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HQPlayer's Network Audio Adapter


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So before I delve into my latest NAA adventure I want to reiterate my thanks to folks like @Miskaand @lmitchefor putting up with my atrophied brain, as I am finally getting back into the rabbit hole of hi-end audio, getting tired of waiting for my audio room to finish.  I bought the RAAL earspeakers (they are ribbon speakers that hang on your ears, yes, so I call them that 😀) and am using my i7-6700k server (slimmed down Win10), using a lush cable, ISO Regen and a host of lpsus.  This feeds a Singxer SU-1, which in turn feeds the I2S input of my trusty old Holo Spring KTE.  The biggest update I've done since unpacking all of this is to go from HQP3 to HQP4.  This allows me to do ASDM7EC to DSD256 for all my DSD stuff, and yet I still love 8fs (352/384k) PCM using ext2 and NS5. 

 

Anyway......the sound is sublime, direct from server's Startech USB card (powered by JS-2, etc).  It had me up late last night (after reveling in a Browns playoff win!!!).  But.....I have this tweaked out NUC7i7 that Larry (lmitche) built for me 18 months ago and wanted to at least try it as an NAA.  Especially since I ordered a mAc Mini M1 to possibly replace the large behemoth that is my i7-6700k box (which will find some sort of duty downstairs when all is finished).  I am worried that direct listening via the M1 may not get me what I want, so I need to investigate my NAA options.

 

So I flashed Jussi's NAA x64 image and booted up the NUC.  After some housekeeping my HQP4 found it and showed a USB 2.0 (SU-1) alsa driver (which makes sense in that the Su-1 is what is first in line, but in the ASIO world of Windows my direct HQP listening is done with a Holo driver, not Singxer).  Well, I started listening via the NUC.  Yikes!  Welcome to the world of pops, clicks and crackles.  PCM to DSD to PCM track transitions were noisy (pops), and many songs were somewhat crackle-y.  One track in particular, Suzanne Vega's Caramel (redbook), had some very stressful crackling (unlistenable), as if the driver was being overloaded.

 

So I first wanted to troubleshoot the ALSA drivers.  I temporarily jettisoned the SU-1 and moved my USB directly into the Holo and tried again.  The NAA found a USB 2.0 XCore driver and I started listening again.  Good news is that the PCM-to-DSD-to-PCM track transitions were clean (no pops) and most tracks sounded ok (but not as dynamic and alive as ASIO direct, frankly) BUT the Caramel track cracked like crazy!!  I reset HQP's volume (-3/-3) to -7/-7 and the crackling went away on that track, so something is amiss here.  The driver is being overloaded big time.  Dunno how else to say it, but I'm sure I'm technically wrong.  :)

 

Summary: I am back to the sublime sounds of Win10 direct ASIO Holo driver, SU-1 DDC I2S, which handles all music with kidd gloves and perfectly black backgrounds.  Any ideas??

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Clarification:  when I said that the tracks were crackling in NAA mode, and that fixing the HQP volume min/max resolved it, that anomaly did not affect the limit counter/volume knob color (red when limits hit).  All looked fine there.  Anyway, I am anxious to hear from NAA veterans if this is a hurdle that can be overcome.  Thx

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Zauurx, if this question is directed at my issues, what part of it do you think is LAN-related?  I have no issues with getting DSD sources to DSD256 and ASDM7EC.  There are no dropouts, just the sound of amps being overdriven (clipping) badly using PCM at 352.8k or 384k.  I'm sure this could be ethernet-related, but not sure what to check.  My server and my NUC are using unshielded Cat6 and go through a simple unmanaged Netgear GS108 gigabit switch (for now).  Both showing gigabit connections.  Thx

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Update:  This morning I tried, instead, to boot up @lmitche provided AudioLinux build of the NAA (as opposed to Jussi's OS image), and it is acting much better.  I even remained in my normal SU-1 -> Holo setup (NAA shows Audiolinux SU-1 driver).  The only issues are two-fold, and very insignificant:

1) a faint-to-medium tick when DSD tracks are followed by PCM tracks;

2) when I try to upsample redbook PCM to DSD256 ASDM7 ext2 I get some dropouts (haven't tested other sample rates and other filters cuz this is not important to me)  This is a theoretical issue as I do not typically upsample PCM to DSD, but wanted to post it cuz I can upsample all I want to ASDM7 DSD256 using Win10 and ASIO Holo driver (i.e direct USB from server).

