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ISO REGEN Listening Impressions (kicked off with some measurements)

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1 hour ago, thatsagoodie said:

Received my ISO Regen /Ultracap PS today.  Listening to CCR live at Woodstock on Tidal.  Great sound, very natural, like being there.  Drums on Suzy Q intro are perfect.  Thank you, Uptone! 

Reference 3a Reflectors, Pass Labs XA 25, Oppo UDP 205, Audible Illusions 3A.

Try also grounding your OPPO. It makes a substantial difference! 

Cheers Jorge


AMP: Electrocompaniet ECI-6D; DAC: Chord Qutest, iFi iDSD BL, Oppo 205, ECI-6D; Streamer/endpoint: Sonic transporter i5 + uRendu

Speakers: Proac Tablette Reference 8 Signature; CD/SACD: Oppo 205

Cables: Speakers (Acoustic Revive) + RCA (au24sx) + RJ45 (Vodka Audioquest) + USB (Diamond Audioquest) + Power (Pangea's + Actinote's)  

Filters: Jensen VRD- iFF + Pink Faun Isolator + Acoustic revive ground isolator RGC-24

Switch: Cisco Catalyst 2960 8 Port

Others: Sboosters MKII + HDplex 200  

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Hello guys.

 

Reading about ISO Regen with interest. I didn't have the temper to go through 41 pages in this thread, though. I understand it improves the signal integrity, matches impedance between PC and USB DAC, and reclocks the USB output. I also understand these are key attributes if a general purpose PC is used. I wanted to gather input from users for a case such as mine: a dedicated, purpose-built PC, no motors or moving parts, linear power supply, Paul Pang USB card, Audiophile Optimizer, Win Server 2012 R2 in minimal server mode. Should I expect a significant impact on sound?

 

Thank you in advance!


Roon Server: Gigabyte GA-Z170X UD5, i5 6600, Crucial MX200 SSD, HyperX 1x16GB RAM, Seasonic 520W 80+ PSU, 3 HDD for media, Zalman Z3 Plus case, Win 10 Pro

HQPlayer: Intel S1200KPR, Xeon E3 1265lv2, Crucial V4 SSD for OS, 8GB ECC RAM, PPA USB card v2, wide range picoPSU, PPA SATA cable for SSD, Streacom FC8 Evo case, lab linear PSU for picoPSU, Windows Server 2012 R2, AudioPhil's Optimizer, Acourate (digital crossovers, room correction), HQPlayer upsampling to 192/24

Rest of Chain:

Lynx Hilo as 6-channel DAC, McIntosh MC275 MkIV for mids & treble, Hypex UcD400HG for midbass into B&W 804S, 2 DIY 12" Rythmik subs, Equi=Core 1800 balanced power, dedicated power lines, room treatments

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1 hour ago, LewinskiH01 said:

Paul Pang USB card, Audiophile Optimizer, Win Server 2012 R2 in minimal server mode. Should I expect a significant impact on sound?

Definitely, even with a good usb output, any length of cable degrades signal integrity.

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I’ll echo The above feedback, and add that with my DAC, the USB input is powered by USB Vbus (for galvanic isolation). The ISORegen with an LPS 1.2 injects high quality mains isolated Vbus into the DAC. I’ve found that cleaner power on the DAC usb input has a positive impact for me. 
 

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8 hours ago, lmitche said:

Quite simply, yes. The ISO Regen delivers galvanic isolation between it's two sides breaking any ground loop between your PC and DAC. This isolation is missing from your otherwise excellent list of it's properties.

 

Thank you!

How do I know if I have a ground loop between PC and DAC? In the analog realm, ground loops are generally associated with hum, which I don't experience.


