sonicTransporter i7 with HQP Embedded - DSD512 to a micro/ultraRendu

(Sean) #19

Limits has stayed at 0 at all times with Direct SDM disabled. Still get pops even at -30dB fixed volume, listening to Keith Jarrett streams on Tidal (not compressed).

I noticed as I was screen sharing with dad that DSD512 started off ok (listening to quiet Keith Jarrett Tidal stream to pickup pops easily) until I started browsing his Roon library on his Mac…

i.e. when Roon Core starts doing more work (on the same machine as HQP Embedded of course), and CPU usage (and network usage?) goes up, the pops with DSD512 become much more apparent.

When I next visit him I’ll take the sonicT i7 from the home office and into the listening room and connect it via USB directly to the Pro-Ject S2 , i.e. by-pass ultraRendu, for testing purposes.

@jussi_laako - until Jesus can test a sonicT i7 himself (or someone else that comes to read this thread), have I run out of things to try in HQP config?

@andybob - are you running Roon Core on the same machine as HQP? Or separate machines? If both are on the same machine, what are you machine’s specs and can you run the 2s filter variants at DSD512 without issues, with the single Roon Core + HQP machine?


(Sean) #20


After asking andybob about if you have a single machine or two separate machines, I thought since I’m screen sharing on the old man’s iMac (2010, old i5, 8gb of old RAM) then why not separate HQP Embedded from Roon Core to test what I was thinking…

So I quickly setup Roon Server on his iMac with just his Tidal account for now. No need to import his USB drive for a quick test.

And I stopped RoonServer on his sonicT i7 so that HQP Embedded has the machine all to herself.

And voila - DSD512 playing perfectly fine with xtr-lp-2s filter… Even with RoonServer extremely busy importing Tidal library and images and me browsing his library, not a sing pop…

So my hunch that the sonicT i7 can’t handle both HQP Embedded DSD512 up-sampling on the same machine as Roon Core looks correct.

But why! Do others out there have a single machine i7-7700 doing both RoonCore and HQP DSD512 up-sampling duties?

Sigh, he scored a free sonicT i7 last year. Now I’ll need to give him my ROCK NUC i7 for smoother Roon Core duties.

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(Andrew Cox) #21

I use a single machine with an i7 7700 and this gear including a CUDA GPU, all running Windows 10 in a neighboring room. I run Roon Server and HQP and a monitoring program called Cam on that machine. I can run all filters except xtr at DSD 512; xtr-2s is fine.

I think you’ve isolated the issue (well done), but I don’t know why my i7 7700 is ok and the sonicT isn’t. Looking back over the linked thread I see I was reporting getting some pops with CUDA off. I would think that separating HQP from Roon would be enough without CUDA.

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(Sean) #22

Many thanks and very interesting. I don’t know what GPU is inside the sonicT i7 and if/how CUDA can be enabled with the sonicT i7. I don’t even know what CUDA is but will mention this to Sonore.

Yes indeed. Today’s experimenting confirms this.

Sonore also confirmed they’re going to investigate and will try whatever they can to get both working on the same machine with DSD512.

I’ve had enough of troubleshooting for a while now. If I get another call about popping noises I’m disabling HQP and forcing the old man back to DSD512 up-sampling. Everything appears good though.

(Andrew Cox) #23

CUDA is an NVIDIA protocol that shares processing with the GPU. HQ Player supports CUDA if you have an NVIDIA CUDA capable GPU. Roon doesn’t support CUDA atm but has generally lower processing requirements.

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(Sean) #24

Noted, I’ve passed this onto Sonore to look at. I’m sure Jesus will communicate with Jussi in the background to look at what can be done (if anything). The next model sonicT i9 (guessing) will probably come with a nice GPU now (guessing again).

Thanks for your help ! My question to you about single vs 2-box solution is what got me to try the latter (yes I’m patting myself on the back there :smile:).

Thank the Hi-Fi Gods it worked :pray::pray::pray:

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(Jussi Laako (Signalyst)) #25

There was also some setting in Roon to adjust how aggressively it is scanning content in the background. But I would assume this doesn’t affect Tidal, or does it?

Checking out that setting could help.

(Sean) #26

Background audio analysis was completed months ago and is set to throttle and there was nothing being imported into library in the background. Roon DSP was off.

