DirectStream + Playback Software


#1

Hello Everybody,

I thought it would be great to start a topic where people can share what playback software and settings they use.

For example, I have recently started using HQ Player and its up-sampling capability and sound quality is excellent.
Is anyone here using HQP and if so with what settings?
Are you doing any DSD up-sampling in HQP or just letting DS do all the work? Any noticeable differences in SQ?

Many thanks in advance.
Mev


#2

Mev

Did you compare HQ Player to JRiver, if so what was your impression?


#3

I used to have a Windows based system with JRiver + JPlay combo and was very happy with the sound. I preferred using JRiver with JPlay rather than without it.

I now have a Mac Mini based system and have been using Audirvana+ 2.0 for sometime. I have been very impressed with Audirvana but recently decided to try out HQ Player too especially with its powerful upsampling capability.
I’m very impressed with HQP so far, I upsample everything to 384kHz with great results.

I’m now looking to purchase a DSD DAC (DS is on top of my list!), that’s why I was wondering how much of a difference HQP would make with the upsampling before the DS does its own magic!


#4

The DS upsamples everything to 28.224MHz (then converts that into 5.6448MHz single bit output.) Doing some upsampling before the DS will produce some sonic differences, but they will be at best a mater of taste and at worst take the life out of the music and sound a little soft.


#5

Thanks for the reply Ted, your statement makes a lot of sense, much appreciated.

BTW, have you tried any playback software, if so, which would be your favourite(s)?


#6

You don’t want to know smile

I use foobar2000 (or JRiver now and then). My system sounds the same to me no matter which style of output I use from foobar2000 (ASIO, ks, ds), whether I’m defraging the disk that the music is playing off of, if I’m ripping CDs, if I have my music collection on the same USB hub as the DS… Strangely we can hear a difference if the laptop Wi-Fi is powered on or off :slight_smile:

The biggest differences in sound are my mood and what time of day it is…


#7

Amen Ted.


#8

This morning I installed the beta 131B for AO. I have tried just about every player out there . Except the new HQ player why I do not upsample it never sounds right for me. But I is have friend setup on his sever and it did sound good but it was not a DS dac. I do not blame the dac it’s really my choice . It really does not sound good to me on any dac. The only dac that did sound ok to a point was my msb it does ot internally if set to.

Now for me I use j river and a win server 2012 with one PC and audio optimizer . This and audivana soind best to me. The new 2.0 is really good on my iMac but it’s an I7 all out iMac .

today after I loaded the update it got deeper in tone . Thi seemed to be on a few dacs I tried . It actually helped add some body to the DS running pike.

Pin time my brain adjusted to it. It sounded better to me but not at first . The next thing I tried after hours later ws going to kernel steaming and this seem to round things out perfect . Even piano , trumpets all sound very good . Again this is with PCM or DSd . I do suggest anyone to try the KS . one thing I do remember audio Phil is him sayimg use kernel streaming . I just never put any time I to it.

But I am also like ted even if others tell me it matters I must hear it too or it’s just not happening . It happen tonight .

please try it . And this thread is a very good idea as its really computor audio not just the dac rules .

al


#9

Thanks Al!

I think computer audio (operating system, playback software, optimisation and so on) matters to some extent, as to how much surely must be also system dependent.

I guess DS does such a great job with upsampling that maybe it leaves less room for improvement for the playback software. In the case of HQP, I guess it works great with my current DAC as I use it to upsample everything to 384kHz and it really does make a difference.

I used JRiver+JPlay before on my windows based system and JPlay always recommended using Kernel Streaming and I thought it was the best choice.

My current system is Mac Mini based and with DS will have a choice of using either Audirvana+ 2.0 and HQP both of which are excellent players.


#10

When I was using my iMac air divana was the best sound I could get from any of my computer setups. Period.

Even my I7 pc was not as good

this made me to learn and build my severs for audio.

Three yesrs ago the audio industry was very different then now as now there is servers ready made and not 20 K either

this topic is very important for any dac owner if they need info to set things up.

Upsampling is great for some but it needs real horsepower to sound good.

Ladt year I was over a friends house who had a server a I3 server fanless. It played PCM ok but the imaging got weird when the music got complex.

But when he went to dsd it was lost most of the time. I loaned him an I7 server

this was a major improvement for him.

And he had a really nice setup. But not having a server or good desktop was his brick wall


#11

I decided to change to Mac Mini for its small footprint and quiet operation. With PCs as go more and more powerful they get noisier and I just could not get a decent fan-less system!
As you can see from my signature my Mac Mini is well configured with fast SSD with loads of memory and all my music sitting on a very fast Thunderbolt drive!
With a clever add-on for Kodi (which I use for movies) written by Geoff Armstrong (CA Forum) I’m able listen to TIDAL streaming via HQ Player, which is just great!


#12

As a few of us have written about on the Pikes Peak thread, JPlay 6 takes the DS to a whole new level, one I hadn’t heard before in my systems. There are two versions and three engines to choose among, plus other settings.


#13

I must say I was always very impressed with JPlayer and from what I have been reading it seems the latest JPlayer 6 streaming player is even better!

Well, it seems I have no choice but to test my copy of JPlayer 6; either on a separate windows laptop or install windows on Mac Mini.
The beauty of computer audio, too many choices which can be fun a lot of fun but also cause a lot of frustration!


#14
MevDinc said I must say I was always very impressed with JPlayer and from I have been reading it seems the latest JPlayer 6 streaming player is even better!

