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EtherREGEN: The long development and active launch discussion thread.

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6 hours ago, octaviars said:

The external clock dont have anything to do with cable length of a fiber run they can be many miles long without any problem.

 

The clock signal from a master clock that often is a hi frequenzy signal in most audio cases a 10MHz signal that has to pass through lots of connectors and cables will fast be degraded and not so exact as it has to be. Some DAC manufacturers would never consider building something with a external clock for example MSB Tech or EMM Labs and many more (my own TAD D1000 mk2 DAC has a very precise clock mounted directly besides the DAC chip).

 

This is Ed Meitner from EMM Labs thoughts about external clocks (article in Stereophile magazine).

 

JVS: You don't believe in using an external word clock. Why?

EM: Because I think this is the most stupid thing I've ever heard in the audio business. That means you have a precision clock that you have to connect to a wire to connect to a DAC, when the clock should be straight away where it belongs, inside the DAC, beside the DAC chip, if there is such a thing—not through a cable in a different box. This is so idiotic, it's not even funny. It's a money grab.

JVS: I believe one of the arguments for an external clock is that it offers better shielding from power supplies, and will thus operate better.

EM: Yeah, especially with units [that] have a separate power supply. There's a lot of shielding there. The whole thing is funny.

MP: In our DACs, the reference clock is inside the product and an inherent part of the conversion circuitry. Anything that comes from the outside world, on whatever input we select, is buffered and reclocked, so we don't have to worry about the artifacts of an external clock. Everything is reclocked to our internal reference. That's what we mean by asynchronous clock design.

 

As far as I know the DAC’s external clock input is primarily for studio work, where multiple devices should be synchronized for the purpose of music production. But of course, I’m a dwarf among giants here, not in any position to argue with Ed Meitner about the merits of a short clock line. 

 

Still, via circuitous route, I’d like to offer an idea for Alex and John.

 

I know firsthand that a stack of re-clockers tethered to a 10HZ ref clock, boosts the SQ in a notable way. Not only does it minimize jitter, but it also reduces phase noise. (the stack isn’t a panacea, though: use a lousy source and the improved SQ is still lousy; with a great source, the SQ is brilliant). 

  

Now, if the moat concept is indeed is the ultimate slayer of phase noise, why not build a device that accepts SPDIF/AES input (XLR/BNC/Topslink), takes it through a “cleansing” moat and outputs the same exact format? (Yes, it doesn’t have to be a converter). The signal into the DAC will be nearly free of artifact contamination and thus the close to nirvana. This SignalRegen will render my stack obsolete for a frication of the cost.

 

If I’m going a limb here, sorry for wasting your time: I’m in deep over my head here :)


[ AERIS G2 ] => [ MC3+USB x 3 <- -REF10 ] => [ Genelec 8341 x 2 + 7360 x 2 ]

[ Switchable to  [ Genelec 8331 x 2 + 7350 ]

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1 hour ago, LowMidHigh said:

Still, via circuitous route, I’d like to offer an idea for Alex and John.

 

I know firsthand that a stack of re-clockers tethered to a 10HZ ref clock, boosts the SQ in a notable way. Not only does it minimize jitter, but it also reduces phase noise. (the stack isn’t a panacea, though: use a lousy source and the improved SQ is still lousy; with a great source, the SQ is brilliant).

 

I'll give a short reply here, then I really want to move away from clock-talk. O.o

First, what is "a stack of re-clockers"?  Do you mean other packet-data (USB and Ethernet) devices and audio devices (digital-to-digital converters of any sort)?  If so, one really needs to take a closer look at the design, topology, and parts of those devices to gain a deeper understanding of what works/does not work and why.  (For years it has been a pastime for John and I to look at the PCBs of all such devices--and DACs--and discuss such things.)  Just sticking a fancy clock inside or outside a device does not address all the issues of signal integrity--nor does it even mean that low-jitter will be realized.

 

Quote

 Now, if the moat concept is indeed is the ultimate slayer of phase noise, why not build a device that accepts SPDIF/AES input (XLR/BNC/Topslink), takes it through a “cleansing” moat and outputs the same exact format? (Yes, it doesn’t have to be a converter). The signal into the DAC will be nearly free of artifact contamination and thus the close to nirvana. This SignalRegen will render my stack obsolete for a frication of the cost.

 

First off, digital isolators--even the newest high-speed, low-jitter, differential ones as used in the EtherREGEN--are not enough on their own. Careful layout, clocking, special flip-flops, and superior power networks are also required.  

And indeed some of this is done--though with older parts--in some DACs and some DDCs.

