Why do audiophiles like HQ Player?

(Andrew Cox) #8

There is a difference between a theoretical filter curve and the real life implementation of that curve. The filters in HQP all have names and descriptions that can be looked up if you are interested in signal processing.

Miska/Jussi’s filters have two advantages:

  • They run on a general purpose computer, rather than the less powerful dedicated hardware in a DAC. His closed form FIR interpolator has 16,000 taps (delay line series module equivalents) compared to 2,048 in the Chord WTA filter;

  • They are designed by an audio enthusiast with extensive experience in signal processing (including SONAR).

Now you can read all about signal processing or Jussi’s professional experience online, but isn’t the real answer to this discussion to try the free trial and see how it sounds to you ?

#9

I am in the midst of the free trial. The range of choices and the stark differences in the sound they produce left me wanting and reminded me of the equalizers of days past. Listening to music is supposed to fun. I want what I play to sound as close to what the artist intended, and I can’t see how HQP helps with either.

(Andrew Cox) #10

Ok then, you’ve tried it out and HQP is not for you. It’s not for everyone and the reasons you give are sensible. Let’s all continue to enjoy Roon in different ways :grinning:

(danny2) #11

I’m sort of thinking you don’t actually understand the function of the filter.
Yes, we’re exchanging one set of filters for another. And no, there is no such thing as a transparent filter. The bits have to be turned into analog, therefore there is always a filter that has certain sound characteristics.
One isn’t just trusting Miska, one is listeining and deciding what one likes best. Miska has extensive experience in the field and spends more time designing filters and listening to them than other designers. So it’s certainly possible his filters are superior to those found in most DACs. Remember, most DACs have 1-3 standard filters in a chip. Miska gives you multiple options you can adjust in software,and power that software with a much more powerful processor than found in any DAC. So he can offer somethings that DACs can’t.

Whether this gets you closer to what the artist intended is a question you have to answer; but there is no reason to assume HQP can’t do it as well or better than a DAC.

But in the end, if you don’t enjoy his approach, don’t use it.

1 Like
#12

I may not understand it. What does “superior filters” mean when it comes to manipulating music? Seems to me it is a subjective choice as to which filter sounds “best”.

I’ve asked the question several times which filter in HQP would make my DAC sound it’s best. No one appears to be able to answer that because it is a subjective choice.

Seems like Miska has provided filters that a lot of people like more than those in hardware. It makes the music sound better to their subjective ears. It may sound “better” to mine, too. Just like food that is salted tastes “better”, too. Same for butter.

At some point we are listening to the filter and not the music. And tasting the salt and butter instead of the food they grace.

(David Orgel) #13

Not “at some point” but always. There’s just no converting digital to analog (or vice versa) without filters (er, in a way that would sound good to anyone).

It seems like you’re assuming that the filter(s) in your DAC are superior to any of those in HQP. As others have said, if you like one or more filters built into your DAC better than any of those in HQP, that’s fine, but there’s really no reason to assume they’re empirically better than Miska’s; it’s actually easier to make the case that Miska’s are better, for reasons enumerated above.

(Daniel Beyer) #14

Just to clarify. That is where CHORD started. The Hugo has 26,638 taps in the FIR interpolator. Not sure about the 2qute but I believe it is the same. the DAVE dac on teh other hand has even more.

(Daniel Beyer) #15

The question is whether or not your DAC applies its filter on top of what it is fed from HQP. In this instance you are hearing the result of both HQP and the DAC’s filters applied.

#16

Yep. That is why I have been asking about the best HQP filter to use with my DAC.

(Daniel Beyer) #17

I see that you use a Wolfson, but what product is it in?

#18

I don’t think you mean that. I usually don’t hear folks admit they listen to the equipment and not the music. You’re missing out on a lot if that’s the case.

I’m not assuming any filters are superior. I tend to believe that bits are bits and that all audio equipment is a subjective choice, and the filters are a small part of that. I obviously realize that lossy digital formats are inferior to lossless, but I am not convinced of either the superiority of vinyl, high res or DSD, though I am open to that, thus I want to give HQP a try since it up samples outside of the DAC. I do think that could make a positive difference, but needing to choose the appropriate filter for my DAC (and my Mac Mini’s processing power) is a bit out of reach for me, or at least I am not interested in the tedious trial and error that would be needed. My system needs to be simple enough for the family to use. HQP doesn’t fit that bill, at least as far as I can tell.

Music is something I enjoy listening to. Equipment isn’t.

#19

It’s in a PS Audio Sprout.

(Andrew Cox) #20

This was a question I had and have never seen an adequate answer. Why are the HQP and DAC filters not additive ? Is it something that varies with DAC design ?

(Andrew Cox) #21

I’d suggest upsampling Redbook PCM to 192 kHz and trying the poly-sinc-2s and poly-sinc-mp-2s filters. They are less intensive versions of the poly-sinc filters.

#22

Same for other PCM? Upsample 24/48, 24/98, 24/88, 24/176 using the same filter or is it different filters for every resolution? That would be pretty difficult using it through Roon, right?

(Andrew Cox) #23

I tend to stick to the poly-sinc family, but you can try out other filters by all means.

1 Like
#24

I’m just trying to understand the theory behind these filters. Are they intended to only be applied to certain sample rates?

#25

Not in my case. I’m using the poly-sinc-short-mp, ASDM7, DSD128 and it sounds great with everything I’ve played… Like you I’d have no interest in changing filters all the time for certain songs, personally I haven’t time and/or interest in doing that.

In my system this combo has just seemed to relax the digital harshness that can occur and creates more depth and a more immersive sound I believe.

It’s easy to start with the poly-sinc family and play some tracks with Roon only, than Roon w/HQP and if you don’t find a difference for the better, easy… No need to go further.

(danny2) #26

Are the filters additive?
What sounds best?

It depends what you ask HQP to do and how your DAC works. Most DACs upsample to 8X PCM rates(in 2X steps), then to DSD, the convert the DSD to analog - even if they say they are non-upsampling.

My DAC will just turn the DSD to multibit DSD and convert to analog if fed DSD - so that allows it to skip a lot of steps of processing. YMMV with your DAC.

What sounds best is totally individual. You have to experiment and see. Personally, usually listen to playlists -sometimes created on the fly - so I have one or two setups in HQP that I like, so I just set it to one of them and use it continually with all sample rates and formats.

There are people whose listening is almost all album oriented, so they change filters according to the type of music - say FIR filter for classical, or poly-sinc for other types of music.

#27

[quote=“andybob, post:5, topic:6210”]
A reconstruction filter can also shift noise from the ADC conversion into inaudible frequencies, in which case it is known as an apodising filter.
[/quote] I always thought that an apodizing filter was one with a slow roll-off, essentially to reduce the ringing caused by brick wall filters (the term comes from radio astronomy).