HQPlayer Upsampling Runs on a Pi4 - Invigorate your digital audio!

Discussion in 'Computer Audiophile: Software, Configs, Tools' started by Woland, Jul 20, 2021.

  1. Marvey

    Marvey Super Friend

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    Headphones or speakers?
     
  2. Woland

    Woland Friend

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    Headphones.
     
  3. Woland

    Woland Friend

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    I've now got HQPlayer Embedded running on the same Pi4 with the slightly different AudioLinux OS. AudioLinux costs, but has allowed me to setup wifi easily. So this testing uses the same hardware, and a slightly different software setup.


    Here's the CPU info from the AudioLinux interface:

    Code:
    CPU TEMPERTURE
    
    62.3'C
    
    CPU FREQUENCY
    
    CPU0: 1500000
    CPU1: 1500000
    CPU2: 1500000
    CPU3: 1500000
    
    CPU LOAD
    
    Linux 5.10.25-1-rt35-ARCH (raspberry) 08/01/21 _aarch64_ (4 CPU)
    
    07:22:00 CPU %usr %nice %sys %iowait %irq %soft %steal %guest %gnice %idle
    07:22:01 all 9.27 0.00 0.50 0.00 0.00 0.25 0.00 0.00 0.00 89.97
    07:22:01 0 0.00 0.00 0.99 0.00 0.00 0.99 0.00 0.00 0.00 98.02
    07:22:01 1 18.18 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 81.82
    07:22:01 2 9.00 0.00 1.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 90.00
    07:22:01 3 10.10 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 89.90
    So even with one of the most computationally intensive filters + convolution DSP for headphone equalization, the Pi4 isn't running hot or working up a sweat. Total CPU load is less than 10%.
     
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    Last edited: Aug 1, 2021
  4. Woland

    Woland Friend

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    An update / correction to the previous post. Jussi, the owner of HQPlayer described the filters today...

    So Sinc-M is more CPU intensive (1M taps) at 192k while Sinc-Mx is only 250k taps at 192k.

    Here are stats running Sinc-M.. a bit more load, but still quite manageable at 27% CPU load. CPU is getting hot and could use a fan or maybe just some holes in the case.

    Code:
    CPU TEMPERTURE
    
    74.5'C
    
    CPU FREQUENCY
    
    CPU0: 1500000
    CPU1: 1500000
    CPU2: 1500000
    CPU3: 1500000
    
    CPU LOAD
    
    Linux 5.10.25-1-rt35-ARCH (raspberry)     08/02/21     _aarch64_    (4 CPU)
    
    04:31:34     CPU    %usr   %nice    %sys %iowait    %irq   %soft  %steal  %guest  %gnice   %idle
    04:31:35     all   27.23    0.00    0.79    0.00    0.00    0.26    0.00    0.00    0.00   71.73
    04:31:35       0    5.68    0.00    2.27    0.00    0.00    1.14    0.00    0.00    0.00   90.91
    04:31:35       1   49.00    0.00    0.00    0.00    0.00    0.00    0.00    0.00    0.00   51.00
    04:31:35       2    3.16    0.00    1.05    0.00    0.00    0.00    0.00    0.00    0.00   95.79
    04:31:35       3   47.47    0.00    0.00    0.00    0.00    0.00    0.00    0.00    0.00   52.53
     
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  5. lithiumnk

    lithiumnk Rando

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    Audiolinux supports pimoroni fanshim module. I'm using with very good results in my Metrum Ambre (rpi4 8gb). One has to manually install the package which is already present in audiolinux. I've set the fan 'on' temp to 55deg & 'off' temp to 48 deg via custom script. Many customisations are possible.

    https://learn.pimoroni.com/tutorial/sandyj/getting-started-with-fan-shim

    https://github.com/pimoroni/fanshim-python
     
  6. Woland

    Woland Friend

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    Added this edit after seeing discussion on other threads.
     
  7. jexby

    jexby Posole Prince

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    @Woland can you summarize the steps of:
    1. getting wifi working with AudioLinux, and confirm the AudioLinux price paid for Pi4 at $69?
    2. Steps to get HQPlayer Embedded installed on AudioLinux are found on the Signalyst web page or ?
    3. Lastly, HQPlayer in this configuration is $249 to get the base image and 1 year of support?
    what is the expected cost for year 2 for updated images but users not needing support?

    TIA
     
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  8. Erroneous

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    A "how to install HQPlayer on pi2AES and get it working properly for dummies" thread would be amazing. The only experience I (and likely others) have with Linux has been setting up the pi2AES.
     
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  9. Woland

    Woland Friend

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    That's the intention of the article in the first four posts of this thread. Is there something missing or unclear?
     
  10. Erroneous

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    Generally speaking, things like this are foreign to me:

    Edit the file config.txt on the SD-card and add the following line to the very end

    I really am a dummy when it comes to things like this, and I imagine I'm not alone. I've been into music forever, but have somehow not been swept up into the more technical/programmy side of the hobby that likely comes so naturally to many.

    It took some real hand-holding on the "dummies guide to pi2AES" thread to get me up and running. After that I was good setting up #2 and soon #3. But now that I'm messing with NOS DACs, I want to try HQPlayer and could really use an "explain like I am incredibly stupid" thread.

    You're earning your stripes for sure with all the info threads lately, and I think everyone appreciates it (I know I do). I'd love to set this up, and many thanks for letting everyone know about this tech.
     