Ultimately it would be nice to have best practices--and best parts and techniques--used inside a DAC.

 

While I am sure you will see other products from UpTone utilizing much of what we have learned--and parts we have discovered--in the past year, don't hold your breath for any S/PDIF device from us.  I am not a fan. 

 

Quote

If I’m going a limb here, sorry for wasting your time: I’m in deep over my head here :)

No worries.  Truth is, my own nose and eyes are barely above the waterline with this stuff.  95% of what I know comes from hours on the phone with John--and I understand and retain only a portion of it! 9_9

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4 hours ago, Superdad said:

 

Sure, that will work fine.  But if your "streamer" is attached to the DAC of your best audio system, then we also suggest that you try attaching it to the lone 'B'-side port while attaching your router, NAS, and AppleTV to the 'A'-side ports.  You can experiment and see hear which produces the best results un your system. :)

I’m a bit confused by your response. I have optical signature Renault se. I thought I would run Ethernet cable from router to etherREGEN, use  etherREGEN optical port direct to rendu across the moat. As well as every other input.

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20 minutes ago, lxgreen said:

I’m a bit confused by your response. I have optical signature Renault se. I thought I would run Ethernet cable from router to etherREGEN, use  etherREGEN optical port direct to rendu across the moat. As well as every other input.

 

Ah, your question did not indicate that you have an optical input streamer.  So yes, running your router in the 'B'-side port and optical out the SFP cage on the 'A"-side will be most optimal for you.  That is why we went to the trouble of making the EtherREGEN symmetrical regards quality of data logic, power, and clocking on both sides of the moat. :D

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7 hours ago, Superdad said:

don't hold your breath for any S/PDIF device from us.  I am not a fan. 


Those of us that have no alternative need a usb to SPDIF converter.

If you could make something better than the Singxer SU-1 or SU-6, it would help those of few of us that need an external converter. 
 

Maybe the marked isn’t big enough to defend a development of such a device ?

 

Or maybe it can be part of another future product 😀

I think you mentioned you and John has ideas that can keep you occupied for next three years, so whatever will come, I’m looking forward to it. 

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3 hours ago, R1200CL said:


Those of us that have no alternative need a usb to SPDIF converter.

If you could make something better than the Singxer SU-1 or SU-6, it would help those of few of us that need an external converter. 
 

Maybe the marked isn’t big enough to defend a development of such a device ?

 

Or maybe it can be part of another future product 😀

I think you mentioned you and John has ideas that can keep you occupied for next three years, so whatever will come, I’m looking forward to it. 

So you de-code the USB audio to SPDIF via the adapter you want then feed SPDIF to the convertor or:

Your DAC de-codes the USB to I2C and feeds that to the converter.....

In both cases you are extracting audio data from the USB and re-transmitting it as a different digital format...

 

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6 hours ago, marce said:

So you de-code the USB audio to SPDIF via the adapter you want then feed SPDIF to the convertor or:

Your DAC de-codes the USB to I2C and feeds that to the converter.....

In both cases you are extracting audio data from the USB and re-transmitting it as a different digital format...

 

 

None of the above if I understand you correctly. And what you suggest probably doesn’t make much sense either. 
 

Several excellent DAC’s doesn’t have USB interface, or maybe a bad USB implementation. And for streaming you need USB. 
 

In my case no USB available in my DAC. Hence I need the USB to SPDIF converter. And there should be possible to make something even better than the Singxer ones. 
 

Purchasing a DAC with USB interface that is better than my Theta Generation VIll, or the Casablanca 4a, will probably cost me 20 to 50 times more than a well designed USB to SPDIF converter from John and Uptone. 
 

But I don’t know the marked for such a device. I’m convinced @JohnSwenson has the skill and knowledge to design such a product within Uptone price range, which seems to be within an affordable 3 digits for a product at world class 😀

 

An interesting discussion of such a product would be if it should be driven by Vbus power or not. Or maybe even the option to choose between Vbus or the LPS-1.2.
 

But now we’re way OT. 
 

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7 hours ago, R1200CL said:

But I don’t know the marked for such a device. I’m convinced @JohnSwenson has the skill and knowledge to design such a product within Uptone price range, which seems to be within an affordable 3 digits for a product at world class 😀

 

Ha ha if @Superdad doesn’t think there is enough of a market for the product then you can’t buy one for low 3 digits, even if his design rate is $1/hr. 😂


Custom room treatments for headphone users.

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10 hours ago, R1200CL said:

But now we’re way OT. 

Indeed. So let’s no go there. ^_^

 

3 hours ago, jabbr said:

Ha ha if @Superdad doesn’t think there is enough of a market for the product then you can’t buy one for low 3 digits, even if his design rate is $1/hr.

