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

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USB has earned a reputation of not a great interface, principally for a direct connection from the computer to Dac.

If you search through these pages at CA, treatments to tame the noise includes:

Separate linear PSU for hard drives

Linear power supplies inside the computer

Shielding of ribbon cables

Specialised dedicated motherboards just for audio

Special software for minimising processes

Clean 5V supplies

 

Some if not all have an influence on the output regardless though, there's still leakage current via the computers power supply that heads toward the DAC.

 

All the fixes inside the computer are relatively benign when the USB cable is isolated from the DAC. I haven't bothered with anything special in the computer, only choosing different players.

I use the Intona and the RUR and they certainly affect Sq for the better. The advantage is, the transmission is unaffected, no special 5V required, since the leakage currents travel via the shield...

 

Compare simple USB to Ethernet transmissions. The best solution is pc to renderer without switches and use unshielded UTP cables. With renderer, it needs a PSU, naturally isolated of course, otherwise we end up with more loops and more leakage current.

 

At the moment, keep things simple and direct, IMHO that means USB. One day someone will come along and invent a combined usb isolator, high speed with signal integrity. That will mean one less cable and another wall wart to worry about...sigh, will it ever end.


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All the fixes inside the computer are relatively benign when the USB cable is isolated from the DAC.

 

Hi One and a Half,

 

With my DAC isolated from the PC, I expected this was true. However after upgrading my PC by powering the SSD with an LPS1, sound quality greatly improved. I'm afraid this theory is not true.

 

Sorry,

 

Larry

Edited by lmitche

nuckleheadaudio.com

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Hi One and a Half,

 

With my DAC isolated from the PC, I expected this was true. However after upgrading my PC by powering the SSD with an LPS1, sound quality greatly improved. I'm afraid this theory is not true.

 

Sorry,

 

Larry

 

Point taken, no problems with your experience. A computer then is forever doomed to spew rubbish on the USB differential which is a bad thing and deserved the reputation it has, AES3 has some bright hope yet.

 

As to how much tweaking is required for a PC to clam up the noise is a matter of patience and expense, which I don't have, so I don't bother, hence the theory :)

 

For the Aurender, Aries, Lumin, Azur 851N, SGM have a bright future after all, small signal paths, nice.


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Point taken, no problems with your experience. A computer then is forever doomed to spew rubbish on the USB differential which is a bad thing and deserved the reputation it has, AES3 has some bright hope yet.

 

As to how much tweaking is required for a PC to clam up the noise is a matter of patience and expense, which I don't have, so I don't bother, hence the theory :)

 

For the Aurender, Aries, Lumin, Azur 851N, SGM have a bright future after all, small signal paths, nice.

Thanks for your note. I don't know why the SSD powered by the LPS1 has such an impact on SQ. Looking at the operation of an SSD, they are huge noise makers in the gigahertz band and never seem to idle, hence always processing in an effort to retain data.

 

Given that, why would the delivery of a very clean fast five volt power matter. Perhaps it's the speed of the lps1? I don't know.

 

Ideas?


nuckleheadaudio.com

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my intona standard is arriving in a few days the black one. if i added a recovery would that be after the intona? would it also have to be lps1 powered. what real improvements could i expect here as the intona also regenerates the signal using fpga's. i would have thought the added recovery just adds pollution where the intona has already cleaned. so the intona on its own would be best. maybe

 

one little thing is a 1.5m cable from imac to intona okay here. from intona to dac i have a 30cm wireworld cable.

Edited by musickid

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my intona standard is arriving in a few days the black one. if i added a recovery would that be after the intona? would it also have to be lps1 powered. what real improvements could i expect here as the intona also regenerates the signal using fpga's. i would have thought the added recovery just adds pollution where the intona has already cleaned. so the intona on its own would be best. maybe

 

one little thing is a 1.5m cable from imac to intona okay here. from intona to dac i have a 30cm wireworld cable.

 

Respectfully, I don't mean to question or criticise the choices you have made. I believe you would have been better off buying the industrial version of the Intona.

 

With the industrial version, you get a great sound quality improvement, without the hassle and expense of adding other devices, and their wall wart power supplies.

 

I plan on doing a detailed review of the Intona industrial (I have the JCat version). I currently lack the time to go into details. But, I owned the ifi iUSB3 for 5 months. I know it very well. It made a noticeable improvement to the sound.

 

But, compared to the Intona industrial, it is lightweight. In sound quality terms, if the Intona Industrial rates a 10 out of 10, the ifi is a 7. Yes, the Intona Industrial is that much better (in my system).

 

I will give more details when I have the time to do a full review. But the Intona Industrial (or Jcat USB isolator, which is the same thing in a nicer case), is the real deal.

