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Audiophile player - HQPlayer


murrayp

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I could not get this player to work at all. No sound. Nothing.

 

By default the output is to default output device set in Windows Control Panel at 96 kHz if supported, or anything less if not supported by the driver. Volume is at -60 dB at first start for safety reasons.

 

Starting in ASIO mode without ASIO drivers is only case I can think of for device selection not working.

 

Would be interesting to know what kind of system you have. And what is the audio interface. There are some known broken drivers.

 

 

Signalyst - Developer of HQPlayer

Pulse & Fidelity - Software Defined Amplifiers

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You mention filters. My low-cost Cambridge Dacmagic has a switchable choice of 'regular' linear filter, an apodising filter, and a steep filter.

 

I have JRiver and am happy with it, but am curious about this player and also Peter's, so may have a go.

 

But why are these filters provided when almost all DACs have at least one filter and many have a choice?

 

Thanks

 

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My low-cost Cambridge Dacmagic has a switchable choice of 'regular' linear filter, an apodising filter, and a steep filter.

 

HQPlayer has similar ones as those, with number of different implementations in fact. From high level point of view, implementation (software) and purpose is similar.

 

But why are these filters provided when almost all DACs have at least one filter and many have a choice?

 

Just because those sound different and it is practically impossible to have a "one size fits all" solution that everybody would consistently consider best. And for example I use different filter for classical and pop/rock.

 

HQPlayer has three rough categories of filters, with number of filters in each:

- Linear phase filters

- Minimum phase filters

- Non-ringing filters

 

When using HQPlayer with CA DacMagic, please select normal linear phase filter from the DacMagic and use 96 kHz output rate, this gives the best co-operation. With DacMagic Plus, otherwise the same, except 192 kHz output rate.

 

Signalyst - Developer of HQPlayer

Pulse & Fidelity - Software Defined Amplifiers

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  • 3 months later...

I was able to install HQplayer without a hitch (*much* easier than some other players in that regard). Took me a few minutes to get sound. Apparently the problem was the default volume settings which I changed from -66dB to 0 dB.

 

Q1: I do volume control only at my integrated amp. Is there an optimal volume setting on HQplayer for this?

 

Next, I noticed the sample depth display on my DAC (Ayre QB-9) would indicate "192" regardless of the file I was playing. I rechecked the settings, everything seemed to be fine. At some point, the DAC began showing the correct sample depth for the file being played . . . but I have no idea what I did to resolve the issue!

 

I "successfully" imported my music files into the library, pretty easy using the "tree" function, but I noticed that some (perhaps many) songs and albums are missing. My CDs were ripped using JRMC, JR Jukebox, and dBPoweramp, the latter with two or three different settings for folder structure. Thus, more than a few of my files are not grouped into an individual album folder.

 

Q2: Is there a handy way to get HQplayer to recognize these stray files without having to create an album folder and put them in one at a time?

 

I noticed several comments in this thread complaining about the interface (in general) and it's lack of ability to do playlists (perhaps this latter issue has since been resolved?). I kind of don't mind the interface as I often like to listen to an album if I'm going to do "serious" listening. That said,

 

Q3: How can I play an album's songs in correct order? This is important, especially for something like Abbey Road with its medleys.

 

I haven't yet had a chance to evaluate HQplayer's SQ but, so far, it certainly doesn't suck!

 

Roon ROCK (Roon 1.7; NUC7i3) > Ayre QB-9 Twenty > Ayre AX-5 Twenty > Thiel CS2.4SE (crossovers rebuilt with Clarity CSA and Multicap RTX caps, Mills MRA-12 resistors; ERSE and Jantzen coils; Cardas binding posts and hookup wire); Cardas and OEM power cables, interconnects, and speaker cables

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Q1: I do volume control only at my integrated amp. Is there an optimal volume setting on HQplayer for this?

 

When upsampling is in use, I'd recommend using -3 dBFS setting. You should use lower volume setting whenever "Limited" counter increments from zero.

 

Always when upsampling or whenever having digital volume set to anything other than 0 dBFS, make sure you have at least "TPDF" dither selected.

 

Next, I noticed the sample depth display on my DAC (Ayre QB-9) would indicate "192" regardless of the file I was playing.

