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HQPlayer's Network Audio Adapter

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Several years ago I operated an NAA Win 10 mini-pc w/ Ubuntu 16.04 music server. Fast forward to now (new house, etc.), with the benefit of additional idle time... I decided to dust off the Atom Z-8350 mini-pc 2gb memory/ 32gb storage & try the NAA route again vs current music server direct DAC connection. So far no luck. I've read this thread extensively & done everything that I can think of (disable Win 10 firewall, ipv4 only, etc.). Any clue to what I am missing as per the attached images? Thanks for any guidance/ help.

NAA diagram.JPG

HQPlayer Desktop settings.JPG

Ubuntu 18.04 wired connection.JPG

Win 10 network connection.JPG

NAA connection failure.JPG


i7-6700k Server- Ubuntu 18.04, HQPlayer Desktop 4.6: 44.1k x DSD256 ext2 7EC > Cat6 > Cisco 2960-8TC-L switch > Cat 6 > Atom Z8350 mini pc NAA- HQPlayer 4.1 USB drive > 0.3m Ghent JSSG USB > USB Regen/ USPCB A>B Adapter > Singxer SU-1 > 0.3m  I2S > Gustard X20u DAC > Canare XLR > B & O Icepower 1200AS2 amp > GR Research N3 speakers > GIK Acoustics room treatments

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Can someone please look at my post above & provide some guidance?  I left off that I did engage "allow network control" in HQPlayer. Windows 10 is an older version due to 32 gb storage limitations if it matters.


i7-6700k Server- Ubuntu 18.04, HQPlayer Desktop 4.6: 44.1k x DSD256 ext2 7EC > Cat6 > Cisco 2960-8TC-L switch > Cat 6 > Atom Z8350 mini pc NAA- HQPlayer 4.1 USB drive > 0.3m Ghent JSSG USB > USB Regen/ USPCB A>B Adapter > Singxer SU-1 > 0.3m  I2S > Gustard X20u DAC > Canare XLR > B & O Icepower 1200AS2 amp > GR Research N3 speakers > GIK Acoustics room treatments

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1 hour ago, brother love said:

Can someone please look at my post above & provide some guidance?  I left off that I did engage "allow network control" in HQPlayer. Windows 10 is an older version due to 32 gb storage limitations if it matters.

 

Is there a particular reason to run Windows 10 NAA? To me it looks like it would be much better off with my NAA image, especially on that NAA hardware.

 

Unless you really really have to for some reason use WIndows or macOS on a NAA, don't try to do such. They are massive operating systems with unnecessary graphical user interface and such, something generally not wanted on a NAA:

 


Signalyst - Developer of HQPlayer

Pulse & Fidelity - Software Defined Amplifiers

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34 minutes ago, Miska said:

 

Is there a particular reason to run Windows 10 NAA? To me it looks like it would be much better off with my NAA image, especially on that NAA hardware.

 

Unless you really really have to for some reason use WIndows or macOS on a NAA, don't try to do such. They are massive operating systems with unnecessary graphical user interface and such, something generally not wanted on a NAA:

 

 

The mini PC already had Win 10 OS & worked before w/ NAA & Ubuntu 16.04 server, so tried w/ 18.04. OS aside, are my settings OK as outlined above (ie any glaring errors by me)?

 

I assume that you mean the HQPlayer OS/ NAA ?  I can certainly try it. I tried 18.04 thumb drive for mini-PC but Aptio setup utility didn't recognize thumb drive, possibly because Aptio BIOS is 32 gb for some odd reason.

 

 


i7-6700k Server- Ubuntu 18.04, HQPlayer Desktop 4.6: 44.1k x DSD256 ext2 7EC > Cat6 > Cisco 2960-8TC-L switch > Cat 6 > Atom Z8350 mini pc NAA- HQPlayer 4.1 USB drive > 0.3m Ghent JSSG USB > USB Regen/ USPCB A>B Adapter > Singxer SU-1 > 0.3m  I2S > Gustard X20u DAC > Canare XLR > B & O Icepower 1200AS2 amp > GR Research N3 speakers > GIK Acoustics room treatments

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1 hour ago, brother love said:

The mini PC already had Win 10 OS & worked before w/ NAA & Ubuntu 16.04 server, so tried w/ 18.04. OS aside, are my settings OK as outlined above (ie any glaring errors by me)?

