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Uptone Audio Regen

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Alex,

 

Am I correct that I can power the Regen from my JS-2?

 

Thanks,

 

Randy

 

You bet! Just switch one JS-2 output to 7 volts (will work on 9 or 12 as well, but it all gets dropped to 3.3V and 5V on the REGEN board anyway, so no point).

 

To the person asking for pictures in March: I'll be able to take a pic of the PCB, the goodies (SMPS and USB adaptor, cable, etc.), and the sample case I have, but end plates with actual holes and printing won't be seen by me until production cases arrive just days before we start shipping.

 

Here is what the other end looks like (again, printing will be silver on black anodized finish). That unmarked 3mm hole near the left is where a dim green LED will be flush to the face and let you know that the thing is powered on.

 

Other end.jpg

 

This device is not glamorous looking, but what it does for the music will hopefully make you swoon. ;)

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Alex-

Could a JS2 be setup to power a Regen, a Motherboard, and an SSD (each on it's own connection)?

Regen sounds like a great device, and the price is good. I will probably order one once I get a few other purchases out of the way.

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Hello Alex,

thanks for the good news.

i just have one question, what will be the plug diameter for the DC input?

If it's not 5.5mm/2.5mm I want to anticipate and be able to power it with my JS2.

 

FP

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I assume this device will also benefit people who dont have a usb Dac but instead use a usb converter?

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Alex-

Could a JS2 be setup to power a Regen, a Motherboard, and an SSD (each on it's own connection)?

Regen sounds like a great device, and the price is good. I will probably order one once I get a few other purchases out of the way.

 

Hi Danny:

Well, the JS-2 has two independently adjustable outputs that can each be set at 5,7,9, or 12V (and with the Kelvin-sense connection on DC2 one can make custom voltages from 1.25V to about 13.5V).

Current is no problem, so you could power a motherboard at 12V from one output, and use a DC plug Y-cable at 5V on the other to power an SSD and the REGEN.

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Hello Alex,

thanks for the good news.

i just have one question, what will be the plug diameter for the DC input?

If it's not 5.5mm/2.5mm I want to anticipate and be able to power it with my JS2.

 

Francois-Paul: The DC input jack on the REGEN is a 5.5mm x 2.1mm. For a while I thought of going with a 5.5mm x 2.5mm like on the JS-2, but all the SMPS units I tested for the REGEN had 2.1mm jacks. You can connect a 2.5mm plug to a 2.1mm jack (it's only 0.4mm difference), or for your JS-2 you can get a 2.5mm>2.1mm cable or adaptors.

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I assume this device will also benefit people who dont have a usb Dac but instead use a usb converter?

 

Hi Tommy:

Most definitely! And it should also help SQ for people driving USB DACs from devices like the Auralic Aries.

 

The key thing to getting the best benefit is to always put it closest to the DAC. I have tried it at the other end of the cable--plugging it directly into my Mac's USB port (by reversing the provided A/B adaptor and putting it into the input side), and while it still helps, it is more dramatic at the DAC end of the cable since the REGEN provides excellent impedance matching to drive the DAC input with a really good signal.

 

Of course it's secondary benefit--of providing cleaner DC to any DAC that uses some USB VBUS power--will take place regardless of which end of the cable you attach it too.

 

Regards,

ALEX

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The key thing to getting the best benefit is to always put it closest to the DAC. I have tried it at the other end of the cable--plugging it directly into my Mac's USB port (by reversing the provided A/B adaptor and putting it into the input side), and while it still helps, it is more dramatic at the DAC end of the cable since the REGEN provides excellent impedance matching to drive the DAC input with a really good signal.

 

ALEX,

 

Do you have any evidence, or suspicions, that the Uptone Regen will make the Source/DAC connection less sensitive, or even indifferent, to different USB cables ?

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... just found this thread :)

 

Alex: I should already be on your "news" list. If I'm not... please add me *now*! :P

(and I promise to read the whole thread later trying to get if even the Audiophilleo I'm using will benefit from your Regen ;) )

 

 

 

oh... and just to give you some additional trouble :P ... I'll need a short (10cm?) USB A/B cable, not the solid connector, and no PS (I'll use the JS-2 ;) )

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ALEX,

 

Do you have any evidence, or suspicions, that the Uptone Regen will make the Source/DAC connection less sensitive, or even indifferent, to different USB cables ?

I certainly have not tried every source/cable/dac combination out there, but what I have tried (4 different DACs, 4 different cables, 4 different source) (no I did not choose 4, that's just what I had laying around on the bench, I guess I like 4!).

 

Using the regen always made a DAC sound better, some more than others. The cable going between the computer and the regen still made a difference, but not as much. All tests were with the adapter to DAC. The regen with the crapiest cable sounded slightly better than the best cable without the regen, but the best cable with the regen was always significantly better than the best without regen. With the regen the difference between crappiest and best was less than the difference without the regen.

