Quietening my listening room whilst keeping HQ Player

My main listening room accommodates two roon endpoints, one desktop endpoint (RME DAC, RPI4 streamer and ADAM active speakers), and my main stereo endpoint (Topping D90, RPI4 streamer, Musical Fidelity M6si amp and KEF reference 1 speakers). I tend to only use HQ Player on my main stereo endpoint.

To use HQ Player, upscaling to DSD 256 and ADDM7EC modulators I need to use my main PC, and although water-cooled, you can hear it when sat down in the listening position for the main stereo endpoint. Similarly, my Roon Core (ROCK on NUC 7i7BNB) is also in the same room in the equipment rack. The NUC is fanless, but it does have a spinning drive which again you can hear at quieter moments.

I want to get rid of both sources of noise whilst keeping HQ Player. I can easily move the NUC upstairs to my server cupboard. The issue is with the main PC, which I can’t easily move around (its my gaming PC). Could I repurpose my NUC and run Ubuntu server? I could then run Roon Core and HQ player on it. I know the NUC is not really powerful enough for DSD 256, but I could run PCM?? In possible preperation I have swapped DACs, I will keep the Topping on DSD256 via Roon on my desktop, and rely on the RME for the main endpoint with HQ Player.

Is this a viable solution? Can I use HQ Player like this? Are there any guides around which might help me do this (a linux ludite!!)? Are there other solutions I should consider?

Can’t help most of your questions but your 7i7 should be more than adequate for DSD 512 if enough ram etc.
I run DSD 512 on a much older less powerful 7i3 with zero problems.

But not HQ player, which might be the kicker.

I would certainly try your 7i7 first.

Thanks for the reply.

I do run the i7 with DSD256 via Roon (and convolution filters) as you say, no problem there. But the NUC is not really powerful enough with the more demanding HQ Player configurations.

I am really after a way to run both Roon and HQ Player on the NUC I suppose.

I know this forum is full of members who do that successful and on a regular basis so I’m sure you will receive some excellent advice on this shortly.

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Yes, this should be possible. Definitely for PCM, and possibly DSD256. Your challenge will likely be networking. If you have a hardline network connection from your NUC to the NAA endpoint you are playing to, you will be fine. If you try to use WiFi, it could be more challenging. HQPlayer generates quite a bit of network traffic, and weak WiFi will create a lot of “glitches” in playback.

I use a Mac Mini, which has similar performance to your NUC, and I run DSD256 with no issue.

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How about, running HQPlayer and Roon on the big server set in another room. Run NAA on the NUC, which is HQPlayer s endpoint software.

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This though:

Yes Ubuntu Server would be the thing to try. Apart from time, it will cost $0 to try.

It can run DSD256 but the question is can it run EC modulators like you are used to. Probably not but you could try to find out. ASDM5 and ASDM7 (non EC) are still high quality modulators.

After you install Ubuntu it’s something like the below to get HQPlayer Embedded (different license to your Desktop license) and Roon Server. You could try Ubuntu Desktop and your existing HQP Desktop license on there maybe.

HQP Embedded on Ubuntu Focal:

sudo apt-get -y update

sudo apt-get -y dist-upgrade

sudo apt-get install alsa-utils

wget https://www.sonarnerd.net/src/focal/libgmpris_2.2.1-8_amd64.deb

sudo dpkg -i libgmpris_2.2.1-8_amd64.deb

Add following steps prior to installing hqplayerd package:

wget -q -O - https://repo.radeon.com/rocm/rocm.gpg.key | sudo apt-key add -

echo ‘deb [arch=amd64] Index of /rocm/apt/debian/ xenial main’ | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/rocm.list

sudo apt update

sudo apt-get -y update

sudo apt-get -y dist-upgrade

sudo wget https://www.signalyst.eu/bins/hqplayerd/focal/hqplayerd_4.25.2-85_amd64.deb

sudo dpkg -i hqplayerd_4.25.2-85_amd64.deb

sudo apt install -f ; sudo apt autoremove --purge ; sudo apt clean

systemctl enable hqplayerd;systemctl restart hqplayerd

sudo apt install -f (installs dependancies)

sudo reboot

Roon Server:

sudo apt install curl

sudo apt install -y cifs-utils

sudo apt-get install ffmpeg

curl -O http://download.roonlabs.com/builds/roonserver-installer-linuxx64.sh

chmod +x roonserver-installer-linuxx64.sh

sudo ./roonserver-installer-linuxx64.sh

sudo apt install -f (installs dependancies)

sudo reboot

Thanks for the replies.

Yes, that would be ideal but as noted by @dabassgoesboomboom I can’t easily do this. At best, I would be stuffing it in a cupboard with poor airflow which might even make it louder as it tries to stay cool. So a no-go for now.

I was thinking that was a Saturday afternoon job until…

I had semi-realised this, but pushed it to the back of my brain.

So, I think that leaves me with

I wonder if I could install normal Ubuntu (or other distro), and leave headless?

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I have a machine setup like this, that I sometimes need to use as a Desktop. I barely turn on the monitor.

It boots to the Ubuntu login screen but don’t need to actually login to Ubuntu Desktop for HQP Embedded and Roon Server to work. They work headlessly just like they would with Ubuntu Server.

Would it work with normal desktop HQ Player?

On a seperate note, do you have any issue with firewall on your Ubuntu install. I am on Linux Mint right now, and I don’t believe it is ‘stateful’, therefore I have had issues ‘seeing’ the NAA device.

I’ve never had issues. What NAA do you use?

Are you using ipv6 in HQPlayer? Doesn’t need to be enabled in your router.

I think a HQP Desktop 4 license works on all support platforms including Linux but maybe ask Jussi

I’ve never used HQP Desktop on Linux

I have used ropieee XL and Jussi’s rpi4 NAA image.

Not normally no, but with the UFW firewall on (stock Mint firewall), I can not see the NAA, ip 4 or 6. I have tried various rules, but always a no-go. I was told its essentially an issue as its not stateful.

Hmmm I never looked at Ubuntu firewall, never bothered.

Same with my Macs. In fact Apple ships all Macs with macOS firewall disabled.

I just make sure my router’s firmware is up to date and still being updated for the most important firewall. And then I hope for the best :grinning:

So, no firewall for you then! I am always worrying about that sort of thing. Sounds like its worth trying ubuntu desktop, adding roon server, HQ Player desktop (I have tried in Linux Mint) and then trying to run headlessly.

Keeps it interesting!! I will report back.

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I have Mint (20.1) with Cinnamon desktop on my small laptop and it doesn’t have any firewall enabled by default. Not much problem since I don’t run any servers on it either. And HQPlayer works fine with NAA’s.

The simple answer to your request is to keep your gaming PC for that purpose only. Don’t try to turn it into an HQPlayer upscaler as you will never have the quiet environment you seek. What I recommend instead:

  • Keep your NUC for Roon Core. Replace the spinning disk with an SSD.
  • Buy a quiet but high power HQPlayer upscaler device: I’m using the M1 Mac Mini. It’s perfect. Easily does DSD256 but you never hear a fan. And it is small, so you can locate it with your Roon Core in a cabinet.

I like this ideal too, if spending new money is OK.

Although I would wait for the new M1x Mac Mini news coming soon.

I have looked at lots of options, but I am trying ubuntu desktop+roon server+HQ Player first to see how the ‘old’ nuc gets on. I can feel an uber server is needed, at some point in the future, in addition to the gaming pc. I will virtualise everything at that point.

Ubuntu is installed, roon server is installed, now restoring from back-up, at 3%hmmm, might take a while! Got to get HQ Player working next.

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