 

Since main focus of HQPlayer is on upsampling, this is something you'd probably want. To auto-disable it, set default filter in Settings to "none".

 

Q2: Is there a handy way to get HQplayer to recognize these stray files without having to create an album folder and put them in one at a time?

 

By default, files are imported using the stored metadata. When it is not available, filesystem location is used instead. There is a way to enforce filesystem location to be used by checking the "Structure only" check box in Library dialog when importing folders.

 

Whenever content is imported, all already imported folders are skipped. Thus, any modifications to album metadata made in Library-dialog is preserved, even if the same tree is re-scanned.

 

For each folder, related metadata can be edited in "Library" dialog, by double-clicking the cells (a bit like in Excel or other spreadsheets).

 

Q3: How can I play an album's songs in correct order? This is important, especially for something like Abbey Road with its medleys.

 

If the filenames contain track number, like 01-something.wav all the tracks should be in correct order when album is loaded.

 

Playlists always enforce the ordering of the playlist.

 

lack of ability to do playlists (perhaps this latter issue has since been resolved?)

 

Playlists are now supported and folders with playlists are also discovered. On Linux and with ASIO backend on Windows, playlists can be created by just drag-and-drop to the player window (you can also drop entire directory tree). M3U/M3U8 and PLS playlist formats are supported.

 

Signalyst - Developer of HQPlayer

Pulse & Fidelity - Software Defined Amplifiers

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>>>Since main focus of HQPlayer is on upsampling, this is something you'd probably want

 

I recall there were two drop down menus of various filter settings and I did set both to "none" (my QB-9 already has two choices of minimum phase settings). Sounds like that explains why the sample depth display began to properly reflect the file played. I'm fairly ignorant of "upsampling" - I just want optimal SQ. What filter settings do you recommend for my audition?

 

I'm hoping to get a chance to begin evaluating the SQ this weekend.

Cheers.

 

Roon ROCK (Roon 1.7; NUC7i3) > Ayre QB-9 Twenty > Ayre AX-5 Twenty > Thiel CS2.4SE (crossovers rebuilt with Clarity CSA and Multicap RTX caps, Mills MRA-12 resistors; ERSE and Jantzen coils; Cardas binding posts and hookup wire); Cardas and OEM power cables, interconnects, and speaker cables

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I recall there were two drop down menus of various filter settings and I did set both to "none" (my QB-9 already has two choices of minimum phase settings).

 

That will give you a bit perfect output by default in normal cases, if you have volume set to 0 dBFS. Volume control can be disabled by setting minimum and maximum to 0 in Settings dialog.

 

What filter settings do you recommend for my audition?

 

For pop/rock/jazz I use "poly-sinc-short-mp" + "NS9" at 192k, this is a short minimum-phase filter with noise shaping. For classical music I use "poly-sinc-short" + "NS9" at 192k, which is a linear phase variant.

 

When using these, set QB-9 to linear phase if possible.

 

 

Signalyst - Developer of HQPlayer

Pulse & Fidelity - Software Defined Amplifiers

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  • 9 months later...

I am just trying this player out for the first time and I think it is very good. It takes a long time to get all the settings to your liking with any player, but this one shows some really good sound right off the bat.

 

I wonder if there is a way to have it load files before it plays them. I am sitting here listening and watching the hard drive light flash all the way through the song. It could sound better without all that traffic.

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I wonder if there is a way to have it load files before it plays them. I am sitting here listening and watching the hard drive light flash all the way through the song. It could sound better without all that traffic.

 

Not at the moment, I'm trying to keep the resource consumption at somewhat low level although it can still consume close to a gigabyte of memory depending on situation. Preloading risks swap getting into use which would be bad and cause traffic on it's own too. Depending on file size, amount of available RAM and overall resource situation, OS disk cache may end up preloading the entire file. OS is clever on this respect and in my opinion makes no point in duplicating this inside an application. At least for me on Win7 and 8 GB of RAM with music stored on an external FW800 HDD, it is quite common for the HDD to spin down a while after playback has been started, since the entire FLAC album (some ~400 MB) has been loaded into OS' disk cache.