 

Not all settings are visible, just make sure you don't have "Adaptive output rate" checked. Otherwise playback of any 48k family PCM content will fail with those settings. So either set it to grayed or blank.

 

1 hour ago, brother love said:

I assume that you mean the HQPlayer OS/ NAA ?  I can certainly try it. I tried 18.04 thumb drive for mini-PC but Aptio setup utility didn't recognize thumb drive, possibly because Aptio BIOS is 32 gb for some odd reason.

 

Yes, the NAA image, or alternatively HQPlayer OS image. No need for any installation or touch the Windows. You just dump the image on USB memory stick and boot it up - and you are done.

 


Signalyst - Developer of HQPlayer

Pulse & Fidelity - Software Defined Amplifiers

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On 5/23/2020 at 1:45 PM, Miska said:

Yes, the NAA image, or alternatively HQPlayer OS image. No need for any installation or touch the Windows. You just dump the image on USB memory stick and boot it up - and you are done.

 

Success! Thanks Jussi. I finally grasped a non-OS dependent NAA image naa-411-x64.7z needs to be extracted & image burned to a bootable USB thumb drive. I also successfully booted USB image of HQPlayer OS from hqplayer-embedded file.

 

Both work like a charm. Any advantage to either option if Ubuntu 18.04 server has HQPlayer 4.5 Desktop? (I installed all 3 options: OS, High DPI, Desktop).


i7-6700k Server- Ubuntu 18.04, HQPlayer Desktop 4.6: 44.1k x DSD256 ext2 7EC > Cat6 > Cisco 2960-8TC-L switch > Cat 6 > Atom Z8350 mini pc NAA- HQPlayer 4.1 USB drive > 0.3m Ghent JSSG USB > USB Regen/ USPCB A>B Adapter > Singxer SU-1 > 0.3m  I2S > Gustard X20u DAC > Canare XLR > B & O Icepower 1200AS2 amp > GR Research N3 speakers > GIK Acoustics room treatments

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3 hours ago, brother love said:

 

Success! Thanks Jussi. I finally grasped a non-OS dependent NAA image naa-411-x64.7z needs to be extracted & image burned to a bootable USB thumb drive. I also successfully booted USB image of HQPlayer OS from hqplayer-embedded file.

 

Both work like a charm. Any advantage to either option if Ubuntu 18.04 server has HQPlayer 4.5 Desktop? (I installed all 3 options: OS, High DPI, Desktop).

 

These two are different in a way that NAA image runs purely from RAM, and the media is read-only. So no changes can be stored whatsoever. In addition, it supports only computers with single ethernet interface. So it is really as bare bones as possible. And can be safely shut down at any time by pulling out power.

 

HQPlayer OS runs normal filesystem, so changes can be stored there (such as name of NAA or other settings). It also contains unofficial WiFi support, optional RAVENNA support etc. It should be also shut down properly, for example through short press of a power button (if configured correctly in BIOS). HQPlayer OS also gets more frequent updates so may have support for some devices that the plain NAA image doesn't. If you don't need the extra features for NAA use, just stick to the plain NAA image.

 


Signalyst - Developer of HQPlayer

Pulse & Fidelity - Software Defined Amplifiers

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Some error this morning that I haven't noticed previously on my Windows 10 NAA

 

protocol error: clASIOEngine::DeviceLookup(): lDrvs < 0

 

Screen Shot 2020-06-02 at 9.20.54 AM.png

 

 


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@Miska

Hi Jussi, an NAA only service endpoint running on intel Celeron with 4 cores and 4 threads on archlinux, it won't use more than 15% of the CPU under DSD512

I know you advise on HQPe not to do core isolation etc. as you do your own core balancing on your app that is crystal clear

 

For the NAA, it seems it does prefers one core, I'm using only one core, no HT and no Turbo for the networkaudiod service, it works just fine, would you advise against using this specific design? I just imagine subjectively that encasing the networkaudiod service to only one core will remove the inter core processes and threading, "focusing" the daemon more on just one core and not allowing "distracting" thread process to be running.

