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The merits of upsampling


Sherwood
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My latest signal path has started with Roon, which is a piece of software I really enjoy.  It sounded excellent, but recently I found that I could fuck with it a little more and spend time twiddling knobs, and I'm powerless to resist that.  Most notably, Roon makes it simple to delegate all the actual "file playing" duties to another program, HQPlayer.

Roon and HQPlayer represent significantly different approaches to music playback and management.  Roon focuses on metadata, art, liner notes, reviews: basically the kind of edifying stuff you read and think about while listening to music.

HQPlayer focuses on filters, and by Jesus are there ever a lot of them.  And not just filters!  You also get to play with modulators, sample rates, etc.  There are a lot of parameters you can set regarding how you would like your D/A math performed.

Many people who use HQPlayer with a DSD DAC prefer to upsample everything -- DSD and PCM -- to the highest resolution DSD stream their DAC can process.  This is exactly what I've been doing, and it really sounds fantastic.

Is anyone else using an external upsampler, either as part of software or a hardware piece like the dCS, and getting good results?  I'd love to know why it is that this sounds so good.

Edited by Sherwood
EDIT: added links
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2 hours ago, Torpedo said:

It looks interesting. Does it support .iso SACD rips?

That's a good question, Antonio.  I've already converted all my .iso to dsf, which both Roon and HQPlayer play wonderfully.  I'll try to grab another .iso and see how they handle everything.

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2 hours ago, Torpedo said:

Thanks, Tyler. If it doesn't play them, what procedure would you recommend to extract the dsf files from the .iso on a Mac? I've tried some command line thing I found, but it ended up being too tedious for the disk space savings.

I use the Sonore Java app:

http://dsd.sonore.us/iso2dsd_OSX_v6.zip

Note that I convert to dff, not dsf, since I find that dsf is never truly gapless in my system (Audirvana to Ayre DAC). Whenever I play a gapless album (DSOTM, classical recording), I get a very slight click between dsf tracks (and I've tried about 4 or 5 different dsf conversion methods), that is only audible over headphones. I have no such issues with dff.

I use Yate to tag those dff files, and Audirvana can read those tags.

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I'm going to try to extract the DiFF files from an iso. Should i use the Philips DSDIFF output or the DSDIFF Edit master? Yet another one, do iso files always contain DSD stream or sometimes it could be DST? Were this the case, any way to know? Is it necessary to convert the DST into DSD before creating the DFF or DSF files? I'm too old for this shit, I think that's why I decided to stay with iso files hahaha.

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6 hours ago, Torpedo said:

I'm going to try to extract the DiFF files from an iso. Should i use the Philips DSDIFF output or the DSDIFF Edit master? Yet another one, do iso files always contain DSD stream or sometimes it could be DST? Were this the case, any way to know? Is it necessary to convert the DST into DSD before creating the DFF or DSF files? I'm too old for this shit, I think that's why I decided to stay with iso files hahaha.

You want to use Philips DSDIFF instead of DSDIFF Edit Master, as this will split the album into one file per track, instead of a single track.

AFAIK, some SACD ISO files do have DST, so you also want to enable the "Convert DST to DSD" option. DST is a compressed format, which cannot be tagged. You do not need an extra step for this, just convert straight from ISO to DFF with that option enabled.

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Went down the HQplayer rabbit hole a while this weekend. Brilliant piece of software! Many thanks to @Sherwood for posting this!

Soon realised that Jussi (the coding guy behind HQplayer) implemented a closed-form filter a few months ago, the merits of which Schiit has devoted a long section of their Yggy FAQ to. Pretty much the secret sauce in the Yggy. So for anyone who would like to try that sauce without buying the Yggy, here's the free trial option. Of course, a DAC is so much more than the filter and algorithms may differ, etc but it makes for a very interesting listen.

Found a nice explanation on the merits of closed form vs apodising filters at http://www.computeraudiophile.com/f11-software/hq-player-20293/index147.html#post475586

 

Edited by MLA
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22 hours ago, MLA said:

Went down the HQplayer rabbit hole a while this weekend. Brilliant piece of software! Many thanks to @Sherwood for posting this!

Soon realised that Jussi (the coding guy behind HQplayer) implemented a closed-form filter a few months ago, the merits of which Schiit has devoted a long section of their Yggy FAQ to. Pretty much the secret sauce in the Yggy. So for anyone who would like to try that sauce without buying the Yggy, here's the free trial option. Of course, a DAC is so much more than the filter and algorithms may differ, etc but it makes for a very interesting listen.

Found a nice explanation on the merits of closed form vs apodising filters at http://www.computeraudiophile.com/f11-software/hq-player-20293/index147.html#post475586

 

I'm really glad you're enjoying it, @MLA!  I've been bounding back and forth between the closed-form filter and the polysinc short filter shown in my settings above.  The closed form seems to have better imaging and spatial cues, while I like the transient response of the poly sinc filter.  All of them I've tried are good, but those are my usual go-to.

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Well, it's only been a few hours of listening, but I have come to pretty much the same conclusions. The closed from does something with the room presence, the room gets smaller but the sense of space is stronger. The poly-sincs have better bite, but a little less "in-the-room" feeling.

I guess it comes down to what music it is and where it was recorded. For me, current conclusion is closed form for jazz, chamber music and live concerts from small to medium size venues. Poly sinc for stuff with lots of electronica in it.

It's wonderful to be able to choose :)

I should add that for me, it takes the high end gear to make the distinctions. Carbon/007 yes, HD800/Sysu Dynalo yes, HD650/M3 no...

Edited by MLA
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