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HQPlayer with Roon vs standalone sound quality


miguelito
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Has anyone done the comparison of HQPlayer standalone vs driven by Roon?

 

Just wondering... Sorry if this has been asked before, I couldn't find posts on this.

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I don't think that is what Miquel was asking. I think most of us prefer the sound of HQPlayer with Roon acting as the front end. Most of that has to do with some combination of upsampling, conversion to DSD and choice of Jussi's great filters. I can't hear a difference between HQP alone and HQP with Roon in front of it (which may be because all Roon is doing is pulling up the file and serving it to HQP). I suppose Roon could be picking up some extra noise somewhere and handing that along to HQP, but if so, I don't hear it.

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i've done some brief comparisons. Roon sounds very good. I don't see the need to add HQplayer to the mix.

My question was about the comparison:

1- File -> Roon -> HQPlayer

2- File -> HQPlayer

 

Do they sound the same? Does 2 sound better than 1? When there was Audirvana standalone vs Audirvana with iTunes, standalone sounded better.

 

And btw my experience is HQPlayer upsampling does improve the sound, especially TIDAL's.

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I don't think that is what Miquel was asking. I think most of us prefer the sound of HQPlayer with Roon acting as the front end. Most of that has to do with some combination of upsampling, conversion to DSD and choice of Jussi's great filters.

Correct.

 

I can't hear a difference between HQP alone and HQP with Roon in front of it (which may be because all Roon is doing is pulling up the file and serving it to HQP). I suppose Roon could be picking up some extra noise somewhere and handing that along to HQP, but if so, I don't hear it.

Thank you.

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Haven't done a detailed comparison but I'm loving Roon + HQPlayer. Its letting me reexplore by large iTunes library that is still ALAC encoded. I love not worrying about which file directory tree a song is on (iTunes doesn't do DSF). Now if it would directly read SACD ISOs, then life would be even better :) The sound is fantastic.

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  • 10 months later...
My question was about the comparison:

1- File -> Roon -> HQPlayer

2- File -> HQPlayer

 

Do they sound the same? Does 2 sound better than 1? When there was Audirvana standalone vs Audirvana with iTunes, standalone sounded better.

 

And btw my experience is HQPlayer upsampling does improve the sound, especially TIDAL's.

 

First time user of Roon+HQPlayer. Have been extensively testing HQPlayer vs. Amarra 3 vs. Audirvana now for months.

First impression for whatever reason I don't get, Roon+HQPlayer sounds better than HQPlayer on its own.

 

It might be psychoacoustics tricking me though as I am now looking at a modern fronted in Roon as opposed to HQPlayer.

 

However, it rocks!

Software > Roon Server & HQ Player4 on Windows 2019/AO & MacMini MMK (plus Audirvana 3.5)  > Netgear GS105EV2 > Meicord Opal > Naim NDX 2 > Naim SN2 + Lyngdorf CD-2 + Rega RP8/Aria >  > Harbeth SHL5 plus

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I know, I will buy it first before further complaining ;-))) ---- however I am still loosing connection before the 30min stop.

 

Any idea?

Is there a reason why SQ could be improved through Roon?

Would you suggest putting HQP onto a Ramdisk?

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I know, I will buy it first before further complaining ;-))) ---- however I am still loosing connection before the 30min stop.

 

Any idea?

 

There's at least one occasional communication problem that is fixed in upcoming Roon 1.3. It was manifesting itself more clearly with HQPlayer Embedded 4.x which has different control stack implementation so we were able to locate it. But generally things should work fairly well and I haven't been seeing problems recently.

 

Note that if you touch HQPlayer GUI while Roon is connected, Roon will disconnect to avoid fighting with you on HQPlayer control.

 

Is there a reason why SQ could be improved through Roon?

 

Not really, it should be largely the same. Some people say HQPlayer sounds better alone, some say vice versa. Probably everybody is right and it just depends on the overall system.

 

Would you suggest putting HQP onto a Ramdisk?

 

It shouldn't make any difference, because all the components are loaded to RAM anyway when HQPlayer is started. Because macOS also verifies all component signatures at startup time, it really has to go and load everything to do that.

Signalyst - Developer of HQPlayer

Pulse & Fidelity - Software Defined Amplifiers

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You can also switch HQPlayer to "more modern GUI" by switching to the full-screen/touch mode GUI. ;)

Miska,

 

So you mean something like the difference between Windows 3.1 and Windows 95? :)

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There's at least one occasional communication problem that is fixed in upcoming Roon 1.3. It was manifesting itself more clearly with HQPlayer Embedded 4.x which has different control stack implementation so we were able to locate it. But generally things should work fairly well and I haven't been seeing problems recently.