 

I did a little bit of testing with computers, OS etc as well, the regen seems to decrease the differences there as well, but certainly

does not get rid of them altogether. The results were similar to the cables, the regen can significantly improve the worst sounding. The regen improves a generic no optimization system more than it does a tweaked, stripped down, LPS run computer. The generic system with regen still does not sound as good as the tweaked system without it, but it is getting close. Now the regen with the good cable and the tweaked computer is amazing.

 

Unfortunately you can't just buy a regen and use a cheap cable, and generic off the shelf computer and get the best results. It definitely sounds a lot better with the regen than without, but doing the other stuff is till needed to get the best.

 

Adding the regen to an already tricked out system is not a huge difference in an absolute sense, it just takes it over the edge into a realm you have not heard before. You get the OMG/goose-bumps/jaw dropping experience.

 

At least that is what happened with both Alex and me, and our systems are VERY VERY different.

 

John S.

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John

 

Have you measured the USB input of a really good measuring with say an AP or dScope with/without the Regen?

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Unfortunately you can't just buy a regen and use a cheap cable, and generic off the shelf computer and get the best results. It definitely sounds a lot better with the regen than without, but doing the other stuff is till needed to get the best.

 

Adding the regen to an already tricked out system is not a huge difference in an absolute sense, it just takes it over the edge into a realm you have not heard before. You get the OMG/goose-bumps/jaw dropping experience.

John S.

 

Hi John,

 

Thanks for the very informative comparisons. I'm just thinking aloud but what if one cascades more than one Regens in series? Does that further improve sound quality (and reduce the influences of the computer end)?

 

This was something audiophile did (to crazy extends) with the original DigitalLens many years ago ...

 

Jack

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... The cable going between the computer and the regen still made a difference, but not as much... The regen with the crapiest cable sounded slightly better than the best cable without the regen, but the best cable with the regen was always significantly better than the best without regen. With the regen the difference between crappiest and best was less than the difference without the regen.

 

John,

 

Thanks for a well crafted and expansive reply to my question !

 

Since I have a less optimized system then some here, and the Regen sounds like it has a high SQ/price ratio, I think I need to get my name on the list :)

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Hi Superdad and John,

 

Have you tried it with the best USB-SPDIF converter around, the Berkeley Alpha?

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The Uptone/Swenson USB REGEN will be officially priced at… drumroll please… $175.

 

 

[ATTACH=CONFIG]17217[/ATTACH]

 

 

Alex,

 

Please ad my name to the list for one of these.

 

Thanks!

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Good afternoon gentlemen:

 

I'm catching up from being out for a couple of days with family stuff.

 

@Paolo, Dave, Rich, Jeff: You are all on the mailing list to receive info for ordering, etc. at the beginning of April. Thanks for your enthusiasm.

 

 

@Jack: Not sure that there will be much if any benefit to REGENs in series, or even having one at both ends of the cable. The REGEN's primary function is to generate a completely new USB data signal from a carefully chosen USB hub chip running from an ultra low-noise regulator and low-jitter clock--which it does with ideal impedance matching and right at the input of your DAC.

 

Its secondary function is that it interrupts the 5VBUS of the USB cable coming into it, and provides clean 5VBUS on its output--for DACs that need it--via a second ultra low-noise regulator.

 

But we will all have fun experimenting with it.

 

 

@Tranz: While neither John or I have a Berkeley Alpha USB>S/PDIF converter to test with, I do think it will responds positively. Even with regards to the REGEN's secondary function of providing clean USV 5VBUS power as--from what I can tell from close-up photos--the Berkeley uses that to power its entire USB input side (PHY, XMOS, and USB clock). That allows them to include a single PS for the "clean" S/PDIF side (everything on the other side of the digital isolators which are underneath that lamination horseshoe). So I am assuming that some people with Alpha USB units have already experimented with feeding clean USB 5V power into the Berkeley.

 

As John said (here and elsewhere): The REGEN is about improving "signal integrity" of what the DAC or converter is fed so that its USB PHY chip does not have to work as hard to decode the data from the voltage/noise. That results in less generation of packet noise voltage (in the data steam and often around the 8kHz USB packet rate but also broadband), less perturbation of the PS from spikes, and less ground-plane noise.

 

Let's put it another way: If you can hear a difference between USB cables and upstream computer stuff, then the REGEN will definitely have an effect! (I did a double-take when I tried it with my desktop system which is just a pair of AudioEngine P4s.)

 

Ciao,

--Alex

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Thanks Alex. I like the analogy you drew a while back of it being akin to an SoTM USB card, but with the added benefit of being OS agnostic and external.