Well, it seems I have no choice but to test my copy of JPlayer 6; either on a separate windows laptop or install windows on Mac Mini.
The beauty of computer audio, too many choices which can be fun a lot of fun but also cause a lot of frustration!


You might want to try JPLAY 6 on W2012 Server with the AudiophileOptimizer - likely you will stay there…

#15

Funny you should say that, I’m installing Windows 8.1 on my Mac Mini as I’m reading your post :)
I will just try the new version and let you know what I think.
It would have been great to try JPlay with HQP but I only have the Mac version! As I said, so many options/versions/combinations!

Probably next to no chance but I will ask Josef and Marcin to consider doing JPlay OSX :)


#16

My experience is similar. I run one pc i7 CAPS Zuma (original spec but more ram and LPSU for the OS SSD). Software is Win2012 R2, AO 1.31, Jriver media server, Jplay6 in hibernate mode and Jplaymini or Jplaystreamer with BubbleDS depending on where I’m sitting.

This software really is the best setup I’ve had so far.

I havent tried HQP and will take some convincing at NZ$185! You guys better not decide its the best or I’ll have to fight the moths in my wallet :slight_smile:


#17

I did a post on cap forums. I also installed HQ. I got it to play music. , I played with some settimgs buy overall it was a let down compared to j river. It’s funny that most who have it rave of it. But when I posted I do not want to upsample period. Everyone said the same thing. Don’t bother. It’s really great at up sampling. I also asked for setup.tips but did not get any reccomend setups. Just the up sampling. Since I then have uninstalled it. The sound I have new is the best yet , next up is japlay 6 but over the weekend . No time to fiddle now I just want to play music. I do have one issue thought. I use KS it seems to round off the sound best for me. Rounding off might not be a true description tonight I will,do an ab and try to peg it down better. As I feel,the pike has so many great qualities and just a couple of bad so I stuck it out.

Now it seems perfect for me with the new AO beta . It does do one thing oddly. I loose the Ks option at times. And then need to do a CPU reboot and DS reboot. I even need to power down the batteries as well . This fixes it but if I need a CPU reboot it’s gone and need to start all,over again. Audio Phil says it’s not his AO software. But for the sound I get now this is a small price to pay.

Elk was kind enough to explain some commonly used audio,terms. Very nice of him , I learned once again what I like is not really real. But my real. Even though what I like is real to me it’s clear its not in fact real. An simple example of the speakers he feels are best on some aspects of real sound the Maggie’s. As they sound very good to me they had two issues for me . One was bass integration and the other was note decay it seemed to fast like pike was. Ribbons to me sound best , fast but slightly more note decay . Like a piano rings on impact . Once again elk tells me why and as I am sure he is correct its still not what I ilke. A real audio conundrum of sorts. Do I learn to like what’s correct or stay with what I like. For now I stay it’s my brain that’s programmed like this. And all I know of great sound is this . Funny how one can feel your there and then realize it’s the wrong state by the same name.

The limited live un amplified is from subways odd enough , but it’s still live and it does sound nice but in some ways not what I like. But i do still Hear some of what I call real there . So my systems do sound real to a point.

Because I have more than one server I went back to one with AO 130. And the pike went back to being not all I like. This hobby is maddening at times , and one needs to get off the pursuit of perfection train some times.

Al


#18
alrainbow said Now it seems perfect for me with the new AO beta . It does do one thing oddly. I loose the Ks option at times. And then need to do a CPU reboot and DS reboot. I even need to power down the batteries as well . This fixes it but if I need a CPU reboot it's gone and need to start all,over again. Audio Phil says it's not his AO software. But for the sound I get now this is a small price to pay.

Al


Hi Al,

I’m using one of the later beta AO builds and with windows 8.1 control PC and Audio PC with JPLAY 6.

I’m fairly confident your world will be rocked when you try JPLAY 6, the tones coming from your system will be more natural and real sounding than you have heard is my expectation. I will be very interested to hear your comments after trying JPLAY 6 and which setting you find most musical.

Settings option 1 low cpu utilisation

Engine Ultrastream playing via KS:PS Audio Audio 2.0 output

DAc link 1hz

PC buffer 10

Settings option 2 low cpu utilisation

Engine Ultrastream playing via KS:PS Audio Audio 2.0 output

DAc link 170hz

PC buffer .02

Settings option 3 high cpu utilisation

Engine Xtreame playing via KS:PS Audio Audio 2.0 output

DAc link 1hz

PC buffer 2 sec

Thanks

Johno


#19

Time time time. That’s all I need. People who use j play love it that across the board for all. I’ll download a trail of it over the weekend and give it a whirl. Do you have DC or linear psu with your setup. ??? Also why two PC!s. I can never understand the point of having two of them running. I use one and core mode with an iPad if need be. Mine are all fanless and either DC battery or hd plex linear psu .

I also use a P5 for the front end but even then mood and other things effect the sound to me at times.

But thanks for the advice and I will try it. And thanks for the settings that’s a kind of you so I have a good string point.

And I will,post back here results.


#20

With my 1 pc setup I like these settings

Engine Ultrastream playing via KS:PS Audio Audio 2.0 output

Dac link 170hz

PC buffer 2 - I find very low buffer (eg 0.2) is a bit edgy

Xtreamsize 1000

Hibernate ON

But these settings have a much less impact than using JPLAY in any settings.

Have fun!