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UpTone Audio USB Regen Listening Impressions

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Hello,

I describe my system:

Macbook Air, Dac, Ayre QB DSD, Cardas Clear USB, Uptone Regen Amber, Curious Cable Link, Power Supply Sbooster BOTW P&P ECO 5V - 6V, Sbooster Vbus2 Isolator, Audirvana 2.3.2 (the best version that sounds in my system right now)

On the other USB port I have connected the Portable Hard Disk with AQ Jitterbug. ...

 

 

Hi:

 

You have a nice DAC and I'm sure the rest of your system is nice. But on the computer side, I can tell you--from personal comparisons I made, in my own system, with carefully controlled tests (booting 4 machines from the same SD card)--that your Macbook Air is not nearly as good sounding (bass-wise especially) as even a completely stock Mac mini (as in, not even power supply change). I compared my daughter's Macbook Air, my wife's Macbook Pro (both running from battery and AC) and my 2012 Mac mini. The mini was way ahead.

 

But even if you can not replace your computer, you very much should consider finding another way to have access to you portable hard drive. Having a USB drive directly attached to your computer when feeding a USB DAC is a very big compromise. Can you attach that drive to another computer in your home and set it to be shared? That will be much better.

 

Remember, improving SQ of computer audio is all about reducing the processes and activity (both hardware and software) of the DAC-connected computer. For example, my music Mac mini has only the following connections: DC cable to JS-2 LPS, USB cable to REGEN/DAC, BlueJeans Belden Cat6a Ethernet cable direct to my other Mac on my desk (where I have several drives shared).

And I boot from an SD card with a very slimmed-down OS X (just 70 processes and about 300 threads at idle), and then eject/dismount all partitions of my internal SATA drive (I would physically remove the drive, but I use it sometimes for back-ups and experiments).

 

Have fun!

 

--Alex C.

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In my case, the jitterbug was very good at fooling me into believing there was an improvement, and there was, sort of... the music became much more "physical", meaning singers and instruments seemed to "fill out" and become more "dimensional/rounded"... in reality it was kind of false, because it was stripping musical information from the audio and really kind of making the soundstage a bit claustrophobic and cluttered... that is not an improvement to me... it's a trade off. It wasn't until I removed them, that this all became startlingly clear.

 

I tried all manner of configurations with the JB and the result was always the same. My system sounded better without it. Less perceived depth and dimensionality, yes, but the JB were adding a kind of "false" depth and "dimensionality", so it wasn't real to me.

 

This is just my own personal experience with my particular chain, so I'm not writing off the JB's objectively, YMMV and all that.

 

The Regen is the real deal... I took it away after a few days of using it to see what difference it made, and the music sounded limp, sluggish, inauthentic and shallow without it...and I have the very good Bifrost 4490 DAC from Schiit, which is nearly as good as the multibit version, an excellent DAC, so you realize just how good the Regen is, if by taking it away, that DAC starts to sound "bad" (I mean in comparison to the Regen's addition) .. I can't imagine getting a new DAC without the Regen at this point. I've hear people say it even improves the world class Gungnir and Yggdrasil DACs which are further up the Schiit line.

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  • Thanks for the tips, for me now is complicated to change because no domino is IOS of Mac....would need some tutorial to learn. Audirvana plays from the.memory, in theory the Hard Disk is not involved when the music is playing. I have a lot to learn

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In my case, the jitterbug was very good at fooling me into believing there was an improvement, and there was, sort of... the music became much more "physical", meaning singers and instruments seemed to "fill out" and become more "dimensional/rounded"... in reality it was kind of false, because it was stripping musical information from the audio and really kind of making the soundstage a bit claustrophobic and cluttered... that is not an improvement to me... it's a trade off. It wasn't until I removed them, that this all became startlingly clear.

 

I tried all manner of configurations with the JB and the result was always the same. My system sounded better without it. Less perceived depth and dimensionality, yes, but the JB were adding a kind of "false" depth and "dimensionality", so it wasn't real to me.

 

This is just my own personal experience with my particular chain, so I'm not writing off the JB's objectively, YMMV and all that.

