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Which one to buy: UpTone USB REGEN or Intona USB Isolator?

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The Regen was a good start in the direction of solving USB's noise/clocking issues, it was a good product and it improved my system.

 

Since then, the combo of Intona and W4S Recovery has taken my system to 'max enjoyment', USB's known problems appear to have been banished.

 

The Uptone audio regen is a gimmick and snakeoil "audiophool" product. This has been proven over at whatsbestforum where it actually causes increased jitter and 8khz packet noise. Alex said he would do a blind test and now he has backed out from it.

 

The intona is an actual real product solving real problems. So it gets my recommendation.


Source:

*Aurender N100 (no internal disk : LAN optically isolated via FMC with *LPS) > DIY 5cm USB link (5v rail removed / ground lift switch - split for *LPS) > Intona Industrial (injected *LPS / internally shielded with copper tape) > DIY 5cm USB link (5v rail removed / ground lift switch) > W4S Recovery (*LPS) > DIY 2cm USB adaptor (5v rail removed / ground lift switch) > *Auralic VEGA (EXACT : balanced)

 

Control:

*Jeff Rowland CAPRI S2 (balanced)

 

Playback:

2 x Revel B15a subs (balanced) > ATC SCM 50 ASL (balanced - 80Hz HPF from subs)

 

Misc:

*Via Power Inspired AG1500 AC Regenerator

LPS: 3 x Swagman Lab Audiophile Signature Edition (W4S, Intona & FMC)

Storage: QNAP TS-253Pro 2x 3Tb, 8Gb RAM

Cables: DIY heavy gauge solid silver (balanced)

Mains: dedicated distribution board with 5 x 2 socket ring mains, all mains cables: Mark Grant Black Series DSP 2.5 Dual Screen

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In that case, I hope I don't have to share a room with an a'hole like you !

 

look man, this whole USB fixer thing is a fad. 99% of dacs now adays are ASYNCHRONOUS, meaning the incoming data clock is irrelevant. the power and ground can be an issue for sure, which is something the intona solves as there is no easy form galvanic isolation for usb2.0

 

Whats next in line? we are going to have line level signal reclockers when going into an amp? what about a reclocker after coming out from the amp? This stuff is just silly audiophool stuff. This usb fad will pass soon enough

 

what you are hearing when you put the regen in your system is confirmation bios and group think.

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99% of dacs now adays are ASYNCHRONOUS, meaning the incoming data clock is irrelevant. .

 

In theory yes, but to my ears re-clocking via W4S Recovery is a very noticeable improvement after the Intona has done the 'cleaning up'.

 

The problem with theory is that it rarely translates perfectly to practice.


Source:

*Aurender N100 (no internal disk : LAN optically isolated via FMC with *LPS) > DIY 5cm USB link (5v rail removed / ground lift switch - split for *LPS) > Intona Industrial (injected *LPS / internally shielded with copper tape) > DIY 5cm USB link (5v rail removed / ground lift switch) > W4S Recovery (*LPS) > DIY 2cm USB adaptor (5v rail removed / ground lift switch) > *Auralic VEGA (EXACT : balanced)

 

Control:

*Jeff Rowland CAPRI S2 (balanced)

 

Playback:

2 x Revel B15a subs (balanced) > ATC SCM 50 ASL (balanced - 80Hz HPF from subs)

 

Misc:

*Via Power Inspired AG1500 AC Regenerator

LPS: 3 x Swagman Lab Audiophile Signature Edition (W4S, Intona & FMC)

Storage: QNAP TS-253Pro 2x 3Tb, 8Gb RAM

Cables: DIY heavy gauge solid silver (balanced)

Mains: dedicated distribution board with 5 x 2 socket ring mains, all mains cables: Mark Grant Black Series DSP 2.5 Dual Screen

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look man, this whole USB fixer thing is a fad. 99% of dacs now adays are ASYNCHRONOUS, meaning the incoming data clock is irrelevant. the power and ground can be an issue for sure, which is something the intona solves as there is no easy form galvanic isolation for usb2.0

 

what you are hearing when you put the regen in your system is confirmation bios and group think.

