Why would I want HQ Player if my DAC upsamples?

I have been reading a lot on here about HQ Player and it’s integration with Roon. I’ve also done the requisite Internet search. My DAC (integrated into my Lyngdorf Preamp) does up-sampling of all digital input to 24/96 (the max rate for my preamp). My understanding is that most, if not all “modern” DAC’s up-sample as well. So, why would I, or “you” want HQ Player when the DAC already preforms the main function? I realize there are other functions for HQ Player, but most folks talk about the up-sampling.

I’m sorry if this question seems elementary, but I just don’t get it, so any help is appreciated.

The filters in HQP are better than the filters in most DAC’s. They make use of the greater processing power in a general purpose computer. I have an upsampling DAC (Vega) and will be using HQP when integrated because that was my experience.

HQP is available for a free trial. Listen and see what you think.


In addition, almost all modern DACs upsample to both 8X PCM rates and DSD before conversion to analog. This generally is accomplished in several separate steps of upsasmpling in the DAC chip. if you upsample in HQP first, you can eliminate several or all of these steps in the DAC and the DAC only has to do the basic D to A conversion. This is considered to have better results than having the DAC do all the work.

If you are using a Lyngdorf, HQP would be less useful, as my understanding is that the Lyngdorf up/resamples everything to 24/96 for processing.

You still might want to try a trial of HQP. It gives you many choices of filtering. So in your case, you would use HQP to make all output in 24/96 and try different filters to see which one sounds best to you when sent to your Lyngdorf. Try it, you may find the results intresting.


Agreed. I’ll give HQP a trial. I’ll upsample to the Lyngdorf’s processing of 24/96 and will have a listen to see what I think. I’ll wait until the integration with Roon is out though. The one thing I don’t have and I do hope will accompany the integration is actual instructions on how to set up HQP to work with Roon. It’s not a simple interface.

Thanks for the advice @andybob and @danny2 always appreciated.

Hi Brian,

Setting up HQP in Roon will simply involve pointing Roon to where HQP is located on the network. After that we will use HQP to configure output.

There is a very useful kick start guide to HQP published by Geoffrey Armstrong at CA which makes the process of setting up HQP much smoother.

I just posted something in another thread that relates perfectly to this one. I was addressing someone who frowns on upsampling altogether.

Here’s what I wrote:

Furthermore, apart from filter for upsampling/conversion, through HQPlayer one can use a better volume control than Roon and add DRC filter for convolution in both PCM and DSD.

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Unless you’re bypassing a preamp I don’t see the need for digital volume control other than for casual listening when you have friends/ family at a gathering and music is incidental.

There is digital clipping in many recordings that is better to avoid when upsampling/upconverting before reaching preamp.

Could you explain how upsampling restores the peaks?

Peak restoration??!!! No such thing. A lot of recordings present many samples in digital clipping with volume kept at 0dB. Many show clipping even at -2dB. For safety I keep digital volume at -3dB. As it is better not to dsp clipped samples, one employs a little of digital volume control.

I believe there also cases of people with headphones where digital VC can be useful.

For me the attraction of HQP integration is the ability to upsample PCM to DSD, although to be honest, due to house redecorations and displaced system temporarily, I haven’t been able to thoroughly test drive this as yet.

Other than this and again for me, the sound from Roon itself is pretty damn good, so the need to up-sample is a ‘nice-to-have’ situation, not a necessity due to any short-comings on Roons’ output.

I had the same doubt before. As i use a dCS DAC which oversamples all incoming data to 5-bits at 2.822 or 3.07MS/s, i asked dCS about your issue and got their answer:

“…In regards to the settings, that is correct, your DAC benefits from internal oversampling and all data gets oversampled and finally converted to 5/2.82 or 3.07Mhz which is the Ring DAC format or equivalent to 5bit DSD. Therefore you do not want your playback software, Audirvana or anything else, to do any upsampling and just use the playback software to output bit perfect data and leave the digital signal processing to the dCS product for optimum performance.”

So i don’t need any up sampling before and will not fiddle with this, as i don’t believe HQP can do any better than dCS Vivaldi DAC filters — with all respect to HQP users and developer.

O course this is for dCS; for other DACs your manufacturer could tell you something different.