 

The Regen is the real deal... I took it away after a few days of using it to see what difference it made, and the music sounded limp, sluggish, inauthentic and shallow without it...and I have the very good Bifrost 4490 DAC from Schiit, which is nearly as good as the multibit version, an excellent DAC, so you realize just how good the Regen is, if by taking it away, that DAC starts to sound "bad" (I mean in comparison to the Regen's addition) .. I can't imagine getting a new DAC without the Regen at this point. I've hear people say it even improves the world class Gungnir and Yggdrasil DACs which are further up the Schiit line.

 

 

  • That I have experienced exactly the same, study of artificial sound, there are now more coherence and better depth

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After all these posts, I removed the single JB on my Mac mini on an unused USB slot, and I am happier for removing it. Perhaps much depends on how resolving a system is: on less resolving ones, especially laptop one, JB works well.


UptonedMacMini(onJS2)>TelluriumSiverDiamondUSB>IsREgen(onLPS1onJS2)>Curious(short)>BerkeleyAlphaUSB>TomboTronBNC>MetrumPavaneDAC>SilvermithPalladium>MargulesSF(20SE)Pre>TelluriumSilverDiamond>MarguesU280c(25SE)Amp>AZAbsoluteSpeakercables>MargulesOrpheus+MarguleSub.CD:Cambridge851C>StealthVaridigSextet>MetrumPavane.

Powerconditioning/cables:AudienceAR6TSSD;KubalaSosnaElationon>AR6;OndaRaptureonPre-andAmp;KaplancablesonDAC/Transport;Combak350>JS-2;AZAbsolute>Alpha USB.

5ab04fc775d4d_2018-02-1511_30_04.thumb.jpg.bdba2e1c8a8ba2d514247b298a41222d.jpg

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After all these posts, I removed the single JB on my Mac mini on an unused USB slot, and I am happier for removing it. Perhaps much depends on how resolving a system is: on less resolving ones, especially laptop one, JB works well.

Agree with your observations. My two JBs did not find a long term place in my system either. Seems there are a lot of them sitting on the sidelines now.

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In my case, the jitterbug was very good at fooling me into believing there was an improvement, and there was, sort of... the music became much more "physical", meaning singers and instruments seemed to "fill out" and become more "dimensional/rounded"... in reality it was kind of false, because it was stripping musical information from the audio and really kind of making the soundstage a bit claustrophobic and cluttered... that is not an improvement to me... it's a trade off. It wasn't until I removed them, that this all became startlingly clear.

 

I tried all manner of configurations with the JB and the result was always the same. My system sounded better without it. Less perceived depth and dimensionality, yes, but the JB were adding a kind of "false" depth and "dimensionality", so it wasn't real to me.

 

This is just my own personal experience with my particular chain, so I'm not writing off the JB's objectively, YMMV and all that.

 

The Regen is the real deal... I took it away after a few days of using it to see what difference it made, and the music sounded limp, sluggish, inauthentic and shallow without it...and I have the very good Bifrost 4490 DAC from Schiit, which is nearly as good as the multibit version, an excellent DAC, so you realize just how good the Regen is, if by taking it away, that DAC starts to sound "bad" (I mean in comparison to the Regen's addition) .. I can't imagine getting a new DAC without the Regen at this point. I've hear people say it even improves the world class Gungnir and Yggdrasil DACs which are further up the Schiit line.

 

That's interesting, I have the 4490 as well and I think I'm one of the few who is not impressed by the Regen, or the Wyrd. Whereas the Wyrd makes highs smoother and the soundstage larger (both to an artificial/colored degree, I don't like it), the Regen seems to do the opposite, and to a lesser degree. I've done literally hundreds of switches back and forth and I'm consistently finding that the best results are with no Regen/Wyrd at all.

 

I can see how these devices might positively affect a USB-powered dac, but with something like the Bifrost I'm really starting to come to the conclusion that they are unnecessary, and actually detrimental depending on your preferences. I went in with as little bias as possible for both the Wyrd and Regen, and my ears keep pointing me back to removing them from the chain.

 

The truth is the differences are small, and it would be very easy to be pointed in the direction of thinking they are positive if you have expectations based on all the hype/positive feedback... especially if you aren't testing things back and forth a ton of times. It all comes down to your preferences I guess, but I don't think there is a definitive "better" with these devices connected, at least in my setup. Unless of course you are trying to fix some USB-related issue.