Roon Server: Gigabyte GA-Z170X UD5, i5 6600, Crucial MX200 SSD, HyperX 1x16GB RAM, Seasonic 520W 80+ PSU, 3 HDD for media, Zalman Z3 Plus case, Win 10 Pro

HQPlayer: Intel S1200KPR, Xeon E3 1265lv2, Crucial V4 SSD for OS, 8GB ECC RAM, PPA USB card v2, wide range picoPSU, PPA SATA cable for SSD, Streacom FC8 Evo case, lab linear PSU for picoPSU, Windows Server 2012 R2, AudioPhil's Optimizer, Acourate (digital crossovers, room correction), HQPlayer upsampling to 192/24

Rest of Chain:

Lynx Hilo as 6-channel DAC, McIntosh MC275 MkIV for mids & treble, Hypex UcD400HG for midbass into B&W 804S, 2 DIY 12" Rythmik subs, Equi=Core 1800 balanced power, dedicated power lines, room treatments

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1 hour ago, LewinskiH01 said:

 

Thank you!

How do I know if I have a ground loop between PC and DAC? In the analog realm, ground loops are generally associated with hum, which I don't experience.

Correct, in the analog domain a ground loop can be heard as a hum. In the digital domain the impact is more difficult to characterize, but could include smearing and a diminished sound stage as the ground loop impacts the analog side of the DAC.

 

You are best off giving the Uptone products a go, and returning if you are are not satisfied. You will be able to fully hear the impact within a day or two.


nuckleheadaudio.com

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1 hour ago, lmitche said:

Correct, in the analog domain a ground loop can be heard as a hum. In the digital domain the impact is more difficult to characterize, but could include smearing and a diminished sound stage as the ground loop impacts the analog side of the DAC.

 

You are best off giving the Uptone products a go, and returning if you are are not satisfied. You will be able to fully hear the impact within a day or two.

 

 Got it. Thank you.

 

Would not even think twice about trying them if I were in the US. But I'm overseas and getting these is a painful process, hence the need for due diligence :)

 

How about the power supply? How sensitive are results to the quality of the PS?

What if I used a switching PS on the PC and a quality PS on the ISO Regen? Does the ISO Regen regeneration/reclocking/etc minimize the impact of the electrical noise upstream?


Roon Server: Gigabyte GA-Z170X UD5, i5 6600, Crucial MX200 SSD, HyperX 1x16GB RAM, Seasonic 520W 80+ PSU, 3 HDD for media, Zalman Z3 Plus case, Win 10 Pro

HQPlayer: Intel S1200KPR, Xeon E3 1265lv2, Crucial V4 SSD for OS, 8GB ECC RAM, PPA USB card v2, wide range picoPSU, PPA SATA cable for SSD, Streacom FC8 Evo case, lab linear PSU for picoPSU, Windows Server 2012 R2, AudioPhil's Optimizer, Acourate (digital crossovers, room correction), HQPlayer upsampling to 192/24

Rest of Chain:

Lynx Hilo as 6-channel DAC, McIntosh MC275 MkIV for mids & treble, Hypex UcD400HG for midbass into B&W 804S, 2 DIY 12" Rythmik subs, Equi=Core 1800 balanced power, dedicated power lines, room treatments

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1 hour ago, ray-dude said:

I think clean power makes a big difference for me. I ran a NUC with SmPS and ISORegen and found that it scaled very nicely from smps to battery to LPS 1.2. If have since received my Paul Hynes Sr4-19, but I haven’t had a chance to see what that brings to the ISORegen party. 
 

today, my IR is feeding a Matrix Audio XSPDIF DDC, with optical toslink going to my Dac. iR and power still makes a big impact for me. Previously, I actually ran two IR’s in series, battery power to first and LPS 1.2 to one closest to DAC. Stunning SQ in this configuration, but bit embarrassing to try to explain to civilians. 
 

my take away was that the IR also benefits from better power on input and better USB. My inference is that a better PC config matters with the IR as well. When I power my NUC with my SR4, the sq lift (with IR and Matrix Audio In the chain) is stunning. 
 

Alas, everything still matters (at least in my room and setup)
 

My setup  is very similar, with a SR-4 feeding an i7-NUC endpoint, LPS1.2 > ISO Regen (at 5 volts), LPS1.2 > USB injector, and LPS1.2 > Soekris 1321 DAC. SQ is marvelous.