I did not say that there is not a market for a well-designed DDC. (And certainly there are lots of products in that space already.) 

I just said that we don’t have much interest in pursuing anything for S/PDIF.  We have so many much more interesting and unique projects planned.

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Can someone please explain where this device would fit into my current chain?

 

5Ghz ASUS Nighthawk WIFI Bridge > Ethernet Cable > Audio Store Prestige MX Server > Bridged Ethernet > Ethernet Cable > Metrum Acoustics Ambre >  BNC/SPDIF Coax/RJ45 I2S > Metrum Acoustics Adagio > BNC/RCA > Metrum Acoustics Forte > Speakers

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37 minutes ago, Superdad said:

 

Right before your Metrum Ambre streamer--because that is the closest in your chain to your DAC.  So run the Ethernet cable from your Audio Store Prestige MX server into one of the 'A'-side ports of the EtherREGEN; then run another Ethernet cable from the 'B'-side port to your Ambre.

 

Thank you.

 

I'd like one. When do you anticipate you'll be able to take orders?

 

Many Thanks.

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14 minutes ago, George Hincapie said:

I'd like one. When do you anticipate you'll be able to take orders?

 

That's great, thanks.

 

We are not yet taking pre-orders for the EtherREGEN.  What we do for launches is notify everyone via our mailing list and via our forum—a few days before, when the product page is up but the “AddToCart” button is not shown.  We do not take orders until we know the exact date we plan to ship (so when we have dates from out PCB and aluminum case companies.)
We will tell in the e-mail the date and time (always (9:00 a.m. PST, usually a Tuesday) that order taking will begin, and right at 9:00 orders pour in.  People set their alarms to get their orders in because the first run (250 units) may sell out in the first few hours. But even if they do sell out, we will quickly order more boards even before the first ones arrive—so that the gap between shipping of first and second production runs should be only 2-3 weeks at most.
 
This is really the only manageable way for us to do these launches.

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3 minutes ago, Superdad said:

 

That's great, thanks.

 

We are not yet taking pre-orders for the EtherREGEN.  What we do for launches is notify everyone via our mailing list and via our forum—a few days before, when the product page is up but the “AddToCart” button is not shown.  We do not take orders until we know the exact date we plan to ship (so when we have dates from out PCB and aluminum case companies.)
We will tell in the e-mail the date and time (always (9:00 a.m. PST, usually a Tuesday) that order taking will begin, and right at 9:00 orders pour in.  People set their alarms to get their orders in because the first run (250 units) may sell out in the first few hours. But even if they do sell out, we will quickly order more boards even before the first ones arrive—so that the gap between shipping of first and second production runs should be only 2-3 weeks at most.
 
This is really the only manageable way for us to do these launches.

 

That's great. I'll sign myself up now.

 

 

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@Superdad after the "clock wave" a down to earth question :) 

If I put the EtherRegen in a closed metal box (ca. 40x15x20cm) with only a sloth backside for ventilation: Would it work "risk free"? Today I have a TP Link switch in it and it doesn't generate heat at all, considering it only needs 9V/0,1A. 

 

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@Superdad, I have a question about the EtherREGEN after a discussion with @vortecjr in the optical module thread: I have my audio components (streamer, DAC and (pre)amp) on a dedicated power line and behind an isolation transformer and I want to keep everything else out of this domain/cluster in electrical/noise injecting terms. My understanding is that this can be done with the EtherREGEN. More specific, that the RJ-45 output of the EtherREGEN is completely galvanic isolated so no leakage current can go from one power domain to the other. My streamer is a dCS Network Bridge and this device can only accept RJ-45 so optical into the 'audio power domain' is not an option for me if I want to keep this domain 'as is'.


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 power cables Head-fi and reference Bakoon HPA-21 | Audeze LCD-3 (f) | Audio-technica ATH-M50 Software High Sierra | Roon 1.6 | Tidal hifi Power and isolation Dedicated power line | Xentek extreme isolation transformer (1KVA, 0.0001pf, balanced) | Vibex one 6R power distributor | Emo Systems EN-70HD network isolator | Jensen CI-1RR isolator

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47 minutes ago, skatbelt said:

My streamer is a dCS Network Bridge and this device can only accept RJ-45 so optical into the 'audio power domain' is not an option for me if I want to keep this domain 'as is'.

 

I have a similare setup and I will use the etherRegen in my "audio power domain" and feed it fiber optic LAN from my Ubiquiti router. From one of the RJ45 LAN on the etherRegen I will connect my Roon ROCK server and the single isolated RJ45 port will go to my streamer.