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  11. Woland

    Woland Friend

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    Thanks, that's helpful. I'm really hesitant to go into more detail as it depends on what you have available, how it's setup and what you're familiar with. It'll be different done on a Windows vs Apple machine, an ipad or an Android phone... It'll vary depending on whether you have a default setup or have installed a fancy text editor. And I really don't want to face a question like "My machine upgraded itself from Windows 10 to Windows 11, what do I do now?"

    The best I can suggest is to get help from someone who is comfortable following the instructions.


    That's kind of you to say. I'm motivated to share because it has made a hugely positive difference to my experience of listening to music, and I'm surprised there aren't more people talking about HQPlayer and experimenting with DSP on SBAF.
     
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  12. Woland

    Woland Friend

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    I bit the bullet and paid for AudioLinux for Pi a few days back. There doesn't seem to be any trial available. An email came later in the day with a site to login and download the image file.

    I burned that onto an SD card, edited the config file to add the HAT and comment "#dtoverlay=disable-wifi", and put it into the Pi. I plugged it into my router, and then used the menu system available at http://192.168.1.132:5001/ or http://192.168.1.132:8500/ (or similar) to enable wifi and then search for and connect to a network.

    [​IMG]

    I then used the same menu to install HQPlayer Embedded, and start it from the audio menu. It was very fast and easy. HQPlayer Embedded is configured from http://192.168.1.132:8088/config (or similar) with username audiolinux and password audiolinux

    I don't know anything about the support options on Audiolinux or HQPlayer. You'd best ask [email protected] or Jussi.

    I do know you cannot switch from HQPlayer embedded to HQPlayer Desktop, so you'd best be sure what you want before purchase. I think Jussi has made a mistake because people like me will stay on trial, experimenting, when we really do want to purchase a license.
     
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    Last edited: Aug 7, 2021
  13. alvins

    alvins Rando

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    Anyway to stream librespot -> HQPlayer on same RPI?
     
  14. Woland

    Woland Friend

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    Likely yes. If you send librespot to a loopback device.. you can use it as the input to HQPlayer. I'm currently using a similar technique to listen to Spotify -> USB -> HQPlayer on Pi -> DAC.
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2021
  15. yotacowboy

    yotacowboy McRibs Kind of Guy

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    Is there any advantage/disadvantage to running HQPlayer on a Roon Core versus Bridge in terms of setup or sound?
     
  16. Woland

    Woland Friend

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    I think you're asking whether to run HQPlayer on the same machine as the Roon Core vs on a Pi2AES ( or similar) attached to the DAC. That's a good question.

    The best way I have to answer it is to give three Roon setups


    My setup : Roon -> WiFi -> HQPlayer Embedded on Pi4/Pi2AES -> Schiit Gungnir, amp, headphones

    Schiit products take 192k PCM, and don't do DSD. So the Pi4 can do everything needed and provide a substantial improvement in upsampling vs the DAC's internal filter. As well as upsampling, the Pi4 runs 'convolution' DSP for my headphones to boost bass, and reduce treble peaks.

    I really like that the DSP sits with the relevant audio gear and it is configured to work together. It's set and forget. I can send music via Roon, Audirvana or a host of other ways from a host of different machines and rely on them all to get the same processing. Because I'm sending mostly redbook PCM the demands on the network are not high and WiFi connectivity works very well.

    I really like that I can switch Roon to play out of another set of headphones / speakers and HQPlayer is out of the picture.

    If you already have a Pi2AES or similar, there is no cost to get this setup working with a trial version of HQPlayer. It's just a few minutes of setup.


    DSD setup : Roon -> HQPlayer Desktop or embedded -> USB connection to feed DSD to DAC

    Using HQPlayer for DSD requires loads of CPU and produces loads of data. A Raspberry Pi isn't powerful enough to generate the data, and most home networks will have trouble transporting it.

    Likely the only way to make this work is to have a powerful desktop computer AND a direct physical connection to the DAC. Unless the computer is dedicated to audio, there are likely to be clashes when the computer has other demands on it, needs to update etc. This seems to be the most common use case for HQPlayer.

    I didn't want to go this way because the additional computer seemed like a hassle to set up and maintain, and an expensive one to boot, all without making an improvement to audio on my PCM-only DAC.



    My Old Setup : Roon -> Multiple DACs and some use HQPlayer

    This is where I started. There were multiple DACs, some over direct USB connections and some via networking. It's possible to switch HQPlayer between DACs by loading settings from the HQPlayer Desktop interface. It's possible to switch to other DACs, like the computer speakers, by using Roon.

    I really did not like this setup. I don't like having to interact with Roon AND HQPlayer while listening to music, and getting confused with system A settings on system B. I didn't like dealing with the audio burps from sending the heavy stream of upsampled data over networks. I didn't like that the DSP in Roon would sometimes overlap with the DSP in HQPlayer. It's manageable when focussed on setup, but not when focussed on music.
     
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    Last edited: Aug 4, 2021
  17. Woland

    Woland Friend

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    A further update on HQPlayer on Audiolinux. I've upgraded to a Pi4 with 8gb of RAM which allows the whole operating system to be loaded into RAM (takes a little while longer to start). Once running it's very responsive and actually seems to use far less CPU for the same upsampling.
     
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  18. lithiumnk

    lithiumnk Rando

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    Rpi4 4gb also works with Audiolinux/HQPlayer embedded loaded completely in ram.
     
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  19. Woland

    Woland Friend

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    Piero recommends 8GB but says 4GB can work
     
  20. coin777

    coin777 Rando

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    Does this work on rpi 3B+ ? I don't own rpi4, and after following Your tutorial the pi doesn't show on the network and connecting it to hdmi out shows just a nice square color gradient.
     

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