 

Whenever an attempt to simplify things is conducted the ISO Regen inevitably ends up back in the chain.


nuckleheadaudio.com

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How much current does the ISO Regen draw?

 

The Up Tone website says it needs a power supply in the 6 to 8V, but you are feeding it 5V, so the range is wider.

18 hours ago, lmitche said:

My setup  is very similar, with a SR-4 feeding an i7-NUC endpoint, LPS1.2 > ISO Regen (at 5 volts), LPS1.2 > USB injector, and LPS1.2 > Soekris 1321 DAC. SQ is marvelous.

 

Whenever an attempt to simplify things is conducted the ISO Regen inevitably ends up back in the chain.

 

The Up Tone website says it needs a power supply in the 6 to 8V, but you are feeding it 5V, so the range is wider.

 

How much current does the ISO Regen draw?


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HQPlayer: Intel S1200KPR, Xeon E3 1265lv2, Crucial V4 SSD for OS, 8GB ECC RAM, PPA USB card v2, wide range picoPSU, PPA SATA cable for SSD, Streacom FC8 Evo case, lab linear PSU for picoPSU, Windows Server 2012 R2, AudioPhil's Optimizer, Acourate (digital crossovers, room correction), HQPlayer upsampling to 192/24

Rest of Chain:

Lynx Hilo as 6-channel DAC, McIntosh MC275 MkIV for mids & treble, Hypex UcD400HG for midbass into B&W 804S, 2 DIY 12" Rythmik subs, Equi=Core 1800 balanced power, dedicated power lines, room treatments

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3 hours ago, LewinskiH01 said:

How much current does the ISO Regen draw?

 

Through its DC jack—to power the five voltage regulators and devices on its downstream side—the ISO REGEN draws 240mA. Add to that whatever 5VBUS current is drawn by through its USB output jack by whatever DAC or DDC you have attached to the ISO REGEN.

 

Additionally, the ISO REGEN’s USB input itself draws 20mA of 5VBUS current from whatever computer source/host is feeding it.  This is used to power (another LT3042 set to 3.3V) the upstream side of the Silanna high-speed galvanic isolator chip at the input of the ISO REGEN.

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3 hours ago, Superdad said:

 

Through its DC jack—to power the five voltage regulators and devices on its downstream side—the ISO REGEN draws 240mA. Add to that whatever 5VBUS current is drawn by through its USB output jack by whatever DAC or DDC you have attached to the ISO REGEN.

 

Additionally, the ISO REGEN’s USB input itself draws 20mA of 5VBUS current from whatever computer source/host is feeding it.  This is used to power (another LT3042 set to 3.3V) the upstream side of the Silanna high-speed galvanic isolator chip at the input of the ISO REGEN.

 

Thank you Alex.

240mA vs the 1.1A capacity of the LPS-1.2. Could one LPS-1.2 be used to power an ISO Regen and an EtherRegen? Would it create a ground loop?

 


Roon Server: Gigabyte GA-Z170X UD5, i5 6600, Crucial MX200 SSD, HyperX 1x16GB RAM, Seasonic 520W 80+ PSU, 3 HDD for media, Zalman Z3 Plus case, Win 10 Pro

HQPlayer: Intel S1200KPR, Xeon E3 1265lv2, Crucial V4 SSD for OS, 8GB ECC RAM, PPA USB card v2, wide range picoPSU, PPA SATA cable for SSD, Streacom FC8 Evo case, lab linear PSU for picoPSU, Windows Server 2012 R2, AudioPhil's Optimizer, Acourate (digital crossovers, room correction), HQPlayer upsampling to 192/24

Rest of Chain:

Lynx Hilo as 6-channel DAC, McIntosh MC275 MkIV for mids & treble, Hypex UcD400HG for midbass into B&W 804S, 2 DIY 12" Rythmik subs, Equi=Core 1800 balanced power, dedicated power lines, room treatments

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8 minutes ago, LewinskiH01 said:

240mA vs the 1.1A capacity of the LPS-1.2. Could one LPS-1.2 be used to power an ISO Regen and an EtherRegen? Would it create a ground loop?