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That's interesting, I have the 4490 as well and I think I'm one of the few who is not impressed by the Regen, or the Wyrd. Whereas the Wyrd makes highs smoother and the soundstage larger (both to an artificial/colored degree, I don't like it), the Regen seems to do the opposite, and to a lesser degree. I've done literally hundreds of switches back and forth and I'm consistently finding that the best results are with no Regen/Wyrd at all.

 

I can see how these devices might positively affect a USB-powered dac, but with something like the Bifrost I'm really starting to come to the conclusion that they are unnecessary, and actually detrimental depending on your preferences. I went in with as little bias as possible for both the Wyrd and Regen, and my ears keep pointing me back to removing them from the chain.

 

The truth is the differences are small, and it would be very easy to be pointed in the direction of thinking they are positive if you have expectations based on all the hype/positive feedback... especially if you aren't testing things back and forth a ton of times. It all comes down to your preferences I guess, but I don't think there is a definitive "better" with these devices connected, at least in my setup. Unless of course you are trying to fix some USB-related issue.

 

You have to realize everyone is going to get different results because not everyone has the same chain. We both have the Bifrost 4490 but I doubt we are using the same audio program/USB cable/amp/headphones/power supply. Not to mention everyone's ear canals are different. All of these affect the signal and the Regen does not operate in a vacuum.

 

Hence, writing something off based on your very specific setup doesn't make much sense. Of course you are free to write it off of your setup, but claiming it doesn't make an improvement based on extremely limited and biased data isn't something people should do.

 

I have tested the Regen in my system back and forth and the differences were striking. I am not imagining those differences.

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You have to realize everyone is going to get different results because not everyone has the same chain. We both have the Bifrost 4490 but I doubt we are using the same audio program/USB cable/amp/headphones/power supply. Not to mention everyone's ear canals are different. All of these affect the signal and the Regen does not operate in a vacuum.

 

Hence, writing something off based on your very specific setup doesn't make much sense. Of course you are free to write it off of your setup, but claiming it doesn't make an improvement based on extremely limited and biased data isn't something people should do.

 

I have tested the Regen in my system back and forth and the differences were striking. I am not imagining those differences.

 

Writing something based on my specific setup doesn't make much sense? Isn't that what we are all doing?

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You mostly referred to your setup but skirted the line between subjective taste and objective claims, at one point mentioning placebo.

 

Its one thing to say you dont hear any improvement, its another to graft that very subjective and limited opinion onto the devices themselves. The Regen and Wyrd make some pretty obvious improvements in people's systems, so they work very well.

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In my case, the jitterbug was very good at fooling me into believing there was an improvement, and there was, sort of... the music became much more "physical", meaning singers and instruments seemed to "fill out" and become more "dimensional/rounded"... in reality it was kind of false, because it was stripping musical information from the audio and really kind of making the soundstage a bit claustrophobic and cluttered... that is not an improvement to me... it's a trade off. It wasn't until I removed them, that this all became startlingly clear.

 

I tried all manner of configurations with the JB and the result was always the same. My system sounded better without it. Less perceived depth and dimensionality, yes, but the JB were adding a kind of "false" depth and "dimensionality", so it wasn't real to me.

 

This is just my own personal experience with my particular chain, so I'm not writing off the JB's objectively, YMMV and all that.

 

The Regen is the real deal... I took it away after a few days of using it to see what difference it made, and the music sounded limp, sluggish, inauthentic and shallow without it...and I have the very good Bifrost 4490 DAC from Schiit, which is nearly as good as the multibit version, an excellent DAC, so you realize just how good the Regen is, if by taking it away, that DAC starts to sound "bad" (I mean in comparison to the Regen's addition) .. I can't imagine getting a new DAC without the Regen at this point. I've hear people say it even improves the world class Gungnir and Yggdrasil DACs which are further up the Schiit line.

 

Your observations mirror my experience with the JitterBug.

 

When I had the REGEN in the chain, on the other hand, SQ was significantly improved.

 

Eventually, I went to the Sonore microRendu, moved the server to my upstairs office plugged into my router (where it belongs), and experienced yet another substantial improvement.

 

Of course, all of this stuff is system dependent, subject to individual preferences, and quite subjective. Different impressions have been reported, which is not surprising.


For my system details, please see my profile. Thank you.