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Thanks for your note. I don't know why the SSD powered by the LPS1 has such an impact on SQ. Looking at the operation of an SSD, they are huge noise makers in the gigahertz band and never seem to idle, hence always processing in an effort to retain data.

 

Given that, why would the delivery of a very clean fast five volt power matter. Perhaps it's the speed of the lps1? I don't know.

 

Ideas?

 

I'd say the LPS-1 has stopped some of the leaks.

 

Here's a structural diagram of a typical switchmode and the leakage paths, that are conducted only, let alone emitted...! If it's not clear, I enclose the pdf where it came from. There are a lot of leaks to plug.

 

_leaks.jpg

 

2004NOV16_POW_TA.pdf

 

The point is a computer has many such power supplies, the leakage paths that go to ground, see those? They will end up on the SB out, or on the shield of a CAT5/6. There's still some that can jump transformers in NICs unless those transformers have shields between windings.

Edited by One and a half

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Respectfully, I don't mean to question or criticise the choices you have made. I believe you would have been better off buying the industrial version of the Intona.

 

With the industrial version, you get a great sound quality improvement, without the hassle and expense of adding other devices, and their wall wart power supplies.

 

I plan on doing a detailed review of the Intona industrial (I have the JCat version). I currently lack the time to go into details. But, I owned the ifi iUSB3 for 5 months. I know it very well. It made a noticeable improvement to the sound.

 

But, compared to the Intona industrial, it is lightweight. In sound quality terms, if the Intona Industrial rates a 10 out of 10, the ifi is a 7. Yes, the Intona Industrial is that much better (in my system).

 

I will give more details when I have the time to do a full review. But the Intona Industrial (or Jcat USB isolator, which is the same thing in a nicer case), is the real deal.

 

If you have both the standard and industrial Intonas, please advise the differences you've found between them, cheers.


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If you have both the standard and industrial Intonas, please advise the differences you've found between them, cheers.

 

I don't have both, just the industrial version. I have read from Intona on CA and in the Intona review on Audiostream, that people have reported better results with the industrial version with audio.

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I don't have both, just the industrial version. I have read from Intona on CA and in the Intona review on Audiostream, that people have reported better results with the industrial version with audio.

I had both, first standard then industrial. I returned the first as the SQ impact was minimal. The industrial was a keeper, at least for a while.


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Thanks @lmitche, that's what i was looking for. Everything's relative, the more you spend will it proportionally have a better SQ, the eternal question.

 

The review at audiostream where Steve Plaskin reviews the industrial Intona, also compared the iUSB3.0 with a) different USB cables b) linear power supply and in his opinion the IUSB3.0 sounded better. If you throw $ at anything should things improve, generally yes BUT, government services and promises are the notable exceptions!!

 

Here's a shopping list of hardware and prices let's start with the

 

Intona standard EUR255 (inc VAT)

Intona Industrial EUR350 (inc VAT) 30% price increase over the standard

ifi micro iUSB3.0 EUR448 (inc VAT) add Sbooster BOTW P&P ECO 9-10V EUR270 Total EUR718

(NB, the LPS-1 doesn't have the 2.5A drive required for the iUSB3.0 unless you have four LSP-1...! ~USD1540)

Also add Wireworld cables or those of your choice, another easy EUR180-250++

 

I'm quite happy with the standard Intona, RUR (and it's bog standard PSU ahead of the Intona). It blocks leakage current, that's all I'm interested in.


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time after time the industrial comes up as first choice with people here. maybe its the fpga's with marginally better timing. or the connector quality? i think ill be going for the industrial as it will be the first and last tweak i make. intona on its own is ok for this member!!

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time after time the industrial comes up as first choice with people here. maybe its the fpga's with marginally better timing. or the connector quality? i think ill be going for the industrial as it will be the first and last tweak i make. intona on its own is ok for this member!!

Between the jcat and the intona intona i would favour the real intona even though the jcat looks nicer. with the intona i have been told it is built to comply with all international and electrical standards etc. i am assured i am getting a fully spec'd model even im sure the jcat is a good product.

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Between the jcat and the intona intona i would favour the real intona even though the jcat looks nicer. with the intona i have been told it is built to comply with all international and electrical standards etc. i am assured i am getting a fully spec'd model even im sure the jcat is a good product.

 

I asked Daniel at Intona about the Jcat. He confirmed to me that the board in the Jcat, is the same exact board as in the Intona industrial. The only difference is the case.

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I have just done an audiophile USB "hub" comparison (will try to post the results soon) , they all very good devices, but one that really stood-out was the iFi iUSB which isn't mentioned much here, just one more data point for you guys to consider.


Digital Sources: Optimised HP TouchSmart PC/CEC TL-1X CD Player/AMR DP-777 DAC/Theta Digital DS Pro Basic II (old)

Analogue Sources:Koetsu Jade Platinum MC Cartridge/Tri-Planar arm/Kuzma Stabi Reference turntable/AMR PH-77 Phono Stage

Amplifiers:The Gryphon Elektra Preamplifier/Convergent Audio Technology JL2 Signature Mk 2 Stereo Amplifier

Speakers:Kharma Grand Ceramique Midi[br]Cables:Nordost Valhalla (interconnect and speaker cables)/Shunyata Research power Snakes power cables

Portable: Sony PHA-1/PHA-2; Dragonfly 1.0/1.2; Meridian Explorer, Director; iFi nano iDSD, micro iDAC, micro iDSD; Geek Out; Hdta Serenade DSD

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after asking so many questions here are my first impressions;

 

the industrial black arrived yesterday but due to a mountain of work i've just set it up now. my compact system built purely by reading these forums and headfi is; imac 27 late 2013 512gb ssd--audioquest forest 0.75m--intona industrial--0.5m wireworld chroma--modi multibit dac--cambridge audio 0.3m rca interconnects--earmaxpro II tube amp--beyerdynamic dt880 600 ohmm headphones. hours of reading forums.

 

anyhow i have listened to 1 track with the intona vybz kartel she's holding on. a very deep vocal element with plenty of emotion. without the intona i thought awesome with the intona its like going from standard definition video to 4k video.the same picture just crystal clear now. if you've spent your life only watching SD you wouldn't know any difference. a veil over the music is lifted. it sounds like someone is talking to you directly in a very natural and relaxed manner. very very reminiscent of the LP analog sound. for someone new to this level of hifi it is nothing less than compelling and makes you want to explore further possible alternatives and take this a step forward. future prioritisation of components becomes less clear now as you question your set up further. with the intona it has gone from listening to music as a spectator or observer to now almost interacting with the artist like playing a top console game. you feel like you are participating in the music and every new listening session arouses excitement. all of this with no burn in whatsoever. i didn't know what to expect and this has turned out to be a lovely stocking filler for christmas. repeat after me receiver--isolator--repacketizer!!

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I asked Daniel at Intona about the Jcat. He confirmed to me that the board in the Jcat, is the same exact board as in the Intona industrial. The only difference is the case.

 

The Itona Industrial has a locking USB. Is that carried over to the Jcat version?


“Lenin wanted to destroy the state, and that’s my goal too. I want to bring everything crashing down, and destroy all of today’s establishment.” Steve Bannon

 

Chief Strategist for President Trump and attendee on United States National Security Council.

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it sounds like someone is talking to you directly in a very natural and relaxed manner. very very reminiscent of the LP analog sound.

 

Using sound of LP's as benchmark for "truest to life sound" is so commonly stated (especially with resurgence of vinyl and those who just must state they are "in" on it and how digital is so flawed) as though it was brought down the hill by Moses. I grew up and into adulthood with vinyl and reel-to-reel playback. Vinyl records can run the gamut from very mediocre to excellent. Pricey tables, arms, cartridges, cleaning kits, seperate power supplies, conditioners, been there done that. Very good digital is, well, very good and consistent. Just my ten cents, but can't get excited about deteriorating magnetic tape or vinyl playback and all the steps involved securing the gear to do it reasonably right and finding LP's that were manufactured well to begin with in close to new condition. Vinyl grooves are continuously being worn away. Digital stays the same. Of the hoarders I've known about in my life, most were hoarding lots of records along with all their other "treasures."


“Lenin wanted to destroy the state, and that’s my goal too. I want to bring everything crashing down, and destroy all of today’s establishment.” Steve Bannon

 

Chief Strategist for President Trump and attendee on United States National Security Council.

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I used to have the industrial but sold it. If there is a difference in SQ, I didn't hear one is better than the other so the $100 difference is not worth it for me. The jump in SQ from other regenerators to the standard Intona version is already a big one.

 

Intona confirmed this:

 

  • both versions do the same job: isolate, repacketize, provide clean power
  • quality audio measurements confirm this

The main difference between the standard and industrial is the temperature grade. The industrial is tested to more extreme temperatures than the standard and, of course, other niceties like higher voltage isolation and better connectors. If you are using an LPS on the music server that is connected to the Intona, voltage isolation shouldn't be a problem. To me, the only reason to buy the industrial version is if you have the extra $100 to throw and want to have the peace of mind that a more expensive product is better.

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