 

No, you can not use a single UltraCap LPS-1.2 to power both an ISO REGEN and an EtherREGEN.  That is because the 12V is too high a voltage for the ISO REGEN, and while the EtherREGEN can run from 7V it draws over 1.3A at that.

Last night's test of the latest EtherREGEN pre-production boards have it drawing just 0.7A at 12V, so powering from an UltraCap LPS-1.2 set to 12V is assured. 

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59 minutes ago, Superdad said:

 

No, you can not use a single UltraCap LPS-1.2 to power both an ISO REGEN and an EtherREGEN.  That is because the 12V is too high a voltage for the ISO REGEN, and while the EtherREGEN can run from 7V it draws over 1.3A at that.

Last night's test of the latest EtherREGEN pre-production boards have it drawing just 0.7A at 12V, so powering from an UltraCap LPS-1.2 set to 12V is assured. 

 

Got it. Thank you. Bummer 😊

 

To finalize re power: since it runs on 5V and draws 240mA, how's the sound if a USB battery, say a 13000mA Anker, is used? Would last about 50 hours without recharging. 

 

Moving to another topic: I convolve music to 6-channel stereo, which is sent from the PC to the DAC through USB. I imagine the ISO Regen is OK with that, but would like to confirm.

 

BTW, congrats on the progress with EtherRegen!


Roon Server: Gigabyte GA-Z170X UD5, i5 6600, Crucial MX200 SSD, HyperX 1x16GB RAM, Seasonic 520W 80+ PSU, 3 HDD for media, Zalman Z3 Plus case, Win 10 Pro

HQPlayer: Intel S1200KPR, Xeon E3 1265lv2, Crucial V4 SSD for OS, 8GB ECC RAM, PPA USB card v2, wide range picoPSU, PPA SATA cable for SSD, Streacom FC8 Evo case, lab linear PSU for picoPSU, Windows Server 2012 R2, AudioPhil's Optimizer, Acourate (digital crossovers, room correction), HQPlayer upsampling to 192/24

Rest of Chain:

Lynx Hilo as 6-channel DAC, McIntosh MC275 MkIV for mids & treble, Hypex UcD400HG for midbass into B&W 804S, 2 DIY 12" Rythmik subs, Equi=Core 1800 balanced power, dedicated power lines, room treatments

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1 hour ago, LewinskiH01 said:

To finalize re power: since it runs on 5V and draws 240mA, how's the sound if a USB battery, say a 13000mA Anker, is used? Would last about 50 hours without recharging.

ISO REGEN should be powered with at least 6V.  Otherwise the 1A voltage regulator on the board--which is dedicated to providing 5VBUS output to DACs that need it--will not have enough drop to regulate to 5V.  If your DAC does not use ANY 5VBUS power, then you can run the ISO REGEN from 5V (or even 4V) as all the rest of the (four LT3042) regulators are set to just 3.3V.

 

People have used USB battery packs with ISO REGEN.  Just be aware that those are not lot noise power supplies as they use DC-DC switching regulators and do not follow them with any linear regs.  

 

1 hour ago, LewinskiH01 said:

Moving to another topic: I convolve music to 6-channel stereo, which is sent from the PC to the DAC through USB. I imagine the ISO Regen is OK with that, but would like to confirm.

Sure, that's fine.  Anything you can pass via high-speed (480mbps) USB 2.0 will go through an ISO REGEN.  ISO REGEN knows nothing of audio channels, sample rates, etc.  It can just as well be printer data! x-D  But the improved USB signal integrity, impedance match, and clocking are only of benefit to the USB PHY/processor of a DAC/DDC decoding audio.  It reduces ground-plane noise and packet-data noise inside the DAC, and the galvanic isolation blocks leakage currents from upstream.

 

1 hour ago, LewinskiH01 said:

BTW, congrats on the progress with EtherRegen!

Thanks!

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