As a matter of fact I asked Lyndorf this same question. They said HQP or other products aren’t needed. Lyngdorf said that their preamp (my DPA-1) was specifically engineered to oversample to 24/96, DSP and then convert to analogue the signals that are presented. No other external manipulation of the musical data is necessary. So by using HQP I would be decreasing the “stress” on a DAC that was specifically designed to do upsampling on 16/44 signals to 24/96.

I’ll give the HQP a go, why the hell not? I’ll upsample the 16/44 file to 24/96 and see (or hear in this case).

By the way, Roon’s SQ is as good as my Sooloos. No complaints there. But Roon has the UI! You just gotta love a UI like Roon.

Good. Yes, i think you should try HQP; Miska, the developer is very active in audiophile forums.

Anyway, i just installed Roon in my Mac mini i7 as my core and will start testing it asap. Today i’m using Audirvana and Amarra but Roon seems promising with it’s UI and controls. Taking the opportunity, do you know if it outputs bit perfect data, without any fiddling/filtering etc…?


Enough said. I’ve no issue with people tuning to taste using whatever methods they choose, but that is precisely what they’re doing…tuning to taste, not improving sound quality…and I guess that’s why I get a little testy when people question Roon’s “sound quality” vis a vis software that’s molesting the source and passing that through to their DACs.


Great @audiomuze ! That’s it, i have no issue as well but some audiophiles sometimes are very much believers on exotic and unusual setups. Why complicate when all you need is the bit perfect data to feed your DAC?

Every year there’s a new version of a cable, software etc…that has a “huge leap in quality”; the never-ending debate about Aiff vs. FLAC/ALAC quality; even if it’s impossible mathematically; a label that believes that only WAV files are good enough…

People should enjoy the music more!

Yes, we should buy the best equipment or software we can but sometimes i think some get very passional and aggressive on some beliefs. You can check on some topics…

But then again, i understand, it’s a hobby and i think most of us tend to enjoy those idiosyncrasies.



What DAC do you use? Does it upsample internally? It’s very likely that it does.

If so, then your DAC is “tuning to taste” and “molesting the source” and the data is not bit-perfect. This is true for nearly every DAC because it’s very difficult to achieve premium performance with 16-bit, 44 kHz data. Therefore, it’s more a question of which part of your system is best equipped to perform this tuning.

A DAC’s DSP generally offers no options and is generally performed on ESS Sabre-type DAC chips, which, though they sound great, have a minuscule fraction of the processing power of a server and sell for something like $10 in bulk.

On the other hand, upsampling in the server affords you the strength of a Core I5 or I7 processor and gigabytes of RAM for the task, plus a choice of software, upsampling algorithms and filtering. Furthermore, the software that the performs the upsampling in the server can be upgraded. Most importantly, upsampling in the computer bypasses the usually inferior upsampling that occurs in the DAC.

If you own one of the rare DACs that don’t upsample, then I have assumed incorrectly. Even in that case, what I’m saying remains true for the vast majority of us.


Almost no one is listening to “bit-perfect” data. As you stated previously, your DAC peforms upsampling.

With respect the fact that you have one of world’s best DAC’s there is still no guarantee that its upsampling is superior to Jussi’s (HQP’s) various algorithms, performed on a Core i7 with gigabytes of RAM. In the later implementation, the upsampling is the primary focus, with Jussi’s expertise and all of those hardware resources to bear. Besides, we all know that sound preference is subjective, so opinions will surely differ on which is “better”.

You may not wish to get involved in these “idiosyncrasies”, but it’s a fallacy to say that you’re listening to bit-perfect data, and therefore, software upampling corrupts the sound. By that standard so does your dSC DAC.

I know this @k6davis and that’s why i choose my DAC according to what i expect/want. Maybe for your DAC your method of up sampling is the best but i tend to think that any DAC designer takes into account the processing power needed to process its digital signal.

I try to not be biased by anyone/anything but my ears. BIS label believes that no more than 24bit/96khz is necessary while Channel Classics believes that DSD gives the best SQ. Some others don’t even think more than red book is necessary.

I avoid entering in subjective matters; I play DSD, HD audio, redbook and i’m able to enjoy my music in all these formats. I do believe in good equipment but as i said before, people tend to say things in authoritative tone and biased by some mysterious beliefs.