So Roon was running as lean as possible in terms of background activities, for both USB drive and Tidal playback. Roon can’t run any leaner (in terms of settings for me to adjust)

(Jussi Laako (Signalyst)) #27

OK, a bit mysterious why it has such large impact then…

(Sean) #28

@andybob said above that with an i7-7700 he had pops (RoonServer + HQP on same machine) at DSD512 until he played with CUDA?

But his GPU would be significantly more powerful than what is inside the sonicT i7 (at a guess).

I’ve asked Jesus to speak with you about CUDA offloading setting (changing the config file).

Other than that, he will test an i7 to try to reproduce this issue himself.

(Sean) #29

Do you mean why Tidal streaming has such a large impact?

Dad’s initial observation was only Tidal streaming was being affected with pops. But yesterday he confirned (and I noted somewhere above) that the pops is not just limited to Tidal - USB drive playback is just as affected.

And popping gets more intense/frequent when browsing and searching Roon while HQP is simultaneously upsampling to DSD512- probably caused by Roon’s spikes/bursts in CPU usage, I’m guessing.

As noted above - separating RoonServer and HQP Embedded to separate machines solved the issue completely. But Jesus will look at how to get both working on the same machine, when he gets a sonicT i7 to play with.

(Andrew Gillis) #30

The sonicTransporter i7 has plenty of power for this. It’s a prioritization issue of some kind. Jussi has an update that i’ll be release later today with some tweaks.

Also make sure you have Settings -> Library -> Background Audio Analysis Speed in Roon set to Throttled

I had a customer last week with this set to 8 core and he was getting dropouts playing a 44.1 track with no up-sampling!

Setting this to 8 core does use up all the CPU power of the i7!!!

(Sean) #31

I mentioned a few posts above yours:

“Background audio analysis was completed months ago and is set to throttle and there was nothing being imported into library in the background. Roon DSP was off.

So Roon was running as lean as possible in terms of background activities, for both USB drive and Tidal playback. Roon can’t run any leaner (in terms of settings for me to adjust)”

Excellent, thanks for looking into it.

(Andrew Gillis) #32

I just released HQPlayer embedded 4.1.0 for the sonicTransporter. Jussi says this has some fixes that should help. Tell me what happens.

To update

go to -> manage -> apps -> Software Manager -> update

There is a also a small fix for HQPlayer on multi-Ethernet interface boxes. If you have one of those uninstall and reinstall HQPlayer.

(Andrew Gillis) #33

You should not need CUDA unless you are upsampling multi-channel (7.1) to DSD512.

(Sean) #34

Thanks, will do this later today and report back.

Thank you, @Jesus_Rodriguez and @jussi_laako for looking to solve this.

Fingers crossed.

(Sean) #35

@agillis @jussi_laako

Jussi, how am I supposed to setup 1x Oversampling and Nx Oversampling?

I obviously want to go to DSD512. Do I pick the same filter for both 1x and Nx oversampling?

What is the use case for picking 2 different filters there?


(Jussi Laako (Signalyst)) #36

You can select the same filter for both if you like, then it is just like before.

This is a feature that has been requested every now and then. Thinking behind this is that RedBook and other (48k) 1x content requires fairly steep filter in general because there’s not really much “slack” between 20 kHz and Nyquist, while hires content (depending on one’s view) can trade some of bandwidth for slower roll-off filter.

For example slow roll-off poly-sinc-mqa (or the more MQA’ish poly-sinc-mqa-mp (*)) works fairly well for ordinary hires content, while for ordinary RedBook one could use a somewhat steeper poly-sinc-short. This also allows mixing linear-phase and minimum-phase filter between hires and non-hires content.

*) Even though the filters have “MQA” in their name, they are still much steeper than what MQA delivers. They are just tuned with MQA content in mind.

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(Sean) #37

@jussi_laako @agillis

Listening to the 2nd half of Damien Rice - Sleep Don’t Weep on Tidal. Very quiet song.

Still hearing small pops.

Any pops will stand out like dog’s b@lls in the 2nd half of that track.

Same with Santana ‘Revelations’ on Tidal - quiet piano track.

Filter settings are as per above screenshot.

(Jussi Laako (Signalyst)) #38

I tested specifically that track, with my fanless server (i5-7600T), to locally connected Holo Spring DAC, Roon running on Mac Mini. Volume turned up high. No pops…

One possibility is also that Roon running on Linux and output to HQPlayer is doing something funny in this case. I wonder how much Roon has been testing that. @brian?

Load on the HQPlayer server is not particularly high:

Nor the temperatures: