General purchase advice: Ask your questions/for advice here!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!


Happy Thanksgiving to all my American friends on the forum. Have a safe one.


Happy Thanksgiving, man. I’m dying laughing thinking about the “I told you so” look on your face.


I have a Holo May that I bought and I do not use Roon or HQPlayer; I have no need to EQ - it sounds super going into my Auris Nirvana amp and Utopia and Susvara headphones.


Are you running internal OS or are you running NOS?

I think it might be a bit shortsighted to recommend a NOS product to someone who has never owned one as it can sound different than what they are used to, and anecdotally many people in the hobby I have run across don’t really like NOS compared to a proper OS setup.

Glad you enjoy your setup though, sounds like a good chain and probably sounds amazing

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You’re the first I know of then. :slight_smile: Looks like a fantastic chain indeed, I’m sure you put in some good effort to get to that point.

If you haven’t tried Roon + HQP before, it would be worth giving a shot some time, as it tends to be worthwhile for at least every owner I know. And if you have a different opinion on that, that’d be totally valid too, and worth sharing.

I run it as NOS - I tried it in OS and it just smoothed things out too much for my tastes and the bass started going away. NOS mode sounds awesome in my system.


Curious how it would be shortsighted to recommend NOS to someone who has never owned one?

I’ve gone from schiit bf2 to matrix x-sabre pro mqa to yggy to qutest to spring 3 to may. I’d highly recommend the spring 3 over any of them. The may is slightly better but without having side by side, I couldn’t tell you any more why the may was better. If you offered me the price difference between the spring 3 and the may along with the spring 3 (kte of course), I’d easily trade.

I’ve never done roon with hqplayer and os. Being that I’m using innuos, I really don’t want to dump the innuos software to pay for roon and set up hqplayer. Just my 2 cents.

3 months of Roon for $1.00.



Still have to dump the os, rather listen to nos but thank you for finding the trial.

Roon is bit-perfect by default. Roon’s optional OS isn’t popular at all. HQPlayer is different software that just happens to integrate better with Roon than anything else.

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I do know that hqplayer separate from roon but works better with roon.

Innuos and Auralic use a low cpu and software made specifically for they’re hardware to keep the noise down. Only Innuos can run roon server but with cpu limitations, it’s not close to ideal.

Both options can be roon endpoints which would probably be the most ideal if you own one of these two options.

So, you’d have to have another server running roon core or some kind of server running hqplyer in conjunction with either endpoint option. Sounds like a mess to me.

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Just use whatever you feel most comfortable with, there’s no wrong way of doing things if you’ve done your due diligence and you’re happy with the results of your choices.

I simply run both Roon Core and HQP on my desktop PC, which is connected to my DAC (Bifrost 2) via USB. So I haven’t needed to set up any additional hardware to get Roon + HQP up and running and I’m enjoying the results I’ve gotten. I’ll probably be able to get slightly better results by externalizing Roon Core and HQP from my desktop PC onto a separate server, but I don’t care enough about those further improvements to deal with the additional clutter and costs that’ll bring.

Either way, $1 for 3 months of Roon membership is a fantastic deal, and an ideal opportunity for anyone who hasn’t done so before to just give it a try and extensively figure out if it brings anything to the table for them. It’s not perfect, and it surely doesn’t work equally well for everyone or with any chain, but trying it for yourself is ultimately the best way to figure that out.


Having a device run a Roon Core is not that difficult, many computers can run it off Linux, Windows, or macOS. The cost of entry is quite low to have a NUC run the Core and also include HQPlayer, or even better grab an unused computer (maybe I am the only one with a few lying around) with an intel chip and load up Linux and boom instaCore.

To each his own how one wants to play back their music, NOS vs. OS, Roon vs. a proprietary music app, does it really matter?

Happy Thanksgiving


idongle ftw. oh no 20 chars… okay i think i got nuff now.

Thank you for sharing. Great occasion for me to test InnuOS 2.0 vs Roon.


I’m thinking of picking up the Koss ESP950 while it’s on sale. I’ve never heard an electrostatic headphone. I’m not sure what I’m looking for as far as advice…I guess I’m wondering if it’s a worthy complement to my existing collection (Arya, He6se v2, HD800S, Radiance, Clear most notably) or a downgrade and not worth spending $600 on. I do enjoy having different headphones for variety and different genres so if it is enough apart from my others I don’t mind giving it a whirl. TIA


It’s not a downgrade; it’s different. I have not heard the current Koss electrostatic but their ESP-6 that a college friend had back in 1974 made me fall in love with the e-stat sound. Considering the current model comes with an amp and is by all accounts better than the model I’d heard way back when it should be a reasonable buy.

Later I bought STAX and recently the Nectar Hive so I’m still an e-stat fan even though I’ve so far avoided shelling out TOTL dollars.


I listened to the ESP950 for a little over a week in my home as part of a Koss tour. I liked them enough to start pursuing that E-Stat sound as part of the collection. Like you I really enjoy variety in 'phones - I also have Clears and the HE6seV2 that I use and enjoy a lot. Like pennstac I also ended up with both a Stax (L300) and the Nector Hive.

I enjoy both more than I did the 950. I found the energizer that accompanies the 950s to be a bit disappointing - it didn’t play particularly loud and seemed to hold them back a bit dynamically. Though I have been really curious to see how the 950 would sound out of my Stax energizer(you need a specially made cable).


I found that my low end Stax 323A I had for awhile significantly improved the ESP 95X. But then if one is going to by another amp, special cable all for the Koss, might as well get the Hive or L300. I think they’re both great and kept those both over the SR-700 MK2 I had for awhile.