Ipeng Squeeze server-player

Just wondered what other people’s thoughts of the above sound quality wise as I’ve just started using the ipeng App- first impressions are very good compared to Roon , sounds a little more open and clean albeit the app is a million miles away. Couldn’t live with how dreadful the app is although playing existing playlists it’s fine otherwise I definitely won’t be cancelling Roon that’s for sure.

I find IPeng/Material and Squeeze sounds loose? and a bit less coherent than roon/hqplayer. Of course ymmv, imho etc,etc.

I do agree that roon sound can change between builds but when using the hqplayer engine this is negated.

HQPlayer alters the sound so one has to be careful to not make generalizations about it. I wish it had a true passthrough so it could be put up against the others as a true apples-to-apples, but the developer has assured me that HQPlayer is always doing some processing regardless of the settings.

HQPlayer not having a pure passthrough makes it not really on par with Squeeze from my perspective. That the developer isn’t willing to enable a pure passthrough makes me think transparency isn’t an aim of his.

I find Squeeze to be the most transparent option. I base that largely on the time domain. Rim shots or the sound of the tip of a drum sticks contacting a cymbal is just totally clean with Squeeze. Roon smears this and I’ve not found HQPlayer settings that match the clarity I hear with Squeeze.

While I agree on hqplayer possibly processing, his help manual talks about bit perfect passthrough settings. I also feel c3po is processing. Choices are great.

That appears to only apply to DSD: “DSD sources go through bit-perfect when output mode is SDM”.

Jussi responded to my request for HQPlayer to just pass through files without processing them here. A few posts later he responded with a complete rejection of pursuing passthrough in this post.

“You found free way shovel around bits. There’s no need for me to spend time developing such functionality that would just make HQPlayer unnecessarily more complex. I think my time is better spent on the DSP algorithms and other features.”

Unnecessarily more complex just to pass through a file unharmed?

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Check under pcm>dither for this:

none No noise-shaping or dithering, only rounding. Only useful for bit-perfect playback when filter is set to none, volume is fixed to 0 dBFS and no other processing is used. Not recommended.

Yeah I assumed that’s how one could obtain bit perfect PCM with HQPlayer, but then bogi and Jussi disputed that when responding to my posts (to which I’ve linked above).

According to bogi “HQPlayer takes PCM recording samples, be it 16, 24 or 32bit PCM samples. It processes them in 64bit floating point (Windows) or 80 bit floating point (OS X, Linux) resolution. The floating point processing result is finally converted to fixed point representation in 32 or 24 bits resolution”. Not having any nose shaping applied would be a bad thing in this case, which is why this approach is not recommended.

If it was possible to pass music files through without processing, Jussi would have just said so. Instead he said providing such a capability “would just make HQPlayer unnecessarily more complex”.

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Have you been able to determine if c3po is doing any processing when set to not resample and not convert?

It is probably sending it through an additional library, but every indication is that it’s not converting it. The UI clearly allows one to fine tune when resampling and converting are performed so I’m inclined to take it at its word.

It all boils down to individual hearing. I have never seen a definitive answer in this hobby, it is 80% subjective.

Enjoyed the back and forth. Prog on!

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More like 99.9% subjective.:grinning:

On the objective front, I’ve recently had a chance to see objective data on what PGGB is able to do as far as pushing noise away from the audio band and it’s impressive as heck. We shouldn’t be able to hear these things but we do. I think that speaks to how good our servers and the software running on them are. That your preferred software choices allow you to appreciate what higher precision brings, tells me that it’s probably not worth our time to get too caught up in some of the minutiae we’ve been going back and forth on.

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you can use Roon as the Server and Squeeze for the Player. Best of both worlds.
That’s how I run anyway, on Mark C’s advice.
Simple to set up too.

Having listened to both options the difference is smaller than I first thought, swaying towards Roon server & Squeeze player which is what I’ve been using since I bought the K50 . A lot is down to the individual music source as we know, some sound great all the time where as others due to the original recording can sound very average. Also having just got over severe sinusitis it’s amazing how depending on your well being this also can have a profound effect .

yes, you’re right there, Martin. On both counts.
The original source makes all the difference. Some things sound terrible but some are sublime.
Sinusitis and other respiratory ailments can play a part when they start to impact on your ear canal etc.
Sometimes the creep is slow, so you don’t recognise it.