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Writing something based on my specific setup doesn't make much sense? Isn't that what we are all doing?

 

Other than signal chain, every computer/laptop sounds different, it would be very helpful that you provide your computer system configuration (BIOS setup too) and also the audio signal chain.

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Hi Guys , i need a help here and some advise regarding my uptone usb regen . after i connect it to my dac (Mytek 192 DSD ) the sounds become choppy ,on spotify no problem , but when i play flac file/ dsd ( using media center jriver ) the sounds become horrible and choppy..any suggestion or advise ,what shall i do..Thanks

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edit


Home: Melco N1A/2 | EtherRegen+Farad | UltraRendu+Farad | Denafrips Gaia | Denafrips Terminator | Jeff Rowland Coherence II Series 2 pre | Blue Circle Audio BC-202 amp | Raidho XT-1 | Revel Performa3 B112 subwoofers  | Sablon cabling, PS Audio DS Power Plant 12

 

Desktop: IsoRegen | Eitr | Chord Qutest  | Aesthetix Calypso pre | Blue Circle Audio BC-28 amp | Scansonic MK-5 | Elac S10 sub

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Your observations mirror my experience with the JitterBug.

 

When I had the REGEN in the chain, on the other hand, SQ was significantly improved.

 

Eventually, I went to the Sonore microRendu, moved the server to my upstairs office plugged into my router (where it belongs), and experienced yet another substantial improvement.

 

Of course, all of this stuff is system dependent, subject to individual preferences, and quite subjective. Different impressions have been reported, which is not surprising.

 

Ditto


Home: Melco N1A/2 | EtherRegen+Farad | UltraRendu+Farad | Denafrips Gaia | Denafrips Terminator | Jeff Rowland Coherence II Series 2 pre | Blue Circle Audio BC-202 amp | Raidho XT-1 | Revel Performa3 B112 subwoofers  | Sablon cabling, PS Audio DS Power Plant 12

 

Desktop: IsoRegen | Eitr | Chord Qutest  | Aesthetix Calypso pre | Blue Circle Audio BC-28 amp | Scansonic MK-5 | Elac S10 sub

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In my case, the jitterbug was very good at fooling me into believing there was an improvement, and there was, sort of... the music became much more "physical", meaning singers and instruments seemed to "fill out" and become more "dimensional/rounded"... in reality it was kind of false, because it was stripping musical information from the audio and really kind of making the soundstage a bit claustrophobic and cluttered... that is not an improvement to me... it's a trade off. It wasn't until I removed them, that this all became startlingly clear.

 

Always a great way to test: leave things in for a good while and listen, then at one point remove them and listen again.


Dedicated Line DSD/DXD | Audirvana+ | iFi iDSD Nano | SET Tube Amp | Totem Mites

Surround: VLC | M-Audio FastTrack Pro | Mac Opt | Panasonic SA-HE100 | Logitech Z623

DIY: SET Tube Amp | Low-Noise Linear Regulated Power Supply | USB, Power, Speaker Cables | Speaker Stands | Acoustic Panels

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I ordered one. it is coming.

Alex is a nice guy and he shipped very very quickly.

Thank you Alex

i connect my macbook to Regen then Connect Regen to Berkeley Alpha USB. i hope regen make me happy as you know the berkeley has supperior isolation.

Amir from Iran

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Hi Guys , i need a help here and some advise regarding my uptone usb regen . after i connect it to my dac (Mytek 192 DSD ) the sounds become choppy ,on spotify no problem , but when i play flac file/ dsd ( using media center jriver ) the sounds become horrible and choppy..any suggestion or advise ,what shall i do..Thanks

 

try different file types: mp3, Redbook, hi-res/DSD

does it happen with all of them?

 

then we will understand more what is happening


Main listening (small home office):

Main setup: Surge protector +_iFi  AC iPurifiers >Isol-8 Mini sub Axis Power Conditioning+Isolation>CAPS IV Pipeline Server + Sonore 12V PS>RPi4 (dietpi)>Kii Control>Audiolense DRC>Kii Three >GIK Room Treatments.
 

Secondary Listening: (1) CAPS Pipeline>Matrix Element i Streamer/DAC (XLR)>Schiit Freya>Kii Three .(2) CAPS>ifi iDAC SPDIF>Kii Control.

