able, but both parties have to commit. It’s quite condescending to tell me I know nothing, and whilst I fully admit that I cannot hope to know the inner workings, but I trust what the Roon guys say, and all I see from HQP is preciousness. Anything that happens with further integration does not stop you guys from enjoying HQP as it now stands, but with RAAT already out and RoonBridge very soon, you still will not be able to integrate it. You still have to chose HQP and/or NAA over Roon’s own protocols.

I just think it’s a fantastic chance missed, integrated and Roon/HQP could rule the audio world. As it stands you will always have to run two bits of software side-by-side and deal with HQP’s fussy and flaky output to certain machines. Not for use by even a mildly competent hi-fi enthusiast (without hand holding) let alone a member of the family or guest. Strictly for nerds and tinkerers, and I do not say that disparagingly, I am one, but I like to share my music with the people around me, it should not be a closeted and singular hobby, at least not in my household.

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Maybe they are then talking to you more about it than to me…

Valid points Allen. I think what Danny and I are suggesting is that Roon is a fully fledged team with an ambitious target that they have so far done a very admirable job of delivering on, but it remains a work in progress. Jussi’s is, by definition, a much smaller organization with somewhat different objectives. Over time, I think we will see a greater integration of the products, but I also see Jussi standing by his principles in not compromising on sound quality and perhaps in not trying to become more of a “commercial” company. That is his perogative.

I don’t disagree with the areas you are pointing out where a more user friendly HQPlayer would “bring in” additional happy users who are otherwise put off by its “precociousness.” But I also think Jussi will continue to add more user friendliness wherever he feels he can safely do so while maintaining the integrity of his product. I actually think it is a stunning showing of friendliness that Jussi and the Roon team have been willing to collaborate as much as they have at a time where both products are still quite young in a very rapid-moving and highly competitive industry.

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Speaking as just another HQP user, I’m fine with that, too. Jussi’s priorities (including the DSC2) mesh nicely with my own.

@AllenB, I know you have issues with the way Roon/HQP integration currently works, and you’ve articulated them very clearly. But the Roon guys have indicated their interest in proceeding with built-in DSP features, and no one’s forcing you to use HQP. It’s just my opinion, but I’d guess there are a significant number of Roon subscribers who, like me, are happy with the way Roon/HQP integration works right now and for whom your issue just isn’t relevant.

I wouldn’t presume to speak for Jussi, but he’s just one guy, and he’s entitled to take HQP in whatever direction he wants to. Prior to Roon/HQP integration, I myself had some issues that prevented me from using HQP — lack of what I’d consider to be an attractive, user-friendly UI and lack of ALAC support chief among them — but as far as I’m concerned, those problems are solved now, and I’m more than thrilled to enjoy the combination of state-of-the-art sound quality and state-of-the-art UI/UX.

I’ve drawn a line under it, but it seems that some of you guys cannot.

5 posts were split to a new topic: HQPlayer / Roon 256 DSD Stuttering, 64DSD is ok

2 posts were split to a new topic: HQPlayer Automatic Selection of Pipeline SDM Mode

@sdolezalek, I can’t agree more. Sound quality is what anyone using HQPlayer is after. The setup is more complicated than an all in one type solution, but in my opinion, the trouble is well worth it. As a matter of fact, I would have never purchased my lifetime subscription to Roon if it were not for HQPlayer. I dare say HQPlayer is the best bargain in the world of high end audio. When was the last time such a small expenditure made such a huge improvement in the sound of our systems?

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2 posts were merged into an existing topic: Room EQ using HQP

A post was split to a new topic: HQPlayer and Roon - Persistent Problems