Why would I want HQ Player if my DAC upsamples?

About the bit perfect issue i meant bit perfect leaving from the software playing. I believe that my DAC was designed to process the signal in an optimum way. But then again there’s no guarantee that it’s better that HQP…

I didn’t say that up sampling corrupts the sound/signal. I just said i don’t see use of up sampling by a software before my DAC. That was the topic from this thread.


“people tend to say things in authoritative tone and biased by some mysterious beliefs”

This is absolutely true! Which is why it took pains not to say that HQP has better upsampling than your dCS. I can’t know that.

What I find confusing is this widely held belief (that I find “mysterious” LOL) that we are listening to bit-perfect data. We are not. So there is no pure standard to deviate from. There are objective reasons why upsampling on the server has the potential to improve sound quality, as I’ve tried to illuminate. Whether or not it does is in the ear of the beholder.


And by the way, I appreciate the civil, reasoned discussion. I was concerned that you might feel that I was trying to denigrate your dCS DAC which I’ve never heard, but I realize is one of the world’s best.

Things I’ve learned from the exchange of ideas such as these on audiophile forums has helped me improve my system’s sound quality to levels I didn’t realize could be achieved.

Even dCS has an upsampler box as a part o Vivaldi system. I only own the DAC and plans to get the clock and the upsampler only when they upgrade it to accept Roon endpoint, not to upsample redbook or other sampling frequency to DSD. That’s because the Vivaldi DAC doesn’t accept ethernet input, only the upsampler.

The upsampler also have an iOS app to play files from a NAS.

Hi Rodagi,

Roon has a signal light display for the audio chain. If the light is purple then the output is bit perfect.

Thanks for the info @andybob !

Not at all @k6davis !

I also was afraid that you find me arrogant by telling i own a dCS…or that HQP is a bad software. I even tried HQP but i didn’t fell the need of using.


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@k6davis, I’m not disagreeing with you, however, as I said earlier all this amounts to tuning to taste. I suspect the reason Roon is being opened to integrate with HQ Player etc. is precisely because Roon does not want to get into the tune to taste game and would rather ensure that it delivers an unfettered source to your audio chain. What and how you choose to do thereafter is up to you as end-user. In closing then, referring to Roon’s “sound quality” is a misnomer and posts referring to its “sound quality” are thus misleading.

Where DAC is concerned I’m using a homebrew/boutique (depending on your perspective) that (subjectively) compares favourably with many highly rated commercial DACs. DSP processing is 32bit based on the ESS Sabre 9018 Platform, it has multiple digital filters, user customizeable options for filter type, quantizer settings and DPLL modes and handles PCM 44.1kHz through 5.6MHz DSD.

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I fully agree that Roon does not have a “sound quality”, so people saying that are incorrect. But that’s really a matter of nomenclature. The bottom line is that some of us prefer listening to music with other players.

My point of view is that since the music you’re listening to is already being tuned by your ESS Sabre 9018, it makes sense to consider alternatives that could potentially offer a superior result.

Based on our conversation, you don’t find that line of thought to be relevant. So we’ll agree to disagree.

You’ve inferred that, incorrectly. What you’re suggesting though will in most cases mean fettering with the signal outside the DAC and again in the DAC.

Maybe that’s where we’re miscommunicating. What you describe would generally be unsatisfactory, but in most cases, DAC chips have an “optimum” bit and sample rate that they upsample all input to. If you feed the DAC a signal that matches its optimum bit and sample rate, the DAC’s internal DSP is bypassed.

There were a lot of qualifiers there, but that is the objective. I’m no expert on the highly regarded ESS chips, but I’ve frequently heard they upsample all input to a high bitrate DSD (or DSD-Like) signal. To say it another way, the ESS Sabres are DSD DAC chips. If I had a ESS-based DAC, I would try externally upsampling and converting to DSD64, DSD128, and DSD256.

I respect the fact that all of this manipulation of the source data is anathema to many people, but when taking the entire picture into account, I don’t find it objectionable at all. Besides, it’s free to try. I did and I am pleased with the result.

About 99% of DACs today resample all incoming data to 352 or 384k (in 2X steps) and then convert to a SDM (DSD type) signal and then filter and output analog. This is not just ESS chips, but also those by other vendors. This is true even if your DAC maker says “we don’t upsample”. So once the data leaves the software player, there is no such thing as “bit perfect”. ( If you have a ladder DAC or a Schiit “closed form” DAC this isn’t true; but again, these are a tiny percent of the DACs being made today). HQP enables you to do some or all of this work before the signal gets to your DAC, and then your DAC skips all those upsampling and conversion steps.

The question then is: what is the best way to deliver the data to my DAC so that it sounds the best? Pretty much every DAC maker will tell you that his implementation is “the best”. The reality is that many find that the filters/ditherers/modulators in HQP do a better job than the ones in their DAC. Even those in some very expensive DACs.

Or, in spite of what DAC makers say, doing the resampling outside the DAC does “make it easier” on the DAC and result in a better sound.

YMMV. You won’t know till you try it.


IMO , they are not when it comes to the Schiit Yggdrasil.