 

I don't use USB for Audio myself, as it is flawed, and you can spend more than the cost of your computer trying to extract the best from it. I use well implemented Coax SPDIF from an Asus Xonar soundcard into a highly modified X-DAC V3 which has an isolating transformer at it's input. . As for the USB memory stick when using a Regen with a modified USB cable (no +5V) , and even when powered by a Super Regulator PSU, it still can't match the SQ from the same music saved to an internal SSD powered by a 12V to 5V Regulator followed by a John Linsley Hood designed shunt regulator, when both are played from System Memory using A.S.I..O. and cPlay. When both versions are burned to the same CD-R and played via an Oppo 103 used as a transport into a higher quality DAC, the SSD version STILL sounds better, and which version is which can easily be identified with non sighted listening.

I don't give a rat's anus whether you believe me or not.

 

The problem with theory is that it rarely translates perfectly to practice. - r_w

 

+1


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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look man, this whole USB fixer thing is a fad. 99% of dacs now adays are ASYNCHRONOUS, meaning the incoming data clock is irrelevant. the power and ground can be an issue for sure, which is something the intona solves as there is no easy form galvanic isolation for usb2.0

 

Whats next in line? we are going to have line level signal reclockers when going into an amp? what about a reclocker after coming out from the amp? This stuff is just silly audiophool stuff. This usb fad will pass soon enough

 

what you are hearing when you put the regen in your system is confirmation bios and group think.

 

Why the expletives?

 

Apparently you are just guessing. The USB bus clock and the DAC clock are two different things. See: http://www.computeraudiophile.com/f6-dac-digital-analog-conversion/distortion-time-domain-digital-sound-signal-human-hearing-very-sensitive-jitter-problem-27870/index2.html#post520621

 

Did you ever try the Regen or RUR yourself? I have learned to not alone trust measurements and let my ears do the final judgement. I my system the Regen, powered by a good LPS makes quite a difference.


Roon server (Mac Mini/i7/SSD/16GB/Uptone DC mod/external SDD via firewire/Uptone Audio JS-2 LPS) Streamer dCS Network Bridge DAC Chord DAVE Amplifier / DRC Lyngdorf TDAI-3400 Speakers Lindemann BL-10 | JL audio E-sub e110 Cables CAT6 UTP ethernet, Transparent premium AES/EBU, Nordost Leif Red Dawn analog RCA, Kimber 8TC speaker cables, custom star-quad power cables with Oyaide termination Head-fi and reference Bakoon HPA-21 | Audeze LCD-3 (f) | Audio-technica ATH-M50 Software High Sierra | Roon | Tidal | Qobuz Power and isolation Dedicated power line | Xentek extreme isolation transformer (1KVA, 0.0001pf, balanced) | Vibex one 6R power distributor | Uptone EtherREGEN | Emo Systems EN-70HD network isolator | Jensen CI-1RR isolator

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I don't use USB for Audio myself, as it is flawed, and you can spend more than the cost of your computer trying to extract the best from it. I use well implemented Coax SPDIF from an Asus Xonar soundcard into a highly modified X-DAC V3 which has an isolating transformer at it's input. . As for the USB memory stick when using a Regen with a modified USB cable (no +5V) , and even when powered by a Super Regulator PSU, it still can't match the SQ from the same music saved to an internal SSD powered by a 12V to 5V Regulator followed by a John Linsley Hood designed shunt regulator, when both are played from System Memory using A.S.I..O. and cPlay. When both versions are burned to the same CD-R and played via an Oppo 103 used as a transport into a higher quality DAC, the SSD version STILL sounds better, and which version is which can easily be identified with non sighted listening.

I don't give a rat's anus whether you believe me or not.

 

 

 

+1

 

Hi

I am also in Australia.

I find your post very interesting.

Do you have knowledge of what some hifi guys are doing in Perth with i2S, usb, servers, power supplies etc. If not I would like o introduce you to them.

