Remastered DSD sounds mesmerising on Roon

I was trying to get the very best out from 16/44.1 CD ripped WAV but at times it sounded a bit ‘hash’ and some ‘digital glare’. I have an opportunity to convert some of WAV to DSF using JRiver 19, its library tool to transcode. After I playback on Roon, I was really mesmerised; devoid of ‘harsh’ and 'digital glare associated with 16/44.1. I can listen longer without feeling fatigue and really enjoying the music. Unfortunately I don’t have the luxury to purchase HQPlayer to do the ‘on the fly’ conversion from PCM to DSD. I’ve couples of questions…

  1. Does anyone here convert 16/44.1 ripped CD WAV/FLAC to DSF and store in their NAS and play them back?
  2. I found out the DSF file size is at least 3 times (assuming DSD64) the size compared to 16/44.1 WAV. I’ve 4TB NAS and about 800 CDs. I’m not sure whether to convert all to DSF and risked running low on my NAS drive.

Have you compared the cost of extra HDD and running a NAS vs the cost of HQP?

Logically, on-the-fly is best as you leave the files alone and save on all the storage etc.


dont forget the cost of a machine capable of running HQP on the fly conversion.

Previously I used JRiver 19 to do on the fly PCM to DSD conversion. I have some shuttering during playback. I’ve to set buffering to maximum, almost 1000ms. But that’s is only 1xDSD. It is almost unplayable when convert on the fly to 2xDSD. I think probably my PC is not up to the task. I’ve yet to try out to HQPlayer. I will probably give a try…

It’s not possible to be definitive but these are my guesses regarding minimum spec for various HQP settings:

PCM (2s filters) - dual core i5
128DSD (all filters) - dual core i7
256DSD + - quad core i7

I wouldn’t recommend a Celeron style processor for any HQP application.

I have the middle option in a Gigabyte Brix (as per description in profile). If I use closed form then the fan will start, but otherwise it handles all filters up to 128DSD.

If you have a high powered graphics card the latest version of HQP contains provision to share workload with the GPU. I haven’t played with that feature.

Logically, on-the-fly is best as you leave the files alone and save on all the storage etc.

I agree with this. The algorithms continue to get better, computers get faster, and the best methods aren’t always the same for every DAC/situation. Going through a lengthy/painful conversion locks you into today’s technology and forces you to repeat the ordeal over and over as the world changes around you. Anything short of doing it on-the-fly is going to lead to compromises eventually.

The downside, as you’ve learned, is online conversion is expensive (both in terms of software and system requirements).

HQPlayer is probably the most comprehensive real-time software-based up-sampling product available today.

I hope we can offer some up-sampling solutions in the future too. Maybe not something as specialized or in-depth as HQPlayer, but there is a lot of worthwhile ground to cover between where we are (basically, a bit-perfect player) and the HQPlayer extreme.


Thanks Andrew. Unfortunately, my PC is quad core Celeron N2930, a Zotac mini fanless PC. My PC sit on my Hi-Fi system and I want the PC to be noiseless from the spinning fan inside. My NAS too is also a fanless design, from QNAP. It is difficult to find mini fanless PC that uses i7… I will try out the HQPlayer(trial) to see if my PC is up to the task. I only need 1xDSD at most but 2xDSD is as far I can go due to maximium input sampling of my DAC. Also I can convert Tidal 16/44.1 to DSD, that really sound good.

@andybob, I have a MacMini (late 2012 i5) and all filters work at DSD128 in my case.

“Also I can convert Tidal 16/44.1 to DSD, that really sound good.”

Yes, with the Roon/HQP combination, you can convert anything Roon can play to any format HQP (and your server) is capable of. I’ve favored using the server for real time upsampling for many years so when I last upgraded my system, I went for a powerful Core I7. I found that one-time cost to be more than worthwhile for the sonic benefits. If your system struggles with some of the more advanced filters, there are less demanding versions of several of them that give you most of the benefit with a much lighter load on the server.

Also, I agree with those who prefer upsampling on the fly over doing so in advance. There are several different filters to choose from (in HQP), and the filters are improved over time, plus the technology in servers only gets more powerful, and eventually, you may upgrade your DAC to one that accepts higher sampling rates. Beyond that, with real-time upsampling, you save on storage, effort and your source files remain “perfect”.