Bedroom: SBTouch to Cambridge Soundworks Desktop Setup. Living Room/Kitchen: RB Pi 3B+ running RoPieee to a pair of Morel Hogtalare. 

All absolute statements about audio are false :)

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Hello,

This is my first post . I'm waiting for my Regen. I think about cable between PC Audio and Regen . It's important how long cable I will use ? Do You think that cable Supra 1.0m or 0.7m will be o.k. ?

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Hello,

This is my first post . I'm waiting for my Regen. I think about cable between PC Audio and Regen . It's important how long cable I will use ? Do You think that cable Supra 1.0m or 0.7m will be o.k. ?

 

Either of those will be fine. You may also wish to try isolating the +5V connection at the PC's USB socket with a small piece of insulating material as described by other members elsewhere. If it still functions you are likely to hear a further small audible improvement. If you already have any other USB 2.0 cables laying around with the typical 1.8M length, the Regen should work with them too, although SQ results are unlikely to be quite as good as when using the shorter Supra cable.

I always try to use the shortest possible USB cable, or only an adaptor with the Regen.


How a Digital Audio file sounds, or a Digital Video file looks, is governed to a large extent by the Power Supply area. All that Identical Checksums gives is the possibility of REGENERATING the file to close to that of the original file.

PROFILE UPDATED 28-06-2020

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two setup:

 

1. Macbook Pro -> Purist Audio USB Anniversary 1.0m -> UpTone Regen -> Connector -> Berkeley Alpha USB

2. Macbook Pro -> Curious USB 1.5m -> UpTone Regen -> Purist Audio USB Anniversary 1.0m -> Berkeley Alpha USB

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two setup:

 

1. Macbook Pro -> Purist Audio USB Anniversary 1.0m -> UpTone Regen -> Connector -> Berkeley Alpha USB

2. Macbook Pro -> Curious USB 1.5m -> UpTone Regen -> Purist Audio USB Anniversary 1.0m -> Berkeley Alpha USB

 

Hi Amir:

 

Thanks for posting.

 

It really would be much better if you could get the REGEN extremely close to the input of your Berkeley Alpha, either with the solid USB A>B adaptor that was include with it, or with the 20cm version of the Curious Cable (they even call it the "REGEN Link"). Doing so will better preserve the improved signal integrity and impedance match from the REGEN to the DAC's/converter's USB input--and that will be audible.

 

I must say that yours is the very first REGEN to shipped directly into Iran. Glad it made it there.

I know that many in Iran are more progressive and peaceful towards the USA than what we hear in the press or from the governments (on both sides). We can only hope that the recent results of our presidential election are not the undoing of whatever progress has been made.

 

But music is universal, and it can be an ambassador to promote harmony. At least that is what I choose to believe and hold dear. :)

 

Enjoy your REGEN.

 

Regards,

--Alex C.

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Hi Amir:

 

Thanks for posting.

 

It really would be much better if you could get the REGEN extremely close to the input of your Berkeley Alpha, either with the solid USB A>B adaptor that was include with it, or with the 20cm version of the Curious Cable (they even call it the "REGEN Link"). Doing so will better preserve the improved signal integrity and impedance match from the REGEN to the DAC's/converter's USB input--and that will be audible.

 

I must say that yours is the very first REGEN to shipped directly into Iran. Glad it made it there.

I know that many in Iran are more progressive and peaceful towards the USA than what we hear in the press or from the governments (on both sides). We can only hope that the recent results of our presidential election are not the undoing of whatever progress has been made.

 

But music is universal, and it can be an ambassador to promote harmony. At least that is what I choose to believe and hold dear. :)

 

Enjoy your REGEN.

 

Regards,

--Alex C.

 

Thanks Alex

Ok I will use regen with short adaptor to be close to berkeley.

 

Over 90% of iranian people would like to have peaceful relation with USA and other countries and actually we have no real freedom in iran.

Our supreme leader like north korea supreme leader just like war. There is No democracy no freedom in iran.

 

I hope to have more peaceful world.

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Regen is under break-in , i report the result after 150 hours.

I guess regen needs good AC power and i try to isolate it's ground from my main system ground.

It seems Jim Smith use AC isolator .

My system has no ground loop but adding Regen to Berkeley make one ground loop.

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