There is also a guy in Tasmania that is following the Asus route, heavily modified.

Great to see different ways to Audio Nirvana.

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look man, this whole USB fixer thing is a fad. 99% of dacs now adays are ASYNCHRONOUS, meaning the incoming data clock is irrelevant. the power and ground can be an issue for sure, which is something the intona solves as there is no easy form galvanic isolation for usb2.0

 

Whats next in line? we are going to have line level signal reclockers when going into an amp? what about a reclocker after coming out from the amp? This stuff is just silly audiophool stuff. This usb fad will pass soon enough

 

what you are hearing when you put the regen in your system is confirmation bios and group think.

 

What sort of audio systems you have experienced to make you think like this? Please post your systems you have/had.

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Just an FYI, I received Daniel's field programmer and was able to update the firmware in my Intona yesterday (kudos to Daniel/Intona for making this possible). So for the first time I'm able to use the Intona with my dac (Aesthetix Romulus Signature).

 

I'm having difficulty getting my dac recognized if I insert either of my Curious cables (really want to use the Curious Regen Link), so for now I'm using the Intona alone (within either my Regen or W4S Recovery), but have to say I'm really happy with th sound running only the Intona.

 

I'll be experimenting more with the Recovery and then the Regen added to the chain, hopefully I will get the Curious Regen Link to work with the Intona installed.

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I don't use USB for Audio myself, as it is flawed, and you can spend more than the cost of your computer trying to extract the best from it. I use well implemented Coax SPDIF from an Asus Xonar soundcard into a highly modified X-DAC V3 which has an isolating transformer at it's input. . As for the USB memory stick when using a Regen with a modified USB cable (no +5V) , and even when powered by a Super Regulator PSU, it still can't match the SQ from the same music saved to an internal SSD powered by a 12V to 5V Regulator followed by a John Linsley Hood designed shunt regulator, when both are played from System Memory using A.S.I..O. and cPlay. When both versions are burned to the same CD-R and played via an Oppo 103 used as a transport into a higher quality DAC, the SSD version STILL sounds better, and which version is which can easily be identified with non sighted listening.

I don't give a rat's anus whether you believe me or not.

 

 

 

+1

 

Didn't i read that you cant use SPDIF for DSD?

I can definetely here much improved audio from dsd files.

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Just an FYI, I received Daniel's field programmer and was able to update the firmware in my Intona yesterday...

 

Is there an official circulation list for the field programmer? I really need it as mine is one of the early units and I can not get it to work without a REGEN after it. Please PM me if it is possible to borrow it. Or tell us if there is a formal procedure to go though to get on the list.

Thanks!

 

--Alex C.

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Didn't i read that you cant use SPDIF for DSD?

I can definetely here much improved audio from dsd files.

 

That is correct about not being able to use SPDIF with DSD, however if they put a fraction of the effort into further developing SPDIF or i2s ,that they have into making USB Audio more viable for Mac Mini users, it could more than likely do just as well, if not better, without additional in line add-ons.

I don't need or want DSD, as I believe that it is no better than well implemented 24/192 with a DAC that has superior output filtering, and it is highly unlikely to remain any more than a niche product with musical content limited to mainly a few genres. I can't see it becoming mainstream without the support of the Majors.

 

Re my 2nd last paragraph that you quoted.

Dennis (esldude) will soon be making available for passing around between genuinely interested members, a comparison CD for those members who still have a high quality CD player, and a better than average system, to see if they are able to hear the differences that several other Sydney C.A. members, including Computer Audiophile (Dr. David L) are so readily able to hear via their well above average gear. Any members that are genuinely interested should contact Dennis directly.


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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That is correct about not being able to use SPDIF with DSD, however if they put a fraction of the effort into further developing SPDIF or i2s ,that they have into making USB Audio more viable for Mac Mini users, it could more than likely do just as well, if not better, without additional in line add-ons.