Note that if you touch HQPlayer GUI while Roon is connected, Roon will disconnect to avoid fighting with you on HQPlayer control.

Not really, it should be largely the same. Some people say HQPlayer sounds better alone, some say vice versa. Probably everybody is right and it just depends on the overall system.

 

It shouldn't make any difference, because all the components are loaded to RAM anyway when HQPlayer is started. Because macOS also verifies all component signatures at startup time, it really has to go and load everything to do that.

 

Exzellent, thanks. Now with my licensed version of HQP I might qualify for another issue / question:

 

My DAC can only do 24/192 max. I basically do not want to upsample but in case of 176,4 I have to as my DACs chip does not play that format. In Audirvana I can select a particular bit-rate and only upsample that /176,4 to 192. In HQP I cannot do that, it is either all to 192 or all at the original rate, which makes all 176,4 files silent.

 

Now, you are suggesting not to touch the HQP GUI because then Roon would loose the connection, but how do I manually change the target sample rate for the 176,4 files without touching your GUI?

 

Are you planning to implement a selective up sampling feature such as in Audirvana with one of the next versions?

 

Thanks,

 

Chris

Software > Roon Server & HQ Player4 on Windows 2019/AO & MacMini MMK (plus Audirvana 3.5)  > Netgear GS105EV2 > Meicord Opal > Naim NDX 2 > Naim SN2 + Lyngdorf CD-2 + Rega RP8/Aria >  > Harbeth SHL5 plus

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I basically do not want to upsample

 

Then HQPlayer may not be the right thing for you. HQPlayer is all about upsampling.

 

Now, you are suggesting not to touch the HQP GUI because then Roon would loose the connection, but how do I manually change the target sample rate for the 176,4 files without touching your GUI?

 

You don't, just leave it output 192k 24-bit all the time.

 

Are you planning to implement a selective up sampling feature such as in Audirvana with one of the next versions?

 

No, that would be against the whole idea behind HQPlayer.

Signalyst - Developer of HQPlayer

Pulse & Fidelity - Software Defined Amplifiers

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So you mean something like the difference between Windows 3.1 and Windows 95? :)

 

What is wrong with the GUIs?

 

I myself don't end up using Roon much because it is immensely hard to quickly get what I want to hear with it. Lot of pixels used for non-informative use, like empty static color. Unused estate. Search functionality with regular expressions available?

 

Why do I need to click twice to play an album? Like "Play album" and then get a whole fullscreen thingie asking with giant sized button "PLAY THE WHOLE ALBUM!?", and then I click like "yes just damn freaking play me the album!" :D

 

In Windows 3.1 Microsoft introduced 3D-looking buttons. Now the "fancy new thing" is wire-frame buttons reminding me of Athena-widgets from 80's X11:

_13595_figure4289.gif

 

Yeah, I guess it's kinda cool and that's why the fullscreen mode mimics the style with fancy animated transitions wasting lot of CPU and GPU time to give some eye candy. Yes, animating 1920x1080 resolution or higher in fullscreen takes quite a bit of bandwidth.

Signalyst - Developer of HQPlayer

Pulse & Fidelity - Software Defined Amplifiers

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Hopefully this is OK to ask here. Will Roon 1.3 be using the HQP engine in the background or is their own up-sampling?

 

Roon's upsampling is their own, or someone else's, but at least not mine.

 

But Roon 1.3 should still work as before with HQPlayer too. So the choice is up to you. :)

Signalyst - Developer of HQPlayer

Pulse & Fidelity - Software Defined Amplifiers

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Roon's upsampling is their own, or someone else's, but at least not mine.

 

But Roon 1.3 should still work as before with HQPlayer too. So the choice is up to you. :)

 

Thanks for the reply. Hmm

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And yeah, if you like the kind of empty plain simplified looks, then the fullscreen/touch mode GUI in HQPlayer may fit the bill too.

 

But anyway, the control interface possibility is there precisely so everybody can choose what GUI fits their needs. I won't claim mine would please everybody. So there are at the moment at least five options total. Having a choice is always good thing! :)

 

hqp-fsmode.jpg

Signalyst - Developer of HQPlayer

Pulse & Fidelity - Software Defined Amplifiers

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And yeah, if you like the kind of empty plain simplified looks, then the fullscreen/touch mode GUI in HQPlayer may fit the bill too.

