HQPlayer Settings For Chord DAC Users

Hi Fellow Rooners,

Thought I would start this post as there’s not much information out there on the internet regarding best settings for HQPlayer and Chord DAC owners that use Roon. Sure, I’ve found the posts that recommend not to use HQPlayer with any Chord DAC, because Chord DACS use the proprietary WTA filters designed by the great Rob Watts and these are best not interfered with!

Well this doesn’t really help me. In the last week I have taken ownership of a Chord Hugo (Mark 1) and have this fed from my Mac Mini by USB. The Hugo is connected to my Naim Nap 200 by RCA and the amp powers my PMC Twenty5 23’s. I’m using the Hugo as the preamp which sounds better than any Naim pre configuration I have tested and this setup is also recommended by Mr Watts.

The quality of sound I’m achieving is superb without using HQPlayer, but I do have a few niggly issues.

  1. You cannot control the Hugo volume remotely through Roon on the iPad unless you use DSP volume control and this causes a significant loss of SQ if you reduce the volume below 0db (See Image 2 at -5db and Image 3 at 0db).

  2. I don’t want to be forever adjusting the Hugo’s volume manually, so this is set to the medium green level, which is loud enough for my personal listening at 0db down to -10db dependent on album.

Using HQplayer enables me to control the digital volume far better and I’m not getting a drop off in SQ as I am with the Roon DSP. (See Image 1 at -5db)

So, I’m going to stick with HQPlayer and at the moment enjoy the closed-form TPDF setting upsampled to the Chord DAC’s maximum PCM level of 384kHz.

What settings are you Chord Rooners using in HQPlayer?

Please add your comments and screenshots if you wish.

All the best,


The Chord has unique filtering, most owners bought the DAC for that sound signature and don’t do anything prior.

You could try poly-sinc-xtr or closed-form. Have HQPlayer outputting max PCM same rate and then toggle between the particular filter and (none) in the left drop down.

When you chose (none) you bypass HQPlayer’s filtering and upsampling and resort back to the your DAC’s implementation. Try them and see what you like or if you like any compared to the internal filters.

I do this quite often when playing with HQPlayer vs my DAC.


In fact you could just tell HQPlayer to do nothing and use it for volume control. By setting it to PCM and using the filter (none).

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Thanks Jeff,

So if I understand you correctly selecting none in the filter and dither boxes gives me the Chord’s unique signature, but still allows me to control volume and retain better HQ than using Roon’s DSP features.

I’ve been using closed-form and quite like it.

Thanks for your input.

All the best,


Yes, to answer your question.

To add I’d probably set the bit depth to Auto if you have changed it.

I like closed-form as well, on my Resonessence Mirus Pro

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Cheers Jeff,

I’ve got bit depth set to 32 to match Chord’s max. spec. What effect would this have setting to Auto?

With filter and dither off I’d guess zero pad or ignore.

@jussi_laako ?

32 might not be the best sounding option when doing noise shaping. Seems like the right answer but isn’t always the case.

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Leaving DAC Bits at Auto is safe in most cases. Unless you know that output is going through S/PDIF or AES/EBU, or to a DAC with certain resolution.

Using Auto setting for Chord through USB should work fine, most likely it ends up using 32-bit and TPDF dither is good choice for that.

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Thanks for the input Jussi…as I type trying TPDF with no filter and DAC bits set to Auto…sounds good to me!

I am unable to get my hq player to display my filter settings. by not displaying does it mean they are not being used correctly? i am using a 2qute dac.

You are using “Auto” as output mode in HQPlayer… In this case there are two different settings active, one for PCM sources and one for DSD sources. These two settings cannot be displayed simultaneously.

Thank you that did solve that issue. Can you explain why songs sound better/different in the hq player itself vs the hq player inside roon?

Hi Jussi, if I select “Auto” in HQplayer’s main menu, will it proceed with Chord’s unique filtering when I play PCM and DSD (ignoring the setting of filter and dither in Setting)?
If yes, does HQplayer still do the upsampling as the set in HQplayer’s Setting Menu?

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If you set “auto” as output mode, the only effect it has is to switch between PCM and SDM output modes corresponding to PCM/DSD sources. Which you shouldn’t do with Chord, you should always send there highest rate PCM it can accept, also for DSD sources. Because the DSD handling there is poor.

OTOH, if you want to use Chord’s filters, you shouldn’t be using HQPlayer in first place.


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Got it…Another question, I’ve set the sample rate to 768k in HQplayer, but dunno why it shows 705.6k in Roon?
(My DAC is Hugo 2, it should support up to 768k…)

Is it becasue the source is 44.1k?
If the source is 48k, it can be upsampled to 768K…

2 possible reasons: The “Auto Rate” option is chosen or the particular filter doesn’t allow it.

Thank you so much!

Uncheck “Auto Rate Family” and choose “Poly-sinc”: can upsample to 768k
Uncheck “Auto Rate Family” and choose “Closed-form”: cannot upsample to 768k (705k only)

I think that it only does multiples of the original source resolution. So if you start with a 44.1 file then 705.6 is your only option. If you start with a 48 file then you get to 768.

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it seems like my question (which i might add i have seen asked before and also ignored) was lost in the shuffle. My question is can someone explain how a track played from HQ player can sound better when played directly through the HQ player than when that same track is played via the HQ player via Roon?