Signalyst - Developer of HQPlayer

Pulse & Fidelity - Software Defined Amplifiers

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  • 2 weeks later...

Not Miska, but more general info on purposes and functions (not specific to NOS DACs) is available in the HQPlayer manual and the filter FAQs at the Resonessence web site. I realize this isn't the specific info you're looking for, but thought it was worthwhile mentioning.

One never knows, do one? - Fats Waller

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

Computer, Audirvana -> optical Ethernet to Fitlet3 -> Fibbr Alpha Optical USB -> iFi NEO iDSD DAC -> Apollon Audio 1ET400A Mini (Purifi based) -> Vandersteen 3A Signature.

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  • 2 months later...
I recall there were two drop down menus of various filter settings and I did set both to "none" (my QB-9 already has two choices of minimum phase settings).

 

That will give you a bit perfect output by default in normal cases, if you have volume set to 0 dBFS. Volume control can be disabled by setting minimum and maximum to 0 in Settings dialog.

 

What filter settings do you recommend for my audition?

 

For pop/rock/jazz I use "poly-sinc-short-mp" + "NS9" at 192k, this is a short minimum-phase filter with noise shaping. For classical music I use "poly-sinc-short" + "NS9" at 192k, which is a linear phase variant.

 

When using these, set QB-9 to linear phase if possible.

 

I've always thought upsampling within the family of samples rates is best; odd and even. Since you like to upsample to 192, it sounds like that's not the case. The max sample rate in my dac is 192 and it doesn't apply any oversampling or other filter except reconstruction filter. Would upsampling to 192 be best in my case for all sample rates or should I keep the upsampling rates within the family?

THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX

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I've always thought upsampling within the family of samples rates is best; odd and even. Since you like to upsample to 192, it sounds like that's not the case. The max sample rate in my dac is 192 and it doesn't apply any oversampling or other filter except reconstruction filter. Would upsampling to 192 be best in my case for all sample rates or should I keep the upsampling rates within the family?

 

Upsampling RedBook to 192k moves the digital alias images to start from 169.95 kHz instead of 154.35 kHz when 176.4k sampling rate is used. So it gives a bit extra space for the reconstruction filter to work. Other than that, which one works the best depends mostly on the DAC's clocking circuitry. Doing plain 4x allows more filter choices.

 

I'm using fixed 192k output rate, since I've found the particular DAC giving best performance that way. (most internally upsampling DACs seem to be doing the same, like all the Musical Fidelity ones and Mytek has the option too)

 

Converting 44.1 -> 192 takes a bit more computing resources than 44.1 -> 176.4, but on a computer that difference is very small.

Signalyst - Developer of HQPlayer

Pulse & Fidelity - Software Defined Amplifiers

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  • 2 weeks later...
Love the sound but still do not believe $150.00 is justified for such a limited feature set.

IMHO ....Overpriced. JRiver will be my choice and I was able to acheive the same sound with JRiver by just applying small manipulations with the EQ .

 

How many free updates for JRiver do you get for the price? People who have purchased license for HQPlayer in 2009 still got free updates in 2013 and bunch of new features along the way. How much JRiver customers paid over 2009 - 2013 time span if they kept their software up to date all the time?

 

I think $1500 would be also perfectly justified. Replying to a single email can easily take 30 minutes, already worth of $50. I can understand perfectly well why many manufacturers prefer to sell $200 worth of electronics components for $10000 with design effort less than tenth of the time it takes to create even a simplest software product.

 

But if you think it's not worth the price, just don't buy it. Compared to any high-end gear price tag, any three figure price tag is peanuts.

 

 

P.S. The software is still trying to have the Scandinavian simplicity/minimalism by doing very few things as well as possible.

Signalyst - Developer of HQPlayer

Pulse & Fidelity - Software Defined Amplifiers

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$1500 I think at that point Avid Pro tools 10 would be my choice, Never the less this is why i always say IMHO....Now you make a excellent point about the upgrades at no cost. That is very impressive for the amount of time you stated. Hummmmm...I just may take a second look. I thank you both for your share, Because of you I will do a bit more research on HQ Player.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 4 months later...

Hi Miska,

 

Sound quality is just amazing. Your algos seem to do a very good job at upsampling. Clearly above JRiver, foobar and xxhighend.