 

Note I say I imagine, I have really no clue how it works on your app that's why I'm asking

 

thank you

 

Luis

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19 minutes ago, luisma said:

@Miska

Hi Jussi, an NAA only service endpoint running on intel Celeron with 4 cores and 4 threads on archlinux, it won't use more than 15% of the CPU under DSD512

I know you advise on HQPe not to do core isolation etc. as you do your own core balancing on your app that is crystal clear

 

For the NAA, it seems it does prefers one core, I'm using only one core, no HT and no Turbo for the networkaudiod service, it works just fine, would you advise against using this specific design? I just imagine subjectively that encasing the networkaudiod service to only one core will remove the inter core processes and threading, "focusing" the daemon more on just one core and not allowing "distracting" thread process to be running.

 

Note I say I imagine, I have really no clue how it works on your app that's why I'm asking

 

thank you

 

Luis


All of the heavy computing is done by the HQP server (HQPe or HQP Desktop).
 

The NAA does not do much (any) processing other than take the data received from the server over the network and pass the data to the DAC (via USB in most cases). That is why the NAA computer can be minimal, usually very quiet mechanically (no spinning HDD) and electrically (low power) so you have a high quality (low noise) signal feeding the DAC.


Eric


Ubuntu Studio Linux box (i7-9700, 8 cores, 16GB RAM, Intel X520-DA1 NIC, Roon, HQP) > fiber optic > MikroTik CRS305-1G-4S+ > fiber optic > opticalRendu (HQP NAA) > Holo Cyan (DSD version) > Nord One UP NC500MB mono blocks > Klipsch La Scala — digital volume control with HQP via Roon client

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@ericuco oh yeah I totally get it, thank you, but what I'm trying to figure out is if isolating processes to cores will create any issues for the NAA service specifically in the way it handles inter core load distribution, because even if I isolate the process to 1 core if Miska detects 4 and tries to do load distribution and can't that will create unnecessary overhead which is exactly what I'm trying to avoid

 

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6 hours ago, luisma said:

@Miska

Hi Jussi, an NAA only service endpoint running on intel Celeron with 4 cores and 4 threads on archlinux, it won't use more than 15% of the CPU under DSD512

I know you advise on HQPe not to do core isolation etc. as you do your own core balancing on your app that is crystal clear

 

For the NAA, it seems it does prefers one core, I'm using only one core, no HT and no Turbo for the networkaudiod service, it works just fine, would you advise against using this specific design? I just imagine subjectively that encasing the networkaudiod service to only one core will remove the inter core processes and threading, "focusing" the daemon more on just one core and not allowing "distracting" thread process to be running.

 

NAA can utilize two cores (or a core and a thread). But one core is enough, it just context switches more.

 

As a side note, why do you disable HT? It gives you benefit of lower operating system context switch cost. Or in other words, you can have twice as many threads running without having to context switch if you have HT.

 

What comes to Turbo, a bit similar question. But at least it makes sense to check that the CPU clocks and voltages are allowed to fall below the base clock rate (by power management).

 

For example my Xeon W-2245 CPU is at the moment running at 1.2 GHz clock frequency, and as result also at lower voltages. Quite a bit below the 3.9 GHz base clock frequency. Lowers the power consumption notably.

 


Signalyst - Developer of HQPlayer

Pulse & Fidelity - Software Defined Amplifiers

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6 hours ago, luisma said:

@ericuco oh yeah I totally get it, thank you, but what I'm trying to figure out is if isolating processes to cores will create any issues for the NAA service specifically in the way it handles inter core load distribution, because even if I isolate the process to 1 core if Miska detects 4 and tries to do load distribution and can't that will create unnecessary overhead which is exactly what I'm trying to avoid

 

NAA manages thread priorities, so don't play with any priority stuff (although NAA will at least attempt to override such). But thread assignments to different CPUs is up to OS kernel for NAA. NAA has two active threads.

 


Signalyst - Developer of HQPlayer

Pulse & Fidelity - Software Defined Amplifiers

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On 6/3/2020 at 7:09 PM, Miska said:

As a side note, why do you disable HT?

Because I was under the impression that managing threads increased the overhead on certain apps, if that's not the case I will leave it running there.

Thank you, if you recommend to leave HT running will do it.

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On 6/3/2020 at 7:36 PM, Miska said:

NAA manages thread priorities, so don't play with any priority stuff (although NAA will at least attempt to override such). But thread assignments to different CPUs is up to OS kernel for NAA. NAA has two active threads.

Yeah I'm not touching the priority, or doing isolation neither

 

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2 hours ago, luisma said:

Because I was under the impression that managing threads increased the overhead on certain apps, if that's not the case I will leave it running there.