I don't need or want DSD, as I believe that it is no better than well implemented 24/192 with a DAC that has superior output filtering, and it is highly unlikely to remain any more than a niche product with musical content limited to mainly a few genres. I can't see it becoming mainstream without the support of the Majors.

 

Re my 2nd last paragraph that you quoted.

Dennis (esldude) will soon be making available for passing around between genuinely interested members, a comparison CD for those members who still have a high quality CD player, and a better than average system, to see if they are able to hear the differences that several other Sydney C.A. members, including Computer Audiophile (Dr. David L) are so readily able to hear via their well above average gear. Any members that are genuinely interested should contact Dennis directly.

 

I usually agree with your opinions, but not on this topic. But i will agree to disagree with you (grin).

I firmly believe using the same hardware (something that supports both PCM and DSD), and using native DSD "professionally" recorded material, will sound MUCH better than a PCM recorded file (on a totally different level, that anyone would agree on any double-blind test). There may be some poor DSD recordings and some great PCM recordings that would be an exception, but that would be the exception.

 

I do agree it will never win over mainstream, but i don't think redbook wins over mainstream either. i am talking just audio quality, not popularity.

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I usually agree with your opinions, but not on this topic. But i will agree to disagree with you (grin).

I firmly believe using the same hardware (something that supports both PCM and DSD), and using native DSD "professionally" recorded material, will sound MUCH better than a PCM recorded file (on a totally different level, that anyone would agree on any double-blind test). There may be some poor DSD recordings and some great PCM recordings that would be an exception, but that would be the exception.

 

I do agree it will never win over mainstream, but i don't think redbook wins over mainstream either. i am talking just audio quality, not popularity.

 

Only a few well heeled Audiophiles are likely to get rid of a far better than average DAC to buy a new DSD capable DAC in order to get a limited selection of DSD material in genres that may not be of interest to them. Barry D. prefers 24/192 over DSD, and I honestly doubt that Barry is saying that simply because he records in high res PCM. Well recorded RBCD can sound stunning though,(after being ripped, but not so much through most affordable CD players) through a much better than average system. Unfortunately, these days they are not so easy to obtain, except perhaps with a few Classical and Jazz recordings.


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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The Regen was a good start in the direction of solving USB's noise/clocking issues, it was a good product and it improved my system.

 

Since then, the combo of Intona and W4S Recovery has taken my system to 'max enjoyment', USB's known problems appear to have been banished.

 

+1


WS2019 Datacenter Core, dualPC, JPLAY Femto, AO3, Fidelizer 8.5, BubbleUPn.

 

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Quote Originally Posted by r_w View Post

 

The Regen was a good start in the direction of solving USB's noise/clocking issues, it was a good product and it improved my system.

 

Since then, the combo of Intona and W4S Recovery has taken my system to 'max enjoyment', USB's known problems appear to have been banished.

 

+1

 

I have found that even with a USB memory stick plugged directly into a rear motherboard USB 2.0 port, and files saved directly to there, that the SQ still can't quite match that of the same material saved to an internal SSD powered by a very clean +5V supply when both are exported via Coax SPDIF from an internal soundcard (Asus Xonar D2X) when played from System

memory using A.S.I.O. The USB memory stick SQ does however further improve if a USB Regen is used in line with it, both when saving to, and playing from it.


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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Thanks for sharing the good tip. I'm trying it in ripping CDs and will see how it improves the SQ. Having high hope hers


WS2019 Datacenter Core, dualPC, JPLAY Femto, AO3, Fidelizer 8.5, BubbleUPn.

 

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Thanks for sharing the good tip. I'm trying it in ripping CDs and will see how it improves the SQ. Having high hope hers

 

Please note that I am also using either a very low noise +9V Linear PSU with a Shunt Super Regulator, or a 12V Li Ion battery supply regulated down to +9V and also using a Shunt Super Regulator, to power the USB Regen.

Uptone's new Mystery PSU may be able to do even better.


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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Barry D. prefers 24/192 over DSD, and I honestly doubt that Barry is saying that simply because he records in high res PCM.