 

Rather than criticism, I would suggest to create a very simple interface to play albums. I had to double click on a album to send it to the playlist and then play the playlist. Why not just 'select the album' and 'play' ?

- My albums are on a NAS and in folders ordered by music type and in HQplayer everything is mixed all together. I struggle to find my albums.

Somethimes for some weird reasons I can acces to some tracks and not others for the same album, ripped with the same tool. I would really help to just choose the album and get it to play

 

Anyway very nice job so far, SQ is just sooo clear, I love it

 

Cheers

join the resistance

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Clearly above JRiver, foobar and xxhighend.

 

Hmmm... Foobar definitely. I've never tried JRiver. But not better than XXHighEnd's Arc Prediction, IME.

 

I've done extensive comparisons between XXHighEnd and HQPlayer, both 'upsampling' to 32/705.6 (or 32/768) and being fed to the Phasure NOS1 DAC. Remember, there's no additional filtering or S-D modulation going on in the NOS1. Miska's algos are indeed really nice, particularly poly-sinc-shrt-mp with NS5 noise-shaping. But I wouldn't say it's better than XXHighEnd's AP. In some ways, it sounds nicer - more full bodied and very easy to listen to - but conversely, I find it sounds a bit too laid back.

 

This is how I hear things with a true non-oversampling, non-SD, filterless DAC capable of 32/768 input. You may well be hearing things differently with your gear.

 

Mani.

Main: SOtM sMS-200 -> Okto dac8PRO -> 6x Neurochrome 286 mono amps -> Tune Audio Anima horns + 2x Rotel RB-1590 amps -> 4 subs

Home Office: SOtM sMS-200 -> MOTU UltraLite-mk5 -> 6x Neurochrome 286 mono amps -> Impulse H2 speakers

Vinyl: Technics SP10 / London (Decca) Reference -> Trafomatic Luna -> RME ADI-2 Pro

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Rather than criticism, I would suggest to create a very simple interface to play albums. I had to double click on a album to send it to the playlist and then play the playlist. Why not just 'select the album' and 'play' ?

 

You can do this by using left pane (album view) of the new full screen mode. When you click/tap on the album, it is selected and view automatically returns to the middle pane (play view) and you can just click/tap play.

 

The new full screen mode GUI is designed specifically for touch screens, so the gestures with mouse may feel a bit strange at first, unless you have a new Microsoft mouse with touchpad scroll. (by default full screen mode is in maximized window, but can be turned into real full screen from settings dialog)

 

- My albums are on a NAS and in folders ordered by music type and in HQplayer everything is mixed all together. I struggle to find my albums.

 

It is possible to get two levels of the structure by using "structure only" check box when importing. But overall, most views are based on real metadata from the files. "Genre" field is not used, because all online metadata databases I've seen so far have completely useless genre data. For example Pink Floyd albums are spread over number of different genres in the databases I've seen.

 

Somethimes for some weird reasons I can acces to some tracks and not others for the same album, ripped with the same tool. I would really help to just choose the album and get it to play

 

In album playback mode this may be issue if all tracks are not in same format. In playlist mode it doesn't matter though...

 

Anyway very nice job so far, SQ is just sooo clear, I love it

 

Great to hear you like it! :)

Signalyst - Developer of HQPlayer

Pulse & Fidelity - Software Defined Amplifiers

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But I wouldn't say it's better than XXHighEnd's AP. In some ways, it sounds nicer - more full bodied and very easy to listen to - but conversely, I find it sounds a bit too laid back.

 

Mani,

 

If you would like something that is somewhere between the two, "minringFIR" is a different beast that is technically somewhere in the middle.

 

"poly-sinc-hb" goes to opposite direction from "poly-sinc-shrt-mp", but is non-apodizing so the overall ringing characteristics depends more on the source material. So with material recorded with PM2 it is worth trying out these two others.

 

For material sourced from delta-sigma ADCs, I prefer apodizing filters to make behavior more consistent and replace the ADC decimation filter ringing, or what ever software down-conversion there has been when record has been mastered to RedBook...

Signalyst - Developer of HQPlayer

Pulse & Fidelity - Software Defined Amplifiers

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