Ok, make me a believer… and tell me how to set the thing up…
Here is my setup… how will I add HQ Player in and what will it do for me…
Wyred 4 Sound (W4S) STP-SE: pre-amplifier
W4S DAC-1 LE w/Femto clock: dac
W4S ST-500 mkII: amplifier
W4S Recovery: USB Reclocker
Music Culture (MC) RL21: Speakers
REL TZero; Subwoofer
Yamaha SA-CD player
Falcon Northwest Tiki Computer: customized and optimized to run Roon as headless dedicated music server
Microsoft Surface Pro 3 as Roon controller
I have a lot of PCM and DSD downloads. I also have about 25 SA-CD disks which I assume HQ Player would not do anything for. All my Redbooks have been ripped to FLAC, but I have also up converted several of my favorites to DSD 64 using JRivers 21.
Three things I want to know.
1st: Which version of HQ Player do I get, how do I get it and for how much?
2nd: How do I set it up, integrate it into my system? Will it be an advantage?
3rd: What will it improve: downloads, PCM or DSD (many DSD), Redbooks? Basically, if it is an upgrade for me, how does it work? Step by step on how I setup and configure this.
Background on me. I am a professional computer guy. Vice president of IT actually and DBA for my company. I also have a lot of experience writing software and scripts, SQL Stored Procedures, etc. But, I am apprehensive on new things. So… Convince me…
HQP exists for all platforms. You can run in the same PC where Roon Core is or send signal to a differnt PC with HQP in it. HQP is going be charge of output, not Roon anymore. Therefore, if HQP PC is directly connected to DAC, it will inherit how the resident OS behaves with your particular DAC driver - i.e. in Win a DAC may be capable of DSD512 whereas in OSX can do only DSD128.
How much? Contact bibo01 who can help you
The advantage is that through HQP you can apply DSP like PCM <=> DSD in either direction and at any samplerate. Furthermore, you can apply DRC and multi-channel in both PCM and DSD. Bare in mind that, if you intend doing heavy computing conversions like RB->DS256, you probably need a powerful PC (possibly i7 class… you may ask for recommendations).
No downloads. With HQP you will possibly set your digital audio chain - PC->DAC - to work at its best in either PCM or DSD.
Furthermore, HQP can work with an NAA, a network audio end point which normally can be a small device like a CuBox-i or Sonore microRendu connected to a DAC. This is a slightly long matter, but in simple terms HQP does the heavy calculation on a PC Server and sends signal over a network to an NAA for simple playback.
If you’re an audiophile hobbyist interested in state of the art digital signal processing then try out the free trial and see if you like it. Your experience indicates you are quite capable of reading and digesting the various materials available online starting with the guides referenced by Gianluca. If you run into particular problems then there is a friendly community here to help, but we’re not salesmen or employees.
I purchased my HQP licences through Gianluca and can reccomend him as a reseller. If you decide to purchase a licence PM him for a quote.
Just some more information on my setup and desires in order for your total understanding of what i am trying to achieve. My DAC is capable of DSD 256 and I do own a couple downloaded albums at that level. I also have a few DSD 128 and quite a few DSD 64. I also have quite a few PCM mainly at 96 kHz and 192 kHz. All of my Redbooks have been ripped to FLAC as well.
The PC I am using for a music server is a fairly powerful machine running Windows 10 Professional (so that I can Remote Desktop for any type of computer configuration, file updates, software installation, etc)… A Devil’s Canyon i7 processor, 16 GB RAM, SSD storage, Gold Standard Power Supply… I run Roon Headless Server on this machine as the main source for a 2-channel system. I am not streaming any where else on the network. I use USB outputs from the PC into a Wyred 4 Sound Recovery USB reclocker and then into the DAC. The DAC also has a Femto clock.
If I understand you correctly, the Roon output would be directed to HQP which would in turn send it’s output to the W4S drivers. I would want to do a configuration setup on the software and pretty much let it run. I am not someone who loves playing with settings, but instead prefer to find the “best” setting for my system and then leave it alone.
With all of this (and thank you for allowing me to be long winded), will HQP be a big benefit to me? Will it give me noticeable sonic improvements? This is what I am hoping to achieve.
Obviously you have to try it for yourself.
I believe that, if you test trial HQP, you will notice a difference.
IN HQP, after choosing your device in Settings (probably ASIO), you have 4 drop down lists menus on your main desktop: filter, noise shaper/modulator, sample rate, type.
For PCM ouyput start with this setting:
176.4k or 352.8k
For DSD ouiput start with this setting:
5644800 or 11289600
Drag and drop an audio file (i.e. a FLAC or DSF) in the bottom window.
Ckick PLAY .
(Be sure that your volume knob is turned on)
Once you become confident with HQPlayer and its playback on its own, it is easy to set Roon to “dialogue” with HQP.
Once you find your preference in HQP according to your audio chain listening and fine tune the settings, you do not need to keep changing them and you stay in Roon.
I am a recent convert to HQ Player coming from a fully tweaked Windows Server, Audiophile Optimizer, and Fidelizer machine. I previously used Jplay in a two pc setup. I preferred HQ Player running on a single box Linux machine (Lubuntu). In a nutshell I feel HQ Player sounds more precise and spacious than Jplay.
Btw, I purchased double license from Bibo001 as well. He is a real gengentleman. Great transaction.
Excellent… and I do very much appreciate all the input and advice!
On my PC I have a folder for DSD downloads, another for PCM downloads, and another for Redbook CD rips.
What I am looking to do is to up sample all to DSD 256 and control it all from the Roon controller PC. I have read in some of the audio forums that HQ Player does this very well.
I have read (well probably more scanned than in depth read at this point) a few different threads here and other forums discussing setting up HQP. Most seem to get into great detail about all the various settings and setup options. At some point I may want to get more in depth, however at this time I am more interested in basic configurations to accomplish the above.
Am I asking too much? Does HQP require more in depth understanding and configurations or is there a more basic setup and configuration?
I am using HQPlayer/Roon with a Sonore microRendu to a W4S DAC-2 with femto clock to a tube buffer. I have around 10k PCM flac files, and like the interface.
My Roon core is based in a late 2014 iMac i5. Music is stored on an external drive. I use HQPlayer in poly-sinc-mp with TPDF (like NS4 too) at 96K. Sounds very good - My amps are W4S class D as well (STI-500 & MC7x250).
The manual available online is version 3.1.0. The latest manual is installed in the HQP folder when you download the trial. The differences are not major, but some of the options have been renamed so the latest version is clearer.
Using the trial of HQplayer (5 days in) with roon to a SOSE as NAA, into a W4S Recovery, into W4S DAC-2 DSDse/femto. I have about 36K PCM files about 1200 DSD. Amp is W4S ST-1000 too.
I run roon core too on an i7 PC w/32GB RAM that also runs HQPlayer and a few VM sessions. The i7 is more than enough, even with the most taxing filters and other programs running I never exceed 30% CPU load.
HQPlayer is pretty straight forward, I had everything up an running in a few minutes after install. There are a lot of different combinations that can be used and if you don’t like tweaking things you might not be happy with it. Initially I wanted HQP to upsample DSD but after about 6 hours of trying about every combination I could, I found that the DSD modes never sounded better than straight PCM and bypassing HQPlayer. It wasn’t until I started with the PCM upsampling and some different combinations that I starting hearing things that sound both different and better. I have not found any of the polysinc filters to sound right in my system, the FIR filters actually sounded the best, I am currently using minringFIR, NS4, auto rate family to 352/384 and it really sounds good.
Short answer is I would try it, your gear should have no issues using the player to it’s fullest, but it takes some time to find the right combinations.