Thank you, if you recommend to leave HT running will do it.

 

No, hardware threads duplicate CPU registers to create another virtual CPU. There is only one execution unit (core), but double set of registers. This allows OS to behave like there would be two CPUs in place of one. Benefit is that you can "run" two processes simultaneously on single core instead of context switching which involves saving CPU state (register contents, etc) and restoring another context. Only one of the two is actually executing at a time since there is only one real execution unit. Usually the one waiting for data to arrive from RAM is on hold. This helps especially when you have a lot of processes/threads running simultaneously, because it cuts the context switching overhead to half due to double number of CPUs. More you have running threads, bigger the proportional contribution of context switching overhead is.

 

Note that usually you have only few running processes/threads, compared to existing processes/threads. Because most of the processes/threads are sleeping. So the performance gain of such is many times fairly small. But you have some amount of gain always. HQPlayer just takes this HT functionality into account on work distribution, so HQPlayer doesn't try to split same work to two virtual threads of the same physical CPU core, because it cannot anyway do any more work that way.

 


Signalyst - Developer of HQPlayer

Pulse & Fidelity - Software Defined Amplifiers

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Hi, I’m running NAA on Debian (dierptpi) on a 4 GB Pi 4 and when playing DSD256, I get an occasional pops.  After some googling, it’s suggested increasing the buffer size might help.  I’ve increased to 250ms in HQPlayer (running on a Windows machine), but the pops still show up every once a while.  Is there a way to increase the buffer size in NAA?  Or something else I can do to get rid of the pops?  I’m running XTR filter and ASDM7EC modulator on an i7 7700k machine over clocked to 4.8 GHz with a RTX 2080 Super.  Thank you.

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10 hours ago, Hammer said:

Hi, I’m running NAA on Debian (dierptpi) on a 4 GB Pi 4 and when playing DSD256, I get an occasional pops.  After some googling, it’s suggested increasing the buffer size might help.  I’ve increased to 250ms in HQPlayer (running on a Windows machine), but the pops still show up every once a while.  Is there a way to increase the buffer size in NAA?  Or something else I can do to get rid of the pops?  I’m running XTR filter and ASDM7EC modulator on an i7 7700k machine over clocked to 4.8 GHz with a RTX 2080 Super.  Thank you.

Try decreasing the buffer as well.

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23 hours ago, Hammer said:

Hi, I’m running NAA on Debian (dierptpi) on a 4 GB Pi 4 and when playing DSD256, I get an occasional pops.  After some googling, it’s suggested increasing the buffer size might help.  I’ve increased to 250ms in HQPlayer (running on a Windows machine), but the pops still show up every once a while.  Is there a way to increase the buffer size in NAA?  Or something else I can do to get rid of the pops?  I’m running XTR filter and ASDM7EC modulator on an i7 7700k machine over clocked to 4.8 GHz with a RTX 2080 Super.  Thank you.

 

Have you tried with the bootable NAA image with buffer time set to "Default" and does it make any difference?

 


Signalyst - Developer of HQPlayer

Pulse & Fidelity - Software Defined Amplifiers

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@Miska I have seen mentions of the HQPlayer OS. How does this differ from the NAA and are there any benefits to it? Will it run on a 2GB Pi 4?


No electron left behind...

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@AudioDoctor   see post #3358 above where Miska answered this question.  I run non-OS NAA (& have run HQP OS) on a USB flash drive w/ a Intel x5-z8350 w/ 2 gb ram & it works fine


i7-6700k Server- Ubuntu 18.04, HQPlayer Desktop 4.6: 44.1k x DSD256 ext2 7EC > Cat6 > Cisco 2960-8TC-L switch > Cat 6 > Atom Z8350 mini pc NAA- HQPlayer 4.1 USB drive > 0.3m Ghent JSSG USB > USB Regen/ USPCB A>B Adapter > Singxer SU-1 > 0.3m  I2S > Gustard X20u DAC > Canare XLR > B & O Icepower 1200AS2 amp > GR Research N3 speakers > GIK Acoustics room treatments

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1 minute ago, brother love said:

@AudioDoctor   see post #3358 above where Miska just answered this question.  I run non-OS NAA (& have run HQP OS) on a USB flash drive w/ a Intel x5-z8350 w/ 2 gb ram & it works fine

 

Thanks.


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