 

that sounds like a darn good reason for bias to me (grin). Does he profit from pcm recordings...of course he likes pcm better...

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that sounds like a darn good reason for bias to me (grin). Does he profit from pcm recordings...of course he likes pcm better...

 

Barry would be highly unlikely to even fully recoup the cost of his Soundkeeper 24/192 recordings, let alone make any worthwhile profit from them after paying the artists. Barry's Soundkeeper recordings are quite infrequent, and a labour of love. They are not his day to day occupation.


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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I'm feeding it 5v from HDPLEX now for lack of a better PSU. When will that Mysterious PSU be available?


WS2019 Datacenter Core, dualPC, JPLAY Femto, AO3, Fidelizer 8.5, BubbleUPn.

 

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Barry would be highly unlikely to even fully recoup the cost of his Soundkeeper 24/192 recordings, let alone make any worthwhile profit from them after paying the artists. Barry's Soundkeeper recordings are quite infrequent, and a labour of love. They are not his day to day occupation.

 

that sounds like a good second reason for bias (grin)....

 

seriously, i am happy to agree to disagree...my ears tell me differently..

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When will that Mysterious PSU be available?

 

6-8 weeks if all goes smoothly. 206 parts--including an FPGA and a microSD card slot--mounted on both sides of a 4-layer board, all in a 4-inch x 4-inch case. No wonder it has taken 7+ months. Hopefully the real fun and conversation can begin soon. Trademark filed; patents may come later! ;)

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Only a few well heeled Audiophiles are likely to get rid of a far better than average DAC to buy a new DSD capable DAC in order to get a limited selection of DSD material in genres that may not be of interest to them.

 

Not arguing that point either...especially if one is heavily invested and will lose their shorts in resell, added to the fact all their music is PCM. Again, i am just talking what has better audio quality. I am not saying who will buy in, or which is popular. I am just saying that if someone wants the best possible today, money and bias aside, that properly recorded and played 512K DSD will sound MUCH better than properly recorded and played 192K PCM.

 

Although i wouldn't believe anyone that said differently, I am curious though, what is the opinion of the major manufacturers of highend dacs that sell both PCM and DSD dacs? Which do they say is better?

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I am just saying that if someone wants the best possible today, money and bias aside, that properly recorded and played 512K DSD will sound MUCH better than properly recorded and played 192K PCM.

What do you call well recorded DSD ? Would you class DSD recordings such as those from Cookie Marenco, that started life on analogue tape, then went through an analogue mixer, where the more inputs that are open for mixing, the poorer the S/N, and generally, the lower the bandwidth , State-of-the Art recordings ? From my own experience they can sound very good, but so could many well preserved original masters on tape, despite the well known limitations of most earlier tape recorders, if they were then directly converted to DSD instead of normal SACD or DVD-A.

Personally, I would prefer a minimalist stereo recording made directly from wide band microphones to A/D converter at 24/192 without any mixing or compression as Barry does with his recordings.

Barry also uses microphones that are only 1dB down at 40kHz.

 

Yes, you can get DSD recordings that didn't start life on analogue tape, but they are usually specialised recordings and far from mainstream.

 

P.S.

We are waaaay off topic here !

 

P.P.S.

Re my signature.

Next issue of HiFi Critic magazine,"Vol 10 no2 will carry a well researched 8page article on how WAV differs from FLAC ,

.......how the files are made up and how they sound different."


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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15 pages to read.. so I have a question.

 

I will buy one, as I have High end Headphones with High end DAC, and I do know for a fact that the issue with 8khz +14khz and 24khz peaks can affect the DAC, and you can hear the difference.

 

Question is, can I skip the High end cable TO the Intona unit from PC ? and use the High end USB between Intona and DAC only ?

I really dont want to buy another 200 dollar high end usb cable.

 

I also know that the cables themselves can produce noise on the digital wavelength. and this is also something that can affect the DAC. Therefore a reasonably good cable between PC and Intona device is necessary with good cobber, but not the 1 dollar printer cable offcourse.

 

What do you guys suggest ?

 

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