 

Now on to sq comparisons later tonight.  :)

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6 hours ago, ted_b said:

Update:  This morning I tried, instead, to boot up @lmitche provided AudioLinux build of the NAA (as opposed to Jussi's OS image), and it is acting much better.  I even remained in my normal SU-1 -> Holo setup (NAA shows Audiolinux SU-1 driver).  The only issues are two-fold, and very insignificant:

1) a faint-to-medium tick when DSD tracks are followed by PCM tracks;

2) when I try to upsample redbook PCM to DSD256 ASDM7 ext2 I get some dropouts (haven't tested other sample rates and other filters cuz this is not important to me)  This is a theoretical issue as I do not typically upsample PCM to DSD, but wanted to post it cuz I can upsample all I want to ASDM7 DSD256 using Win10 and ASIO Holo driver (i.e direct USB from server).

 

Now on to sq comparisons later tonight.  :)

Hi Ted,

 

Glad to hear the Audiolinux/NAA image worked for you. Your two issues are likely not NUC or NAA related. If the same problems happen on a direct connection to the DAC, it is likely the server or network that is the issue.

 

Pareto Audio aka nuckleheadaudio

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Larry

As I said, I can upsampled all I want to in direct connection. I highlighted them because they are the two issues NOT present in the direct Win10 Asio setup. That setup is pretty much faultless.

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@ted_b  have you tried adjusting the Buffer in HQP?  For my dCS with a SMS-200 running NAA one of the SOtM firmware updates introduced occasional random pops and ticks.  Interesting to note that the ticks were all over the soundfield so it didn’t always affect both channels the same.  Also, the frequency of occurrence increased with increasing sample rate.  Maybe an indicator.  The solution in my case was to set the Buffer at 5msec.  I played around and then set it at the lowest value that was noise free.  My NUC NAA with Win10 Pro never has issues at the Default Buffer setting at up DSD512! All on the same network / switch.  Of course, YMMV.   In general, it’s interesting that seemingly equivalent setups give such different behavior!

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Hi @Miska

 

I am trying to boot the NAA image on my pc, but I only get a blinking cursor on a black screen when trying to boot from the USB stick.

I am using the naa-4112-x64 image. I have tried to flash with Rufus, Etcher and Win 32 disk imager but that made no difference.

Could there be an issue in my bios that is wrong.

 

Yesterday I installed Fedora FC33 from USB and that went without problems from USB.

Any ideas? 

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On 1/15/2021 at 12:08 PM, johsgjerde said:

I am trying to boot the NAA image on my pc, but I only get a blinking cursor on a black screen when trying to boot from the USB stick.

I am using the naa-4112-x64 image. I have tried to flash with Rufus, Etcher and Win 32 disk imager but that made no difference.

Could there be an issue in my bios that is wrong.

 

Yesterday I installed Fedora FC33 from USB and that went without problems from USB.

Any ideas? 

 

Make sure you are booting in EFI mode, not in legacy BIOS boot mode.

 

If it still doesn't work, disable secure boot.

 

Signalyst - Developer of HQPlayer

Pulse & Fidelity - Software Defined Amplifiers

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Just  a suggestion. Why don't you add an option to chose just one interface.

In my case I have dual nics, but just one is connected to NAA.

 

2021/01/19 12:05:55 Enable UPnP Renderer functionality for interface: auto
2021/01/19 12:05:55 Adding interface 'eno1' for UPnP Renderer
2021/01/19 12:05:55 Adding interface 'enp0s20f0u3' for UPnP Renderer
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7 hours ago, fnsnyc said:

Just  a suggestion. Why don't you add an option to chose just one interface.

In my case I have dual nics, but just one is connected to NAA.

 

2021/01/19 12:05:55 Enable UPnP Renderer functionality for interface: auto
2021/01/19 12:05:55 Adding interface 'eno1' for UPnP Renderer
2021/01/19 12:05:55 Adding interface 'enp0s20f0u3' for UPnP Renderer

 

There is the option to specify just single interface. But above is related to UPnP and not to NAA.

 

Signalyst - Developer of HQPlayer

Pulse & Fidelity - Software Defined Amplifiers

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strings networkaudiod.exe | grep NETWORKAUDIOD_
NETWORKAUDIOD_TRACE
NETWORKAUDIOD_LOGFILE
NETWORKAUDIOD_PORT
NETWORKAUDIOD_IPV6
NETWORKAUDIOD_DEVICE
NETWORKAUDIOD_CHANNELS
NETWORKAUDIOD_PERIODTIME
NETWORKAUDIOD_NAME
NETWORKAUDIOD_PCM
NETWORKAUDIOD_SDM
NETWORKAUDIOD_CONFIG
NETWORKAUDIOD_BACKEND
NETWORKAUDIOD_MCASTIF

 

@MiskaI was hoping to do some config experiments with HQPlayer Desktop + NAA on Windows.  Being a Windows (happily) ignorant person, what is the preferred way to invoke NAA with a config file or with different parameters set under Window?  I see a CONFIG parameter, but I'm not sure how to use it or populate it.