 

It will look something like this when I am done, might be some changes on the PSU as that is stuff from my system I have today and that might change. The purple line shows the seperation of my power supplys as the ethernet going to my audio is over fiber.

 

531078062_FldesschemadCSNB.thumb.png.f3bbdb392c572b92fa24816d304555b8.png

 


Main system
TAD D1000mk2, TAD M2500mk2, TAD CE-1, Ansuz Mainz 8 C2, Ansuz Darkz D and T2
Tidal Hifi / Qobuz Studio -> Roon ROCK on NUC -> dCS Network bridge -> AES/EBU -> DAC
HD Plex 200W PSU (4 rail for ISP fiber, router, switch and NUC)
 
Second system
Tidal Hifi / Qobuz Studio -> Devialet Silver Phantom, Devialet Tree

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6 hours ago, octaviars said:

 

I have a similare setup and I will use the etherRegen in my "audio power domain" and feed it fiber optic LAN from my Ubiquiti router. From one of the RJ45 LAN on the etherRegen I will connect my Roon ROCK server and the single isolated RJ45 port will go to my streamer.

 

It will look something like this when I am done, might be some changes on the PSU as that is stuff from my system I have today and that might change. The purple line shows the seperation of my power supplys as the ethernet going to my audio is over fiber.

 

531078062_FldesschemadCSNB.thumb.png.f3bbdb392c572b92fa24816d304555b8.png

 

 

Thx for your input but my goal is yo keep the EtherREGEN (or any other solution) outside the 'audio power domain'.


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 power cables Head-fi and reference Bakoon HPA-21 | Audeze LCD-3 (f) | Audio-technica ATH-M50 Software High Sierra | Roon 1.6 | Tidal hifi Power and isolation Dedicated power line | Xentek extreme isolation transformer (1KVA, 0.0001pf, balanced) | Vibex one 6R power distributor | Emo Systems EN-70HD network isolator | Jensen CI-1RR isolator

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7 hours ago, skatbelt said:

Thx for your input but my goal is yo keep the EtherREGEN (or any other solution) outside the 'audio power domain'.

 

I see, that might be the wisest thing to do perhaps I should reconsider having the computer stuff on my audio supply and just let the isolated RJ45 go into my "audio domain".

Lets see what @Superdad has to say about the thing.


Main system
TAD D1000mk2, TAD M2500mk2, TAD CE-1, Ansuz Mainz 8 C2, Ansuz Darkz D and T2
Tidal Hifi / Qobuz Studio -> Roon ROCK on NUC -> dCS Network bridge -> AES/EBU -> DAC
HD Plex 200W PSU (4 rail for ISP fiber, router, switch and NUC)
 
Second system
Tidal Hifi / Qobuz Studio -> Devialet Silver Phantom, Devialet Tree

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15 hours ago, octaviars said:

 

I have a similare setup and I will use the etherRegen in my "audio power domain" and feed it fiber optic LAN from my Ubiquiti router. From one of the RJ45 LAN on the etherRegen I will connect my Roon ROCK server and the single isolated RJ45 port will go to my streamer.

 

It will look something like this when I am done, might be some changes on the PSU as that is stuff from my system I have today and that might change. The purple line shows the seperation of my power supplys as the ethernet going to my audio is over fiber.

 

531078062_FldesschemadCSNB.thumb.png.f3bbdb392c572b92fa24816d304555b8.png

 

 

Why not put the ROCK server to the left of your isolation line on a 19v line from the existing HD Plex PSU.

All playback traffic will now come over the optical link from Uniti switch to the EtherRegen switch, and then cross the moat to the dCS Bridge (Streamer).

You will then just need a PSU for the EtherRegen or use the one that will be supplied, given the EtherRegen is reported to have been designed with superior onboard voltage lines. You will then have complete power lines and data isolation initially via the optical fibre and then the EtherRegen’s moat.

 

Of course, if you wanted to power the EtherRegen with an UltraCap LPS 1.2, but until it is confirmed as 1) supported and 2) makes a difference, why not plan to use the supplied PSU?

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15 minutes ago, simon_pepper said:

Of course, if you wanted to power the EtherRegen with an UltraCap LPS 1.2, but until it is confirmed as 1) supported and 2) makes a difference, why not plan to use the supplied PSU?

 

As I wrote this is a system build up i process so nothing is written in stone yet ☺️ 

I will wait and see how things evolve in the coming months.