 

But anyway, the control interface possibility is there precisely so everybody can choose what GUI fits their needs. I won't claim mine would please everybody. So there are at the moment at least five options total. Having a choice is always good thing! :)

 

[ATTACH=CONFIG]32203[/ATTACH]

 

HQP regular and full screen counted as two, or am I missing an option besides Roon, Muso and Audio Alchemy?

 

 

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What is wrong with the GUIs?

Haha... Come on Miska, we all know you created the GUIs out of the goodness of your heart, but you really use the command line! :)

mini+Roon > dCS Rossini DAC + Rossini Master Clock 

SME 20/3 + SME V + Dynavector XV-1s > vdH The Grail

Audio Note Kondo Ongaku > Avantgarde Duo Mezzo G2

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You don't, just leave it output 192k 24-bit all the time.

 

I strongly disagree. I have read through hundreds of opinions about HQP on this forum, many people suggest to upsample from 44,1 to 88,2 but not from 44,1 to 192. When I try both, most of my 44,1 material sounds better at 88,2 than at 192. The same applies to 48 at 96...

 

So even if HQP is all about upsampling as you say in fact it is with limitations, because otherwise it would allow me to set different upsampling rates per original sample rate just as Audirvana does. You might argue, well, then use Audirvana, which I do and which I also have licensed. The point is that Demian does all of this a lot better than you IMHO but HQP sounds better - nothing else. That is not sustainable. Usability stands right beside SQ in my mind.

 

So to sum it up, the Roon integration does not allow me to optimize the use of upsampling with HQP because every time I have to change upsampling rates and filters, Roon will loose the connection plus I find it simply inconvenient given the price of HQP.

 

That's my customer's perspective.

 

Chris

Software > Roon Server & HQ Player4 on Windows 2019/AO & MacMini MMK (plus Audirvana 3.5)  > Netgear GS105EV2 > Meicord Opal > Naim NDX 2 > Naim SN2 + Lyngdorf CD-2 + Rega RP8/Aria >  > Harbeth SHL5 plus

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I strongly disagree. I have read through hundreds of opinions about HQP on this forum, many people suggest to upsample from 44,1 to 88,2 but not from 44,1 to 192. When I try both, most of my 44,1 material sounds better at 88,2 than at 192. The same applies to 48 at 96...

 

So even if HQP is all about upsampling as you say in fact it is with limitations, because otherwise it would allow me to set different upsampling rates per original sample rate just as Audirvana does. You might argue, well, then use Audirvana, which I do and which I also have licensed. The point is that Demian does all of this a lot better than you IMHO but HQP sounds better - nothing else. That is not sustainable. Usability stands right beside SQ in my mind.

 

So to sum it up, the Roon integration does not allow me to optimize the use of upsampling with HQP because every time I have to change upsampling rates and filters, Roon will loose the connection plus I find it simply inconvenient given the price of HQP.

 

That's my customer's perspective.

 

Chris

 

So you know more about upsampling than the developer, and on that basis his software is inconvenient for you.... Certainly no one can argue with your preference, but then your preference is not for this software.

 

I'm not trying to be contrary, just suggesting it seems quite odd to insist the developer make something that he does not recommend convenient for you.

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The fairest thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science. - Einstein

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My DAC can only do 24/192 max. I basically do not want to upsample

 

My suggestion is: Evaluate what sounds better for you, not to upsample or upsample to max. bitrate your DAC supports. Try different oversampling filters.

 

The effect of upsampling and PCM to DSD format conversion is more apparetnt for DACs which support higher PCM sample rates or DSD. The basic idea of HQPlayer is that delta sigma DACs perform oversampling and delta sigma modulation (that's all yet in digital domain) on a lower qualitative level than can be reached on our powerful computers by software processing. So with many DACs it is possible to substitute significant part of (in some cases all) digital processing the delta sigma DAC performs yet before digital audio data is converted to analog. That's why HQPlayer exists and why people are buying it.

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So you know more about upsampling than the developer, and on that basis his software is inconvenient for you.... Certainly no one can argue with your preference, but then your preference is not for this software.

I'm not trying to be contrary, just suggesting it seems quite odd to insist the developer make something that he does not recommend convenient for you.

 

Jud, point taken. I will buy a DAC that suites the developers requirements.

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