HQPlayer Setup question

Hi there,

I have had a look through the forum but I can’t see the answer to my question. I currently have a NUC with ROCK installed feeding an Allo USBridge over Ethernet which in turn feeds a Mytek Liberty DAC. I have seen the NAA functionality in the Allo interface but I am unsure if I have the right equipment to run HQ Player. I have removed my main windows PC as an endpoint now, so I don’t have a PC, other than the NUC, which I want to leave running all the time. Can I install HQ Player on my USBridge or do I need to add some further hardware to run it, possibly a RPI? How would that fit into the chain etc?

I also have a separate Allo Digione (feeding an Arcam irDAC-II) in my home office, which also has NAA evident in the Allo interface, so I am interested from that perspective also.

Thanks for any help.

HQPlayer is in itself a cpu hungry program that needs to run on a full blown and rather powerful PC. You cannnot install it on Rock. However, you could reformat your ROCK machine using either Linux or Windows as the OS , and then run both Roon and HQPlayer on the same machine.

Depends a lot what you want to do… Upsampling to PCM outputs is not very heavy, depending on filter choice though. Smallest machine I’ve used to upsample RedBook to DSD256 has been 5W TDP Intel Atom…

I’m also offering HQPlayer Embedded built for 64-bit ARM processors. With a quad-core models PCM upsampling works fine with many filters. DSD upsampling is limited to max DSD64 though.

So I could reformat my ROCK machine to windows and run both Roon and HQPlayer, is there any downside to doing this?

Ultimately I would like to upsample to DSD256 on my main set-up, I can currently do this with Roon (NUC>Allo USBridge>Mytek Liberty DAC). And I would also like to upsample to my office setup (NUC>Allo Digione>Arcam irDAC-II), although I am not sure I can get DOP DSD64 working, it doesntly currently, so maybe just to PCM 176kHz.

With this usage in mind, what type of hardware could cope with HQ Player and where would it fit in the chain (assuming I don’t change the current NUC set-up)?

ROCK is Linux, and I would maybe personally rather stick with similar setup depending on how ready you are to deal with Linux command line without graphical user interface for setting things up.

Are you ready to assemble computer yourself from motherboard + case, or do you want something ready built? I personally prefer a passive cooled computer with suitable CPU (I have an i5-7600T at the moment).

There are also three companies at the moment selling computers that have Linux and Roon + HQPlayer Embedded preinstalled. Price range also varying quite a lot.

Yes, you could reformat your ROCK hard drive, load windows and then load RoonServer and HQPlayer on the box. But, personally, I would just buy a new hard drive, take the current ROCK hard drive out and save it in case I wanted to go back. Install the new hard drive and load the OS and software. And then restore the database, of course.

I like using Windows as my RoonServer platform, there are others who think the Windows Updates are a hassle.

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Hi @Rugby

Thats an interesting thought, thanks. I have just had a quick look at Amazon to see if I could do this relatively cheaply. I currently have quite a good Samsung M2 SATA but I can see a Western Digital 120GB M2 SATA for £21 and Windows 10 Pro Original + SheepSoft USB-Stick for £13. So I could change the HDD, and load up windows 10 and go from there.

I don’t know much about running a NUC headless, but I guess I can find that out. I could then trial HQ Player and see if I like it, in theory I could go back to the other drive if I wanted. I have Roon backups on an attached mechanical drive and my NAS so I can restore relatively easily.

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Hi @Rugby. I have just swapped out my Samsung 960 Evo 250 GB NVMe from my NUC to a WD 2280 250 GB. I have installed windows and I am about to install Roon. Is there a decent guide on running the NUC headless?I haven’t found anything yet. Thanks.

Update: I am progressing I think. I have turned off sleep state for the NUC, so it never sleeps, I think that is right. I also turned off pin on start up, for when I plug in headless. I also set Roon to startup on windows start.

I have a small issue with Roon finding new added music. I have changed the set-up slightly as Roon now points to my NAS and not an attached spinning drive, which seems to work fine. Except, when I add a newly ripped album to the NAS folder, Roon doesn’t see it unless I manually rescan. I am going to reduce the rescan time and see if it finds a few more rips, if it does, then all good. Next step HQ Player!

Hi Ross,

The NAS issue is that some NAS’s do not report new files correctly which delays Roon from seeing them them immediately; as you have found out, if you don’t want to wait you can maanually rescan. This is not a Windows thing but a “files stored on your NAS” thing. I keep all my files local and use the NAS as a copy.

To remote control the Windows PC from another machine, I would recommend the free personal version of Teamviewer. Windows own remote program can have graphics issues.

Thanks @Rugby.

I am probably happy with the NAS, but will use it and see.

I left the NUC on overnight, but this morning it shut down overnight at some point, not sure why. Hmmm. Its set to never sleep, so I am not sure what has happened there. Any ideas? I can’t see an relevant options in the bios (I just updated the bios as well).

Also on rebooting I had to input my windows password, so I have not got that right either…

I will have a look at team viewer.

I would double check the BIOS settings. Updating the BIOS may have reset your previously chosen parameters.

Thanks @Rugby, I can’t see anything obvious in the bios. I have just set it to turn back in the event of power failure but couldn’t see any specific power settings. I think it might be to do with hibernation so I will have a look at that now.

Update - So I have HQ Player working, kind of. I have no idea what most of the settings do but its working feeding my Mytek Liberty DAC fed by a ALLO USBridge, sounds v.good, although I am finding it hard to test against Roon upsampling as it means going back to me desktop to change stuff. I also have not managed to get HQ Player workin with my Digione, not sure why, its recognised, it plays, but no sound.

Can I use HQ Player across multiple end points at the same time? From what I seen, this does not seem to be the case.

No.One end point at a time.
I have 3 endpoints.

Thanks @seaharp1. I am just playing around now. Is there a best way to save ‘profiles’ for end points? I might have to try and get teamviewer working on my tablet so I can adjust quickly.

No, not yet. @jussi_laako “has done well to get this far for a one man band, but adding ‘zones’ like Roon would be nice”…as told to me by@ Sean2016

In our private discussion @seaharp1, I should have said Jussi has done UNBELIEVABLY well for a one man band…

And should have added that while saving settings for different zones would be nice, it’s probably at the bottom of my own personal feature request list… I’m quite ok without it, in the meantime… that’s just me though. It doesn’t take me long to change a filter or output mode, for example…

And let’s try to avoid quoting from private messages if possible.

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I was starting to get the hang of it last night but I only really have a surface level of understanding at this point. For my main endpoint (lounge) I still loaded my room correction files created by REW in roon and then used QQ player to upscale. It sounded great however I then switched to my home office and tried again but had to turn roon DSP off before adjusting the end point settings in HQ Player to output in pcm and not DSD, so a way to quickly adjust via profiles or similar would be very useful to a novice like me.

So, I have everything working and I am liking it. The NUC is running on a WD Blue 250gb m2 drive, should I go back and re-install everything using the Samsung 960 Evo 250gb NVME which I think is faster? Am I likely to see much speed increase?

I don’t think you would notice any performance difference with Roon between m2 and NVME. But I’ve never checked.