Main system
TAD D1000mk2, TAD M2500mk2, TAD CE-1, Ansuz Mainz 8 C2, Ansuz Darkz D and T2
Tidal Hifi / Qobuz Studio -> Roon ROCK on NUC -> dCS Network bridge -> AES/EBU -> DAC
HD Plex 200W PSU (4 rail for ISP fiber, router, switch and NUC)
 
Second system
Tidal Hifi / Qobuz Studio -> Devialet Silver Phantom, Devialet Tree

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6 minutes ago, JohnSwenson said:

I hope that makes sense.

 

Thanks for that answer it really answered a lot of questions :)

 

So I suppose @skatbelt has the best solution to keep the EtherREGEN out of the audio domain and feed the isolated port to his streamer. 


Main system
TAD D1000mk2, TAD M2500mk2, TAD CE-1, Ansuz Mainz 8 C2, Ansuz Darkz D and T2
Tidal Hifi / Qobuz Studio -> Roon ROCK on NUC -> dCS Network bridge -> AES/EBU -> DAC
HD Plex 200W PSU (4 rail for ISP fiber, router, switch and NUC)
 
Second system
Tidal Hifi / Qobuz Studio -> Devialet Silver Phantom, Devialet Tree

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2 hours ago, JohnSwenson said:

The power supply for the EtherREGEN goes into the A side, there is an isolating DC/DC converter between the A side and the B side. This converter has extremely small capacitance across the moat. There are a bunch of 3045 and 3042 regulators that take isolated output from the isolating converter and drive all the circuitry on the B side. You have a VERY high degree of isolation between the A side and B side for both data and power.

 

So you have an audio PS system and a non-audio PS system. If you power the EtherREGEN from the audio PS side and use RJ45 connection  to the A side, B side to DAC, you MIGHT get some leakage current through an electrical A side connection and the power supply on the audio PS side. IF the A side is connected with optical, that cannot happen.

 

IF the EtherREGEN is powered from the non-audio PS any leakage coming in through the PS or A side input will be blocked from the getting to the B side RJ45.

 

So it seems to me powering the EtherREGEN from the non-audio PS side is the safest no matter how you hook up the A side. There is no path for any leakage in the non-audio PS domain to get into the audio PS domain. With EtherREGEN power from the audio PS domain there is a small possibility of getting leakage from the non-audio PS domain, through an A side RJ45 through the EtherREGEN power supply and into the audio PS domain. If the A side connection is optical that cannot happen either.

 

I hope that makes sense.

 

John S.

 

 

 

Thank you John, exactly the answer I was hoping for!

 


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 power cables Head-fi and reference Bakoon HPA-21 | Audeze LCD-3 (f) | Audio-technica ATH-M50 Software High Sierra | Roon 1.6 | Tidal hifi Power and isolation Dedicated power line | Xentek extreme isolation transformer (1KVA, 0.0001pf, balanced) | Vibex one 6R power distributor | Emo Systems EN-70HD network isolator | Jensen CI-1RR isolator

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3 hours ago, JohnSwenson said:

The power supply for the EtherREGEN goes into the A side, there is an isolating DC/DC converter between the A side and the B side. This converter has extremely small capacitance across the moat. There are a bunch of 3045 and 3042 regulators that take isolated output from the isolating converter and drive all the circuitry on the B side. You have a VERY high degree of isolation between the A side and B side for both data and power.

 

So you have an audio PS system and a non-audio PS system. If you power the EtherREGEN from the audio PS side and use RJ45 connection  to the A side, B side to DAC, you MIGHT get some leakage current through an electrical A side connection and the power supply on the audio PS side. IF the A side is connected with optical, that cannot happen.

 

IF the EtherREGEN is powered from the non-audio PS any leakage coming in through the PS or A side input will be blocked from the getting to the B side RJ45.

 

So it seems to me powering the EtherREGEN from the non-audio PS side is the safest no matter how you hook up the A side. There is no path for any leakage in the non-audio PS domain to get into the audio PS domain. With EtherREGEN power from the audio PS domain there is a small possibility of getting leakage from the non-audio PS domain, through an A side RJ45 through the EtherREGEN power supply and into the audio PS domain. If the A side connection is optical that cannot happen either.

 

I hope that makes sense.

 

John S.

 

 

 

It depends on many things there its best to place a device, I believe. To get as little leakage as possible is of course great, but other things is of importance to. The switch itself will operate better if it is feed clean power with no DC offset. A switch with all its circuits and clocks will benefit from clean power just like a renderer and a server. Placing a device there the mains power is cleanest (on a dedicated power line and behind an isolation transformer or a power conditioner) could trump the advantages you have described in many urban homes with a lot of EMI/RFI on the mains power.   

 

IMO, best is to try and hear which position sounds best with your gear and external conditions.  

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