 

Taking a step back, I may be able config most of these in HQPDesktop. Most of the NAA environment variables are obvious, but I'm not sure how it plays with HQPD.  When things like PERIODTIME are not set, do the PERIODTIME from HQPDesktop get passed to NAA?  Also, any hints on what BACKEND is used for? Is this WASAPI vs ASIO I presume? (if so I can ignore since I pick this out in HQPdesktop)

 

 

ATT Fiber -> EdgeRouter X SFP -> Sonore opticalModule -> Taiko Audio Extreme -> Chord DAVE -> Voxativ 9.87 speakers w/ 4D drivers

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45 minutes ago, ray-dude said:

 

@MiskaI was hoping to do some config experiments with HQPlayer Desktop + NAA on Windows.  Being a Windows (happily) ignorant person, what is the preferred way to invoke NAA with a config file or with different parameters set under Window?  I see a CONFIG parameter, but I'm not sure how to use it or populate it.

 

Config file is not really applicable to Windows (or macOS) version. Windows version comes with a startup .bat file you can edit to set some of the options. All the relevant ones are through environment variables.

 

Signalyst - Developer of HQPlayer

Pulse & Fidelity - Software Defined Amplifiers

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Hi Jussi, maybe this was asked already, will an NAA attached to a multichannel dac present all dac channels to the HQPe server fully transparently?
I guess yes but just confirming.

 

Also have you used the exasound multichannel dac? Does it work flawlessly with the matrix engine?

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6 hours ago, luisma said:

Hi Jussi, maybe this was asked already, will an NAA attached to a multichannel dac present all dac channels to the HQPe server fully transparently?
I guess yes but just confirming.

 

Yes...

 

6 hours ago, luisma said:

Also have you used the exasound multichannel dac? Does it work flawlessly with the matrix engine?

 

Yes, I have the e28 and what I've tested it has been working fine. Due to the exaSound driver, I've been running networkaudiod under macOS for the purpose...

 

Signalyst - Developer of HQPlayer

Pulse & Fidelity - Software Defined Amplifiers

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33 minutes ago, Miska said:

Due to the exaSound driver, I've been running networkaudiod under macOS for the purpose...

 

 

It doesn't work as well with NAA linux image on UpBoard for example?

 

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4 hours ago, asdf1000 said:

It doesn't work as well with NAA linux image on UpBoard for example?

From their page

Operating System Requirements: Windows  Windows 10 x64, Windows 8 x86, Windows 8 x64, Windows 7, Windows XP
ASIO compatible player required for all Windows platforms 
 Operating System Requirements: Mac Mac OS Mavericks, Yosemite, El Captain, Sierra High Sierra, Mojave

 

I have been considering a multichannel DAC for bi/tri amping and using HQPe matrix engine,

 

Okto DAC, possible candidate, only 192kHz PCM or DSD128

ADI-2 Pro DSD64 PCM 96kHz (I think)

Exasound DSD256 or PCM 384 kHz

 

Obviously the capabilities of the Exasound are more but at more than twice the price of the others and without Linux support I won't even consider it (don't tell anyone I hate Windows). I love the design of the RME Pro although the Okto looks more friendly because of number of channels and such.

 

Ultimately HQPe will be kind of limited of doing super high resolution with multiple channels and convolution so I think the sweet spot will be around DSD128 which the Okto supports but the RME doesn't .....

 

 

 

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31 minutes ago, luisma said:

From their page

 

Thanks. Many manufacturers don't support Linux but if it is UAC2 compliant it should work

 

But in somr cases it still doesn't.

 

I have 10 channel Focusrite 18i20 Gen3 that has issues with Linux. Some people are working on a patch that will hopefully come to mainline kernel and Jussi will then incorporate into NAA image.

 

But this patch is being made by the Linux community who use Focusrite, not by Focusrite themselves.

 

Despite the interface being advertised by Focusrite as UAC2 compatible

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7 hours ago, asdf1000 said:

It doesn't work as well with NAA linux image on UpBoard for example?

 

No, there's no exaSound driver there. Only Linux-based NAA compatible with exaSound is their own one.

 

These are not UAC2 compliant devices. Doing 8 channels of 384/32 PCM and DSD256 is not possible with USB Audio Class.

 

Signalyst - Developer of HQPlayer

Pulse & Fidelity - Software Defined Amplifiers

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