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Hi Alex,

Just found out about this. I use a SB Touch as digital transport and even though I have been using a Welborne PSU to power it for quite a while now (which made a very notable difference) I recently found out that its digital coax output is superior to the USB output (EDO). In both cases I'm using the best cables I know (LH Lightspeed USB and Douglas Cables Hair Angel). I can only understand this to be a faulty USB output, especially since Logitech never intended to have the USB output to actually be used that way. In light of this situation I have two questions:

1) do you think that your Regen will help me help surpass the digital output of the SBT (I have heard from friends that either using a USB>Coax converter was better than direct coax output and that computer USB out had similar results)? Would that mean I could use the Welborne to power the Regen and leave the SBT with the normal Walwart?

2) I was actually moving to my ethernet input on my Cantata, since Resolution Audio finally got it to play gapless. Still, at the moment, the digital output of my SBT is superior to using my netgear router or switch with BJC Cat 6A ethernet cable. I'm starting to think of doing an ethernet cable comparison in the line of my usb cable comparison thread, since I have already established that different cables sound different (please don't call me crazy, but they really do). I just haven't had the chance to compare the usual suspects against the "audiophile" cables from AQ, SR, etc. out there. Do you have something similar to the Regen for ethernet?

Thanks in advance for your answer.

Best regards

Andre

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2) I was actually moving to my ethernet input on my Cantata, since Resolution Audio finally got it to play gapless. Still, at the moment, the digital output of my SBT is superior to using my netgear router or switch with BJC Cat 6A ethernet cable. I'm starting to think of doing an ethernet cable comparison in the line of my usb cable comparison thread, since I have already established that different cables sound different (please don't call me crazy, but they really do). I just haven't had the chance to compare the usual suspects against the "audiophile" cables from AQ, SR, etc. out there. Do you have something similar to the Regen for ethernet?

Thanks in advance for your answer.

Best regards

Andre

 

Take a look at this post in the Network isolation thread

http://www.computeraudiophile.com/f22-networking-networked-audio-and-streaming/network-isolation-4265/index7.html#post401825

 

since this post, 2 other CA members have reported similar results with optical isolation of the LAN using similar equipment.

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Hi Andre,

I have extensive experience with the SBT, all outputs, my experience shows that the USB output is one of the better ones out there. I definitely do not see it as broken in any way. Different DACs have different input receivers for both USB and S/PDIF which can lead to different SQ between SBT outputs for different DACs.

 

I have heard significant improvements with the regen on every DAC I have tried it with so there is a good chance it will also improve things with yours. Whether that will make the USB input on your DAC sound better than the S/PDIF input, I have no idea, that is very DAC dependent.

 

John S.

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Take a look at this post in the Network isolation thread

http://www.computeraudiophile.com/f22-networking-networked-audio-and-streaming/network-isolation-4265/index7.html#post401825

 

since this post, 2 other CA members have reported similar results with optical isolation of the LAN using similar equipment.

Hi EuroDriver,

Thanks for pointing me to this. I'll read through it and will probably come back with questions. At the moment the main question is if you think if it will make sense in my setup which is as follows:

PC (Minimserver)>Wireless Ethernet Switch (Netgear WNCE4004) . . . . Wireless Router (Netgear R4500)>Ethernet DAC (Resolution Audio Cantata)

The distance between the Router and the DAC is merely a meter. Have also played with changing the oem wall wart of the Wireless Switch and Router?

 

Hi Andre,

I have extensive experience with the SBT, all outputs, my experience shows that the USB output is one of the better ones out there. I definitely do not see it as broken in any way. Different DACs have different input receivers for both USB and S/PDIF which can lead to different SQ between SBT outputs for different DACs.

 

I have heard significant improvements with the regen on every DAC I have tried it with so there is a good chance it will also improve things with yours. Whether that will make the USB input on your DAC sound better than the S/PDIF input, I have no idea, that is very DAC dependent.

 

John S.

Hi John,

Thanks for the answer. BTW, great admirer of your work in the past. Didn't know you were working with this now.

The SBT was surprisingly inferior to the USB async input on my DAC. It was so unexpected that it took me about two years and a nudge from a friend to give it a fair shot. He has the same DAC and was using the SBT as a digital transport, too. He mentioned that the SBT digital coax output sounded better. He then changed to a notebook using the same USB cable that I use (albeit with split input) and said that it was clearly superior than the SBT coax output.

Another friend who uses the SBT as a digital transport tested using its digital coax output vs. using USB output to a USB-Coax converter (Wavelength), stating that the latter was better than the former. This was not with the DAC that I have, but shows that the digital output of the SBT was bettered using that path. Taking these two situations from people I know and respect my assumption was that the SBT USB output was "noisy" and inferior.

Maybe I'm missing something here, so I'd love to have your thoughts.

Thanks in advance

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